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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Fitness marketplace ClassPass acquires competitor GuavaPass

ClassPass, the five-year-old fitness marketplace startup with $239 million in financing, is acquiring competitor GuavaPass, which was founded by Rob Pachter and Jeffrey Liu in 2015.

ClassPass is in the midst of an expansion sprint, both domestically and internationally. The company is hyper-focused on Asian markets, where GuavaPass had carved out its own place with 75 studio partners across 11 cities, including Abu Dhabi, Bnagkok, Beijing, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Mumbai, Shanghai and Singapore.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This is not ClassPass’s first acquisition. In 2014, ClassPass acquired competitor FitMob. But CEO Fritz Lanman says that this is less about competition and more about opportunity.

“The GuavaPass founders reached out to us,” he told TechCrunch. “They said that they were raising more money and had some options developing but that they felt they could continue working on their original mission as a part of ClassPass. They are really missionaries for the space.”

ClassPass will be bringing on about half of the GuavaPass team as part of the acquisition. However, Lanman doesn’t expect to do many acquisitions in the future, saying that “acquisition isn’t a part of the company’s expansion strategy.”

Alongside regularly planned expansion, the acquisition now puts ClassPass in more than 80 markets across the 11 countries, with plans to expand to 50 new cities in 2019.


Source: TechCrunch

ASUS drops a combo Alexa router/smart speaker for $220

ASUS just announced the first — but surely not the last — combination router/Alexa smart speaker of the show. The Lyra Voice is a pretty decent looking thing — covered in the sort of fabric design that’s become all rage with smart speakers like the Google Home and the latest iteration of the Echo.

In fact, the product looks a lot more like a speaker than router, with cones one opposite ends of the oblong device. There’s a pair of eight-watt speakers, which can be used to play music via bluetooth or for your standard Alexa commands.

The device features the company’s proprietary AiMesh technology, meaning you can pair it with other ASUS Lyra devices to take care of dead spots in your home. Of course, at $220, it’s a bit more than other systems mesh systems — though this one’s doing double duty.

It’s an interesting emerging category. ASUS certainly isn’t the first company to bring a combo router/smart speaker to the market — Netgear beat the company to it by a couple of months with the Orbi. But it’s a hybrid product that makes sense for those who want an Alexa product in every room of the home.

The Lyra Voice hits retail later this month.


Source: TechCrunch

Byton has added yet another screen to its upcoming all-electric M-Byte SUV

Byton, the China-based electric car startup that made its debut at CES last year, is back to show what the finalized interior of its upcoming M-Byte SUV will look like.

The giant 48-inch wraparound digital dashboard screen that received so much attention is staying. And so is the touchscreen drive tablet located at the center of the steering wheel — although its size and design has changed.

No, Byton didn’t remove anything. It’s adding more.

Byton is adding an 8-inch touch pad between the driver and the front seat passengers on the production model of the M-Byte, executives revealed Monday at the CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

That means the electric vehicle with an estimated range of about 325 miles has one massive screen that takes up the entire dashboard and two touch pads in front — one for the driver and another that’s accessible to the driver and front seat passenger. Then there’s the independent rear-seat entertainment touchscreens for the backseat passengers. There are seven tablets in all.Byton M-Byte interior CES 2019

Byton did decrease the size of the driver tablet, which is at the center of the steering wheel just above the driver airbag, to 7 inches and added some hard buttons.

Adding more to an already splashy and futuristic vehicle is unusual in an automotive world where automakers typically strip out these high-concept items once the vehicle heads production.

There is a reason for all of these screens, Byton says. And that’s a digital cloud platform that the company calls Byton Life, which connects apps and smart devices, and of course, all that data. Each seat will be equipped with facial recognition that recognizes the passenger and driver and delivers personalized information like their schedule and entertainment preferences. It can even take health diagnostics.

The vehicle will also be able to recognize voices of different users and sounds from different directions in the car. So everyone in the car can ask the vehicle to play their own music, for example. 

