I am such an arsehole. That is the only conclusion I could come to after waiting five hours in line for two pairs of Snap Inc.'s new Spectacles — sunglasses with a camera attached that work with Snapchat — in New York City on Thursday.
For better or for worse, Silicon Valley is always on the hunt for The Next Big Thing. But while tech giants like Apple and Google have bet big on developing the latest wearable technology, the real future of smart devices may have been sitting right under our noses (or is it on top our heads?) all along.
Outside of big brands like Apple and Samsung, there are only two companies that really define wearables: Pebble and Fitbit. Fitbit is the hugely successful fitness tracker brand that's been struggling to make a device that isn't just long-lasting and great at tracking steps, but as functional as an Apple Watch. Pebble is the smartwatch brand that's built such a device. According to a report from The Information, these two companies are about to join forces, with Engadget reporting that Fitbit will be buying Pebble for $US34 to 40 million ($45 to 50 million).
Video: Seeing this drone fly through Venice Beach in Robert McIntosh's Fresh Squeeze in what looks like a perfectly planned flight is just lovely. The drone zips through a bicycle, seamlessly slips inside handrails, pops into holes and cuts through structures so seamlessly that it feels like the world is unfolding before you. It's especially nice because it's going in reverse, so you don't see what you're going to see next until you already see it. Uh, if that makes any sense.
Google's AI might have beaten the world's best human at Go. It's probably also in the process of becoming the best Starcraft II player in the world.
But I take comfort in videos like this. Videos that remind me that we're a ways off from the Robot Revolution. They'll get us at some point, but today is not that day.
Amazon is building a new version of its artificially intelligent Echo speaker with a screen, according to a Bloomberg report. The device is currently being worked on by the company's secretive Lab126 research team that was also responsible for some of Amazon's greatest flops and successes like the Fire Phone, Echo Dot and Fire tablet. It sounds weird and kind of unwieldy — but it might prove to be a great idea.
Fitbit's Alta is the fitness tracker that anyone that wants a fitness tracker should buy: it's small and comfortable, versatile, and has excellent battery life. At $169 it's decent value but Officework's sub-$100 price makes it properly tempting.
Manufacturing has seen a dramatic downturn in Australia, particularly in the automotive sector. So how do we keep this trend from continuing? As the great Billy Hughes said "science will guide the manufacturer into greener pastures", and CSIRO has a plan - we're talking sensors, data analytics, robotics, automation, 3D printing and augmented - or virtual - reality.
US retailers are a weird mob. Over the Thanksgiving weekend they run not one, but two huge shopping sales for ravenous bargain hunters - Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If you forgot to hit the online stores on the 25th, have no fear: many of the deals are still available and there's a stack more for Cyber Monday. Here are the best deals so far...