SlashGear Interviews

Daytona Rising: Reinventing a NASCAR icon

Daytona Rising: Reinventing a NASCAR icon

NASCAR. That’s just over-powered cars going in a circle for hours, right? As the Daytona 500 reaches its horsepower-heavy crescendo today, it’s the iconic racetrack, the Daytona International Speedway, which is sharing a little more of the spotlight than usual. Coaxing fans out from their living rooms and the surfeit of entertainment options there isn’t a unique problem in sports, but it’s one that sponsor-dependent NASCAR faces more than most. The answer is Daytona Rising, an ambitious program designed not only to renovate the grandstand but to turn the historic track into what Joie Chitwood, President of the Speedway, describes as “the first and only motorsports stadium.” I headed out to Florida to find out how new tech is bringing the race experience up to speed.

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Modern Family “Connection Lost” iPhone episode behind-the-scenes

Modern Family “Connection Lost” iPhone episode behind-the-scenes

What defines the Modern Family? If it's ABC's popular sitcom of the same name, then that's a question spanning six seasons, and now adding Apple to its roster of same-sex and inter-generational marriage, awkward siblings, and cross-cultural differences. For upcoming episode "Connection Lost," however, the challenge got even greater: shot almost entirely on iPhone 6 in just two days, processed on a Mac Pro, and taking place entirely on the desktop of OS X Yosemite. I headed to 20th Century Fox studios in LA to preview what co-author and director Steve Levitan describes as "the most labor-intensive episode" that the Modern Family team has ever attempted.

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Inside the charming indie movie filmed entirely with iPhone 6

Inside the charming indie movie filmed entirely with iPhone 6

If you still needed convincing that smartphone cameras are more than capable of professional results, "Romance in NYC" may do the trick. Shot not only entirely from the a single character's point of view, but using nothing more than an iPhone 6 and a selection of apps and accessories, the 15 minute short was crowdfunded on Kickstarter in late 2014 and is now making the rounds of the festival circuit. I caught up with director Tristan Pope to find out what made him put down his pro-camera kit for a smartphone, how the iPhone 6 delivered in unexpected ways, and why he ended up wearing a GorillaPod like a Hannibal Lecter mask.

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Philips hue heats up to fight smart bulb tide: Interview

Philips hue heats up to fight smart bulb tide: Interview

You could hardly walk five paces through the halls at CES 2015 without stumbling over a wireless light bulb. Connected lighting seems determined to be the point of entry to domestic home automation, and there are plenty - startups and larger - hoping to corner the market. Ironically, then, the company which arguably created the market, Philips, had decamped to a nearby hotel, outfitting a suite with a full array of hue bulbs and lamps. I stopped by to get a demo of the newest 12 Monkeys hue light-soundtrack support, as well as to find out what's coming up next as the smart home accelerates.

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Narrative Clip 2 gets WiFi, Bluetooth and 8MP upgrade

Narrative Clip 2 gets WiFi, Bluetooth and 8MP upgrade

Times can be tough when you're trying to kickstart a new wearables segment, use crowdfunding to pay for it, and facing society's growing concerns around privacy, but Narrative and its Clip life-logging camera seem to be doing alright. Fresh to CES 2015, the Narrative Clip 2 keeps the core concept of snapping a photo every 30 seconds and highlighting the best for you, but gives hardware and software a comprehensive upgrade. So, the new Clip 2 has WiFi and Bluetooth where its predecessor had only USB, a modular back for more imaginative mounting, and - most importantly - an 8-megapixel sensor with better low-light performance. I sat down with CMO Oskar Kalmaru in Narrative's new San Francisco workspace to find out how a year of life-logging has shaped the new camera.

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Inside La Marzocco Home, gateway to $7k espresso

Inside La Marzocco Home, gateway to $7k espresso

Coffee is a serious matter to a whole lot of people, but what would persuade you to spend upward of $7,000 on an espresso machine? La Marzocco may already have a huge legacy in professional coffee making, but the company's ambitions aren't ending there. Starting with the coveted GS3, it's launching a new degree of customization while simultaneously hoping to connect directly with coffee fans. I caught up with La Marzocco's marketing chief Scott Callender to find out why the historic brand believes it's the right time to make an official play for the kitchen.

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Rebuilding Moto: Motorola’s Steve Horowitz speaks

Rebuilding Moto: Motorola’s Steve Horowitz speaks

With the new Moto X further refining its flagship Android phone, the new Moto G revamping the company’s most popular smartphone ever, and Moto 360 and Moto Hint making a double play for wearables, Motorola is certainly having an interesting month. With the whispers from the Her-like Hint still echoing in my ears, I sat down with Steve Horowitz, senior vice president for software engineering at Motorola, to talk about wearables, fitting into Lenovo’s ecosystem, and what he’ll miss when out from under Google’s umbrella.

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Meet the chip that wants to make your smartphone an SLR

Meet the chip that wants to make your smartphone an SLR

Mobile chips don't necessarily need to get faster, they just need to get smarter, at least that's what video processing specialist Movidius believes, and it's launching a highly-focused vision processor, Myriad 2, to prove it. The follow-up to the original Myriad 1 co-processor - found inside Google's Project Tango 3D-scanning tablet - Myriad 2 promises a 20x boost in performance at computational photography, such as real-time mapping, 360-degree panoramic video, and more, all with the eventual goal of making the cameras we carry as clever as human vision. I caught up with Movidius CEO Remi El-Ouazzane to find out why you might want Myriad 2 inside your next smartphone or wearable.

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Growing Jibo: Talking robot families with Cynthia Breazeal

Growing Jibo: Talking robot families with Cynthia Breazeal

The age of robotic butlers and Jetson's-style automation is yet to be delivered, but the team behind Jibo believes it has a more relevant, usable alternative. A robot that integrates into the family, as well as one which could spawn a family of its own, Jibo aims to humanize domestic robotics but without dropping us into an Uncanny Valley of creepy pseudo-skin. I caught up with company founder and MIT robotics expert Cynthia Breazeal to find out how the Jibo you see today is the gateway to a life peppered with electronic companions.

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Map Democracy: Telenav bets on the crowd crushing Google

Map Democracy: Telenav bets on the crowd crushing Google

There’s more than one way to get where you’re going, and there’s more than one app to navigate it, and if Telenav and OpenStreetMap have their way it’ll be the power of the crowd not locked-up, heavily licensed data powering it all. SlashGear caught up with Steve Coast, founder of OpenStreetMap and currently OSM lead at Telenav, to find out what’s next for the team aiming to put Google Maps and Nokia HERE on notice, and democratize mapping in the process.

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