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Echodyne’s pocket-sized radar may be the next must-have tech for drones (and drone hunters)

Just because we live in an age of many sensors doesn’t mean we always have the right one for the job. One in particular we’ve been lacking is a radar system that can detect obstacles and aircraft hundreds of meters out, yet fit comfortably on a small drone. The laws of physics, it seemed, prevented it — but Echodyne made it work anyway . And it’s ready to put out its first product. The problem isn’t that the drone in your back yard doesn’t ...
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Urban-X’s investors showcase features high-tech face masks, navigation for the blind and more

The Urban-X investors showcase is a closed-door event that shows off eight different incubated startups to potential investors and press. I stopped by earlier this week to see what the fuss was about. Of the eight companies in Urban-X’s 02 cohort , I picked four that tackled problems relating to pollution, the visually impaired, urban deliveries and maintaining public cleanliness: O2O2 Facewear, WearWorks, Upcycles and Senci...
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Fitbit’s upcoming smartwatch has reportedly been a giant mess

Yahoo Finance has nabbed a couple of photos reported to show Fitbit’s upcoming smartwatch, along with a handful of reports that make the whole undertaking sound like one big fiasco. Sources are talking complaints about design, production delays, antenna issues and software problems. The device looks to share design language with the company’s Blaze device , which was something between a fitness tracker and a full-fledged smartwatch. A sourc...
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GoPro to release prosumer spherical camera in fall 2017

GoPro today announced the Fusion , a camera capable of capturing spherical video for use in VR and standard video formats through a software solution. The camera will be released this fall. GoPro has yet to name the price. If nothing else GoPro is becoming a camera company again. The Fusion shows that GoPro is going back to its core competency in creating hardware. Action cameras existed before GoPro. But GoPro provided a better complete so...
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HTC has a strange little bundle deal going for its pricey Vive VR headset

Virtual reality really isn’t good enough yet to justify going broke for. Though VR headset prices are steadily coming down, the fact is it’s still not all that accessible for even the most gadget-obsessed consumers to get started on high-quality VR. This is a major problem for the VR industry, one that will be solved eventually, but it’s unclear how much hype will wear off before that happens. Today, HTC, which makes the popular Vive headse...
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SpotCam connects you to your home, outside and in

When it comes to home surveillance cams there are two kinds of cams – low-end, highly-motorized, wireless IP cams that are (typically) fairly insecure and higher-end cloud service systems like Dropcam that offer secure but more expensive cameras. SpotCam seems to land squarely in the middle with their SpotCam Sense Pro line . I tested two models and found them more than acceptable for home use. The indoor model records 24 hours of video tha...
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The Christopher Ward C60 Trident Pro 600 is the sea lover’s mechanical watch

Christopher Ward is a relative newcomer to the watch scene and has long produced simpler, less expensive pieces for the fashion set. Now, after a bit of a rebirth, the British company is finally releasing pieces a techie would love. Take the euphoniously-named C60 Trident Chronograph Pro 600, a $1,750 watch with a large, thick 43mm case made of stainless steel, a ceramic bezel, and a nice, self-winding ETA Valjoux 7750 movement. What does a...
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goTenna Series B fuels vision to make local communication possible anywhere on the planet

Founded in 2012 with the small goal of enabling connectivity-free communication, goTenna has ballooned to more than 23 employees and delivered real hardware to market in the process. Today the startup is adding another $7.5 million to its coffers in the form of a Series B led by Union Square Ventures . goTenna’s full suite of products effectively convert phones into walkie-talkies, allowing them to communicate with other local goTenna-equip...
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Nintendo reveals Joy-Con battery grips and new color, standalone Switch dock

Nintendo will offer a special battery grip accessory for its Joy-Con controller accessory, which will be offered in sets of two and add more life to the already considerable 20-hour runtime of the Joy-Cons using their built-in power. Nintendo is also going to add a new color option for Joy-Cons, a Neon Yellow that will make sure everyone knows you’re using a Switch and can’t possibly look away from watching you do it. The new Neon Yellow Jo...
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PassivDom is a Zombie-proof “autonomous 3D-printed mobile house”

It’s rare that I quote a company’s marketing tagline outright, but PassivDom , makers of an “autonomous 3D-printed mobile house,” sounds pretty darn rad. The Ukrainian company wants to create mobile homes that can be made anywhere and are completely self-powered. Max Gerbut, a Ph.D. of Engineering Sciences of physics of the solid state, built the houses in the Ukraine and is working on spreading the word. He invested €200,000 of his own cas...
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The Gameband is the ultimate wrist gaming solution for playing Pong

Ready for some XTREME WRIST GAMING ACTION? Sure you are. But here’s the Gameband , a new smartwatch for gamers that lets you play simple games on a tiny, wrist-mounted screen. Founded by Feargal Mac Conuladh the watch has a MicroSD slot for storage of up to 256GB of games and it can play games like Terraria and Pong on a 1.63-inch screen. The watch runs Android Marshmallow 6.0.1 with a few tweaks to make it a gaming powerhouse. The game sel...
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Use Nintendo Switch controllers with the NES Classic with this adapter

Nintendo Switch controllers are flexible, if flawed — the latest hardware they work with is the NES Classic, via 8bitdo’s $17 Retro Receiver , and a new firmware update available now for that little dongle. The wireless accessory already lets you connect a range of Bluetooth controllers to your NES Classic, including 8bitdo’s own NES30 controller replica, and PlayStation 4, Wii U Pro and more. The new firmware supports connecting both indiv...
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Nvidia’s Jetson TX2 makes AI computing possible within cameras, sensors and more

