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I Desperately Need Ford’s ‘Lane-Keeping’ Smart Bed

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Many mornings, I wake up to find my fiance’s head on my pillow and legs sprawled out where mine should be.

And I’m not alone: Studies show that one in four people in a relationship sleep better alone.

In fact, the old-fashioned practice of separate beds has become to popular there is a recognized trend for “sleep divorces.”

But Ford doesn’t want you to lose sleep over a mattress hog.

The vehicle manufacturer this week introduced a “Lane-Keeping Bed,” which applies car technology to ensure that “even the most selfish bed mate stays firms ‘in their lane’ through the night.”

“Humans are most vulnerable when sleeping, so we’re programmed to wake when something or someone touches us unexpectedly,” according to Neil Stanley, an independent sleep expert.

“If someone moves onto your side of the bed this defense mechanism will kick in and you’ll have a broken night, often while they continue to sleep soundly,” he explained. “I’ve seen it ruin relationships.”

Ford’s “Lane-Keeping Bed” applies car tech to ensure even the most selfish bed mate stays firmly “in their lane” through the night (via Ford Europe)

Just as Ford’s Lane-Keeping Aid avoids accidents by “nudging” the steering wheel in the correct direction, the prototype revolving mattress gently shifts people back into position.

As exciting a prospect as this sounds, the smart bed is only a concept—and one unlikely to be developed into a commercial product.

“Lane-Keeping Aid in our cars can make driving easier and more comfortable. We thought that showing how similar thinking could be applied to a bed would be a great way to highlight to drivers a technology that they might not previously have been aware of,” Anthony Ireson, director of Marketing Communications for Ford of Europe, said in a statement.

The “Lane-Keeping Bed” is part of a series of Ford Interventions that apply automotive expertise to tackle everyday (or every night) problems.

In December, Ford unveiled a prototype noise-cancelling kennel, using the same technology found in cars and headphones to protect sensitive canine ears during loud fireworks displays.

Once internal microphones detect the sound of pyrotechnics, a built-in audio system kicks in, emitting opposing frequencies that cancel out—or at least significantly reduce—the offending noise.

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Un-Fur-Tunate Cat Filter Ruins Double-Homicide Police Presser

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It’s hard to take anyone seriously when they have digital cat ears and whiskers superimposed onto their face.

A lesson Canadian police learned the hard way.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in British Columbia have apologized after livestreaming a press conference detailing a double homicide—with an augmented reality “cat filter” turned on.

Chynna Noelle Deese, 24, of North Carolina, and Lucas Robertson Fowler, 23, of Australia, were found Monday morning alongside Highway 97 in British Columbia.

A blue 1986 Chevrolet van with Alberta license plates was also at the scene.

The couple, as reported by CBS17, were on a road trip through Canada; after visiting national parks, they planned to end the journey in Alaska.

It remains unclear whether the duo were specifically targeted or the victims of a random act of violence.

“Early in the investigation, the deaths were deemed suspicious and investigators from the North District and BC RCMP Major Crimes Units were called to assist the investigation,” Sgt. Janelle Shoihet, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, said at a Friday press conference.

Unfortunately, the somber announcement was marred by a pair of pink cartoon cat ears and animated whiskers on Shoihet’s otherwise earnest face.

Police said they were aware of the “technical difficulties,” and have since uploaded a new, feline-free video of the press conference to their Facebook page.

Investigators are asking to speak with anyone traveling in the area of Liard Hot Springs and on the Alaska Highway 97 between 4 p.m. July 14 and 8 a.m. July 15—especially those with dashcam footage.

Anyone with information relating to the blue van or the deaths of Deese and Fowler should contact the Northern Rockies RCMP at 250-774-2700.

The same furry filter recently turned Pakistani politician Shaukat Yousafzai’s live-streamed press conference into an unintended farce.

According to the BBC, Yousafzai was unaware of the digital distraction, but later said it was a “mistake” and should not be taken “so seriously.”

