Monday January 27, 2020
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Fitbit to Unveil Latest Update for its Smartwatch

Additionally, over the coming months, Fitbit will be rolling out new programs, challenges and wellness content

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Fitbit

Fitbit on Thursday announced new OS 4.1 software update for its smartwatch which adds new sleep features, more functionality straight from the home screen, along with new capabilities for Amazon Alexa.

The OS 4.1 update also adds a battery related feature, which will kick-in to notify when battery is running low.

The new Versa 2 smartwatch will also get an new advanced heart rate algorithm with this update.

Specific to Versa 2 users, Fitbit has doubled-down to enrich the recently-launched always-on display mode to deliver five additional clock face options.

Now in color, these feature full health and fitness stats, with faster transitions between always-on and active views, all powered by the device’s AMOLED display, touting a 2+ day battery life.

“Staying motivated to maintain your health and fitness routine is really hard around the holidays. We’re focused on making it more achievable through a combination of affordable devices, engaging software and our Premium membership to help you stay on track,” James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit said in a statement.

Fitbit is also continuing to roll out new content and tools to enhance Fitbit Premium membership, including a personal wellness report, developed in consultation with leading medical professionals from institutions like University of California, Los Angeles and University of California, San Francisco.

Additionally, over the coming months, Fitbit will be rolling out new programs, challenges and wellness content, plus workouts from popular brands like Daily Burn, Down Dog, Gaiam, POPSUGAR and Whil.

Fitbit
Fitbit on Thursday announced new OS 4.1 software update for its smartwatch which adds new sleep features, more functionality straight from the home screen, along with new capabilities for Amazon Alexa. Wikimedia Commons

Fitbit is continuing to expand its Premium paid membership service[15] that’s available now to millions of users in 17 markets across the globe with a new wellness report, an expanded library of new workouts from third parties.

Premium users will now have access to a wellness report, which can easily be downloaded and shared with a doctor or a personal trainer.

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Fitbit OS 4.1 will begin rolling out to Fitbit smartwatch users the first week of December. Fitbit Premium members can already access many of the latest updates, with the rest rolling out on an ongoing basis in the coming months. (IANS)

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Scientists Recreate Voice of an Egyptian Priest Who Lived 3,000 Years Ago

The researchers suggest that their proof-of-concept recreation of a vocal tract preserved over three millennia has implications for the way in which the past is presented to the public in the present

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Egyptian
The Egyptian priest Nesyamun lived during the politically volatile reign of the pharaoh Ramses XI over 3000 years ago, working as a scribe and priest at the state temple of Karnak in Thebes (modern Luxor). IANS

Scientists have succeeded in accurately reproducing the voice of an Egyptian priest who lived 3,000 years ago, thanks to the mummification process and the use of 3D printing technology.

The scientists created the 3-D printed vocal tract based on measurements of the precise dimensions of his extant vocal tract following computed tomography (CT) scanning.

The acoustic output is a single sound, falling between the vowels in the English words ‘bed’ and ‘bad’, according to the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The Egyptian priest Nesyamun lived during the politically volatile reign of the pharaoh Ramses XI over 3000 years ago, working as a scribe and priest at the state temple of Karnak in Thebes (modern Luxor).

His voice was an essential part of his ritual duties which involved spoken as well as sung elements. The precise dimensions of an individual’s vocal tract produce a unique sound. If the dimensions of a vocal tract can be established, vocal sounds can be synthesized by using a 3D-printed vocal tract and an electronic larynx.

Egyptian Art, Sarcophagus, Pharaoe, Ancient, Egypt
Scientists have succeeded in accurately reproducing the voice of an Egyptian priest who lived 3,000 years ago, thanks to the mummification process and the use of 3D printing technology. Pixabay

For this to be feasible, the soft tissue of the vocal tract needs to be reasonably intact. David Howard of University of London and his colleagues used non-destructive CT to confirm that a significant part of the structure of the larynx and throat of the mummified body of the Nesyamun remained intact as a result of the mummification process.

This allowed the authors to measure the vocal tract shape from CT images. Based on these measurements, the authors created a 3D-printed vocal tract for Nesyamun and used it with an artificial larynx commonly used in speech synthesis.

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The researchers suggest that their proof-of-concept recreation of a vocal tract preserved over three millennia has implications for the way in which the past is presented to the public in the present. It may provide an opportunity to hear the vocal tract output of an individual that lived in ancient times. (IANS)