Magic Leap Has a New CEO

Magic Leap has had it rough during the pandemic. In March, word got out that the struggling augmented reality company was looking for a buyer. A month later, it reportedly laid off roughly half its workforce. Another month passed and it somehow pulled an additional $350 million (£279 million) in funding out of nowhere. About a week after that, CEO Rony Abovitz stepped down. Now, the beleaguered startup has announced it’s found a new head honcho: Peggy Johnson. Read More >>

Some Computers and Mobile Phones from the ’90s

Nostalgia for the ‘90s is rampant online. You can’t escape it. Old shows from the ‘90s are making their way back to streaming platforms. BuzzFeed has an entire tag dedicated to quizzes and listicles about how only ‘90s kids will remember stuff from 30 years ago. Apparently, chokers, bucket hats and claw clips are also back. But somewhere in all this fond reminiscing, some pandemic-denying hacks have forgotten that computers and mobile phones also existed in the ‘90s. Read More >>

MIT Takes Down Popular AI Dataset Due to Racist, Misogynistic Content

Earlier this week, MIT permanently pulled its 80 Million Tiny Images dataset – a popular image database used to train machine learning systems to identify people and objects in an environment. The reason? It used racist, misogynistic, and other offensive terms to label photos. Read More >>

Google Buys North Smart Glasses and North Then Kills Its Smart Glasses

Last Friday, it was reported that Canadian smart glasses startup North was on the verge of being snapped up by Alphabet, Google’s parent company. Today, it’s official. Read More >>

Future Apple Watches Could Scan Your Veins to Detect Gestures

While accelerometers and gyroscopes are generally how smartwatches detect hand movements, a newly-released patent hints that Apple may be considering scanning veins in your wrist via the Apple Watch to detect non-touch gestures in the future. Read More >>

Polar Just Made Its First Affordable, Stylish Smartwatch

Polar smartwatches aren’t exactly chic. Like many fitness-first wearable companies, Polar’s strength has always been its in-depth metrics and platform. When it comes to style, Polar usually relies on that plain, sporty aesthetic, as it did with the M400M600A300, and the A360 fitness tracker. But today it’s launching a new smartwatch, the Polar Unite, and it doesn’t make my eyes bleed! It’s also £135, which, as far as Polar smartwatches go, is pretty dang affordable. Read More >>

Qualcomm’s New Wearables Chip Could Finally Improve Wear OS Watches, I Hope

Google may have been one of the first companies to the smartwatch scene, but its Wear OS platform has so far been a journey of unfulfilled potential. For a long time, that was partly because most Wear OS watches were running on outdated hardware: the Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip. That was supposed to change in 2018, when Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon Wear 3100. But that change was incremental. Fast forward another two years: Qualcomm is introducing its latest wearables SoC (system on a chip), the Snapdragon Wear 4100+ and 4100. Read More >>

Even Image Sensors Are Getting a Subscription

Subscriptions aren’t necessarily anything new when it comes to gadgets. If you’ve invested in a smart home, especially one with cameras, you’re probably familiar with the concept. But over the past two years, it’s become even clearer that companies are viewing subscriptions as the de facto future – and frankly, it sucks. Read More >>

Alphabet May Be Buying Smart Glasses Startup North, But Don’t Expect New Google Glasses Any Time Soon

Tough times seem to keep rolling in for makers of augmented reality glasses. North, the Canadian startup behind the consumer-focused Focals by North smart glasses, is in the final stages of a $180 million (£146 million) sale to Alphabet, according to a Globe and Mail scoop. Read More >>

Google’s Licensing Program to Pay Publishers Won’t Solve Its News Problem

Faced with the increasingly vocal criticism that it’s one of the primary reasons why newsrooms are struggling, Google announced today a new licensing program that will pay certain publishers for content ahead of launching a “new news experience” later this year. Read More >>

I Miss AIM

These days, there’s a million different ways to chat. Sliding into DMs, group texts, Slack channels, Facebook Messenger, encrypted messaging apps like Signal and WhatsApp – you name it. But half these platforms are tied to a social network, and the rest are on your phone. Chances are, your various friend groups are scattered across a half dozen of these apps. Sure, messaging apps have come a long way in the past decade but there are some days where I find myself longing for AOL Instant Messenger. Yeah, you read it correctly. AIM. Read More >>

China Finally Completes Its Rival GPS Network

On Tuesday, China launched the final satellite in its BeiDou Navigation Satellite (BDS) System, marking the completion of its homegrown GPS-esque navigation system. Read More >>

Google Is Adding Fact-Checking Labels to Image Search

Misinformation is rampant online, but while it’s pretty easy to debunk a spurious article or rumour, it can be a bit harder to fact-check images. To fix that, Google says it’s adding information to help users fact-check images found via a Google Images search. Read More >>

Someone, Please, Explain: WTF Are App Clips Exactly?

The lack of applause breaks during this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote meant updates to Apple’s new operating systems whizzed past us at a carpal tunnel-inducing speed. It also meant that Apple zipped through the huge changes coming to iOS 14. Specifically, we were left wondering: Wait, what the fuck are App Clips? Read More >>

Everything Apple Tried to Kill at WWDC 2020

Apple has no problem taking its sweet time developing its take on popular software and hardware features. And, WWDC is usually when Apple takes the stage to let its competitors know it’s got its sights set on murder. Read More >>