Digital Trends Live: Foldable phones, an autonomous bus, and consumer safety

On episode 80 of Digital Trends Live, hosts Greg Nibler and Matt Smith stood firm in the face of the terrifying Portland snowstorm and broke down the latest stories from the world of tech.

First story on the docket: Samsung’s Galaxy Fold smartphone isn’t even out yet, but reports indicate that the company is already planning two more foldable phones. Those same reports suggest that Samsung will be experimenting with different forms, including one that folds like a clamshell.

In other news, Google is working on a way for users to store digital driver’s licenses on Android devices, according to a report by XDA. In theory, a digital driver’s license would be more convenient than a classic one: You wouldn’t have to worry about misplacing it, and you could update your information without having to go to the DMV. Digital data is never as secure as we would like it to be, however, so Google would need to demonstrate that its digital driver’s license tech is very secure before society at large would risk adopting it. It’s not impossible to imagine, however; Louisiana already has a driver’s license app.

There has been a lot of buzz about autonomous cars in the last few years, but Swedish automaker Volvo has upped the ante (and the scale). Researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, working with Volvo, recently tested an autonomous bus. The bus can fit 80 people, and the researchers say it “is the world’s first full-size, autonomous electric bus.”

Later in the show, Greg celebrated “consumer protection week” by speaking with Beverly Harzog, a consumer finance analyst working for U.S. News and World Report.

“We did a consumer protection survey, recently,” she explained, “and we asked if they had been the victim of any kind of scams or identity fraud in the past three years, and 23 percent said that they had been victims.”

Greg and Beverly talked about what kind of scams to look out for, and how consumers can protect themselves.

Digital Trends Live airs Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. PT, with highlights available on demand after the stream ends. For more information, check out the DT Live homepage, and be sure to watch live for the chance to win occasional prizes.

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