Author Archives: Chris Davies

Writing for R3 Media since 2006, Chris Davies is currently executive editor for SlashGear and Android Community. Based in San Francisco, he's responsible for SlashGear's editorial decisions and covers all forms of consumer technology. You can follow him on Twitter.

Here’s what Honda’s new R&D hub in the Valley is working on

Here’s what Honda’s new R&D hub in the Valley is working on

You're nobody in automotive these days without a flashy R&D center in Silicon Valley, and Honda is stepping up its game as it cooks up new semi-autonomous driving, green engine, and smart car technologies. While it's not Honda's first footprint in the Valley - that happened back in 2000 - it's certainly the biggest play from the firm, with the new facility the company's largest research & development site outside of Japan. The fruits of the new center will eventually trickle down to production cars, but Honda gave us a sneak peek of what it's been working on.

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2016 Honda Accord revealed with CarPlay and Android Auto

2016 Honda Accord revealed with CarPlay and Android Auto

Honda will launch Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the 2016 Accord, the upcoming refresh of its full-sized sedan. The iPhone and Android connectivity systems will be an option with Honda's 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen infotainment system, offered on EX trim cars and above. As we've seen with other so-equipped head units, Honda's implementation will allow Android and iOS devices to take over the dashboard display for apps, streaming media, and navigation. However, Honda says that we can expect a bigger-than-average impact from its involvement.

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Plantronics BackBeat SENSE Review – Smarter Bluetooth headphones

Plantronics BackBeat SENSE Review – Smarter Bluetooth headphones

You’re spoiled for choice right now with wireless headphones, but Plantronics is hoping the new BackBeat SENSE can slot in with a mixture of clever tech and everyday flexibility. Lightweight and quietly handsome, they may not have in-your-face branding of some rivals, but they come from a company with a solid track-record both in audio and in wireless devices. Bluetooth offers more than just cutting the cord, mind, and Plantronics claims to be doing more than most with its smart wireless system.

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Instagram adds web search

Instagram adds web search

Instagram has rolled out its boosted search support to the browser, having improved the Discovery tab of its mobile apps last month. The updated search now hunts through hashtags, users' accounts, and general terms for those times you'd rather go browsing on the desktop rather than fiddling with your phone. However, it's not quite so full-featured as what the mobile app offers.

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This futuristic exoskeleton convinced me to take aging seriously

This futuristic exoskeleton convinced me to take aging seriously

One day you will die, but, before then - and assuming all goes to plan - you’ll be trapped in an old body. Failing eyesight, hearing plagued with tinnitus, and limbs progressively seizing until just getting up from your chair is a challenge too great: death may be considered the biggest taboo, but aging is arguably a more uncomfortable one. With all that to look forward to, it’s no surprise that nobody wants to talk about getting old. Could a futuristic exoskeleton kick-start that conversation?

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Spotify takes on Apple Music with AI personalized mixtape

Spotify takes on Apple Music with AI personalized mixtape

Spotify is rising to the challenge of Apple Music's human-curated playlists, promising the sort of individualized mixtape that only a computer could deliver. Dubbed Discover Weekly, Spotify's new service looks at each user's listening history and then comes up with suggestions based on that, along with what related tracks other people are listening to and adding to their own playlists. That's then wrapped up into a new "mixtape" every week.

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Turbocharged Audi R8 planned for new entry-level

Turbocharged Audi R8 planned for new entry-level

Audi is planning an entry-level turbocharged R8, slotting a more affordable version of the supercar in beneath the current V10 models. The existing 2017 R8 - which we tested on the road and on the track recently - is powered by a naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V10 good for as much as 610 HP and 398 lb-ft of torque, but the V8 of the outgoing car won't fit into the architecture of this new model.

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Tesla outlines roadmap: Model X, 3, & new Roadster

Tesla outlines roadmap: Model X, 3, & new Roadster

Tesla's news today wasn't just about "Ludicrous Mode" along with more range and cheaper entry-level Model S, with CEO Elon Musk also discussing the roadmap for the company's next three new cars. Nearest at hand is the Tesla Model X, the electric SUV, which Musk said is on track for the first deliveries in two months time. However, he also touched upon the Model 3, Tesla's more affordable EV, and a new Roadster.

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Tesla Model S gets 90 kWh option and cheaper entry-level

Tesla Model S gets 90 kWh option and cheaper entry-level

Tesla is offering a larger 90 kWh battery pack for the Model S, extending range, while also making its entry-level electric car more affordable. The new battery, a $3k upgrade, will be offered as an option on all 85 kWh Model S cars, improving range by 5-percent. However, those wanting to get into their first Tesla might be more interested in the cheaper Model S 70, which CEO Elon Musk says is comparable with a $50k gasoline car.

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Tesla “Ludicrous Mode” added to Model S

Tesla “Ludicrous Mode” added to Model S

Tesla is adding a Ludicrous Mode to its Model S, introducing a new "smart fuse" that allows the 0-60 mph time to be cut to just 2.8 seconds. Rather than using a traditional fuse that melts if the voltage gets too high, Tesla has developed an electronic version with its own battery, which tracks current in real-time and is pyro-actuated to cut the power if necessary. That's allowed Tesla to increase the maximum throughput from 1300 to 1500 Amps on the Model S P85D and P90D.

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