Clever Ideas, 2017 Edition

Fast Company magazine offered their top ten of 2017’s most clever tech ideas. From smarter photo sharing to the ongoing AI wars— there was a lot going this year.

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For all the tech industry’s talk of changing the world, sometimes the best innovations aren’t particularly dramatic. They’re ideas that are small—but so clever that they seem obvious in hindsight. They improve the products we already use in ways we can immediately appreciate.

Big breakthroughs and splashy new products tend to get all the attention; for once, here’s a tribute to the small-scale innovations that are just as important.
The 10 Cleverest Tech Ideas Of 2017

What are your favorite tech innovations of 2017?

Ooma Eyes Home Security

Ooma beefs up its home security offering with a clever smartcam.

Ooma, the company that’s probably still best known for its VoIP platform, today announced that it has acquired Butterfleye, an AI-powered video camera and security platform that produces a smart security camera for home and business use. Ooma plans to integrate Butterfleye’s camera into its Ooma Home security solution, but the company will also continue to…

via Ooma acquires AI-powered video camera platform Butterfleye for its home security service — TechCrunch

The Kindle Turns 10

Amazon’s venerable e-reader was released ten years ago today. Techcrunch takes a look back at the Amazon Kindle.

Ten years ago this week, Amazon released the first Kindle. It was big and clunky and kind of ugly, with an awkward physical keyboard and 250 MB of on-board storage. It sold out in less than six hours and would remain that way until the following April. Amazon, it seemed, was really onto something. Read More

via A decade of Amazon Kindle — TechCrunch

Google’s Free Mini Offer

Buyers of the new Pixel 2 smartphones will be getting a free Mini smart speaker to round out their connected home. The bundle serves to leverage the advantage Google has over Amazon’s speaker-only offerings.

Today’s Google event was a non-stop two hour deluge of Assistant news. Yet one small, overlooked announcement may have been the biggest bit boost to the company’s burgeoning AI ecosystem so far. The simple decision to include a Home Mini in early Pixel 2 shipments could prove a more successful method for spreading the Assistant…

via The Pixel 2/Home Mini bundle is a big deal for Google Assistant — TechCrunch

Carpooling 2.0

Group rideshare looks like the next big thing to threaten Uber and Lyft.

As outsized ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft continue to build out their taxi-style marketplaces largely based around connecting individual passengers to individual drivers, a startup focused squarely on the carpooling opportunity has raised a large round of funding to expand outside of the U.S. Via — which has developed a shuttle-based carpooling service that it…

via Via raises $250M led by Daimler to bring its carpooling technology to Europe — TechCrunch

Wi-Fi Hot Tomato

Shopping for a router?
I suggest you start your quest at an unlikely place. It’s called Advanced Tomato and it’s the home of a wonderful open source firmware for routers. There are a number of open source firmware options available– DD-WRT, is probably the best known. Tomato is another, and Advanced Tomato is a sleek interface that improves the look and feel beyond OEM standards. Continue reading “Wi-Fi Hot Tomato”

V/R Memories

Alex Andreev creates 3D digital paintings for use as landscapes in virtual reality. His unique style has an eerie realism that’s not quite… real. Normal items are places in quite abnormal settings.

Don your VR headset and turn up the music.

VR Scape

Continue reading “V/R Memories”