Amazon Cloud Cam: A window into your home from just about anywhere

You can start using conjunctions again!

As expected, Twitter has expanded its message content limit to 280 characters, up from the original 140. That’s good news for users that struggled to properly express themselves in 140 letters or less, which included… pretty much everyone, even the guy that started the whole Twitter thing. Some exceptions to the count still apply, though.

Twitter doesn’t count your twitter name (or “handle”) in the character count, and it also doesn’t nick you for adding a photo, video, GIFs, polls, quoting other tweets, and other user’s names. So why the change? When twitter started in 2006, smartphones didn’t really exist yet, so many phones had a 140-character limit on texting, thus the iconic number. Or something like that. Anyway, those days are long gone now, so start tweeting your stuff 280 bits at a time.

Cloudy with a chance of video

Smart home devices are slowly working their way into our still fairly dumb homes, and one of the first things most people upgrade to is a connected security camera. Team Bezos and the crew at Amazon know this of course, and have debuted the Amazon Cloud Camera for $120, which is quite a bit less than most of their numerous competitors. Bold move, but does the thing work? Our analysis: it does, and pretty well at that.

The Amazon Cloud Cam is simple to install, simple to set up, and simple to use. We like that. It also delivers sharp HD video footage and allows for two-way conversation just like a lot of other cameras out there these days. But one important feature is that it’s part of the Amazon Key delivery system, which allows Amazon delivery people to leave your stuff inside your house instead of on the porch, where it just might get legs and become someone else’s stuff.

Yeah, still sorta creepy, but with the cloud cam, you can at least you can see that important package of medicine or last-second anniversary gift actually get delivered, so, honestly, that’s pretty damn handy. You’ll need to sign up for a monthly service to download video clips of course, and we have a couple other technical complaints, so check out our complete review.

But will it augment profits?

With the iPhone X launch behind them and the new device setting the template for iPhones to come, it’s time for Apple to buckle down and push hard on the next insanely great thing, which appears to be a set of augmented reality glasses. And we did say augmented reality, not virtual reality, just to be specific here. According to Bloomberg – and Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Apple chief designer Jony Ive – Cupertino is hard at work on an AR project, and has been for a while.

With ARkit seeing widespread adoption and the iPhone X devoting a lot of tech to the nascent field, Apple has a solid head start. So far there are no hardware leaks or technical drawing to offer up, and Bloomberg says nothing’s going to hit the market until 2019 – or maybe even 2020. And it won’t be iPhone-based, either. While the AR shades may connect to an iPhone in some fashion, Cook and Ive say they are working on a standalone device with its own displays.

Seeing how the iPhone Ten’s class-leading OLED display is packing pixels in at a rate of nearly 500 per inch, the window for the “screen door effect,” which plagues many VR headsets, seems to be closing fast. Cook says that he believes AR will “change the way we use tech forever,” so you better believe they’re working on it, and it really could be the next big thing in personal tech.

But what will they call it? AppleAR? iAR? Apple Reality? Our vote is for the infamous “reality distortion field,” but leave your best guess in the comments section on YouTube.

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.