Author: Fitz Tepper

Materialize.X is using machine learning to disrupt the $300B engineered wood industry

TECHCRUNCH What’s the next $300 billion industry to be disrupted by technology? Wood. Specifically, engineered wood. For background, engineered wood is the technical name for any wood product (like particle board) that is created by bonding wood chips into different shapes using an adhesive. It’s much cheaper than using a solid piece of wood, and can be used to make anything from an IKEA desk to kitchen countertops. Materialize.X, launching today at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017, has two new products that it thinks will revolutionize the $300 billion-a-year engineered wood market. Part 1: a non-toxic adhesive A lot of...

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How living in Silicon Valley has made Kevin Durant a better investor

TECHCRUNCH Today at Techcrunch Disrupt SF 2017 Warriors player Kevin Durant and his partner Rich Kleiman took the stage to tell the crowd about The Durant Company. While The Durant Company has made about 30 investments to date, Kleiman and Durant were hesitant to call it a VC firm. Instead they likened it a private equity fund that takes stakes in startups like Postmates, but also hospitality companies and really anything that the duo thinks would be a good investment. The pair declined to say if there were any outside LPs or investors in the Durant Company, but said...

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Crypto Asset Visualizer turns your bitcoin into an AR pile of cash

TECHCRUNCH Built in fewer than 24 hours at TC Disrupt SF 2017’s hackathon, CAV, or Crypto Asset Visualizer, does exactly what it sounds like – it makes it easier to visualize your cryptocurrency holdings. Using augmented reality, CAV calculates the USD value of your crypto holdings, then displays a virtual pile of cash on the ground in front of you. Right now it’s a demo – and doesn’t show real-time exchange rates or balances, but it’s a pretty cool proof of concept. It does show five different cryptocurrencies – BTC, LTC, XRP, XVG and IXT. Users see a cash...

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Snappr raises $2M to grow its on-demand photography service

TECHCRUNCH Snappr, the on-demand photography service that was part of YC’s Winter ’17 batch, has closed $2M in seed funding. Investors include Airtree Ventures (the largest VC fund in Australia, where Snappr was founded), Lars Rasmussen, co-founder of Google Maps and Justin Waldron, co-founder of Zynga. As a refresher, Snappr is a marketplace for people looking to book a photographer for a photo shoot. Besides being able to accommodate last minute bookings, Snappr’s main benefit is its affordability. A 30-minute shoot starts at $59 and a two-hour shoot is only $149. These low price points mean that people are...

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Learn how to play the business of Esports at Disrupt SF

TECHCRUNCH One of the perks of working in the technology world is that we get to watch entire industries grow from the ground up, often in just a few years. And that’s exactly what’s happening right now with esports. Fans are packing into sold-out arenas (that even pro sports teams can’t always fill) to see their favorite games be played, and teams are winning millions of dollars per tournament. We’re stoked to have three major players in this game speak on Esports at Disrupt SF. Of course all this money and engagement means that people are starting to notice. And...

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Face ID is replacing Touch ID on the new iPhone X

TECHCRUNCH Apple just introduced the new iPhone X, and the full edge-to-edge screen means no more home button. No more home button means no more Touch ID, since that’s where Apple put the fingerprint scanner in older phones. So to keep your phone secure Apple is introducing Face ID, which lets you unlock your phone by just looking at it. This new scanning feature also replaces Touch ID for Apple Pay and other apps that used Touch ID to authenticate users, like banking apps. Here’s how it works: The new iPhone X takes a 3D scan of your face from...

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Venmo is offering users an (ugly) physical debit card

TECHCRUNCH After Square unveiled a free debit card that would be tied to their Square Cash App, it was only a matter of time until we saw Venmo do something similar. Now TechCrunch has learned that Venmo is inviting some users to a beta program where they’ll be sent a card for free that is attached to their Venmo account. Users can pay with this card in stores and online just like a normal debit card – and the money spent will be debited from their Venmo balance. A June report from Recode noted that the debit card was being...

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The next Apple Watch will have LTE cell service

TECHCRUNCH Last night an iOS 11 GM download link made its way onto Reddit, which 9to5Mac discovered and has been digging through. You can check out the full list of discoveries here, but one big thing that stood out is that the next Apple Watch (or at least one version of it) will finally have LTE cell service, meaning it doesn’t need to be tethered to your phone at all times. The leaked screenshot above shows a LTE signal strength indicator in the top left corner of the watch. The benefits of a cell connection are clear – you could...

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