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Weekly Rewind: New Amazon Echoes, smart jackets, a browser faster than Chrome


A lot can happen in a week when it comes to tech. The constant onslaught of news makes it nigh impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of this week’s top tech stories, from Amazon’s new product lineup to Lyft’s new Ford partnership  — it’s all here.

Amazon Echo Plus, Connect, Spot bring Alexa to every room, Zigbee, 911 calling

Amazon Echo Second Generation

The Amazon Echo universe is expanding again. In the face of the emergence of a veritable panacea of smart home speakers from competitors, Amazon is stepping up to the plate and taking on the challenge. On Wednesday, the company announced a series of new products, including a new Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, a brand new device called the Echo Connect, an alarm clock-like device called as the Echo Spot, and Echo buttons geared towards gamers that will sell for $20 a pair. Amazon also announced a new Fire TV as well as an Alexa integration with BMW vehicles coming in 2018.

Read: Amazon Echo Plus, Connect, Spot bring Alexa to every room, Zigbee, 911 calling

Park this vintage VW Bus fridge in the kitchen for retro appeal

volkswagen bus refrigerator

Modern style has trended toward a more minimalist style. As appliances become more muted in tone, they tend to fade into the background. As a market response, retro appliances are making a comeback. They have unique shapes, bright colors, and stand out against everything else. And when it comes to retro design, there is arguably nothing more iconic than the 1960s Volkswagen Bus.

In celebration of German engineering and the need to keep food fresh, Gorenje has revealed the Volkswagen Bus refrigerator. Just like the vehicle that inspired it, this special edition fridge features chrome trim, a two-tone paint job, and a big VW emblem on the door. The only things missing are headlights, a windshield, and a bumper.

Read: Park this vintage VW Bus fridge in the kitchen for retro appeal

Ford, Lyft partnership aims to bring autonomous cars to the masses

Ford Lyft partnership

Ford hopes to harness the newfound power of ridesharing to bring autonomous vehicles to the people. The Blue Oval has announced plans to start a giant pilot program in which Ford vehicles will be integrated into the Lyft application, and dispatched to customers during periods of high demand. The first cars could hit the streets as early as 2021.

The idea isn’t to beat Tesla, Uber, BMW, Volvo, and every tech company in the autonomous arms race. The goal of the Ford, Lyft partnership is to provide answers to some of the questions facing the ridesharing industry today. One of the big question marks is how to create a technology platform capable of connecting seamlessly with another brand’s platform. The partners also want to figure out where to dispatch self-driving vehicles and get an idea of the infrastructure that will be needed to maintain them.

Read: Ford, Lyft partnership aims to bring autonomous cars to the masses

Would you pay $350 for Levis’ new smart jacket?

poll levis smart jacket jaquard fabric

Well, it’s about time. On Monday, October 2, you’ll be able to order Levi’s touch-sensitive denim smart jacket for $350. That’s quite a bit for a simple jean jacket, but thanks to its integration of Google’s “Jacquard” technology, it’s more than just outerwear — it has a few tricks up its sleeve. Well, on its sleeve, actually.

The Project Jacquard denim jacket features a touch-sensitive sleeve that allows you to control your smartphone with taps, swipes, and brushing motions. According to the Verge, it’s primarily designed with cyclists in mind, so you’ll be able to pause your smartphone’s music playback or skip songs with a simple gestures.

Read: Would you pay $350 for Levis’ new smart jacket?

SoundMolds custom headphone eartips review

soundmold eartips both

Getting the perfect fit from an in-ear headphone is essential both for sound quality and security, but even though most products come with 16 pairs of tips in different shapes, sizes, and materials, getting the ideal seal is an exercise in frustration at best, and totally impossible at worst.  That seal is crucial for sealing out noise around you, delivering good bass response, and, perhaps most importantly, remaining comfortable so you’ll, you know … want to wear them.  Thankfully, SoundMolds custom eartips successfully solve this conundrum with its custom-molded silicone eartips – and they will work with any in-ear headphone you choose.

Read: SoundMolds custom headphone eartips review



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