Aalyria: Google Spinout Plans to Deliver High-Speed Internet

Google’s Project Loon, a plan to use balloons to beam broadband Internet to unserved areas, was shut down in 2021 after eight years, but Loon’s core technologies have propelled a spinout, Aalyria, which is developing advanced networking and laser communications that far exceed anything available today, extending connectivity where there is no infrastructure “at an exponentially greater scale and speed,” according to the company. Aalyria’s first commercial client is the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU), a division of the U.S. Department of Defense that awarded an $8 million contract to develop high-speed Internet in space. Continue reading Aalyria: Google Spinout Plans to Deliver High-Speed Internet

Cox Launches Its New Mobile Service Pilot in Three Markets

Cox Communications has finally launched its long-awaited mobile offering. Cox Mobile is officially piloting in three markets where it is available only to Cox broadband customers: Las Vegas, Nevada; Hampton Roads, Virginia; and Omaha, Nebraska. Customers will initially be offered two plans, each featuring unlimited talk and text — Pay As You Gig and Gig Unlimited, with coverage including 4G LTE and 5G, in addition to 4 million Cox Wi-Fi hotspots. The company plans to expand Cox Mobile in new markets through the rest of the year. Continue reading Cox Launches Its New Mobile Service Pilot in Three Markets

Congress Passes CHIPS Act to Boost Production, Research

After more than a year of wrangling, the Senate on Wednesday passed a bipartisan tech and science funding bill in a 64-33 vote. The CHIPS and Science Act commits $280 billion to be spent over five years in what is being called the largest manufacturing, research and development initiative of its kind. The largest single area of investment is $76 billion to fund domestic semiconductor production, which includes $24 billion in new tax incentives. Yesterday, the bill passed in a 243-187 House vote and now heads to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. The legislation aims to bolster national security by making the U.S. chip independent and boosting competition against China. Continue reading Congress Passes CHIPS Act to Boost Production, Research

Smartphone Maker Oppo Delivers ‘Assisted Reality’ Air Glass

BBK Electronics’ Oppo brand is garnering notice for Air Glass, natural-looking wireless glasses that sync to the company’s smartphones to serve-up augmented reality experiences. Though still in limited release, with no plans for distribution outside of China, the $745 glasses offer a hint of things to come even as Oppo is readying a next-gen version. Weighing in at just 30 grams, Air Glass is positioned as a basic device that delivers practical information, including navigation, weather, time and fitness tracking. Oppo characterizes the functionality as “assisted reality,” and its limited ambitions appear to be a strength. Continue reading Smartphone Maker Oppo Delivers ‘Assisted Reality’ Air Glass

Sony Line of Gaming Peripherals Aim for Market Beyond PS5

Sony Electronics is launching a new line of monitors and headphones under the brand name INZONE, which has drawn notice for being marketed to gamers but manufactured by a division other than Sony Interactive Entertainment, home of the PlayStation and related products. That’s because the INZONE line is designed to be platform agnostic and seeks traction beyond PS5. The headphones come in three models touting 360 Spatial Sound for Gaming: the entry-level wired H3 for $100 and the wireless H7 and H9 ($230 and $300, respectively). INZONE’s debut monitor line features the deluxe 27-inch 4K M9 ($900) and the 27-inch Full HD M3 ($530).
Continue reading Sony Line of Gaming Peripherals Aim for Market Beyond PS5

ByteDance on Hiring Spree for Expansion of Its Pico VR Unit

ByteDance appears ready to make a splash in the U.S. virtual reality market and is expanding the presence of its Pico VR unit on the West Coast, as per recent job listings. The Beijing-based ByteDance purchased Pico in August 2021, and now has more than 40 open positions posed for operations in San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. According to Pico’s website, the company makes “best in class” wireless VR headsets, and in addition to the U.S. has operations in Europe, China and Japan. Many of the current job listings are for a content division called Pico Studios. Continue reading ByteDance on Hiring Spree for Expansion of Its Pico VR Unit

Samsung Announces Plans for $356 Billion Investment in Tech

Samsung says over the next five years it will invest $356 billion in chip production, biopharmaceuticals and other next-gen tech, creating tens of thousands of new jobs. While Samsung says most of the funds — $285 billion — will be spent in South Korea, the Seoul-based electronics giant also has operations in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Philippines. That new plan marks a 30 percent increase in Samsung’s spending over the previous five-year period and is a considerable expansion over earlier budgeting. Memory chip manufacturing and 6G wireless are among the areas to benefit from the new investment. Continue reading Samsung Announces Plans for $356 Billion Investment in Tech

