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Apple makes it easier to look at your phone in the car

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Apple makes it easier to look at your phone in the car

Have you been there sitting in the passenger seat of a car, trying to focus intently on your phone as a way to ignore all your seatmates at karaoke. And then there is a lurch or buildup of movement that causes a swirl of unease in your stomach. What you feel is the onset of dizziness and it forces you to look away from the screen and look out the window like a commoner, so as not to vomit.

Well, that may be a thing of the past. Apple introduced a software feature called Vehicle Motion Cues in iOS and iPadOS to prevent motion sickness while looking at your phone. The update is part of a broader release of new accessibility features on Apple devices.

Motion sickness occurs when you are paying attention to something stable, like your phone or a book, while your environment moves around you. (Sensitivity to this sensory shock could also be due to problems with inner ear development.)

Apple Courtesy

The way motion cues work to get around this is lovely. To trick your brain into synchronizing your stable handheld and the moving environment, Apple will use the sensors in your iPhone or iPad to detect subtle movements of the vehicle you’re in. It will then show small dots along the edges of the screen that move. along with the car, ideally synchronizing as you move and avoiding that disconnect between sight and feel. Users will be able to turn the feature on and off in their device settings.

Apple also introduced several other accessibility updates along with motion sickness reduction. Eye tracking will now be available as an alternative navigation method on iPhone and iPad devices. A music haptics feature makes it easier for deaf and hard of hearing people to feel the music they hear through subtle vibrations on the devices. There are also better voice control features that understand atypical speech, more accessibility options in VisionOS, and live captions for video on most Apple devices.

Here’s more consumer technology news.

One brick to rule them all

Do you fantasize about one day building your own tower of doom from which to cast a burning gaze upon your barren lands? Well, now you can, at least in Lego form.

Lego has a new set of Lord of the Rings-themed sculptures that are sure to appeal to all Dark Lords. The Lord of the Rings: Barad-Dûr set is an upcoming Lego set that, when built, will stand over two and a half feet tall. But the set is also modular, which means that if you have more than one set (wink, wink) you can stack them.

As you can see by the giant, fiery eyeball at the top, it’s a bit more evil than the titular Two Towers that appear in The Lord of the Rings books and movies, where the Dark Lord Sauron grew menacingly cold during the most of the story. The set, which is objectively great, contains 5,471 pieces and costs $460. The large eye at the top of the spire glows when plugged in, and every part of the tower is filled with the nefarious goings-on of orcs, spiders, and skeletons. It also comes with minifigures of iconic LotR characters (including an appropriately brooding Gollum). If you order it in the first week it’s available, Lego will add a sick Nazgul-riding Ringwraith on top of everything.

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