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How to Set Up a Second Screen When Working from Home

With many of working from home at the moment during the coronavirus pandemic, we won’t have access to some of the everyday office items that make out lives easier, including a second screen.

You may have felt that a second screen was a luxury when you first started working with one. But now it’s been taken away, it might just be feeling downright essential.

The good news is that you can recreate the second display at home with a variety of methods – we take a look at some of the best options.

Sidecar – Add a Second Screen with an iPad

If you’ve fully invested in the Apple ecosystem, and have both a Mac and an iPad at your disposal, then you can use what the company has dubbed “Sidecar”. This effectively turns your iPad into a second screen.

To get your display to appear on your iPad, click on the AirPlay icon in the menu on your Mac, and then select the option to connect to your iPad. Now, you can move windows to the iPad and use that space how you wish.

You’ll also notice a sidebar of options appears on your iPad. This displays commonly used options, and can be moved to a more suitable side of the screen, or moved entirely. The options include hiding the menu bar, onscreen keyboard, undo, and mirroring your Mac screen, or extending the display.

To tweak the Sidecar settings, click on the Apple menu, then System Preferences, then Sidebar.

When using Sidecar, it’s still possible to use apps on your iPad. Your Sidecar session will simply be suspended until you switch back to the Sidecar mode.

All this can be done wirelessly, but we’d recommend plugging your iPad in so it doesn’t lose power halfway through the day. Of course, you can either plug it into an outlet or straight into your Mac.

One warning – the Sidecar feature isn’t available to all Mac and iPad users. You’ll need to be running macOS Catalina on your MacBook or iMac, plus iPadOS 13 on your iPad. Also, it only works on newer hardware, so that dusty ten year old iPad you’ve got in a drawer won’t cut it. here’s the list of compatible products:

MacBook/Mac/iMac

MacBook Pro 2016 or later
MacBook 2016 or later
MacBook Air 2018 or later
iMac 2017 or later
iMac Retina 5k, 2015 or later
iMac Pro
Mac Mini 2018 or later
Mac Pro 2019 or later

iPad

iPad Pro – all models
iPad 6th gen or later
iPad Mini 5th gen
iPad Air 3rd gen

Just noticed your iPad is getting old? Check out our guide to the best Apple iPad to buy.

Use an Android Tablet as a Second Screen

If you’re an Android user who is feeling rather jealous about Apple’s Sidecar function, don’t worry. You can have the same feature set, too. Sort of.

While there’s no “all-in-one” solution for Android devices that are quite as simple as Apple’s, there are several third-party solutions available. A word of warning, you’ll need to pay for some of them. But, this will still be far cheaper than shelling out for a new monitor.

While there are some free options available, be warned that these are likely to be ad-supported, which could crimp your productivity if you’re dismissing pop-up adverts regularly.

Some apps will also request that you download software to your computer in order to use your Android tablet as a second screen, which may not be viable if you’re using a work computer and have an IT department overseeing what software can be installed. Like we say, Apple owners really are at an advantage here.

Second Screen Android Apps

Spacedesk – One of the better rated apps, this supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8 & 7. It also supports using the touchscreen to replicate the mouse.

Splashtop Wired XDisplay –  This app relies on a wired connection via USB. It’s also a paid-for solution, but does offer a 10 minute trial, so users can check it works quickly.

DuetDisplay – Developed by ex-Apple engineers, DuetDisplay is an intuitive second screen solution, and works with Windows or Mac.

Use Your TV as a Second Display

That’s right, the black mirror in the corner of your room isn’t just for Netflix and watching the latest coronavirus briefings on the news. In fact, a TV is the most popular second screen option. While we don’t all have tablets or extra monitors lying around at home, most of us do at least have a TV.

You don’t even need a smart TV. While you can cast to your TV over your home network, the simplest and most elegant solution is to connect to it using an HDMI cable. It might seem a bit lo-fi, but we don’t think there’s any reason to make things any more complicated than they have to be.

To connect to your TV:

Plug an HDMI cable from your PC to your TV. You may have to use an adaptor if your computer doesn’t have a dedicated HDMI port.
Select the right HDMI port in your TV menu.
Go to Display Settings in Windows (just type display into the search bar to quickly find it).
Scroll to the Multiple displays section and click on Extend Displays to make the TV your second screen

Failing all else, ask your company to help

If you don’t have any secondary devices to use, it’s worth asking your work if you can borrow your second monitor from the office. Many companies are letting employees take these home during the current pandemic.

Bonus tip

For those with just one display at their disposal, make sure to fully use windows options.

For example, on a Windows PC, holding down the Windows key and then using the left or right arrow puts the selected window on one half of the screen.

Do this again for another window, on the opposite side, and you’ve now got two windows automatically open side by side.

 

 

The post How to Set Up a Second Screen When Working from Home appeared first on Tech.co.

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microsoft windows OS

Sony IMX500 – The World’s First AI Image Sensor Announced

The new Sony IMX500 Intelligent Vision series of image sensors contain AI image analysis systems directly on the chip, which opens up some new, and faster abilities for cameras.