Nvidia has a new generation of its Jetson embedded computing platform for devices at the edge of a network, including things like traffic cameras, manufacturing robotics, smart sensors and more. The Jetson TX2 has twice the performance of its predecessor, the TX1, or it can also redirect efficiency to power savings, using less than half the power consumption of the original to achieve the same processing abilities. The TX2 uses a Pascal-bas...
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Disney Research has robots matching verbal styles with kids

Roboticists at Disney Research are investigating how to improve the quality of human-robot interactions by studying how speech patterns affect engagement with a creepy anthropomorphic bot that imitates its playmates’ speech. It’s a natural enough line of research: computer-generated speech and interaction patterns are so wooden across the board that little is expected of them. But pairs of people — for example, kids playing with each other ...
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Meet the tiny phone company that’s making modularity sustainable

With retro phone brands Nokia and Blackberry remerging  at Mobile World Congress this year you’d be forgiven for thinking Mistress Fortune was up to her old wheel-spinning tricks again. And as old tech becomes tech news again, it’s a sign — say some — that smartphone innovation is on the scrap heap. But a commoditized smartphone market offers fresh opportunities if you look at it from a different perspective: sustainability. European phone ...
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The Fossil Q Hybrid smartwatch does wearables right

Do you really need a screen? That’s the question Fossil is asking with their clever and handsome Fossil Q Hybrid smartwatch, an analog watch that hides all of its smarts behind an understated face. This type of watch has become more common with watchmakers like Skagen and Michael Kors jumping on the bandwagon. Many of the manufactures use movements from MMT and others and most of them do approximately the same thing. This watch tracks your ...
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Google says to “count on” a second-generation Pixel smartphone this year

Google’s Pixel smartphone this year was a significant reset for the company’s mobile hardware strategy – and one that earned a lot of praise from customers and critics. Good news for those who liked it: Pixel’s successor will arrive sometime in 2017, as confirmed by Google SVP of Hardware Rick Osterloh to Android Pit at MWC this year. It sounds like the Pixel 2 will continue the tradition of the original – Osterloh said it’ll remain “premiu...
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Snap explored selling a 360 camera

What comes after Spectacles for the “camera company”? Snap has explored 360 cameras as a future product, according to three sources familiar with the matter. Snap brought in a camera developer with expertise in 360 cameras and stereoscopic cameras to pitch the company potential hardware options. Snap’s investigation into 360 cameras is still in early phases, and it’s not certain it will release a product in the space, sources confirm. Snap ...
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The $10 Raspberry Pi Zero W is the teeniest little Wi-Fi-enabled computer you’ve ever seen

When the original $5 Raspberry Pi Zero came out – to much fanfare, I might add – users connected it to all sorts of things. They made micro gaming rigs that ran on the 1GHz single-core CPU and added Pi Hats – little breakout boards – to power robots and sensors. Now you can do all that but without worrying about a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth dongle. The $10 Pi Zero W is the Zero with wireless built-in. It has a mini-HDMI port, micro-USBs, and a 40-p...
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This is probably the Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung is set to announce the Galaxy S8 smartphone in late March, but the two videos and a couple images embedded here appear to show working units. The videos show the phone’s refined design. The curved screen of the S7 remains as does the 3.5mm headphone port. The phone looks very similar to its predecessor though it’s missing the physical and capacitive buttons found on the previous model. Instead, it looks like Samsung is employing a r...
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Watch BlackBerry unveils a brand new phone live right here

TCL, the company that now makes BlackBerry phones, is holding a press conference at MWC in Barcelona. The conference starts at 7 PM CET (6 PM GMT, 1 PM EST, 10 AM PST). We already got a sneak peek at the device during CES back in January. And it’s everything BlackBerry fans love — yes, I’m mostly talking about the physical keyboard. You can check it out live via Blackberry’s official stream above, and stay tuned on TechCrunch.com for ongoin...
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MyKronoz reveals a full-color smartwatch with mechanical watch hands

This is a first. MyKronoz just introduced the ZeTime, a hybrid smartwatch with arms like those found on traditional watches. Essentially the company put a watch movement behind the touchscreen, drilled a hole, and let gears stick through. At this point, the watch is not available for purchase though the company says it will be out in September for $199. Apparently, even with the watch movement, there’s still room in the case for all the bit...
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Research heralds better and bidirectional brain-computer interfaces

A pair of studies, one from Stanford and another from the University of Geneva, exemplify the speed with which brain-computer interfaces are advancing; and while you won’t be using one instead of a mouse and keyboard any time soon, even in its nascent form the tech may prove transformative for the disabled. First comes work from Stanford: an improved microelectrode array and computer system that allows paralyzed users to type using an on-sc...
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Modders are turning the NES Classic Edition into an all-purpose retro gaming machine

If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a NES Classic Edition this last holiday season, you were probably impressed ( as I was ) with the quality of the emulation — so much so you wished it had a few more games, or maybe even that there was an SNES version. Well, your dream is coming true — kind of, anyway. Since hackers found a way to rewrite the memory in the diminutive console about a month ago, an adventurous set of retro gaming f...
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Snap starts selling Spectacles online in the US for $130

Snap wants to prove to investors in its upcoming IPO that Spectacles can earn money for its business, not just be a brand stunt. So today, Snap begins selling its video-recording sunglasses Spectacles openly online for $129.99 in the US at Spectacles.com . Previously it only dispensed them from Snapbot vending machines in surprise locations and its NYC pop-up store for the last three months. Snap has now closed that pop-up, and tells me “Sn...
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