Author: Martine Paris

Self-Driving Can’t Come Soon Enough: Uber Jumps Into Toy Transport

As Uber broadens its mission to champion mobility for smart cities, it has started to integrate wildly fun alternative modes of transportation including Bird scooters and JUMP Bikes, which it acquired on Monday for an impressive $200 million. Both electric and dockless, these toys are providing rides starting as low as $1 an hour for scooter and $4 an hour for bike which will revolutionize the way people think about their daily commute and their physical relationship with the world around them. Not only are these rides promoting clean air, they are accelerating the end of the era of car ownership era which will have a dramatic effect on land use. At SXSW, Waymo’s John Krafcik shared surprising statistics on the effect car ownership has on our society. “Right now the number of cars in our national fleet in the U.S. compared to the number of licensed drivers has never...

GamesBeat Summit: CryptoKitties’ Giang answers ICO questions, gives primer on blockchain gaming using cats

Amidst an intimate gathering of industry luminaries, tucked away in a tiny breakout session at GamesBeat Summit earlier this week, CryptoKitties Founder and Fortune Cat, Benny Giang, discussed gaming on the blockchain, the value proposition of owning cats as digital assets, and answered questions about doing an ICO for the hyperpopular Ethereum game. He explained, “Last year there were three big headlines: bitcoin price, hacks, and scams in ICOs. The answer to that was to put cats onto the blockchain, make it accessible, make it fun and don’t do an ICO. That was our strategy for it, haha. We still think ICOs are a great funding mechanism but we wanted to prove it’s possible to build a game with an interesting mechanic that can be profitable.” “There are five layers to implementing blockchain to a game and the further you go the more you need to discuss scalability. 1. At the top,...

SXSW 2018: Razer signs first mobile eSports team, talks future of competitive gaming with Skillz

Mobile eSports dominated SXSW Gaming this year with a number of tournaments sponsored by Razer Phone, including Arena of Valor Collegiate Showdown and Clash Royale Super Magical Cup Kings of the Hill. On a panel on the state of the industry that I moderated with Razer’s GM of Mobile, Tom Moss, and Skillz’s Director of Developer Relationships, David Mok,  Razer made a surprise announcement that it had just signed Team Queso to Team Razer, its first mobile esports team. “2018 is the year that mobile esports will explode. Cannot stem the tide, there is already such a massive base playing. By far the biggest gaming platform in the world with 2 billion phones, mobile makes up 80% of industry revenue. When PUBG launched in China, there were more players on mobile than PC.” said Moss, “Expect to see multimillion dollar prize pools, dedicated mobile event spaces, even documentaries...

SXSW 2018: Comfort Bots Steal Show Floor

Meet Chappet, the talking yellow button with a voice babies must love. It can be affixed to any object and allows you to communicate remotely, or it can communicate for you. When sensing a baby is crying, Chappet will start playing lullabies to soothe it, and parents can talk to the baby through the iOS and Android app. Black Mirror applications include spooking friends at a party or bugging a meeting in states where wiretapping is legal. Battery life is 1.2 hours and the app is compatible with iOS 9.0 and Android 55.0+. Available on Amazon for $54.99. I have yet to try the one the company gave me but was able to get this demo at the booth: Japan-based comfortbot, Qoobo, the pillow with a tail, was also on the show floor, featured here playing with Sony’s robot dog, Aibo. Qoobo with Sony’s Aibo, photo credit: Qoobo Geekazine...

SXSW 2018: Waymo on self-driving cars and safety

At SXSW last week, optimism abounded for the rise of autonomous vehicles. Tesla’s Elon Musk announced self-driving will encompass all modes of driving by the end of next year, saying it will make it 100-200% safer than a person driving. Waymo CEO John Krafcik added, “It’s here now. It’s on public roads now” and announced that eventhough we can’t yet buy true self-driving cars where the driver doesn’t have to pay attention, “we are deploying it as a ridesharing service.” Waymo was founded in 2009 as the Google Self-Driving Car Project and is currently a subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. Krafcik defined Waymo as a technology company working on building the world’s most experienced driver, and installing that driver into cars and trucks to make the roads safer and save lives. “1.25 million people die every year in car accidents around the world. It’s like 140 people...

