Fully Charged: Next Google Glass powered by Intel, Amazon’s shipping robots unveiled, and on-demand smartphone repair services hit UK
Our roundup offers a quick-hit recap of the morning’s notable tech news
Next Google Glass has Intel inside
With its high price, limited apps, and… let’s call it a societal learning curve, the early adopter-targeting Explorer edition of Google Glass hasn’t exactly been embraced by the wider public. In fact, we weren’t totally sure if there would be a new revision, but the Wall Street Journal says that Google has plans afoot for 2015 – thanks to a new partner.
According to the report, Intel will be a big player in the next big revision of the wearable device, providing the chipset within that should lead to improved performance and enhanced battery life. Intel will also help target the device towards professional work settings in which it might be useful, such as manufacturing and health care.
Glass will have to come down from its four-figure price to reach any level of mainstream acceptance beyond very specialized fields, if that’s even attainable, so we’ll be curious to see how things shape up on that front.
[Source: The Wall Street Journal]
READ MORE: Google Glass preview
Behind the scenes of Amazon’s fulfillment centers
How on earth does Amazon keep up with the crush of holiday orders, especially right now with the effects of Black Friday and Cyber Monday still being felt? With robots – lots of robots. But also with people – yes, lots and lots of people.
The online retailer decided to pull back the curtain a bit on its new eighth-generation fulfillment centers, 10 of which are up and running in the United States now. Amazon has more than 15,000 Kiva robots moving product around the facilities, plus the massive robotic arm is called the Robo-Stow. And “new vision systems” can check in a trailer of product in as little as 30 minutes.
But robots aren’t running the show quite yet: Amazon is hiring some 80,000 temporary, seasonal employees to deal with the extra spending in the coming weeks, and that’s in addition to the existing workforce. Discomforting as it might seem to see robots doing what once was a human’s job, this is how you get your packages so quickly – and cheaply.
READ MORE: Amazon Fire TV Stick review
On-demand smartphone repair services launch
Got a damaged iPhone, iPad, or Samsung smartphone that’s not covered under manufacturer warranty, and want the service to come to you? Luckily, both iCracked and iMend have just launched in the UK, providing access to certified tech specialists that make house calls (or can meet in a public place).
iCracked has strong roots in the States, having repaired more than 100,000 devices, and it offers a lifetime warranty on work. iMend, meanwhile, appears to be UK-exclusive and offers same day service, but the warranty only extends out a year from repair. As for pricing, you’ll have to enter your specific device and needs to compare and contrast, but competition is rarely a bad thing for consumers.
READ MORE: Gorilla Glass 4 arrives to better protect your phone screen from direct drops
Flawed Amiibo figurine sells for US$2,500
If you’re shopping anywhere that sells Nintendo’s new NFC-enabled Amiibo figurines anytime soon, might we suggest looking very closely at their features? A defective version of Metroid heroine Samus was purportedly found with cannons on both arms (instead of just one), and was just sold on eBay for US$2,500 (nearly £1,600) – more than 190x the retail price. Good luck finding another!
READ MORE: Super Smash Bros. for Wii U preview