Anyone who has ever dreamed up a sci-fi future in which neon interfaces float in front of us and information exists not on screens, but projected onto our eyes, is likely watching the blossoming wearable technology market with great anticipation. With its iOptik system, wearables startup Innovega has sighted in on that futuristic vision, designing special contact lenses that will read the light from projectors fitted to glasses. In doing so, it's inching closer to a product that may rival even Google in its wearable ambition.
That's what Alex Hawkinson, chief executive of SmartThings, envisions. His startup makes a family of Internet-connected devices for the home. SmartThings also runs a platform service that helps people remotely control all of the other disparate devices made by different companies that are beginning to make their way … Read more
Planet Labs, a startup that plans to launch large numbers of small satellites for customers that need frequently updated high-resolution imagery, has raised $52 million in second-round funding.
The San Francisco-based company aims to offer an "unprecedented combination of resolution and frequency" with a fleet of relatively small satellites (about the size of two loaves of sandwich bread laid end to end) in relatively low orbits. It's launched four so far -- Dove 1, 2, 3, and 4 -- and plans to launch 28 satellites in Flock 1 by the end of the year. The company announced … Read more
PARIS -- A French minister went behind enemy lines Thursday, defending his government's policies that critics said keep startups and high-tech companies away from the country.
The LeWeb conference here unabashedly celebrates startups, venture capitalism, and technology disruption, bringing some of the Silicon Valley ethos across the Atlantic. And several participants were keen to vent their frustrations to Arnaud Montebourg, the minister for industrial renewal.
"When Gabby walked in, everyone was surprised and amazed, and a quietness descended on the room," recollected Pitkow, noting that Conway called for a moment of silence. &… Read more
Originally published 12/17/2013, updated today with new video.
If you love being a mother hen, here's a family surveillance kit you can't do without: a home sensor network that's easy to set up and very versatile.
Mother from France's Sen.se is a smiling Barbapapa-style hub with a litter of Motion Cookie sensors that can go just about anywhere.
PARIS -- Startups whose products challenge the incumbents need to prepare not just for competition but for dirty tricks.
That was the advice at the LeWeb conference from Tony Fadell, chief executive and founder of Nest Labs, whose Net-connected, app-enabled thermostat triggered patent-infringement suits from Honeywell and Allure Energy. The company now has expanded into smoke detectors, too.
"They will throw everything under the sun at you, and a lot of it is not cool," Fadell said. In addition to patent lawsuits, they'll trash your products on review sites. Nest Labs has been able to track some … Read more
PARIS -- Uber's network of cars today transports people with a taxi-like service, but in the future, it'll carry more than that, Chief Executive Travis Kalanick said Tuesday.
"We need to stamp out an urban logistics fabric in every city in the world, then it's figuring out other things we can do with that fabric," he said at the LeWeb show here. "It's going to be interesting for us in 2014."
Uber, with 500 employees, recently raised $260 million in funding with a valuation of $3.45 billion. It's now concentrating … Read more
PARIS -- It may be gauche, but Guy Kawasaki tweets the same tweet four times a day and thinks you should, too.
Sending out the same tweet multiple times simply ensures that your message is more likely to be received, even if it ruffles feathers, he said at the LeWeb conference here.
"You will piss some people off from this, I grant you that," said Kawasaki, the consultant, investor, and former Apple evangelist. "But on social media, if you're not pissing people off, you're probably not using it hard enough."
And he has a … Read more
Academia.edu publishes research papers for free online after researchers upload them. On Friday, the company took down some papers after receiving Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notices from Elsevier, which often charges for access to the articles.
"Academia.edu is committed to enabling the transition to a world where there is open access to academic literature. Elsevier takes a different view, and is currently upping the ante in its opposition to academics sharing … Read more