Author: Matt Burns

Holoride’s in-car VR solution is the best thing at CES 2019

After days of demos and announcements and miles of walking, I’m confident in declaring Holoride the best thing at this year’s CES. The designation of “The best thing at CES 2019” is my badging. This isn’t an official award handed-out by a governing body. This is just me saying Holoride is the best thing I’ve seen at the show. This year’s CES is fine, I guess. The main theme is connecting services around the smart home. There’s a huge range of devices that now support services from Amazon, Google and Apple. CES 2019 also featured the launch of new silicon chipsets and self-driving platforms. But the thing that impressed me the most is from Holoride, a startup from Audi that wants to put VR in cars to entertain and reduce motion sickness. Iron Man needs help, Rocket told me. And like that I was thrust into a space battle against Thanos’ bad guys. There was an Oculus on my head and my body was dipping and diving, shooting through space, while I was waving my hands around, blasting the enemy. It was straight out of Disney World (partly because Disney helped with the content). Expect I was in Vegas, in the back of an Audi SUV hitting speeds of 90mph on a track. After two laps around the track, I walked away fine. I didn’t feel sick at all...

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Put Alexa and a JBL speaker in your ceiling with this clever LED downlight

This light makes the smarthome even more accessible. Installed as any other ceiling downlight,the June AI downlight features Amazon Alexa through an integrated JBL speakers. There’s a light in there too. The idea is great: make the smarthome invisible. Instead of having an Amazon Echo sitting on a table, this device sits in a person’s ceiling doing the job of a normal light. But when called upon, it can play music, control devices or anything else possible with an Echo. “This integration of technologies easily and affordably converts any house into a functional, seamless smart home,” says Jeff Spencer,...

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DJI drones can fly over crowds if it wears this certified parachute

Most of the time, commercial and personal drones are not allowed to fly over groups of people. For safety, obviously. Indemnis’ drone parachute changes that. The company’s product was just certified to allow operators to legally fly drones over small groups of people. This is the first time such a device received the certification. Indemnis Parachute For DJI Drones straps onto DJI’s large drones and features a launcher that deploys a parachute when sensor detect flight anomalies. To become certified, the Alaska-based company’s product had to pass a series of obstacles that included 45 functionality tests across 5 different failure scenarios. The tests were designed to ensure the parachute deploys at the right time, every time. According to a press release, this product works like this: “Nexus is a ballistic parachute launcher, triggered automatically if the drone suddenly begins tilting abnormally or falling. It deploys the parachute within 30 milliseconds at 90 mph, through a tube that rapidly inflates to keep the parachute lines away from the drone body and propellers. Indemnis offers the Nexus package today for the Inspire 2, and intends to offer it for Matrice 200 series and Matrice 600 series drones by late 2019.” A handful of companies are attempting to address drone safety and parachutes are one solution. Often, the products are designed to protect bystanders and the drone itself. DJI has yet to...

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Great Wall Motors look to integrate Mobileye’s L0-L2+ self-driving solutions

Chinese automaker Great Wall Motors is exploring strategic collaboration with Mobileye. Through this deal, GWM hopes to integrate Mobileye’s solutions into its vehicles. Starting with L0-L2+ within the next three to five years, the companies are also exploring opportunities for Mobileye’s Level 3 products. The word comes CES 2019 where Intel-owned Mobileye has a big presence alongside a large number of automotive technology companies. GWM’s domestic market offers unique challenges for self-driving technology. Mobileye’s L0-L2 feature set focuses on driver safety and includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency breaking and lane assist. Its L2+ is a bit more complex and...

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The Anker Roav Bolt lets drivers plug Google Assistant into their car

Google Assistant is following Amazon Alexa into vehicles. One of the first products to offer the capability is from Anker — just like as one of the first in-vehicle Alexa products. Called the Roav Bolt, the device plugs into a 12-volt power port and lets the driver access Google Assistant through the “OK Google” command. Once connected to the in-vehicle system through Bluetooth or a 3.5mm cable, the product will let drivers play audio, enable navigation, read text, make calls and more. The Roav Bolt also has two USB ports for recharging devices. I tried the Roav Viva a year ago and found the system clunky to configure and a pain to use. Also, at the time, Alexa lacked features that made it compelling to use in a vehicle and the third-party device lacked some functionality, like support for Spotify. This time around with Google Assistant, it’s likely the Roav Bolt offers enough features to make it more worthwhile for more people. This seems like an easy way to get the power of Google into a car. The Roav Bolt will be available for purchase in February for...

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Verizon and T-Mobile call out AT&T over fake 5G labels

AT&T recently started a shady marketing tactic that labeled its 4G network as a 5G network. Now, rivals Verizon and T-Mobile are not having any of it. In an open letter, in which AT&T is not named directly, Verizon says in part “the potential to over-hype and under-deliver on the 5G promise is a temptation that the wireless industry must resist.” TechCrunch agrees. The advantages of 5G networks are profound. The next generation of wireless networks will bring more than just increased speeds and AT&T’s current campaign of calling a 4G network a 5G network clouds the water. T-Mobile...

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DJI finally releases a $650 Mavic 2 controller with built-in screen

The DJI Smart Controller lets Mavic 2 owners take to the skies without the need of a mobile device. The $650 controller includes a 5.5-inch screen that can display images streamed from the connected drone in full HD resolution. DJI says this screen is twice as bright as mobile screens, too, which should make it easier to use in direct sunlight. The device is a smart, though expensive accessory for drone owners. Right now, for most drones on the market, owners have to connect a mobile phone to a controller in order to access most of the controls of...

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