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Showing posts from September, 2018

Y Combinator Backed Nebia Unveils New Shower System

Nebia, a 2014 founded, San Francisco based, Y Combinator and Apple CEO Tim Cook backed startup, known for its shower system which it says uses up to 70% less water than conventional ones via a unique "water droplet technology that atomizes water", has unveiled a new version dubbed the Nebia Spa Shower 2.0, this time, promising more heat, more power and more water coverage.

Nebia has taken to Kickstarter, the same spot it debuted the first Spa Shower, raising $3.1 million from over 8,000 backers in 2015. Now on Kickstarter with the Spa Shower 2.0, Nebia has garnered more than $600,000 - 600% of its $100,000 funding goal - just a day after launch.



For summary, Nebia 2.0 keeps all features from the first version - like a sliding arm, megnetic dock and head tilt - but promises 3x faster water droplets and 2x more water coverage for users, coming in multiple colors to match various bathroom designs. Nebia says the new shower system is compatible with 95% of U.S. homes, up from 6…

Mercedes drops 'project' from Hypercar name and tags it 'AMG One'

In the run-up to the Paris Motor Show 2018 event, Mercedes unveiled the official name of its Hypercar now dubbed 'AMG One' with a drop of 'project' from the vehicle previously known as the 'project one'.

The One now stands for its highest automotive ambition to usher Formula 1 hybrid tech to the roads with the One being the pinnacle of Mercedes' model portfolio and an absolute top-of-the-line model.





Intensive testing of the hypercar have been on-going for months in England at high-performance test stands and race tracks with the AMG One reflecting the latest development status of an outstanding technical feature, It's active aerodynamics.

The vehicle's active aerodynamics currently in the process of wind tunnel testing is equipped with a multi-part, two-stage extendable rear wing for maximum downforce in race mode which stands as a very high-end and individualistic feature for top-tier vehicles.


Experts across high-performance subsidiaries in the A…

Toyota is supplying its Fuel Cell tech to bus manufacturer CaetanoBus

Auto giant Toyota has reached another deal for its aim on stepping towards a broader hydrogen society through an agreement to implement its Fuel Cell technology for bus manufacturer Caetanobus SA.

Toyota will provide systems which include fuel cell stacks, hydrogen tanks and other key components to the Portuguese bus engineering and production company which will be used for crafting hydrogen fuel cell city buses.


In little over a year, The first zero emission fuel cell city buses will roll off Caetanobus's lines and will be operated as demonstration buses by the company. This marks as another notable step for Toyota as it promotes the application of its hydrogen fuel cell technology beyond passenger cars to other vehicles which include forklifts, buses, heavy duty and small delivery trucks.

"Supplying our fuel cell systems to Caetanobus demonstrates the many practical uses and environmental benefits of hydrogen towards a carbon-free society. We're really excited by the p…

The 2019 BMW i3 and i3s packs more electric range thanks to new high-voltage batteries

BMW has unveiled more features coming for the 2019 models of its i3 and i3s vehicles with a focus on extended range for customers thanks to new high-voltage and more powerful batteries being equipped for the vehicle.

Operating range is now set to increase to as much as 260 kilometres in everyday conditions without any loss of driving pleasure which count as an up for its buyers.


Other additional features for the new version include a sports package for the BMW i3 and new colors for the exterior and interior. The BMW i series is fusing its position as an innovation leader and trendsetter in the EV market with these new models as it sets its sights for more growth in the EV market.

Storage capacity of the high-voltage battery used for the i series vehicles has doubled since initial launch thanks to on-going development and research concerning methods to make the EV experience much more better.





Increased capacity of the battery has led to a longer range for the vehicle with customers no…

Microsoft is experimenting with a Robot Operating System for Windows

Microsoft is tinkering into the field of advanced robots with the announcement an experimental release of Robot Operating System [ROS1] for Windows at the ROSCon 2018 event holding in the spanish capital of Madrid.

This will bring the manageability and security of Windows 10 IoT Enterprise to the innovative ROS ecosystem which offers sets of libraries and tools that help in construction of complex robots used in implementing cutting-edge processes.

