Groupon offers $12,500 visit to sunken Titanic

titanicGroupon is today offering the chance for a very wealthy individual to realize his sea exploration fantasies on a veritable budget, with a $12,500 trip to visit the sunken RMS Titanic via deep sea submersible. The offer, to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Titanic’s voyage, has a reported retail value of $59,600, representing a 79 percent discount. It is only available to one buyer, with a midnight expiration. Nobody tell James Cameron.

Groupon has been struggling to keep its momentum lately, after announcing disappointing earnings in its first quarter as a publicly traded company. The 40 million dollar loss on increased revenue was seen by many as a sign that the daily deal business may be reaching the saturation point; in addressing those concerns, Groupon has been experimenting increasingly with alternative ways of marketing its offers, which represent the most popular daily deals on the web. Groupon Reserve, an invitation-only program featuring fashion items and other upscale offerings, was launched last October, and followed by Groupon VIP, a $30-per-year subscription service which is currently in trials.

Although the Titanic deal pokes fun at its own absurdity, offering the buyer a “once-in-a-lifetime package” including a Titanic “DVD signed by professional Leonardo DiCaprio impersonator Frank Lloyd Roberts,” it may in fact be serving as a test-bed for one-off deals aimed at affluent buyers. Websites such as Gilt and Jetsetter have found tremendous success in this area, and Groupon may be increasingly desperate to bolster its traditional revenue streams. Or, the joke may be on us: Groupon CEO Andrew Mason is widely regarded as a jester of the tech world, famously starting a rumor about himself that he owned over 20 cats. Mason has however visibly toned-down his public persona lately, looking increasingly like the picture of a multi-billion dollar CEO, after nearly blowing Groupon’s IPO by violating the SEC mandated “quiet period.” The Titanic package, in addition to deep sea exploration, includes round-trip airfare, meals, and a 13-day ocean voyage, care of Deep Ocean Expeditions. Joke or not, you can see it for yourself here.

Emerging Tech

Google’s radar-sensing tech could make any object smart

Computer scientists have shown how Google’s Soli sensor can be used to make dumb objects smart. Here's why radar-powered computing could finally make the dream of smart homes a reality.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (January 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Smart Home

The best air fryers deliver fried food with a fraction of the calories

What is this magical mechanism? It's an air fryer, and when used correctly, it can mimic the effects of frying while using just a little bit of oil. You still get that crispy, golden exterior and the fluffy center.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.
Smart Home

Legrand’s Smart Lighting touts security, interoperability, and simple setup

Near universal connectivity including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Ring, and the Internet of Things is the theme of Legrand's Smart Lighting Radiant collection of switches, dimmers, outlets, and plugs.
Smart Home

Abode Systems upgrades its smart home gateway with new chip and Z-Wave Plus

Palo Alto-based Abode Systems is adding an upgrade to its popular smart home starter kit by replacing its central gateway with a second-generation version that supports cellular backup and enhanced Z-Wave support.
Smart Home

Put away that sponge and let us help you pick the best dishwasher for your buck

Tired of doing dishes by hand? Take a look at our picks of the four best dishwashers currently available and let a machine do the dirty work for you. They’ll do a much better job, anyway.
Smart Home

You can play NPR’s ‘Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me’ on your smart speaker

You can play "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" on Amazon Echo speakers or Google Home devices with the new Wait Wait Quiz. It's hosted by Peter Sagal and Bill Kurtis and will be updated every week with new questions.
Smart Home

Walabot Home, a device aimed at keeping seniors safe, expands its capabilities

When you have to be away from your elderly family members, Walabot Home can serve as your surrogate. This device can detect when your loved one falls and will call for help — no wearables or user input required.
Smart Home

Allergies acting up? Thes best air purifiers on the market can offer relief

Indoor air is often more contaminated than the air outside, which can cause an array of health issues over time. Luckily, these air purifiers can easily rid your home or office of unwanted allergens and contaminants.
Smart Home

Hackers hijack Nest camera, issue fake warning of North Korea missile attack

A Nest security camera hijacked by hackers who used the device to issue a fake warning about an incoming North Korean nuclear missile attack heading toward Los Angeles, Chicago, and Ohio.