Author: Matt Burns

Amazon looked to the past to build the future

TECHCRUNCH Over the last 20 years, smart home gadgets have evolved from fantasy to commodity. Walk into Best Buy and there are dozens of products that take just a few minutes to set up. It’s wonderful. Even better, it’s easy. There are lights and locks and screens from big and small companies alike. And therein lies the problem. There isn’t a unified solution for everything and Amazon’s vertically integrated offering could be the solution for the consumer and retail giant alike. Sure, most smart home gadgets work, but nothing works well together. The smart home has to be as easy as flipping a switch to control a lightbulb. Amazon’s purchase of the mesh WiFi startup, Eero, speaks to the problem. Assembling a smart home containing more than a couple of smart gadgets is hard. There are countless spots where something can go wrong, exposing a smart home as nothing more than a house of cards. What’s best for the average consumer is also the best for Amazon. In order for the smart home to be easy and functional as possible, one company should control the experience from every entry point. This is Apple’s approach to smartphones and Apple has long offered the easiest, most secure smartphone experience. In theory, Amazon will likely look to either bundle Eero routers with the purchase of Amazon Echos or build mesh networking into...

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Vinli raises $13.5m Series B to expand its vehicle data intelligence platform

TECHCRUNCH Connected car service provider Vinli today announced it closed a $13.5 million Series B financing round. The company says this infusion of capital allows it broaden its mobility services and integrations as it attempts to connect cars around the world. The funding came from new and existing investors and brings the total amount the company raised to over $20 million. Based in Dallas, TX, Vinli launched in 2014 in TechCrunch Startup Battlefield as a direct consumer company that allowed owners to add cloud services to automobiles. It was a clever concept, and when it launched four years ago,...

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Announcing TC Sessions: Mobility, a one day event on the future of mobility and transportation

TECHCRUNCH Mobility is changing and the world with it. Technology is upending century-old establishments, creating new lifestyles and routines. Regions across the globe are trying to replicate Silicon Valley, but all the while Silicon Valley has been replicating a different innovative American city: Detroit. Countless companies have sprung up around the Bay Area focused on the challenges around the industry. And the auto industry noticed, opening and expanding facilities on the West Coast. With its abundance of engineers and resources, Silicon Valley is uniquely suited to lead the mobility disruption. TechCrunch is excited to announce a one-day event on...

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Samsung Galaxy S10+ leak shows headphone jack, dual hole-punch camera

TECHCRUNCH The Samsung Galaxy S10 is slowly being revealed through unofficial means. Several leaks have revealed key details and the latest report is the most detailed yet. According to All About Samsung, the upcoming Samsung flagship will have tiny bezels, front-facing cameras that poke through the display, a USB-C port and a headphone jack. This report meshes with past leaks. There could be three variations of the phone: the S10, S10+ and a new version called the S10E. It’s been reported that Samsung will position the S10 as the main model with the S10+ being the large screen model...

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The Tesla Model 3 is finally approved for European roads

TECHCRUNCH Tesla can now deliver Model 3 vehicles to European customers. The automakers midsize sedan was recently granted approval from RDW, the Dutch regulator and European authority tasked by Tesla to approve the vehicle for European roads. The approval comes just ahead of the vehicle’s European introduction next month. Right now, it’s been reported that a cargo ship full of Model 3s is currently en route to Zeebrugge, Belgium and should arrive around February 2. The nod from the European governing body was a critical last step. Tesla is clearly racing to get its least expensive vehicle in Europe...

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This $350,000 Swiss watch looks like an Apple Watch, chimes to tell the time

TECHCRUNCH H. Moser & Cie. Swiss Alps is back with another Apple Watch lookalike. The $350,000 Watch Concept Black is a ludicrous take on the classic minute repeater design. And on this version, the wearer can only tell the time by chiming the watch. These sort of watches have a storied history that predate wristwatches by hundreds of years. Called minute repeaters they allow the wearer to hit a button, and the watch will respond with chimes indicating the time of the day. The movements were developed before artificial illumination made it possible for watchmakers to add glow-in-the-dark markings....

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Apple expands its reach with free Apple Music on Verizon Wireless

TECHCRUNCH Verizon Wireless is now offering free access to Apple Music. The music streaming service is available on select Verizon Wireless plans starting on January 17, 2019. Previously, Verizon and Apple offered a free 6-month trial to the streaming service. This comes as Apple is clearly looking for partners to help extend the reach of Apple’s services. Just last week, at CES 2019, multiple consumer electronic companies announced compatibility and support for several of Apple’s services including Airplay 2, HomeKit and iTunes video streaming services. This Verizon partnership further demonstrates Apple’s willingness to piggyback on another company to reach...

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Tesla unveils first home charging station that can be plugged into a wall outlet

TECHCRUNCH Tesla today is launching a new home charging station designed for the modern home. The new Wall Connector is the auto maker’s first home charging solution that can be plugged into a wall outlet rather than being hardwired into the home’s electrical system. This charger can plug directly into a NEMA 14-50 plug — the most common high-voltage plug in the US. This is a departure from Tesla’s previous strategy but one that makes sense. This Wall Connector allows home owners to install a high-voltage charging system in a home without an electrician. Just plug it in. The...

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