Smartphone maker Realme is taking India and other emerging markets by storm

As Xiaomi widens its smartphone lead over Samsung in India, a new competitor is increasingly posing a challenge. Realme, a one-and-half-year-old smartphone vendor that spun out of Oppo, commanded 14.3% of the world’s second largest smartphone market in the quarter that ended in September, research firm IDC said on Monday. While Xiaomi, with 27.1% of the local smartphone market share, …

Adidas backpedals on robotic shoe production with Speedfactory closures

An expensive experiment in global distribution has been abandoned by Adidas, which has announced that will close its robotic “Speedfactories” in Atlanta and Ansbach, Germany, within 6 months. The company sugar-coated the news with a promise to repurpose the technology used at its existing human-powered factories in Asia. The factories were established in 2016 (Ansbach) and 2017 (Atlanta) as part …

This robotic arm slows down to avoid the uncanny valley

Robotic arms can move fast enough to snatch thrown objects right out of the air… but should they? Not unless you want them to unnerve the humans they’re interacting with, according to work out of Disney Research. Roboticists there found that slowing a robot’s reaction time made it feel more normal to people. Disney has, of course, been interested in …

DNA testing startup Veritas Genetics confirms data breach

Veritas Genetics, a DNA testing startup, has said a data breach resulted in the theft of some customer information. The Danvers, MA-based company said its customer facing portal had “recently” been breached but did not say when. Although the portal did not contain test results or medical information, the company declined to say what information had been stolen — only …

Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 starts shipping

Earlier this year, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft announced the second generation of its HoloLens augmented reality visor. Today, the $3,500 HoloLens 2 is going on sale in the United States, Japan, China, Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Australia and New Zealand, the same countries where it was previously available for pre-order. Ahead of the launch, I …

San Francisco smokes Juul’s hopes by voting to keep e-cigarette ban

Voters in San Francisco have resoundingly rejected an attempt to overturn a citywide ban on e-cigarettes by a margin of around 80:20. Reporting on the count in the Bay Area, CBS SF says at least 78 per cent of voters rejected the ballot measure, known as Proposition C. The measure had been heavily back by e-cigarette maker Juul — until just …

The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is a truly great game controller

Microsoft’s original Xbox Elite controller was a major step-up for gamers, with customizable buttons, changeable physical controls and adjustable sensitivity for serious personalization. The new Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 has just landed, and it offers similar features, but with new and improved features that add even more customization options, along with key hardware improvements that take what was one …

UK drone register takes off

A UK drone registration scheme has opened ahead of the deadline for owners to register their devices coming into force at the end of this month. The UK government announced its intention to introduce a drone registration scheme two years ago. The rules apply to drones or model aircraft weighting between 250g and 20kg. Owners of drones wanting to fly …

Xiaomi launches Mi Watch, its $185 Apple Watch clone

Xiaomi, which competes with Apple for the top position in the wearable market, today made the competition a little more interesting. The Chinese electronics giant has launched its first smartwatch called the Mi Watch that looks strikingly similar to the Apple Watch in its home market. The Mi Watch, like the Apple Watch, has a square body with a crown …

DJI Mavic Mini Review

The $399 Mavic Mini lives in a sweet spot of core features and a low price. It packs everything critical to be a quality drone. It has a good camera, good range, and a good controller. It holds up well in the wind and is quick enough to be fun. And it’s so small that you’re more likely to throw …

Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure is a silly, gentle way to shape up

Nintendo has a long history when it comes to exercise-driven games. I’m dating myself, but I can say I remember playing Track & Field on NES with the Power Pad. How far we’ve come! Ring Fit Adventure is a full-body workout for grown-ups, but fun, gentle, and ridiculous enough to forget it’s exercise. The game and accessories were announced in …

This tactile display lets visually impaired users feel on-screen 3D shapes

Using a computer and modern software can be a chore to begin with for the visually impaired, but fundamentally visual tasks like 3D design are even harder. This Stanford team is working on a way to display 3D information, like in a CAD or modeling program, using a “2.5D” display made up of pins that be raised or lowered as …

The GoPro MAX is the ultimate pocketable travel vlogging camera

GoPro’s first foray into the 360-degree action was the GoPro Fusion, and while it was a strong first offering, the new GoPro MAX ($499) is a very different – and much improved – immersive action camera that has a lot to offer experienced videographers and voices alike. To be sure, the MAX has trade-offs, but taken together, it presents arguably …

Ember’s Mug 2 and Travel Mug 2 extend your coffee temperature sweet spot

One of the world’s most static technologies may be the humble mug, but startup Ember decided it was time for a change when they introduced their temperature-controlled smart mug to the market in 2016. Now, the company has launched its Ember Mug 2 – a follow-up that keeps the concept and design intact, but that improves the lineup in some …

