Trends with Benefits: Autonomous taxis, X-ray vision, and the VR gold rush

On opening weekend alone, it’s estimated that Star Wars generated over $529 million in revenue, breaking the previous record by Jurassic World. Even with a $350 million advertising budget, Disney is definitely getting its money’s worth.

Google has been breaking, or “leaking”, a lot of news lately. For instance, sources are saying that Ford and Google may partner up for a new line of self-driving cars. This could be a smart move to get ahead of the CES news cycle.

Self-driving cars are definitely coming; the real questions are how the regulations work, and whether you’ll want to buy one. While we’re in the very early stages of this new tech, we discuss what the end result could actually look like for consumers.

Google has already made it clear that it would like to take on Uber and Lyft, most likely with an autonomous taxi service. Could we soon have robot taxi drivers, a la Total Recall?

Virtual reality is set to be the biggest story at CES this year. But with so many companies jumping into the market, could it become over saturated? We discuss the implications of a VR gold rush, along with the present and future of VR content.

MIT researchers have found a way to give you superhero powers! Well … not exactly, but they have created a way to use wireless signals to see through walls. X-ray vision could be for sale as soon as 2017. No way that this tech could be abused, right?

Today’s episode features Matt Smith, Dan Gaul, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler. Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits and send in your questions to podcast@digitaltrends.com. We also broadcast the show live on Periscope, so join us next Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Pacific!

Cars

Waymo will launch its commercial autonomous ridesharing service in December

Waymo will launch a commercial ridesharing service using self-driving cars in December, according to a new report. As previously discussed by Waymo, the service will operate in specific areas around Phoenix, Arizona.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Mobile

Samsung will reportedly announce its folding smartphone at MWC in February

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy F, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Cars

Study suggests autonomous cars could become red-light districts on wheels

Fully autonomous cars can change the way we commute, but they can also have a far-reaching impact on the tourism industry. Two researchers published a study that outlines how self-driving technology could create a new dimension in tourism.
Podcasts

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Podcasts

TWB Podcast: CES preview; LG 8K television; Home assistant takeover

CES Preview and Digital Trends coverage; LG 88" 8K television; Home assistants will be taking over everything; the strange tech of CES.
Movies & TV

Between the Streams: A brutal ‘Sicario 2’ trailer, 10 more years of Star Wars

It's lightsabers, polka kings, and sequels galore this week on Between the Streams, as we look at a wide variety of new content hitting screens, including everything from a Bright sequel to Star Wars Episode IX news.
Podcasts

Trends With Benefits podcast: Our favorite tech from CES 2018

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Podcasts

TWB Podcast: Best TVs of CES; emerging tech; Amazon/Apple 2nd HQ; Falcon X

We'll cover the Best TVs of CES, some of more fringe emerging tech, Amazon and Apple's 2nd Headquarter statuses and the Falcon X Heavy rocket may finally be launching.
Movies & TV

Between the Streams: Apple and Kristen Wiig, ‘Solo’ synopsis, Black Widow movie?

This week on Between the Streams: A comedy series with Kristin Wiig and Reese Witherspoon from Apple, a Catch 22 miniseries from George Clooney, rumors of a Spider-Man and Venom meet-up, a Black Widow stand-alone film, and much more.
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: iPhone X discontinued?, Galaxy S9 first look, 50 Cent’s bitcoins

Apple iPhone X discontinued: After a week of rumors, it seems that Apple may indeed be discontinuing the current version of the iPhone X. KGI Securities predicts that this will occur later this year, when potential replacements for the X…
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: Amazon Echo vs. Google Home vs. Apple HomePod, Galaxy X

With the three big names in Home Assistants all taking aim at each other, we break down the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod. Samsung may be debuting a foldable phone this year and we'll recap some highlights from Outdoor…
Movies & TV

Between the Streams: CBS’ desperate ‘Murphy Brown’ revival, Super Bowl trailers

This week on Between the Streams, we'll be discussing all the weird new sitcom reboots (and how desperate they are), Netflix's new series Altered Carbon, all the new trailers we expect to see during the Super Bowl, and so much more.
Podcasts

TWB Podcast: SpaceX triumph, Spotify vs. Apple Music, Apple Watch health

After the success of the Falcon launch, what's next for SpaceX and Tesla? Spotify is the kind of streaming music, but Apple Music is hot on the trail. The Apple Watch may soon provide your doctor with valuable information.