Uber Up Uber is launching a new app—one that has a "clean and simple aesthetic" and also, importantly, faster. Features include shortcuts, where Uber suggests a destination based on your past rides and even picking your destination based on a friend's location. (Yes, you sync up contacts) There are Yelp reviews in the Uber app, Foursquare tips on neighborhoods where you are, even ways to stream music from Pandora. Uber clearly wants to own your time on your smartphone, hoping you won't just see them as a taxi-service, but a all-in-one option for when you're out and about. The new app is launching over the coming month—you'll know you're ready for the update when Uber pings you to refresh the app.
Wearable Fatigue Fitbit stock took a deep dive Tuesday after the fitness device maker reported fewer people bought Fitbit then they's hoped. "We continue to grow and are profitable, however not at the pace previously expected," said Fitbit's co-founder and CEO James Park when the company announced its earnings for the fall. Fitbit hasn't been helped by studies that show how step counters, like the ones in Fitbit's devices, can be inaccurate, and how fitness trackers may hamper weight loss efforts. Consumers also have many more choices today than they did when Fitbit first launched in almost 10 years ago in 2007. In this new, competitive landscape, wearable brands are going to have to work harder to convince buyers that their ecosystem, and product, is the right choice.
LED Kicks Vixole's customizable sneakers are finally read to launch next week—priced at $150 for Vixole Basic where you can design your own image via LED lights, and $195 for Vixole Plus + for those that can also track steps, and even vibrate if a call or message is coming through. The company is allowing people to sign up for Launch Invites, and getting early bird pricing for the kicks which are going on sale Nov 7.
Hacker's Drone Delight Things run a little differently in the U.K—including having the government sponsor a cyber spy school. In the UK Cyber Academy, students learn how to hack into flying drones, and also break software codes over a six to eight week course run by the Sans Institute, well-known for their cybersecurity training. A new course starts in 2017 in London, and would-be white hat hackers (we hope) can apply online now.
Smart (Simple) Lights Want a smart lighting set-up but don't want to pay the big bucks for the bulbs or (potentially) sensors? Switchmate is a very simple product that fits directly over your light switch, and allows you to turn your lights on and off through a smartphone app. We walk you through installation to working app.