Google tried to make Android tablets a thing, and that seemed to work for a minute but ultimately ended up being a wasted effort. Now the search giant is trying to make Chrome OS tablets a thing, and we’ll see how this goes. The first such device has been made official today. It’s the Acer Chromebook Tab 10, but despite being branded “Chromebook” there’s no physical keyboard anywhere – it is ‘just’ a tablet, not a convertible. As the name implies, its screen size is close to 10″. It’s a 9.7″ 2,048×1,536 panel to be exact, and those just happen to be the specs for the cheapest iPad’s…
Through November and December of last year, Apple was publishing new ads on its YouTube channel to help promote the newest smartphone in its lineup, the iPhone X, and its newest biometric security feature, Face ID. Continue reading
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Former Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick today announced a new investment fund he’s calling 10100, pronounced “ten-one-hundred,” that will focus on his “passions, investments, ideas, and big bets.” The theme of the fund, he says, will be large-scale job creation with a focus on real estate, e-commerce, and innovations from countries like China and India. “Our non-profit efforts will initially focus on education and the future of cities,” Kalanick writes. The announcement was made on Twitter this afternoon with a prefaced note from Kalanick that read simply, “Some news…”
Since Kalanick stepped down from Uber in July of last year, he’s remained an outsized influence in the day-to-day operations at the ride-hailing giant thanks to…
Looking to add a connected dashboard camera to your car? What if that device could also provide a glimpse inside your car on demand from your smartphone? And if that’s not enough, how about the addition of vehicle security, GPS and dashboard telemetry? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, Raven might be right up your alley.
Raven combines a security camera with an diagnostics and vehicle information in a single device the size of an Xbox Kinect. I’ve been using one with beta software in my 2017 Chevrolet Volt for testing. The cost is $ 299, although you can save $ 30 if you pre-order before shipments begin in May. There are also three levels of required service plans to cover the integrated LTE service, ranging from $ 8 to $ 32 a month.
I mounted Raven on the windshield of my Volt, but you can also mount it right on your dashboard. The device is powered through your vehicle’s OBD-II port, which also provides it real time information such as your current speed and fuel level. The folks at Raven say that your car must be a 2008 model year or newer because even though older vehicles may have an OBD port, they use an older protocol that doesn’t support all of Raven’s features. Once plugged in and mounted, you use the Raven app to connect the device to your phone.
Setup was super simple although the first live image from the rear-facing camera was upside down. I didn’t troubleshoot it and it never happened again with any future image captures. I suspect the Raven was still in its setup mode and the integrated accelerometer wasn’t quite up to speed at the time.
So how well did Raven work during my drive tests? Pretty good, at least for the features that are currently supported.
Since the device doesn’t ship until May, some of the functionality is still in the works. Specifically, I couldn’t test one of the features I was really looking forward to: Notification alerts while the car is parked. These security-focused events trigger if there is are loud sounds, smashed glass, if the car is bumped or moved, or if a door is opened. This vehicle security aspect can really help Raven stand out from a standard dash cam, so I can’t wait to see the alerts added in a future software release.
I was able to see real time vehicle telemetry such as current speed, direction, and engine RPM (although I don’t use the engine much on the Volt). All of these data points (including turn-by-turn navigation directions, again coming in a future release) can be shown on the Raven’s screen, which is handy at eye-level. You can choose which two data points to see on the easy-to-read display.
The Raven app also creates a calendar-driven history for all trips, complete with downloadable clips so you can review or even share your driving experience or in-car shenanigans. I could see the latter being fun with the family on a long trip as we do our poor imitation of “Carpool Karaoke”, for example.
One little gotcha in my testing: Although Raven has LTE built in, I had to connect my phone directly to the device via Wi-Fi to get my stored videos. I felt like I wasted a bit of time just sitting in my parked car to get those but I can see that being addressed in the future.
After I did get those videos downloaded to my iPhone X, they looked fantastic. Here’s one of a 26 mile round trip I did for lunch. (Yes, I drive 13 miles for a good bowl of soup in the cold, northeastern US winter weather).
I like the trip history Raven creates: It lets you choose from the full timelapse to short clips during parts of the trip. The shorter videos include audio, which I found to be less than stellar. However, the Raven folks know this is an issue and they’re working on it.
