Category Archives: tech

Uber: Cars, Christmas Trees, and Beyond

UberBlogCombo

As some of you may know, Uber is a service that allows you to request a ride anytime using a ridiculously simple mobile app. Recently, they have stepped up their game and expanded the range of things you can demand at your current location (though only for limited times and places).

Most recently, Uber offered the ability to request a Christmas tree be delivered right to your front door for one day only. Sure, at $135 it’s clear that they hadn’t quite made this the right solution for every family, but it feels like they are onto something.

Back in July Uber tested out a similar offer, except that they allowed people to request an ice cream truck at their location for one day only. Just like with the Christmas trees and their signature ride service, Uber offered a product that is widely desired on demand.

With the recent announcement that they want to expand to offer their users just about anything they could want on demand, it looks like Uber is poised to be the “bring me something awesome” service of the future.

Amazon Drone Delivery

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Amazon has begun testing the use of drones for delivery of their products, adding to the growing list of commercial drone users.

Though this may just be a clever marketing ploy that never makes it out of the R&D phase, it is definitely a fascinating idea. Surely one of Amazon’s greatest costs must be shipping, and drones could be a good way to lessen that cost in addition to making it an internal operation as opposed to using external companies like UPS or the US Postal Service.

It is somewhat discomforting to imagine a fleet of delivery drones buzzing above our heads every day, and with the volume that Amazon deals with it’s hard to imagine that drones could handle so many deliveries.

Creepy Advanced Robots Part 1: Atlas Humanoid Robot

More and more lately, I’ve been feeling like we haven’t learned anything from the hyper intelligent robots of Hollywood. That’s not to say that robotics is bad, just more that some of the robots of today seem a bit too advanced for our own good. Enter the Atlas robot, one of the most advanced humanoid robots around. It can dodge obstacles in its way, correct its balance, and a whole host of other things aimed at making it an effective helper in emergency situations (in case we need someone to run into a volcano or the bottom of the ocean).

Read more over at the Darpa Robotics Challenge website and The Verge.

Pencil: Write on a Touchscreen Like Never Before

Pencil is the coolest writing tool ever made for digital devices. It’s been precision engineered by fiftythree to be the most beautiful and usable way to get your ideas on (digital) paper. When used with their Paper app for iPad, Pencil utilizes some pretty cool functionality like blending and palm rejection, but it can also be used as a stylus on any other touchscreen device.

Check out more over at fiftythree’s awesome parallax scrolling website fiftythree.com/pencil and read more over at The Verge.