Media


DJI's New Mavic 2 Drones Have Major Camera Upgrades

TIME

Dronemaker DJI announced Thursday two new models aimed squarely at the prosumer-to-professional crowd: The Mavic 2 Pro and the Mavic 2 Zoom. Both of DJI's new Mavic 2 drones are built around the same basic design. The key difference is in the camera payload: The Mavic 2 Pro packs a 20-megapixel camera with 1-inch CMOS sensor from Hasselblad, the high-end camera maker in which DJI invested in 2015. The Mavic 2 Zoom, meanwhile, offers a 24-48mm lens that lets photographers and videographers reach farther-away subjects or add telephoto compression effects to their work. The lens on the Mavic 2 Zoom also allows for the drone's new "Dolly Zoom" effect, which works by zooming in on a subject while simultaneously flying away from it.


How Drones Are Revolutionizing the Way Film and Television Is Made

TIME

Around the time Leonardo Da Vinci was painting the Mona Lisa, he was also writing his Codex on the Flight of Birds, a roughly 35,000-word exploration of the ways in which man might take to the air. His illustrations included diagrams positing pre-Newtonian theories of physics, a rudimentary plan for a flying machine and many, many sketches of birds in flight. The Mona Lisa, with her secretive smile, is a universe of intimacy captured on a relatively small panel of wood. But the landscape behind his captivating subject shows the world as you would see it from atop a tall hill--or from the vantage point you would get if you had hitched a ride on the back of a giant bird. Even as da Vinci was perfecting one way of seeing a face, he was dreaming of other ways of looking.


3 Things I Learned After One Month With Apple's HomePod

TIME

Apple may have gotten a head start on virtual assistants when Siri arrived on the iPhone 4s back in 2011. But rivals Amazon and Google have a big lead when it comes to smart assistants for your home, thanks to their Amazon Echo and Google Home devices. Not to be left out, Apple is entering the voice-activated home assistant arena with the HomePod, a Siri-enabled smart speaker that's available now for $349. Apple is hoping to make the HomePod stand out by positioning it as high-end audio gear with artificial intelligence, rather than a simple home assistant. The HomePod largely succeeds in that regard, but it's not without a few drawbacks.


Review: Google's Tiny New Camera Uses AI to Become Your Personal Photographer

TIME

The good: Compact and colorful design, Automatically takes photos when it detects a person or pet The bad: Isn't always easy to position, Short battery life Who it's for: Parents and pet owners who want to capture easy-to-miss moments


I Finally Found the Droids I Was Looking For -- But Are They Right For My Kids?

TIME

Every Christmas in the '80s, I wanted the same thing as many other pint-sized Star Wars fans: a robot sidekick to call my own. And not just any old droid would do: It had to be an R2-D2, specifically one that could drop its third leg down and cruise around the world at my side.


The Artificial Intelligence Gap Is Getting Narrower

TIME

One of the most widely known practitioners of artificial intelligence never used a computer or built what we'd think of as a robot. Mary Shelley's Dr. Victor Frankenstein, the creator of a "modern Prometheus" capable of thinking and acting on his own, captivated readers from the moment the novel Frankenstein first appeared on shelves. But that success belies the fact that Shelley was still ahead of her time. What once seemed like a bizarre fantasy--the notion that man could create a being who could think as we do--is, today, a fascination. It helps that we've grown closer, in our world, to making Dr. Frankenstein's Promethean dream a reality.


Help! My Son Confuses Me With Amazon's Alexa

TIME

Last week, when asking for a cup of yogurt, my three-year-old son called me Alexa. It's a funny, modern problem to have your child mistake you for a disembodied A.I. voice--in this case, the one powering Amazon's Echo family of devices. But it's also a good example of what it's like living in a home powered by a smart speaker. Too busy to lift a remote, we bark commands into the void expecting something to respond. But on occasion there's no reply: The lights don't turn on.


Cable Television Needs You More Than You Need Cable Television

TIME

For decades, cable has roped in millions of customers like me with the promise of hundreds of channels and thousands of shows. But in my 15-plus years as a subscriber, there's one thing I've watched most: my bill. Every month I pay it, and every month I think of cutting the cord. The reason is that there's never anything good on--unless you're a fan of The Shawshank Redemption (which is probably on two channels at once), or one of the 19 shows based on storage units. Years of this feeling has brought people like me to a slow boil and caused them to pull the plug on their pay television.


How to Pick the Amazon Echo That's Right for You

TIME

If you've been contemplating purchasing one of Amazon's voice-enabled Echo smart speakers, now is a particularly good time to pull the trigger. Just in time for Amazon's Prime Day blowout sale, which kicks off at 9 p.m. ET on July 10, the company has slashed the prices of its Echo devices. The standard model will cost $89.99 Amazon's portable Tap speaker will be selling for $79.90, a $50 markdown. Amazon Echo Show with an Arlo security camera, Amazon will chop $75 off the total price.


amazon-echo-show-review

TIME

It's the first time Alexa, the virtual assistant powering Amazon's Echo devices, doesn't depend solely on verbal input. I can't glance at my nightstand without Alexa feeding me news headlines, recommending music videos, or encouraging me to try its other features. As such, it's possible to place a video call, audio call, or send an audio message just by asking Alexa. Amazon is positioning the Show as more than just a Skype machine by making it compatible with smart home products like baby monitors and security cameras.