At the ROSCon event, Microsoft is demoing a ROBOTIS Turtlebot 3 robot running the ROS software which recognizes and steers towards the person closest to the robot. The demoed robot runs Windows 10 IoT Enterprise on an Intel Coffee Lake NUC while utlizing a new ROS node which leverages hardware-accelerated Windows Machine Learning.


Microsoft is also demonstrating a ROS simulation environment running on its Azure cloud service which exhibits a collection of robots running in a virtual environment linked to an orchestration system controlled …

The BMW Cockpit has been heavily revised and modernised for new auto models

BMW has now unveiled a newly reappraised, rebuilt, revised, modified and modernized version of its Cockpit for new launch models like the BMW X5, BMW 8 Series, BMW Z4 and BMW 3 Series which are all being debuted at the Mondial de l’Automobile 2018 event in Paris.

The new Cockpit packs content which can be customized and personalized and a new fully digital BMW Operating System 7.0 focused increasingly on the driver experience. Improvements have been made on interaction options with the vehicle among other notable features.


These improved interactions are centered around the areas of voice recognition and gesture control with customers for the first time getting access to BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant which makes the vehicle experience way more smarter.

Responding to the prompt “Hey BMW” command, The Intelligent Assistant offers a smooth integration of new functions and services which comes with optimal support at all times for the driver.


The new Remote Software Upgrade function…

Volvo outs Cross Country version of its V60 vehicle

Volvo has outed a new Cross Country version of its V60 vehicle in what marks a latest addition to its line-up of brand new Volvos which reflects its transformation in recent years. The initial V60 was launched earlier this year on the driveway of a Stockholm Villa reflecting its ability to function uniquely and seamlessly.

The Cross Country version of the vehicle takes the V60 from from the suburb to the skogen (Swedish for forest). It adds the capability on and off the beaten track which has defined Volvo's Cross Country vehicles since its initial outing 21 years ago.


The Cross Country modification brings about a ground clearance up to 75mm higher than the regular V60 thanks to its specially developed chassis and suspension for enhancement of its off-road capability.

It packs other standard features such as All-wheel-drive, Electronic Stability Control, Hill  Descent Control, Corner Traction Control and a special Off-Road driving mode. The V60 Cross Country benefits from Volvo&#…

Volkswagen partners with Microsoft to accelerate its connected car efforts

Volkswagen and Microsoft has now inked a strategic partnership which would see both companies work on progressing Volkswagen's Automotive Cloud and connected car services as is aims for transformation into a mobility provider with fully connected vehicle fleets.

Volkswagen will now be leveraging Microsoft's expertise and learnings to assist in defining what will make its ‘Volkswagen Automotive Cloud’ service peculiar and globally accepted. The auto giant will set up a a new automotive cloud development office in North America which will support initial development of efforts pertaining to this partnership.

From 2020 as targeted, Over 5 million new VW vehicles yearly will be fully connected and will be part of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the cloud, This partnership by both companies is aimed at laying the foundation for combination of Microsoft's expertise as a major cloud services provider and Volkswagen's experience as a global high-selling auto manufacturer.






Both…

Daimler's smart forease concept embodies urban driving fun in an individualistic way

Daimler has unveiled a new electric and urban concept to celebrate its 20th anniversary at the Paris Motor Show through an outing of an ingenious concept which offers a simple solution for urban mobility.

The concept is seated under the open sky with the driver being at the centre of the hustle and bustle of the city which they can freely partake in thanks to its electric drive. Its openness and minimalistic style reflect a tribute to the pioneering smart concept vehicles "crossblade" (2001) and "forspeed" (2011).


The concept is uncompromisingly open, pays no heed to convention and is powered by an electric powertrain while standing for the authentic urban mobility which continues to be the underlying concept behind the brand.
It stands for emotionality, lifestyle and attitude as described by Daimler who owes the individualistic awe of the vehicle to the extension of its interior to the open environment. It packs radiant, dramatic metallic-white and colour accents…

Grab said to be in discussions to offload Thai unit stake to retail giant Central Group

Singapore based ridesharing firm Grab has now been reported to be in talks of selling a “a decent-sized stake” in its Thai business to Central Group, The country's largest retailer with over $10 billion in annual revenues.

