This 15-foot tall mech weighs 8,000 lbs and can run 20 mph

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This is Mobile Suit Gundam in real life. A company called Furrion created this monster of a mech. It’s called Prosthesis and I need one in my life.

The Prosthesis is an exoskeleton that weighs 8,000, has a top speed of 20 mph, and the company says the battery can power the mech for an hour. And this thing is for real. Watch the video above.

This isn’t a robot. It’s an exoskeleton that requires a driver. Furrion envisions a fleet of these things, competing in a racing league.

Furrion has been around since 2004 and mostly makes high-end appliances and luxury electronics. There’s no word on pricing, but like most things, if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.

CES 2018: Artificial Intelligence at Home and Behind the Wheel

Artificial intelligence dominated CES 2018 in a big way on Monday with major announcements on connected car advances and home system technologies. Google all but declared war on Amazon with its Google Assistant voice technology making its presence known at nearly every turn on the showroom floor.

LG rolled out a new lineup of high-end AI OLED and Super UHD televisions infused with its ThinQ AI technology and Alpha 9 technology, combining cinema-quality home entertainment with the ability to voice control the entire home.

The ThinQ technology, which integrates LG’s WebOS smart TV platform with Google Assistant, will allow customers to use hundreds of voice commands to search for specific content, control various functions on the television, and control home appliances.

LG introduced a total of nine new 4K AI OLED televisions, ranging from 55 to 77 inches, and seven new AI UHD televisions ranging from 55 to 75 inches.

Making New Inroads

Google and LG have expanded their collaboration — which started with mobile phones — to include watches, OLED TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, ovens and other products, Scott Huffman, vice president of engineering for Google Assistant, told CES attendees.

The two companies also have been collaborating on a smart speaker scheduled to launch later this year.

“Google is here in a big way to promote its solutions and combat Amazon,” said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

Amazon’s Alexa has been winning most of the initial battles for new business, he told TechNewsWorld, but vendors have been supporting both platforms.

In terms of the global market, Google has an opportunity to make inroads in markets where Amazon does not compete on the same level, noted Marc Beccue, principal analyst at Tractica.

“Why? Biggest span of languages covered and legacy market penetration from Android and Chrome,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Amazon is more limited in language capabilities and legacy market penetration for Amazon.com.”

While Amazon was noticeably missing from the show in terms of booth presence, the company’s technology did manage to find its way into some fairly significant new product announcements.

Smart Cars

Panasonic announced a series of new efforts to expand its connected car technology, including working with Alexa to provide voice assistant technology for its Panasonic Skip Generation Platform in connected cars.

For example, customers will be able to use simple voice commands to prompt Alexa to play music from streaming services, to provide directions to local venues like coffee shops, to make sure the house is locked and lights are turned off, or to order a pizza delivery on the way home.

Panasonic and Qualcomm originally announced the technology at last year’s CES. It allows OEMs to create a seamless in-vehicle entertainment experience based on Android 7.0 and the Snapdragon 820Am processor.

Toyota made a huge splash with its autonomous vehicle technology. The company announced a new business alliance and concept vehicle called “e-Palette,” which will function as a platform for creating self-driving vehicles designed for everything from food and package delivery to medical transportation to ride-sharing in big cities.

Company president Akio Toyoda announced the new program at CES and introduced initial launch partners — Amazon, DiDi, Mazda, Pizza Hut and Uber — that will work on planning, application concepts and vehicle verification.

The plan calls for the vehicles to use next-generation electric batteries. They will come in three different sizes, and companies will be able to install their own automated driving systems and vehicle management technology.

Pizza Hut, for example, plans to use the vehicles to help with deliveries, noted spokesperson Doug Terfehr.

Also under consideration is development of a mobile kitchen so pies could be made on the road, he told TechNewsWorld.

