Weekly Rewind: Tiny iPhones, injectable bandages, Bitcoin for dentists, and more

top tech stories
A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from our 2017 Outdoor Awards to a tiny iPhone  — it’s all here.

Digital Trends 2017 Outdoor Awards

2017 outdoor awards feature

Technology is transforming every aspect of our lives, making it easier to follow a winding hiking trail, helping us swing a baseball bat more accurately, and keeping us in touch with our friends even as we get away from it all. For the first annual Digital Trends Outdoor Awards, we aim to spotlight and reward the many companies embracing tech and spearheading this revolution.

To do this, we stepped out of the office and onto the mountains, rivers, forests, and trails of the Pacific Northwest to field test a variety of gear designed to not just alter your experience outdoors but to improve it. Be it a footwear company’s dedication to understanding exactly how the human body moves or a phone case brand’s commitment to designing the bear-proof cooler of the summer, outdoor innovation and technology doesn’t fit one definition but features a wealth of benefit.

Read: Digital Trends 2017 Outdoor Awards

2017 Bentley Bentayga review

2017 Bentley Bentayga review
Ronan Glon/Digital Trends

Luxury comes in many different shapes and sizes, but it’s never taken on a form like this. With the Bentayga, Bentley set out to create a new type of vehicle that takes the no-compromise strand of opulence it is famous for to the SUV segment. We spent a week living with the British company’s only high-riding model to evaluate what it brings to the market.

Diehard Bentley historians will enthusiastically dispute claims that the Bentayga is Bentley’s very first SUV. They’re completely right. Here’s a quick fun fact: in the early 1990s, the Sultan of Brunei commissioned Bentley to build approximately six examples of a Range Rover-esque 4×4 named Dominator. All six are gathering dust in his mind-blowing collection, and the model has never been seen in public. He’s not the cars and coffee type, apparently. It’s true that the Dominator is the original Bentley SUV, but the Bentayga is the first one designed and produced for motorists who do not preside over a microstate.

Read: 2017 Bentley Bentayga review

Unfolding injectable bandage can patch up a damaged heart

bandage
Igor Stevanovic/123RF

A smart, stamp-sized “shape memory” bandage developed by engineers at the University of Toronto could help fix damaged organ tissue without the need for surgery. As its creators explain, it could help mend broken hearts — literally!

“Once engineered tissues are made in the lab, the only way for them to get into the human body is by a surgical approach, by opening the chest to place the tissues in,” biomedical engineering professor Milica Radisic told Digital Trends. “In this work, we were able to marry minimally invasive delivery with tissues engineering [to develop] shape memory polymer scaffolds that enable us to inject fully functional tissues into the body.”

Read: Unfolding injectable bandage can patch up a damaged heart

We now know what a tiny iPhone would look like, and it’s adorable

Soyes 7S

Just as when puppies do something unspeakable on your new carpet, it’s very easy for forgive the Soyes 7S for looking almost exactly like an Apple iPhone, because it’s just so damn cute. It’s cute because it’s tiny — no more than half the size of an iPhone 7 Plus, but perhaps twice as adorable. It’s not an iPhone challenger though, and the specification is slightly lacking in this unusual Chinese phone. Also, it doesn’t run iOS, obviously, but Google Android with a user interface to make it look something like an iPhone.

Soyes has a history of making small smartphones, which are sold through eBay and Chinese device importers, and a quick browse of its (outdated) website reveals in the past it has made phones the same size as a credit card. However, none are as visually interesting as the Soyes 7S, its miniature iPhone clone.

Read: We now know what a tiny iPhone would look like, and it’s adorable

Is that video about to go viral? YouTube tests live viewer count in app

youtube tv live streaming service launch 28691186 ml

Think that YouTube video you’re watching could be viral material? A new YouTube live viewer count could give viewers a glimpse at just how hot that video is. YouTube is now testing a feature that shows the number of viewers watching the video at a particular time, according to Android Police.

As a feature that’s only in testing phases, the live viewer counter is only showing up for a select number of users. The feature is being tested inside the mobile app as a counter that pops up under the video title, and is displayed as “# watching now.” The feature gives viewers an idea of how popular a video is by showing the number of other viewers tuning in at the same time.

Read: Is that video about to go viral? YouTube tests live viewer count in app

Smile! Dentacoin wants to become the Bitcoin of the dental industry

Dentacoin Cryptocurrency for Dentists
Getty Images/Mahatta Multimedia Pvt. Ltd.

Of all the technological leaps Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have enabled, arguably their biggest impact has been the creation and proliferation of blockchain technology. The blockchain has many manifestations, though, and a new one is looking to leverage it to create a new outlook for … the dental industry.

Yes, that’s right. It’s cryptocurrency for your teeth.

Called Dentacoin, it pitches itself as a way to improve dental health, cut out insurance companies as middle men, and foster cooperation between dentists and patients. But can a currency with so specific a role possibly hope to compete in a space with 700+ other crypto coins, including the granddaddy of them all, Bitcoin?

