Amazon.com Inc and General Motors Co are in talks to invest in electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive LLC in a deal that would value the company between $1 billion – $2 billion. If the negotiations conclude successfully, a deal would give the two a minority stake, and could be announced as early as this month, though the talks could still fall through. “We admire Rivian’s contribution to a future of zero emissions and an all-electric future,” said GM said in an emailed statement. What sets Rivian apart from other electric automakers is its “skateboard” platform that packages the drive units, battery pack, suspension system, brakes and cooling system all below wheel height to allow for more storage space and greater stability due to a lower center of gravity. Read more for another video and additional information.
Twelve South’s AirFly lets you use AirPods as well as other wireless listening devices on any wired headphone jack, and it’s being offered for just $34 shipped, today only, originally $39.99. When the entertainment begins on your next long flight, simply plug AirFly into your seat’s headphone jack and listen to the film with your AirPods, thanks to its Bluetooth connectivity. It has a built-in battery that lasts about 8-hours and also includes a USB charging cable, along with a travel pouch that holds both the device and charging cable. Product page. Read more to see it in-action on a Nintendo Switch and for additional information.
This autonomous Lamborghini concept by Simon Wells is designed for 18-45 year olds looking to push the limits of autonomous technology, especially since this vehicle is basically an exo-suit with wheels. How does it work? The occupant straps themselves into the exo-suit and then uses cameras as well as a small display to see where they’re going. You can also livestream footage directly to social media for fans to enjoy. Read more for additional pictures and information.
Alex Kipman, Technical Fellow, AI Perception & Mixed Reality Team at Microsoft, posted a teaser for HoloLens 2 today ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. No technical details were leaked, but it’s speculated that the new headset will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 ARM processor, and housed in a lighter, redesigned body, possibly with bits of carbon fiber. Read more for a video on what to expect and additional information.
MIT researchers have created Elowan, which is basically a cybernetic lifeform, or a plant in direct dialogue with a machine. This plant-robot hybrid is interfaced through its own electrochemical signals with a robotic extension that drives it towards light. Since plants have natural bioelectrochemical signals inside them, they get excited in response to environmental conditions and conduct these signals between tissues as well as organs. Read more for a video and additional information.
Puma is ready to take on the second-generation Nike HyperAdapt sneaker when they’re released later this year, with their very own self-tying shoes, called “Fi” (Fit Intelligence) that can adapt to the wearer’s foot when they swipe a module on the shoe’s tongue. How does it work? An embedded micromotor activates a pair of cables that tighten the shoe as needed, and the tightness can also be adjusted through a smartphone app, while micro adjustments can also be made using an Apple watch. Read more for a hands-on video and additional information.
Photo credit: Hi Consumption
FLIR Systems, Inc. has unveiled the latest Black Hornet, a nano-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for use by global militaries, government agencies, and first responders. The Black Hornet Personal Reconnaissance System (PRS) is currently the world’s smallest combat-proven nano-Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), and this next-generation Black Hornet 3 nano-UAV adds the ability to navigate in GPS-denied environments, enabling soldiers to maintain situational awareness, threat detection, and surveillance no matter where the mission takes them. Weighing in at just 32 grams, the Black Hornet 3 offers the lowest SWAP (size, weight, and performance) for UAS available. Offering improved speed and distance compared to previous versions, the Black Hornet 3 flies 2 kilometers at speeds of over 21 kilometers an hour. Read more for an in-depth video, additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: Daniel Brunsteiner
A recently discovered Apple patent describes a responsive keyboard mechanism through which various layers shape-shifting glass would be able to be modified depending on what they’re being used for. When this is combined with haptic feedback, you basically get a touchscreen display that simulates an actual computer keyboard. Read more to see the patent and what the final keyboard could look like on a future MacBook Pro.
Photo credit: Lets Go Digital
Huawei submitted trademark applications for the Mate Flex , Mate Flexi, Mate Fold as well as the Mate F last year, and some have speculated that at least one of these will be a foldable smartphone of sorts, possibly with 5G technology. Other specifications could include a Kirin 980 processor with a double Neural Processing Unit (NPU), which would be plenty of power for gaming on the go. Read more for additional pictures and information.
Photo credit: HiConsumption
Halo fans who have always wanted one of those assault rifles from the game might want to consider getting the Radetec Smart Slide. Simply put, it’s a complete replacement slide for Glock handguns that has an integrated screen in the rear that displays different pieces of information depending on the setting. Whether if there are rounds in the chamber, a magazine inserted in the gun, or an ammo counter, you’ll be able to view the information on the display. Read more for a video of it in-action.