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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Blueair Sense+ Review: Breathe Easy With This WiFi-Enabled Air Purifier

Check on indoor air pollutants and bid them begone with Blueair’s smart air purifier.
Source: Wired

Interior Define, the custom furniture startup, opens new location in SF

The direct-to-consumer space has some stand-out players, both in newcomers like Brooklinen and old-timers like Warby Parker. But one company, Interior Define, has maintained a low profile over the four years of its existence.

The company offers fully customizable furniture, including couches, dining sets and bed frames, to customers through an online showroom. But ID also has guide shops in Chicago (its home market), LA, New York, and Austin.

Interior Define has also just opened up its biggest retail location yet, right in the middle of Hayes Valley in San Francisco. And this time, the store has a twist.

In the back of the showroom, Interior Define has built out a fully furnished two-story home called Studio ID. Alongside its own pieces, Studio ID includes pieces and products from other digitally native partners including Wright Bedding, Gantri, Snowe Home, Barn & Willow, 57st Design, Revival Rugs, Minted, Fireclay Tile, and Sonos.

The idea here is to show off ID’s pieces in their most natural setting, alongside offering partner companies better exposure via offline retail.

According to Interior Define cofounder and CEO Rob Royer, there is no exchange of cash for these partnerships.

Royer also told TechCrunch that San Francisco has been a priority market for the company for a while, but that the startup insisted on finding a great place within Hayes Valley, and waited until they found this newest location to move into the market.

When Interior Define first launched, the company simply sold customizable sofas. Users could choose the upholstery, the measurements, and the accents like sofa legs. The company has since expanded into dining sets and bed frames, but has also enhanced the overall experience with an Interior Define app.

The app lets users scan the floor of their home and place the item they’re customizing into the home via augmented reality. Interior Define also took a page out of the Warby Parker playbook, offering a free swatch program for users interested in purchasing online.

Interior Define has raised a total of $27.2 million from investors such as Fifth Wall, Pritzker Group, Breakout Capital, and Greak Oaks.


Source: TechCrunch

Steam game allegedly infected users with cryptocurrency-mining malware

A cheap Steam game called Abstractism appears to be infecting users’ computers with a program that mines cryptocurrency. The developer has denied that the game is doing this after seemingly confirming it earlier.

The post Steam game allegedly infected users with cryptocurrency-mining malware appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Continental teams up with UC Berkeley to boost AI research – Roadshow

AI has a place beyond autonomy, even though self-driving cars are likely the main focus here.
Source: CNET

This Robot Hand Taught Itself How to Grab Stuff Like a Human

The system, developed by OpenAI, ends up “inventing” characteristic grasps that we humans already commonly use to handle objects.
Source: Wired

Audi PB 18 E-tron concept is a slick electric supercar for Pebble Beach – Roadshow

As if you needed another reason to attend Monterey Car Week.
Source: CNET

Tesla's $1,500 surfboards are already sold out – CNET

The limited-edition boards are popping up on eBay.
Source: CNET

Revolut’s Nikolay Storonsky to talk shop at Disrupt SF

In October 2017 CEO Nikolay Storonsky’s Revolut raised $71 million at a valuation of $350 million. Today it’s certified unicorn, approaching a $2 billion valuation.

His stake is said to be worth over $510 million. But not all success is a huge mystery. For Storonsky, working hard is his big secret.

Revolut’s core product is a payment card that boasts super-low fees when spending abroad. But, the company has been slowly adding more and more additional financial services, from insurance to cryptocurrency trading and current accounts.

Revolut is becoming a bank by the back door, and it’s a strategy that’s working. Storonsky is aiming for 100 million customers by 2023 and a succession of new features.

Born in a small town on the outskirts of Moscow, Storonsky boxed as a child and then took up swimming as a teenager before studying for a physics masters degree at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, a top Russian university. He became a state champion swimmer while at university.

His first job was as a trader at Lehman Brothers, which he joined before finishing his degree, while at the same time completing a separate masters in economics at the New Economic School in Moscow. He left Lehman before it collapsed, joining Credit Suisse at the start of 2008. In 2013 he left to set up Revolut.

In just a few years, Revolut has signed up over 2 million customers, processed over $17 billion in transactions and become one of the fastest-growing companies in Europe.

We’re absolutely thrilled to have Storonsky join us at the Disrupt SF conference in September.

The full agenda is here. Passes for the show are available at the early-bird rate until August 1 here.


Source: TechCrunch

Fabric offers an alternative to Facebook sharing with a private timeline of personal moments

Fabric, a personal journaling app that emerged from Y Combinator’s 2016 batch of startups, is relaunching itself as a Facebook alternative. The app is giving itself a makeover in the wake of Facebook’s closure of the Moves location tracker, by offering its own tool to record your activities, photos, memories and other moments shared with friends and family. But unlike on Facebook, everything in Fabric is private by default and data isn’t shared with marketers.

