Friday Five: Reduced price tag for Google’s flagship phone

1. Google releases cheaper phone for Covid era

Google’s new flagship smartphone is being released at a lower price to take into account the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. While not exactly cheap at £599, the Pixel 5 is £330 less than last year’s Pixel 4XL, having abandoned some of the 4XL’s headline features and running on a slower chip.

2. Amazon puts paying in the palm of your hand

Forgotten your wallet AND phone? How careless of you. But no matter — Amazon is introducing a new biometric technology that will allow you to pay for things by simply scanning your palm. Called Amazon One, this tech is being introduced in Amazon’s own retail stores in the US, but Amazon is going to licence it to third parties.

3. New tool can detect deepfakes in a heartbeat

In the war against misinformation being spread online, sophisticated deepfake videos are a big problem. But researchers from a New York university have developed a tool called FakeCatcher that uses a clever way to expose videos that have been digitally modified by looking for actual signs of life — a person’s heartbeat.

4. Jet suit idea for paramedics takes flight

A jet suit that would allow a paramedic to fly to the top of a fell in 90 seconds rather than taking 30 minutes on foot has been tested by the Great North Air Ambulance Service in the Lake District. The suit has two mini engines on each arm and one on the back, allowing the paramedic to control their movement by moving their hands.

5. Fashion labels zoom in on waist-up design

Go on, admit it — you might have been wearing a smart, freshly pressed shirt for that Zoom meeting, but below the waist you had your trackie bottoms on, didn’t you? Well, fashion labels have got in on the act, focusing on a ‘waist up’ approach at Milan and London Fashion Weeks that is perfect for those important video calls.

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