The Essential Phone is currently in the midst of being rolled out in a range of new colors, including three that will be released excessively on Essential’s own website, with a staged release schedule that began Thursday. On Friday, however, Essential revealed a surprise fourth new color, “Halo Gray,” which will be exclusive to Amazon and which is now available to… Read More
People in glass offices should probably watch where they’re going. Collisions have been one very clear downside of Apple’s $427 million spaceship office in Cupertino, according to a story out of Bloomberg. The “people familiar with the incidents” won’t say how widespread a phenomenon all of this is, but there’s a definite potential downside to glass walls in… Read More
Today, Intel showed off a pretty awesome-looking pair of smart glasses that look better than pretty much anything we’ve seen to date.
It’s unclear what the development future will be for the glasses as the company is reportedly exploring a partial sale of the division and it has already shut down work on its “merged reality” headset program. While there are a lot of questions up-in-the-air, there are also a lot of other startups working on similar solutions that do things differently than the HoloLens or Meta or Magic Leap, focusing on smart glasses that do a few useful things. All of these startups are looking to get products out in the near-term, largely for the sake or pre-empting Apple’s rumored foray into the space.
It’s the earliest days for this technology so there’s still a fair amount of vaporware popping up, but it’s so early that it doesn’t really matter because it is altogether pretty unwise for you to pre-order any AR product, we’re just not there yet for 99 percent of the tech toting populace. Whether or not you get a smartwatch is a much saner early adopter decision you should be thinking about, there are still so so so many kinks to work out with AR interfaces, navigation, privacy concerns, and native development tools that far surpass the still very apparent problems with building hardware that is ready for the masses.
There are a lot of older companies and small startups looking to tackle the problems facing smart glasses and so many advances have already taken place, here are a few of the existing solutions out there that are available, soon to be available or promising availability, when in fact, who knows if they’ll ever actually ship.
SpaceX is launching its Falcon Heavy rocket tomorrow, and if it’s successful, it’ll be twice as powerful in terms of cargo capacity as its next closest active rival. That will help give SpaceX an edge in the growing private space race, and open up new opportunities in terms of potential clients, as well as set the stage for traveling to Mars.
The launch itself is happening on Tuesday, February 6 at 1:30 PM EST, weather permitting. The window lasts until 4 PM EST, however, so if conditions are good within that time the launch should go off as planned. There’s a backup window on February 7, which also starts at 1:30 PM EST, and we’ll be there live to watch it happen and report back all the news right here on TechCrunch.
Amazon’s long-awaited Spheres are finally open to the public — kind of, anyway. The bulbous buildings are a workspace meant for Amazon employees to use and the public to admire mostly from outside, unless you’re part of an Amazon HQ tour group or on a field trip from a local school.
Like most adventurous designs the Spheres are divisive: some will call them an eyesore or attention-seeking behavior by Amazon, but others will admire their originality and generous use of space. Seattle is no stranger to odd architecture, and the Spheres seem to meld the mind-bending MoPop (formerly the EMP) with the multifaceted complexity of the Central Library.
Click for many, many slides showing off the Spheres, their design, their plant life, and the opening ceremony.
Another CES is in the books. The country’s biggest consumer electronics show featured some 3,900 exhibitors spread out over 2.75 million square feet, making it the largest floor in the show’s history, according to the CTA.
Our bodies and brains are exhausted from all the new gadgets, but before we cast off the show for good, let’s take a look at some of the best things we saw at this year’s event. We’ve asked our staff to handpick an item or two that really stood out in the halls of the Sands and the flickering lights of the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Here are a few of our favorites.
There’s no doubt about it, it’s been a difficult year for the technology industry.
It’s also been a crazy year for tech, with cryptocurrencies surging and rollercoastering in value — presumably minting a few millionaires along the way, assuming they actually cashed their coin out.
Yet even those strange crypto-highs have come with some equal and opposite lows: Scams, hacks, pointlessly wasteful energy consumption, and — zooming out — the baffled confusion of anyone outside the crypto-boom trying to understand what logic (if any) it runs on.
