The Google Assistant has come a long way in a short space of time, so far in fact that it's probably the most capable digital assistant around at the moment. However, the competition from Amazon's Alexa is stiff, and it's probably in more homes, so Google knows it mustn't rest on its laurels. To that end, it's opening a new investment program especially for startups who will drive the Assistant ecosystem forward. Read More
Pluto TV continues its climb into relevance. For those of you who don't know, Pluto TV is a television service that provides access to news, live sports, and themed channels for free. The company just received a $5 million investment from Samsung of all places. This money will be used to expand Pluto TV's content and marketing reach. Read More
It's being reported by the Wall Street Journal that Amazon is among the companies which contributed to Essentials $300 million coffers. They also reveal that Best Buy and Amazon will be retail partners for the upcoming phone launch. The best bit of news, though, comes in the form of a set of dates. Although we still have no idea when the phone will launch (Essential has now very much overshot its 'end of the month' June prediction), Essential president Niccolo de Masi says, "I will give you an exact date in a week." Read More
Essential, Andy Rubin's new phone company, was able to raise $300 million in a recent financing round. Investors must have been impressed by Essential and its future projects, such as the PH-1 and Essential Home. The total valuation for the company determined during financing was set somewhere between $900 million and $1 billion. These are all pretty big numbers for a company that hasn't actually made anything yet, but the weight of Andy Rubin at the helm must have been a contributing factor. Read More
At the beginning of this year, we heard news of Microsoft investing some of its millions into Cyanogen Inc., the commercial arm of CyanogenMod. Bloomberg later reported that the Redmond-based giant decided not to invest in the startup and was instead possibly considering another form of partnership. Now Cyanogen Inc. has announced the results of its latest round of funding, and Microsoft's name is nowhere to be found.
Cyanogen Inc. says it has successfully completed an $80 million round of Series C financing, and it will use its new funding to hire folks and speed up the development of its mobile platform. Read More
The Fleksy gesture-based, third-party keyboard is currently on sale for 75% off, which brings the cost down to 99 cents. It will remain at this price until Friday while the company celebrates its latest round of good fortune.
Fleksy has secured $2 million in funding from Digital Garage, Eniac Ventures, Middleland Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Militello Capital, and other investors. This comes less than a year after the product exited beta back in December of 2013, and it follows last month's announcement of the keyboard's first OEM partnership (it will come installed on the Samsung Gear S).
Turning to gestures is not uncommon for third-party keyboard designers looking to create the next revolution in mobile text input. Rather than produce something funky, Fleksy takes a traditional layout and replaces many of the non-character keys (backspace, enter, space) with swipes. Read More
YouTube thrives off the videos produced by independent content creators all over the world, and while it compensates many of them through ads, that money is hardly enough to make a living off of in most cases. Earlier this summer Google said that producers would soon have the option to request donations right on their YouTube pages. The feature's live now, so here's a look at how it works.
When you're watching something produced by someone who's willing to accept donations, an icon will appear in the top left corner of the video. In some cases, hovering over that icon will reveal a banner with the option to support to current channel. Read More
Frat boys who have graduated into post-campus life know that there's nothing worse for someone accustomed to being the life of the party than having a keg run out of beer. It's the kind of social embarrassment that few reputations can bounce back from. That (I imagine) is why nearly 300 people have contributed over $30,000 to the Kegbot Kickstarter project, which promises a tablet-powered beer kegerator. Its $15,000 funding goal stands broken with several days remaining before the campaign ends.
Kegbot is a combination flow sensor, tablet, and microcontroller that serve as the front-end for your keg. The end product can track every serving of beer that comes through the tap and monitor how much is left. Read More
Knight Rider may have starred David Hasselhoff, but it was his autonomous car that stole the show. This Pontiac Trans Am could talk, had bulletproof glass, and, most distinctively, featured a prominent set of red lights on the front for eyes. Two decades later, we still can't cram most of KITT's functionality into a car, but a new Indiegogo project can help us replicate what matters most, those distinctive LED lights. Rollin' Eyes accent lights, customizable via an Android app, promise users the ability to make their cars flash and flicker with all the personality of a vehicle packing more of a brain. Read More
My N3RD wants to empower you to take control of every gadget in your house, every appliance waiting idly, and every vehicle in your garage using just your smartphone. How, you ask? First, the project needs $50,000. Check. They team has successfully managed to raise over $51,000 with 18 days left to go. Next, watch this video. Read More