Brian Heater, TechCrunch

Brian Heater


New York, United States

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Recent articles by Brian:

Boston Dynamics’ new and former CEOs discuss future of the robotics pioneer –

After more than a quarter century, Boston Dynamics has a new CEO. The transition (which quietly occurred late last year), saw founder Marc Raibert step aside to become chairman, as longtime employee Rob Playter took the reins. The key personnel change comes at a pivotal time for the company, which recently began the process of […] → Read More

The Pentagon pushes back on Huawei ban in bid for ‘balance’ –

Huawei may have just found itself an ally in the most unexpected of places. According to a new report out of The Wall Street Journal, both the Defense and Treasury Departments are pushing back on a Commerce Department-led ban on sales from the embattled Chinese hardware giant. That move, in turn, has reportedly led Commerce […] → Read More

Boston Dynamics’ Spot gets an SDK and co-starring role in an Adam Savage video –

This next year will be one of the most important since Boston Dynamics was founded back in 1992. After changing hands from Google to Softbank, the robot maker is getting more aggressive about commercializing products, bringing Spot to market, while Handle waits in the wings. The news includes a new CEO, its first since founding. […] → Read More

Boston Dynamics appoints its first-ever new CEO –

After more than a quarter-century spent developing some of the industry’s most iconic and advanced machines, Boston Dynamics is a company in the midst of a profound transformation. This week, the Waltham, Mass.-based organization issued a number of key announcements, all focused on the same fundamental shift, as it readies the release of two commercial […] → Read More

The Apple Watch hits the gym with Connected program –

Wrist-worn fitness trackers tend to do a fine job when exercising outdoors. For those glued to gym equipment, however, things get trickier. GPS can’t really do its job detecting distances, and machines like the elliptic tend to be even trickier. Recent generations of the Apple Watch and WatchOS have worked to bridge the gap, with […] → Read More

2020 will be a moment of truth for foldable devices –

Phones were not the centerpiece at the recently wrapped Consumer Electronics Show; I’ll probably repeat this point a few more times over the course of this piece, just so we’re clear. This is due, in no small part, to the fact that Mobile World Congress has mostly usurped that role. There are always a smattering […] → Read More

Huawei’s answer to life after Google Maps? TomTom –

Losing access to Google software and services understandably threw Huawei for a loop. The Chinese hardware giant has clearly been working on a contingency plan to deal with the loss of access to things like Android and the Play Store, but Google’s offering formed so much of the devices’ software core — as they do […] → Read More

As retail robotics heats up, Berkshire Grey raises $263M –

In recent years, the retail category has become one of the biggest and best-funded robotics categories — particularly when coupled with connected verticals like warehouse fulfillment and logistics. Berkshire Grey has flown mostly under the under the radar, but is kicking 2020 off with some pretty sizable funding news. The Massachusetts-based company just announced a […] → Read More

Diligent’s Vivian Chu and Labrador’s Mike Dooley will discuss assistive robotics at TC Sessions: Robotics+AI –

Too often the world of robotics seems to be a solution in search of a problem. Assistive robotics, on the other hand, are among one of the primary real-world tasks existing technology can seemingly address almost immediately. The concept for the technology has been around for some time now and has caught on particularly well […] → Read More

Can a $350 headband deliver better sleep? –

Sleep is the next battleground on which the war for wearable health will be waged. Smartwatch and fitness band makers have been dipping their collective toes in the water for a few years now, but there’s only so much that can be done from the wrist. I wrote a CES trend piece earlier this week […] → Read More

TRI-AD’s James Kuffner and Max Bajracharya are coming to TC Sessions: Robotics+AI 2020 –

With the Tokyo Summer Olympics rapidly approaching, 2020 is shaping up to be a big year for TRI-AD (Toyota Research Institute – Advanced Development). Opened in 2018, the research wing is devoted to bringing some of TRI’s work into practice. The organization is heavily invested in both autonomous driving and other key robotics project. TRI-AD’s […] → Read More

As customer demand shifts, Bose plans to shutter 119 retail locations –

This stuff is never easy. Buying habits change with technology, and just about every brick and mortar operator has felt some squeeze from online purchasing. Seems even flagship brands like Bose technology aren’t immune from the powers of next-day shipping. The audio company confirmed with The Verge this week its plan to close shop on […] → Read More

Mojo Vision’s AR contact lenses are very cool, but many questions remain –

Companies keep trying to make glassholes happen. Understandably. After the smartphone and the wrist, the face is the next local battlefield for computational space, if decades of science fiction movies have taught us anything. But we’ve seen the Google Glass, the Snapchat Spectacles, The Magic Leap, the whatever that thing that Samsung just semi-announced was. […] → Read More

Crowdfunded hardware startups are breathing fresh life into music making –

I love music. Seriously, it’s one of the few things that brings solace in this cold, lonely world. Want to go deep on Joni Mitchell, William Onyeabor or Pablo Casals? I’m game. Yes, I worked at multiple record stores years before TechCrunch. Yes, I will always be that guy. What I will never be, however, […] → Read More

Companies take baby steps toward home robots at CES –

“I think there are fewer fake robots this year.” I spoke to a lot of roboticists and robot-adjacent folks at this year’s CES, but that comment from Labrador Systems co-funder/CEO Mike Dooley summed up the situation nicely. The show is slowly, but steadily, starting to take robotics more seriously. It’s true that words like “fake” […] → Read More

Dear Spotify, add rabbits to your pet playlists –

I there’s one thing I know, it’s that music is the best thing our species has every created. If there are two things I know, it’s the music thing and also that that rabbits aren’t hamsters. Listen, Spotify, I get the whole pet playlists thing. A curated playlist based on your listening preferences and a […] → Read More

GaN chargers are still worth getting excited about –

Listen. Chargers aren’t sexy. You know it. I know. Charger companies know it, regardless of what they tell you in their pitch deck. Honestly, you’d be hard-pressed to think of too many electronic accessories less utilitarian. Dongles, maybe? Cord wraps? But I want it known that I’m still capable of being excited about them — […] → Read More

Announcing the Agenda for Robotics & AI – March 3 at UC Berkeley –

We’re bringing TC Sessions: Robotics + AI back to UC Berkeley on March 3, and we’re excited to announce our jam-packed agenda. For months we’ve been recruiting speakers from the ranks of the most innovative founders, top technologists and hard-charging VCs working in robotics and AI, and the speaker line-up will capture the remarkable acceleration across […] → Read More

Have we hit peak smartphone? –

Last Halloween, we broke down some “good news” from a Canalys report: the smartphone industry saw one-percent year-over-year growth — not exactly the sort of thing that sparks strong consumer confidence. In short, 2019 sucked for smartphones, as did the year before. After what was nearly an ascendant decade, sales petered off globally with few […] → Read More

Samsung acquires TeleWorld Solutions to help build 5G infrastructure –

Samsung this morning announced that it has completed the acquisition of TeleWorld Solutions. The Virginia-based telecommunications company provides wireless networking and consulting services. It’s TWS’s 5G solutions that Samsung is clearly the most interested in as part of this deal. The electronics giant says it plans to leverage TWS’s services to help U.S.-based networks build […] → Read More