Read: Smile! Dentacoin wants to become the Bitcoin of the dental industry

FrontRow is a wearable camera that lets you live in the moment, and capture it

FrontRow

Smartphones have allowed us to easily capture intimate and memorable moments, such as a baby’s first steps or a graduation ceremony. But too often we’re looking through the smartphone, rather than simply being present. Ubiquiti Labs‘ FrontRow is a wearable camera that wants to help by capturing and sharing the moment, so you can stay in the moment hands-free.

The FrontRow looks like a pocket watch, except instead of a watch face there’s a 2-inch circular display. There are two cameras, one on the back with the display, and one on the front. On the side, you’ll find a power button, and a media button that lets you start and stop recording.

Read: FrontRow is a wearable camera that lets you live in the moment, and capture it

Are you an Aetna customer? There could be an Apple Watch in your future

apple watch
Apple

Want an Apple Watch? You may want to talk to Aetna. According to a report from CNBC, Apple and the insurance company held a number of “secret discussions” last week in order to make the wearable more widely accessible to Aetna customers. And with millions of individuals (23 million, to be exact) using Aetna’s services, that could mean a lot more Apple Watches for a lot more people.

Currently, Aetna already offers its 50,000 employees the smartwatch as part of its corporate wellness program. But while we may not all work for Aetna, even working with Aetna could pay off in the form of a wearable. Apparently, Aetna hopes to work with Apple to offer either a free or discounted Apple Watch as a perk to members.

Read: Are you an Aetna customer? There could be an Apple Watch in your future

Tom Cruise’s on-set injury forces long ‘Mission: Impossible 6’ production delay

Mission: Impossible 6
Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

The fictional Ethan Hunt may be able to consistently pull off the impossible, but the actor who plays him, Tom Cruise, is only human. The action star was shooting Mission: Impossible 6 this week when he suffered a broken ankle during an on-set accident. Production is on hold while he recovers — a process that could take between six weeks and three months, according to Variety sources.

Cruise was filming M:I 6 in London on Sunday when he injured himself. As a TMZ video showed  the actor trying to jump onto a building from some rigging but didn’t quite make it. He collided hard with the building, which evidently caused his broken ankle.

Read: Tom Cruise’s on-set injury forces long ‘Mission: Impossible 6’ production delay

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Hi-viz bike reflectors and a tiny flashlight

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Podcasts

E-Scooters - Pros, Cons, and where they're headed.

On today's podcast: Very few things in the world of tech have garnered such polarizing opinions, as the rise of E-Scooters. We'll discuss the pros, the cons, and what needs to happen going forward.
Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Mobile

Galaxy S10? Foldable phone? What to expect from Samsung’s Unpacked on Feb. 20

Samsung's skipping Mobile World Congress 2019 to launch its next big smartphone a week earlier in San Francisco. We're fully expecting the Galaxy S10 to show up, but what else will be there? Here's what to expect.
Mobile

North Focals smartglasses discount cuts the price by a massive $400

Canadian startup North is hoping smartglasses will be the next big wearable. After announcing its new Focals smartglasses in late 2018, the company opened product showrooms in Brooklyn and Toronto and has made its first shipment.
Mobile

New Apple patent hints clamshell-style foldable phone may be in the works

Apple has filed a patent for a foldable phone that suggests the company could be following in the footsteps of the likes of Samsung and Huawei. The patent describes a clamshell-style foldable phone with two separate sections.
Mobile

Exclusive: Take a look at what a next-generation 5G phone will look like

With 5G phones debuting at MWC in mere days, there is discussion about whether they will be clunky bricks that die after a few hours? A reference design from Qualcomm offerrs a glimpse of the future: This is what 5G phones will look like.
Mobile

Xiaomi Mi 9 will be one of the first phones with monster Snapdragon 855 chip

Xiaomi's next major smartphone release will be the Mi 9, and the company hasn't held back in giving us a good look at the phone, revealing the design, the camera, and a stunning color.
Wearables

Galaxy Watch Active isn't official yet, but you can see it in Samsung's own app

Samsung may be about to resurrect its Sport line of smartwatches under a new name: The Galaxy Watch Sport Active. Leaks and rumors are building our picture of the device at the moment.
Mobile

Stop buying old tablets, says Samsung, buy the new Galaxy Tab S5e instead

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Tab S5e -- the E is for Essential -- a reasonably priced tablet that includes many of the features we like from the Tab A 10.5, and the Tab S4. Here's what you need to know.
Mobile

Bag yourself a bargain with the best budget tablets under $200

The battle for your budget tablet affections is really ramping up. Which tablet, costing less than $200, should be commanding your attention? We take a look at some different options for the budget-conscious.
Computing

What is Wi-Fi 6? Here's a look at the next evolution of the wireless standard

We're exploring the new naming convention for wireless standards, how it affects the devices you buy, and what the upcoming Wi-Fi generation is changing for the better.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Wearables

Focals succeed where Google Glass fumbled (but do we really need smartglasses?)

It’s been seven years since Google took the wraps off Google Glass. Now, we’re finally getting a modern-day equivalent we want to wear. North’s Focals combine subtle style with an intuitive interface to craft smartglasses you’ll…