The latest chapter in Silicon Valley’s long-running love affair with efficiency: Soylent, the tasteless meal replacement designed to supply a programmer with all his essential vitamins and nutrients without making him pick from the in-house cafeteria’s gourmet offerings. And now, TechCrunch reports, the company has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Lerer Ventures. Read More
15 Minutes Into the Future
Coming soon to a CES recap near you: Microsoft is twerking that Kinect technology just as fast as it can, creating all kinds of weird futuristic use cases to help separate you from your hard-earned dollars.
Fast Company reports that Microsoft Research has created something called the “Illumiroom,” which promises to splash the “Call of Duty” combat experience all over your living room walls. (Given that this idea is still in the “proof of concept” stage, it’s not too late to change the name, hint hint.)
Here’s how it works: Read More
Consumer Internet is fun and all, but these days you’ve gotta get really futuristic if you want to turn heads. Case in point: Quantum Wave Fund, a new VC firm that’s raised $30 million to make early-stage investments in companies with new quantum technology products that are both exciting and viable.
Call it qwave, if you must. Read More
Well, this certainly inspires a lot of feelings: Rutgers’ Social Media Information Lab has just launched a new project dubbed The Beat, with pairs geotagged Instagram photos with the location their were taken on Google Street View. As The Atlantic points out, it’s a playful use of the photo-sharing app’s API, similar to This is Now, Read More
Elon Musk‘s aerospace venture is off to a good start with the recent launch of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship, but his Tesla stores selling expensive electric Model S sedans are running into problems with fossil-fueled competitors.
Several state associations of auto dealers are invoking older laws protecting conventional methods of selling cars by claiming the way Tesla sells cars is unfair to other dealers and possibly even illegal. Here’s one example out of several cited by Automotive News: Read More
Just last week, news broke that the NYPD would soon begin rolling out new tech that brings together information streams like CCTV footage and criminal databases. Developed in partnership with Microsoft, it’s dubbed (with disturbing blandness) the “Domain Awareness System.”
Today, Mayor Bloomberg makes it official with an announcement. However, there’s a little detail that’s new: New York gets a 30 percent cut of any future sales to other cities, which’ll go to counter-terrorism and crime-prevention programs. (That sounds to us like a whole lot of surveillance cameras.)
The official announcement explains the system like so: Read More
It’s a question as old as semiconductors: Once you’ve racked up a couple of billion dollars investing in the tech sector, what are you to do with all that cash? Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner–who’s made himself quite a nice little nest egg betting on companies like Facebook and Groupon–has a somewhat novel answer. The New York Times reports that he’s founded his very own Nobel Prize.
The Fundamental Physics Prize will dole out $3 million each to worthy, boundary-pushing thinkers. No experimental proof required, says Mr. Milner: Read More
Yesterday’s bonkers skydiving demo left plenty of gadget geeks–your Betabeat staff included–amused but intrigued. Google cofounder Sergey Brin announced that developers in attendance at I/O could order a $1,500 prototype to experiment with, but made it clear these weren’t market ready. Unacceptable! When can we expect the future to land on our face, Mr. Brin?
Luckily, Bloomberg TV got an answer out of him in an interview outside I/O: they’d likely hit the shelves in 2014. “Within a year after that I want to have broad consumer offering,” he told Bloomberg while wearing his own pair, complete with hilarious clip-on sunglasses. Read More
Currently sitting atop the Hacker News homepage: IFTTT, the service that effectively lets you program the Internet to suit your needs, just announced a couple of new features. And if you are a fan of the connected home, then you had better brace yourself, because IFTTT just started integrating with its first real hardware company. Read More
Googlers are swanning about all over the place wearing their Project Glass specs, snapping pics with the president of Turkey and showing them off to Charlie Rose. And sure, it’s a pretty cool prototype. But can it help the search behemoth’s more awkward employees make sense of human emotions? Didn’t think so, Mr. Brin.
In a blog post yesterday (h/t Technology Review), Mark Changizi, director of human cognition at research outfit 2AI Labs, announced that the company has just received its first shipment of 02Amps, described as “patented eyewear that amplifies one’s view of the emotions and health visible in the color and pallor of other people’s skin.”
And they didn’t even have to raise money on Kickstarter. Read More