A deal like this would expand Grab's partnerships with the retail giant beyond food delivery into other sectors such as e-commerce and digital payments. This would also come at a time when Grab's main competitor Go-Jek is planning a foray into the Thai market with a $500 million investment set for its expansion into the country and several other South East Asian regions.

Grab is also reported to be interested in doing business with JD Central, a $560 million joint venture set up with China's JD.com by the Central Group earlier this year.

No official statement have been made yet as of now with still open room for countless speculations, Nevertheless, what's sure is that Grab has been on a rapid growth rate since its start in 2012 with a current p…

Color Genomics takes on collaboration with the Broad Institute and Partners LMM for historic 'All of Us' Research Program

Color Genomics, A Burlingame based genetic testing startup focused on early detection of cancer for users of its kit has now partnered with the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine (LMM) at Partners HealthCare for establishment of one of three genome centres around the U.S. for the National Institutes of Health's All of Us Research Program.

This research program marks one of the most ambitious biomedical research efforts ever taken in the U.S. and is aimed at sequencing one million or more people across the U.S with a goal of accelerating health research and enabling individualized prevention, treatment, and care for individuals.

Color will be responsible for analysis and reporting of genomic data for this program with further support from Partners LMM for a set of 59 genes which can lead to serious and preventable clinical conditions such as breast and ovarian cancer, familial hypercholesterolemia, Lynch syndrome, and others.

The health-te…

Microsoft’s mobile phone keyboard SwiftKey adds two-way translation for Android

Microsoft Translator, The software giant's technology which makes use of artificial intelligence for provision of translations for more than 60 languages has now been integrated with the Android version of Microsoft's SwiftKey mobile keyboard.

The company made this known in a recent announcement this Thursday. The real-time translation feature will now translate as its Android users text in real-time to offer a unique and much desired experience for cross-border messaging.



Once users tap the Microsoft Translator icon on the SwiftKey keyboard, The app begins its function with translation of messages between users. The app would also remember users' preferences leading to an elimination of the need to scroll through the full list of the more than 60 available languages which users choose from.

“We wanted to make it really easy for users to be able to translate as they type and to be able to translate incoming messages,” Colleen Hall, a senior product manager for SwiftKey sa…

Compass raises $400 million from Softbank and others at $4.4 billion valuation

Real estate startup Compass has now closed a $400 million round led by the Softbank Vision Fund and Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) with further participation from Fidelity, Insight Venture Partners and the Wellington Management Company.

This comes less than a year after Compass nabbed $450 million in a round still led by Softbank with the total amount raised by NY based Compass now coming at $1.2 billion.

This investment round came with a $4.4 billion valuation for the company marking a doubling of its most previous $2.2 billion valuation.

An announcement of this funding comes just on the same day fellow real estate startup Opendoor raised $400 million in new funding of which Softbank provided the lion share. The company which count operations in major markets including San Diego,  Nashville, Atlanta, Houston and Austin among several others is planning to expand into international markets with this investment providing capital for this growth.







It's grown its agent population to …

The Gears Pro Circuit Season 2 esports event is coming to San Diego

The popular Gears Pro Circuit Season 2 esports tournament is heading to the city of San Diego debuting a first appearance on the West Coast for esports enthusiasts who will battle it out for a piece of the $250,000 prize pool.

This event will hold from the 28th-30th of September at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center as Optic Gaming steps into the event to take the title after a dominating performance in New Orleans and wins of the last seven online 2Ks.



Team Echo Fox is coming in as the second seed to battle it out after a loss in  New Orleans. Team Ghost Gaming and Spacestation Gaming will also come with new members as they look to run the table to the Championship match this Sunday.

The San Diego event is also marking Gears Pro Circuit debut of 2v2 Gnashers Only on Boxes with a $10,000 prize pool being bundled for this side tournament which will have some of the top Gears players looking to prove their CQB dominance.

