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Gadgets / TechCrunch

Chinese space station Tiangong-2 is about to burn up over the Pacific

The final hours for China's Tiangong-2 space station are at hand, as the 8-ton piece of hardware will fall to earth, or rather sea, some time in the next 20 hours or so in a controlled deorbit manuever.  But unlike with its predecessor, it isn't a mystery where this particular piece of space debris is going to fall.

19 Jul 2019 6:17 am
Nintendo introduces a Switch model refresh with better battery life

Nintendo already announced an entirely new Switch console this month, the Switch Lite, and now it’s bumping some of the specs on the existing Switch with a slightly updated version, spotted by The Verge. This update improves the hardware right where it counts when it comes to Switch portable playing power. The new model will […]

17 Jul 2019 6:18 pm
Nexar’s Live Map is like Street View with pictures from 5 minutes ago

We all rely on maps to get where we're going or investigate a neighborhood for potential brunch places, but the data we're looking at is often old, vague, or both. Nexar, maker of dashcam apps and cameras, aims to put fresh and specific data on your map with images from the street taken only minutes before.

17 Jul 2019 6:01 pm
Voyant Photonics raises $4.3M to fit lidar on the head of a pin

Lidar is a critical method by which robots and autonomous vehicles sense the world around them, but the lasers and sensors generally take up a considerable amount of space. Not so with Voyant Photonics, which has created a lidar system that you really could conceivably balance on the head of a pin.

16 Jul 2019 10:15 pm
Sony’s new A7R IV camera is a 61 MP full-frame mirrorless beast

Sony unveiled the latest in its line of interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras on Tuesday, debuting the A7R IV, its top-of-the-line full-frame digital shooter aimed at pros. The new camera packs a walloping 61-megapixel sensor, and will retail for $3,500 when it goes on sale this September. The camera’s image resolution is a “world first” for […]

16 Jul 2019 8:23 pm
Petcube’s Bites 2 and Play 2 amuse pets and humans alike with Alexa built-in

Petcube’s original Bites smart treat dispenser and Play pet camera with a built-in laser pointer were great for pet parents who couldn’t always be around to hang out with their furry charges, but the new Bites 2 and Play 2 come with one big new upgrade that make them far more versatile than the original: […]

15 Jul 2019 6:16 pm
Hero Labs raises £2.5M for its ultrasonic device to monitor a property’s water use and prevent leaks

Hero Labs, a London-based startup that is developing “smart” technology to help prevent water leaks in U.K. properties, has raised £2.5 million in seed funding. The round is led by Earthworm Group, an environmental fund manager, with further support via a £300,000 EU innovation grant and a number of unnamed private investors. The new capital […]

15 Jul 2019 1:30 pm
Archinaut snags $73 million in NASA funding to 3D-print giant spacecraft parts in orbit

A project to 3-D print bulky components in space rather than bring them up there has collected a $73.7 million contract from NASA to demonstrate the technique in space. Archinaut, a mission now several years in development from Made In Space, could launch as soon as 2022.

13 Jul 2019 4:42 am
Amazon reportedly ramps development on Alexa-powered home robot on wheels

Bloomberg reported last April that Amazon was working on a home robot codenamed “Vesta” (after the Roman goddess of the hearth and home), and now the publication says that development on the project continues. Plus, the report includes new details about the specifics of the robot, including that it will indeed support Alexa and have […]

12 Jul 2019 6:36 pm
Amazon said to be launching new Echo speaker with premium sound next year

Amazon is reportedly looking to offer an Echo that more directly competes with high-end speakers like the Sonos line of devices or Apple’s HomePod, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The speaker should be released sometime next year, according to the sources cited in the report, and will be somewhat wider than the existing […]

12 Jul 2019 6:12 pm
Luminar eyes production vehicles with $100M round and new Iris lidar platform

Luminar is one of the major players in the new crop of lidar companies that have sprung up all over the world, and it's moving fast to outpace its peers. Today the company announced a new $100M funding round, bringing its total raised to over $250M — as well as a perception platform and a new, compact lidar unit aimed at inclusion in actual cars. Big day!

11 Jul 2019 8:43 pm
‘World’s first Bluetooth hair straighteners’ can be easily hacked

Here’s a thing that should have never been a thing: Bluetooth-connected hair straighteners. Glamoriser, a U.K. firm that bills itself as the maker of the “world’s first Bluetooth hair straighteners,” allows users to link the device to an app, which lets the owner set certain heat and style settings. The app can also be used […]

11 Jul 2019 7:40 pm
Nintendo Switch Lite’s trade-off of whimsy for practicality is a good one

Nintendo today revealed a new Switch Lite version of its current-generation console, which attaches the controllers permanently, shrinks the hardware a bit and adds a touch more battery life — but it also takes away the “Switch” part of the equation, because you can only use it handheld, instead of attached to a TV or […]

10 Jul 2019 6:56 pm
Nintendo announces a handheld Nintendo Switch Lite for $199

Nintendo has unveiled a new Nintendo Switch called the Nintendo Switch Lite. As the name suggests, this console is a bit cheaper than the original Nintendo Switch, but it comes with a few drawbacks. The biggest difference between the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Light is that you can’t connect the Switch Light to […]

10 Jul 2019 6:03 pm
YouTube lands on Fire TV and Amazon Prime Video arrives on Chromecast, Android TV

It’s nice when people can come together and work through their differences to make it easier to watch stuff. That’s exactly what happened today, when the long-standing detente between Google and Amazon over streaming video services came to an end, with YouTube arriving on Fire TV and Prime Video making its way to Chromecast and […]

10 Jul 2019 1:17 am
The Raspberry Pi 4 doesn’t work with all USB-C cables

The Raspberry Pi 4 is a great little beast, but Tyler Ward identified a flaw in the USB Type-C connector. The Raspberry Pi Foundation confirmed to TechRepublic that the design flaw is real, and that your Raspberry Pi 4 might not work with all USB-C cables. It’s not really a dealbreaker, but you can expect […]

9 Jul 2019 10:06 pm
Apple stops selling the 12-inch MacBook, a computer you either loved or were confused by

Apple officially stopped selling the 12-inch MacBook today, a computer that hasn’t had an update since June 2017 and that is also maybe one of the most contentious Macs in Apple’s lineup. The 12-inch MacBook at one time seemed like Apple’s path forward (plenty of Apple fans and analysts saw it as a sign of […]

9 Jul 2019 7:44 pm
Mario creator Miyamoto counters cloud gaming hype (but don’t count Nintendo out)

Cloud gaming — however a company chooses to define that — is shaping up to be a big part of the next generation of consoles and other platforms. But Mario creator and Nintendo veteran Shigeru Miyamoto says his company won't be so quick to jump on the bandwagon.

6 Jul 2019 5:50 am
This drone swarm spray painted a jumbo-size graffiti mural

It's Friday, so why not watch some good old-fashioned drone-powered graffiti? A design firm in Italy has put together a lovely little show that collected sketches from the art community and put them all together in a giant mural, painted over 12 hours by a team of drones.

6 Jul 2019 3:00 am