Category Archives: Gadgets

Talk all things robotics and AI with TechCrunch writers

This Thursday, we’ll be hosting our third annual Robotics + AI TechCrunch Sessions event at UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall. The day is packed start-to-finish with intimate discussions on the state of robotics and deep learning with key founders, investors, researchers and technologists. The event will dig into recent developments in robotics and AI, which startups and companies are driving the market’s growth and how the evolution of these technologies may ultimately play out. In preparation for our event, TechCrunch’s Brian Heater spent time over the last several […]

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Juul launches a pilot program that tracks how Juul devices get in the hands of minors

Juul Labs is today launching a pilot for its new Track & Trace program, which is meant to use data to identify exactly how Juul devices wind up in the hands of minors. Juul vaporizers all have a serial number down at the bottom, by the Juul logo. However, it wasn’t until recently that Juul had the capability to track those serial numbers through every step of the process, from manufacture to distribution to retail to sale. With Track & Trace, Juul is calling upon parents, teachers […]

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Democratic senators question Juul about its Altria deal

Eleven democratic senators, led by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), have penned a letter to Juul Labs, asking a series of questions around the product’s marketing, its effectiveness as a tool to help people quit smoking combustible cigarettes, sales figures and, perhaps most importantly, more information on the deal that gave Altria a minority stake in Juul Labs. “The corporate marriage between two companies that have been the most prolific at marketing highly addictive nicotine products to children is alarming from a public health standpoint and demonstrates, yet […]

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Tonal raises $45 million to bring strength training to more living rooms

Tonal is today announcing its Series C financing that it hopes will allow the company to bring its at-home gym to even more homes. The funding round shows investors’ excitement around the new generation of personal exercise equipment that combines on-demand training with smart features. Tonal, like Peloton, offers features previously unavailable outside of gyms, and with this injection of capital, the company expects to build new personal features and invest in marketing and retail experiences. L Catterton’s Growth Fund led the $45 million Series C round, […]

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Ocean drone startup merger spawns Sofar, the DJI of the sea

What lies beneath the murky depths? SolarCity co-founder Peter Rive wants to help you and the scientific community find out. He’s just led a $7 million Series A for Sofar Ocean Technologies, a new startup formed from a merger he orchestrated between underwater drone maker OpenROV and sea sensor developer Spoondrift. Together, they’re teaming up their 1080p Trident drone and solar-powered Spotter sensor to let you collect data above and below the surface. They can help you shoot awesome video footage, track waves and weather, spot fishing […]

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The Shadow Ghost turns cloud gaming into a seamless experience

French startup Blade, the company behind Shadow, is launching a new set-top box to access its cloud gaming service — the Shadow Ghost. I’ve been playing with the device for a couple of weeks and here’s my review. The Shadow Ghost is a tiny little box that doesn’t do much. The true magic happens in a data center near your home. When you sign up to Shadow, you don’t even have to get a box. You can simply subscribe to the service without any hardware device and […]

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Ubiquitilink advance means every phone is now a satellite phone

Last month I wrote about Ubiquitilink, which promised, through undisclosed means, it was on the verge of providing a sort of global satellite-based roaming service. But how, I asked? (Wait, they told me.) Turns out our phones are capable of a lot more than we think: they can reach satellites acting as cell towers in orbit just fine, and the company just proved it. Utilizing a constellation of satellites in low Earth orbit, Ubiquitilink claimed during a briefing at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that pretty much […]

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Circle raises $20m Series B to help even more parents limit screen time

Circle makes a fantastic screen time management tool and today the company announced a round of funding to help fuel its growth. The $20 million series B included participation from Netgear and T-Mobile, along with Third Kind Venture Capital and follow-on investments from Relay Ventures and other Series A participants. With this round of funding, Circle has raised over $30 million to date including a Series A from 2017. According to the company, Circle intends to use the funds to expand its product offering and form new […]

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wearTRBL lets you express yourself with a connected T-shirt

When I interviewed Parrot founder and CEO Henri Seydoux at TechCrunch Disrupt back in 2016, he surprised everyone when he said he was working on a new kind of T-shirt — nobody knew for sure whether he was joking or not. But the connected T-shirt is real, and it’s called wearTRBL. While the project started as a Parrot subsidiary, the company was spun off in July 2018. Seydoux is still credited as co-founder and Olivier Levy acts as co-founder and CEO. wearTRBL expects to launch its first product […]

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Apple acquires talking Barbie voicetech startup PullString

Apple has just bought up the talent it needs to make talking toys a part of Siri, HomePod, and its voice strategy. Apple has acquired PullString, also known as ToyTalk, according to Axios’ Dan Primack and Ina Fried. TechCrunch has received confirmation of the acquistion from sources with knowledge of the deal. The startup makes voice experience design tools, artificial intelligence to power those experiences, and toys like talking Barbie and Thomas The Tank Engine toys in partnership with Mattel. Founded in 2011 by former Pixar executives, PullString went […]

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