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Snap is reportedly working on AR Spectacles and a selfie drone

Engadget

Snap is no stranger to hardware, having released several versions of its Spectacles smart glasses over the years. The next step could be a pair with built-in displays that support augmented reality effects. The next-gen Spectacles will be able to layer Snapchat lenses (or AR effects) onto the surrounding environment without the need to use a smartphone's camera, according to The Information. At least for now, these smart glasses reportedly aren't intended for everyday users. They're said to be geared towards developers and creators, the folks who make many of Snapchat's most popular lenses. It seems Snap is hoping those people will create new lens-style experiences for the glasses, which it may release more broadly in the future.


Microsoft CEO Defends Army Contract for Augmented Reality

WIRED

Tech workers are increasingly uneasy about their employers' work with the US government, especially the military. Some protests have led to real change: Google last year decided not to renew a contract with the Pentagon to apply artificial intelligence to drone footage, after 4,000 employees signed a petition protesting the arrangement. Last week, a group of Microsoft workers published a petition asking executives to terminate a contract to develop augmented reality technology for the US military. Monday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella rebuffed the plea. "We made a principled decision that we're not going to withhold technology from institutions that we have elected in democracies to protect the freedoms we enjoy," Nadella told CNN Business at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.


First look at coolest tech of CES 2018

#artificialintelligence

About 4,000 companies - many of them start-ups - are arriving in town this weekend. Over the coming days, they will reveal new products, secure orders and hopefully provide a taste of the future at the trade fair. The event has its roots in consumer gadgets, but now sprawls into fields including artificial intelligence, automobiles, medicine, marketing and even agriculture. Most of the big technology brands in attendance will have something new to brag about. But increasingly, they hold flagship products back for stand-alone events.


17 Retail Trends for 2017 - Fung Global Retail & Technology

#artificialintelligence

The rise of e-commerce over the last 10 years or so has forced retailers to adapt to the changes demanded by consumers. E-commerce growth continues to accelerate and outpace growth in the brick-and-mortar channel, and online sales accounted for almost 20% of total US sales this holiday season, based on preliminary estimates. In addition, department stores have offered discounts and promotions as a key tool to drive demand and bring consumers into stores. Over time, this strategy can dilute a store's brand and leave stores looking picked through. Also, it trains consumers to wait for discounts instead of buying products at full price. There has been a significant number of store closures in the last few years, and we expect that to accelerate in 2017 and in the following few years. As the department store channel shrinks, and more brands fight for less space, we think brands will need to be more creative, flexible and diversified in their approaches. One way brands can disrupt the more traditional wholesale channel without taking on the significant real estate risk that comes with opening their own stores is to open pop-up stores. With pop-ups, brands have complete creative control of the brand experience and how their messaging is communicated to consumers. They can tell the story they want to tell and explain in their own voice what the brand stands for. In some cases, brands use pop-ups more as an advertising tool than as a place to transact commerce. These kinds of pop-ups usually offer some kind of special experience to draw consumers into the store. Pop-ups can also be set up in locations other than malls, allowing brands to reach their target customers where they are. Retailers and brands can also use pop-ups to test the waters in the most expensive shopping areas, often at discounted rents, while landlords can use the temporary stores to show off the space to prospective long-term tenants. Mall operators are receptive to pop-ups, as they bring something new and unique to consumers. Real estate firm Related Companies has used pop-up shops at the Time Warner Center in New York City to provide a fresh feel and add variety for consumers.


7 tech innovations of 2016

#artificialintelligence

LOS ANGELES -- There was lots of talk about virtual reality in 2016, but most of it was looking forward to trends that might come true in a few years. The real action, however, was in another form of reality, the augmented kind. AR, or augmented reality, tops our annual list of tech innovations for 2016, highlighted, of course, by the Pokémon Go app, and all those crazy filters we added to our Snapchat photos. Snapchat, the app originally beloved for sending photos that could disappear within 10 seconds, has expanded into a service some 150 million visit daily, fueled by the selfie lens, where you can add cat ears and rainbow tongues to your photos and videos. In November, it went one step further with the introduction of "World Lenses," which put smiles onto ordinary clouds in the background of your photo, or add falling rain or snow to an image.


7 tech innovations of 2016

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

LOS ANGELES -- There was lots of talk about virtual reality in 2016, but most of it was looking forward to trends that might come true in a few years. The real action, however, was in another form of reality, the augmented kind. AR, or augmented reality, tops our annual list of tech innovations for 2016, highlighted, of course, by the Pokémon Go app, and all those crazy filters we added to our Snapchat photos. Snapchat, the app originally beloved for sending photos that could disappear within 10 seconds, has expanded into a service some 150 million visit daily, fueled by the selfie lens, where you can add cat ears and rainbow tongues to your photos and videos. In November, it went one step further with the introduction of "World Lenses," which put smiles onto ordinary clouds in the background of your photo, or add falling rain or snow to an image.


Drone pizza delivery, connected clothes and VR doctors: Britons predict 6 ways tech will change their lives by 2036

The Independent - Tech

Nasa has announced that it has found evidence of flowing water on Mars. Scientists have long speculated that Recurring Slope Lineae -- or dark patches -- on Mars were made up of briny water but the new findings prove that those patches are caused by liquid water, which it has established by finding hydrated salts. Several hundred camped outside the London store in Covent Garden. The 6s will have new features like a vastly improved camera and a pressure-sensitive "3D Touch" display


Xiaomi will launch its first drone on May 25th

Engadget

Rumors of a Xiaomi drone have swirled for some time, with early reports suggesting that the UAV may use the company's Mi Band as a beacon for a possible "follow me" feature. Xiaomi has confirmed "something wonderful and cool is flying to us very soon," but is keeping quiet on any possible features before next week. May marks a big month for Xiaomi. It's already unveiled its huge 6.44-inch Mi Max smartphone and earlier this week announced the US release of its 4K-ready Mi Box streamer. The company also confirmed at Google I/O that it will work with search giant to build a VR phone that will support the new Android Daydream virtual reality technology.