April 1st is a tricky day to make any kind of serious announcement, so when Casio announced it’s plugging Google’s Wear OS into the iconic G-Shock, we were appropriately skeptical. However, it’s not a joke — the GSW-H1000 is part of Casio’s rugged G-Squad Pro lineup, with a host of sports features on board.
As well as its brawny build with titanium backing, shock resistance and water resistance down to 200 meters, it’s laden with sensors and is the first G-Shock watch with a color LCD screen. One big negative is the 1.5-day battery life with the color display, though that stretches out to a month in “multi timepiece mode.” The GSW-H1000, which is real and not a joke, will ship in mid-May, with three colors to choose from (red, black and blue) for $700.
— Richard Lawler
Other magnetic items include a mount to use at the gym and a 2,500mAh battery pack.
Now that iPhones have magnets in them, what can you do with them? For Belkin, apparently the answer is a robotic iPhone mount that keeps the phone looking at your face while you move around. That said, the face-tracking feature only works with Belkin’s app — you can’t use the mount with Zoom or FaceTime and expect it to follow you around, as well.
If that limitation doesn’t bother you, take note that the $65 device is also compatible with official MagSafe cases and links to social networks.
Everything old is new again.
reports that Amazon has been examining the idea of opening discount stores or outlets selling unsold electronics and home goods at steep discounts. “It’s a way to be able to clean out warehouses and get through inventory without having to destroy it,” one of Bloomberg’s sources said. Amazon has reportedly dropped the idea for now because of the pandemic’s impact on brick-and-mortar retail, plus it just launched the chain and wanted to focus on that.
As well as ‘Yasuke’ and ‘Run.’
With the start of a new month comes a long list of fresh content to check out on Netflix. Leading the company’s slate of originals this month is Shadow and Bone, which adapts Leigh Bardugo’s best-selling fantasy novel series. The show was penned and produced by Eric Heisserer of Arrival and Bird Box fame and will start streaming on April 23rd. Next week, viewers can choose between a Dolly Parton tribute documentary and Thunder Force, a new superhero movie starring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer.
Finally, on April 30th, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will follow up their hit film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with another animated feature, The Mitchells vs. The Machines.
The virtual set technology continues to evolve.
In a new behind-the-scenes video, visual effects studio Industrial Light & Magic details the enhancements it made to the technology to coincide with season two of The Mandalorian.
To start, it made the Stagecraft LED stage even bigger and directors extended practical sets in new shapes. “By the second season, ILM developed some software that was specific to this technology and to what the hardware was capable of,” said series showrunner Jon Favreau. One of those improvements is Helios, the in-house rendering engine ILM built to power the volume.
With season two, the tool gave the production team even more control over the set, enabling them to manipulate virtual items on the fly based on what they see in the camera. That created memorable scenes from last season that added new smoke and water effects that just weren’t possible before.