The Segway self-balancing scooter is being discontinued, ending nearly two decades of production for one of the most hyped - and divisive - gadgets on wheels. Lauded initially as the future of transportation, the Segway never turned out to disrupt city travel in quite the way its creators hoped it might.
In an announcement through Oculus today, Facebook revealed that it has acquired Ready at Dawn, the developer behind the hit virtual reality game Lone Echo, as well as lesser-known titles Echo Arena and Echo Combat. Facebook praised the studio, calling Ready at Dawn a 'veteran' in the game industry. Development continues on the sequel game Lone Echo II.
As some cities and states begin easing pandemic restrictions, we are unsurprisingly seeing spikes of COVID-19 cases in several states. Apple seems to be taking these spikes seriously, as it has announced that it will be closing down a total of 11 stores across four states. There's no word on when these stores might open, and in fact, that almost certainly depends on what happens with coronavirus cases in these locations.
Yesterday, AMC started detailing its plans to reopen many of its movie theaters next month. The company initially said that it wouldn't require guests in some areas to wear masks, and it didn't take long for the backlash to hit. Now, just a day later, AMC has made an abrupt about-face, announcing that it will indeed require customers to wear masks, even in areas where state and local governments aren't requiring them.
Walmart is testing a new front store design in Arkansas, its home state, that doesn't feature any traditional cashiers. Rather than standing in line, putting items on a conveyor belt, and waiting for the cashier to scan and bag them, customers will be able to use self-checkout technology to ring up their own products. The test is intended to see whether this system can get customers through the process more quickly than traditional checkout systems.
SiriusXM, the company still best known for its satellite radio service, has acquired another company: Simplecast. The analytics and podcast management company joins SiriusXM's own push into the increasingly crowded market, something the company says will help podcasters earn more revenue. With extra help from the SiriusXM-Pandora team and the resources they bring, Simplecast says it will be able to significantly speed up its roadmap.
With the COVID-19 pandemic came a new need to stay socially distant from other people. Self-isolating certainly helps in that regard, but Amazon kept its doors open during the pandemic, meaning its employees couldn't isolate themselves from the rest of the world. Instead, Amazon developed an AI that allowed employees to see if they were practicing social distancing at-a-glance.
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), the fast-food restaurant best known for its fried chicken products, is no stranger to embracing modern trends and introducing gimmicky products as part of its marketing strategy. We've seen the KFC drone box, the Bitcoin Box, and even a dinner box that included a built-in phone charger. Now the company is back teasing its 'KFConsole.'
Here's something new for the "things nobody asked for and would never want anyway" pile: DC and WarnerMedia have teamed up to make a new comic series promoting HBO Max. Corporate team ups like this are nothing new, and indeed, Warner has been doing its best to position HBO Max as the hottest streaming service around, but we can't help but wonder if maybe HBO's marketing teams should focus on giving these ideas a little more time in the oven.
The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed a lot of conventions and events as governments around the world attempt to slow the spread of the virus, and today we've got one more event to add to the list: Star Wars Celebration 2020. Disney has announced that ticketholders will be able to get refunds for their tickets and credits for merchandise pre-orders, but only for a limited time this summer.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is cracking down on the sale of various pesticide products sold on eBay and Amazon, particularly ones that are said to be misleading the public about their suitability for protecting against COVID-19. Both online retailers have been ordered to stop selling these products by the EPA, which says that several products targeted by this order are being marketed with various false or otherwise misleading claims involving the novel coronavirus.