Tech Today

Ryan Boyd
Tech Today

Some scary predictions on the sustainability of Silicon Valley’s spending habits from influential insiders lead this week’s Tech Today. But there’s still plenty of hope with some innovative start-ups profiled, plus the illuminating way a San Francisco organisation is putting you in the shoes of the homeless.

Is the tech bubble about to burst again?

About to burst the bubble

According to Billy Gurley and Fred Wilson, who backed Uber and Twitter, Silicon Valley is investing in too many losing ventures and warn of a bubble risk 'unprecedented since 1999'.

As this article from The Guardian reports, the two believe that the tech hub of the world is burning through huge piles of cash without thinking of the consequences.

“In 01 or 09, you just wouldn’t go take a job at a company that’s burning $4m a month. Today everyone does it without thinking,” he said.Gurley says in the article that “more humans in Silicon Valley are working for money-losing companies than have been in 15 years”, and they’re burning through huge piles of cash.

Makes for some interesting reading.

 

And the winner is … AlfredAlfred

TechCrunch held their annual Disrupt conference recently, where 26 start-ups competed against each other to discover the next big tech thing.

This year’s winner was Alfred, a company that for $99 a month provides your very own butler. Once a week, an ‘Alfred’ will come by your house and do the jobs you need them to, including your grocery shopping, laundry, and other odd jobs.

Whether or not it takes off is yet to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: it’s also the closet you will ever come to being Batman.

Wearables starting to get fashionableLinou

While wearable technology is certainly cool and current, the fashion savvy have not always been as impressed.

Until now. A new Australian tech startup called Linou is making tech fashion both functional and appealing, while also using natural materials.

Subtle and simple, Linou’s first two natural wearable devices were introduced recently on Kickstarter – the Wood Tech Watch and the Notification Necklace – which alert the wearer of app notifications, messages, and phone reminders.

 

App corner

Photo Sphere Cameraphotosphere logo colored

This excellent photo app from Google has finally been released on iOS, allowing you to take stunning 360 degree photos with your iPhone 4S or above.

True, there are already similar apps available, but Google’s intuitive interface and ability to publish images directly to Google Maps makes it stand out from the pack.

Free on iOS and Android

 

GamarGamar

London has some amazing museums, but it’s so far away from little old New Zealand. Gamar is the next best thing to being there.

This augmented reality app takes on virtual tours through The British Museum and National Maritime Museum, bringing the exhibits to life with fun and educational challenges.

Free on iOS and Android

 

Lingua.lyLingua

There’s hundreds of apps out there to help you learn another language, but where Lingua.ly differs is in the fun approach it takes.

By displaying foreign news articles in the native language, you are forced to try and decipher the meaning. Any words you don’t know, you can tap to see its meaning.  

Words you tap on are also saved and made into flashcards and games, so you won’t forget them for long.

Available for French, English, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Hebrew, it has the added bonus of keeping you up to date on your chosen language’s local news.

Free on iOS and Android

 

Homeless GoProHomeless GoPro2

Ever wondered what a day in the life of a homeless person is really like? A San Francisco project called Homeless GoPro wanted to build empathy for the less fortunate, so rigged homeless volunteers with the hi-def cameras to get some truly illuminating first-person footage.

From the passers-by who shake their heads or ignore him altogether, this read from CNET has the full story of the company and one of the volunteers.

So far, Homeless GoPro has outfitted nine homeless volunteers ("autobiographers," in the project's parlance) and they are preparing to launch a crowdfunding campaign to fund a documentary exploring what it’s like to live and die alone on the streets.

 

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