Gadgets

The hardware that’s bringing computing everywhere

  • Reverse-engineering the universal translator Crunch Network

    Reverse-engineering the universal translator

    Cinema critics keep raving about Arrival, a sci-fi drama focusing on one linguist’s attempts to decipher an alien language. Star Trek recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. As a language geek and a sci-fi fan, I felt it only logical to look into the feasibility of the universal translator, the device used by the crew of the Starship Enterprise. Read More

  • Toymakers are the early adopters pushing AR into the mainstream Crunch Network

    Toymakers are the early adopters pushing AR into the mainstream

    One indicator of how the market is apparently more comfortable with AR than it is with its immersive sibling, VR, is that one of its earliest adopters are toymakers. Read More

  • IoT redux… this time, it’s personal Crunch Network

    IoT redux… this time, it’s personal

    As we advance toward 2017, a quick analysis of our connected landscape indicates that the IoT is taking a short break from destroying the internet and is now letting Mark Zuckerberg take a shot at it. All joking aside, the process of rapidly restructuring our world via technology — and functioning in the flux — has become our new normal. More of the same is on tap in 2017. Read More

  • LG’s headset that doubles as a wearable speaker is peak CES before CES

    LG’s headset that doubles as a wearable speaker is peak CES before CES

    LG will be bringing a collar-like wearable wireless speaker to CES, which also includes in-ear buds for when you don’t feel like being a complete jerk. The sonorous neck horseshoe connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and contains “wearable speakers capable of delivering 3D surround sound” when the attached earbuds are safely ensconced within the electronic noise… Read More

  • South Korea fines Qualcomm $850 million for its patent licensing practices

    South Korea fines Qualcomm $850 million for its patent licensing practices

    American chipmaker Qualcomm is in trouble in South Korea. The country’s antitrust regulator has fined the company roughly $850 million (1.03 trillion won) for its patent royalty activities in South Korea. Many of you are familiar with Qualcomm for its chips. The next time you read the tech specs of your favorite smartphone, chances are that you’ll find a Qualcomm chip. The… Read More

  • An Amazon Echo may be the key to solving a murder case

    An Amazon Echo may be the key to solving a murder case

    Internet-connected devices may start helping in criminal cases. As first reported in The Information, police in Bentonville, Arkansas have issued a warrant to Amazon, asking the company to hand over data from an Echo device to help prosecute a suspected murderer. James Andrew Bates, the suspect in the case, was charged with first-degree murder in November of 2015 after authorities… Read More

  • Hey, Alexa, are things going to get weird?

    Hey, Alexa, are things going to get weird?

    They say that news is what happens to a writer on his way to the bathroom and I’ve recently discovered something fascinating. Alexa – and, to a degree, Siri and Google’s OK Google solution – have become indispensable additions to our home. The kids tell Alexa to turn on the lights and start Netflix. We ask her how to spell words and do basic math. She tells us which day… Read More

  • Watch this smartphone-assisted robot beat the pants off of humans in air hockey

    Watch this smartphone-assisted robot beat the pants off of humans in air hockey

    It’s the holidays and that means it’s time to watch robots cream humans in bouts of skill. The latest example of robotics winning over a meatbag? This amazing air-hockey robot powered by a smartphone, Arduino board and a plotter-like robotic arm. The system works by watching the puck on the surface of the table and moving to where the puck is going. It actively blocks attacks on… Read More

  • This battery is powered by bacteria

    This battery is powered by bacteria

    Researchers at Binghamton University in New York have created a “bacteria-powered battery on a single sheet of paper.” The project is aimed at creating batteries for disposable microelectronics that can run for weeks using a little bacteria-rich liquid. “The manufacturing technique reduces fabrication time and cost, and the design could revolutionize the use of bio-batteries as… Read More

  • Wolfprint 3D raises $500K to bring scanning pods to an airport near you

    Wolfprint 3D raises $500K to bring scanning pods to an airport near you

    3D body scanning isn’t very exciting right now – you can’t really use your scan anywhere except maybe on Thingiverse where people can print you out and create a shrine to you (hint hint!). Wolfprint, however, wants to bring 3D body scanning to the masses by putting their pod-shaped scanners in airports and malls, allowing you to create 3D avatars of yourself for use in… Read More