Anyone with an event pass (spectator or team) is e…

U.K. based AI cyber defense startup Darktrace nabs $50 million Series E funding at $1.65 billion valuation

U.K. based cyber defense firm Darktrace has now raised $50 million in a Series E funding round led by Vitruvian Partners with participation from KKR and 1011 Ventures to fund its expansion as the firm which counts as one of the largest in the enterprise security startup base scale its operations.

This funding round came with a $1.65 billion valuation for the 5 year old company renowned for its machine learning approach to detection of security vulnerabilities in enterprise networks.

With over 650 employees spanning across over 30 global offices and a deployment of its solutions to over 7,000 networks, Darktrace stands as a rapidly growing company having scaled to an impressive height in a quite short amount of time.

Darktrace's products include cyber defense solutions targeted for the cloud, IT environments, physical environments and several other fields of application. It also provides autonomous response solution to cyber attacks marking a real-time much needed solution by glob…

Stripe raises $245 million Tiger Global led round at $20 billion valuation

San Francisco based Stripe, a leading payments company whose service is used by over 100 thousand businesses worldwide spreading across millions of customers has now raised $245 million in a new round at a $20 billion valuation, More than double the previous $9.2 billion valuation it garnered from its most previous funding round which took place in 2016.

This round was led by Tiger Global with further participation from DST Global, Sequioa Capital, Kleiner Perkins and Thrive Capital. Stripe which counts major name customers such as Uber, Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Wish, Postmates, Expedia, Zillow, Deliveroo and Google has now raised $685 million in total across several rounds.


8 year old Stripe has now vaulted into the ranks of the world's most valuable private tech companies with a $20 billion valuation placing it amongst the top ten ranks of most valuable unicorns.

Stripe is planning to make use of this funding to hire more people for what is says is a “distributed global engineeri…

Oculus outs the Fall event lineup for its Venues app

Oculus has now unveiled the first taste of its Fall 2018 lineup for the Oculus Venues app where users get to experience live action like never before on the Oculus Go and Gear VR headsets.

The latest events will be available on the Oculus companion mobile app for users to see upcoming events and select from to attend while taking on what counts as one the best VR experiences.

Oculus in partnership with several other major entertainment names including Lionsgate, NextVR, Showtime, AEG and the NBA and MLB sport bodies to bring immersive and live VR content to its users.



As announced by Oculus, Below is its content schedule for its Oculus Venues events from the months of September to November. More additions are also set to come soon;

September

September 26 // VR League Onward Qualifiers // 12:00 pm PTSeptember 26 // VR League Onward Finals // 6:00 pm PTSeptember 26 // Live Music Now — New Orleans, LA // 8:00 pm PTSeptember 26 // OC5 Day 1 Keynote Encore with Japanese Subtitles // 10:00 p…

Oculus unveils new 'Quest' VR headset set for release next year

Oculus has unveiled a new VR headset set to launch Spring 2019 dubbed 'Quest' which counts as its first all-in-one VR system with six degrees of freedom with lets users look around in any direction and walk through virtual space as would happen in the physical world.

The Oculus Quest comes with Touch controllers to enable interaction with people and objects in a natural way and will pack over 50 games and experiences at launch with more to come in future time.


It makes jumping into action way more easier with no PC, wires or external sensors needed for use. Packed with Oculus Insight unveiled by the company at its OC5 conference, It offers breakthrough inside-out tracking, Guardian, and Touch controller tracking which makes use of four ultra wide-angle sensors and computer vision algorithms to track exact position of players in real-time without the use of external sensors.

The intuitive touch controllers brings real hands into the VR experience for easy and natural interacti…

Most Read Posts

VW And Ford Reportedly Apart On Investment In Ford's Self-Driving Unit

Volkswagen and Ford, amid reports of the former mulling an investment in Ford's autonomous vehicle unit, are said to be in dis-agreement on the amount to be invested, with Ford seeking at least $500 million, after seeking an earlier $1 billion. Reuters reports this, citing people familiar with the negotiations.

