Amazon is said to be developing a pair of smart glasses. Unlike the controversial Google Glass, they won’t involve cameras or screens and instead will simply be another way to use the Alexa personal assistant.
The idea seems to be to make it easier to use Alexa on a smartphone without needing to dig the phone out of your pocket. The glasses would have a built-in microphone but rather than having a speaker, they use bone conduction, sending vibrations through your facial bones into the inner ear.
As far as production goes, such glasses should be much cheaper and quicker to develop than more sophisticated gadgets like Google Glass, with longer battery life to boot.
It does feel a little as if Amazon is trying to find ways to solve a technical problem rather than meet an actual consumer need. As with Google Glass, you’re inherently ruling out purchases from anyone who doesn’t want to wear otherwise-useless spectacles, along with the sizable proportion of the population who already wear prescription glasses.
One possible use would be for cyclists to interact with a phone. While it’s certainly a worse situation than simply not using a device while cycling, using bone conduction can make it much easier to still hear ambient noise than when using traditional headphones.
The most likely explanation is that Amazon is simply trying out a relatively cheap way to discover if there really is demand for new ways to interact with Alexa when away from home.
The universe is 6,000 years old. Yeah, right. A new short by Cyanide & Happiness.
[Cyanide & Happiness]
After releasing the PowerUp 3.0 4 years ago, which yours truly proudly backed (and yes, it works great!), and the PowerUp FPV, the folks from PowerUp Toys are now ready to release the PowerUp Dart, an app controlled paper airplane that can actually do tricks such as barrel rolls, loops, and stall turns. The company has already successfully released two project, and this one is already fully funded and expected to be released before the holiday season, so this would be a great idea for a gift for Christmas 2017!
POWERUP DART is a conversion kit for paper planes that makes them awesome. Fold a small paper plane, attach the DART, and fly around your backyard, office or park with impressive accuracy. Do cool tricks with an awesome paper plane jet you fold yourself.
[POWERUP DART: The Amazing App Controlled Paper Airplane That Can Do Aerobatics]
This is just the perfect gift to poke fun at a friend who’s a big computer workaholic or could be used as a silent companion to keep you company while you are working at your computer desk. The statue is hand-crafted and made from cold cast resin.
[Laptop Workaholic Geek Toilet Sitters Statue]
An epic arrangement of Witcher 3: Wild Hunt main theme, “Sword of Destiny,” for voice and violin — featuring Jillian Aversa
and Erutan (Kate Covington, a.k.a. katethegreat19)!
Thinkgeek has just released a new set of Tiki Glasses themed after characters from Star Trek: TNG: Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Geordi La Forge, Lt. Worf, a Cardassian, a Ferengi, and a Borg. If Star Trek isn’t your thing, tiki mugs from other franchises are available as well!
Allow us to raise a toast to your taste in housewares with these Star Trek The Next Generation Geeki Tikis. A set of six, these tiki mugs let you drink with Captain Picard, Geordi La Forge, Worf, a Cardassian, a Ferengi, and the Borg. Yes, all of the Borg since they’re a collective consciousness. Best not to play trivia against that one. These tiki mugs hold around 14 oz. each, and they’ll look great next to your Horga’hn fertility statue.
–Star Trek: TNG Tiki Mugs
–Other Tiki Mugs from Thinkgeek
YouTube is to expand a program letting game streamers earn money directly from viewers. It comes across as a clear attempt to compete with the success of Twitch.
Though the Sponsorships program already existed in beta form, it was largely downplayed in favour of a separate scheme for paid access to view a channel. That’s now being dropped.
Instead Sponsorships will now be available to any gaming channel that has live streaming, at least a thousand subscribers, and an owner who is at least 18 years old.
Rather than paying to view videos, ‘sponsors’ will pay $4.99 for a variety of features including live chat access, unlimited commenting, custom emoji, access to buying digital goods, and other perks that are both Twitch-like and utterly baffling to people of my generation.
The sponsorship will run on top of existing advertising revenue for game streaming on YouTube, which is generally allowed.
It appears the long-term goal is to expand Sponsorships to non-gaming channels: YouTube says such channels can now apply to be part of an invite-only test program for the feature.