AWT News Update: April 20, 2017

Let's hope the eye injuries reported at Apple aren't THIS bad...

Let's hope the eye injuries reported at Apple aren't THIS bad...

Leaked eye injuries, influential people, and paying cable bills with Apple Pay are all on today's AWT News Update:

  • A contractor leaked some documents that outline some eye injuries that might be related to testing of AR glasses or other technologies at Apple
  • Tim Cook wrote a nice statement about Didi Chuxing president Jean Liu, who made it to the 2017 TIME "Most Influential People" list
  • Time to pay your overly-expensive Comcast bill? Use Apple Pay!

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Note to Apple News readers: you’ll need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for April 20th, 2017.

Sometimes documents that are accidentally leaked inside Apple can leak outside as well, providing a helpful look at potential products that may be coming down the road. An Apple Environmental Health and Safety contractor accidentally sent a report to hundreds of Apple personnel, with the report outlining accidents that had occurred with augmented reality glasses or other eye-related technology. For example, a person was injured while wearing a prototype at the Apple De Anza office in Cupertino, CA on February 21. A quote from the report said “After BT4 user study, user advised study lead that she experienced discomfort in her eye and said she was able to see the laser flash at several points during the study. Study lead referred her to optometrist and secured prototype unit for analysis. Another issue happened on March 2 at another Apple facility, with the report stating that “Employee reported eye pain after working with new prototype, thought it may be associated with use. He noticed that the security seal on the magenta (outer) case had been broken and had through the unit may have been tampered with.” While augmented reality is the most likely tie to such prototype accidents, the company could be testing other technologies like 3D facial recognition or iris scanning. Apple CEO Tim Cook has referred to AR as an area of interest for the company, and Robert Scoble of UploadVR has said that the company might announce a product sometime this year.

TIME’s “Most Influential People” issue is out again, and as usual, the magazine has asked other influencers to speak about those who are on the list in 2017. Tim Cook wrote a short note about Didi Chuxing (deedee chuhshin) president Jean Liu, who made the 2017 list. Didi Chuxing is the innovative Chinese ride sharing company that Apple invested $1 billion in last year, and Cook is obviously impressed with Jean and her team, saying that they “are succeeding with innovative, big-data algorithms that aim both to improve the efficiency of Didi’s service and to ease the congestion on roadways. By analyzing commuter patterns the way oceanographers track the tides, Didi may help traffic jam to the way of the flip phone. In over 400 cities across China, Jean has also built a company that is dedicated to serving the community around it. Guiding Didi to this higher purpose, and giving back to the places where it does business, she shares my belief that companies can and should measure themselves by more than just the bottom line.” Apple has a seat on the Didi Chuxing board that is held by Apple’s head of mergers and acquisitions, Adrian Perica.

If you haven’t yet cut the cable and you — like me — are still in the thrall of Comcast, you’ll be happy to know that at least you can use the Xfinity My Account app now to pay your bills with Apple Pay. The app was updated today and supports Touch ID, so TV and internet bills can be paid with just a touch. Personally, I’ve gone with touchless automatic payments, which are even easier.

That’s all for today; I’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.