SXSW 2018 Interview: CTA’s Gary Shapiro on The Road Ahead for Self-Driving Cars

Gary Shapiro, CEO and President of the Consumer Technology Association, producers of CES, was in town at SXSW for CTA Innovation Policy Day, sharing insights from his New York Times bestseller, Ninja Innovation: The Ten Killer Strategies of the World’s Most Successful Businesses. Geekazine had a chance to talk with Shapiro on the future of mobility and the timelines provided by Tesla’s Elon Musk and Waymo’s John Krafcik at the show, in which Musk said 18 months from now self-driving will encompass all modes and will be up to 200% safer than a person driving, and Krafcik said “It’s here now. It’s on public roads now,” as he showed off video of the first rides with no driver at the wheel in the Waymo Phoenix Early Rider Program. Krafcik also announced the program will be rolling out to other cities soon, including those in the Bay Area, and predicted that...

SXSW: Elon Musk Dates Mission to Mars, Early 2019

SXSW: Elon Musk Dates Mission to Mars, Early 2019

Elon Musk has been making quite a splash at SXSW this year, crashing yesterday’s Westworld panel, dropping in on the Westworld theme park with his kids, and partying late night with Snoop Dogg. The visionary billionaire has five companies, six sons, and just shot his Tesla Roadster into outer space. He’s got a lot to say and  surprised fans by taking the stage this morning with his long time friend, Westworld’s Jonathan Nolan. “We are building the first Mars, or interplanetary ship, and will be making short trips the first half of next year,” he announced. “The goal is a base on the moon and a city on Mars.” He described creating a space colony that has essentials like a propellant power station and iron foundries, but also includes fun places to hangout like pizza joints and nightclubs. “We need great bars on Mars. Mars Bars!” Musk joked. He...

SXSW 2018 Twitter Guide: Who To Follow

SXSW is one of those shows where you can be at the hot party and still miss that it’s Elijiah Wood DJing the set. There are so many things happening all at once that the only real way to guard against severe FOMO is to sketch out a general plan, respect yourself for being human, and let serendipity be your guide. A quick read of my SXSW 2018 Guide: Top Panels, Parties, Performances will give you a sense of the exciting things to do while in Austin, March 8 though 18. After that, you’ll want to start following the 500+ key influencers who will be at the show. Here is my SXSW 2018 Twitter Who To Follow Guide which you can subscribe to on Twitter @contentnow, and below are their individual handles. Tweet adds to me @contentnow. Enjoy! Brad Abrams, Google Assistant, @brada Dan Ackerman, CNET, @danackerman Byron Acohido, Third Certainty, @byronacohido Sandra Adair, Boyhood/Dazed and...

Death of The Crunchies

Death of The Crunchies

At the TechCrunch Winter Party that took place in San Francisco last week, there was a pinata bashing that signified the death of the much maligned awards show, The Crunchies, which after a decade of highs and lows has finally been shuttered by Verizon, TechCrunch’s new parent company. Launched in 2007 by legendary TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, the show’s mission was to showcase the best in tech, but it soon became mired in controversy for becoming an over-the-top, glitzy, star-studded affair that repeatedly celebrated the same industry heavyweights: Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Google/Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, Uber’s Travis Kalanick, Salesforce’s Marc Benioff, Snapchat’s Evan Spiegel. Broad, overreaching categories like Best App, Best Startup, Best Founder seemed to exclude many who were toiling away, revolutionizing the industry. “They had an award for ‘Best VC’ which pretty much says it all right there,” recalled BitTorrent Founder Bram Cohen. BitTorrent’s...

SXSW 2018 Guide: Top Parties, Panels, Performances

SXSW 2018 Guide: Top Parties, Panels, Performances

Me with Stephanie Agresta, co-host of the Comcast TechSet Lounge located in Austin Convention Center 19AB, don’t miss! SXSW is just around the corner and that means it’s time to plan your epic adventure. Go ahead, live without limits, this year’s activations will blow your mind and include the Ready Player One Vive VR Experience, WB DC Comics Superhero Popup, ABC’s Roseanne Experience, Google Assistant Fun House, Anheuser-Busch Escape Room, and HBO’s Westworld Theme Park, and GoGa, that’s goat yoga! Free workouts and breakfasts every morning, free lunch and talks midday, and of course free BBQ, beats and drinks from happy hour to dawn. Speaker list is packed with thoughts leaders from tech, entertainment, gaming, fashion and more: – Bernie Sanders, Arnold Schwarzeneggar – Esther Perel, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Lena Dunham, Daryl Hannah, Ricki Lake – Mandy Moore, Dakota Fanning, Priscilla Presley – Mark Hamill, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Ethan Hawke, Nick...