“Toyota’s announcement underscores merely what’s been going on [in the industry], from pilot delivery to automated ride-sharing and car-related services,” Matt DeLorenzo, managing editor at Kelley Blue Book, told TechNewsWorld.

Toyota plans to begin testing the vehicles by 2020 in the U.S. and other locations, and it intends to deploy the cars at the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic games.

Rained Out

Those on hand for one of the most anticipated events at CES were disappointed. The demonstration of Workhorse Group’s SureFly, the first approved electric hybrid helicopter in the world, was postponed due to bad weather in the Nevada location where the autonomous vehicle was scheduled for a demonstration run.

The FAA just recently approved an Experimental Airworthiness Certificate allowing test flights of the two-person, self-propelled copter, noted spokesperson Mike Dektas, and a demonstration with passengers had been set to take place Monday afternoon.


David Jones is a freelance writer based in Essex County, New Jersey. He has written for Reuters, Bloomberg, Crain’s New York Business and The New York Times.

Pick up this pair of stylish wireless headphones while they’re on sale for just $49

Image: TRNdlabs

Since music is an essential part of our everyday lives, the fashion industry has emerged with stylish options for audio accessories. Just last year, Dolce & Gabbana debuted a pair of Swarovski crystal-embossed headphones with a casual $8,895 price tag. Even actual audio brands like Sennheiser and Bose followed suit, offering ultra-chic product selections. While sound quality still trumps style, it wouldn’t hurt to invest in earpieces that you’d be proud to bust out in public.

Meshing form, function, and comfort into a set of slick-looking headphones, the TRNDlabs Ventura Wireless Headphones double as your everyday fashion accessory, and they’re only $49. Sporting 40-millimeter drivers and a Bluetooth range of up to 10 meters, this pair delivers outstanding sound without compromising comfort. They feature high-end, black-on-black design draped in leather, along with an adjustable band for extra comfort. And as they are adorned with chrome-like accents, these headphones can surely complement any outfit.

Thanks to their cushy, soft foam ear cups, you can wear these bad boys all day without feeling uncomfortable. They’re also equipped with long-lasting battery life, with a playback time of up to 10 hours. Additionally, their concealed controls give you the freedom to change the volume, switch tracks, and accept or reject calls.

Give your outfits a bit of oomph with the TRNDlabs Ventura Wireless Headphones. Typically $99.00, you can get them now for only $49.

Samsung to offer one app to rule all of your devices

Come spring, owners of Samsung (SSNLF) devices will be able to control their devices from a single app instead of having a separate one for each device.

The South Korean tech giant announced on Monday at CES 2018 it is integrating all of its internet-connected devices — televisions, security cameras, even dishwashers and ovens — so that they can be controlled with its SmartThings app that runs on its SmartThings Cloud service. That’s a big change, given Samsung had many separate apps to control different devices.

Samsung fist announced the SmartThings Cloud in October, as it continues its aggressive push beyond smartphones into web-connected TVs and home appliances.

“SmartThings will be your remote control for your connected devices,” Samsung co-CEO HS Kim said onstage during a company press event.

For those with several Samsung products in the home, it could be a significant step forward. One scenario the company demonstrated is using voice commands with your TV to bring up video feeds of other places in your home, like your front porch when the pizza delivery person comes, or to check your fridge to see whether you have all the ingredients you need to make a meal.

Samsung’s Joseph Stinziano, right, watches as Yoon Lee demonstrates the SmartThings App during a news conference at CES International Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Also at the press event, Samsung promised that all of its products will be internet-connected by 2020. (Ninety percent of its devices and appliances are already internet-connected, the company added.) In addition, it also said that all of its devices will have its Bixby voice assistant integrated into them by 2020.

For Samsung, having one app to rule them all is a solid selling point over other competitors. While there are several other smart home apps like Stringify and Thington, they don’t offer the same degree of control of devices that Samsung is promising with SmartThings and SmartThings Cloud.

