Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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We went gaming at a VR arcade in Hong Kong

Jul 18, 4:11AM

 TechCrunch was in Hong Kong last week for tech conference Rise — where we watched two robots talking together on stage, among other things. The event is well-known for its after-parties and social activities, but one night we sneaked away from the crowd with a few friends to check out a virtual reality arcade. Playdium is a new entry to the city, having only opened its doors at the start… Read More

Samsung plans to recover 157 tonnes of rare metals, including gold, from Galaxy Note 7s

Jul 18, 3:52AM

 Samsung Electronics announced today that it will recycle parts from Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, which gained notoriety last year after a battery defect caused several to burst into flame. The company said in a statement on its Korean site (via Google Translate) that it also expects to recover 157 tonnes of rare metals, including gold, from the devices. Read More

Crunch Report | Disney's Epic Star Wars Hotel

Jul 18, 3:00AM

Disney plans to open an epic Star Wars hotel, new emoji are being released to the world, Amazon could be the latest to get into the meal delivery kit business and the latest Atari game console. All this on Crunch Report! Read More

Amidst probe of alleged sexual misconduct, AngelList partner Lee Jacobs on leave

Jul 18, 2:40AM

 An investigation into alleged sexual misconduct at an event in 2013 has led to AngelList employee Lee Jacobs going on indefinite paid leave of absence, sources tell TechCrunch and the company has now confirmed. AngelList was informed of the incident two weeks ago. According to a source familiar with AngelList’s internal working, on July 13th, AngelList told employees via Slack that… Read More

WeWork will launch in Japan with the help of SoftBank

Jul 18, 1:03AM

 WeWork is gearing up to launch its co-working spaces in Japan, thanks to a joint-venture with SoftBank, SoftBank said today. As part of the arrangement, SoftBank and WeWork will each own 50 percent of the joint-venture, which will go by WeWork Japan. WeWork Japan’s first location will launch early next year in Tokyo. In addition to the U.S., WeWork operates co-working spaces in 16… Read More

Disney showed us the inner workings of its Avatar robot and it's just incredible

Jul 18, 12:53AM

 Back at the end of May, Disney opened an Avatar-themed area within its Animal Kingdom park. Given that it’s only been open for a few weeks, most folks still haven’t been inside — but if you do go, do yourself a favor and take the time to check out the Na’vi River Journey ride. At our TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics event in Boston this afternoon, we got a look at… Read More

Porsche Design's Book One is the industrial convertible laptop that needs fixing

Jul 17, 9:27PM

 Porsche Design’s Book One laptop is a prime example of when aesthetics completely take over — when other parts of the device suffer and you lose focus on how well it actually works. The form factor set by Microsoft’s Surface Book is probably one of the best approaches to a convertible laptop. Why? Simplicity: the screen detaches from the body to become a tablet, then can… Read More

Comcast's FCC filing pits pet economists against net neutrality rules

Jul 17, 9:22PM

 Comcast has filed its official commentary on the FCC’s proposal to roll back 2015’s Open Internet Order, and it’s about what you’d expect: a selectively thorough takedown that relies heavily on analysis by friendly economists to support the ISP’s view. Read More

Beginning this week, automated savings app Digit will start charging users $3 a month

Jul 17, 9:00PM

 In April, Digit announced that in 100 days it would begin charging $2.99 a month to people using its service to automatically save for a rainy day or help pay their bills. Well, 100 days have almost passed, and it’s almost time for those changes to go into effect. Read More

This 'shape-display' robot follows your hand and simulates the surface you're touching in VR

Jul 17, 8:52PM

 Touch. When it comes to virtual reality, it’s a problem no one has quite cracked. At TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics this afternoon, a researcher out of MIT demonstrated a portable “shape-display” — a wheeled robot that follows your hand, simulating the surface or object your VR-self is touching. He calls it the “ReVeal” system. Read More

