LG Unveils OLED TV That Rolls Out Like a Projector Screen

Four years after LG Display demonstrated an 18-inch, rollable OLED screen with the promise of larger future versions, the company has delivered with a 65-inch 4K version. Most reviewers are reporting eye-popping colors and perfect blacks; The Verge awarded the display Best Prototype at CES and described it as “absolutely stunning,” noting that it “goes from its native 16:9 to a wider 21:9 cinema mode at the press of a button.” In fact, the TV has three modes: the first mode unrolls the screen up from the base about a third of the way to offer content such as news, photos, weather and sports; the second rises to a 21:9 aspect ratio ideal for movie viewing; and the third mode presents the full 16:9 screen for watching television content. Continue reading LG Unveils OLED TV That Rolls Out Like a Projector Screen

LINE’s New Clova Wave Smart Speaker Is Available in Japan

LINE, known for its popular WhatsApp-style mobile messaging platform, has released a $125 smart speaker in Japan named Clova Wave, beating Amazon and Google to market. LINE has more than 220 million messaging users in the region. The company first announced the speaker device at a conference in June, after unveiling its new digital assistant, Clova. LINE also earlier announced a smart speaker called Champ, based on the LINE Friends characters, but no release date was revealed. LINE is a subsidiary of Naver Corp., South Korea’s largest web operator and search portal. Continue reading LINE’s New Clova Wave Smart Speaker Is Available in Japan

California DMV’s Report on Self-Driving Cars Shows Progress

The California Department of Motor Vehicles released its annual report from the 11 companies with state permits to test autonomous vehicles as of end of 2015, and they have all made rapid progress. The report, which covers December 2015 to November 2016, recounts how many times humans had to take over driving tasks. Google and General Motors in particular have excelled, with cars that can drive hundreds of miles at a stretch without a hitch. Nissan has gone from needing intervention every 14 miles — to assistance needed after 247 miles. Continue reading California DMV’s Report on Self-Driving Cars Shows Progress

Emotech Demos Olly: Your Lifestyle Assistant with Personality

At CES last week, Emotech, a UK-based startup, introduced a desktop robotic assistant named Olly that develops a unique personality depending on individual users and their interactions with it. The doughnut-shaped, voice-controlled personal assistant is similar in function to the other smart lifestyle assistants. It will play you music or tell you the weather like Amazon’s Alexa, but the company hopes Olly’s personality will set it apart. The device has two cameras and a microphone array, allowing it to face the user, and will use a combination of AI techniques to decipher a user’s state of mind and respond accordingly. Continue reading Emotech Demos Olly: Your Lifestyle Assistant with Personality

CES: Glance Clock Provides New Uses for a Familiar Object

Glance Clock offers a visual solution for dealing with daily information overload. The stylish modern clock is linked by Bluetooth for proximity response or Wi-Fi for building wide connections to mobile phones. The device highlights select information as it updates on a smartphone or digital assistant. Calendars break down the day in colorful graphics on the clock face. Users can highlight notifications about to-do items and important events, anniversaries and more. Weather forecasts are announced by colorful animations and related details. As a direct indication of wider scale ambient reach, it also can display responses from Alexa or announce an Uber arrival with visuals and sounds. Continue reading CES: Glance Clock Provides New Uses for a Familiar Object

Weather Channel Turns to AR Tech for 2016 Hurricane Season

The Weather Channel has launched three new augmented reality tools to help bring tropical storms and hurricane season to life during its broadcasts. SurgeFX offers a realistic to-scale surge forecast, Shear Factor displays real data in three dimensions, and 3D visualization tool Tropical Replay tracks past storms to provide historical context. Last year, the network unveiled its AR capabilities with an in-studio tornado simulation. “For the 2016 hurricane season, the network is adding a data dimension to its augmented reality features,” reports Mashable. “Instead of just simulating weather phenomena, the products will incorporate real-time data through dazzling graphics.” Continue reading Weather Channel Turns to AR Tech for 2016 Hurricane Season

Amazon Offers Echo Through Staples, But Exclusively Online

Amazon announced it will sell its Amazon Echo device with office supply chain Staples; however, it will only be available online. The Echo, a voice-activated speaker with the ability to answer questions, dim lights, and play music and more will be available for $179.99. The decision to sell the product through a third party has received mixed feedback, because the device still lacks a retail presence. While Staples carries Kindles, Fire TV and the Fire tablet, the Echo will not be showcased in stores. Continue reading Amazon Offers Echo Through Staples, But Exclusively Online