Instead, the startup hopes to build something users will eventually pay for, via premium features or subscriptions.

The idea for the startup came from two people who helped create Facebook’s core features.

Co-founders Arun Vijayvergiya and Nikolay Valtchanov worked for several years at the social network, where Vijayvergiya built the product that would later become Facebook Timeline at an internal hackathon. He also worked on products like Friendship Pages, Year in Review and On This Day, while Valtchanov developed integrations between Facebook and fitness applications.

After leaving Facebook, both were inspired to work on Fabric because of their interest in personal journaling – and that became the key focus for the original version of the Fabric app. But while other journaling apps may offer a blank space for recording thoughts, Fabric automates the process by pulling in photos, posts from elsewhere on social media, places you visited, and more, and put those on its map interface.

The longer-term goal is that Fabric users will be able to look back across their personal history to answer any kind of question about where they had been, what they did, and who they were with – but in a more private environment than what’s available on Facebook.

Facebook could have built something similar, but its focus has been more on how personal profile data could be useful to advertisers.

Despite numerous check-ins, posts where you tagged friends, shared photos and more, there’s still not an easy way to ask Facebook about that great Indian restaurant you tried last March, or who was on that group beach trip with you a few years ago, for example. At best, Facebook offers memory flashbacks through its On This Day feature (now available at any time via the Memories tab), or round-ups and collages that appear at various times throughout the year.

As a search engine for your own memories, it’s not that great.

What’s New 

This is where Fabric comes in. It will automatically record your activities, checking you in to places you visit, which you can then choose to add friends to.

While the idea of automatic location gathering may turn a good number of users off, the difference is that Fabric’s data collection is meant for your eyes only, unless you explicitly choose to share something with friends.

Fabric doesn’t use third-party software for its location system – it’s written in-house, so the data is never touched by a third-party. It also uses industry standard encryption for data transfer and storage, and login information is stored in a separate system from the rest of your data as an added precaution.

Notably, Fabric doesn’t plan to generate revenue by selling data or offering it to advertisers for targeting purposes. Instead, the company hopes users will eventually pay for its product – perhaps as a subscription or through premium upgrades. (It’s not doing this yet, however.)

“The whole motivation behind Fabric is that many meaningful parts of your life do not belong in the public sphere,” explains Vijayvergiya. “In order to be able to capture these moments, user trust is essential and is something we have baked into our company culture. Internally, we refer to ourselves as a ‘private-first’ company. Everything on Fabric is private by default. You have to choose to include friends in your moments. We don’t share any data with marketers, and we don’t intend to share personally identifiable information with advertisers,” he says.

Since its 2016 release, Fabric has been downloaded 70,000 times by users across 117 countries, and has seen 112 million automatic check-ins.

The new version of the app has been redesigned to be something users engage with more often, as opposed to the more passive journaling app it was before.

The app now offers an outline of your activities, which it also calls Timeline. Here, you can add people, photos and memorable anecdotes to those automated entries. You can jump back to any day to see your history with any person or place that appears on the Timeline.

You can also turn any moment into one you collaborate on with friends, by allowing others to add photos and comments. That is, instead of broad post to a group of so-called “friends” on Facebook, you share the moment with those who really matter. This isn’t all that different from how people use private messaging apps and group chats today – in order to share things with people that aren’t necessarily meant for everyone to see.

In addition, Fabric allows you to add your friends to the app, so you can be automatically tagged when you both spend time together in the real world. This also simplifies sharing because you won’t have to think about which posts should be shared with which audience.

For instance, Vijayvergiya says, “this means you can add your mom as a friend, and only share with her the moments you spend together in the same place.”

The most compelling feature in the updated app may not be check-ins or sharing, but search.

In Fabric, you can now search for past events in your life similar to how you search the web. That is, you could type in “restaurant rome 2017” or “camila los angeles birthday” and find the matching posts, Vijayvergiya suggests. And because you can import your Facebook, Instagram, and Camera Roll to Fabric, it’s now offering the search engine that Facebook itself forgot to build. (You can import your Facebook Moves history, too, ahead of its shutdown.)

Fabric’s search will also be available on the desktop web, where it’s currently in beta.

Fabric’s real challenger, as it turns out, may not be Facebook, though. It’s Google Photos.

Because of advances in image recognition technology, Google Photos (and some other photo apps) have built advanced search capabilities that let you pull up not places, things, people, and more, using data recognized in the image itself. Users can also share those photos with others, collaborate on albums, and leave notes as comments.

The difference is that Fabric offers import from a variety of sources and encourages journaling. But that may not be enough to attract a large user base, especially when automatic check-ins rely on the app’s use of background location which has some impact on battery life.

Fabric is a free download on iOS.

 

 


Source: TechCrunch

Ecobee looks to save you money with new Peak Relief feature – CNET

The smart-thermostat maker pilots a program that automatically tweaks your temperature as energy rates change.
Source: CNET

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