This robot relies on human reflexes to keep its balance

As much as we’d like to think that we’re entering an era of autonomous robots, they’re actually still pretty helpless. To keep them from falling down all the time, a human’s fast reflexes could be the solution. But the human has to feel what the robot is feeling — and that’s just what these researchers are testing. Bipedal robots are …

SiriusXM picks up voice control support on Google/Nest devices

Good news, satellite radio fans: SiriusXM is getting a bit easier to control on your various Google Home and Nest Mini speakers. The streaming radio network is at long last getting support for Google Assistant, allowing you to say things like “Hey Google, play 90s on 9” and have the station start right up. While SiriusXM has technically been compatible …

Will the quantum economy change your business?

Google and NASA have demonstrated that quantum computing isn’t just a fancy trick, but almost certainly something actually useful — and they’re already working on commercial applications. What does that mean for existing startups and businesses? Simply put: nothing. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore it forever. There are three main points that anyone concerned with the possibility of …

Spider eyes inspire a new kind of depth-sensing camera

As robots and gadgets continue to pervade our everyday lives, they increasingly need to see in 3D — but as evidenced by the notch in your iPhone, depth-sensing cameras are still pretty bulky. A new approach inspired by how some spiders sense the distance to their prey could change that. Jumping spiders don’t have room in their tiny, hairy heads …

Google reportedly in talks to acquire Fitbit

According to Reuters, Google parent Alphabet is looking to acquire publicly traded wearables company Fitbit. Reuters says the deal is still being negotiated and could still fall apart, but if it came together, it would surely strengthen Google’s position in the wearables space, an area where it has struggled despite its efforts around smartwatches and Wear OS. With Wear OS, …

Apple announces AirPods Pro with noise cancellation

Apple just announced a new device today, the AirPods Pro. The company issued a press release to announce the new device. As the name suggests, the AirPods Pro are wireless earbuds with additional features compared to the AirPods. In particular, the AirPods Pro features active noise cancellation — this feature is particularly popular in headphones designed for airplanes, such as …

Here’s what the Uber Eats delivery drone looks like

Uber has unveiled more details about its plans for Eats delivery via drones. If all goes according to Uber’s plan, it will start flying its first drone model before the end of the year. Uber’s design, which it unveiled at the Forbes 30 under 30 Summit today, is made to carry up to one meal for two people. Featuring rotating …

NVIDIA’s new Shield TV wins the Android TV market with amazing 4K upscaling

NVIDIA has a new family of Android TV-based streaming devices, as tipped early via a couple of leaks from online stores. The new NVIDIA Shield TV ($149) and Shield TV Pro ($199) replace the existing Shield TV generation of hardware, which debuted in 2017. Both new Shields offer new Tegra X1+ processors, which outperform the predecessor chip by about 25 …

Quantum computing’s ‘Hello World’ moment

Does quantum computing really exist? It’s fitting that for decades this field has been haunted by the fundamental uncertainty of whether it would, eventually, prove to be a wild goose chase. But Google has collapsed this nagging superposition with research not just demonstrating what’s called “quantum supremacy,” but more importantly showing that this also is only the very beginning of …

NASA’s VIPER lunar rover will hunt water on the Moon in 2022

NASA is looking for liquid gold on the Moon — not oil, but plain old water. If we’re going to have a permanent presence there, we’ll need it, so learning as much as we can about it is crucial. That’s why the agency is sending a rover called VIPER to the Moon’s south pole — its first long-term surface mission …

A bike lover’s take on the Cowboy e-bike

Electric-bike maker Cowboy recently let me spend a couple of weeks with one of their e-bikes. It’s a well-designed e-bike that makes biking effortless, even if you’re going uphill. Cowboy is a Brussels-based startup. The company raised a $3 million seed round a couple of years ago and an $11.1 million (€10 million) Series A round last year. The company …

Sense Photonics brings its fancy new flash lidar to market

There’s no shortage of lidar solutions available for autonomous vehicles, drones, and robots — theoretically, anyway. But getting a lidar unit from theory to mass production might be harder than coming up with the theory in the first place. Sense Photonics appears to have made it past that part of the journey, and is now offering its advanced flash lidar …

Axon adds license plate recognition to police dash cams, but heeds ethics board’s concerns

Law enforcement tech outfitter Axon has announced that it will include automated license plate recognition in its next generation of dash cams. But its independent ethics board has simultaneously released a report warning of the dire consequences should this technology be deployed irresponsibly. Axon makes body and dash cams for law enforcement, the platform on which that footage is stored …