  • Android Wear 2.0 debuts on two partner flagship smartwatches in early 2017

    Android Wear 2.0 debuts on two partner flagship smartwatches in early 2017

    Google will debut two “flagship smartwatches” running Android Wear 2.0 in the first quarter of 2017, according to a new report from The Verge, citing information direct from Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang. The two new watches won’t be Pixel devices, as some have speculated, but will sainted carry the branding of a company that Google is working with to manufacture… Read More

  • Raspberry Pi’s Pixel for PC and Mac breathes new life into old computers

    Raspberry Pi’s Pixel for PC and Mac breathes new life into old computers

    Pixel is a lightweight operating system with a clean desktop UI released by the foundation behind the affordable, tinker-friendly Raspberry Pi $35 computer in September, and now it’s available for PC or Mac users who might want to throw old hardware into renewed service. The lightweight Linux-based OS now comes as a downloadable image you can either burn to a DVD or load onto a USB… Read More

  • Going to CES? Join us at the official Hardware Battlefield Party in Las Vegas

    Going to CES? Join us at the official Hardware Battlefield Party in Las Vegas

    There ain’t no party like a TechCrunch party 🎉 because at a TechCrunch party you can meet investors who may or may not give you a term sheet for your hardware startup 💰. That’s why we’re inviting 150 lucky readers to our event in Las Vegas to be held in conjunction with CES and our own Hardware Battlefield. Tickets will sell out soon so click here right now and… Read More

  • The new Barnes & Noble Nooks come with free malware

    The new Barnes & Noble Nooks come with free malware

    Barnes & Noble began outsourcing its Nook e-readers a few years ago after a partnership with Samsung and their latest $50 Nook 7 android tablet, announced last month, shows us how that has worked out for them. Their latest e-reader includes ADUPS, a firmware that sends user data back to the manufacturer or an interested hacker. This is the same malware that researchers found on cheap… Read More

  • Refurbished Apple Watches are now available through the official store

    Refurbished Apple Watches are now available through the official store

    It was only about a month ago that Apple finally added the iPhone to its refurbished online offerings, along with iMacs and MacBooks, and now the company’s got another key addition. Starting this week, the company has added Apple Watches to its official refurbed store, with prices starting at $229 for the 38mm version of the first-generation model. That puts the watch at 14 percent below… Read More

  • This guy combined an iPhone and an HTC Vive to make a virtual camera (sort of like the ones used for Avatar and Inside Out)

    This guy combined an iPhone and an HTC Vive to make a virtual camera (sort of like the ones used for Avatar and Inside Out)

    When a movie is more CG than it is real — think movies like Avatar or any of Pixar’s stuff, where all or nearly all of the environment is rendered — a new challenge appears: the camera. Getting a fake camera (like the one in a rendering program) to move and behave like a real camera (like the one that the camera guy is traditionally holding) can be a pain. Testing a scene from… Read More

  • Artificial leaf captures light to power drug production

    Artificial leaf captures light to power drug production

    Drug production is generally a matter of big factories churning out millions of aspirin or ibuprofen tablets a day, but there’s a lot to be said for manufacturing common drugs on a small scale, close to where they’re used. Researchers from the Netherlands have created an efficient and simple method for doing so that uses a method much like plants have for making their own resources. Read More

  • Snap Inc. has a new China tech R&D office focused on Spectacles

    Snap Inc. has a new China tech R&D office focused on Spectacles

    Spectacles seem to be a hit for Snapchat parent Snap Inc., thought their unconventional rollout via pop-up shops (including a new one at a Dave & Busters in Illinois this morning) makes it hard to judge the scale of their success. Here’s a decent indicator: Snap is opening a new research and development technology office in Shenzhen, near where Spectacles are assembled, CNN… Read More

  • U.S. wearables market is doing much worse than expected

    U.S. wearables market is doing much worse than expected

    Apple may still be claiming that sales of its Apple Watch are “doing great,” but overall, the wearable device category is failing to grow at the rates forecasted earlier. According to a new report from eMarketer, wearables like Apple Watch and Fitbit were expected to grow more than 60 percent year-over-year from 2015 to 2016. However, the firm is now cutting that estimate down to… Read More

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