Tag Archives: caroline kim
Last week Lenovo hosted its very first #TECHmyway conference in Sydney, Australia. The event was created to inspire entrepreneurs and innovators alike. During the two-hour event, three keynote speakers were featured including Cameron Parker, Marita Cheng, and actor/investor/social media maven Ashton Kutcher.
Kutcher is apparently also a tech enthusiast and more recently a Lenovo product engineer. Kutcher’s recent tech investments in Airbnb, Skype, and Spotify shows he isn’t new to the game. Even though Kutcher is immersed in the tech world, when he spoke, he did not give up any news of upcoming Lenovo tech. Instead, #TECHmyway was more focused on inspiration over innovation.
Aside from cleverly plugging his fiancée’s (Mila Kunis) new film, Jupiter Ascending, Kutcher had the audience ask questions. Well, not any question (“There is absolutely such a thing as a dumb question,” Kutcher says), but great questions that expose problems.
[Start this clip at 39:00]
Regarding future outlook, Kuther said we’ll eventually see Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (VR) find their way into our daily lives, as well as permissive access through wearable tech. Through these wearable gadgets (Think smartwatches and Google Glass already), you’ll no longer have to whip out your ID or type in a password. Your voice or thoughts will be your keys instead of your fingers. Honestly, that sounds better than tracing your pattern to unlock your phone. With all these innovations, people could be saving the most valuable thing in the world: time.
Arguably, that’s a key reason tech continues to expand, in hopes of saving us more time. However, tech has also changed human interaction, for better or worse. We’re more connected than ever through the internet, but how will this affect future physical encounters, especially at the beginnings of VR’s capabilities? As we continue to live in a tech-immersed world, what will happen to human interaction? Will we use our time to devote to other human beings, or will it go straight back into ourselves via technology? Thankfully, Ashton Kutcher does not think it’s a dumb question.
What does this say for Lenovo’s upcoming tech is the real question. And it appears Kutcher has answered just that: VR and wearables. Considering Lenovo’s January debut of the Vibe Band VB10 during CES 2015, an E-ink display smartwatch of sorts, it’s not so far-fetched an idea. With Sony, Oculus, and Samsung already competing for a first rate method of bringing VR mainstream, it seems just as well that Lenovo could jump into the ring next.
Check out the #TECHmyway event to hear Kutcher’s, as well as Cheng’s and Parker’s, talks above. Note the video starts at 39:00.
There’s been plenty of experimentation with exoskeletons, but we’re not just talking about Iron Man suits. Plenty of powered exoskeletons are made for military use, but robotics companies are steering towards a more consumer market with a mundane angle: the paralyzed. Physical therapy helps patients with paralysis to learn how to deal with their new lifestyle, but a lot of difficulties arise during therapy sessions. For example, if a patient has weak forearms, it’s difficult for him to maneuver his body during therapy. Those kinds of road blocks could keep patients from progressing or even continuing their treatment. However, by using the powered exoskeleton, a patient can relearn how to walk much easier or allow someone with complete paralysis to go on a stroll.
Does Netflix buffer in the middle of Buffy the Vampire Slayer? How about troubleshooting due to mysterious connection issues? Meet Eero, a powerful, self-correcting router that delivers stable internet throughout your home, no matter the obstacles.
Eero’s creators don’t want you to see their product as a router: it’s a wi-fi system. Eero is programmed to disseminate wi-fi throughout your home, completely eliminating dead spots. You’ll connect one Eero to the existing modem, connect it to your smartphone via BlueTooth, and then set up the other routers around your house. The Eero app will strategically find the spots that need the most coverage, so you don’t have to guess all the dead spots in your home.
Remember when you had to manually reset your wi-fi setup because of connectivity issues? Eero resets itself automatically, and it’ll reroute its signal to avoid any interference. Eero uses a mesh network and switches between 2.4 and 5GHz frequency bands, searching for the clearest frequency and channel. Even something as small as a cordless phone will trigger Eero to switch frequencies.
The major bonus with the device is it’s aimed at the technology-ignorant. You don’t have to do a thing but type in a name and a password for setup. No more ip configuration or angry nights getting your router back on the right channel. Eero aims to remove all of this hassle for consumers with its user-friendly software. Theoretically it’s also more efficient than traditional signal repeaters due to the auto channel-switching and lack of manual set-up.
