Big Tech &
Amazon Scout (Web Tool)
Amazon has launched an AI powered visual shopping tool. It allows users to like or dislike items, and then as you like items you will be shown other visually similar items. It's like Pinterest on steroids for shopping. A spokesperson says that Scout is meant to solve two problems: "I don't know what I want, but I'll know it when I see it" and "I know what I want, but I don't know what it's called." You can check out the tool for yourself by clicking the link above.
Amazon reportedly planning 3,000 cashier-less Go stores by 2021 (2 minute read)
Amazon says that it plans on opening as many as 3,000 of its cashier-less Amazon Go convenience stores by the year 2021. Jeff Bezos envisions Amazon Go stores coming in many different configurations with some serving freshly made meals while others look more like a cashierless 7-Eleven with limited grocery selections and pre-made food options. Amazon reportedly plans on having 10 stores open by the end of the year, 50 locations in major cities by next year, and then an exponential growth in locations in 2020 and 2021, so long as it doesn't hit any roadblocks.
Fitbit's focusing on the health care market with its new premium fitness coaching feature (1 minute read)
Fitbit announced a new premium service called Fitbit Care designed for health care customers or employers and health systems that use Fitbit to keep tabs on employees' health efforts and keep costs low. Users can download the Fitbit Plus app, which helps collect data from Fitbit and other medical devices. It also allows people to connect into support groups, and for users to connect with their doctors who can check their metrics through the app. Humana is the big launch partner for this project.
Jeff Bezos Says Blue Origin Will Put People in Space in 2019 (3 minute read)
Jeff Bezos announced that his rocket company Blue Origin will launch a manned mission in 2019. They are developing a capsule called the New Shepard that has 530 square feet in the interior, enough for six people. Bezos says the company might have paying space tourists by 2020 with tourists paying $100,000 to $200,000 per ticket.
US military given more authority to launch preventative cyberattacks (3 minute read)
The US military is now pursuing a more offensive cyber strategy, granting the US Cyber Command more authority to target foreign government hackers who target the US. The new "defend forward" strategy gives the US military more authority to act on its own, even against computer networks based in friendly countries. While the new strategy does allow the US to wipe out enemy computer networks in friendly countries, it doesn't allow US offensive cyberattacks to target civilian infrastructure, because the US must abide by a UN agreement that prohibits "damaging civilian critical infrastructure during peacetime."
Volvo's 360c concept car is a fully autonomous bedroom on wheels (3 minute read)
Volvo envisions its new autonomous concept car as serving four use cases: a mobile bedroom that will replace red-eye flights, a productivity booster for a daily commute, a living room, and an entertainment space. The concept car makes room for a pullout bed by removing the steering wheel and dashboard entirely. Folding up the bed and pulling out the slideout coffee table instantly turns the car into a workspace. There's a 2 minute demo video inside that's pretty cool.
How the Canadian cannabis company Tilray became worth more than American Airlines (5 minute read)
Canadian startup Tilray became the first marijuana company to go public on the Nasdaq in July, and now the company is worth over $20 billion after the US Drug Enforcement Administration signed off on Tilray's plan to import marijuana from Canada to the US for medical research. A large part of the reason for the large spike in valuation is that most of the shares are held by Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm backed by investor Peter Thiel, meaning the publicly traded portion is a relatively small fraction of the total number of shares. Spending on cannabis worldwide is expected to reach $57 billion by 2027 and Tilray is well positioned to be a major player in this market. The stock is extremely volatile, and dropped from $230 to $180 in just one hour Wednesday morning.