It’s finally June! And you know what that means: summer is right around the corner! So buckle up and get ready, friends, because we’re bringing you the hottest tech news all summer long. Here’s what we have for you this week:
Amazon’s drone delivery patent (which was submitted back in 2015) has been approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office. But here’s the thing: autonomous drones are still not authorized to fly under current FAA rules, so there’s really no telling if this project will ever get off the ground (hah, aviation puns). While we’re all about the thirty-minute delivery speeds this service could offer, we’re not quite sure how we feel about having Hunger Games-style packages fall from the sky. Definitely raises some questions.
Folks in the Netherlands are going full steam ahead with Elon Musk’s Hyperloop proposal (the puns are just too easy today), setting up a full-scale testing center. Apparently traveling through vacuum tubes at warp speed doesn’t sound like an iffy idea to the folks at Hardt Global Mobility. This is the company supporting the Dutch team who won Musk’s competition to develop the super-fast transport technology earlier this year. Theoretically, the Hyperloop will use custom electric motors to accelerate and decelerate levitated pods through low-pressure tubes. This kind of transportation system has numerous benefits, ranging from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to boosting rural economies. But here’s the catch: one small crack in the tube could send you hurtling at speeds that would almost certainly kill you. So do with that what you will.
Google is planning to introduce a new ad blocker to Chrome early next year. Their goal is to prompt websites to reevaluate their ads to make them less invasive and annoying. The ad blocker, set to launch in 2018, won’t block all advertisements on the internet, but will block those that are particularly disruptive, like those autoplay videos that are louder than the THX intro, or those interstitial ones that take up the entire screen. All we have to say about this is thank.goodness.
In an unprecedented, groundbreaking announcement, Apple revealed they will introduce a Siri-powered smart speaker. Incredible. Users will be able to ask the speaker to turn the lights on, lower the shades, adjust the thermostat, and more. It will also allow users to ask Siri questions, like what the weather forecast is or when local movies are showing. Novel.
Boston’s very own Logan Airport will be part of JetBlue’s new facial-recognition system test. The airline hopes to allow passengers to go without boarding passes altogether, in turn making their flying experience more hassle-free. The test will gauge the technology’s accuracy and speed, as well as customers willingness to use facial recognition services. (As if they aren’t already on every other airport security footage.)
Well, that’s all for this week! Let us know your favorite tech stories in the comments below! If you missed last week’s roundup, be sure to check that out here. And to stay up to date on all the latest tech and PR news, follow us on Twitter @BIGfishPR!