Silicon Valley Still Dominates Tech Startup Culture and Power

In the Industrial Revolution, ideas were more portable than machines, helping to spread change globally. Not so with today’s high-tech startups. Although U.S. cities as far-flung as Denver, Austin, Chattanooga and Washington, DC boast startup centers, Silicon Valley is far and away the biggest for new technology companies, offering experienced talent and more capital. Even as other cities evolve, Silicon Valley grows faster, leaving startups elsewhere at a competitive disadvantage. Continue reading Silicon Valley Still Dominates Tech Startup Culture and Power

Amazon Plans to Launch Portable, Lower Cost Version of Echo

Since Amazon had a surprise hit with its tabletop, voice-controlled Echo speaker, released in November 2014, competitors have stepped into the space. Amazon is fighting back with another, smaller, portable and lower-cost version, code-named Fox, expected to debut in a few weeks. Echo, which costs $180, must be plugged into an outlet; its Alexa software answers questions, creates shopping lists, plays music and can control connected lights. Originally a voice activation experiment, Echo has become a popular personal assistant. Continue reading Amazon Plans to Launch Portable, Lower Cost Version of Echo

CES 2016: Sensors Connect Wearables, the Internet of Things

In China, parents strap “children’s watches” on their offspring to track their movements and sound the alarm if the child leaves the schoolyard. Sensors will soon be able to tell if grandma has fallen down in the living room, and smart fabrics, with embedded sensors, will soon be assisting patients, soldiers and first responders. Just a couple of years ago, wearables were just fitness trackers and smartwatches. At CES 2016, we’ll see the sensors that power wearables expand as engines to the Internet of Things. Continue reading CES 2016: Sensors Connect Wearables, the Internet of Things

CES: Emerging Opportunities and Equally Growing Risk of IoT

The Internet of Things will grow larger once again at CES 2016 with both incremental and innovative advances in objects, systems and simplicity, but for the entertainment industry the past year should also serve as a cautionary tale. Smart home sensors that track and analyze movements to enable new levels of seamless interaction will impact both the home and the world at large. Security will likely become an increasing concern as the infrastructure is created to effectively connect devices and systems. Continue reading CES: Emerging Opportunities and Equally Growing Risk of IoT

Cisco Projects 80 Percent of Internet Will Be Video by 2019

While Netflix and YouTube combined account for roughly half of all Internet bandwidth consumed during peak hours in North America, the latest projections from Cisco suggest even greater growth for online video. The company predicts that in five years, video will be responsible for 80 percent of the world’s Internet consumption (and 85 percent in the U.S.). Cisco explains that the growth will be the result of cord-cutting, mobile expansion, Internet users consuming more (and higher quality) video, and an increase in the overall number of global users. Continue reading Cisco Projects 80 Percent of Internet Will Be Video by 2019

Apple Refutes Delays, Says HomeKit Devices Shipping in June

Apple is refuting a recent report that suggested HomeKit — its home automation software platform — was experiencing problems and could expect delays. This week the company announced that the first HomeKit-enabled devices will ship next month. The company first unveiled HomeKit at last June’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The platform enables Apple devices to control connected appliances in the home, essentially turning iPhones and iPads into a command system for smart thermostats, lights, garage doors, locks, security systems and more. Continue reading Apple Refutes Delays, Says HomeKit Devices Shipping in June

GoEnjoy.com: Startup Brings a Personal Touch to Online Retail

Ron Johnson, a former retail exec with Apple and J.C. Penney, has launched a Web-only startup to offer a new twist on online retail. Menlo Park-based Enjoy Technology will begin offering high-end consumer electronics in select locations today via its website, GoEnjoy.com. The site will sell smartphones, laptops, tablets, drones, and more — in addition to offering free delivery and in-home setup service. Johnson expects that the in-home service will give Enjoy an advantage over established rivals such as Amazon and eBay. Continue reading GoEnjoy.com: Startup Brings a Personal Touch to Online Retail

