Remember the Surface Hub? You probably don’t. Unlike Microsoft’s other PCs — the Surface Pro, Book, Laptop and Studio — the Hub was a giant and expensive device meant for workplace collaboration, not average consumers. It was never going to star in commercials or turn heads at Best Buy. And even Microsoft admits that it only sold to more than 5,000 customers. But its successor, the Surface Hub 2, is another matter entirely.
It’s a sleek 50.5-inch 4K+ display (the exact resolution is still being finalized) that can be rotated with a slight push, turning it into huge portrait screen. That makes it useful for both scribbling notes with colleagues, or video chatting with someone that’s almost life-sized. You can tile up to four together to create an even larger display, or spread multiple Hub 2s around the room, each serving different roles. It features rolling cases and mounts co-developed with Steelcase, which Microsoft partnered with last year to envision creative workspaces. Even its 3 x 2 aspect ratio is unique, since every other large screen these days is a wider 16 x 9.
The Surface Hub 2 isn’t just another connected display. It’s a bold attempt at transforming the way we work. Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, describes it as more of a huddle board — something that’ll get people out of their seats and collaborating in entirely new ways. Naturally, there’s touchscreen support, but you can also throw documents to the Surface Hub 2 from your computer, or control presentations using your phone. And perhaps most importantly for Microsoft, it’s deeply connected to Teams, which could encourage more companies to move over to its Slack rival.
via Microsoft’s Surface Hub 2 is a bold attempt at changing how we work
We are in the midst of a pretty historic moment. Leaping ahead of the competition, Waymo has announced that its self-driving cars will no longer use a human safety driver while they are tested on the roads of Phoenix. But the even bigger news is that the company is gearing up to launch the first commercial driverless taxi service. Yup, the time has come.
On Tuesday, Waymo, the driverless car unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet, released a video of its cars tooling around the Arizona suburbs without anyone behind the wheel. Typically, Waymo and other driverless car startups use a human who’s ready to take over driving duties in case of an emergency. In a blog post, the company announced that what you see in that video is what you’ll be seeing pull up next to you at a traffic light. Continue reading
These days, it’s just as important to have communication up and running after a major disaster as it is to have power, food and drinkable water. The FCC approved $77 million to fix communications in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, while Project Loon (a collaboration with AT&T, Alphabet and T-Mobile) has found ways to get the internet up and running via LTE-providing balloons. Now, AT&T has deployed its helicopter Flying COW (Cell on Wings) to temporarily provide data, voice and text services to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
AT&T claims that this is the first time such a device has been deployed. The Flying COW hovers 200 to 400 feet above the ground and offers wireless connectivity in an up to 40-square-mile area, a distance that AT&T says is farther than other temporary cell sites. The drone is currently in the San Juan area of Puerto Rico and the company plans to relocate it to various other areas, including a military hospital at Manati Coliseum.
Microsoft’s future vision videos gave us previews of the Surface Hub, Studio, HoloLens and more. Are there hints of an ultra-mobile Surface (phone) as well?
Source: Did Microsoft give us a glimpse of its Surface “phone” vision? | Windows Central
Following hurricanes Irma and Maria, millions of Puerto Rico residents were left without electricity and it’s expected to take months for power to be restored. Well one person mused on Twitter whether Elon Musk could help out by rebuilding the island’s electricity grid with solar and battery systems and Musk responded that it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.
Like he said in his tweet, Musk and his companies have done this before. After Tesla acquired SolarCity last year, the company revealed that it had converted the island of Ta’u from diesel generator-based power to solar energy using thousands of solar panels and Tesla Powerpacks for energy storage. Tesla also brought its solar power and energy storage system to the Hawaiian island of Kauai as well as California earlier this year. And these systems don’t take terribly long to get up and running. In the case of California, the Ontario station only took three months between groundbreaking and running.
The potential must have sounded appealing to Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello who tweeted at Musk that they should talk. Tesla has already shipped hundreds of its Powerall battery systems to the island and maybe that will be just the beginning. We could hear more very soon since it looks like Rossello and Musk will be talking today.
Source: Puerto Rico governor will discuss Tesla solar systems with Elon Musk