ICYMI: the 8 biggest tech news stories from Boston Dynamic’s new robot to Sony’s OLED-beating Micro-LED TV tech

<div>ICYMI: the 8 biggest tech news stories from Boston Dynamic’s new robot to Sony’s OLED-beating Micro-LED TV tech</div>
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This week in the world of tech: Boston Dynamics unveiled a new robot, and while it terrified us, the barrage of negative Humane AI Pin reviews showed us that maybe the artificial intelligence uprising is perhaps further aware than we initially feared.

But maybe you’ve missed these or other major tech stories from this past week. No worries, because we’re here to help with a round-up of the eight biggest tech news stories from the last seven days.

There’s a lot to catch up on, so let’s get into it.

8. The Humane AI Pin came… and flopped

The Human AI Pin on a hoodie and a hand showing its laser projector

(Image credit: Humane)

Reviews for the first Humane AI pin came out this week, and they weren’t great – with the wearable being universally labeled as “unreliable.”

Marques Brownlee released a video on his YouTube channel calling the AI gadget “the worst product i’ve ever reviewed… for now,” Mrwhosetheboss said “It’s not good,” Bloomberg said “”The design and interface are fatally flawed,” and The Verge’s video interview featured frequent bouts of hysterical laughter because of how bad it found the Humane AI Pin to be.

There was also a very strange controversy on social media criticizing the critics – with much of the undeserved hate being directed at Brownlee, leading to him issuing a response – but the main thing was that while AI wearables do seem to be the future – with Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses getting Meta AI and the Nothing earbuds getting ChatGPT (more below) – the current tech isn’t where it needs to be right now. 

7. Boston Dynamics terrified us with its new humanoid robot

Boston Dynamics All New Atlas

(Image credit: Boston Dynamics)

Perhaps someday we’ll ask, “Where were you when you first saw “New Atlas?” 

Boston Dynamics all-new and all-electric Atlas update is a generational leap from the more than decade-old hydraulics-based Atlas. That robot, which is being retired was amazing in its own right, capable of doing numerous human-like tasks like walking, running, bending, and lifting, but also showing us how an apex human could perform through various acrobatics and parkour antics.

New Atlas, however, might be even stronger and it’s already showing us its uncanny flexibility in a brief introduction video. Expect to see it doing even more impressive physical tricks before the bot finally makes its way to factories and, maybe someday, our homes.

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6. We saw Sony’s new mini-LED TV backlight tech put OLEDs on notice

Sony Bravia 9 backlight demo showing images on screen and on raw backlight

(Image credit: Future)

Sony just launched its new 2024 TVs, and the Bravia 9 mini-LED leads the lineup. Positioning mini-LED as its flagship TV tech is an extreme about-face for the company, which had previously reserved that status for OLED.

We saw the new Bravia 9 TV in action at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California, and there’s good reason for Sony’s newfound mini-LED enthusiasm. The company has developed a new XR Backlight Master Drive backlight design that uses a 22-bit LED driver to deliver 50% higher brightness and 320% more local dimming zones than its previous X95L mini-LED model.

This new backlight helps enhance contrast and color brightness while reducing blooming, closing the picture quality gap between mini-LED and OLED. It’s also better able to capture the full range of highlight detail in movies with high dynamic range – an important factor as movies increasingly get mastered at higher brightness levels.

5. Samsung confirmed its AI is coming to your Galaxy 21 phone

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

Samsung has not only teased that Galaxy AI features are coming to the Galaxy S22 series soon, but it seemingly revealed this week that its 2021 flagship phones will get a couple of Galaxy AI tools too.

Per a post on Samsung’s Korean community forum the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, Galaxy S21 Ultra, Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3 will be getting the company’s AI-packed One UI 6.1 update in “early May,” and when it does it’ll bring Circle to Search and Magic Rewrite to these devices.

It’s always great news to hear older handsets will be getting some of the technical bells and whistles of the newer smartphone releases, though if you’re rocking a Samsung handset from 2020 it looks unlikely you’ll get any of these AI tools – so we’d suggest checking out our Samsung phones deals page if you’re thinking of upgrading to a new phone that can access Galaxy AI.

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4. New Nothing Ear buds launched with ChatGPT

Nothing Ear (a) earbuds in their case, with a frog inexplicably climbing the case

(Image credit: Nothing)

Nothing’s naming strategy is anything but self-explanatory, so to avoid supplementary confusion: Nothing launched two new sets of true wireless earbuds on Thursday, April 18. A model called just Ear are the company’s new flagship offering – these have arrived after the Ear (1), Ear (Stick) and Ear (2), that’s just how it is – while the also-new Ear (a) are the cheaper pair. And it’s this entry-level model that just gained a highly coveted TechRadar five-star recommendation, which you can read about to your heart’s content in our full-fat Nothing Ear (a) review.

But the fact that there are two new sets of Nothing earbuds is only part of the news here, because in addition to releasing two new earbuds models, Carl Pei’s startup has also fixed it so that your Nothing earbuds and phones can let you talk to ChatGPT for instant AI support. 

Nothing says that once you’ve downloaded the ChatGPT app on your Nothing Phone (running the latest Nothing OS), you’ll be able to pinch-to-speak using the earbuds’ stems and thus summon the chatbot for answers, without having to dig out your device. And have to admit, that’s really something, Nothing…

3. Meta rolled out its new AI – and it might bury Google and Microsoft

The Meta AI logo

(Image credit: Meta)

Meta’s AI got a new and improved website, as well as some upgrade thanks to it’s new “state-of-the-art Llama 3 AI model” according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg – and the best thing of all is it’s completely free to use.

The site lets you generate text and images with a written prompt – though to make AI images you’ll need to log in and your picture will feature a watermark which should help a little in cutting down misuse.

It’s still early days in the battle between AI creators, but Google and OpenAI had better watch out because Meta’s new and improved software is already looking like a major competitor to what’s currently out there – and it will only get better.

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2. The iPhone got its first Nintendo emulators and alternative app stores

AltStore app store

(Image credit: AltStore)

Following some gentle arm-twisting from the EU, Apple recently said its App Store would soon allow retro game emulators like the ones you can find on Android. This week, we saw the first one arrive with Delta – a free app that you can download now from the App Store in the EU and many countries outside of it.

Unlike rival emulators like iGBA, which quickly disappeared from the App Store due to copyright violations, this one is likely here to stay. Delta supports several consoles including the NES, SNES, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, and you can play games with iPhone-compatible controllers, too. All you need to do is provide the ROM files (as long they’re copyright-free, of course) and you’re good to go. Now all we need is a PS1 emulator…

1. The Insta360 X4 became our new favorite 360 camera

Insta360 X4 360 degree camera mounted to a red convertible car's bonnet

(Image credit: Insta360)

Our extensive Insta360 X4 hands-on review waxed lyrical about the 8K video-equipped 360-degree camera. With higher resolution video than the X3, much better battery life and welcome design tweaks, the X4 is the best 360-degree camera yet.

Full waterproofing and a decent single-camera mode make the X4 a compelling action camera, vlogging tool, and even a dash cam especially for motorcyclists who can voice command the X4 from a Bluetooth compatible headset from within a helmet. GoPro has a tough act to follow with its upcoming Max 2, as does Canon with its intriguing 360 / 180 3D Powershot concept. It’s been really quiet in this category of cameras the last couple of years, but that seems set to change in 2024.

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