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 Amazon’s new product lineup to Lyft’s new Ford partnership — it’s all here.
The Amazon Echo universe is expanding again. In the face of the emergence of a veritable panacea of smart home speakers from competitors, Amazon is stepping up to the plate and taking on the challenge. On Wednesday, the company announced a series of new products, including a new Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, a brand new device called the Echo Connect, an alarm clock-like device called as the Echo Spot, and Echo buttons geared towards gamers that will sell for $20 a pair. Amazon also announced a new Fire TV as well as an Alexa integration with BMW vehicles coming in 2018.
With the iPhone X, smartphone market leader Apple may have announced that fingerprint sensors are out and facial recognition is in as the hot new biometric technology — but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some intriguing alternatives on the horizon. The latest one? Smart new tech from researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo, who have developed a computer security system that uses radar to read your personal heart rate signature.
Modern style has trended toward a more minimalist style. As appliances become more muted in tone, they tend to fade into the background. As a market response, retro appliances are making a comeback. They have unique shapes, bright colors, and stand out against everything else. And when it comes to retro design, there is arguably nothing more iconic than the 1960s Volkswagen Bus.
In celebration of German engineering and the need to keep food fresh, Gorenje has revealed the Volkswagen Bus refrigerator. Just like the vehicle that inspired it, this special edition fridge features chrome trim, a two-tone paint job, and a big VW emblem on the door. The only things missing are headlights, a windshield, and a bumper.
Firefox has been playing catch-up ever since Google’s Chrome captured the desktop and mobile markets with its blend of functionality and speed. Now, Mozilla is aiming to leapfrog its competitor with Firefox Quantum, and update the bones of Firefox, focuseing on how browsers will work with future devices. We went hands-on with Quantum to see if Google has reason to worry.
Instagram is working to curb those offensive comments — on Tuesday, September 26, Instagram launched a few new tools that the platform says are designed to strengthen its commitment to safety and kindness.
The first change allows users with a public profile to choose who can comment on their posts. With the new tool, Instagrammers can keep comments open to everyone or just to certain groups. For example, public profiles can be adjusted so that only followers can comment. The new Instagram comments options allow users to limit comments to accounts they follow, accounts following them, or both.
Ford hopes to harness the newfound power of ridesharing to bring autonomous vehicles to the people. The Blue Oval has announced plans to start a giant pilot program in which Ford vehicles will be integrated into the Lyft application, and dispatched to customers during periods of high demand. The first cars could hit the streets as early as 2021.
The idea isn’t to beat Tesla, Uber, BMW, Volvo, and every tech company in the autonomous arms race. The goal of the Ford, Lyft partnership is to provide answers to some of the questions facing the ridesharing industry today. One of the big question marks is how to create a technology platform capable of connecting seamlessly with another brand’s platform. The partners also want to figure out where to dispatch self-driving vehicles and get an idea of the infrastructure that will be needed to maintain them.
The Google Pixel was the Android smartphone to beat last year, and Google is looking to capitalize on that success. As we get closer to the expected October 4 launch of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, rumors are ramping up. It’s possible LG is building one of the phones for Google, and HTC may be behind the second, smaller counterpart.
Here is everything we know about the Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
Well, it’s about time. On Monday, October 2, you’ll be able to order Levi’s touch-sensitive denim smart jacket for $350. That’s quite a bit for a simple jean jacket, but thanks to its integration of Google’s “Jacquard” technology, it’s more than just outerwear — it has a few tricks up its sleeve. Well, on its sleeve, actually.
The Project Jacquard denim jacket features a touch-sensitive sleeve that allows you to control your smartphone with taps, swipes, and brushing motions. According to the Verge, it’s primarily designed with cyclists in mind, so you’ll be able to pause your smartphone’s music playback or skip songs with a simple gestures.
Getting the perfect fit from an in-ear headphone is essential both for sound quality and security, but even though most products come with 16 pairs of tips in different shapes, sizes, and materials, getting the ideal seal is an exercise in frustration at best, and totally impossible at worst. That seal is crucial for sealing out noise around you, delivering good bass response, and, perhaps most importantly, remaining comfortable so you’ll, you know … want to wear them. Thankfully, SoundMolds custom eartips successfully solve this conundrum with its custom-molded silicone eartips – and they will work with any in-ear headphone you choose.
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