Apple joins SoftBank’s Vision fund with $1 billion investment

Right now, Apple confirmed plans to invest in SoftBank’s huge $ one hundred billion Vision Fund, the international tech fund that the telecom giant announced last October.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Apple verified its involvement in the fund, a rumor first reported by The Wall Street Journal in mid December:

“Apple is organizing to invest $ 1 billion in SoftBank’s Vision Fund. We’ve worked closely with SoftBank for many years and we believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which might be strategically crucial to Apple.”

The fund, a joint effort amongst SoftBank and the government of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), reportedly seeks to invest in emerging technologies, which includes artificial intelligence and the World wide web of Things. In December, Apple published a paper detailing its AI research, and its interest in IoT by means of HomeKit is ongoing. Beyond’s Apple’s $ 1 billion investment, SoftBank is investing roughly $ 25 billion in the Vision fund, with yet another $ 45 billion to come from Saudi Arabia.

Qualcomm and Oracle are also rumored to be interested. In statements to TechCrunch, each companies declined to comment on their possible interest in the fund.

The Vision Fund recently became entangled with President-elect Donald Trump, when he claimed credit for Vision Fund plans that pre-dated his election win. Trump seems to have coordinated with SoftBank CEO and Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son, tweeting a misleading boast about his part in making new jobs. Provided SoftBank’s enduring want to get T-Mobile, Son’s interest in buttering up the deregulation-friendly incoming president is apparent.

With a whopping $ one hundred billion to point toward hot developments in tech, it is no surprise that a massive chunk of the fund will be aimed at American tech businesses. Now, through Apple, a sliver of the international fund will originate stateside as nicely.

Featured Image: r.nagy/Shutterstock

Elgato intros a standalone motion detector for Apple HomeKit

Setting up a connected property is a piecemeal proposition at the moment. Apple, Google and Amazon all working to push out their respective frameworks as rapidly as humanly possible, but for the time getting, truly automating the process is a matter of selecting up devices here and there.

Elgato is supplying an interesting take on the space with its Eve series of outlets, switches and sensors, the latter of which can be used to trigger various scenarios via the company’s proprietary app — and, much more importantly, HomeKit.

The newest addition to the line is Eve Motion — which, as the name pretty clearly implies, brings motion detection to the family members. The device runs off a pair of AA batteries, detecting motion within a 120-degree field of view and 27-foot range. After it spots movement, it can activate or deactivate energy outlets and can set different Property scenes in motion.

The accessory is available now for $ 50 through Amazon and Elgato’s store (and it’ll be hitting Apple’s stores soon) — a bit pricey for a standalone sensor. Almost certainly a small much, unless you have currently got a quantity of devices that can make use of the functionality. The Motion joins a quantity of existing Eve sensors set up to detect items like temperature, air quality and humidity.


Apple adds Sonos speakers to its shops as it focuses on wireless audio

Did you hear? Wireless audio is the future — at least to Apple. And to that finish, Sonos, probably the greatest wireless speakers obtainable, are now offered in the Apple Store alongside speakers from B&ampO, Logitech, and Apple’s Beats.

Apple already sells several wireless speakers but the Sonos speakers would be the initial multi-area technique obtainable. The Sonos PLAY:1 and PLAY:5 are obtainable online these days and in retailers starting October 5th.

It is unclear where this leaves Beats, Apple’s personal audio organization. Sonos’s wireless connectivity is proprietary and does not work with other speakers. The microprocessor Apple built to energy the wireless AirPods seem to state that Apple is all-in with wireless audio, but it does not have a wireless speaker technique of its own.

Apple could be a small gun-shy on making yet another speaker product. The final one particular sounded great, but a retail flop. It is most likely, though, if Apple have been to integrate its W1 wireless audio processor into a solution, it would do so in a Beats product — or acquire Sonos and integrate it there, as well.


The invisible @apple tweet

Here’s a silly issue due to the fact it is the ass end of a Friday. Apple just began employing the Twitter account — @apple — that they’ve had given that 2011. And they’re using it to send out a tweet that promotes the Apple event next week exactly where they’ll introduce new iPhones like a twin lens model with photos that rival an SLRs in low light capability, sharpness and depth of field effects.
Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 4.43.45 PM

But the tweet doesn’t seem on the account’s timeline:

Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 4.44.34 PM

How? You might ask. Promoted Tweets, I could answer. The only way Apple can have a tweet floating out in the ether on Twitter without somehow attaching it to its major timeline is a specifically scoped ad acquire. They can get a tweet that exists as an island, basically.

Credit goes to Andy Baio for discovering and playing around with this process, which some call nullcasting or dark posting and I call Deep Subtweeting, final year. Also credit to founder Nathan Bashaw who also noted the funkiness, if not the source of it.

In addition to the Promoted Tweet, Apple has spun up a custom hashtag emoji, which may have set it back a cool million or so. Anyway, if you’re interested in retweeting to get the auto responder, the direct hyperlink to the tweet is here.

Content Friday. Also Elon Musk sent a memo to Tesla staff urging them to reduce fees and ship as a lot of vehicles as they can in a bid for profitability. So there is that as well.

Update: The auto responder seems to be powered by IC Group