Qualcomm Announces Wireless AR Glasses Design for OEMs

Qualcomm has revealed a new plan for AR glasses that can connect wirelessly with smartphones. This latest version of the company’s Smart Viewer is a reference design that can be used by manufacturers to create commercial headsets and is aimed at creating “immersive experiences that unlock the metaverse,” the company says. The new Wireless AR Smart Viewer has a higher-powered chipset and offers Wi-Fi 6/6E and Bluetooth tethering instead of a USB-C cable. Developed by Chinese manufacturing company Goertek, the new Smart Viewer is currently being made available to handful of Qualcomm’s manufacturing partners. Continue reading Qualcomm Announces Wireless AR Glasses Design for OEMs

Microsoft Previews New Inclusive Tech Lab at Ability Summit

As part of its 12th annual Ability Summit, Microsoft is showcasing its new Inclusive Tech Lab, designed “to be an embassy for people with disabilities,” says the Redmond, Washington-based company, which also unveiled new software features and adaptive accessories to boost inclusion. The Inclusive Tech Lab will showcase Microsoft’s accessible hardware, software and services, and function as an incubator for inclusive design, the company says, calling it a place where “disability communities can ideate and evaluate product design and direction,” working with designers who are prepared to have their assumptions challenged. Continue reading Microsoft Previews New Inclusive Tech Lab at Ability Summit

Apple Eyes the Modem Chip Market Dominated by Qualcomm

Apple is reportedly poised to compete in the modem market. The company is said to be laying the groundwork to create chips that control the Internet connectivity of its mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. In theory, the move paves the way for an always-on future where smart glasses and augmented reality achieve ubiquity, and iPhones and other Apple mobile devices have faster download and streaming speeds. Observers say Cupertino’s high bar to entry means creating a chip that outperforms those made by Qualcomm, current manufacturer of Apple’s connectivity chips. Continue reading Apple Eyes the Modem Chip Market Dominated by Qualcomm

Global Tech Firms Advised to Begin Planning for Jump to 6G

Given the messy, eleventh-hour battle with the FAA over 5G deployment, it’s not too early to start planning a rollout for 6G, experts say. While the U.S. trails Asia in 5G availability, it’s still at the front of the pack, with coverage of roughly 80 percent of the population through home or office in mid-2021, says PwC, assessing only about 12 percent of “device penetration,” or subscriptions. Yet 6G is already being touted as being able to take cloud computing and the mobile Internet to unimagined realms of global connectivity and social equity. Continue reading Global Tech Firms Advised to Begin Planning for Jump to 6G

CES: Bipartisan Panel of Women Senators Weigh Tech Issues

CTA senior vice president of political and industry affairs Continue reading CES: Bipartisan Panel of Women Senators Weigh Tech Issues

CES: Lawmakers Grapple with 5G as Deployment Continues

Deploying 5G spectrum through rural America has national security and social equity implications, say legislators struggling to keep up with rapid technology changes as the government allocates $65 billion to broadband through 2021’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Although 5G is here when it comes to cell phone communication in dense areas, there are unmet mobile needs that range from farming to emergency response and the build-out is big business. The FCC’s 3.45-3.55 GHz mobile spectrum auction in Q4 2021 raised $22.5 billion for the Treasury Department. That follows $80.9 billion raised in a C-band auction early last year. Continue reading CES: Lawmakers Grapple with 5G as Deployment Continues

CES: Qualcomm Targets 5G, Auto, Edge Computing, AR, VR

During CES 2022, Qualcomm president and chief executive officer Cristiano Amon announced that the company intends to focus on the connected intelligent edge, which he says is a $700 billion market. “We’re becoming the partner of choice for the edge,” he declared. “We continue to see momentum across key opportunities.” The company’s momentum encompasses next generation Arm PCs, virtual and augmented reality, including a continued partnership with Meta, wireless fiber and the automotive sector. The latter includes new deals inked with Volvo, Honda and the Renault Group. Continue reading CES: Qualcomm Targets 5G, Auto, Edge Computing, AR, VR

U.S. Court Clears FCC’s Path for Seismic Wi-Fi 6E Upgrade

A U.S. Court of Appeals has paved the way for Wi-Fi 6E, the biggest Wi-Fi upgrade in more than two decades, by upholding a 2020 FCC order to make 1,200MHz of spectrum in the 6GHz band available for unlicensed use. Poised to benefit are router manufacturers and those who make devices for home offices and IoT. FCC chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel called the decision timely in the wake of COVID-19, when “so much of modern life has migrated online.” FCC commissioner Brendan Carr emphasized ancillary benefits, calling the additional spectrum “the oxygen needed to power 5G.” Continue reading U.S. Court Clears FCC’s Path for Seismic Wi-Fi 6E Upgrade