In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. Everything from the arrival of Bluetooth 5 to how you can bring the movie theater to your home theater, it’s all here.
After being announced in June 2016, Bluetooth 5 is ready for release to developers and manufacturers, for use in future devices. It’s the latest version of the wireless technology that links a host of different products together, but the days of it being used solely for a speaker or smartwatch are gone. Bluetooth 5 focuses on range, bandwidth, and speed; making it more suitable for controlling and managing smart home devices and systems, and our growing smart cities.
Restoring thousands of manufacturing jobs to the United States’ struggling Rust Belt communities was one of President-elect Donald Trump’s biggest campaign promises, and at least one major technology company is considering following through. According to The New York Times and Nikkei Asian Review, iPhone maker Apple has begun exploring the possibility of moving smartphone production to the United States.
If there’s one incontrovertible shortcoming all smartwatches share, it’s a finite battery life. Even the most robust fitness trackers and wearables run out of juice eventually, and few chores are more annoying than unstrapping your watch, getting it to fit a magnetic charger, and waiting for the darn thing to power up. But a new class of smartwatch, the Matrix PowerWatch, promises to remedy that problem once and for all. It’s the world’s first to harnesses natural body heat to maintain a charge.
For nearly 60 years, Cuba has been in an automotive time warp. The antagonism between the U.S. government and recently deceased dictator Fidel Castro means the majority of cars on Cuban roads are American throwbacks to the 1950s, left over from before trade embargoes and communism. So a brand new Infiniti Q60 on the streets of Havana is sure to turn a few heads.
In 2014, Amazon’s Alexa kicked off the craze of putting stand-alone digital assistants in the home with its Echo device. Google Home followed suit in 2016, offering a similar device that responds to voice commands, but powered by Google Assistant and the company various other digital properties. Recent information suggests that while Microsoft does indeed have plans for a “Home Hub” product, it might be entirely PC-based, as Windows Central reports.
A team of brazen robbers smashed a car through the main window at the Apple Store in Palo Alto, California, over the weekend, gaining entry and stealing many of the products on display. It’s the latest in a rash of crimes reported at Apple retail stores in the area. Police have already arrested four people involved, but say they haven’t found any connection with the other cases.
Snapchat parent company Snap is expanding its partnership with Turner Broadcasting Inc. to bring even more original programming to its app. Alongside a number of Snapchat-exclusive shows based on its existing brands, Turner is also increasing its sports coverage via the app’s Live Stories feature, and ramping up its advertising. As part of the deal, Turner is working with Snap to develop original shows from its series and brands
Samsung’s Powerbot line of vacuums set a high standard for the world of robotic cleaners when it debuted in 2014. Now, after just two years on the market, it appears the giant electronics company is ready to raise the bar even further. The successor to Samsung’s first go-round with autonomous vacuums, dubbed the Powerbot Turbo, was officially unveiled this week and is now available — just in time to tackle all those holiday cleanup nightmares. It’s being touted as having “the world’s most powerful suction among robot vacuums.”
Marijuana is moving from illicit to accepted across much of America, with states from Florida to Alaska having legalized the drug for medical and recreational use. While there are still some pretty strict regulations on who can grow, possess, and ingest the buds, many personal growing operations are moving out of the closet and into the open. Case in point: a small refrigerator-sized box called Leaf, which is designed to help growers grow healthy plants — from kale to cannabis — with minimal effort.
Most of us are familiar with the process of seeing a movie advertised, thinking “I’ll wait for the rental,” and waiting for what seems like forever until it’s available to watch at home. Apple is reportedly in talks with a number of Hollywood studios that are looking to change that by offering rentals for movies that are still in theaters, according to a report by Bloomberg.