Reuters says Volkswagen has resisted agreeing to invest in Ford's self-driving unit, instead preferring to announce a collaboration on this area. It says some of he hesitation comes from questions about Ford's self-driving technology. Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess previously said that both companies have not officially decided to collaborate on self-driving cars, a field he termed as one with "still a lot of hype".


Shortly after, both companies announced an alliance on development of commercial vans and pickup trucks, a market that makes up high amount of revenue in the automobile scene. According to Reuters, another issue in the investment talks is how bo…

Johnson & Johnson To Acquire Auris Health For $3.4 Billion

In sync with a previous report, Johnson & Johnson has announced it'll be purchasing surgical robotics Auris Health for $3.4 billion in cash, and additional payments of up to $2.35 billion tied to certain milestones. New Jersey headquartered Johnson & Johnson is acquiring Auris Health via its subsidiary, Ethicon, with a purchase price of $3.4 billion marking one of the largest exits in the medical technology market.

Auris will complement Johnson & Johnson's acquisition of Orthotaxy’s robotic technology for orthopaedics and the continued development of the Verb Surgical Platform, via a strategic partnership with Alphabet's Verily. Auris which develops robotics tech for medical applications, is backed by notable names like Viking Global, Coatue Management, Lux Capital, Wellington Management and Highland Capital.


The company has raised $730 million in total funding according to Crunchbase data, last valued at about $2 billion from a previous round. “We’re thrilled…

DJI Debuts Improved Geo-Fencing System Across Europe

On the heels of the Gatwick Airport drone disruption, DJI has debuted an improved geofencing technology across Europe that'll prevent its drones from flying too close to major airports in 32 European countries. This includes the 13 countries already covered by DJI's first geo-fencing system (the use of RFID or GPS technology to place a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to activate a response when a device enters or leaves a particular area) and 19 new countries that previously didn't have this feature.

The new system - Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) 2.0 - operates by creating three-dimensional “bow tie” safety zones bordering runway flight paths, now using complex polygon shapes around sensitive facilities compared with just simple circles used in earlier versions. DJI has chosen Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) software provider Altitude Angel as a partner to deliver geospatial data for airports, no fly zones and other sensitive areas in the European c…

GM Cruise Is Short Of Self-Driving Miles Predictions

According to a report released on Wednesday by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), GM Cruise, General Motors' self-driving unit, clogged 450,000 self-driving miles all of last year in California where it does the bulk of its testing. This falls short of a prediction made by Cruise co-founder and then CEO Kyle Vogt 14 months ago, when GM told investors it was on the edge of putting 1 million miles on its self-driving test cars each month.

According to the report, self-driving leader Waymo clogged 1.2 million test miles in California in all of last year, a more than triple from 352,000 miles in 2017. But for consideration, Cruise was launched in 2013 compared to Waymo which clocks a decade old this year. Along with this two, other companies that test self-driving cars in the state of California include Nuro - which just raised $940 million from Softbank, TuSimple - which just raised $95 million Series D funding, Apple, Bosch, Baidu, Aurora, Ford, AutoX, Honda, Lyft, …

Flexport Reportedly In Talks To Raise $500 Million Softbank Led Round

Flexport - a San Francisco based freight forwarding and customs brokerage startup, valued at over $1 billion from a $100 million investment by China's SF Express, made in April 2018 - is said to be raising around $500 million in a Softbank-led round, that would mark the Japanese based tech conglomerate's third consecutive investment in a week span, after autonomous delivery startup Nuro and UK fintech OakNorth.

Axios reports this, citing a source that says Flexport may be valued at around $3 billion with this round. It however states that a final investment could be smaller if both parties - Flexport and Softbank - gets concerned about CFIUS (Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States) approvals.


Flexport has already raised $300 million in funding according to Crunchbase data, from investors including Founders Fund, Bloomberg Beta, DST Global, First Round Capital, Alrai Capital and Y Combinator. Founded in 2013, the company provides global logistics services like ai…

Germany Is Lengthening Electric Company Car Tax Incentives

Germany is set to lengthen tax incentives for electric company cars, the country's Finance Minister said to a newspaper on Saturday. This is likely another attempt to boost demand for clean vehicles, after a diesel emissions cheating scandal that has rocked the auto industry, a significant one in Germany, where several automakers including Volkswagen and Daimler are headquartered.

