Robotics: SoftBank to Buy Boston Dynamics From Alphabet

To boost its efforts in robotics, SoftBank Group is purchasing U.S.-based Boston Dynamics from Alphabet and, as part of the deal, is also buying Schaft, a Japanese bipedal robotics company. Although terms of the deal were not revealed, SoftBank shares rose as much as 7.7 percent in Tokyo trading. According to sources, Google, which had acquired Boston Dynamics in late 2013, decided to sell it when it concluded that the company wouldn’t be likely to produce a shipping product in the next few years. Continue reading Robotics: SoftBank to Buy Boston Dynamics From Alphabet

Boston Dynamics Creates a Robot with Humanlike Movement

Boston Dynamics, a robotics company owned by Google’s parent Alphabet, has introduced a robot that is making leaps and bounds in the industry — literally. Handle, as the robot is called, can jump over obstacles, go down stairs, and lift objects up to 100 pounds. The impressive machine has two legs with wheels that allow it to move fluidly. Unlike other robots that generally move slowly and deliberately, Handle can use its momentum without losing control to get around more easily. Continue reading Boston Dynamics Creates a Robot with Humanlike Movement

Toyota Reportedly in Talks to Buy Google Robotics Companies

According to multiple reports, Toyota Research Institute is close to acquiring two robotics divisions from Google parent Alphabet Inc. “The Japanese automaker is discussing an acquisition of Alphabet’s Boston Dynamics — known for the Cheetah, which is claimed to be the world’s fastest-legged robot — and Schaft, a venture that was led by two former Tokyo University professors,” Fortune explains. Numerous reports suggest that tension has been mounting between Google and Boston Dynamics since 2014, tension that reached a tipping point this year when Boston Dynamics released a video of its Atlas humanoid robot that received positive tech press, but many found “unsettling,” according to Tech Insider. Continue reading Toyota Reportedly in Talks to Buy Google Robotics Companies

Facebook Extending LiveRail to Display and Mobile Advertising

Last year, Facebook acquired LiveRail, a video ad technology that essentially serves as a platform for the automated sales of video ads for publishers. In a move to better contend with Google, Facebook is now looking to use LiveRail as a way to help publishers manage their ad inventory more effectively and make smarter sales across various platforms, including websites and mobile apps. The company has reportedly already partnered with Dailymotion, Univision and A+E Networks. Continue reading Facebook Extending LiveRail to Display and Mobile Advertising

Sensors/MEMS Session: Biometric Information for Wearables

Developers of health and fitness wearables — currently the industry’s biggest segment — are challenged with providing accurate and reliable biometric information. If the consumer cannot be convinced that calories burned, steps taken, and blood pressure numbers do not reflect reality, then health and fitness wearables will never gain the traction they need to become mass market. Enter Valencell, a core technology provider for biometric information to silicon providers and OEMs. Continue reading Sensors/MEMS Session: Biometric Information for Wearables

2015 CES: Wearables to Take Many Forms at the Sands Expo

Wearables made a surprisingly robust showing at the 2014 International CES. At the next Consumer Electronics Show in January, a Wearables Marketplace (Sands, Level 2) will gather companies providing products from “high-tech fashion and smart jewelry to wearables that track your mood, activity and even your pets, as well as the newest augmented reality devices.” Other wearable providers will be found in the Smart Watches, Health & Wellness and Sports Tech Marketplaces, all located in the Sands Expo. Continue reading 2015 CES: Wearables to Take Many Forms at the Sands Expo

Facebook Sets Sights on Mobile Ad Market with Atlas Relaunch

Facebook has relaunched Atlas, an advertising platform to help companies better target users on websites outside the social network. The company acquired Atlas from Microsoft last year. While Google’s DoubleClick is the dominant advertising tool with a 32 percent share of the market this year, Facebook is aiming to increase its 8 percent to take over the lead. Facebook sees a major opportunity in the 92 percent increase projected for the worldwide mobile ad market. Continue reading Facebook Sets Sights on Mobile Ad Market with Atlas Relaunch

Facebook Takes Aim at Google with New Advertising Platform

Facebook reportedly plans to unveil a new advertising platform next week that is designed to improve how marketers target and measure their online ads. Atlas, a re-tooled version of the Atlas Advertiser Suite that the social network purchased from Microsoft last year, intends to challenge Google’s dominance in the online ad space. The new platform is expected to help marketers understand the engagement that results from ads on Facebook’s services and third-party websites and apps. Continue reading Facebook Takes Aim at Google with New Advertising Platform

Facebook Pursues Video Advertising with LiveRail Acquisition

Facebook announced Wednesday that it will acquire ad technology firm LiveRail, furthering its efforts with effective video advertising. LiveRail, sometimes referred to as a “supply side” platform, helps media companies sell video ads programmatically. The company currently works with clients such as A&E, Univision, MLB and BET. Facebook believes that the LiveRail acquisition will eventually lead to better video ads that are more relevant to its community. Continue reading Facebook Pursues Video Advertising with LiveRail Acquisition

Google Buys Green Throttle’s Atlas Controller and Arena App

Google has acquired Green Throttle Games’ Atlas controller and Arena app-maker in a move that could point to new gaming features for its long rumored set-top box. Green Throttle’s Bluetooth Atlas controller and Android Arena app essentially allow users to transform tablets or smartphones into game consoles. As part of the deal, two of the three co-founders, Matt Crowley and Karl Townsend, will be joining Google. The third co-founder, Charles Huang (“Guitar Hero”) is reportedly keeping the rights to the Green Throttle business. Continue reading Google Buys Green Throttle’s Atlas Controller and Arena App

Facebook Bolsters Ad Efforts, Looks to Compete with Google

Slowly but surely Facebook is developing and understanding its own strengths regarding its ability to compete within the online advertising world. And the social networking giant is actively looking for ways to gain more ground on the online ad powerhouse that Google has become. But the problem remains, how does Facebook prove its value to online advertisers? Continue reading Facebook Bolsters Ad Efforts, Looks to Compete with Google