AP, Movietone Launch Massive Video Collection on YouTube

The Associated Press and British Movietone are bringing more than one million minutes of digital film footage to YouTube to create a visual encyclopedia that provides viewers with a unique account of modern history. This will be the largest upload of historical content to a video platform ever recorded, and the YouTube channel will include more than 550,000 videos featuring content ranging from 1895 to present day. In addition to the archived content, the channel will be updated regularly with contemporary footage. Continue reading AP, Movietone Launch Massive Video Collection on YouTube

YouTube and Storyful to Partner on Verified Eyewitness Videos

YouTube announced that it is launching a new service called YouTube Newswire with social news agency Storyful. While the two companies have been working together in different capacities since the Tahrir Square protests in 2011 (and News Corp.-owned Storyful was contextualizing YouTube videos even before that), the new service plans to provide a curated and verified feed of newsworthy global events published on the video site. The goal is to help provide journalists with additional resources regarding breaking news, including first-hand eyewitness accounts. Continue reading YouTube and Storyful to Partner on Verified Eyewitness Videos

New Hound App Could Prove Rival to Siri, Cortana, Google Now

As the battle heats up with tech companies over artificial intelligence and digital assistants, SoundHound released an app this week called “Hound” that promises to enhance voice search with its ability to quickly and efficiently handle complex questions. According to Keyvan Mohajer, SoundHound founder and chief exec, Hound has a leg up on the competition since it performs voice recognition and natural-language processing in a single step, as opposed to translating speech to text and then performing a search using that text. Continue reading New Hound App Could Prove Rival to Siri, Cortana, Google Now

New Projector Tech from Google Turns Any Walls into Screens

Google’s new projector technology is not the traditional blinding display that merely projects movies. It is designed to be more subtle to serve as a changing background to everyday life. The technology interacts with walls that are coated with photo-reactive paint. The projection system works similarly to e-ink technology, and an image would remain on the wall until a new image replaces it. The transparent photo-reactive paint can be used to turn any surface in a house or business into a screen. Continue reading New Projector Tech from Google Turns Any Walls into Screens

Microsoft Band Joins the Health and Fitness Wearable Market

Microsoft Band is a new wrist-worn device that works with an online service called Microsoft Health. The service will analyze personal health and exercise data collected by the band and other devices. The display on the black rubber bracelet will show text messages from a cell phone, Facebook alerts, and barcodes that allow people to pay for things with a swipe of their wrist. The device will track heart rate, sleep quality, and calories burned using optical sensors rather than less accurate audio sensors. Continue reading Microsoft Band Joins the Health and Fitness Wearable Market

The Los Angeles Tech Scene is Making a New Name for Itself

The Los Angeles tech scene — from Santa Monica to Irvine to West Adams — has been booming in recent years. According to open source map Represent.LA, there are now 889 startups in the region. Many LA tech entrepreneurs got started with cheap mobile apps that quickly became profitable. They focus on creativity and aesthetics, tap celebrities when needed, and remain open to products designed just for fun. And the sunny LA weather and cheaper rent attracts talent from around the world. Continue reading The Los Angeles Tech Scene is Making a New Name for Itself

New Samsung Smartwatch Runs Tizen, Bypasses Smartphone

Samsung is expanding its smartwatch offering to include a smart watch-phone that can send and receive calls without the need for a separate smartphone. The new Tizen device, which the company hopes to unveil this summer, will also feature a camera, GPS, email management, Bluetooth and heart rate monitor. Samsung also filed a patent last week that details another smartphone project, which includes a camera that can be operated by touchless gestures. Continue reading New Samsung Smartwatch Runs Tizen, Bypasses Smartphone

Mobile Apps and Infotainment for Cars Shifting into High Gear

Earlier this week, we reported that GM is getting ready to release more than 30 new vehicles equipped with built-in 4G LTE service provided by AT&T. A number of new models from various automakers are also looking to become rolling Wi-Fi hot spots this year as car and app makers make the long-awaited push into new software and communications links. New models will feature dashboard electronics that make it easier to access smartphone apps for traffic, weather, news, entertainment and more. Continue reading Mobile Apps and Infotainment for Cars Shifting into High Gear

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