In North American and European markets, Byton is working with Amazon Alexa to jointly develop voice control. 

Byton CES 2019 interior

Byton is sticking with its rotating front seats that can move inward 12 degrees to make it easier interact and communicate with each other when the vehicle is not in motion. This might seem like an odd feature for a vehicle that will not be fully autonomous. It’s the kind of detail that shows up in a lot of autonomous vehicle design concepts.

The M Byte SUV will not come equipped with a Level 4 system, a designation by SAE International that means the car takes over all of the driving in certain conditions. Instead, it will have come out with Level 2 capabilities, which means the vehicle has combined automated features such as steering and acceleration, but still requires the human driver to remain and ultimately responsible.

The dashboard design has been tweaked as well. It now has hard buttons located in the center along with a driver monitoring system to ensure safety during assisted-driving modes.

Byton CES 2019

Back when Byton first revealed its SUV concept at CES in January 2018, founders Daniel Kirchert, who is president, and CEO Carsten Breitfeld said it was close to what the final production version would look like. It’s about 80% complete, Kirchert told TechCrunch back in August, adding that the prototype has modest changes from the concept, including a slight changes to the height and headlights as well as improvements to the door latches.

The company, which was founded in 2016, now has 1,500 employees and plans to produce the M-Byte by the end of this year.


Source: TechCrunch

Electric car startup Byton on track to complete China factory by May

China-based electric vehicle startup Byton is on track to complete construction of its factory by May, company executives said Sunday at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.

The plant is being constructed in Nanjing, China and will have a capacity to produce 300,000 vehicles per year. The main body of the factory, which includes the stamping, painting, welding, assembly and battery, is currently under construction.  Manufacturing equipment in the factory will be supplied by AIDA Engineering of Japan, and KUKA and DÜRR of Germany. The company is also working with key strategic investors FAW and CATL, and suppliers Bosch, BOE, and Faurecia.

Completing the construction of the plant is just the first step, albeit a big one.

“We have made solid progress in the construction of our Nanjing plant and prototype vehicle testing,” Byton co-founder and president Daniel Kirchert said Sunday. “This is a vital year for Byton and our global team is sparing no efforts to achieve our goal of volume production.”

The company, which was founded by former BMW and Infiniti executives, is planning to debut a production version of its upcoming M-Byte SUV in mid-2019 with mass production to begin at the end of the year. The company is testing its vehicle in China, Europe, and the United States in a lead up to production.

In June, Byton secured a $500 million Series B funding round from investors FAW Group, Tus-Holdings and CATL. The company has raised $850 million as well as loans and subsidies from China.


Source: TechCrunch

Eve Energy Strip gives Siri three protected outlets at CES 2019 – CNET

Energy monitoring, surge protection and autonomous controls highlight Eve’s latest HomeKit gadget.
Source: CNET

Acer unveils its first AMD-powered Chromebook – CNET

Equipped with AMD’s A-series processors, the Chromebook 315 helps open up a new frontier for Google’s OS.
Source: CNET

CES 2019: Watch the Hyundai press conference live, Monday, 3 p.m. PT – Roadshow

If you’ve ever wondered what a “walking” car would look like, this one’s for you.
Source: CNET

Los diez inventos más sorprendentes de 2018

Algunas de las innovaciones tecnológicas impulsadas el año pasado parecen de ciencia ficción. Fármacos para combatir el envejecimiento, un avión eléctrico sin hélices o un dispositivo para comunicar varios cerebros figuran en la lista de los proyectos más curiosos
Source: MIT

Ciudades verticales del futuro: vivir a 1.000 metros del suelo

El constante aumento de la población y su migración a las ciudades obliga a repensar el urbanismo en forma de complejos urbanos con megarrascacielos, jardines que conectan los diferentes barrios y ascensores que funcionan como una red de metro
Source: MIT

Unseen Bird Box creatures look kinda like bald, veiny babies – CNET

Maybe it’s a good thing viewers didn’t see the Netflix creatures that drove people insane.
Source: CNET

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