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Go completely hands-free with Amazon's Alexa-enabled Echo Buds

Mashable

If you're still using an old pair of wired earbuds in 2021, it's time to trade them in for a pair that will actually make your life more convenient. Wireless earbuds are less hassle, perfect for workouts (achieve those fitness resolutions you set), and many of them are voice assistant enabled, meaning you'll be able to ask your headphones to set timers, respond to text messages, choose your music, and more. Amazon's Echo Buds check all the boxes of high-quality sound with helpful features that'll keep you hands-free, and as of Jan. 22, you can grab them for a 31% discount -- just $89.99. The Echo Buds boast high-quality sound and top-tier Bose Active Noise Reduction Technology to reduce any background noise that might be in your environment. Get some work done even if your kids are screaming, or listen to your favorite podcast on a busy street without all the interruption, thanks to the in-ear design.


Pizza Hut to test drone delivery to 'landing zones'

FOX News

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what's clicking on Foxnews.com. Pizza Hut is reaching new heights with its latest delivery experiment. Tech company Dragontail Systems Limited announced this week that it has deployed drones for restaurants to carry meals to delivery drivers in remote landing zones. Those drones will be flying pizzas from a Pizza Hut location in northern Israel starting in June, The Wall Street Journal reported.


Kroger testing new 'smart cart' that eliminates stopping to pay at checkout

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Kroger is testing new smart shopping cart technology in the Cincinnati area that eliminates paying at the checkout. For the past few weeks, Kroger quietly rolled out the new carts at its Madeira store, branded "KrogGo." The technology allows shoppers to load up their cart with groceries, then pay by swiping their credit or debit card at the cart, then head for the parking lot. Using artificial intelligence, the technology will enable shoppers to assemble their order without having to scan items as carts begin to recognize a box of cereal or pound of apples, according to Caper, the New York firm behind the technology. The carts include a built-in scale to measure items sold by weight and a built-in screen that can deliver shopping list recommendations, promotional offers, and wayfinding capabilities.


Pizza Hut Hopes Drop Zones Can Help Bring Drone Delivery to Fruition

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

"Drone delivery is a sexy thing to talk about, but it's not realistic to think we're going to see drones flying all over the sky dropping pizzas into everyone's backyards anytime soon," said Ido Levanon, the managing director of Dragontail Systems Ltd., the technology firm coordinating Pizza Hut's drone trial. Pizza chains and tech startups have spent years sketching visions of food descending from the sky instead of being yanked from the back of a moped or car. Drones would zip above road traffic, widen restaurants' delivery areas and cost less than human drivers. In 2016, a Domino's Pizza Inc. franchisee flew a drone over Whangaparaoa, New Zealand, and deposited two pizzas--peri-peri chicken and chicken and cranberry--into the backyard of Emma and Johnny Norman. Get weekly insights into the ways companies optimize data, technology and design to drive success with their customers and employees.


ICYMI: We take a listen to Apple's AirPods Max

Engadget

It's been a busy few weeks here at Engadget. In addition to celebrating the holidays, ringing in the New Year and prepping for next week's virtual CES, we've kept reviewing all the new gadgets and components that we can get our hands on. We start off with the long-awaited Apple AirPods Max headphones and, more recently, the Amazon Echo Frames which are now finally available. We also checked out Sony's portable A7C camera, HP's Reverb G2 mixed reality headset, NVIDIA's RTX 3060 Ti and the flexible Hologram Electronics Microcosm effects pedal. Long-rumored and quietly revealed last month, the AirPods Max are high-end, over-ear headphones constructed from aluminum and metal and available in five colors.


AI-powered lipstick machine uses decides which shade looks good on you and concocts it on the spot

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A Korean cosmetics company has taken the guesswork out of makeup. Amorepacific's Color Tailor app analyzes your face, determines what shade of lipstick would best complement your complexion and then sends the results to a machine that mixes up a custom tube of it while you wait. The company is showing off its Lip Factory system next week at the Consumer Electronic Showcase, the annual tech convention that's moved to the virtual world in light of the pandemic. Users upload a photo of their face onto the Color Tailor app, which uses artificial intelligence to select a flattering hue from among more than 2,000 different possible combinations. The machine then mixes and matches pigments to create a custom product you can buy.


2021: The Year of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

#artificialintelligence

While the pandemic has been painful, it has caused things to accelerate in several areas impressively rapidly. Two of those areas are robotics and artificial intelligence, which we'll see adapted broadly this decade with a considerable bump in 2021. Let's talk about all of that this week, and we'll close with the first product of the week in 2021, the Somnofy AI Sleep Monitor.


We saw the future in 2020 and the future sucks

Mashable

Flying cars are starting to look like a crock of shit. I contend we're living in the future, and -- spoiler ahead -- flying cars aren't the future we got. Listen, I hate this gut feeling as much you probably do, but I can't quite shake it: 2020 looks a whole hell of a lot like the future. We lived through screens -- at least, you did if you were fortunate and caring -- and limited our human interaction to a bare minimum. Hours upon hours poured into television or immersive video game worlds. It all reminds me of a piece my friend Mike Murphy wrote for Quartz in 2016 titled, "The future is a place where we won't have to talk to or hear from anyone we don't want to."


Echo Frames review: Alexa on your face is both helpful and annoying

Engadget

It's been more than a year since Amazon introduced the Echo Frames to the world, and this month, the connected glasses finally became widely available for purchase. For $250, you get hands-free access to Alexa wherever you go. Plus, you can take calls, play music and hear your notifications through the device's open-ear speakers, while still being aware of your surroundings. To be clear, though, that's pretty much all the Echo Frames do; there's no display or camera. Still, there's potential here, especially for people who already wear glasses and want to interact with their phone without touching it.


Podcast: Attention shoppers–you're being tracked

MIT Technology Review

In some stores, sophisticated systems are tracking customers in almost every imaginable way, from recognizing their faces to gauging their age, their mood, and virtually gussying them up with makeup. The systems rarely ask for people's permission, and for the most part they don't have to. In our season 1 finale, we look at the explosion of AI and face recognition technologies in retail spaces, and what it means for the future of shopping. This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green, Tate Ryan-Mosley, Emma Cillekens and Karen Hao. Strong: Retailers have been using face recognition and AI tracking technologies for years. And what if you could know about the presence of violent criminals before they act? With Face First you can stop crime before it starts.] It detects faces, voices, objects and claims it can analyze behavior. But face recognition systems have a well-documented history of misidentifying women and people of color. And they're trying to sell it and impose it on the entirety of the country?] Strong: This is Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at a 2019 congressional hearing on facial recognition.