Despite the marketing (wi-fi system), Eero is indeed a router. Don’t assume you can cancel your modem rental from Verizon after you receive Eero. Unfortunately, you’ll still need it. Another notable mention is the cost and number of units Eero suggests consumers need. For just one, it’s $125 to pre-order. Eero suggests three is the lucky number for the average home, which costs $299. Soon, Eero will be stocked in retail stores, with prices shooting up to $200 for one, $500 for a three pack. Preordering may be your only chance at saving a few bucks for absolute internet reliability. However, Eero is a luxury item that sounds great in theory but has yet to prove itself. It claims to outperform routers from any competitor, even Apple, but we’re not sure how true that statement is as consumer reviews have yet to surface.
Snapchat has added a Discover feature, adding some familiar brands to the app. Similar to Instagram, Snapchat’s Discover allows you to find new content ranging from its own editorial staff to Comedy Central to CNN. Media groups are jumping on the Discover bandwagon, posting short, unique content for the average Snapchat user.
What will these partners post on Discover?
First, users are given a short Snap for the content chosen from one of Discover’s partners. If it interests you, swipe up for more about the Snap. The content, just like Stories, can range from short 10-second video clips, images with text, or even concise articles. It’s not any different from Casey Neistat’s or your best friend’s Stories, except that they’ll still be available on Snapchat after 24 hours. Instead of erasing the content available on Discover, Snapchat will update once a day while allowing you to swipe left to view any content you’ve missed in the meantime. The partners for Snapchat’s Discover include: Cosmopolitan, National Geographic, Food Network, and ESPN.
But what does that mean for the future of Snapchat?
Right now, it means that Snapchat will finally be rolling in the dough from advertisers. However, Discover is also making these partners more accessible to a younger audience. National Geographic and Cosmopolitan are becoming more relevant to a tech-savvy audience, which may lead to an increase in sales and subscriptions. If they’re successful, it’ll lead to more brands joining Snapchat. If Discover becomes open to common users, we might see the same phenomenon occurring on YouTube: stars paid by advertisers to allow ads on their Stories.
Users with a large following and number of views on Snapchat already receive sponsorships, and the changeover to Discover could lead to more views and followers. Maybe the Snapcash feature will play a role in Discover, but that might become more relevant in the NSFW category. Carriers will also love Discover. With the amount of data Snapchat already uses, Discover will be forcing you to increase your data plan or pay the fee for crossing your limit. Just be wary about your data usage as you swipe through Discover. It may end up costing you without wifi. In the long run, Discover is a great step for Snapchat. It’s adding a new level of entertainment for its users while cashing in on the advertising. Discover seems like a win-win for everyone, except your data plan.
5:00 pm EST Update: SpaceX has officially confirmed receiving a $1 billion investment from Google and Fidelity today. Below is the press release offered on a “financing round” page of their website.
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has raised a billion dollars in a financing round with two new investors, Google and Fidelity. They join existing investors Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn. Google and Fidelity will collectively own just under 10% of the company.
SpaceX designs, manufactures, and launches the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. This funding will be used to support continued innovation in the areas of space transport, reusability, and satellite manufacturing.
It looks like Christmas came a little late for SpaceX, but better late than never: Google is said to be finalizing its investment of 10 figures in one of Elon Musk‘s many projects. In this case, it’s towards a spacecraft.
SpaceX was founded in 2002 by Musk to advance space technology, with the ultimate goal of colonizing other planets. Currently, SpaceX has a contract with NASA and has 3 vehicles under its belt, the most important and recent is the Falcon 9. So far, Musk has yet to launch a crew with the Falcon 9, but he is trying to make Earth more technologically savvy in the meantime.
Aside from the Falcon 9, SpaceX’s Seattle office has been busily manufacturing a fleet of about 700 satellites to provide global internet service, targeting rural and developing lands. So far, it seems like the most viable option to provide stable internet connection all over the globe, no offense to Mark Zuckerberg’s drone idea. As for how and when these satellites will be going up, Musk has declined to answer, along with any more information about Google’s investment.
This appears to be an ideal investment for Google, because it will provide more potential customers for its service. This also could mean Project Loon‘s airborne-wifi balloons aren’t making the cut for rural internet service. However, the lack of explanation from Musk may mean that the global internet satellite project isn’t quite ready for the public eye yet. Google’s investment may just be the beginning of this project while SpaceX is still busy working with NASA.
Heroes of the Storm, an online brawler with Blizzard’s most memorable characters, began its closed beta testing on January 13. The brawler has been through its alpha testing for months and had publicly announced beta testing at BlizzCon. If you were playing Heroes and were wondering why the brawler was actually offline for a little bit on Tuesday, Blizzard was busy adding a new patch in preparation for the closed beta.