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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Checking the tech in the 2018 Jeep Wrangler video – Roadshow

Jeep’s off-roader offers an excellent touchscreen infotainment system and more safety features than in the past.
Source: CNET

2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited review: Grown up in every way – Roadshow

Yes, it’ll still take you out beyond where the pavement ends, but the Wrangler has some newfound maturity for everyday driving.
Source: CNET

Fortnite season 5, week 9 challenges, how to solve the Shifty Shafts treasure map – CNET

The latest challenges that help you build up your Battle Pass have arrived.
Source: CNET

Honor of Kings will need you to play with your real name in China – CNET

This comes as China plans on tackling gaming addiction over rising levels of myopia.
Source: CNET

Logitech Crayon available to everyone for $70 starting Sept. 12 – CNET

It’s no longer limited to schools, but it costs more for noneducation buyers.
Source: CNET

European banking app Monese scores $60M Series B led by Kinnevik

The large amounts of cash that is being invested in challenger banks in the U.K., whether that be startups with a fully fledged banking license or those using the less burdensome e-money regulations, shows no signs of abating. The latest banking fintech to raise a substantial new round is Monese.

The London and Tallinn-based company, which provides a mobile-only current account targeting customers with a ‘thin’ credit file or who are newly arrived in a country, has secured $60 million in Series B funding. Leading the round is Kinnevik, with participation from PayPal, European investor Augmentum Fintech, and International Airlines Group via its loyalty and data business Avios Group Ltd. Existing investors, including Investec’s INVC Fund, also followed on.

Launched in 2015 and claiming nearly 600,000 sign ups in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe, Monese consists of a mobile-based current account and accompanying debit card. It offers most of the things you’d expect of a current account, such as account number and cash deposits and withdrawals. In addition, international money transfer and direct debits are supported.

It offers a free tier, with charges for some transactions, as a way of testing the water. Two monthly paid plans, starting from £4.99 per month, offer reduced or free transactions and a number of other perks.

The headline sell is that a Monese account can be opened in as little as 2 minutes, with technology driving the necessary background checks and KYC procedures. This also makes it attractive to recent migrants or other customers that don’t have a full financial history and therefore may find it more cumbersome to apply for an account with a high street bank.

In fact, as explained in a call with Monese founder Norris Koppel late yesterday afternoon, Monese wants to be the default current account option for customers with a thin credit file, from which it can offer a range of best-in-class financial services in partnership with other financial institutions, including incumbent banks and other fintechs.

That’s similar to other challenger banks and fintechs that want to become your financial control centre or hub, although in this instance Koppel is keen to stress that Monese “isn’t trying to kill banks” but wants to work with them.

Koppel also says that because the majority of Monese customers use the banking app as a primary account, including receiving salaries and paying rent, the company will be able to leverage this transaction data to help them better access credit and other financial services without solely relying on traditional credit score companies, such as Experian, which don’t have anything like the full picture.

Meanwhile, with monthly new customers tripling since the end of 2017, and Monese available in 20 European countries, Koppel tells me the watch word for this new round of funding is scale. He says the bigger vision is to have Monese the first banking option in any country a new or existing Monese customer lands in, with local account numbers instantly available.

Related, the company plans to hire an additional 100 employees across its existing U.K. and Estonian offices as well as a third new office in Portugal by the end of the year.


Source: TechCrunch

Fujifilm X-T3 promises epic action autofocus and more for the money – CNET

Edge-to-edge AF points, 11fps continuous shooting and 10-bit DCI 4K video in-camera for $1,500.
Source: CNET

iRobot’s new Roomba knows where it’s going

The Roomba i7+ looks like, well, it looks like a Roomba. There are few factors distinguishing the product from the last several generations. The rollers are bright green, along with a large Automatic Dirt Disposal section just below. Beyond that, however, it’s nearly identical to what you’ll already find on store shelves.

For iRobot co-founder and CEO Colin Angle, however, the product represents the culmination of the company’s nearly 30-year existence. “This is the thing,” the executive explains. “This is the Roomba I’ve always wanted to make.”

The latest version of the robotic vacuum represents a number of advances over its predecessor, chief among them the ability to know where it’s going and remember where it’s been. It’s a skill Angle has teased for a few years now, including several appearances on TechCrunch — and high atop the list of the line’s most requested features.

The feature has been teased in past versions of the home robot. Last year, the company added Clean Mapping to the 900 series. The feature lets the robot create an indoor map of the home, showing where the Roomba spent most of its time and helping it return home to the dock, even when it’s on the other side of the home.

With the i7+, however, Roomba will be able to recognize different rooms.

“The idea that we can build this system that remembers what’s going on in the home is the big leap,” Angle tells TechCrunch. “The 900 built maps, but didn’t remember them. The goal of organizing information to enable the smart home required this robot. For the company, it’s huge. We transition from being a company that is building robots to a company that is organizing spatial information in the home. There’s a data dimension to the company that can now actually be talked about.”

