You can’t spell success without “CES.” But CES also rhymes with “BS”… and yesterday, CES seemed to be a mixture of trash and treasure. We’ve got yesterday’s best, worst, and ugliest below — and we’ll be back with another recap tomorrow. Today:
- CES featured connected bath mats and Avatar-themed EVS
- New York state proposed a public Venmo without the fees
- More spilt milk signals the downfall of American dairies
Have a great Wednesday.
Snag a $50 Amazon gift card when you attend a Lola.com demo
That’s right, Lola.com is offering you straight cash (okay, a gift card) in exchange for attending a demo of their travel software.
Why? Simple — they think once you see it, you’ll believe it.
And, having ugly-cried in the office bathroom trying to book work trips before, we’re inclined to agree.
Scouring search engines, coordinating hotel and flight bundles, double-checking dates and times all adds up to one seriously complicated process, but Lola.com is about to put those days of sobbing in the 4th floor restroom behind you.
Forecast, budget, and reduce travel spend like only a pro can
Created by the same folks that brought you KAYAK, Lola.com corporate travel software is built with one thing in mind: Making your life easier.
What makes it so simple? Well… everything.
See, Lola.com keeps all your info in one place. You can book flights and hotels, handle expense reports, and manage itineraries, all from within their intuitive interface.
Plus, Lola.com’s 24/7 travel support team makes sure that when the slightest of inconveniences arise (“There was no chocolate on my hotel pillow!”), someone will be available to help you sort it out.
Enough talk — go snag your $50 gift card and get that new ergonomic travel pillow you’ve been eyeing.
|Learn about Lola.com →|
The best — and most bizarre — from Day 1 of CES
The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) kicked off its first full day yesterday in Las Vegas. As usual, the event featured the best, the brightest, and the most bizarre tech out there.
Here are 3 trends we noticed on Day 1:
1. Car culture is still in the fast lane
The cars of the future may not look like your mom’s Mazda (and they may not guzzle the same gas). But judging by yesterday’s hype, car culture isn’t going anywhere.
- Electric cars were everywhere. Established automakers like Audi and Mercedes-Benz showed off sleek new electric designs, but so did less-established car companies like Fisker, Faraday, and Byton.
- Even Sony made a car, a shocking reminder that the future of automaking is wide open. But the Japanese electronics giant’s electric Vision-S raised a lot of questions (Sony didn’t make it clear if it plans to put the car into production).
- An Avatar-inspired car from Mercedes-Benz was a glowing, blue symbol of self-driving hype. The scale-covered, steering wheel-less Vision AVTR (for Advanced Vehicle Transformation) ride recognizes the driver’s pulse and breath and moves sideways like a crab — but there are no plans to put the glowing blue beast into production.
- And fancy in-car entertainment systems were a good reminder that self-driving cars will also usher in a new era where cars aren’t just vehicles but also mobile entertainment centers that have giant screens (see Byton’s 48-inch screen) and myriad infotainment features (see partnerships with Amazon and Accuweather).
2. For better and for worse, everything is connected now
Technological improvements have made it possible for almost anything to be connected to the internet. But while some smart objects can be wonderful (e.g., the ones that improve accessibility for disabled folks), others can be worrisome (e.g., the ones that dish out personal data).
Some of the most noteworthy connected objects:
- A razor that’s AI-powered and Bluetooth (The Next Bic Thing)
- A toothbrush that maps your mouth (Plaqless Pro)
- A toilet-paper dispenser that delivers toilet paper via app (Rollbot)
- A trash can that ties up its own garbage (Townew)
- A bathmat that weighs you and tracks health (Mateo Bath Mat)
- A pillow that analyzes your snoring patterns (Motion Pillow 2)
- A fake kitten that purrs but has no head (Petit Qoobo)
- A ball that… just rolls around after you? (Ballie)
3. We’re not sure why, but bendy screens are a big thing now
For years, flexible screens have been treated like a Holy Grail for electronics companies. And whether or not people actually want them, the flexy tech has finally arrived:
2019’s Most Awarded Mattress is Helix. That’s because their beds are personalized for you, so you get the sleep your body deserves. Get $200 off plus 2 free pillows when you buy now.*
The whole Hustle team plans on stacking some new skills next year. You know — close more deals, make more money, maybe even write a book. Wanna join us?*
Municipal planning just got reeeeeeal techy
During a press conference at CES 2020 (where else?), Toyota announced plans to build a tech-topia at the base of Mount Fuji.
Woven City will be a “living laboratory” for Toyota and other companies — it’s open to partnerships — to test innovations.
Will I get my own Rosie?
Actually, yes. Homes will come with robots that handle basic household tasks. Other Woven City highlights include:
- Embedded sensors to connect buildings, vehicles, and people
- Only autonomous, zero-emission cars and trucks permitted on primary thoroughfares
- Homes built with sustainable materials and powered by a mix of solar energy and hydrogen fuel cells
Toyota plans to break ground in 2021 and expects about 2k residents — mostly Toyota employees and their families.
And if you want in, but don’t want to move to Japan…
You’re in luck. Google subsidiary Sidewalk Labs plans to build a smart city in an underused area of Toronto. Some vital deets:
- Plans include a mix of high-tech residential, retail, and office spaces designed to solve issues like waste disposal and traffic congestion
- Collected data will become a public asset
- Development would be overseen by a governmental group called Waterfront Toronto
It’s worth noting that, historically, company towns have been problematic.
During the Industrial Revolution, coal companies established communities that basically ensured they owned everyone’s a**. It might be true that every cloud has a silver lining, but there might be something else lurking behind THE cloud.
Lawmakers are lobbying for the creation of a ‘public Venmo’
New York state lawmakers proposed the creation of a “public Venmo” system that could offer underbanked New Yorkers a digital payment option.
It would be like Venmo… but without the fees
A team of politicians and a law professor drafted a bill proposing what they called an Inclusive Value Ledger (IVL).
- Like Venmo, this system would allow users to store money digitally and transfer money to other users.
- Unlike Venmo, this system would not charge fees for instant bank transfers or credit card transactions.
Under the plan, the state of New York would issue digital wallets to all individuals (and businesses) in the state, giving everyone in New York the ability to spend their money without transaction fees or delays.
Currently, many New Yorkers rely on expensive services like payday lenders or check-cashing services to access their earnings — but the IVL would prevent New Yorkers from losing money to these services, which are often exploitative.
If New York’s plan passes, it could be a model for the rest of the US.
The week’s halfway over. Take a well-deserved break with this game. Objective: Find the invisible cow (…?)
*This is a sponsored post.
🎧 From Freelancer to Founder: Webflow CEO Vlad Magdalin talks after massive $72M Series A raise
Vlad shares the several attempts in 6 years to get his no code brainchild going. Persistence paid off as it quickly got to $20MM in revenue and raised a monster $72M Series A round led by Accel. He talks about the emotional rollercoaster of getting into Y-Combinator, the video that made him quit his high paying job immediately, kickstarter kicking him off their platform and the trick to get investors interested without changing anything.
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| Brad “Smart shoelaces” Wolverton
HEAD OF CONTENT
|Lee von Otto Pilot
VP of Self-Driving Cars