While viewing trips from the front-facing camera is fun, seeing inside the vehicle is an important standout feature. Maybe more so once the parked alerts are enabled: I can imagine someone bumping the car and having Raven notify me so I can quickly do a live look around. I do wonder how effective this will be though: You’re looking through the cabin of the car which may not be ideal for seeing exactly who or what bumped your bumper.
Note that the main difference in the pricing plans has to do with how many live, 720p remote check ins you plan each month. You get 60 for $ 8, 120 for $ 16 and 240 for $ 32 a month. For all plans, you’ll also get the GPS location of your car, gas level, driving history, vehicle diagnostic reports and trip sharing with others. The latter two features are also in the “coming soon” category, so I couldn’t test them.
Overall, I like the Raven, but I don’t know that I’d buy one, even after its full feature set is present. The main reason is that my relatively new car already has most of the same features. I can use GM’s app, for example, to get vehicle diagnostics or the car’s location and I can remotely check or lock the doors. And many newer vehicles are including an LTE radio for optional Wi-Fi hotspot features. However, I can’t see inside my car on demand, nor do I get alerts if something happens to it.
So the appeal here is for older, less connected cars and for people that want the security features and alerts that a dual-facing dash cam can provide. If you’re one of those people, Raven may be worth the price as it fleshes out its feature set over time.
A new "industry-first offering" from Cisco, Apple, Aon, and Allianz has been launched, allowing businesses small and large to utilize Apple devices, and Cisco security hardware, and in doing so, qualify for a "enhanced cyber insurance" program protecting the company from the financial impact of a cyber attack.
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Google is regularly trying out news apps and services, and today another new offering has emerged.
Google Bulletin is now official. The focus of Bulletin is sharing hyperlocal stories about your community from your smartphone.
The lightweight Bulletin app lets you share photos, videos, and text to the web without making you create a blog or website. Stories shared on Bulletin are public and can be easily found using direct links, social media, and Google Searches.
With Bulletin, Google believes it’ll be easy for people in a community to share news stories that are important to them, especially ones that aren’t told by larger sources like newspapers and websites.
Google Bulletin is now available in a limited trial in Nashville, Tenn., and Oakland, Calif. If you live in those areas, you can request early access to Google Bulletin.
There’s no shortage of apps and services that aim to make it easy for neighbors in a community to share news and events with one another. Google might still have luck with Bulletin, though, because it’s an established company that everyone knows and it’s got a lightweight app for your phone. We’ll just have to wait and see if Bulletin does well enough for Google to expand it to more cities.
Recently leaders from technology and the multifamily gathered in Tampa, Florida for an event called “Building Cities of the Future”, A CRE and Urbantech Summit.
Tampa is already on its journey to becoming a smarter city, and thus was the perfect setting for this event. The one day event was designed to bring together executives and founders who are reshaping the Built Environment was produced by Bisnow and Dreamit.
Some of the featured speakers from technology included Dan Doctoroff Chairman and CEO of Sidewalk Labs and Felicite Moorman, CEO and co-founder of STRATIS. As well as business leaders like Jeff Vinik Chairman of the Tampa Bay Lightning and partners of Strategic Property Partners, LLC, James Nozar, CEO of Strategic Property Partners, Steve Barsh, CIO of Dreamit and more.
The event featured 35 speakers and 4 keynotes speeches aimed at driving development in commercial real estate through innovative means.
“No great city was ever completely and truly planned,” Doctoroff said. “The neighborhood of the future can look a lot like the city of the past – teeming with life. Safe, defense, diverse places with a hyper-dynamic sense of community.”
Moorman had the following insights for the audience about IoT, Smart Cities, and software as a servicer (SaaS).
a) IoT – The return on investment for technology investment is faster and more accessible than ever, oft times weeks, and the time to start is NOW!
b) Smart Cities – The commercial residential footprint of NYC is nearly 60%. Anyone who thinks they’re going to create a Smart City without enabling MultiFamily Owners and Residents is missing half the puzzle!
c) Access, Energy, and Automation software –Access applications for Smart Cities are endless, and the privacy and security concerns must remain front of mind, but they are not insurmountable. Understanding when people are leaving residences is a tremendous data point from a city planning perspective.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, “Vinik outlined plans for create a venture capital fund with as much as $ 50 million or more to support startup entrepreneurs, some with direct grants. That, he believes, would make it the largest fund of its kind in Florida.”
