Kickstarter Hires Investigative Reporter To Figure Out Where Mini-Drone Campaign Went Wrong

Kickstarter Hires Investigative Reporter To Figure Out Where Mini-Drone Campaign Went Wrong

A company based in Wales showed up on Kickstarter with what looked like a working prototype of a really impressive consumer drone small enough to land on a saucer. Yet the promised drones never shipped. What happened? Kickstarter decided to find out, taking an unusual tactic: the company hired a local investigative reporter to, well, investigate. This week, the report came out. [More]

(John)

We often joke that electronics run our lives. Well, for one hotel in Las Vegas, they certainly run the rooms. The Aria hotel in Sin City has installed tablets in all 4,004 guest rooms, allowing guests to control just about every aspect of the room – locking doors, turning on lights, drawing curtains, and ordering room service, with a few tabs on the screen. The tablets were installed by British company Crave Interactive in what is thought to be the largest guest-tech project in the U.S. [The Los Angeles Times]

(frankieleon)

Volvo Says It Will Have A Death-Proof Car By 2020

Proponents of self-driving vehicles claim the new technology will decrease the number of accidents occurring on the roadways. But it appears that Volvo wants to go a step further by pledging to eliminate all deaths and serious injuries in its cars in the next four years.  [More]

Whirlpool’s “Smart” Appliances Now Come Equipped With Amazon Dash Buttons

Whirlpool’s “Smart” Appliances Now Come Equipped With Amazon Dash Buttons

When Amazon introduced the Dash Button, it claimed customers could easily reorder products with the simple push of a button. While the small gadgets have expanded in recent months to cover a slew of household items, the e-commerce giant’s technology can now be found built-in to an array of actual appliances, namely those from Whirlpool’s Smart Kitchen Suite.  [More]

California DMV: Self-Driving Cars Must Have A Licensed Driver Behind The Wheel

California DMV: Self-Driving Cars Must Have A Licensed Driver Behind The Wheel

While California’s highways and byways are filling up with self-driving prototypes right now, the state Department of Motor Vehicles is laying down some rules of the road that, if finalized, will mean it could take longer for the public to get their hands on driverless cars. [More]

Regulators Propose Changes To 5-Star Safety Ratings To Incorporate More Crash-Prevention Technology

Regulators Propose Changes To 5-Star Safety Ratings To Incorporate More Crash-Prevention Technology

Crash safety tests are about to get a whole lot different. Automakers striving to achieve five stars for safety from federal regulators will have to add a few things to their vehicle rosters as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced high-tech changes to its system.  [More]

Ford Now Offering Siri Eyes-Free Software Update For 5 Million Older Cars

Ford Now Offering Siri Eyes-Free Software Update For 5 Million Older Cars

Though we’re living in an increasingly interconnected, digital age, perhaps you drive a car that’s a bit more… analog. For those Ford owners who have older vehicles but want to be linked up with new technology, the carmaker is offering a software update for five million cars that will allow owners to activate Apple’s Siri Eyes-Free feature. [More]

Facebook Bringing 360-Degree Video To iOS Newsfeeds

Facebook Bringing 360-Degree Video To iOS Newsfeeds

While we once wondered why Facebook would spend $2 billion to buy virtual reality company Oculus, we’re starting to get answers. Two months after Facebook said it was working to bring virtual reality to consumers’ phones via newsfeed ads, the social media company unveiled an iOS version.  [More]

MasterCard Launches Program To Make Anything – Clothes, Rings – A Payment Device

MasterCard Launches Program To Make Anything – Clothes, Rings – A Payment Device

MasterCard’s quest to make paying for things easier already includes a few out-there systems: verification via selfie for online orders, anyone? And it doesn’t appear that the credit card company is holding back in its latest endeavor, partnering with a fashion designer and other companies to create an array of consumer products-turned-mobile payment systems. Because, you know, paying with pieces of plastic and phones was so last year.  [More]

NYC Taxi Commission Approves Pilot Program That Would Use GPS, Tablets To Calculate Fares

NYC Taxi Commission Approves Pilot Program That Would Use GPS, Tablets To Calculate Fares

The taxi you hop in on your next trip around New York City may function a lot more like Uber and other ride-hailing services: the commission tasked with regulating the city’s taxis approved a pilot program that would replace traditional fare meters with those powered by GPS location.  [More]

Nike Exec Sees A Future Where Shoppers Could 3D Print Their Own Sneakers At Home

Nike Exec Sees A Future Where Shoppers Could 3D Print Their Own Sneakers At Home

Making your own footwear at home won’t have to include cardboard, duct tape and those slippers you refused to throw out soon enough: A top executive at Nike says he thinks customers will someday be able to 3D print their own customized sneakers at home (or in Nike stores, for those without 3D printers at home). [More]

Toyota Plans To Have Self-Driving Car For The Masses By 2020

Toyota Plans To Have Self-Driving Car For The Masses By 2020

Toyota attempted to break away from the self-driving car fanfare last month by announcing it would instead invest $50 million into creating “life-saving intelligent” vehicles that weren’t necessarily autonomous. Today, the company made it clear that it’s also pursuing the fully driver-less route, revealing plans to release a commercially available self-driving car by 2020. [More]

MasterCard Rolling Out Payment Verification Technology That Uses Facial Recognition, Fingerprint Scans

MasterCard Rolling Out Payment Verification Technology That Uses Facial Recognition, Fingerprint Scans

With consumers’ shopping habits continually evolving – making more purchases online through smartphones and tablets – more retailers have revamped the way in which they allow such transactions to be made (“Buy” buttons, anyone?). So it should come as no surprise then that the businesses handling such transactions – your credit card company and bank – would also seek to evolve their methods to make payment verification simple and secure. That’s apparently the idea behind MasterCard Identity Check.  [More]

NASA Creates App Aimed At Shortening Commercial Flights, Saving Fuel

NASA Creates App Aimed At Shortening Commercial Flights, Saving Fuel

There’s an app for just about everything. And that now includes one created by NASA and aimed at helping commercial airlines shorten flight times and conserve fuel. [More]

(Ben Schumin)

Here’s A Fun Customer Service Idea: Text Walmart For Help From Within Walmart

We’ve often said that it’s not really a good idea to post on social media or e-mail a company while you are physically standing in their store or restaurant, and talking to a person is a better alternative. Here’s a possible exception to that from the TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon: a text-messaging service that uses a combination of bots and customer service chat reps to let you text for help from within Walmart. [More]

Facebook Reportedly Working On A Virtual Reality Video Smartphone App

Facebook Reportedly Working On A Virtual Reality Video Smartphone App

Nearly a year and a half after Facebook paid $2 billion to buy virtual reality company Oculus, the online behemoth is apparently ready to bring some virtual reality technology to its social media platform. [More]

(@Tesla)

Not Convinced The Robot Uprising Is Inevitable? Watch This Charger Prototype For Tesla Cars Find Its Target

You know, we’re a little surprised by you, Elon Musk. As a guy who’s said we’re right to be worried about artificial intelligence enslaving the human race, Terminator style, you’d think you wouldn’t go ahead and invent a robot charger that can find its own way to a nearby Tesla and plug in. What’s the next target, our brains?!? [More]

Flaw In Android Device Sensor Leaves Users’ Fingerprints Vulnerable To Theft

Flaw In Android Device Sensor Leaves Users’ Fingerprints Vulnerable To Theft

Using your fingerprint to open your phone may be convenient but it could also pose a security risk. That’s according to security researchers who discovered a way to breach Android devices to steal the unique prints. [More]