The easier Samsung products are to manage; the more satisfied owners are likely to be. Regardless, it’s a tantalizing peek at what a truly “smart” home could eventually look like.

JP Mangalindan is the Chief Tech Correspondent for Yahoo Finance covering the intersection of tech and business. Email story tips and musings to jpm@oath.com. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

More from JP:

 

BizPlan software is a must-have for anyone starting a business

Go from the drawing board to the boardroom.
Go from the drawing board to the boardroom.

So you just had a Eureka moment and a brilliant business idea magically popped into your head. You presented the concept to your friends and family and garnered a favorable response. You even wrote a business plan that lays down all your ideas.

And now what?

As an aspiring business owner, you should know from the start that there’s a difference between a business plan and a business plan that results in funding. Writing one is easy, sure, but crafting a compelling one that would get investors to drop dough is an entirely different story. Thankfully, as with all things, there’s an app for that!

Image: BIZPLAN

Bizplan is a business builder that will help you get your business idea off the ground. It breaks down the primary elements of planning into digestible pieces so you can accomplish more in less time. Treat the app as a centralized dashboard where you can perfect your pitch, set attainable goals, track your progress, and shape your vision. 

The app also features drag-and-drop templates that will make it easy for you to insert and complete the most vital components your project. If you’re working with a team, the threaded comments in all sections help keep communication flowing. And if you get stuck in a particular area, you can save it for later and move on to another part you please thanks to its convenient self-paced progress tracking.

A lifetime subscription to Bizplan typically costs $2,940, but Mashable readers have the opportunity to get it for only $69. If you have an ingenious business idea just sitting idly in your head, now’s the time to take advantage of this deal.

Dell’s new XPS 15 2-in-1 has a ‘maglev’ keyboard

Dell is introducing a 15-inch version of its XPS 2-in-1, after debuting a 13-inch model last year. But this isn’t just a scaled up version of the original — it’s a much more powerful computer with some unique tweaks.

Among the most interesting quirks is the laptop’s keyboard: though it looks and feels just like typical Dell keyboard, it’s built using a brand new mechanism that relies on magnets. The keys are still physically held in place at their corners, but there are now magnets beneath them to provide feedback. By controlling the strength of their repulsion, Dell can create a deeper, clickier feeling for the keys than their 0.7mm travel would normally allow.

The new “maglev” keyboard felt perfectly normal, at least during my brief use of it. I wouldn’t say it’s among the best keyboards I’ve ever typed on, but I didn’t feel any issues related to key travel, either.

The other big deal here is performance. While the 13-inch model of the 2-in-1 uses Intel’s low-power processors (formerly known as Core M), this version goes way to the other side of the spectrum. It has a 65-watt chip that includes built-in graphics from AMD. The new chip is the first partnership between Intel and AMD in three decades and combines one of Intel’s high-power processors with a graphics solution under the well-respected Radeon brand. The result ought to be far superior performance over the 13-inch model and better graphics than you’d typically get off of an Intel processor.

The machine can be configured with an i5 or i7 processor, 8 to 16GB of RAM, a 1080p or 4K touchscreen, and a 128GB to 1TB SSD. It includes four USB-C ports, two of which support Thunderbolt 3. There’s also a MicroSD card reader and a headphone jack. It also includes active stylus support, though you’ll have to buy one separately. The laptop starts at $1299.99 and is supposed to become available sometime this spring.

Dell is also announcing a few PC accessories today, including two new “Ultrathin” monitors. There’s a 23.8-inch 1080p model and a 27-inch quad HD model. More importantly, both support HDR, and they’re relatively affordable for HDR screens: $299.99 for the smaller one and $499.99 for the larger.

And finally, Dell is announcing a tiny portable Thunderbolt SSD. You can get it with 500GB of storage for $439 or 1TB of storage for $799.

