Drones

New DJI Drone Can Sense Obstacles + HoloLens Has Limitations

Gear up on five IoT news bites to start your Wednesday

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Drone maker DJI launched its new drone, Phantom 4, with sensors that can "scan for obstacles," says DJI. The result? A drone that can automatically move around an object it detects in its path—or halt until the user gives an alternate path. Autonomous vehicles, such as self-driving cars and potentially self-driving drones, are being watched closely by experts. They want to see if humans can be relegated to the back seat, so to speak, in decision-making.

HoloLens secrets are becoming more clear, says PC World which uncovered some details in Microsoft's online specs for its augmented reality device. HoloLens features lower resolution than both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive plus limited recording ability. The features may underscore how HoloLens is not quite ready for consumer use. Yet.

Insurance giant United Healthcare is teaming up with chipmaker Qualcomm to kit people with fitness trackers. The insurer will give users cash rewards, or "Health Reimbursement Account credits," of up to $1,460 a year. Users will earn these for meeting specific goals such as a minimum number of steps per day. Fitness wearables are big business, with consumers adopting these devices to track their health. Employers have also started offering trackers to their employees to encourage their activity—and physical health.

IoT has some backing from Capital Hill, with four U.S. senators proposing a bill that would consider "current and future spectrum needs." Senators including Deb Fischer, (R-NE),Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) put forth the "DIGIT Act." Their goal is to continue the support of the Internet of Things from security demands needed by the devices to consumer protection required.

Finally, British Gas's latest launch Hive is generating some lackluster reviews from UK customers. The problem? Its smart thermostat appears to be automatically setting the temperature to 32 degrees Celsius. That's nearly 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Consensus? A bit too warm for smart home comfort.

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