In ExtraBITS this week, an upcoming iPhone-enabled ultrasound machine helped a doctor catch his own cancer, we learn just how expensive iPhone X repairs will be, and Amazon literally wants you to buy a product that will let strangers into your house.
How a Doctor Diagnosed His Own Cancer with an iPhone -- An upcoming iPhone-enabled device by Butterfly Network could have a considerable impact in healthcare. The $1,999 Butterfly IQ, an ultrasound machine the size of an electric shaver, costs a fraction the price of traditional ultrasound machines, and one doctor has already used it to catch his own cancer. Vascular surgeon John Martin, chief medical officer for Butterfly Network, was testing the device when he spotted a mass that turned out to be a squamous-cell cancer on his throat. The Butterfly IQ could eventually be used by first responders and even patients in their own homes, and by next year, the company believes, “its software will let users automatically calculate how much blood a heart is pumping, or detect problems like aortic aneurisms.”
Even iPhone X Repairs Are Expensive -- If you think the $999 sticker price of the base model iPhone X is high, wait till you see how much repairs cost! If you don’t have AppleCare+, a screen replacement will run you $279; by comparison, an iPhone 8 screen replacement is just $169. All other out-of-warranty repairs will cost $549. These prices might encourage you to get AppleCare+, which is likely not a bad idea given how much new hardware is in the iPhone X, but it’s not cheap either at $199, as compared to $129 for the iPhone 8 or $149 for the iPhone 8 Plus. If you have AppleCare+, the first two iPhone X screen repairs cost only $29 each.
Amazon Wants to Let Strangers Into Your House -- Amazon has announced a home automation bundle called Amazon Key that combines a smart lock with the new Amazon Cloud Cam. The sales pitch is that this hardware will enable Amazon delivery people to unlock your front door so they can leave packages inside your house — you can watch the process on the webcam. Of course, Amazon recommends disabling your home security system on days you expect a delivery and doesn’t recommend using the service if you have a pet. What could go wrong? (How long do you have?) File this one under “Not just no, but hell no!”