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FaceApp Responds to (Mostly Unfounded) Privacy Concerns

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Appearance-altering platform FaceApp has, once again, come under fire—this time from privacy advocates.

The AI-powered selfie editor from Russian company Wireless Lab uses neural network technology to generate highly realistic transformation of faces in photographs.

Launched in early 2017, FaceApp almost immediately faced criticism over its “ethnicity filters” and, later, the “hot” transformation feature that reportedly lightened skin color.

Both options have since been removed.

Curious about what you’d look like with a different hair or eye color? Want to virtually test out bangs before making the cut? Wonder what you’d look like as a Hollywood star or someone of the opposite gender?

The face-morphing app does it all.

It even bends time to reveal what you might look like in the future.

“Through we might not be able to influence your wisdom, we can certainly add some wrinkles to your face,” the FaceApp website said.

The new “time travel” filter has garnered attention around the world: Check out what the Jonas Brothers, Terry Crews, Sam Smith, Drake, and Zachary Levi look like as old fogies.

With great virality comes great responsibility, though. And some believe FaceApp isn’t taking that responsibility seriously.

Concerns have been raised about whether the application uploads users’ camera roll in the background (of which there is seemingly no evidence), and how it allows you to pick photos without allowing access.

“We are receiving a lot of inquiries regarding our privacy policy and therefore, would like to provide a few points that explain the basics,” the Russian startup told TechCrunch.

For starters, FaceApp performs “most” of its photo processing in the cloud (Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, specifically), uploading only those pictures selected by a user.

“We never transfer any other images from the phone to the cloud,” the statement said. “Most images are deleted from our servers within 48 hours from the upload date.”

FaceApp also claims that no user data is “transferred to Russia,” where its core R&D team is located.

“We don’t have access to any data that could identify a person [and] we don’t sell or share any user data with any third parties,” it added.

But that’s not enough for some U.S. policymakers.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has asked the FBI and FTC to look into FaceApp’s data handling practices.

“I have serious concerns regarding both the protection of the data that is being aggregated as well as whether users are aware of who may have access to it,” Schumer wrote in a letter to the government agencies.

“In the age of facial recognition technology as both a surveillance and security use,” he continued, “it is essential that users have the information they need to ensure their personal and biometric data remains secure, including from hostile foreign nations.”

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Ford Secretly Designed a Pickup Truck Emoji (And It’s Been Shortlisted By Unicode)

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There are at least 10 different emojis to represent trains, but none that denote a pickup truck.

Ford Motor Company wants to change that.

“When customers started demanding a truck emoji, we knew we had to help make it happen,” Joe Hinrichs, president of Ford automotive, said in a statement. “Given the popularity of Ford trucks globally, there’s no one better than Ford to help bring an all-new pickup truck emoji to hard-working texters around the globe.”

Last year, the automaker submitted a proposal to the Unicode Consortium—judge, jury, and executioner of new emoji—to add a truck icon to keyboards.

The character—a simple blue pickup—has since been short-listed for inclusion in a future version of Unicode.

“Our team spent a lot of time digging through message boards, texting influencers, and watching social media feeds to really understand our customers’ needs,” according to Craig Metros, Ford North America design director.

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“People want a truck emoji that’s fresh, stylish, carries their ideas, and ‘tows’ the line on what a truck means,” he said. “The end result is a modern icon that should give all truck fans a smiley face emoji.”

Ford is no stranger to “innovations”: This is the same company, remember, that brought you a noise-cancelling kennel, lane-keeping bed, and self-braking trolley. (All, unfortunately, still in the prototype stage.)

Now, following months of top-secret development and testing, the company is making waves again with its new pickup truck emoji.

If approved, the design will be customized for all mobile platforms and could start driving onto digital screens as early as next year.

In the meantime, iOS and Android users can look forward to a slew of new food, animal, activity, and smiley face characters—including more diverse and inclusive icons—set to hit keyboards this fall.

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