Sony IMX500 Intelligent Vision sensor

Sony’s new Intelligent Vision IMX500 series chips offer capabilities that are only limited by the imagination. Image: Sony Electronics

The announcement describes two new Intelligent Vision CMOS chip models, the Sony IMX500 and IMX501. From what I can tell these are the same base chip, except that the 500 is the bare chip product, whilst the 501 is a packaged product.

They are both 1/2.3” type chips with 12.3 effective megapixels. It seems clear that the one of the primary markets for the new chip is for security and system cameras. However having AI processes on the chip offers up some exciting new possibilities for future video cameras, particularly those mounted on drones or in action cameras like a GoPro or Insta 360.

Sony IMX500 Intelligent Vision sensor

Sony’s new Intelligent Vision IMX500 series chips. The IMX500 on the left, the IMX501 on the right. Image: Sony Electronics

What can the Sony IMX500 sensor do?

One prominent ability of the new chip lies in functions such as object or person identification. This could be via tracking such objects, or in fact actually identifying them. Output from the new chip doesn’t have to be in image form either. Metadata can be output so that it can simply send a description of what it sees without the accompanying visual image. This can reduce the data storage requirement by up to 10,000 times.

For security or system camera purposes, a camera equipped with the new chip could count the number of people passing by it, or identifying low stock on a shop shelf. It could even be programmed to identify customer behaviour by way of heat maps.

Sony IMX500 stacked sensor diagram

How the new Sony Intelligent Vision sensor is arranged. Image: Sony Electronics

For traditional cameras it could make autofocus systems better by being able to much more precisely identifying and tracking subjects. With AI systems like this, it could make autofocus systems more intelligent by identifying areas of a picture that you are likely to be focussing on. For example if you wanted to take a photograph of a flower, the AF system would know to focus on that rather than, say, the tree branch behind it. Facial recognition would also become much faster and more reliable.

Autofocus systems today are becoming incredibly good already, but if they were backed up by ultra fast on-chip object identification they could be even better. For 360 cameras, too, the ability to have more reliable object tracking metadata will help with post reframing.

Sony IMX500 output examples

The new chip doesn’t have to output images. It could just output a description of what it sees. Image: Sony Electronics.

Why do we need AI on chip?

There are two main impetuses behind placing the AI capabilities directly on the chip. The first is that it makes processing much, much quicker. The Sony IMX500 is able to perform its abilities in the speed of one frame of video, rather than having to send that data along a pipeline to be processed elsewhere. The other advantage is higher security. Quite often data is sent over the cloud for AI image analysis. Having these systems on chip takes away that potential security loophole.

Cloud AI cannot be used offline either, and in addition it restricts the ability to perform analysis in realtime reliably. The energy and cost of cloud computer is also increasing, and that’s not good for the environment.

In terms of small cameras like GoPros, it means that this type of processing doesn’t need to be performed by another chip elsewhere in the camera. This saves power, but it also means that the cameras main processing chip and memory can be freed up to do other things, such as better electronic stabilisation or colour processing.

Sony IMX500 sensor at a checkout

An example of realtime tracking at a shop counter. Note how it is tracking the shop assistants limb movement as well. Image: Sony Electronics

It’s only limited by your imagination

But the abilities of the new chip, which can be custom programmed by developers to do precisely what they need, are only limited by the imagination. Sony uses a car as one example of how it could be used, identifying the driver and adjusting the car’s seating position automatically. Another example is being able to recognise whether the driver was falling asleep.

For sports cameras it might be possible for the device to identify your form during movement. If you want to improve your yoga or martial arts for instance, it could help identify areas for improvement by comparing you to a ‘perfect’ example. Speech recognition from lip movement could also be made much faster potentially, and be included in all cameras. For people filming drama, this would have huge potential when it comes to logging shots or identifying them from a script if the camera is outputting actors performances in text form at the same time it is recording the image. 

The IMX500 looks like a highly capable chip from a pure video perspective, too. It is capable of 4K at up to 60fps and 1080p at up to 240fps. Although currently the chip is restricted to 30fps for full video and AI processing together.

All told while this is only the first generation of chip, you can expect this type pf capability to be rolled out into other more conventional chips as time moves along, and therefore it is a significant development worth covering.

Have you any ideas how on-chip AI would make a camera feature you would like to see possible? Let us know in the comments below!

The post Sony IMX500 – The World’s First AI Image Sensor Announced appeared first on cinema5D.

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microsoft windows OS

Microsoft: Windows 10X is also coming to single screen devices

After Microsoft delayed the Surface Neo indefinitely, questions about the Windows 10X development rose. After all, this version of Windows was designed to work with dual-screen devices. Well, Microsoft has now confirmed that Windows 10X is still happening but it will change its focus.

According to a short Microsoft blog post, the company is going to optimize the upcoming version of its OS for single screen devices and touchscreens, meaning laptops, tablets and hybrids. It would “leverage the power of the cloud”. However, no specifics have been given but it’s clear that Windows 10X will…

Read more: gsmarena.com