Amazon Enters the Gig Economy with “Flex” Delivery Service

E-commerce giant Amazon launched a new delivery system this week called Amazon Flex. The Uber-like model offers individuals with their own vehicles and an Android smartphone the opportunity to deliver packages for $18-25 per hour. Drivers have the option of two-, four- or eight-hour shifts. In addition to a car and an Android phone for managing deliveries with the Flex app, drivers must be over 21 and pass a background check. The new system, initially rumored back in June, works with Amazon’s Prime Now service, which offers members one- and two-hour delivery on items. Continue reading Amazon Enters the Gig Economy with “Flex” Delivery Service

Gartner Predicts About 25 Billion Connected Devices by 2020

Research firm Gartner recently made a number of interesting forecasts related to the Internet of Things, notably that there will be 4.9 billion connected devices in use this year, up 30 percent from 2014. We should expect 25 billion connected things by 2020. The research firm also anticipates that by 2020, connected kitchen appliances will contribute at least 15 percent savings in the food and beverage industry. And Gartner says there will be 250 million connected vehicles with automated driving capabilities within the next five years. Continue reading Gartner Predicts About 25 Billion Connected Devices by 2020

Rohinni Develops Printable Lighting with Ultrathin Lightpaper

Idaho-based Rohinni is aiming to reinvent ultrathin LED lighting with its Lightpaper technology, which essentially prints lighting and applies it to almost any surface. Lightpaper mixes ink and tiny LEDs and then prints them on a conductive layer, which is positioned between two other layers and sealed. When current runs through the tiny diodes (about the size of a blood cell), they light up. Rohinni envisions the tech being used for everything from illuminated logos on CE devices to vehicle headlights. Continue reading Rohinni Develops Printable Lighting with Ultrathin Lightpaper

Google’s Self-Driving Car Faces New California DMV Rules

California’s DMV requires — in new rules which will take effect September 16 — that, when necessary, a driver must be able to take “immediate physical control” of any vehicle on public roads. This process has traditionally involved a steering wheel and brake and accelerator pedals, which could be a setback for Google’s self-driving car, that does not include these parts. While Google said that it will add them for testing purposes, it is unclear what the company will do in the future. Continue reading Google’s Self-Driving Car Faces New California DMV Rules

VocalIQ and GM to Make Vehicle Voice Control More Intuitive

VocalIQ, a UK-based company that works on software to enable voice control of devices, is collaborating with General Motors to take vehicle voice control to the next level. The intuitive system would learn the driver’s vocabulary and intentions to create more precise responses, without the need for specific wording. The dialogue management system would be integrated into the car’s dashboard navigation. GM’s Israel-based Advanced Technical Center is overseeing the development. Continue reading VocalIQ and GM to Make Vehicle Voice Control More Intuitive

Google I/O: The Future is All About the Android Mobile OS

During yesterday’s keynote event at Google I/O, the company unleashed its Android Everywhere strategy and a slew of related announcements. Google envisions us taking the more contextually aware Android mobile OS from place to place through every part of our lives, including our televisions, laptops, vehicles, bodies and workplaces. Major announcements unveiled details regarding Android L (5.0), Android Wear, Android Auto, Android TV, and integrating Android applications into Chromebooks. Continue reading Google I/O: The Future is All About the Android Mobile OS

Annual Internet Traffic to Grow More Than 20 Percent by 2018

Cisco’s latest Visual Networking Index forecasts an increase in annual Internet traffic of more than 20 percent by 2018, at which point global network traffic will exceed that of all previous Internet years combined. More users and devices, faster broadband speeds and an increase in video viewing is expected to expand global Internet Protocol traffic nearly three-fold over the next five years. Also, the Internet of Everything, M2M technologies and Ultra HD adoption will be key growth drivers. Continue reading Annual Internet Traffic to Grow More Than 20 Percent by 2018

Startups Use New Technologies to Wirelessly Charge Phones

Energous and Witricity have developed new ways to charge smartphones, tablets and other small devices without needing wires to plug them into an outlet. Energous’ WattUp technology allows users to recharge phones in special cases or receivers that can pick up signals from a transmitter that is plugged in more than 10 feet away. Toyota and TDK are already planning to utilize Witricity’s wireless charging technology in upcoming hybrid and electric cars, and car batteries. Continue reading Startups Use New Technologies to Wirelessly Charge Phones

Verizon Seeing Tremendous Growth in the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things produces significant amounts of data from objects embedded with sensors and machine-to-machine communications. According to Verizon’s VP of Connected Solutions Mark Bartolomeo, the Internet of Things is growing over 100 percent a year. Companies are using this technology to improve the management of supply chains, equipment and customer demands. The energy, transportation and digital cities units are the fastest growing sectors in Verizon’s Connected Solutions. Continue reading Verizon Seeing Tremendous Growth in the Internet of Things

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

GM Scheduled to Launch Cars Equipped with 4G LTE Service

General Motors released prices for its first vehicles equipped with built-in LTE 4G, essentially turning the cars into rolling Wi-Fi hot spots. The automaker will launch its 2015 models in the next month, and plans to release more than 30 new vehicles with LTE broadband connectivity, as well as numerous new communications, safety, and navigation services. The communications service will be provided by AT&T, and the cars will come with a free, three-month trial with three gigabytes of data. Continue reading GM Scheduled to Launch Cars Equipped with 4G LTE Service

Organic Battery Could Lead to More Affordable Electric Cars

Power Japan Plus has developed an organic battery using cotton’s carbon fiber, which the startup claims will generate more power than a lithium-ion battery and can charge up to 20 times faster. The company also says that its battery can be charged thousands of times without losing energy capacity (unlike lithium-ion batteries). Power Japan Plus envisions the technology enabling more affordable, long-range electric vehicles that can be charged in minutes and travel hundreds of miles. Continue reading Organic Battery Could Lead to More Affordable Electric Cars

Android Wear: Google’s Move to Become Key Name in Wearables

Google announced its first operating system for wearable technology yesterday. Android Wear will initially be introduced in smartwatches to feature Google Now reminders, fitness trackers, app notifications from smartphones, and voice capabilities that offer interaction with multiple screens. The company is working with Android partners such as Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola and Samsung. LG’s upcoming G Watch and Motorola’s Moto 360, for example, will be two early smartwatches featuring the OS. Continue reading Android Wear: Google’s Move to Become Key Name in Wearables

Capturing Winter Olympic Footage From the Air Using Drones

You may have noticed that drones are being used this month at the Winter Olympics in Sochi to capture footage of ski and snowboarding events. While drones can cost upwards of $40,000, they are quieter and cheaper than using a manned helicopter. Also with drones, filmmakers can typically get much closer to the subject. While limitations currently exist due to regulations and concern of potential crashes, we should expect to see more use of unmanned aerial vehicles for sports photography in the future. Continue reading Capturing Winter Olympic Footage From the Air Using Drones

Foxconn and Former Android Exec Rubin Are Talking Robotics

Foxconn executives have been in talks about robotics with former Android executive Andy Rubin, specifically to discuss new robotic technologies and speed up deployment of robots in its factories. Rubin asked Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou to help integrate a tech company that’s being acquired by Google, which last year acquired eight other robotics companies. In the meeting, Gou was said to have expressed excitement over automation technologies demonstrated by Rubin. Continue reading Foxconn and Former Android Exec Rubin Are Talking Robotics

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