Trends with Benefits: Cheap VR, 3D-printed teeth, ‘Fire and Forget’ robots

The Microsoft Surface Book is coming out in a few days and Matt got his hands on one early. Naturally, we peppered him with questions for our “live” review. Verdict: It’s a pretty exciting product, minus a few … issues.

VR is going mainstream, and the good news is, it’s not going to cost a fortune. We talk about some of the less expensive options out there recently, from Google Cardboard to Homido and many others. But, if you’re going to go with a VR system, would it be better to just wait for the Gear VR and Oculus coming out within the next few months?

HBO’s CEO, Richard Plepler, recently made a bold statement regarding the lack of partners for HBO Now. Many of the company’s traditional cable partners are reluctant, or outright refusing to allow the standalone service on their platforms, but Plepler thinks it would help them all to make more money.

In a combination of tech we haven’t really thought about until now, we discuss 3D printing and … dentistry! Researchers from the Netherlands claim to have developed a way to create artificial teeth that repel microbes at a molecular level. Of course, this leads to discussion of the future of grills.

Leeds University has a robotics research team currently working on a fleet of civil-service robots. There will be three types: perch and repair; perceive and patch; and fire and forget. That last one could be one of the most terrifying terms ever.

Also, if Charlize Theron is listening to today’s show, Caleb would like you to please follow him on Twitter @Caleb_Denison.

Today’s episode features Caleb Denison, Matt Smith, Drew Prindle and host Greg Nibler. Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits and send in your questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope every Thursday around 2:30 p.m. Pacific. Watch us make the show next week!