Staff picks for the week of Jan. 11, 2016

Staff Picks GeneralThe tech industry kicks off each new year with a bang at the annual Consumer Electronics Show, and this year was no different. From new apps and wearables to a resurgence of old technology, we picked a few of our favorite CES 2016 announcements. Keep reading for the details as well as some other interesting and timely tech reads.

The return of technics is symbolic, but will anyone actually buy them? (Read by Camillia S.)

Everything old is eventually new again. While vinyl will likely never be as popular as it was when it was the only way to play music, it’s making a comeback. In fact, vinyl sales generated $221.8 million from January to June 2015. But does that mean DJs will start spinning records again? Panasonic seems to think so. The company announced at CES 2016 that it’s bringing back the Technics SL-1200 turntable (“the most important piece of DJ equipment ever created”) with a 50th anniversary limited and a non-limited edition to be released later in the year. As a record player owner, I’m interested in the increasing popularity of vinyl and I’m curious to see just how long the trend will last.

The big data of bad driving, and how insurers plan to track your every turn (Read by Heidi B.)

I’m a pretty safe driver, but sometimes I feel like I don’t get credit for it. Luckily big data is on my side as major insurers (Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, and State Farm) increasingly rely on in-car technology to judge driving habits, such as how often you slam on the brakes and what time of the day you’re on the road. Some car manufacturers enable drivers to download an app to their vehicles that notifies them when they’re driving too aggressively. Others provide a device that plugs into a port near the steering column. In-car tracking raises privacy and security questions but could also help insurers design more accurate plans and better understand driving habits.

L’Oréal takes the wearables war to the beauty counter (Read by Heidi B.)

UV rays: We all know they can be dangerous, but almost none of us know how many we’re actually soaking up. L’Oréal is looking to change that with My UV Patch, a new wearable, ultra-thin, stretchable sensor that tells you how much UV exposure you receive. Unveiled last week at CES, My UV Patch is scheduled to hit the market in late 2016 and is one of several wearable devices L’Oréal is making in partnership with engineering firm PCH. I’m excited to see what the others are!

What 6 Chicago-area theaters had to do to show Tarantino’s ‘Hateful Eight’ (Read by Ed M.)

The clips of “The Hateful Eight” aired during last night’s Golden Globes led me to research where (and whether) I could/should see the film in the 70 mm format. That’s when I ran across this story about the challenges of distributing a 70 mm film to a nation of theaters that long since converted to digital. Reading about how experienced projectionists fanned out to other theaters to demonstrate a format that had been the industry standard years ago reminded me of the Y2K issues we helped organizations research during my third year at SHI. Here’s hoping U2 releases an album 10 years from now that’s only meant to be played via cassette on a Sony Walkman. #JobSecurity

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