Hashtag Trending Oct. 3 – Touch ID future; mapping the brain; more efficient solar panels

Apple’s Touch ID won’t be returning to iPhones anytime soon, new international research begins to better understand the human brain, and a new solar panel reaches new heights in efficiency.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Monday, October 3rd, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanner is unlikely to return to the iPhone. There has been speculation about the feature’s return to iPhones ever since it was replaced by Face ID, Apple’s face scanning technology. According to Gurman, Apple had actually tested the in-screen and in-power-button Touch ID function, but there’s no word on if it will add it back. Gurman said that Apple could add Touch ID to the power button on lower-end iPhones, but so far, it’s just pure speculation.

Source: 9to5 Mac

The human brain was famously described by physicist Michio Kaku as “the most complicated object in the known universe.” Exploring the functions and structure of its 85 billion neurons is one of the most prominent studies in biology. In the latest effort to map the brain, the National Institutes of Health advanced the BRAIN initiative, a $500 million project spanning academics in multiple countries. The new research will apply the mapping techniques established in previous research done with mouse brains to human brain research. But scaling up the processes won’t be an easy task; although the research is promising, the human brain is 1,000 times larger and far more complex than that of mice.

Source: Singularity Hub

Researchers from the Netherlands broke the 30 per cent efficiency barrier for solar panels. The best solar panels are only 22 per cent efficient when converting sunlight to electricity. This breakthrough could have massive implications, including lowering renewable energy costs, and smaller or more efficient solar farms. This was achieved using a four-terminal tandem device, which captures a wider gamut of light. The result of this research was presented at the World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion in Milan, one of the biggest events in solar energy research.

Source: Interesting Engineering

Tesla’s new humanoid robot landed with a thud at the company’s artificial intelligence event on Friday. The robot, Optimus, could slowly walk towards the attending crowd and throw a wave. Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk told the crowd that the robot can do much more than a wave, but it’s also quite delicate. It’s clear that the robot is still in early development, appearing with exposed wires wrapped around a metal skeleton. Some critics were unimpressed, however, calling the robot cringeworthy and a scam.

Source: ABC News

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Thursday morning. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected]

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