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Tech News Today for December 5, 2016

Tech News for Monday December 5, 2016

Apple Car rumor alert! According to a letter to federal regulators, Steve Kenner, Apple’s director of product integrity says they're investing in the study of machine learning and automation and is "excited about the potential of automated systems in many areas, including transportation." But as Ina Friend from ReCode reports, this note really tells us nothing more than what we already know. Read more at recode.net.

Google wants to make sure Android users are in touch with their loved ones when disaster strikes. That’s the thinking behind their new app called Trusted Contacts. The user first selects a few contacts that they trust most, who would be notified in the case of an emergency. At any point, the contact can request the location of the user and if no response is given by the user, their location is automatically shared. Read more at arstechnica.com.

Amazon officially teased their rumored brick and mortar grocery store today. With their patented new "just walk out" technology, the online giant says they've used machine learning, computer vision, and AI so you never have to wait in line at the grocery store again. Scan your phone on the way into the store then choose what you want off the shelves and walk out. Amazon Go is made with sensor fusion to track the products and charge your account. The future stores will sell ready-to-eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options as well as staples like bread and milk and even artisan cheeses and locally made chocolates. All this with out any of the muss and fuss of real people. Read more at qz.com.

Leap Motion, the company that has created motion control hardware for PCs that track hand and finger movements, is now turning its attention to mobile VR. Its Orion technology hit the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive earlier this year, but the new Leap Motion Mobile Platform is aimed at mobile headset makers like Samsung. It's all in the hopes that OEMs might build support for the hand tracking technology into their hardware. Read more at mashable.com.

At TechCrunch Disrupt in London, Volkswagen announced Moia, a new ride-sharing business designed to challenge Uber. Traditional car companies are beginning to see a future where fewer people own their own car and like BMW, Ford, GM and others, Volkswagen doesn't want to figure out a way to survive. For now, the 50 person startup will operate independently of Volkswagen, much like Audi does. First they'll be a ride-hailing company like Uber, but they're also planning more tradtional ride sharing and other cleaner, quieter modes of transportation. The company enters the pilot phase next year and by 2025, Volkswagen hopes that Moia makes up a "substantial part of their overall sales." Read more at theverge.com.

Tech News Today with Megan Morrone and Jason Howell streams live weekdays at 4PM Pacific, 7PM Eastern at twit.tv/live. You can subscribe to the show and download it on-demand at twit.tv/tnt.

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