International Business Times


Kroger Partners With Driverless Car Company To Enhance Delivery Service

International Business Times

Kroger, one of the country's largest grocery retailers, looks to bring its grocery delivery service into the future with plans to utilize autonomous vehicles to send goods to customers, the company announced Thursday. The partnership between the Ohio-based grocery chain and driverless car company Nuro means that customers can place same-day delivery orders through Kroger's ClickList ordering system and Nuro's fleet of self-driving vehicles will deliver those orders. Kroger, with 2,800 stores across the U.S, hopes that with the help of Nuro's technology it will "change the status quo of grocery delivery through convenience at a low price." It is the first time the tech company's hardware and software are being utilized, the company said. The rollout is slated for fall.


Niantic Opens AR Platform To Third-Party Developers, Shows Off Experimental Capabilities

International Business Times

Niantic Labs, the developer behind "Pokémon Go," has announced that it is planning to open its augmented reality platform to third-party developers. The company also shared it's vision for the future of its AR platform, which includes advancements in machine learning and computer vision. "Today, we are offering a preview of the technology we have been developing: the Niantic Real World Platform," Niantic CEO John Hanke said in a blog post. "This is the first time we've given an update of this nature publicly, and I'm confident it will provide a sense of how committed we are to the future of AR, and to furthering the type of experiences we have pioneered." The CEO also revealed that Niantic has acquired the computer vision and machine learning company Matrix Mill and established a new office in London.


Vivo Announces New TOF 3D Sensing Technology That Will Rival Apple's Face ID

International Business Times

Chinese phone maker Vivo has announced its own 3D sensing technology that could rival Apple's Face ID facial recognition feature. Vivo claims that its technology will have 10 times more sensor points than Apple's solution. "Vivo's TOF 3D Sensing Technology features industry-leading performance in depth of information captured with its 300,000 sensor points, which is 10 times the number of existing Structured Light Technology. This raises the bar by enabling 3D mapping at up to three meters from the phone while having a smaller baseline than Structured Light," Vivo said in a press release. "TOF 3D Sensing Technology is also simpler and smaller in structure and allows for more flexibility when embedded in a smartphone.


Google Home, Mini, Max Can Now Speak Spanish

International Business Times

More than 400 million people worldwide speak Spanish as their native language. However, those people have been left behind by tech companies who make products based on speaking and listening, like Google Home and Amazon Echo. On Tuesday, the former remedied the situation. Google announced in a company blog post Tuesday morning that its Home line of smart-speaker products would listen and speak Spanish, starting immediately. According to Google, it is as easy as going to the preferences section of the Google Home app and changing the digital assistant's language to Spanish.


Galaxy S10 Will Have 3D Facial Recognition, In-Display Fingerprint Scanner

International Business Times

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is heavily rumored to arrive with an in-display fingerprint scanner. Now a new report from Korea claims that this could be true and that the Galaxy S10 won't have an iris scanner, but could come with an iPhone X-inspired feature. Samsung has not requested any of its suppliers to make iris scanners for the Galaxy S10, according to The Bell. The Korean news outlet claims that the upcoming Samsung flagship phone will have an in-display fingerprint scanner and 3D facial recognition technology, which will function a lot like Apple's Face ID on the iPhone X. Samsung is still lagging behind Apple when it comes to 3D facial recognition. The South Korean phone maker did introduce an Animoji competitor called AR Emoji on the Galaxy S9, as pointed out by The Verge.


Australia To Buy Six US Triton Drones For $5.1 Billion

International Business Times

Australia will buy six U.S. Triton remotely piloted aircraft to beef up its maritime patrols, with the initial investment of A$1.4 billion ($1 billion) for the first drone, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Tuesday. The government said the Triton drones, made by Northrop Grumman Corp, would be used alongside P-8A Poseidon aircraft for long range operations and intelligence gathering, and would improve anti-submarine warfare and marine strike capability. "This investment will protect our borders and make our region more secure," Turnbull and Australia's defence ministers said in a joint statement. The total cost for the six drones, including facilities upgrades and support, will be A$6.9 billion, a person familiar with the transaction said. Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne's office declined to comment on the total cost of the aircraft, which can fly for up to 24 hours and have sensors that can view the surrounding area over 2,000 nautical miles (3,700 kms).


Bird-Like 'Spy Drones' Hovering Over Chinese Population: Report

International Business Times

If you think drones aka unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are at the peak of their evolution, it's time to think again because China is using the technology as birds to spy on its residents. We all know that the basic job of a drone involves monitoring ground activity and conducting critical reconnaissance missions. Most countries in the world are employing the technology for this purpose, but in order to ensure the success of such missions, it is crucial that the UAV remains unseen. This is why engineers across the globe are working to improve the element of stealth. However, just recently, a report from South China Morning Post (SCMP) revealed that China's government and military agencies have taken a unique approach to the case.


Driverless Cars Offer New Forms Of Control – No Wonder Governments Are Keen

International Business Times

Imagine a state-of-the-art driverless car is zipping along a road with a disabled 90-year-old-passenger. The car must make a decision: drive into the mother and child and kill them, or career into a wall and kill the passenger. This is a variation of the trolley problem, which dominates academic and popular thinking about the ethics of driverless cars. The problem is that such debates not only dismiss the complexity of the system in which driverless cars will exist, but are really moral red herrings. The real ethical issues lie in the politics and power concerns with driverless cars.


Amazon Employees To Jeff Bezos: Stop Selling Facial Recognition Tech To ICE

International Business Times

Amazon's operation has grown well beyond merely delivering items to people's homes. Jeff Bezos's massive corporation is now involved in everything from grocery shopping to fashion, but the recent revelation that Amazon technology assists law enforcement is a bridge too far for some employees. A group of Amazon employees (referred to as Amazonians) penned a letter to Bezos on Thursday asking the billionaire CEO to halt the sale of facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies, The Hill reported. The software, called Amazon Web Services Rekognition, has been linked to government agencies like the controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. The letter cited the United States government's history of injustice towards minorities in calling for Amazon to stop assisting ICE.


Russia Developing Super-Autonomous Robotic Submarine That Will Not Run On Nuclear Power

International Business Times

Russian scientists are developing an advanced automated submarine that will be powered by an external combustion engine, Igor Denisov, deputy director of the Foundation for Advanced Studies (FPI), revealed in an interview with Interfax, a Russian news agency. "We are planning to create an apparatus that will pass through the Northern Sea Route without floating up and without the use of nuclear power, including under the ice," Denisov said. "In order for this device to accomplish such a'feat,' its autonomy should be at least 90 days, which is already commensurate with the autonomy of modern submarines." The decision to forego the nuclear option to power the underwater vehicle was a conscious one, Denisov said, in order to make it increasingly safe. While a nuclear installation helps power submarines for uninterrupted movement throughout the world's oceans, it also puts its operational capabilities at risk.