Tesla adds James Murdoch and Linda Johnson Rice to its board

Jul 17, 8:48PM

 Tesla has added two new independent directors to its board, including 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch and Johnson Publishing Company CEO and Chairman Linda Johnson Rice. The two new board members were added just a few months after Tesla confirmed it was seeking additional independent directors without ties to CEO and founder Elon Musk. Until now, Tesla’s board included five (of six… Read More

Gillmor Gang: Net Flakes

Jul 17, 8:44PM

Gillmor Gang Artcard The Gillmor Gang — Doc Searls, Denis Pombriant, Kevin Marks, Frank Radice, and Steve Gillmor. Recorded live Friday, July 14, 2017. Apologies for the annoying echo G3: Culture Club recorded live Thursday, July 13, 2017 with Mary Hodder, Elisa Camahort Page, Halley Suitt Tucker, Kristie Wells, and Tina Chase Gillmor. @stevegillmor, @dsearls, @kevinmarks, @fradice, DenisPombriant / @tinagillmor Read More

Netflix's subscribers are surging as it blows away Wall Street's expectations

Jul 17, 8:12PM

Reed Hastings For the second quarter in a row, Netflix has handily beaten industry watchers — and its own expectations — in adding a mountain of additional new subscribers. Netflix today said it added 5.2 million additional new subscribers this quarter, a number well above the 3.2 million new subscriber additions that it set itself — and the stock promptly jumped nearly 9 percent. Read More

Every member of Hampton Creek's board has stepped down except for the CEO

Jul 17, 8:04PM

 Hampton Creek is in the news again — and not for the reasons it would like to be. Hampton Creek’s entire board of directors have left, except for CEO Josh Tetrick. Read More

The solar-powered Tertill robot keeps weeds in check

Jul 17, 7:57PM

 This September marks the 15th anniversary of the first Roomba — but in spite of the device’s massive popularity, no companies have managed to successfully follow in its footsteps with another mainstream home robot. The Tertill, however, could be the product to change that, drawing on a number of the Roomba’s lessons and applying to to an outdoor setting for regular garden… Read More

Reelgood helps cord cutters find, track and watch content from across streaming services

Jul 17, 7:10PM

 Reelgood, a service making it easier for cord cutters to find something new to watch and keep track of their favorite shows, is today exiting beta with the launch of a new site that aggregates content from across over 250 streaming services in a single interface. The end result is something of a TV guide for the new streaming age. The startup first got off the ground in 2015 as an iPhone… Read More

Reach Robotics closes $7.5M Series A for its augmented reality bots

Jul 17, 6:50PM

 After years of research and development, Reach Robotics has closed a $7.5 million Series A, co-led by Korea Investment Partners (KiP) and IGlobe, to bring its augmented reality bots to market in a big way. The Bristol-based startup is looking to expand into the U.S., and the team is exploring opportunities for growth into other European and Asian markets. Read More

Leap Motion nabs $50M for its VR/AR hand-tracking tech

Jul 17, 6:26PM

 Headset-based VR and AR may be a bit slower out of the gates than many had hoped, but investors are still pouring money into startups looking to change how consumers interact with the digital world. Leap Motion, a hand-tracking company based in San Francisco, has raised $50 million in Series C funding. The startup has raised nearly $95 million to date. Read More

NASA tests astronaut ocean exit process for Orion crew capsule

Jul 17, 5:51PM

 NASA has a long and thorough safety certification process for any vessels hoping to transport astronauts to space and back – and its Orion crew capsule is no exception. The vehicle, which is aiming to first launch with a crew aboard the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy lift rocket sometime between 2021 and 2023, underwent water exit testing (via Space) in the Gulf of Mexico, to see how… Read More

Okoli connects you with tour guides around the world

Jul 17, 5:25PM

 Okoli is a new service by developer Jack Deneut that aims to replace those ugly little cards you find in tourist hotels. The web app, which currently works in Prague, Budapest, Berlin and Paris, lets you reserve a nearly private tour with a professional guide and you’re guaranteed groups of no bigger than eight people. It is live now. Read More

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