Meanwhile AI’s touted efficiency gains have also been weighed down by counternarratives this year — the stories where AI is shown preferring to promote clickbait. Or to be biased. Or worse.
AI blowing “bubbles of hate” as one YouTube policy staffer memorably put it during a political grilling. Though he merely advocated the use of yet more AI to fix the problem.
The naivety and irresponsibility of tech giants whose platforms have scaled so big and got so powerful left the strongest impression in 2017, as marketing claims about fostering ‘openness and connection’ unravelled in the face of the literal opposite: Rising division and social strife.
If only Twitter had listened to all the users telling it to fix its troll problem for years. Ditto YouTube and its below-the-fold comment hellscape. And Facebook and fake news.
Worse was on show too: Uber’s reputation lies in tatters for a reason. And massive data breaches came to seem like an almost routine occurrence in 2017.
Sexism and sexual harassment were also shown to be an ugly and embedded problem across the industry.
Going into 2018, tech certainly has a lot of cleaning house to do.
Looking ahead, companies of all sizes should be trying to see outside their own filter bubbles and Kool-Aid-stocked canteens — and asking themselves genuinely tough questions about who and what will be impacted by their technology.
The unpopularity being sharply directed at once shiny tech brands should be a paradigm shifting wake up call.
Questions are being asked about platform power. Regulatory rules and knives are being sharpened. Politicians are eager to point the finger of blame. And with so much tech-fueled ammunition, who can blame them?
After the surge, the crash.
Tap the arrows to take an A to Z tour through the tech that troubled the news this year.
Good news, everyone! We survived 2017!
Each December, the TechCrunch staff members (our writers, editors, video, and social teams) get together and make a big ol’ list of our favorite things from that year. The apps, or gadgets, or movies, or music (or really anything) we loved.
We tend to be a pretty picky bunch, and these are the things that made, and continue to make, the cut. These are the things that made our year better, and made it through to the end of 2017 right alongside us.
Tap that right arrow to proceed — or if you’re on mobile, just scroll.
What a challenging, exhilarating year it has been for women everywhere, starting from the women’s March on Washington to former Uber engineer Susan Fowler’s eye-opening and now famous blog post to the #metoo movement that has swept the country, washing dozens of sexual predators out of their powerful roles in the process.
All the while, women in tech have been driving their companies to new levels of success, including reaching difficult product development milestones and, in many of the cases you’re about to read, raising meaningful follow-on funding.
That’s not always an easy task, as many will tell you. In 2016, companies with at least one female founder raised 19 percent of all seed rounds, 14 percent of early-stage venture, and just 8 percent of late-stage venture rounds, according to Crunchbase.
Herewith, just 42 of the many women who defied the stats this year — and who are posed to kick more ass in 2018.
We’ve only got a few more days until Christmas, and maybe you’re starting get a little nervous about all the folks who are still on your gift-giving list. Sure, they might not be your closest friends or best-loved family members… but you can’t ignore them entirely, can you?
Don’t worry, TechCrunch has you covered. Whether you’ve got a lot of last-minute shopping to do, or you’re just looking to add a little something extra to your gifts, we’ve rounded up an array of options — all quick, easy, and pretty affordable (sub-$40). We tried to limit it to stuff we’d actually be happy to receive, but which should still be easy enough to find in your nearest big box store.
Tap that right arrow key to get started — or if you’re on mobile, just scroll.
I’ve been talking to Nik Cubrilovic, the founder of Sydney, Australia based Omnidrive, since I posted about the need for a good online storage service in November (see no. 1 in that post).
I’ve had the chance to test it over the last few days. It’s pre-beta but will be launching soon. They’ve solved a lot of the problems associated with storage away from the network, and has both an online and a desktop interface.
Omnidrive will have a free version with a gig or so of storage, and paid plans after that. The feature set is awesome – it has everything you could ask for, including dealing with massive file uploads in the background. Full review coming soon – sign up for the beta announcement on the site.