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April 29, 2018

Amazon opens Echo Button games to developers

Echo Buttons are one of the stranger bits of hardware to come out of the Amazon labs in recent memory. Announced alongside the latest Echos, the little light up devices are designed to bring interactive game play to the Alexa Echo system.

The company’s already announced a handful of compatible titles, and it seems that list is about to get a bit longer, as it opens up a beta version of the Gadgets Skill API for the hardware.

Developers can platform to associate button presses with different skills and send light up animation to the hardware. A preview version of the API lead to the development of a number of experiences for the two [...]

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April 8, 2018

Future iPhones may have curved screens and touchless gesture controls

A new report out of Bloomberg this morning suggests that Apple is developing two new pieces of technology for future iPhone models: one is touchless gesture control and the other is a curved display. Both projects are said to be at the early stages of research and development, at least two years away from potentially making it into consumer devices.

Apple’s closest rival, Samsung, has already offered versions of both technologies in its prior models. Air Gestures on the Galaxy S4 allowed users to browse between photos or scroll a webpage just by swiping in the air above the phone, while Air View would function much like Apple’s 3D Touch, exposing [...]

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April 7, 2018

BlackBerry accuses Snapchat of infringing its messaging patents

BlackBerry has filed a complaint against Snap accusing the company of infringing its patented messaging technology in the Snapchat app. The complaint, which runs a hefty 71 pages, accuses Snap of infringing six patents including map improvements for mobile devices, advertising techniques, and UI improvements for mobile devices. It also cites Snap Maps and the display count of unread messages on a notification dot as “infringing activities.” The complaint was first reported by Bloomberg.

BlackBerry previously filed a lawsuit in March against Facebook, alleging that the social media platform, WhatsApp, and Instagram also infringed on BlackBerry’s [...]

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April 6, 2018

Rocket Lab sets date for first commercial launch of its Electron rocket

US spaceflight startup Rocket Lab is officially open for business and has scheduled its very first commercial launch for later this month. The company will launch its small Electron rocket with payloads from two paying satellite operators on board — just three months after completing a second test flight of the vehicle. The upcoming mission will initiate the beginning of customer operations for Rocket Lab, which claims to have a busy manifest for this year and next.

After four years of developing the Electron, Rocket Lab flew the vehicle for the first time in May 2017 out of the company’s own private launch site in New Zealand. That test flight — [...]

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