Innovation Nation

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a double-armed, laser-guided robot that can basically 3-D print a 50-foot-wide house in less than 14 hours with almost no human intervention. The Digital Construction Platform, described today in Science Robotics, consists of a large hydraulic arm mounted on a platform with motorized treads, plus a smaller electric-powered arm for finer movements. The MIT team programmed the solar-powered machine to spray out foam construction...
 Given all of the security concerns raised by the rise of the Echo and other smart home hubs, Amazon surely knew that adding a camera to one of its devices was going to reinvigorate the privacy debate. After all, an always-listening microphone is one thing — the Echo Look, with a camera designed to sit in its owner’s bedroom, is another question entirely. Read More
 Today’s Stories  Instagram’s growth speeds up as it hits 700 million users Twitter desperately needed a hit first-quarter and somehow managed to deliver Amazon’s new Echo Look has a built-in camera for style selfies Uber is making it easier to see your rider rating Investor Chris Sacca is retiring from venture capital Credits Written and Hosted by: Anthony Ha Filmed… Read More
If you’ve been waiting for an office with a window or a standing desk, you’re going to want to sit down for this one. Oh, you already are. Sorry! Anyway, the Kickstarter for this item caught our attention this week after passing our singular criteria for Kickstarter items: Yes, the world could use that. Deskview is a window-mounted standing desk that creates a more inviting and healthy workspace for anyone who is tired of staring at a wall or the back of a co-worker’s head, o...
François Locoh-Donou. (F5 Photo) F5 Networks reported gains in revenue and net income for its second quarter Wednesday, but fell short of expected targets, and investors were not happy. Shares of the Seattle-based network infrastructure and security technology company plunged 7 percent in after-hours trading after the company reported its first financial results under new CEO Francois Locoh-Donou, who was named CEO earlier this year and assumed the role earlier this month. “My early internal ...
Blue Origin’s New Shepard prototype spaceship blasts off in January 2016. (Blue Origin Photo) When senators asked executives from Blue Origin and other commercial space ventures what they could do to help them at a Senate hearing today, they received an unusual reply: Give more money to the regulators at the Federal Aviation Administration. “”It may be rare for companies to be pushing for more funding for their regulators, but we really think this is a case where it could be ...
As NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson looks on, crewmate Jack Fischer jokes that “you can probably see into my pores” during the first’ever live 4K UHD video feed from the International Space Station. (NASA via YouTube) NASA and AWS Elemental showed off something completely different from the International Space Station today: the first live video in ultra-high-definition 4K detail beamed down from space. The technical achievement was as important as what the audience at the Nationa...
A screen grab of food images posted on Instagram. (Instagram Photo / @ww_southerngirl86) Whether your eyes roll or your stomach grumbles at the site of yet another food photo on Instagram, the popular practice appears to provide some benefit to people who are looking to meet healthy eating or fitness goals. A study by researchers at the University of Washington found that there’s more to a random banana and yogurt photo than meets the eye. The platform can serve as a creative and more fun...
Peace of mind can be hard to find. When it comes to your home, there’s a lot to protect. Sure, you could enlist the resources of a fancy security system — or you could set up a simple camera. Get a reliable, safe, and affordable solution with today’s GeekWire Deals offer. Your second set of eyes is in the Oco WiFi Security Camera. This HD camera sits compact at under three inches wide, but packs a sharp 1920×1080 resolution. Breathe easy, knowing you have a 140-degree view of your ho...
(Twitter Photo / @mayorEdMurray) Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and billionaire Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen announced a $35 million partnership Wednesday aimed at tackling the region’s ongoing homelessness crisis. Allen’s Family Foundation will provide $30 million toward the creation of a “supportive housing and onsite services community that will serve as a resource hub for Seattle-area families with children,” a news release said. The City of Seattle will add $5 million...
San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologist Don Swanson points to a rock fragment near a large piece of a mastodon tusk at the excavation site. (San Diego Natural History Museum Photo) Scientists say the patterns of breakage in mastodon bones found 25 years ago near a San Diego highway suggest that humans battered the beast 130,000 years ago. That’s a shocker, because before now, the oldest widely accepted evidence of human habitation in North America goes back only about 16,000 years...
Instagram’s growth is showing no signs of letting up. The Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing platform announced Wednesday that its community has grown to 700 million monthly active users. The last 100 million users were added faster than ever, and the number of people doing all that sharing has doubled in just two years. Instagram credits new features like stories, live video and disappearing messages in Direct with “giving people more ways than ever to express themselves and fe...
Microsoft showed off five new Azure customers at an event in New York on Wednesday, more evidence that companies born long before cloud computing became fashionable are modernizing their tech infrastructure. The companies — UBS, Maersk, Hershey, Fruit of the Loom, and Geico — are all using Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure in different ways, but it appears they are all taking a hybrid approach to their infrastructure rather than going all-in on cloud computing. UBS used Azure t...
From left to right: Racheal Mokosha, District Malaria Focal Person; Ephraim Sikalundu, Data collector; and Vincent Munsaka, Community health worker, in Harmony village in South Zambia. They are part of the team logging cases of malaria across the province. (PATH Photo / Gabe Bienczycki) Joseph Mutale’s career reads like many others in the tech industry. He graduated from the University of Austin in Texas, with a math degree in actuarial science, and is now a customer service manager at Tab...
The Echo Look. Photos via Amazon. Amazon’s newest Echo device doubles as a machine learning-powered fashion assistant. The Seattle tech giant today unveiled the Echo Look, a new $200 “hands-free camera and style assistant” powered by Alexa, Amazon’s AI voice platform. The new device, now available by invitation only, lets people use their voice to take full-length pictures and videos of themselves with a depth-sensing camera and computer-generated background blur. Amazo...
Shares of Twitter were up 10 percent on Wednesday after the company beat expectations for both revenue and user growth for its first quarter of 2017. Twitter posted earnings per share of $0.11 and revenue of $548 million for Q1 2017; analysts expected EPS of $0.01 and revenue of $511 million. The company’s revenue was down 8 percent year-over-year, but beating the Q1 estimate is likely one reason for the stock jump today. The company also added nine million users, its largest quarterly...
Six-year-old girls who spend 20-minutes programming robots had more positive opinions about their tech abilities and more interest in programming and robotics. In these images from a new paper from the University of Washington and others, the girls are programming their robots in images A and C, and watching them navigate the pathway in B and D. There’s a lot of effort to attract women to the computer sciences at universities and the workforce. But to shift technology’s gender imbalance we m...
 With the addition of a camera, Amazon’s new Echo Look device can now see and hear all. The device is a sort of standalone selfie machine so users can take full-length photos and videos of themselves specifically for the sake of checking their fashion choices in the morning. The new home assistant answers to commands like “Alexa, take a picture” and “Alexa, take a… Read More
The Pacific Northwest is known for its ruggedly independent character and entrepreneurial spirit. Nowhere are those qualities on better display than EY’s annual Entrepreneur of the Year program, and today the organizers announced the 21 regional finalists who will compete for the title of the Pacific Northwest Entrepreneur of the Year and go on to compete in the national competition. Last year’s Pacific Northwest winners included Puppet CEO Luke Kanies, Elemental Technologies ...
A drone attached to the WiBotic charging gear. (WiBotic Photo / Chasen Smith) University of Washington spinout WiBotic, which is building technology that wirelessly powers drones and other robotic devices, has raised $2.5 million in a new funding round. The round is led by Tsing Capital, a Chinese fund management company, and includes investments from Comet Labs and Digi Labs as well as follow-on investments from W Fund, WRF Capital and Wisemont Capital. WiBotic, originally founded within the U...