Weekly Rewind: Atari hats, Reebok space boots, Comic-Con highlights

top tech stories 07 21 2017 comic con san diego

A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from what we expect at Comic-Con 2017 to what might be next for Amazon — it’s all here.

10 things we hope to see at San Diego Comic-Con 2017

San Diego Comic-Con 2017

One of the biggest pop culture events in the world kicks off this week as Comic-Con International in San Diego arrives in Southern California for another year.

The largest event of its kind on the West Coast and an annual celebration of comic books, movies, television, gaming, and all manner of geekery, San Diego Comic-Con (as it’s more commonly known) has become the preferred venue for movie studios and networks to show off their biggest upcoming projects to eager fans. Prior years have seen Marvel’s live-action Avengers assemble publicly for the very first time, had The Dark Knight (or rather, Heath Ledger’s Joker) go viral, and ignited excitement for lower-profile projects like Mad Max: Fury Road that set them on the path to becoming blockbusters.

Read: 10 things we hope to see at San Diego Comic-Con 2017

One small step: How Reebok crafted a space boot for astronauts from running tech

David-Clark-Reebok-feature front

Reebok doesn’t shy away from trying new things. For instance, the footwear giant has 3D-printed shoes with goopy liquid rubber grown from corn and cotton. And on Tuesday, it announced a new product that’s truly out of this world: the Floatride Space Boot SB-01, developed for an upcoming mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Traditionally, astronauts walked around in tough leather boots with firm soles, which looked like cumbersome buckets of cement. But when Boeing sends astronauts to the ISS next year aboard its CST-100 Starliner, it wants to do better with a lightweight new spacesuit designed by the David Clark Company (DCC).

Read: One small step: How Reebok crafted a space boot for astronauts from running tech

Snapchat’s new Multi Snap now allows videos longer than ten seconds — sort of

snapchat asian caricature filter snap chat phone case wallet picture photo app social media

Snapchat’s camera features are bulking up, and now include a new way to post videos longer than ten seconds. On July 19, Snapchat began rolling out Multi Snap, a feature that allows users to take six 10-second video clips in quick succession, on iOS, and with an Android update to follow. Snapchat is also adding a new editing tool for both operation systems — the Tint Brush allows users to change the color of an object in still photos.

Multi Snap is a sort of variation on a camera’s traditional burst mode, but instead of taking several still photos in quick succession to get the timing just right, the feature snaps successive 10-second video clips. The feature is designed to help users make sure they get the timing of the Snap right and allows for up to six clips to be recorded in a row.

Read: Snapchat’s new Multi Snap now allows videos longer than ten seconds — sort of

Rolls-Royce’s brand-new Phantom will once again raise the bar for luxury cars

Rolls-Royce Phantom VIII teaser

The entire automotive industry sits up and listens when Rolls-Royce announces a new Phantom. As the company’s flagship model, The Rolls-Royce Phantom is the pinnacle of luxury on four wheels. We’re breaking out our notepads out and sharpening our pencils, because the nameplate’s eighth generation in nine decades is just a few short days away from making its debut.

The final design is being kept under wraps for the time being, but teaser shots give us a good idea of what to expect. Designers have taken an evolutionary approach to reinventing the range-topping Roller. Its front end receives thinner lights, a taller grille with a thick chrome frame, and air vents in the lower bumper for a sportier look. The overall silhouette doesn’t change much, and the Phantom retains its classy suicide doors.

Read: Rolls-Royce’s brand-new Phantom will once again raise the bar for luxury cars

Atari’s latest release isn’t a console or a game — it’s a ridiculously high-tech hat

atari speakerhat atar hat front

Atari is on a roll lately. The company made a splash at E3 last month with the announcement of its new Ataribox connected console, and now the classic brand is entering the wearables market with perhaps its oddest product yet: Atari Speakerhats, powered by Audiowear technology.

The first three baseball cap styles will debut at San Diego Comic Con this week, and special edition Blade Runner 2049 Atari Speakerhats will be available in conjunction with the much-anticipated sequel’s release this fall, along with other wearables.

Read: Atari’s latest release isn’t a console or a game — it’s a ridiculously high-tech hat

Future chatbots will be able to argue with you enough to help change your mind

chatbots

Artificial intelligence tools like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa don’t really try and change your mind too much, but maybe they should!

That is the idea behind new research being carried out by Dr. Samira Shaikh, an assistant professor in Cognitive Science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Computer Science. She developed a smart chatbot whose goal is not just to carry out a conversation with users, but to actually engage them in arguments and counterarguments with the specific aim of changing a person’s mind.

Read: Future chatbots will be able to argue with you enough to help change your mind

Amazon could be making a meal-kit service to rival Blue Apron

 amazon

Hot off the heels of last week’s revelation that Amazon might be unveiling a new messaging app, the online retail giant is making headlines yet again. This time, it’s with food. The Seattle-based company proved that you can never have your hand in too many cookie jars by filing a trademark application for “prepared food kits composed of meat, poultry, fish, seafood, fruit and/or vegetables” that would come ready for you to cook and serve as a meal. Sound familiar? Yeah, it’s another meal-kit service.

Clearly, Amazon’s potential entrance into the already crowded space has made waves throughout the market. On Monday, Blue Apron’s shares dropped by 11 percent, underscoring just how powerful Amazon has become in the food industry. After all, this is the same company behind grocery delivery service AmazonFresh, which launched in 2013, restaurant delivery service Amazon Restaurants, which launched in 2014, and its recently announced Whole Foods acquisition.

Read: Amazon could be making a meal-kit service to rival Blue Apron

Apple iPhone X (2017) rumors and news

an iPhone 8 concept shows how an iris scanner might work.
Handy Abovergleich

There are constant rumors surrounding a delay of the iPhone 8/iPhone X’s release date, mostly due to the technical challenges and component shortages it faces making the device. In mid-July, a JPMorgan investment note said that while the phone would be introduced in in late September, supplies of the phone will be very limited, and production wouldn’t level out until November.

This tracks with previous rumors. In April, an analyst’s research note for investment banking firm Drexel Hamilton speculated the iPhone X may be delayed several weeks after the September reveal due to challenges around its 3D-sensing technology, though it will still be available in time for the December holidays.

Pre-orders will open at launch, according to MacRumors, but delivery wouldn’t happen until several weeks later.

Read: Apple iPhone X (2017) rumors and news

The British Museum publishes the first 3D scan of the Rosetta Stone online

3d scan rosetta stone in situ

You no longer have to visit the British Museum in London to see the Rosetta Stone in detail. Last week, the museum published the first 3D scan of the famous slab of hieroglyphics online at Sketchfab, where it’s accompanied by the website’s new sound support feature.

The Rosetta Stone is one the most important artifacts from ancient civilization but it wasn’t very important when it was first inscribed in 196 BC — one of many copies of a decree stating that a priest of a given temple supported King Ptolemy V for the sake of tax exemption. When these pagan temples were closed in the fifth century, knowledge of Egyptian hieroglyphics was lost, until the stone was discovered in 1799 and the scripts were deciphered two decades later.

Read: The British Museum publishes the first 3D scan of the Rosetta Stone online