TechSummit Rewind 113

This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Samsung announces Exynos 7 Dual 7270 SoC for wearables

samsung-exynos-7-dual-7270

Samsung has unveiled the Exynos 7 Dual 7270 chip, which is the first 14-nanometer wearable processor and the first to have a built-in LTE modem. That means that your next smartwatch could theoretically connect to a cell network and tether to your smartphone or laptop.

According to Samsung, it’s 20 percent more power efficient than the last-gen 28-nanometer tech. Along with the built-in GPS module, smartwatches and fitness trackers can get GPS tracking and other features without a huge loss in power or need for a smartphone.

The company has released a developer platform to help get them on board.

German transport authority: Tesla should stop using ‘autopilot’ in advertising

Tesla Model S

German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has asked Tesla to stop advertising the Autopilot function in its vehicles as it might suggest that drivers’ attention isn’t needed.

“It can be confirmed that a letter to Tesla exists with the request to no longer use the misleading term ‘Autopilot’ for the driver assistance system of the car.”

-A Federal Motor Transport Authority (Germany) spokesperson

According to a Tesla spokesperson, Autopilot has been used for decades in the aerospace industry, and the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company has always made it clear to customers that the assistance system required drivers to pay attention at all times.

Google Flights now tells you when fares are likely to increase, helps you find cheaper tickets

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Google Flights, the airfare search destination, will now show you when prices are expected to increase for certain flights, so you can book before tickets become more expensive. According to Google, it’s also rolling out other tips that will help you show for the best priced tickets among other things. Google Hotels is also getting a search upgrade to make it easier to find deals.

According to Google, Hotels will now alert you to savings available to loyalty members on the hotel’s website.

Flights now notifies you when a fare is expected to expire, so you’ll know how much you can save by booking immediately.

If you’re tracking a destination but haven’t yet selected a specific flight, the app will display a notification bar that offers tips on picking the best route. This might include recommending alternate airports or dates that might save money or inform you when prices are expected to increase based on historical data.

Flights can also send you notification emails that alert you to changing route/flight prices.

According to Google, the new features will roll out in the comping weeks.

UK court rules that security agencies’ data collection was unlawful

The UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal has ruled that the country’s GCHQ surveillance agency’s bulk collection program was conducted in defiance of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights between 1998 and 2015.

“[The ruling is] a long overdue indictment of UK surveillance agencies riding roughshod over our democracy and secretly spying on a massive scale.”

-Millie Graham Wood, Privacy International legal officer

“The powers available to the security and intelligence agencies play a vital role in protecting the UK and its citizens. We are therefore pleased the tribunal has confirmed the current lawfulness of the existing bulk communications data and bulk personal dataset regimes.

“Through the investigatory powers bill, the government is committed to providing greater transparency and stronger safeguards for all of the bulk powers available to the agencies.”

-A government spokesperson

Ozlo virtual assistant launches on iOS, the web

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Ozlo, a virtual assistant that claims to be one of the last independent AI-powered assistants, has launched on iOS and the web.

Eventually, the assistant will expand to become a voice-enabled Amazon Alexa skill and be available on bot platforms like Facebook Messenger, according to company CEO Charles Jolley.

“There’s been a lot of consolidation and changes happening with Allo and these companies [API.ai & Viv] being bought so the industry is really shaping up now. I think we’d like to be independent. I think there’s a big opportunity here for an independent company to give people the best answer.”

-Charles Jolley, Ozlo CEO

Next year, third-party developers can use Ozlo to create their own versions of the assistant. According to the company, the best way to build its assistant and find answers to questions is through the integration of services from developers and diverse datasets.

Pluto TV raises $30M at $140M valuation to expand in Europe, buys Quazer

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Pluto TV, a Los Angeles-based video streaming service targeting cord cutters with a TV-guide like experience that connects you to hundreds of online channels, has raised $30M in Series B funding at a $140M valuation. The new funding comes from German media company ProSieben and lifestyle media company Scripps Networks Interactive. The funding will go towards fueling Pluto TV’s European expansion, according to the company.

Participating investors included new investor Sallfort PrivatBank and existing investors USVP, Sky, Luminari Capital, Chicago Ventures, and Thirdwave Capital Partners.

“Pluto TV has already aggregated over five million [monthly active users] in one place and a lot of these niche services are already looking to us to help them get their content discovered and drive users to their platforms. We believe most consumers don’t want to go in and out of different apps for their entertainment.”

-Tom Ryan, Pluto TV co-founder & CEO

The company has also acquired Berlin-based TV startup Quazer to immediately get a foothold in the German market and Europe on a larger scale. Including the acquisition, Pluto TV has a team of 50 and plans to hire a Sales VP to begin building out its direct sales team.

According to Ryan, the company plans to further invest in product, content, and marketing, while also moving towards the goal of becoming a global destination for free television.

“With this funding and the expansion into Europe, Pluto TV is uniquely positioned to become the global OTT destination for free television. That’s the goal. That’s the future of TV.”

-Tom Ryan

Cisco acquires Worklife meeting app for undisclosed sum

worklife

Cisco has acquired meeting app Worklife for an undisclosed sum. The company plans to add Worklife’s team into the Cisco Spark team to help that product bring their meeting wisdom to bear.

“With the Worklife team on board, we see an opportunity to build on the virtual meeting experience that the Cisco Spark platform currently provides, and enhance meeting productivity across the board.”

-Rob Salvagno, Cisco senior vice president for corporate business development

Navya raises $34M for self-driving shuttle bus

navya

Navya, a Paris-based startup that makes driverless shuttles, has raised $34M in funding to build out its team, technology, and sales. The funding comes from public transportation provider Keolis, automotive parts group Valeo, and Qatari investors Group8.

“To secure sustainable growth in an increasingly competitive context, we have chosen a partnership strategy that allows us, on the one hand, to optimize costs with the offers of one of the largest automotive suppliers to stay competitive, and on the other hand to ensure most effectively the international deployment of our autonomous mobility solution, the Navya Arma.

“Achieving faster critical volumes will reduce investments from cities and companies who wish to equip themselves with intelligent and autonomous mobility solutions and thus accelerate the growth of our company.”

-Christophe Sapet, Nayva chairman

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