Technology & Internet

  • TechCrunch 1 day 4 hours ago
    • Niantic, makers of the hugely popular mobile game Pokémon Go, is developing a new AR title that will incorporate audio cues into the gaming experience, according to company CTO Phil Keslin.
    • However, he did seem intrigued by the way that audio could be integrated into AR experience, saying that, “audio is different.
    • This bigger idea that audio could enhance an AR experience will come into play in the future Niantic title.
    • His favorite answer!) However, Keslin would speak to his thoughts on audio in general. “I think audio is significant.
    • I want to look at ways to incorporate audio in future titles,” Keslin told us. “AR is not just visual.”
  • TechCrunch 1 day 4 hours ago
    • You know your final destination — but you don’t necessarily care how you get there, or if your route is the shortest possible one.
    • That’s the idea behind BeeLine, a “fuzzy navigation” device for cyclists.
    • The company showed off its product today in the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield at Disrupt SF 2017.
    • BeeLine didn’t know they’d be competing on the main stage when they came to Disrupt.
    • BeeLine started its life on Kickstarter, with the Londonbased team raising £150,185 (roughly $200,000) after setting out to raise £60,000.
  • TechCrunch 1 day 4 hours ago
    • A year ago, Zoox raised what Jurvetson characterized as the biggest round of Series A funding ever when it closed on $240 million, including from DFJ, Lux Capital, Blackbird Ventures and others.
    • We might be in that business.'” Long story short, with Musk broadening his vision for Tesla, Jurvetson wasn’t able to take the seat with Zoox after all, with DFJ instead installing longtime partner Heidi Roizen in his stead.
    • Jurvetson declined to do that, saying “they haven’t finished that” (meaning that new round).
    • The team was looking for between $50 million and $100 million, Jurvetson said.
    • Instead, they were handed a written term sheet for $800 million — 45 minutes into the sitdown.
  • TechCrunch 1 day 4 hours ago
    • Today, the company’s head of design, Luke Woods, came out bullish on the promise of voice commands, squirmed when we asked him about Alexa apps, and simply shut down with a series of nocomments on the subject of hardware that used a voice interface.
    • The speaker, designed in the company’s secretive Building 8 hardware lab, was supposedly getting made for a Q1 2018 launch.
    • Earlier this month, Facebook code super sleuth Matt Navarra noted that Facebook’s iOS app contained a large amount of code related to voice search.
    • These appear to be different from the accessibility voice features that Facebook has built.
    • These jobs mention other speechbased services that Facebook is working on, such as video captioning services for videos that are played on silent, but the expertise has wide applicability beyond that.
  • TechCrunch 1 day 4 hours ago
    • But when it comes to research and analytics, gathering emotional responses could be huge to custom tailoring content and gaining important insights.
    • Looxid Labs, launching onstage today at TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield, wants to bring brain waves into the VR equation.
    • Meanwhile Looxid Labs is using EEG partnered with eyetracking to actually track your emotional responses using its proprietary algorithms that infer how you’re feeling.
    • Looxid wants to embrace the consumer market, but it isn’t focusing on a major entry in the near future.
    • There is less risk — and less reward — in ignoring consumers and focusing on research but the needs of that community align a lot more with where Looxid Labs is showing its strengths.
  • TechCrunch 1 day 4 hours ago
    • IKEA is a leader among those that have pushed the limits when it comes to using digital imaging to take product marketing to the next level.
    • Video games and consumer apps, in fact, were where colormass’s founders first got their start.
    • That market is both crowded and, in a sense, becoming more commoditized, though, so they began to think of other places where the same computer vision technology could be applied.
    • Barli said that colormass started working with furniture manufacturers in 2016, with current customers usually of the mediumsized variety with $100 million or more in revenue.
    • The idea will be to continue to augment this, for example with the ability to manipulate multiple products or images in a 3D room.
  • TechCrunch 1 day 5 hours ago
    • Cox said he actually developed Index for his own personal use five years ago.
    • Of course, saving stuff is only useful if you can find it later, so everything gets saved in Index through an organizing principle of hashtags.
    • It’s a work chat app that’s so simple, so delightful.” Over time, Cox is hoping Index becomes more and more central to users’ workflows.
    • And while this started out as a personal project, Cox said it’s time to turn Index into a venturebacked business.
    • Eventually, Cox wants Index to become a platform for intelligence amplification — namely, technology that, in contrast to artificial intelligence, enhances human capabilities.
  • TechCrunch 1 day 5 hours ago
    • In a major upset for Apple’s smartwatch brand, it appears that it was a Fitbit, not an Apple Watch, that the Red Sox used as a medium for their signstealing in a recent ball game.
    • The news comes from “a major league source” speaking to Boston Globe sports reporter Nick Cafardo.
    • It’s unclear at this time whether the source himself or herself is major league or if they are MLB related.
    • This is the kind of petty infamy that will be referenced for years, at least if smartwatches are around for that long.
    • If it’s good enough for the Red Sox to deploy against their natural enemy, it’s good enough for a lot of fans.
  • TechCrunch 1 day 5 hours ago
    • Following a directive from the Department of Homeland Security last week banning the use of Kaspersky Lab security software in the executive branch, the U.S. Senate has followed suit.
    • On Monday, the Senate passed an amendment against Kaspersky Lab pushed forward by New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.
    • Considering the strong bipartisan, bicameral support for this proposal, I’m optimistic this will soon be signed into law.”
  • TechCrunch 1 day 5 hours ago
    • Roll up, roll up… there’s another ecommerce mega deal in Southeast Asia courtesy of a Chinese investor.
    • Following on from Alibaba’s $1 billion deal with Lazada and a $1.1 billion round in Tokopedia led by Alibaba, rival Chinese ecommerce firm JD.com has announced a $500 million investment that will create ecommerce and fintech businesses in Thailand.
    • That potential has attracted investment dollars from Chinese giants lie Tencent and Alibaba, and now JD.com is upping its own efforts.
    • The investment comes from JD.com, Thai retail group Central Group — which owns former Rocket Internet fashion commerce portals Zalora Thailand and Zalora Vietnam — and investment firm Provident Capital.
    • The deal is JD.com’s first in Thailand, and second in Southeast Asia more widely.