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Friday Five: 2/27-3/3

Taylor Carr


TGIF! Before you kick off your weekend, check out some of the top tech stories from this week.

Uber to Play by the Rules in California for Self-Driving Cars - Bloomberg

In December, Uber’s autonomous vehicles were pulled off California streets after being test driven without proper registration with California’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Uber expanded the program and operated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Tempe, Arizona. But now the ride-hailing giant is looking to go back to its hometown in California and is applying for DMV testing permits.

Complicated. Weird. Beautiful! The secret Google Project to put an aquarium of tiny, wiggle water bears inside your phone - Venture Beat

Project Ara, Google’s modular smartphone project, is a phone concept like no other. The Project Ara phone is designed to be used for several years with continuous upgrading and swappable component modules. One of the component modules included a tiny aquarium filled with algae and tardigrades, which is also known as water bears, and will be visible on the home screen via app. They are essentially live Tamagotchis in a smartphone.

Say hi to Snapchat and Specs, your secret AR ‘gateway drug - TechCrunch

Snapchat parent, Snap, launched sunglass-camera hybrid,Spectacles. The glasses are designed to be used for on-the-job tasks, but feature some entertainment apps like email, movies and Internet. They can also be used to take pictures and 10 second videos, which can be viewed later in Snapchat. Specs is a stepping stone for VR and AR wearables. The glasses are retailed at $130.

You rang? I Called Hotel Room Service – And Got A Robot - Fast Company

Since 2014, Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, California has taken full advantage of hospitality technology by integrating full-service hotel robotic butler, Botlr. Botlr is like hiring another employee -- it uses laser sensors, depth cameras and sonar that put together a map of the hotel for accurate navigation as well as identifying people and objects in its path. Botlr is primarily used to deliver requested items like towels and toothbrushes to hotel guests. Hotel attendees place requested items in Botlr, enter the room number and Botlr delivers them.

Apple Gets Patent Approval For Biometrics Reader - PYMNTS

There are rumors that Apple will revamp the entire design of its tenth anniversary phone -- it's said this smartphone will not resemble any of the previous iPhones. One design feature that iPhone users can look forward to is biometric reader using fingerprints on the screen itself. Apple wants to eliminate the separate Touch ID sensors. The future design feature was recently approved by U.S. Patent and Trademark Offices.

Did you come across any interesting tech news this week? Tweet us your favorite story @WalkerSands!