Saturday, January 7, 2017

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I rocked out in Rock Band VR at CES and I liked it

Jan 07, 6:01PM

rock-band-vr VR is a tricky medium to do well, but Harmonix’s upcoming Rock Band VR might just be the perfect fit. The game has always been about making players feel like they’re real rock stars, living in an alternate reality where they chased their dream and actually did master the guitar and make it big. Virtual reality finally gives Rock Band players the chance to feel real stage presence,… Read More

On bots, language and making technology disappear

Jan 07, 6:00PM

invisible-bot This year’s new buzzword in computer design circles is without question “bots.” As with anything we build, we give bots names. A name can be a way of expressing trust in an object — or expressing control over it. But giving a bot an identity isn’t always for the best. Calling a bot Siri does not necessarily have the same relationship-building effect as calling… Read More

Talking tech with NBA legends Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley

Jan 07, 5:51PM

This year at CES we sat down with the Turner Sports team to hear about what tech-related plans they have for 2017. First we got a chance to speak with Turner Sports’ analysts and NBA legends Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley, who discussed what cool tech they saw at this year’s CES and also how technology is changing the way fans watch sports. Then we talked to… Read More

This flappy bird-drone keeps airports safe

Jan 07, 5:41PM

cfs-robird-grey-1 Remember that plane that landed in the Hudson? The whole saga started with a bird strike. Birds at airports can be a terrifying ordeal, so you’d be unsurprised to hear that airports pay a pretty penny to keep the area around an airport clear. Clear Flight Solutions’ Robird is a drone that flaps its wings and scares the bejesus out of other birds to keep aviation safe. Read More

Watch TechCrunch's last day at CES 2017

Jan 07, 4:53PM

robot-hardware-battlefield-469x266 We’re cold and we’re tired. But we’re nearing the end, and we saved the best for last. We’ll be making Crepes live on stage. We’re chatting with the CEO of Arduino, and we’re also hanging out with LeEco and will chat about their global plans. Then, at 2:00, we will have the final round of Hardware Battlefield where four hardware companies will pitch four… Read More

TechCrunch's Hardware Battlefield finalists are BloomLife, Pillar Technologies, Siren Care and Stratio

Jan 07, 5:00AM

metalman Over the past two days, 13 startups have taken the stage at TechCrunch’s Hardware Battlefield. Now our editorial team has finished deliberating with the expert judges (seriously, expert) and chosen four finalists who will be competing for the big prize of $50,000, as well as a trophy that we like to call the Metal Man. You can watch the presentations live on TechCrunch tomorrow… Read More

Crunch Report | DJI Opens its Wallet for Hasselblad

Jan 07, 4:00AM

CES 2017 day two, Campbell Brown to help Facebook News Publishers, DJI opens its wallet for Hasselblad, and Indiegogo goes equity and goods. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Gillmor Gang: Open and Shut

Jan 07, 2:12AM

Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Robert Scoble, Keith Teare, Frank Radice, Kevin Marks, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, December 16, 2016. This was the last recording of the Gillmor Gang in 2016, and the final minutes included a sharp exchange between Robert Scoble and myself. Subsequently Robert decided to stop appearing on the show. I wish him well and thank him for his participation over… Read More

Tim Cook's compensation not spared as Apple misses performance goals

Jan 07, 2:06AM

New Product Announcements At The Apple Inc. Spring Forward Event As a result of Apple’s performance based executive compensation packages, CEO Tim Cook and other leaders within the company will be taking pay cuts. Apple missed internal revenue and operating income targets for 2016 by 3.7 and 0.5 percent respectively, resulting in a 15 percent cut for the CEO. Apple is reporting annual sales of $215.6 billion and operating income of $60 billion for… Read More

Polaroid's Pop returns the brand to its iconic instant format

Jan 07, 1:28AM

img_5089 Polaroid had a hit on its hands with the Snap. The device marked the perfect marriage between an iconic brand and new technologies, re-developing the once novel phenomenon of instant film for an early 21 century millennial crowd. According to a rep I spoke with, the brand can’t keep the thing on the shelves. Unveiled this week at CES, the Pop is essentially a scaled up version of… Read More