Alexa now suggests more games to try at the end of the one you’re playing


Consumers are starting to give Alexa’s voice apps, called skills, more of their attention. During CES this week – where Amazon is battling for attention with Google Assistant across the consumer technology spectrum on display here – the company detailed a few new numbers related to skill adoption and new ways they’re helping consumers find skills they’d like.

While Amazon a few days ago noted in a blog post that Alexa now has over 30,000 skills available worldwide, it hasn’t shared much in terms of whether the skills are actually seeing much use.

The company still isn’t sharing hard numbers related to skill installs, or day-to-day usage, but it is offering at least a tiny peek under the curtain.

According to numbers shared by Vice President of Alexa Voice Services and Alexa Skills at Amazon Steve Rabuchin at CES, Amazon last year launched over 100 tools and features aimed at skill developers, and skill usage is now on the rise as a result of the improvements in developer technology.

Specifically, skill engagement has increased by 50 percent year-over-year, and it’s up nearly 75 percent since last January.

Now, Amazon is focusing on making sure the ecosystem rewards skill developers for their efforts, while better exposing skills to end users, as well.

The company has paid out “millions” to developers in 22 countries, including the U.S., the U.K. and Germany, since the launch of the rewards program in May, which pays top skill developers for building engaging skills.

It also added in-skill purchases and subscriptions.

Amazon last fall rolled out new ways to help consumers find those skills, too. For example, Alexa learned how to suggest skills to Echo owners when they asked a question that the assistant itself couldn’t do. (Yes: “there’s a skill for that.”)

“When you ask for something, even if you don’t know there’s a skill there, we try to match that skill to your request so you’re not left with an unfilled request,” Rabuchin said. “Over time, you shouldn’t have to think about the skill, or know how to use it, you should just be able to talk to Alexa.”

In more recent days, Amazon expanded its ability to recommend skills even further.

“There’s certain games when you finish the game, we will suggest another game,” he said. “So far, it’s been relatively well-received by customers…it’s no different than when you’re on Amazon shopping – you’re looking at a camera, and [the site informs you] people who liked this camera also looked at these other cameras,” Rabuchin added.

Skills, of course, aren’t Alexa’s only capabilities. At CES, Amazon is pushing its way into the smart home space, too.

Heading into CES, there are more than 50 third-party Alexa enabled devices available to customers with many more coming, and there are more than 4,000 smart home devices that can be controlled with Alexa, from more than 1,200 unique brands, Amazon also told us.

Customers have connected tens of millions of smart home products, as well.

Native Union Eclipse review

Native Union is an accessory company that places an emphasis on style. Whether it’s a cool case or some neat cables, its products often stand out from the crowd of tech accessory makers. The Eclipse Charger is one of its latest products, and it’s a multi-device charging hub that’s far more complex than most other products we’ve seen from the company. The Eclipse Charger started out as a crowd-funding campaign, and we take a closer look in our review to see whether or not it’s worth the high price tag.

Heavy, but minimal

The Eclipse Charger’s design will split opinion. We like its simplicity and the inclusion of Native Union’s usual fabrics, but we’ve gradually come to consider it a little large and heavy. Its circular, moon-like top down view is attractive, but it’s quite bulky when you look at it from the side. For a device made to reduce clutter, it has a large footprint, and that may put some people off.

The Eclipse holds three USB charging cables inside, keeping them neatly wrapped around the central, motorized drum section. Double tap the top of the Eclipse and it rises up, revealing your cables and connectors. The idea is to extract just enough of the one you need, plug it in to your device, and double tap the flat top again to lower the center back into place.

Before you get to this stage, you’ll need to “build” the Eclipse when you take it out of the box. Add each cable you want to use through the central screwhead-style stack. There are three ports that manage power, delivering faster than normal charging, but the Eclipse does not support technology like Qualcomm’s Quick Charge. There are three USB Type-A ports with 2.4A, and a USB Type-C port with 3A hidden inside. Wrapping the cables up wasn’t the hard part, but getting the central unit reattached to the base took a lot of force — to the point where we were afraid it would break. Thankfully, it eventually snapped into place.

