Last week in tech: Welcome back from the upside down
Here are the tech stories you missed while preparing for your Stranger Things binge.
It’s time to push yourself through that goopy, otherworldly gate from your weekend spent binge watching Stranger Things and back into the realm of the real world. Here’s a recap of some of the best new gear and tech stories you might have missed last week while you were perfecting your Eleven costume.
Amazon Key is a new service available in 37 cities across the country that allows a delivery person to drop off that thing you ordered inside your house. You need a Prime membership, as well as a compatible smart lock, and one of Amazon’s new Cloud Cams, so you can watch the person via live stream as they make the drop. It’s a big step for the online retailer, but ultimately a stepping stone toward the inevitable future in which we all live and work inside self-contained cities located within massive Amazon warehouses.
Yamaha introduced a three-wheeled motorcycle built for leaning that looks like something that could have its own parking space in the Bat Cave. It’s only a concept for now, so it may never become a reality, but still, we dig the look.
RIP Microsoft Kinect
Seven years after its debut in the motion-controlled gaming craze of 2010, Microsoft has stopped manufacturing the Kinect. The device hasn’t been very relevant in the Xbox ecosystem for years, but has found a second life as tool for researchers and artists. Microsoft says it will continue to support the Kinect for Xbox users, but don’t expect any restocks once the current stock is out.
All leathered up
Apple now sells a swanky leather sleeve to envelop the MacBook’s slim 12-inch chassis. The $149 case comes in Midnight Blue and Saddle Brown.
Smart light bulbs are common here in the smart home era, but Noon puts the brain in a switch that replaces the standard flipper. The system empowers regular light bulbs to turn on and off through the wall switch, like usual, or via app. Noon units themselves are attractive OLED displays, so they’re a style upgrade over a regular switch, too.
Have you tried Instagram’s new Superzoom feature in stories? It’s fun, and will continue to be fun until it gets really annoying. Then, it’s on to something else.
Say cheese (10 times per second)
Sony’s new pro-grade A7r III camera costs $3,200, but offers some impressive stats when compared to its competition. Inside is a full-frame sensor (the size of a piece of 35mm film) with a 42.4-megapixel resolution and 10 fps image capture. It’s a strong showing in one of the few segments of the camera market still surviving the proliferation of smartphone cameras.
Not shaken or stirred
Fujifilm has more photography news this week, in the form of the Instax Share SP-3 wireless film printer. You connect your phone via Bluetooth, and it can print your smartphone photos on its Instax Square sheet film. They’re real analog prints, but it uses a digital interface, so you can add things like information or borders. Just don’t shake the pictures that come out because it just disturbs the chemicals inside.
Waste time with this app
This week, the PopSci office has been playing Missiles!, a charming game in which you try to prevent your tiny plane from exploding. Get the iOS version here or the Android version here.