Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Thursday, March 21, 2019, the second day of spring!
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1. Dyson’s new home products: a little smarter, longer lasting, still pricey
Dyson has released a couple of new things, adding to its super-high-end and expensive household products.
It includes, as expected, a new vacuum, plus a personal air purifier and desk lamp.
- Dyson exists in a sort of bubble: there’s those that own a Dyson and swear by them;
- And there’s those that wonder why anyone would pay so much for a vacuum.
- (I’m in the former camp, and I do enjoy a chat about vacuums. Just saying. And hoping Adam doesn’t make fun of me.)
The new V11 vacuum:
- Dysons’s new V11 is more like a V10.5, fixing the pain points of its V10 portable stick that launched last year in Paris that I was at.
- Dyson claims to have fixed the battery life of the V10 with the V11, with different modes including battery-saving Eco mode, and an auto detect feature that adjusts power as you switch surfaces in your home.
- Dyson says you’ll now get as much as 40 to 60 minutes on a charge depending on power mode, floor type, and attachment, and up to 20% more power output.
- The higher-end “Torque Drive” model and has new LCD built-in display on the tank that tells you how much sucking time you have left.
- The display will also display helpful diagrams for maintenance and remind you to clean its filters, and so on.
- It’s probably not enough for V10 owners to upgrade, but that’s not the point with this release it seems (Gizmodo).
- The Animal runs $600, while the Torque Drive is $700. Not cheap, but the latter does come with more accessories at least.
- Dyson couldn’t have chosen a more iconic name from Tron for a desk lamp, but at least it’s a smart lamp based on the “cycle” of night and day.
- The big feature is light output based on the period of the day – getting brighter through the day, and transitioning into a warmer evening light.
- It’s about what you might expect to get from Dyson – an aggressively-designed lamp, with fancy adjustable arms based on the previous CSYS light, and there’s a bunch of hype about its Heat Pipe cooling technology to keep the LED light cool and working for 60 years, it says.
- The lamp has touch controls, USB-C port, and an app for fine-tuning, and runs $600 for the desk version, and $900 for the floor lamp.
- (No tie-in with Alexa or Google Assistant, either.)
Dyson Pure Cool Me:
- Finally, there’s the new Pure Cool Me, an air purifier for your personal space.
- You point the Cool Me right at you, from a desk or a bedside table, designed for offices or bedrooms.
- The airflow is adjusted manually by moving the spherical top part, and Dyson emphasizes that it’s not for a whole room but one person at a time like the Pure Cool Link from last year.
- It has a timer to run just while you get to sleep or all night if you need.
- This looks like it followed the need for air purifiers following the wildfires in California.
- The Verge reported that the filters will last about a year with daily use, and the Cool Me runs for $350.
2. You can be Bach in today’s “first AI-powered” musical composition app via the Google Doodle. It’s actually super fun to hear a few notes turned into glorious harmony from machine learning applied to the great composer’s 306 harmonizations, on his birthday. Details on how it was all created: AA.
3. Apple’s paid News subscription: $10 per month, has made a deal with the WSJ, NY Times and Washington Post opt out (NY Times). Big get, as the WSJ digital sub costs $396/year, although there are regular discounts. But all WSJ content?
4. Apple released updated AirPods yesterday, continuing its daily refresh cycle but they seem a little AirPods 1.1 rather than 2.0 (AA). The big update was increased battery life, and the addition of wireless charging, and that’s about it.
5. ‘It Takes Over Your Life’: The 30,000 Waze volunteers that work for the love of maps (WSJ).
6. Hands-on with the new $399 Oculus Rift S: the ‘S’ stands for Subpar (TechCrunch).
7. Watch AT&T’s CEO get a robocall during a live interview (AA).
8. The Tesla price increases are in, a little less than expected (Electrek).
9. San Francisco moves to ban e-cigarettes until health effects known (BBC).
10. Scientists rise up against statistical significance (Nature). P values, confidence intervals, and controversy.
11. How to watch SpaceX test fire its prototype Starship ‘hopper’ (CNET).
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