Charge all the devices

We chose to feed in an Apple Lightning cable, a USB Type-C cable, and our Apple Watch charging disc. The two phone chargers neatly hide away inside the Eclipse, but the channels inside the central section aren’t big enough for the Apple Watch charging disc, so it flops around outside. It doesn’t affect use, but it’s not the prettiest solution. To be fair to Native Union, it states this fact quite clearly in its FAQ.

For a device made to reduce clutter, it has a large footprint.

We experienced no problems charging all of our devices — individually or all together. The Eclipse has surge protection along with smart power management, so it delivers the maximum power to devices that will take it. We didn’t notice it getting hot, or any other negative effects.

The Eclipse easily performs its main function — a stylish cable management solution — effectively. Three cables spread over a bedside table or on a desk is unsightly and a little dangerous. The Eclipse completely solves this problem. The Eclipse itself isn’t much of a space-saver though. It’s a substantial round plinth, and takes up a fair amount of room on a small table. There is the option to wall-mount the whole thing, which may be preferable; but this means winding the cables up again when you’re done to keep it neat, which defeats the Eclipse’s simplicity.

Native Union Eclipse review

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

How about the motorized top? It’s a little gimmicky, but in a good way. Sure, a spring release system would have done the same job, but it wouldn’t be as neat or as fun. The double tap to raise and lower the cable management drum is easy to remember and works almost every time, although you do have to be quite precise with the timing of your taps. A single tap on the top turns on a small ambient light under the Eclipse — showing the inspiration for its name — that gives off a small glow. It’s no reading light, sadly, and outside of looking quite cool, it serves no purpose.

Colorful variants

Native Union is as much about style as it is about functionality and technology, so it’s no surprise to find several different color and material choices for the Eclipse. The model we reviewed has fabric, which is available in three colors. There are two wooden options and a more expensive marble edition. Native Union loves marble, as we’ve seen before on its iPhone cases.

Now if only the top part was a wireless charging pad too.

The fabric Eclipse chargers cost $80, the wooden ones are $100, and the marble model is $160. In the U.K., the Eclipse with fabric is 70 British pounds, the wood models are 90 British pounds, and the marble version is yours for 140 British pounds. Native Union also has various charging cables in matching color schemes, if you want to coordinate the entire setup. Everything can be purchased through Native Union’s own website.

The Eclipse is a smart, stylish, and well-designed cable management and charging system for your various gadgets. It’s versatile because you use your own cables, but the downside is it’s quite large, so don’t expect it to melt away into the background. Now if only the top part was a wireless charging pad too, we’d be overjoyed.

Editors’ Recommendations

The Falster is Skagen’s first touchscreen smartwatch, and it runs Android Wear

Skagen is known for its simple watch designs that still make a statement on the wrist. While the company has a line of hybrid smartwatches, it had yet to offer a full touchscreen smartwatch alternative. At CES 2018, the fashion brand debuted the Falster, a smartwatch powered by Android Wear.

On the outside, the Falster features a fully-round touchscreen and a 42mm stainless steel case. Under the hood — as with almost all Android Wear smartwatches — the watch is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Wear 2100 processor.

While the dial is black on all of the color variants, you can choose between a silver, rose gold, or black case. Depending on the case color you choose, the smartwatch will include either a mesh or leather strap. Since they’re interchangeable, you can always switch the combinations to your liking.

The watch runs Android Wear 2.0 — Google’s latest version of the Android Wear operating system. By connecting your smartphone to your watch via Bluetooth and allowing it to wirelessly sync, you will be able to access notifications like incoming calls, texts, along with emails straight from the watch.

Skagen Falster

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Other features include activity tracking, music control through third-party apps such as Google Play, and voice commands via Google Assistant. For those who travel to destinations in different time zones, the automatic accuracy feature will adjust your smartwatch accordingly. There’s no Skagen-specific app yet, but the brand told Digital Trends a micro-app may be added later.

