Brian Heater

Brian Heater

Hardware Editor

Brian Heater is the Hardware Editor at TechCrunch. He worked for a number of leading tech publications, including Engadget, PCMag, Laptop, and Tech Times, where he served as the Managing Editor. His writing has appeared in Spin, Wired, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, The Onion, Boing Boing, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Beast and various other publications. He hosts the weekly Boing Boing interview podcast RiYL, has appeared as a regular NPR contributor and shares his Queens apartment with a rabbit named Lucy.

The Latest from Brian Heater

So long, Stadia

There are no guarantees in this world. Nothing lasts forever — especially those things made by Google. In September, the company announced that it would be pulling the plug on its ambitious, but

2022 global smartphone shipments were the lowest in nearly a decade

One of these days I’ll have some positive news to share about the global smartphone market. Today is not that day. The industry capped off another dismal year with a 17% year over year drop for Q4.

Now that it’s thoroughly spoiled, here’s Apple’s M2 MacBook Pro ‘event’ video

One of two things likely happened here. Either Apple made a proper video before deciding this wasn’t quite enough to justify a proper “event,” or this is just how the company is going to treat s

Apple brings M2 Pro and Max chips to the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros

There’s no big Apple event today (well, not in any traditional sense, at least), but the company’s got quite a bit of news to share this morning. In addition to the new Mac Mini, a pair of new Mac

Apple’s M2 Mac Mini arrives January 24, starting at $599

Apple just dropped a refresh to the Mac Mini. The new version of the compact desktop arrives with a choice of last year’s M2 chip, or the freshly arrived M2 Pro. The system received a major refresh

The mixed messaging of mixed reality

I vividly remember my first Vive experience. It was many CESes ago. I was managing a different site. Budgets were tight and I had the most on-the-ground experience, so I went solo. I had a different k

CES 2023 debrief

It’s a strange week. Strange and strangely familiar. You stay at the same hotel in a nearly identical room to the one you stayed in for the last 10 years or so. You see friends and colleagues you’

Alphabet robotics division Intrinsic hit with layoffs

It’s a new year, but the industry’s struggles are showing no signs of abating. Big firms are as susceptible — if not more so. This week, Alphabet joined the growing list of tech giants makin

Robot or fauxbot?

This is my week of debriefs. CES has a way of hurling you into the new year, kicking and screaming, and it can be hard to find your bearings as you emerge on the other side. As the dust has cleared, o

I put Dyson’s Bane mask on my face

This was the CES of putting things on my face. I spent time with the Magic Leap 2, Meta Quest Pro, Vive XR Elite and PSVR2 over the course of a few days. All of those products fit in the same bucket,

Alphabet X graduates robotic agtech firm Mineral

A little over two years after its public debut, Mineral is becoming its own Alphabet company. The team, which was formerly known as the “Computational Agriculture Project” (no prizes for guess

Want the Nothing phone in the US? Be a beta

Here’s something that seems all but a guarantee: The way we purchase expensive electronics is going to change. Years after the U.S. began moving away from the carrier-based model of phone purchases,

Why the Matter logo was everywhere at CES 2023

AR/VR/MX took center stage at CES 2023. Automotive trends got a lot of love, as well, as did robotics and the metaverse. Heck, even pee-related gadgets had their moment to shine last week in Vegas. An

John Deere will let farmers repair their own equipment

Here in the U.S., John Deere is, in a word, dominant. According to figures from antitrust nonprofit The American Economic Liberties Project, the corporation controls 53% of the large tractor market in

Senator Mark Warner on cybersecurity, Musk’s Twitter and legislating killer robots

This wasn’t Mark Warner’s first CES rodeo. The senior senator from Virginia was on board with this whole tech thing well before being elected the state’s governor back in 2002. His time at Colum

After struggling with consumers, Magic Leap hang its hopes on enterprise

Something wasn’t working. In late 2020, Magic Leap announced a major change spearheaded by incoming CEO, Peggy Johnson. “[W]hat I found was nothing was really broken,” she told the press at the

HTC’s global head of Product on VR’s ‘race to the bottom’

It was the year of XR. But then, they all seem to be, these days. Strong presences from Meta, Magic Leap, Sony and HTC led the way at this year’s CES, with hundreds of startups picking up the rear.

Mojo Vision puts contact lens production ‘on hold’ as it lays off 75% of staff

We’ve met with Mojo Vision for several CESes, watching the startup’s AR contact lenses develop, year by year. These sorts of things take a lot of time and money, of course — and these days it se

Qualcomm partners with Iridium to bring satellite messaging to Android phones

For the past several CESes, Qualcomm’s big announcements have largely revolved around automotive news. There will likely still be a fair bit of that this week, as well, but the company just announce

Consumer Robotics Show

To get a roundup of TechCrunch’s biggest and most important robotics stories delivered to your inbox every Thursday at 11 a.m. PT, subscribe here. Welcome back to Actuator and happy first day of CE
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