CES 2018: Year of the Super Cute Bots

If the 51st Consumer Electronics Show proved anything, it’s that cuteness goes along way when you’re a bot competing for attention on a crowded show floor. Of course, functionality and price matter too. In the area of cuddle bots, Somnox, the sensor-filled pillow that claims to give affection to help you wake rested and happy, got a lot of attention at the show, perhaps because there was a rumor that they were giving away tee shirts that read: “I slept with a robot.” I had a chance to go hands on with this very heavy $550 4.5 pound pillow and found it completely non-responsive to my hugs. Me with USA Today’s Rob Pegoraro debating the merits of Somnox That said, sleeper hit, Qoobo, the super light $99 sensor-filled pillow, completely stole my heart as it continuously wagged its tail during my interview with its creator, Yukai Engineering’s Shunsuke Aoki:...

CES 2018 Show Guide

CES 2018 Show Guide

The Consumer Electronics Show 2018 begins tomorrow Sunday, January 7 for the press, and on Tuesday, January 9 for the trade, and this year it will be a daunting task to navigate the more than 2.7 million square feet of exhibit space sprawling across the Las Vegas Strip as it is the largest show floor ever in CES history. Simply put, you’re going to need a guide. To plan your visit, try to focus on just one venue per day. There are three main areas: Tech East, Tech West and Tech South. To help get oriented, here is a map overview and here is the floor plan where you can map your show. Below is a preview of what you will find in each area. If you find yourself needing to head to another venue, do it in style! Head to the LVCC Gold Lot for a self-driving robo-taxi from Aptiv/Lyft. Free autonomous...

CES 2018 Conference Guide

With the abundance of thrills and chills to experience across the Consumer Electronics Show show floor, it’s easy to forget that there will be over 1200 speakers taking the stage January 8 through January 12 to explore key themes of smart cities, autonomous vehicles, connected home, robotics, healthtech, wearables, digital assistants, cryptocurrency, blockchain, AI, AR, VR, OTT, IoT and 5G. Eventhough the most controversial speaker, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has cancelled, there will be an abundance of rock legends and other celebrity appearances including Jack Antonoff, Neil Patrick Harris, Usain Bolt, Iggy Azalea, Aersomith’s Joe Perry, Styx with Tommy Shaw, Slash, Shaquille O’Neal, Akon, Lzzy Hale, Vivian Campbell, Jared James Nichols, Dr. Oz, The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, MLB Pitcher Trevor May, and the Prince of The Netherlands. Top brands dominate the stellar speaker lineup including: Facebook, Amazon, Google, Airbnb, Spotify, Hyperloop, Postmates, Lyft, Twitch, EA, AMC Networks, Defy Media,...

CES 2018 Party Guide

The Consumer Electronics Show 2018 is right around the corner and over 184,000 people are expected to descend on Las Vegas January 9 through January 12 in pursuit of the hottest tech products coming to market. Along with the show’s 4000 exhibitors and 1200 speakers is the valuable afterhours networking that takes place across an epic party scene. Below is just a small sample of what’s been announced thus far and we’ll be adding more all the way through the show. Heading to CES? Check out the GEEKAZINE CES 2018 SHOW GUIDE & GEEKAZINE CES 2018 CONFERENCE GUIDE to ensure you have the best CES ever! Geekazine will be on the ground covering the show floor, pressers, keynotes, panels and all the late night shenanigans. Follow the action @geekazine @contentnow for pics, tweets, interviews, demos and streams. Enjoy! SUNDAY, JANUARY 7 EVENT: CES UNVEILED TIME: Sunday, January 7, 5-8:30pm PLACE: Mandalay Bay,...

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