The latest smart home news includes details about Oculus Rift, Amazon Alexa, drone racing and Uber — don't count the ride-sharing company and its self-driving division out yet. Of course there's also buzz about the next iPhone, with Apple expected to launch its newest smartphones next week.
Gimme an iPhone How excited are people for the new iPhone? Not terribly, according to a new survey from WalletHub which found that 72 percent of people they surveyed have no plans to buy Apple's latest smartphone (debuting, we believe, next week.) Still, a robust 20 percent of those over the age of 45 are willing to go into credit card debt to buy a new iPhone. With the iPhone X launching last year for $1,000 — and new iPhones expected to have an even higher sticker price — that's a sizable dent.
$250K Drone prize Lockheed Martin is giving away more than $2 million in prizes to inventors who can craft an artificially intelligent drone that can outrace a human pilot. Think of this as Fast and the Furious: Drone Style — only without Vin Diesel. The Drone Racing League and tech company NVIDIA are also behind the challenge, code named Alpha Pilot. The first team with an A.I.-powered drone that can beat a human pilot in a "head-to-head" race walks away with $250K. And yes, there are other prizes too.
Vive makes nice with Oculus HTC is playing nice with Oculus Rift, opening the doors of its Viveport store to owners of the competing virtual reality headset. As The Verge notes, though, only about 200 Vive titles work on the Oculus Rift. Still, it's another spot to find more games to feed their VR fix.
Uber's not selling Uber's Dara Khosrowshahi has no plans to sell the firm's self-driving car division — and in fact is still planning an IPO for next year. So said the CEO to Reuters, clarifying that a sale was not something he was eyeing "at this time." Uber's self-driving car division has been a bit embattled after one of its vehicles was involved in a fatality in Tempe, Arizona in March. Then again, Toyota just invested $500 million into Uber and is putting the company's self-driving tech into a fleet of Sienna minivans.
"Alexa, is Bey coming to town?" Alexa just got a new skill — telling you when concerts are coming to your area — even including the venue and dates. Alexa is a bit behind though. She told us about a Foo Fighters concert on July 17th at Madison Square Garden in New York — more than seven weeks ago. Seems like she has a bit of catching up to do.