Baidu and China's BAIC Motor developing Level 3 autonomous cars

Jan 07, 1:26AM

img_0390_e2888fc2b1c2b1c3a6 At CES on Friday, Baidu announced a partnership with Chinese passenger vehicle maker BAIC Motor, to work together on a developing smart car tech, and Level 3 autonomous driving in particular. Vehicles resulting from this partnership with Level 3 autonomy will be entering road tests by the end of 2017, Baidu says. Level 3 autonomy still requires human drives to be present, but less intervention… Read More

A whole lot of people watched VR porn in 2016

Jan 07, 12:48AM

Andrew Nicholls demonstrates the latest version of a View-Master, a collaboration between Mattel and Google, at the Mattel showroom at the North American International Toy Fair, Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, in New York. The new version of the classic toy uses Google's smartphone-based virtual reality solution, Cardboard. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) The adult entertainment industry has long been a silent driver of new technologies, from ISPs to graphics cards. With virtual reality, many see porn as one of the more obvious use cases that could lead to heavy headset adoption early on. Today, Pornhub released data that shows some of the early success the site has had since introducing a VR porn section in April of 2016. Read More

This Fisher-Price stationary bike with a tablet attached feels kind of inevitable

Jan 07, 12:24AM

img_3061 The Think & Learn SmartCycle is already getting a mixed reaction. In the five or so minutes I stood in front of Fisher-Price’s booth at tonight’s CES kickoff event, reactions ranged from excited to confused to downright disappointed in the human race. And indeed, it’s easy to see why someone might complain about the necessity of such a device, but here we are. Read More

Homeland Security expands its power to help states with election system cybersecurity

Jan 06, 11:56PM

Voting booths in polling place Following an extremely contentious election cycle, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will label election systems in the U.S. as “critical infrastructure.” The new categorization would allow election systems to “receive prioritized cybersecurity assistance” from DHS, although this would only be by request of a state or local government. In a press release,… Read More

Knocki turns any surface into a switch

Jan 06, 11:09PM

ces2017_knocki-1060141 What happens when you mix two software dudes, a little kid, and a light switch? You get the Knocki, a clever little device that connects to a wall or under a table. You can tap the surface to trigger events – turning on a light, muting speakers, etc. – and it is surprisingly small and easily-hidden. The founders are Ohad Nezer and Jake Boshernitzan, both of Houston, Texas.… Read More

As connected hardware matures, investors pour more funding into fewer companies

Jan 06, 11:00PM

USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Close up of woman's hand putting money into jar The connected hardware space has undoubtedly gone through a renaissance over the last four years, with VCs nearly tripling their funding between 2012 and 2016. We gleaned some new data from Pitchbook around venture funding in IoT to get a quantitative understanding of whether investment in the space is continuing to grow or flattening out. Here’s what we learned. Read More

The BlackBerry Mercury is TCL's entry into enterprise

Jan 06, 10:50PM

img_5237 There’s some inherent irony in the Mercury. The first BlackBerry device produced solely under the TCL umbrella is far more instantly recognizable as a BlackBerry device than any of the OEM DTEK products the two companies produced as a pair. The phone is still in a sort of pre-announcement stage. TCL was apparently initially planning to wait for MWC in a month and a half to debut the… Read More

Blitab is a Braille device for visually impaired people

Jan 06, 10:42PM

ces2017_blitab-1060099 Meet Blitab, an Android tablet combined with a smart Braille surface. It’s one of the most affordable Braille devices out there and could change the way visually impaired people use computing devices. The company is participating in TechCrunch’s Hardware Battlefield at CES. The devices for this niche market are really disappointing. There are specialized devices called Braille… Read More

Trigger tells you when Trump tweets about your stocks

Jan 06, 10:33PM

trump-tweets Very few people can move financial markets with their tweets, but like it or not, President-elect Donald Trump is one of them. And while you can’t do anything to prevent the madness, you can keep up with it using a new tool from Trigger Finance.  Originally a class project at Cornell Tech, Trigger makes it easy for users to set up real-time alerts when news drops about their stocks. Read More

Pillar Technologies is making construction sites safer with smart sensors

Jan 06, 10:27PM

222cbc835b74d4ef19280f95185c288a Construction sites can be dangerous places. And while recent advancements in safety technology have done a lot to help protect workers, there hasn’t been as much focus on protecting the site itself from things like fire, water and mold damage. Any of these three risks can cost construction companies (or insurance companies) millions of dollars in damages, and are the biggest causes… Read More

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