Hello Barbie: Mattel’s Web-Connected Doll Interacts with Kids

Mattel plans to release Hello Barbie, a Wi-Fi connected doll with voice recognition software that allows users to engage in basic conversations with the doll. The tech enabled Barbie, which will be available later this fall for $74.99, is connected to the cloud so that once it records a user’s dialogue, it transmits the information to a server, which then aggregates appropriate responses for the doll. Hello Barbie’s voice recognition software comes from San Francisco startup ToyTalk. Continue reading Hello Barbie: Mattel’s Web-Connected Doll Interacts with Kids

SXSW Tackles Future of Television with Panels and Premieres

As part of its “Future of TV” series, the South by Southwest Festival is hosting a number of panels featuring filmmakers who recently produced content for online media. Morgan Spurlock is promoting a new show he created for AOL, and Dan Harmon will discuss “Community” and its move to Yahoo, while CNN and Hulu execs will tackle the evolving landscape of traditional TV and Internet video. Tech companies are investing in more original content while the shift in live TV is forcing media giants to offer more of their content online. Continue reading SXSW Tackles Future of Television with Panels and Premieres

Talking Smart Toys to Run on Watson Supercomputing System

Toy-making company Elemental Path unveiled the first connected smart toy to be powered by IBM’s Watson cognitive supercomputing system. A talking dinosaur is the first in the line of smart toys known as CogniToys. The dinosaur has speech recognition capabilities and it can have conversations with children, answering a wide range of their questions. Elemental Path’s Kickstarter campaign has already more than doubled its goal of raising $50,000 to start producing the smart toys. Continue reading Talking Smart Toys to Run on Watson Supercomputing System

ARM’s New Chip for Smartphones Increases Processing Power

ARM Holdings has unveiled a new chip that is expected to drastically improve graphics, finally making smartphones fit for high-definition games and videos. The company says that its Cortex-A72 will boost memory performance by 30 percent and graphics speed by 80 percent. With a more powerful chip, ARM is hoping to continue fostering growth in the smartphone industry. The company is also working on technology for the Internet of Things, including smart home devices and smart street lights. Continue reading ARM’s New Chip for Smartphones Increases Processing Power

Building Tomorrow’s Search Engines to Sense as Humans Do

In the past decade and a half, there have been only minimal modifications to Google Search. The popular search engine functions as it always has; one enters a query into the type box and in return is given a list of instantaneous results based on the keywords. Although the search engine continues to be effective, Stefan Weitz, senior director of search at Microsoft’s Bing predicts the search engine of tomorrow will be much more advanced and proactive than anything we have today. Continue reading Building Tomorrow’s Search Engines to Sense as Humans Do

HUD Tech Turns Your Car Windshield into a Computer Screen

This year’s Detroit Auto Show showcased a number of vehicles equipped with heads-up-display (HUD) technology that allows drivers to view their speed, range and directions while driving without having to take their eyes off the road. The HUD projections are displayed at the bottom of the windshield in a driver’s line of sight. The HUD technology, which is already available in some Toyota, Mazda and Hyundai models, is expected to become available from additional automakers in the near future. Continue reading HUD Tech Turns Your Car Windshield into a Computer Screen

Thinfilm and Xerox Pursue Printed Electronics for IoT Chips

Thinfilm — a Norwegian tech firm with 90+ employees that also does business as Thin Film Electronics USA — has a deal with Xerox to produce electronic chips that print their features atop thin surfaces. Thinfilm could manufacture up to a billion “printed electronics” chips per year for memory, processors, and sensors designed for connected devices and objects as part of the Internet of Things. The company envisions significant cost savings and increased efficiency in teaming “smart labels” with connectivity tech such as NFC and the Internet-connected cloud. Continue reading Thinfilm and Xerox Pursue Printed Electronics for IoT Chips

Today is Final Day to Purchase Google Glass Explorer Edition

Today marks the last day that Google Glass in its current form will officially be available for $1,500 as part of the Explorer Program. Late last week, the company announced that it would stop selling the smart glasses and the device would no longer be developed by the Google X research division. However, Google Glass is expected to continue as a standalone project with former Apple exec Tony Fadell in charge. Fadell is known for helping to design the iPod and inventing the Nest thermostat. Google purchased Nest last year. Continue reading Today is Final Day to Purchase Google Glass Explorer Edition

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