Tag - Google X
The secretive Google X Labs is working on ways to improve battery technology, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. A small group of four engineers is said to be working on the project, which could help the company increase a number of its other projects that depend on batteries, including its consumer devices and experimental items such as Google Glass.
Google is putting its Glass Explorer Program to an end, the search company has declared. The head-mounted wearable device is said to be "graduating" from the experimental Google X labs, with sales of the Glass Explorer Edition headset ending early next week, though the company claims the technology is far from ending completely; it said the Glass program will gain its own official Google team.
The co-founder of Google's Android, Andy Rubin, is leaving Google after more than nine years the company. Rubin was brought aboard in 2005 when the search giant acquired the company that is now responsible for the most widely-used mobile operating system in the world. The move comes after Rubin stepped down from the Android group in 2013, to lead the company's robotics division under Google X.
Google X, the search company's experimental branch, is reportedly exploring the creation of easy-to-construct large-scale video displays. Not content with creating a modular smartphone, Google is allegedly looking into ways to connect multiple displays together to create one larger version, with the aim of making the building process as simple as possible.
What started with a social media message turned into confirmation that Amazon has made a high-profile hire. Babak Parviz, formerly of Google as part of their Google X division, has been hired into an unspecified role with the Internet retailer. Parviz's replacement as the Google Glass lead was announced in May as Ivy Ross.
Google is stepping up its efforts in Project Loon one year after first announcing it, by performing more testing. The high-altitude balloon-based network project recently tested the scheme's effectiveness in Brazil, including the effect of the equator on balloon launches, and the use of LTE technology instead of Wi-Fi for potentially faster cellular connections.
Google is working on a way to provide Internet access around the world, using balloons. "Project Loon," the latest "moonshot" project out of Google X Labs, will use a number of balloons to create a high-altitude network, with the aim of users getting 3G-speed Internet connections in the most remote parts of the world.
Google's experimentation with driverless cars could become a commercial product within the next three to five years. Despite the optimism, the company faces stiff opposition from regulators and insurance companies before it can be put into production, with safety concerns and other legalities being the main stumbling points.
An unusual photo was posted to Facebook showing a CEO dinner gathering -- hosted by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer -- that included a significant number of tech CEOs from a wide array of companies, and notably included Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple's SVP of Design. Ive was perhaps the only non-CEO at the table, but was seated next to Mayer in the rare, candid shot. Attendee Mike Cassidy -- of Google X, the experimental project arm of Google -- posted the photo, which includes executives from Dropbox, Path, Twitter, Yelp and more.
California governor Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed into law legislation establishing safety and performance regulations for the testing and operation of autonomous vehicles on state roads and highways. The Associated Press reports and Google confirms that the governor signed SB1298 in a ceremony at Google's Mountain View headquarters. Speaking at the bill signing, Governor Brown said the emergence of autonomous cars meant that "today we're looking at science fiction becoming tomorrow's reality."
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Cirrus creates Lightning-headphone dev kit
Apple supplier Cirrus Logic has introduced a MFi-compliant new development kit for companies interested in using Cirrus' chips to create Lightning-based headphones, which -- regardless of whether rumors about Apple dropping the analog headphone jack in its iPhone this fall -- can offer advantages to music-loving iOS device users. The kit mentions some of the advantages of an all-digital headset or headphone connector, including higher-bitrate support, a more customizable experience, and support for power and data transfer into headphone hardware. Several companies already make Lightning headphones, and Apple has supported the concept since June 2014. http://bit.ly/29giiZj
Apple Store app offers Procreate Pocket
The Apple Store app for iPhone, which periodically rewards users with free app gifts, is now offering the iPhone "Pocket" version of drawing app Procreate for those who have the free Apple Store app until July 28. Users who have redeemed the offer by navigating to the "Stores" tab of the app and swiping past the "iPhone Upgrade Program" banner to the "Procreate" banner have noted that only the limited Pocket (iPhone) version of the app is available free, even if the Apple Store app is installed and the offer redeemed on an iPad. The Pocket version currently sells for $3 on the iOS App Store. [32.4MB]
Porsche adds CarPlay to 2017 Panamera
Porsche has added a fifth model of vehicle to its CarPlay-supported lineup, announcing that the 2017 Panamera -- which will arrive in the US in January -- will include Apple's infotainment technology, and be seen on a giant 12.3-inch touchscreen as part of an all-new Porsche Communication Management system. The luxury sedan starts at $99,900 for the 4S model, and scales up to the Panamera Turbo, which sells for $146,900. Other vehicles that currently support CarPlay include the 2016 911 and the 2017 models of Macan, 718 Boxster, and 718 Cayman. The company did not mention support for Google's corresponding Android Auto in its announcement. http://bit.ly/295ZQ94
Apple employees testing wheelchair features
New features included in the forthcoming watchOS 3 are being tested by Apple retail store employees, including a new activity-tracking feature that has been designed with wheelchair users in mind. The move is slightly unusual in that, while retail employees have previously been used to test pre-release versions of OS X and iOS, this marks the first time they've been included in the otherwise developer-only watchOS betas. The company is said to have gone to great lengths to modify the activity tracker for wheelchair users, including changing the "time to stand" notification to "time to roll" and including two wheelchair-centric workout apps. http://bit.ly/2955JDa
SanDisk reveals two 256GB microSDXC cards
SanDisk has introduced two 256GB microSDXC cards. Arriving in August for $150, the Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Premium Edition card offers transfer speeds of up to 95MB/s for reading data. The Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card can read at a fast 100MB/s and write at up to 90MB/s, and will be shipping sometime in the fourth quarter for $200. http://bit.ly/294Q1If
Apple's third-quarter results due July 26
Apple has advised it will be issuing its third-quarter results on July 26, with a conference call to answer investor and analyst queries about the earnings set to take place later that day. The stream of the call will go live at 2pm PT (5pm ET) via Apple's investor site, with the results themselves expected to be released roughly 30 minutes before the call commences. Apple's guidance for the quarter put revenue at between $41 billion and $43 billion. http://apple.co/1oi1Pbm
Twitter stickers slowly roll out to users
Twitter has introduced "stickers," allowing users to add extra graphical elements to their photos before uploading them to the micro-blogging service. A library of hundreds of accessories, props, and emoji will be available to use as stickers, which can be resized, rotated, and placed anywhere on the photograph. Images with stickers will also become searchable with viewers able to select a sticker to see how others use the same graphic in their own posts. Twitter advises stickers will be rolling out to users over the next few weeks, and will work on both the mobile apps and through the browser. http://bit.ly/29bbwUE