Brian Heater, TechCrunch

Brian Heater


New York, United States

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Recent articles by Brian:

What to expect from Apple, Google and Samsung’s big events –

Hardware season is heading for a dramatic finale next week, with three events from three major companies, three days in a row. Apple, Google and Samsung (in that order) are all hosting big events next week, getting their last big announcements (hopefully) out of the way ahead of the upcoming holiday season. That means your […] → Read More

McDonald’s will serve Beyond Meat McPlant burgers in select US locations next month –

After announcing a deal with Beyond Meat back in February, McDonald’s this morning announced that it is set to start selling plant-based Beyond Meat burgers in select locations next month. Starting November 3, the McPlant will be available at eight of the fast food giant’s restaurants, including in Irving and Carrollton, Texas, Cedar Falls, Iowa, […] → Read More

War dogs –

Let’s talk about strapping guns to the backs of robots. I’m not a fan (how’s that for taking a stand?). When MSCHF did it with Spot back in February, it was a thought experiment, art exhibit and a statement about where society might be headed with autonomous robotics. And most importantly, of course, it was […] → Read More

Browser-based hardware design tool Flux raises $12M –

Things were trending toward remote collaboration well before the world ground to a screeching halt under the heels of a global pandemic, but the past year and a half have undoubtedly been a major catalyst for rethinking the way people work. It’s a phenomenon Flux has been thinking about for a while now, beginning development […] → Read More

Apple Watch Series 7 review –

The entire smartwatch category had a good Q2, as numbers jumped 27% year over year. That, in turn, was up 20% from a year prior, in spite — or perhaps because of — COVID-19 concerns. The popularity of these devices are the proverbial rising tide, with most of the big players benefiting from an overall […] → Read More

Warehouse robotics firm Dexterity raises $140M –

Dexterity emerged from stealth in July of last year, touting a $56.2 million Series A. The Bay Area-based robotics startup was riding high on increased demand for automation at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a year later, the pandemic is, sadly, still here, and investor interest in the company has maintained along […] → Read More

Nothing raises another $50M –

In the wake of the July 31 launch of its first product, the Ear (1), Nothing today announced a “Series A Extension” of $50 million, bringing its total funding to $74 million to date. The round follows the February announcement of a $15 million Series A. Shortly after that, Nothing announced a $1.5 million equity […] → Read More

Apple is going ‘Unleashed’ for an October 18 event –

Hardware season isn’t over over yet. A day before Google’s big Pixel event, Apple’s getting one more (probably) swing at things with an “Unleashed” event on Monday, October 18. The company sent out invites for the announcement, which will once again be livestreamed from the company’s Cupertino headquarters. The event, which kicks off at 10AM […] → Read More

On ten years of ‘The Vertical Farm’ –

Roughly two hours pass between my initial email and our first Zoom chat — on a Sunday, no less. I skip the post-gym shower and pop on a baseball cap, because I’m not sure when the opportunity will present itself again. After more than two decades of espousing the benefits of vertical farming around the […] → Read More

RoboTire raises $7.5M to automate tire replacement –

RoboTire crossed our radar in February of last year, just before much of the world was brought to a complete standstill courtesy of the pandemic. Things were still fairly early stages for the Detroit-based startup, which was founded by former Spark Robotics CEO Victor Darolfi. The company has clearly picked up some good, strategic interest […] → Read More

Robot response team –

I’ve been working on a big project the past several days (more on that soon), which means, unfortunately, I’ve been away from the daily breaking news. That means, in turn, that I really haven’t been on top of the big robotics news this week. So let’s use this column as an opportunity to play a […] → Read More

Apple Watch Series 7 arrives October 15, starting at $399 –

The Apple Watch Series 7 debuted at the big September 14 hardware event, with a vague “fall” release date. Today, the company announced that the popular wearable will go up for preorder this Friday (October 8), with in-store available starting a week later, on the 15th, for customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, […] → Read More

What a community means in the modern world of startups –

"Community" has grown into one of those buzzy Silicon Valley terms over the years, but long-time advocates explain that the concept is fundamental in entrepreneurship and venture capital investments. → Read More

Ad Astro –

Let’s talk about arms for a second. Or, rather, let’s talk about a lack of arms. It’s a common thread between Jibo, Kuri and now Astro. I suppose one could make the argument that Anki’s Cozmo had arms of a kind, but the overhead forklift wasn’t good for much beyond hooking into a proprietary block. […] → Read More

Why Amazon built a home robot –

iRobot’s CEO once told me, with a wink, that he didn’t become a truly successful roboticist until he became a vacuum salesman. It’s a good line, and one that betrays some fundamental truths about the industry. Robots are hard, and in a lot of ways home robots are doubly so. That no one has managed […] → Read More

Amazon takes on Fitbit with the $80 Halo View –

A year after launching its original exercise band, Halo, Amazon just dropped the follow up, Halo View. The company’s not quite ready to go full bore into the smartwatch category just yet, but it clearly has the Google-owned Fitbit brand directly in its sights with the newly announced Halo View. The device doesn’t quite challenge […] → Read More

Amazon’s newest Echo Show is a 15-inch, wall-mounted digital picture frame –

Amazon just took the wraps off the latest — and largest — addition to the Echo Show family. The Echo Show 15 takes the company’s smart screen technology to the wall in the form of a 15.6-inch 1080p display that doubles as a massive digital picture frame. The $250 device is certainly a novel approach […] → Read More

Amazon launches a $60 smart thermostat –

Amazon kicked off its big hardware event today by announce a new smart. The company worked with Honeywell to create the device, but is keeping its own branding on the product (rather than, say, Ring, Blink or any of the other smart home companies it owns). The device runs $60, though the company notes that […] → Read More

Burro raises $10.9M for autonomous produce field transport –

Burro first crossed our path during our 2020 robotics event, when the agtech company competed in our pitch off. The company (which used to go by the decidedly less fun name Augean) appears to be moving up in the world, announcing a $10.9 million Series A raise this week. S2G Ventures and Toyota Ventures led […] → Read More

Playing Metroid Dread on the Nintendo Switch OLED Model –

It’s been a big year for Nintendo news. Between the impossible fever dream of last week’s Super Mario movie casting and the eagerly anticipated sequel to the Switch’s best game, it’s easy to lose track of the other big developments from the gaming giant. Nintendo recently held an intimate (and sufficiently socially distanced) event in […] → Read More