Tech Information 15

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Soda machine vends selfies
Soft drink company Kirin is launching vending machines across Japan loaded with a camera that snaps a picture of the buyer and sends it to the buyer through the "Line" messaging application. The machines also tout large LCD displays that preview the selfie for customers and show ads and other local information. CNET (10/18)

YouTube Gaming offers option to stream mobile play
Android users can now stream their mobile game play to YouTube Gaming, as well as tap enhanced features to find videos of interest or save clips for later viewing. One revenue model being tested for the service is to allow users to sponsor game feeds they like by paying $4 a month. The Business Times (Singapore) (free content)/Agence France-Presse (10/16)

How video games may be the "future of higher education"
Quartz (10/18)

LG's rollable Bluetooth keyboard comes to market
LG Electronics' Bluetooth keyboard that can be rolled into a thin stick is on sale now for about $113. The Rolly Keyboard works with Android and iOS devices, and the company claims it can last up to three months on a single battery. The Korea Herald (Seoul) (10/18)

Banks make mobile-payment moves
Banks are finally expected to dive into mobile payments, taking advantage of new capabilities built into Android's operating system and rulings made 18 months ago by Visa and MasterCard. Capital One became the first US bank to jump on board last week, and now Citigroup is launching a unit dedicated to developing a complete line of mobile banking services. Re/code (10/16), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/16)

"Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken."
-- Abigail Adams,
former US first lady

 

Tech companies join effort to fight cybersecurity bill
Wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint have joined major tech and Internet companies, including Google and Facebook, in opposing a congressional measure aimed at preventing cyberattacks. The Computer and Communications Industry Association said it objects to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act on privacy grounds, as well as because it could cause "collateral harm to the systems of innocent third parties." The Guardian (London) (10/15), The Hill (10/15)

 Sony reveals latest projectors including 4K models
Sony showed off a line of new full-HD home theater projectors at CEDIA Expo this week, including two models that can light up home screens with 4K content. CEPro.com (10/15)

 

"Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value."
-- Albert Einstein,
theoretical physicist

 

Survey: CE to lead 3.4% swell in holiday spending this year
Holiday shoppers are expected to spend 3.4% more this year than last, data from the Consumer Electronics Association indicates. A survey from the International Council of Shopping Centers shows that 51% of Americans intend to buy consumer technology gifts. TWICE (10/13)

 CEDIA: Epson adds 4 big-screen projectors
Epson unveiled four new Pro Cinema Projectors this week at CEDIA 2015, aimed at consumers who want big screens in rooms exposed to a lot of light. The Full HD 1080p Ultra-Bright projectors can light up screens bigger than 85 inches, with prices running from $2,499 to $6,999. TWICE (10/14), HD Guru (10/14)

Netflix raises rates as its profits take a hit
Netflix is raising its monthly subscription rate and planning overseas expansion to combat a 50% decline in profits in the past year. "It is clear that Internet TV is becoming increasingly mainstream and traditional media companies are adjusting to the shift from linear to on-demand viewing," said CEO Reed Hastings. He added that some content producers would be looking to sign distribution deals with subscription VOD services, such as Netflix and Hulu. The Atlantic online (10/14)

Niantic to grow real-world mobile games
Google and Nintendo are looking to invest $20 million in Niantic, a mobile game startup originally started as part of Google. "What we're looking to do is grow the whole category of real-world games," Niantic founder John Hanke said. An additional $10 million in investment is possible if "Pokemon Go" reaches certain goals. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (10/15), Re/code (10/15)

DISH aligns with Key Digital, Logitech
DISH Network has signed a deal with Key Digital to let users control their Hopper DVRs from mobile devices, and it has also developed a relationship with Logitech for easier Hopper installation and integration with the Logitech Harmony control system. Other partnerships announced at this week's CEDIA 2015 include one with Middle Atlantic Products for custom rack shelves for the Hopper and one to join the D-Tools Manufacturer Vantage Point program. TWICE (10/14)

 Verizon plan an Oct. 27 intro of latest Droid phone
CNET (10/14)

Qualcomm: Chip to reduce the price of camera drones
Qualcomm is marketing the Snapdragon Flight chipset, hoping to make consumer drones closer to the price range of high-end smartphones. "We believe that, with this chip, we can cut the price of the average 4K camera drone from $1,200 down to $300 or $400. And we think we can extend the battery life from 20 minutes to 45 to 60 minutes," said Raj Talluri of Qualcomm. The Verge (10/13)

Square shares finances as it prepares to go public
Square announced plans for an initial public offering, which comes as the payments company generates more revenue than ever but continues to post losses. Private investments have valued the company at $6 billion, a figure that has faced criticism. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (10/14), The Miami Herald (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (10/14)

 

"If you look at what you have in life, you'll always have more. If you look at what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough."
-- Oprah Winfrey,
media personality, businesswoman and philanthropist

 

LG filing hints at mobile payments
LG Electronics could be the next entrant in the mobile-payments field, following a US trademark application the handset-maker filed for something called GPay. The company lists the product under smartwatches and mobile devices. If it turns out to be a payment system, it would put LG in competition with the likes of Apple, Samsung and Google. VentureBeat (10/13), PCWorld/Greenbot (10/13)

 Gesture-based "Bird" controls the connected home
MUV Interactive, maker of the "Bird" Internet of Things fingertip remote, wants users to interact with Internet-connected devices through gestures rather than through a smartphone or application. The first 10,000 gesture-control devices will sell for $149. Wired.co.uk (U.K.) (10/13)

 Study points to need for college students to keep smartphones close by
In cognitive tests conducted at three US universities, college-age participants performed better on puzzles when they were allowed to hold on to their smartphones. The study also found that heart rate and blood pressure rose when participants heard their phones ringing but could not answer them. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (10/13)

Microsoft will control Windows 10 Mobile update decisions
Microsoft will have the final say as to when updates to its Windows 10 Mobile operating system will be delivered to users, but the company plans to work with mobile carriers and "Windows Insiders" in some capacity. Carriers will be asked to help Microsoft identify security and stability issues. PCWorld (10/13)

Google exec touts LG's design for Nexus devices
Ubergizmo.com (10/13)

Apple updates iMac line with 4K, 5K displays
Apple says its latest 21.5-inch iMacs have Retina 4K displays and its new 27-inch iMacs have 5K displays. The company is touting the desktops as a way to better show off the 4K camera of the iPhone 6S. 9to5Mac (10/13)

Adobe, Dropbox partner for better cloud document management
Adobe is joining forces with Dropbox to make editing and managing PDFs in the cloud easier on desktops and, soon, on iOS devices. Adobe's Dropbox partnership is part of a larger plan for its Document Cloud service that also includes partnerships with Workday and Salesforce. Computerworld/IDG News Service (10/13)

Jury rules against Apple in chip patent suit brought by university
Reuters (10/13)

Paypal to cover shipping costs on some holiday returns
PayPal will reimburse US customers for shipping costs up to $30 on as many as four return online orders between now and Jan. 31, 2016. CNNMoney (10/13)

Best Buy uses "world's busiest airport" as stage for 4K TV
TWICE (10/13)

"Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve."
-- Benjamin Franklin,
US Founding Father

  

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