TIME


'We're Going to Get Better at This.' Samsung Is Still Betting Big on the Smart Home

TIME

Silicon Valley tech giants and startups alike have for years been trying to drum up excitement around Internet-connected home appliances. But despite the push from companies like Samsung, Google and Apple, consumer adoption has been slow. Only 7% of households in the Americas were estimated to have connected home tech by the end of 2017, according to research from IHS Markit. Shoppers have had good reasons to avoid smart home gadgets. They're usually more expensive than their "dumb" counterparts, they can be complicated to set up and use, and the true utility they offer can be unclear.


Facebook Wants to Open Special 'Community Skills Hubs' in Europe and Train a Million People

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The U.S. company – which has faced regulatory pressure in Europe over issues ranging from privacy to antitrust – said it would open three "community skills hubs" in Spain, Poland and Italy as well as investing 10 million euros ($12.2 million) in France through its artificial intelligence research facility. "People are worried that the digital revolution is leaving people behind and we want to make sure that we're investing in digital skills to get people the skills they need to fully participate in the digital economy," Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, told Reuters. The community hubs will offer training in digital skills, media literacy and online safety to groups with limited access to technology, including old people, the young and refugees. Facebook also committed to having trained one million people and business owners by 2020. "Absolutely we want to make sure that people see that we are investing locally, we're investing in technology, we're investing in humans," Sandberg said.


3 Things I Learned About the Future of Technology at This Year's CES

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In a dimly lit ballroom inside the MGM casino in Las Vegas earlier this month, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang was discussing a strange topic in front of a very eager crowd: Different species of flowers. That may seem out of place to anyone familiar with Nvidia, a company best known for graphics processors that power everything from gaming computers to driverless cars. But Huang was illustrating how his company's technology could use machine learning to identify and label more than 900 images of flowers in just a second. It was a fitting way to kick off this year's CES, the biggest tech show of the year. Many of the show's announcements and exhibitions centered on artificial intelligence (AI) and its role in smart homes, smart cars, and smart everything.


Here's One Way Microsoft's Amazon Alexa Rival Could Win

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A man dressed in white from head to toe was posted outside the Las Vegas Convention Center last week. His outfit included just a few colorful exceptions: four bubbles in red, yellow, blue, and green splashed in the center of his T-shirt, and a fluffy red poof atop his ski cap. Those multicolored spots should look familiar to anyone who's used Google's virtual assistant on their smartphone. After all, those dots form the same logo that appears in the Google Assistant app. That's because he, like others at CES in the same attire, was dressed as the Google Assistant.


10 of the Coolest Gadgets We Saw at CES 2018

TIME

Each January, tech companies from around the world gather in Las Vegas to show off their latest efforts at CES, formerly called the Consumer Electronics Show, the biggest gadget show of the year. While the products and demos showcased at CES don't always reflect the technology you'll be able to buy in the near future, the show does offer some insight into where tech giants are putting their time and resources. This year was all about improving communication between smart home gadgets, making the car feel more personal, and putting screens everywhere imaginable. Here's a look at some of the coolest products we came across on the CES showroom floor. L'Oréal's UV Sense is a tiny sensor capable of detecting ultraviolet exposure that's small enough to wear comfortably on your fingernail.


The 5 Best Laptops We Saw at CES 2018

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Over the past several years, CES -- formerly the Consumer Electronics Show -- has shifted its focus from "traditional" consumer tech towards self-driving cars and Internet-connected kitchen appliances. Despite that, PC makes still showed up in droves to this year's CES to flaunt their latest laptops, 2-in-1s, and more. Here's a look at the five best laptops we saw at CES 2018. The XPS 13's nearly edge-to-edge screen and elegant design already made it one of our favorite Windows laptops. But the newest version, which Dell unveiled just ahead of CES in early January, brings some notable enhancements.


GM Unveils a Self-Driving Electric Car With No Steering Wheel or Pedals

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The future of self-driving cars may arrive sooner than you think, if General Motors gets its way. The Detroit-based automaker on Thursday revealed its plans for a fully-autonomous, electric car to hit the road by 2019. GM says the automobile is "the first production-ready vehicle built from the start to operate safely on its own, with no driver, steering wheel, pedals or manual controls." Called the Cruise AV, an ode to Cruise Automation, the startup GM purchased in 2016 and converted into its autonomous vehicle division, the car will be GM's fourth-generation self-driving car following a version of the Chevy Bolt introduced late last year. But despite its anticipated release date, the Cruise AV is not guaranteed to hit the streets by next year.


This Wild Concept Car Puts a Gigantic Screen in the Front Seat

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For years, major automotive players like Ford, Honda, and Toyota have flaunted their latest advancements in smart car technology at CES. But what may be one of the most ambitious concepts at this year's conference is coming from a little-known startup called Byton, which is showcasing a concept vehicle that will be launching in China next year before moving to the U.S. and Europe in 2020. Pricing will start at $45,000. The vehicle's most striking feature is its gargantuan screen that stretches across the entire dashboard, which the company calls the Shared Experience Display. Byton, like many automotive and technology companies exhibiting this year, aims to add more personalization to the car in order to make commuting feel like less of a chore.


Amazon Alexa Could Make These Smart Glasses Way Better Than Google Glass

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Amazon's Alexa software has already made its way into just about every Internet-connected device you can imagine, like smartwatches, lamps, and refrigerators, to name just a few. Next, Amazon's voice-enabled digital assistant could live in your glasses. At CES 2018, wearable display company Vuzix unveiled its latest pair of augmented reality glasses, the Vuzix Blade, which can communicate with Amazon's Alexa assistant. The glasses are set to launch in the second quarter of 2018 for $1,000. Vuzix's Blade AR glasses feel like an improved version of Google Glass with better picture quality.


Intel CEO Promises Fix for Serious Chip Security Flaw

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Intel has big plans to steer toward new business in self-driving cars, virtual reality and other cutting-edge technologies. But first it has to pull out of a skid caused by a serious security flaw in its processor chips, which undergird many of the world's smartphones and personal computers. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich opened his keynote talk Monday night at the annual CES gadget show in Las Vegas by addressing the hard-to-fix flaws disclosed by security researchers last week. At an event known for its technological optimism, it was an unusually sober and high-profile reminder of the information security and privacy dangers lurking beneath many of the tech industry's gee-whiz wonders. Some researchers have argued that the flaws reflect a fundamental hardware defect that can't be fixed short of a recall.