Skagen incorporated its minimalist design into the interface of the watch as well. With its OLED screen and a lineup of OLED watch faces, the Falster emphasize a battery-efficient design. Using the all-black background on your watch’s default screen can save up to 20 percent of energy over lit pixels. The screen will be always-on by default, but turning it off will save even more battery life.

As for charging the device, it comes with a wireless charging puck that magnetically connects to the smartwatch.

While the operating system is functional with iOS 9.0 and beyond, it’s important to note your capabilities with the iPhone are limited. As with an Android device, you have to download the Android Wear app — but will have to keep running it in the background  to ensure the smartwatch is still connected. With an iPhone, you will still be able to see almost all your notifications but you won’t be able to answer almost all of them. For instance, iMessage and SMS messages will show up but you won’t be able to reply. But you should be able to answer emails if you have a Gmail account, specifically.

The Skagen Falster Smartwatch officially goes on sale on January 25, and it can be purchased through Skagen’s website as well as its retail locations. The smartwatch will cost you $275 for the black case with a brown or black leather watch strap, and $295 for the rose gold or silver cases with matching mesh watch straps.

Editors’ Recommendations

The CEO of London ‘proptech’ startup Goodlord is departing after nearly 40 employees are let go


Goodlord, the London ‘proptech’ startup that has built a software platform to handle transactions and the “paperwork” normally associated with renting a home, has laid off nearly 40 employees, while TechCrunch understands from sources that co-founder and CEO Richard White will soon be leaving the company.

The job losses are said to be in sales and marketing, and come just nine months after Goodlord announced £7.2 million in funding led by Rocket Internet’s GFC. LocalGlobe and Ribbit Capital also participated in the Series A round.

Regarding White’s pending departure, it is not clear if a new CEO has already been lined up. I have also been unable to confirm if Goodlord CTO Andrew Done remains at the startup, although it is possible that he has already departed.

I’ve asked Goodlord for further details but a spokesperson for the company declined to comment on any changes in leadership, except to say that White “is still” the CEO. In a call, co-founder and COO Tom Mundy also declined to comment further. However, I stand by my reporting and expect an official announcement to be issued in due course.

On the sales and marketing downsizing, which was first reported by website Property Industry Eye, Goodlord has issued the following statement:

“We have had great success during 2017 bringing new lettings agents onto the platform, however, to focus on scaling effectively and efficiently we have reduced the size of our sales and marketing team and are putting more focus on bringing out new features and automation functionality to the platform. Our customers will see the effects of this focus almost immediately with new features and services being released as soon as the end of the month.

To reflect the increased emphasis on product and technology we restructured the business and following a consultation period we reduced the number of employees from 134 to 96. All affected employees have benefited from an extended paid notice period and have been offered as much support as possible to help them find their next big thing. To ensure we offer the very best platform we can, we have a number of positions open for extremely talented product and engineering staff.

We remain focused on building a business with superior technology and outstanding customer service and our letting agent customers will see no change in the levels of service we offer them.”

Founded in 2014, unlike other startups in the rental market space that want to essentially destroy traditional brick ‘n mortar letting agents with an online equivalent, Goodlord’s Software-as-a-Service is designed to support all stakeholders, including traditional high-street letting agents, as well as landlords and, of course, tenants.

The Goodlord SaaS enables letting agents to “digitize” the moving-in process, including utilizing e-signatures and collecting rental payments online. In addition, the company sells landlord insurance, and has been working on other related products, such as rental guarantees, and “tenant passports.”

The latter means that, if Goodlord reaches scale, it wants to let tenants easily take their rental transaction history and landlord references with them when moving from one rental property to another as proof that they are a trustworthy tenant.

The idea of offering Generation Rent a portable profile with built in trust is also being potentially pursued by other startups, such as Acasa, which focuses on utilities and other shared household expenditure.