There's a great deal of activity in the fields of speech recognition and the "internet of things," but one natural application of the two has gone largely unpursued: helping the deaf and hard of hearing take part in everyday conversations. SpeakSee aims to do this with a clever hardware design that minimizes setup friction and lets everyone communicate naturally.

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Messages, Google’s more recent focus for its scattered messaging efforts following its decision to “pause” work on Allo, is now available for web users. The company announced that it would begin rolling out Messages for web starting today, with the full rollout completing over the next week. The feature, along with others including GIF search, […]

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Time is running out on one of the best ways for an early-stage startup to experience Disrupt San Francisco 2018, September 5-7 at Moscone Center West. We’re designating 60 pre-Series A companies to be a TC Top Pick. If we select your company, you get to experience Disrupt SF in all its techno-glory for free. That’s right, […]

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President Donald J. Trump intends to create a new Space Force within the U.S. Armed Forces. The surprise announcement came today at the third meeting of the White House’s newly reconvened Space Council. “We are going to have the Air Force and we are going to have the Space Force — separate but equal. It […]

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Two of the co-founders of the art filter app Prisma have left to build a new social app. Prisma, as you may recall, had a viral moment back in 2016 when selfie takers went crazy for the fine art spin the app’s AI put on photos — in just a few seconds of processing. Downloads leapt, art […]

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Tel Aviv-based Photomyne, an A.I.-powered app that helps you bring your old photo prints online, has been benefitting from the subscription app boom to the tune of $5 million in Series A funding. Today, the app is used by a million people every month, and 250,000 people pay the $20 annual subscription for the expanded service. […]

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Back in April Oval Money launched with the idea of combining expense tracking, saving, and investing into one app, while also adding a social element by enabling its community of users to share tips and suggestions to one another. The idea is to help users grow their savings in less time by teaching them to […]

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YouTube has rolled out its music streaming service to a bunch more international markets, adding 12 new countries today, and also launching the premium music video version of the service across the full 17 markets. In February CEO YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki discussed the company’s ambitious expansion plans for the service, saying it was intending to expand […]

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Just how big are drones? According to Gartner, industry revenue topped $6 billion last year and is on track to hit $11.2 billion by 2020. Unmanned aerial vehicles are a huge industry with a broad swath of applications, from hobbyists to agriculture to the military. At Disrupt SF in September, we’ll be bringing together executives […]

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I’ve been wanting to write about Cocky-gate for some time now but the story – a row between self-published authors that degenerated into ridiculousness – seems finally over and perhaps we can all get some perspective. The whole thing started in May when a self-published romance author, Faleena Hopkins, began attempting to enforce her copyright […]

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In November, Google introduced Datally, a data-saving app largely aimed at emerging markets where users often rely on prepaid SIM cards, and don’t have access to all-you-can-eat unlimited data plans. The app lets users granularly control which apps can use data, which resulted in a 30% savings on data usage during pilot testing and now […]

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Apple this morning announced a new feature in iOS 12 which will automatically share your location with first responders when U.S. users dial 911 using their iPhone. The move is meant to address the problems with dialing emergency services from a cell phone, where outdated infrastructure has made it difficult to obtain a mobile caller’s […]

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The largest payment app in South Korea, Toss, has pulled in $40 million in fresh investment from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and Sequoia China. The deal for Viva Republica, Toss’s parent company, comes just over a year after it raised $48 million from payment giant PayPal and others. There’s no valuation for this newest round, […]

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Fellas, you’re gonna want that cowbell. And what better way to get that cowbell than with an automatic cowbell-playing robot that uses simple components to create a musical experience like no other. The system, built over at Adafruit, includes a simple Arduino controller, a potentiometer to control the speed of the cowbell hammer, and a […]

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Microsoft has acquired Flipgrid, a social education app that utilizes short video clips to create collaborative lesson plans. The Minneapolis-based startup, which began life as Vidku, has had strong growth for an experience that has been alternatively described as Instagram and Snapchat for the classroom. Early last year, it reported an 800 percent year-over-year growth […]

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