The Times also reported that “Vinik outlined plans to build an “innovation hub” on the second floor of Channelside Bay Plaza. He expects it to occupy 40,000 to 75,000 square feet of space — or 20 to 40 percent of the building — and take 12 to 18 months to create.”
The UrbanTech Summit reflects the commitment of its participants to increase the adoption rates of technology, which currently stand at less than 10%, in an industry with over $ 40 trillion in the US alone.
“If STRATIS could flip a switch and install ubiquitously across the globe, we could immediately reduce energy savings by 15-20% and more, while providing a real and near immediate return on investment,” Moorman said. “Today. There should be a greater urgency in installing and embracing that which we know works today. The single digits of savings we’ll achieve as we continue to progress are minuscule compared to what we can do right now.”
Insurers & IoT
Moorman added that Insurers are finally getting interested in IoT.
“Insurers may be the biggest winners in the short term. Consider that in MultiFamily, if a Resident doesn’t immediately catch an incident of fire or water damage, that incident will affect other units,” she said. “Leak sensing and smoke detection are tremendous opportunities to mitigate those damages and reduce loss.”
Bisnow, the world’s largest commercial real estate news and events platform, and Dreamit Ventures, a top-10 global accelerator, have committed to leveraging their reach within the commercial real estate industry to impact change through driving collaboration across commercial real estate ecosystem.
You've probably never heard of Dynastrom, but Roku has. The streaming player company acquired Dyanstrom last month, a Danish firm building multi-room audio software, Variety reports. The news follows an earlier report from the outlet in September, wh…
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The Downside to Autopilots
Google and Waymo want their fleet of autonomous cars to act without human input, forgoing the autopilot feature found in many other cars from companies like Tesla. On Waymo’s FAQ page, the company notes how a majority of traffic accidents are caused by human error — something that can be addressed by making fully self-driving cars.
If you’ve ever seen one of Waymo’s prototype cars, you may have noticed it doesn’t have a steering wheel — that’s by design, as it plays into the company’s desire for cars that don’t need people operating the wheel. This wasn’t a sudden change that happened recently, either. Google and Waymo decided to shift away from autopilot features in 2013, after observing what people did when they no longer had to keep their eyes on the road.
As reported by Reuters, Waymo CEO John Krafcik revealed during a Waymo event on Monday that the initial 2013 tests showed passengers taking naps, applying makeup, and fiddling with their phones while the car approached speeds of 56 mph.
“What we found was pretty scary,” said Krafcik. “It’s hard to take over because they have lost contextual awareness.”
From Semi-Autonomous to Fully Self-Driving
Autopilot features typically require the person behind the wheel to take over in tougher situations for which the self-driving tech isn’t prepared. Other systems may also require the person to touch the steering wheel after a certain amount of time to inform the vehicle they’re still conscious or paying attention.
Waymo planned to do the same with their fleet of vehicles, but shifted focus away from such features, noting how the presence of autopilot could allow people to ignore the road and be unprepared to take the wheel if the situation called for it. This included a system in which the driver would be prompted to take over after an alarm went off, as well as allowing the driver to pass control to the car and vice-versa.
Now, Waymo’s self-driving cars feature two buttons for driver control: one for starting a ride, and another for pulling the car over at the next possible opportunity. As development progresses, Krafcik envisions a scenario in which an empty car comes to pick you up.
“In level four mode, you can imagine a completely empty car coming to where you are, you open the door, hop in the back seat, and it can take you — relaxed and happy, perhaps it has Wi-Fi — wherever it is you want to go,” The Verge reports Krafcik saying. “That’s what we’re striving to achieve every day.”
Waymo announced last week that it would begin testing its self-driving cars in Michigan, and it’s expected to launch its own ride-sharing service within the next few months. The company is also exploring the possibility of incorporating their tech with trucks and truck driving — another occupation plagued by truck related accidents.
The post After Early Tests, Google Is Focused On Fully Self-Driving Cars appeared first on Futurism.
Facebook came under fire after it admitted that it published 3,000 Russian-linked advertisements designed to influence the US Presidential Election. Those ads pointed to Pages that trafficked in fake news, which has been one of the social network's b…
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