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Gadgets – TechCrunch

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The secret to avoiding CES cynicism is never really going
 I’ve been going to CES for almost ten years now, and it amazes me that really, nothing has changed. The same people are saying the same things on the same stages, selling the same people the same junk with… well, slightly different numbers attached. But this year I had a great time and found some amazing companies — because I avoided at all costs actually stepping foot on… Read More
Cherry’s new low-profile switches may help bring mechanical keyboards to more laptops
 You may not think much about the switches that sit underneath the keycaps of your keyboard, but there are many enthusiasts who really, really care. The trend is clearly going toward slim keyboards — and that’s not lost on Cherry. At CES this week, the company introduced a new line of keyboard switches that may just be small enough to bring mechanical keyboards to more laptops. Read More
Yesojo’s Nintendo Switch projector dock is a dream accessory
 The Yesojo Nintendo Switch projector dock got a lot of attention when we covered the launch of its crowdfunding campaign last year, but at CES, it was on display and working, with the company ready to ship to its early backers. We got to spend some time with the portable projector, which gives your Switch a high-resolution screen you can take with you anywhere – and we came away very… Read More
39 million Americans now own a smart speaker, report claims
 One in six Americans now own a smart speaker, according to new research out this week from NPR and Edison Research – a figure that’s up 128 percent from January, 2017. Amazon’s Echo speakers are still in the lead, the report says, as 11 percent now own an Amazon Alexa device compared with 4 percent who own a Google Home product. Today, 16 percent of Americans own a smart… Read More
Mercedes-Benz’s new MBUX in-car assistant and smart UI rocks
 It’s rare that I pay much attention to automaker infotainment and multimedia system updates at CES – usually there’s too much going on with autonomy, electrification and mobility services to give it much thought. This year, however, Mercedes-Benz had one of the most interesting announcements at the show with its new MBUX smart multimedia system and in-car voice activated… Read More
CES should move to an innovative city
 CES, the yearly bacchanal of tech and innovation, has outgrown its shell. Las Vegas has been home to the event since the late 1970s and, for better or worse, the city has survived and served the influx of technologists who flock to the event each year to see the latest and greatest. But two things are happening simultaneously that make Las Vegas the last place to find innovation. Read More
Lishtot’s TestDrop tells you whether water is safe to drink without even touching it
 Consistent access to clean water is something billions lack, and part of that is the inability to check whether one’s water is clean or not. Lishtot could help change this with a tiny device that instantly determines if water is safe to drink just by analyzing the electric field around it — no strips, no microfluidics, no toxic chemicals. Read More
Peak Design’s Everyday Backpack was my surprise hit of CES 2018
 Peak Design announced its line of bags on Kickstarter in 2016. It’s my favorite thing at CES 2018. The project raised $6.5 million on Kickstarter and now the company has a full product line designed for photographers and bloggers and people who just like nice things. That’s me. To be clear this is not a new bag. The bag has been out for a bit but I purchased Peak Design’s… Read More
Nintendo announces raft of new and retro titles for Switch (plus new Mario outfits)
 The Switch is getting a bevy of new games that should appeal to a broad variety of players, Nintendo announced today in one of its “Direct” videos. A new Mario Tennis game, updates to Odyssey, some classics and indies, and perhaps most unexpectedly, Dark Souls: Remastered. Read More
The Zeeq smart pillow tracks sleep, plays music and more
 It’s 2018, so it’s high time pillows gain a bit of technology. Rem-Fit’s Zeeq pillow is packed with the goods to, hopefully, improve a person’s sleep in various ways. Some people need music to fall asleep while others need help with snoring and analyzing sleep patterns. The pillow comes in three different flavors. The snore pillow features a vibration feature that… Read More
Intel details performance hit for Meltdown fix on affected processors
 Now that the Meltdown and Spectre cats are out of the bag and patches are being issued left and right, the main question people have is: will this affect my everyday work? Intel’s latest performance metrics suggest that yes it might, but not too much — more so if, like me, you have an older processor. Read More
Boeing’s prototype drone can carry 500 lbs of cargo
 Boeing just revealed a prototype drone capable of carrying much more than a camera. The company tasked engineers with designing and building a cargo drone and the prototype they came up with is able to haul 500 lbs of goods. The vehicle is huge and much larger than anything DJI sells. It weighs 747 pounds and is 15 feet long, 18 feet wide and 4 feet tall. Four arms hold two props each. It… Read More
LiveMap shows off latest prototype of augmented reality motorcycle helmet
 LiveMap launched in TechCrunch’s Hardware Battlefield CES 2014 and is getting closer to producing its augmented reality helmet. Since launching, the product has evolved to a working prototype. I tried it on at CES and it seemed to work fine. The current version of helmet features a small transparent screen mounted on the visor. A small projector is mounted in the chin of the helmet.… Read More
We go lips on with the PicoStill’s ‘delightful’ gin
 When PicoBrew announced its PicoStill, a $249 distilling add-on to its Pico C brewing system, I was nonplussed. How could you produce good whiskey or gin in a compact system? Well you can. Since then I’ve tried PicoBrew’s beer system and was very impressed — and now, after a solid taste of the PicoStill’s gin, I’m a convert. Read More
Segway Robotics’ Loomo wants to be your little buddy
 Everyone needs a robotic friend and the Loomo might be the best yet. Part pack mule, part Segway, part voice assistant, the Loomo packs a lot of goods into its self-balancing frame. The device is from Segway Robotics, which is backed by Intel and Xiaomi. Intel’s RealSense provides sensors to make it safe to use indoors and out and the Segway platform lets it self-balance and travel at up… Read More
Inspired by insect ears, Soundskrit wants to make microphones magically directional
 Voice control is everywhere these days, but to hear people effectively from every direction, devices like the Echo must have a whole collection of microphones in them — but they take up space, require extra processing power and restrict industrial design. Soundskrit aims to replace those many mics with a single one that can clearly hear and separate sound from multiple sources and… Read More
Nvidia CEO clarifies its GPUs are ‘absolutely’ immune to Meltdown and Spectre
 Nvidia issued a security bulletin on Tuesday detailing updates it made to its driver software to address the so-called Meltdown CPU vulnerability revealed by Google’s Project Zero. The bulletin was misinterpreted by some outlets as an admission that Nvidia’s GPUs were also affected. Read More
Samsung Galaxy S9 to be announced in February
 The next version of the Samsung Galaxy S9 is to be announced next month at Mobile World Congress. The word comes from DJ Koh, president of Samsung’s mobile business, speaking at a CES 2018 event. Samsung has used MWC to launch several Galaxy phones including the Samsung S7 Edge in 2016. The massive annual show in Barcelona is traditionally a stage for Motorola, LG, Xiaomi and Huawei… Read More
Euveka’s shape-shifting robotic mannequin could streamline the fashion and wearable industries
 Some ideas you hear and they immediately make sense. Some take a minute, but the more you think about them, the better they seem. Euveka, a mannequin for clothing designers that can change shape and size in seconds, is the latter — and I think it may eventually be a standard item in any fashion studio and a fair few other industries. Read More
Baidu sets its sights on Japan with a voice-enabled projector in a dome light
 Baidu’s DuerOS is essentially China’s Alexa. The company has built a voice assistant and an ecosystem of hardware partners that cater to the Chinese market. At CES this week, the company talked about its own first-party smart speaker. It also showed off the popIn Aladdin, a dome light with a built-in projector that the company specifically designed for small apartments. Read More