In the near future, our cars will be more connected than ever – as in connected to each other, the infrastructure around them and, of course, to the handy pocket computers we call smartphones. So using a metal key to unlock your new set of high-tech wheels seems kind of… quaint. That’s why the “Car Connectivity Consortium” has come up its first standard for an industry-wide “digital key” that will let drivers unlock their rides with their phones.
Truth be told, the CCC is a bit behind the times on this one, as Tesla and many other automakers already let you lock, unlock, and in many cases, remotely control some other things in your car by phone. But this marks the first time an actual standard has been agreed upon, and with Apple, BMW, Audi, GM and many other car and tech firms being part of the group, the decision has some clout. Tech-wise, the CCC says the “Digital Key Release 1.0 Specification” will use NFC technology to lock and unlock doors, as well as start the engine. It will also codify the tech for unlocking car-share vehicles. The group says that yes, they are already working on Version 2.0, and it should roll out next year.
IGTV is here and no, it’s not a spin-off of the insomnia-curing HGTV network, it’s actually an Instagram app for creating and sharing videos. Sure, you’ve always been able to upload videos to Instagram, but the time limit was one minute’s worth of your cat’s crazy antics. The IGTV (or “Instagram TV”) app ups that to a solid hour, which means Instagram – which is owned by Facebook – is setting their sites on YouTube.
IGTV spokespeople say users can create channels with links to other content, which, of course, is what many YouTubers already do. At present, there will be no advertising on the IGTV platform, although we can certainly expect it in the near future. Timing for the new app and service seems good: Instagram says they now have just over a billion monthly users. That’s a lot of eyeballs.
Remember last year when the iPhone 8 and X were introduced with the new wireless charging feature? In a short bit, Apple showed off a cool charging deck called “AirPower” that could juice up your iPhone, Apple Watch and Airpods – all at once. It was coming soon, Apple said, but in an unusual move, Apple recommended chargers from Belkin and other third parties to charge those devices. Well, the meantime has turned into a long time, and still, there’s no AirPower device for sale from Apple. But – that could change…. fairly soon.
According to Bloomberg, Apple has been struggling to bring the device to market because while wireless charging tech is a known quantity for ONE device, it’s apparently quite a bit more of a challenge when you want to charge three things – or maybe just two – with one charging device. Apple reportedly hoped to have the AirPower charger on the market this month, but it now looks like September is the next goal, if they can work the bugs out by then. Bloomberg also said that during iPhone X development, button-and-port-allergic Apple designers considered removing the charging port entirely in favor of wireless charging only, but ultimately decided against it. Probably a good call.
We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans) on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.
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