TechSummit Rewind #053

Editor’s Note: This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Microsoft, Samsung, others form IoT alliance

Microsoft, Samsung, Qualcomm, GE & Intel have joined forces to launch the Open Connectivity Foundation.

The foundation aims to help “unify IoT standards so that companies and developers can create IoT solutions and devices that work seamlessly together.”

Jon Steinberg launches Cheddar with $3M in funding

Jon Steinberg, former president of BuzzFeed, is launching a new media company called Cheddar.

The startup will stream one to two hours of live content daily, primarily from the New York Stock Exchange trading floor, and chop up pieces of the videos for distribution on platforms like YouTube.

The live shows will focus on tech and consumer stocks like Google, Facebook, and Chipotle.

Cheddar wants its main source of revenue to be distribution deals with streaming services like Netflix and Comcast’s Watchable.

“We’re making a big bet on connected televisions. And I don’t think the Apple TV market is as big as the phone market or the desktop market. But nobody is doing programming right now for people without cable boxes that have TVs on their walls, in offices, and have Rokus, Apple TVs and Chromecast connected to them … I take the belief that no one coming out of college is going to get a cable box.”

-Jon Steinberg, Cheddar founder

Garmin adds dash of style to Vivo activity tracker line

Garmin Vivo

Garmin has announced updates to its Vivo line of activity trackers, specifically its Vivofit wristband and Vivoactive smart fitness watch. The tech updates are incremental, with features like optical heart rate sensors and automatic activity tracking. The company has also partnered with designer Jonathan Adler.

The new Vivofit 3 wristband has a backlit display, acts as an all-day activity tracker, and is waterproof up to 50 meters, like the last Vivofit. It still has up to one year of battery life, using coin cell batteries, but the Vivofit 3 will now automatically track workouts like running, biking, swimming, and elliptical training, and can track intensity levels during workouts.

Notably, there are new design options for the Vivofit 3, lumped into two distinct categories: Garmin’s own Style collection, and a series of accessory bands designed by Jonathan Adler. The Style collection includes black and white quilted bands, a periwinkle braided band, and a camo band. The Adler designs are more colorful: purple geometrics, gray and green concentric circles, and a blue chrvron pattern.

Garmin Vivoactive HR

The new Vivoactive HR is more capable than the previous one, with optical heart rate sensors, elevation sensors, up to 13 hours of GPS battery life, native tracking for more sports, and the ability to record intensity minutes during workouts. Like the previous watch, it pairs with your smartphone over Bluetooth to show notifications.

The Vivofit 2 ships in the second quarter for between $100 and $120, with the Jonathan Adler bands selling for an additional $40. The Vivoactive HR ships in the spring for $250.

Volvo plans to replace car keys with smartphone app this year

Volvo has announced a pilot program kicking off this spring in Sweden that will offer cars without any physical key or fob, with plans to make the system commercially available in 2017.

Instead of keys, drivers will be given a smartphone app for unlocking the doors and starting the engine through a Bluetooth connection. Through the app, customers will also be able to use more than one “digital key,” so they can access more than one Volvo depending on where they are.

“At Volvo, we are not interested in technology for the sake of technology. New technology has to make our customers’ lives easier and save them time. Mobility needs are evolving and so are our customers’ expectation to access cars in an uncomplicated way. Our innovative digital key technology has the potential to completely change how a Volvo can be accessed and shared.”

-Henrik Green, Volvo vice president of product strategy & vehicle line management

The keyless car technology will be demonstrated for the first time next week at Mobile World Congress.

Flint Mobile Payments go offline, tells customers to use Stripe

Flint Mobile Payments

Flint Mobile, a startup backed by Verizon and True Ventures, has ceased payment operations, and is directing its customers to use Stripe for payment services.

“Starting today, Flint is transitioning to a new platform. During this period, you will not be able to use Flint to process credit or debit card transactions. However, you will have continued access to your past transaction data and other Flint features.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this causes and we will keep you updated about card processing availability for your account. If you have any questions, please contact our support team.”

-Flint Mobile Payments, in a note to customers



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