“Half of all cars sold in Germany are company cars,” German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper. “So I have decided that we will not end tax support for electric cars and plug-in hybrid company cars in 2021 but extend them maybe over the whole decade,”.


He also said that the rules for plug-in hybrids would be tensed, so that only cars able to journey on electric power further than they do currently would be eligible. Since January, persons who ride electric company cars - in Germany - which they also use for private journeys pay less tax than compare…

Uber Sues NYC Over Cap On Number Of Allowed Drivers

Uber is taking New York City to court over a decision to limit the number of ride-hailing drivers allowed on the streets. As reported by Bloomberg, Uber is expected to file the suit this Friday, arguing that the city doesn't possess enough evidence to prove a claim of limiting the number of ride-hailing drivers as a way of lessening congestion.

The San Francisco headquartered company is also alleging that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is treating the business unfairly, stating that the mayor for five years running, doesn't intend to take a look at ongoing congestion studies on their merits but has instead already bind to constantly limit the number of drivers in the city.


Uber also argues that the City of New York is overriding the state's authority to place a limit on the number of professional drivers allowed on the road. It says a limitation “will have a disproportionate impact on residents outside of Manhattan who have long been underserved by yellow taxis and mass tr…

Mastercard, Visa Reportedly Mulling To Up Merchant Transaction Fees

Mastercard and Visa, the two largest U.S. card networks, are said to be preparing to increase certain fees it charges U.S. merchants for transaction processing. The Wall Street Journal reports this, citing people familiar with the matter. According to WSJ, some of the changes relate to interchange fees - transaction fees that a merchant pays whenever a customer makes use of a credit/debit card to make a purchase from their store - and will take effect by April.

The paper also says that fees levied on financial institutions - like banks - by  Mastercard and Visa, for card payment processing on behalf of merchants are also set for an increase. This report comes few months after Mastercard and Visa agreed to pay $6.2 billion in settlement to end a long-running price-fixing case brought against it by merchants. Merchants accused both companies of violating anti-trust laws by forcing retailers to pay swipe fees and preventing them from directing customers to other payment methods. The set…

Amazon To Acquire Home Mesh WiFi Startup, Eero

Just days after revealing it spent a total of $1.65 billion on acquisitions in 2018, Amazon has announced it's acquiring Eero, the popular maker of home mesh WiFi systems that makes use of multiple access point to surround homes with fast and reliable WiFi coverage all on a single network.

Amazon has previously acquired video doorbell company Ring and home security camera maker Blink, marking this as another addition to its hardware line, one that's key for use of its virtual assistant, Alexa. How much Amazon paid for Eero is not disclosed, but for a hint, Eero last raised $50 million Series C funding in 2016, at a roughly $278 million valuation, according to Pitchbook data.


The San Francisco based company has raised some $90 million in funding according to Crunchbase data, from investors including Andy Rubin's Playground Global, First Round Capital, Menlo Ventures, StartX, Slow Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Grishin Robotics and Redpoint.

“From the beginning, eero’s mission …

Kroger Unveils Mobile Payments App And New Rewards Debit Card

Kroger - the largest grocery chain in the U.S. - has announced a new mobile payments method, "Kroger Pay", a solution that is says "securely combines a customer's payment and loyalty card information to create a faster checkout experience". Kroger Pay is available or iOS and Android devices will work this way :

A customer - who has linked a card with the app - enters their custom PIN  or bio-metricsThe app provides a single-use QR code to scan at the checkout terminal to quickly link with payment and loyalty card information (including digital coupons and personalized offers) Checkout is done
The new payment method has launched in Kroger's Columbus, Ohio division, and will roll out to 10 additional markets in the spring. A nationwide launch is planned for later this year. Kroger is also launching a new rewards debit card, a payment option that connects directly to a customer's checking account, offering benefits like bonus fuel points and Our Brands dis…