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Full HD 360-Degree Camera Screams Past Kickstarter Goal
June 04, 2014
A small French team claims to have created the world's first full HD 360-degree camera -- the 360cam by Giroptic. The 360cam is currently one of the hottest Kickstarter projects, blasting past its modest $150,000 goal to rack up nearly $800,000 in crowd-based funding with 29 days to go. The 360cam is a small, portable pear-shaped device that has three 185-degree fisheye lenses mounted on the top.
Google to Spread the Web With $1B Worth of Satellites
June 02, 2014
Google's eye on the sky seems wider than ever. The company reportedly is planning to spend at least $1 billion on a project to bring Internet access to remote areas through satellites. It is not yet clear whether the plan would augment or replace Project Loon -- Google's proposal to connect remote regions to the Internet through high-altitude balloons.
Can Apple Do for Smart Homes What It Did for Smartphones?
June 02, 2014
Apple is rumored to be launching a smart home platform at its developer conference this week. The smart home market is actually in a place that's rather similar to where MP3 players were when Apple launched the iPod, and the iPhone is basically an iPod with phone capability. The smart home effort is in part about music and video distribution, and iPhones are commonly used as remote controls.
Google Puts Cute Little Rides on the Road
May 30, 2014
Google this week unveiled a prototype that it will test on California roads to learn more about how to make safe and efficient autonomous cars a mainstream reality. For about four years, Google has been developing self-driving technology that could make the roads safer, and its newly revealed prototype is the latest step in the project. The tiny vehicle is reminiscent of a Smart car.
Next on the Open Source Horizon: 3D Printing
May 28, 2014
3D printing is not yet a mainstream business activity, but the technology has progressed to the point where users can print three-dimensional objects and manufacture their own prototypes and replacement parts with relative ease. Three-dimensional printing is much more than a hobby industry today. Home users can download design files from websites and print a variety of products for their own use.
Apple May Connect the Smart Home of Your Dreams
May 27, 2014
The hottest tech rumor of the week already happened, and it's only Tuesday: Apple is finally breaking into home automation -- connected lights, thermostats, security systems and home appliances. And the key? the iPhones that already are carried by millions of consumers. The rumor hit Monday, and it's exploded with a flurry of newsy posts and opinions. So where did it come from? And why now?
Surface: The Embodiment of Microsoft's Vision
May 26, 2014
Surface largely was the brainchild of Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's last CEO, and it resulted from a similar thought process that created Zune. In other words, the OEMs weren't building a product that was competitive with Apple, and Microsoft got frustrated and felt it could do a better job. In both cases, the conclusion that ultimately should have been drawn was that OEMs alone weren't at fault.
Can Ivy Ross Make Google Glass Haute Couture?
May 16, 2014
Google Glass, whose appeal so far seems limited to uber-geeks, may be taking on a new image, thanks to Google's hiring of Ivy Ross, known for her work at Calvin Klein, Coach, Gap and, most recently, Art.com, where she was CMO. Ross will assume her new post as head of Google Glass May 19. "I look forward to answering the seemingly simple, but truly audacious questions Glass poses," she wrote.
Brave New IoT World
May 14, 2014
Wearable technology and other devices, objects and systems connected to the Internet will be fully pervasive in our society by 2025, according to a new report. The Internet of Things references the many objects in our everyday lives that share data over the Internet. While the trend already is taking effect, it will have a much more widespread impact on our lives in a decade's time.
Steering Driverless Cars to Market
May 14, 2014
The hype around driverless cars, or autonomous vehicles as they're also known, is increasing, with Google on Tuesday taking reporters for spins around the city of Mountain View, Calif. Figuring prominently in resulting news reports were the big red kill button between these cars' front seats; the emphasis on safety in their design; and yes, a few abrupt lane changes.
LG Enters Fitness Tech Race
May 14, 2014
LG Electronics is dipping its toes into the burgeoning market of wearable fitness devices. The LG Lifeband Touch and the LG Heart Rate Earphones will be available to the public starting May 18. The devices are compatible with both iOS and Android smartphones. The Lifeband Touch includes a 0.9-inch OLED touch display that offers a range of fitness data.
No, Bot! UN Ponders Regulations for Killer Robots
May 14, 2014
In a move that could complicate the creation of any more Terminator movies, United Nations diplomats on Tuesday discussed international laws to govern, or simply ban, the use of killer robots. This was the first time that a UN meeting was devoted entirely to the topic, which makes sense given that the robots in question don't yet exist. That said, the UN wants to be proactive.
Parrot Uncages New Drone
May 13, 2014
Parrot has added a new model to its line of airborne drones -- the Bebop. The lightweight Bebop includes some snappy features, such as built-in image stabilization, a 14-megapixel camera with a fish-eye lens, and support for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Although a price hasn't been announced, the drone is expected to hit a sweet spot between $500 and $1,000.
FDA Gives Thumbs-Up to 'Luke' Prosthetic Arm
May 12, 2014
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the marketing of a prosthetic arm nicknamed "Luke" in a nod to the bionic hand grafted onto Star Wars hero Luke Skywalker after his was cut off by Darth Vader's light saber. The arm, eight years in the making, was funded by the military. It was developed by Deka Research, founded by Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway.
Samsung Invests $2B in Biopharmaceuticals
May 12, 2014
Samsung is investing at least $2 billion in... biopharmaceuticals? With this foray into the drug industry, Samsung hopes to become a major player in biotechnology, which is expected to be a booming industry in coming years. A key component of this play is so-called biosimilars -- cheap versions of brand-name biotechnology drugs that no longer are protected by patents.
The Next Generation of In-Car Entertainment
May 12, 2014
Over the next several months, we will see a massive step forward in the systems we use in our cars to connect to our phones, listen to music and watch videos. As I write this, the new Kenwood Excelon DNN991HD is being installed in my project car, and it promises pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. In August, Jaguar will start supplying a new AV system provided by Intel.
Building an Internet of Things Ecosystem
May 09, 2014
One of the geographic regions asserting itself as an epicenter of technology innovation focused on the rapidly evolving Internet of Things is the Boston area. To bring greater attention to the widening array of area companies pursuing new business opportunities in the IoT market, the region recently hosted a series of IoT events, anchored by Axeda's annual Connexion conference.
Alibaba Files for Much-Anticipated IPO
May 07, 2014
Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba filed an initial public offering prospectus Tuesday, inching closer to what could be the biggest technology IPO in history. Alibaba Group handles 80 percent of all online commerce in China; it processed some $250 billion worth of transactions for 231 million users in 2013. The company's market value has been estimated as high as $200 billion.
The Digital Writing Revolution
May 07, 2014
It's natural to reach for a pad and pen when you need to take notes, but the end result can be frustratingly limited. Yet clicking away on a keypad doesn't quite cut it for all situations. "The cool thing about using the pen with the computer is that it gives you choices," said Doug Little, public relations manager at Wacom. "You're able to draw, write -- basically do anything you want."
Facebook's $2B Baby Oculus Denies Rival's Rights Claims
May 06, 2014
A simmering conflict between Oculus, a virtual reality startup Facebook bought last month for $2 billion, and ZeniMax Media began to boil Monday. ZeniMax las week claimed one of its former employees, John Carmack, improperly shared some of its tech with Oculus for use in its Rift virtual reality headset, which is touted as having the power to bring VR to the masses.

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