This is accomplished, in part, due to a large jump in computational power  — 50x over the 900 series, according to the CEO. While most users refresh their Roombas at roughly the same rate as smartphones (every two to three years), the bump in on-board tech means the company is able to offer a device that continuously updates over the life of the product.

“It’s much more of a platform at this point,” Angle says. “We can improve your robot, and you should expect the robot to be more of a software product. Your ability to interact with it and the sophistication of what it can do at launch versus a year from now is actually going to be pretty different. The next time it can be smarter about what it can do.”

iRobot gave us a sneak peek of the product on a recent trip to its Bedford, Mass. headquarters. The iRobot HOME lab is a 4,000-square-foot fake home protected by a series of secure doors. It’s much nicer and much larger than my own New York City apartment, save for the notes that line different piece of furniture, warning visitors not to do things like lie on the bed.

The company showed off the tech by mapping roughly half the space for the new Roomba, code-named “Lewis,” as a tip of the cap to one half of the famed duo of 19th century American explorers. The combination of  iAdapt 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM location mapping makes the robot able to navigate to a destination chosen by the user. The recent additions of Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa means users can command the robot with their voice.

There’s one more key hardware addition for the i7+, which addresses another longstanding complaint with the Roomba. The Clean Base is a large bin attached to the charging dock. Using the Automatic Dirt Disposal system, the Roomba is able to empty its own bin. You’ll still have to clean out the larger bin, of course, but only 1/30th of the time of the on-board system. When that bag is full, the user will get a notification from the app.

The i7+ is up for presale starting today, priced at $699. The clean base runs another $299. The robot will start shipping in September. You also can get a sneak peek of the system this week at TechCrunch Disrupt.


Source: TechCrunch

Magical new Roomba empties its bin by itself – CNET

iRobot’s Roomba i7+ robot will vacuum, empty its bin for months on its own.
Source: CNET

South Korean home cleaning startup Miso sweeps up $8 million Series A

South Korean home cleaning service Miso wants to leave its competition in the dust after raising an $8 million Series A. Led by AddVenture, with participation from returning investors Y Combinator, FundersClub and Strong Ventures, and new backer Social Capital, the funding will be used on marketing and entering new Asian countries.

The Y Combinator alum, which was the third startup from South Korea to participate in the accelerator program, has now raised over $10.5 million in total. When TechCrunch first profiled Miso in June 2016, it was processing about 5,000 bookings a month. Now co-founder and CEO Victor Ching says the platform processes about 50,000 to 60,000 cleanings a month.

The company claims that it has processed over 750,000 bookings since it was founded in 2015 and made more than $40 million in gross merchandise value over the last three years. It has served a total of 110,000 customers and currently has 15,000 cleaners on its platform, which is accessible through mobile apps and its website.

When they launched, Miso and competitors like WaHome and Daeri Jubu represented a shift in how home cleaners work in South Korea, where demand for their services is growing thanks to the increase in dual-income households. As Ching explains to TechCrunch, cleaners previously had to pay a monthly fee to join an agency and were often required to check in at its office to wait for bookings, even though work wasn’t guaranteed. Cleaning apps give customers and cleaners more convenience and flexibility, as well as a rating system for transparency.

Ching says that when he and co-founder Haksu Lee started Miso, they assumed most cleaners would want the equivalent of full-time work, or about 30 to 40 hours a week. In reality, however, only about 30% of its providers want to work that many hours, while the rest clean on a part-time basis or to supplement their income. Full time cleaners on the platform typically earn up to about $2,000 a month (in comparison, the monthly minimum wage for full-time work in South Korea is about $1,400).

To stand out from competitors, Miso has focused on developing scale over the last two years, says Ching, who was chief product officer at food delivery startup Yogiyo before it was acquired by Delivery Hero in 2014. Ching’s experience handling food delivery logistics helped him develop Miso’s backend so that when bookings began to increase, it was able to arrange shorter commutes for cleaners. This in turn allowed the company to offer quicker bookings of about 2 to 3 hours, expanding its customer base (it initially only offered four- or eight-hour sessions). Its services also now include air conditioner and washing machine cleanings, as well as same-day bookings in some markets.

Miso’s logistics system also helps match cleaners and customers. About half of its customer base are subscribers, which mean they typically book a cleaning once a week. Most prefer to have the same person come over every week, but that means Miso needs to pair them with a cleaner who is willing to go over regularly. Miso’s platform takes into account the preferences of both customers and providers and also tries to match jobs in the same building or apartment complex with one cleaner. Ching says this is an important advantage Miso has over competitors, because its focus on convenience keeps cleaners loyal to the platform.


Source: TechCrunch

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