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The week’s top hardware news.
April 15, 2016
SmartAll, the first AI butler, features a camera and hub that allow it to ring a security alarm, control the temperature, and change TV channels. Based on machine learning, SmartAll personalizes its services via facial recognition and by interpreting gesture and voice commands.
Naked Labs, a San Francisco based startup, wants to change the way people evaluate themselves in the mirror. Their 3D body scanner will help users measure real body data, like an increase in muscle tone or weight loss, not just what their eyes tell them.
According to scientists, Yellowstone Lake has an entire ecosystem of small creatures that thrive in the high temperatures surrounding active thermal features at the bottom of the lake. The Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration (GFOE), a non-profit engineering organization, is using crowdfunding to raise money to create a robot that can explore and collect samples from the lakefloor.
Ikea will begin selling a low-maintenance unisex bicycle aimed at consumers who don’t already own a bike. The aluminum bike’s gears are hidden in a sealed hub, and the cog-free chain includes a click system for adding accessories.
The Kickstarter campaign on which almost everyone has an opinion had another controversial week. Backers of the Coolest Cooler are being asked to pay an extra $97 for expedited delivery. The creators state that the original asking price wasn’t high enough to fulfil the orders.
Logitech has purchased wireless earbud and tracker manufacturer JayBird for $50 million. Focused on the fitness market, JayBird’s gadgets represent an area of growth for Logitech, and in a statement, the companies said that JayBird will be able to continue to innovate, producing new items.
The TechStars accelerator has created a new IoT program that will bring IoT industry leaders and promising IoT startups together for a three-month accelerator program in New York City, beginning in 2016.
Hitachi plans to open its new IoT R&D headquarters in Santa Clara in May and invest about $100 billion yen in it over the next three years. The new headquarters will develop foundational technologies in big data and the Internet of Things.
HaxAsia, now rebranded as Enchant VC, is relaunching its startup accelerator, focusing on everyday products. Twelve startups are signed up for the nine-month program, which starts in Singapore and culminates in San Francisco, with stops in China and Vegas. There are still a few openings left and no doubt Enchant VC is hoping to have more successes like 3D pen maker CreoPop, now sold at Best Buy, and Touchjet, which allows you to put a screen on any surface, and is now sold on Amazon.