Startups

The Sync Smartband Is A Health And Location Tracking Device For Both Kids And Grown-Ups

20140708093322-digitalzone2 Wearables for kids are coming. A company called ActvContent is today launching the Sync smartband, which was initially aimed at parents looking to keep track of their wandering children. Today, as the product goes live on Indiegogo, the company is broadening its focus to appeal to families and adults as well, with a variety of health tracking functions, including a fitness tracker and sleep… Read More

Google Acquires Finnish Startup to Address Smartphone Fragmentation

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Google has acquired a Finnish firm specializing in mobile 3D graphics analytics, a move that will help the search giant tailor its software to a variety of hardware smartphone options

The startup, drawElements, focuses on figuring out how to optimize complex graphics for various pieces of mobile hardware.

“We’re excited to announce that we’re joining Google. Thanks to everyone who has helped us along the way; we’re grateful for your support,” the company posted on the front page of its website. “Over the next few months, we’ll be working with our colleagues on the Android team to incorporate some of our technology into the compatibility test suite. Stay tuned!” Read more…

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Airware Preps Launch Of Its Commercial Drone Operating System With $25M From Kleiner

Airware Featured Image Building a drone’s hardware and software from scratch is tough and expensive, but open source drone kits are inflexible. So to power businesses looking to customize drones for commercial uses from agriculture to industrial inspections, Airware has raised a $25 million Series B led by Kleiner Perkins. The money will fund the launch of Airware’s drone operating system later this… Read More

Fleksy Debuts Version 3.0 On Android, With A Complete Redesign And New Premium Features

Fleksy 3.0 - Ocean Blue Virtual keyboard startup Fleksy has launched version 3.0 of its software today, which includes new monetization options via premium themes and content packs. The new themes complement the new design of the app, with alternate color options and a bonus theme available to Fleksy premium users free of charge, and there’s also support for over 700 new emoji for those of you who like to… Read More

The Pressures Driving Adaptive Re-Use and Silicon Valley’s Strange Reverse Commute

zendesk-new-office-1 Given Google’s recent purchase of a building on the Embarcadero and the city’s move to effectively block Pinterest from relocating its headquarters into a specially-zoned building in the design district, I wanted to point out a few things. San Francisco is now at record employment levels after adding 60,000 jobs over the last four years. Commercial rents are hovering… Read More

Open Labs Launches Stagelight 2.0, Signs Deals With Lenovo, Dell, Microsoft And Guitar Center

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 4.15.52 PM Tons of news from Stagelight by Open Labs today. The Linkin Park- and Timbaland-backed production software for amateur musicians for the PC now comes preloaded on Lenovo and Dell laptops, tablets and computers. Additionally, Open Labs has signed distribution agreements with Intel, Microsoft and Guitar Center. The company also just released its 2.0 version software today, complete with the… Read More

Yik Yak Gets A Much-Needed Makeover

yikyak It’s been about three months since anonymous messaging app Yik Yak raised their first major round of funding ($1.5 million led by Vaizra Investments, DCM, and Azure Capital Partners), and already the app has released a major update.
The app, which has traditionally been incredibly ugly (just being honest), now has a slick new design with a much-refined user experience. Read More

The Defender Is What You Get When You Combine A Camera, Automated 9-1-1, And Pepper Spray

Screenshot 2014-07-22 15.41.57 Safety first! That’s what my mom always says. Which is why it’s somewhat shocking that technology hasn’t already been leveraged to provide additional personal protection to people on the go. But the Defender looks to change all that. It’s a new pocket-sized device that combines a camera, a 24/7 monitoring system for police and health services, and pepper spray to… Read More

Anniversary For iPhone Offers A Moment Of Nostalgia In The Age Of Disposable Photos

Anniversary Logo An app called Anniversary offers a new twist on remembering the past via your photo and video memories. Instead of posting to a social network like Facebook, Anniversary lets you share your content with a friend on some future date of your choosing. The idea is to surprise your friends with old photos, instead of just nostalgically reviewing them on your own. Thanks to smartphones, we… Read More

The Yo Copycats Are Here and Not All of Them Are Joking

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Jon Brod was surrounded by some of the most influential people in tech at the Fortune Brainstorm conference in Aspen, Colorado, last week when he received a message from his wife: “AHOY.” Then he received another: “AHOY.” And then another.

“She was AHOY-ing me, ‘I’m at the pool. I’m at the hotel. I’m at the meatball shop,’” Brod says. Except she wasn’t actually typing any of that out. She was just checking in with Brod using AHOY, an app that lets users — or, really, members of Brod’s circle — fire off quick notifications that say “AHOY” along with the person’s location at that moment.

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