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Internet-Connected Battery Could Bring Smoke Alarms Online

Roost’s batteries will let smoke alarms send alerts via smartphone, and may bring other battery-powered devices online, too.

Materials

This Method of Robotic Pickup Could Stick

A novel gripper from an SRI spinoff could enable robots to take on new tasks.

Mobile

Voice Recognition for the Internet of Things

With natural-language processing aided by crowdsourced data, Wit.ai aims to make smartphones, wearables, and drones heed your call.

Computing

How Magic Leap’s Augmented Reality Works

Patent and trademark filings reveal the augmented reality technology that convinced Google and others to invest $542 million into Magic Leap.

Computing

Ford to Add Pedestrian Detection to Its Cars

Ford sedans will soon come with a system that brakes if you’re about to hit a pedestrian.

Computing

The “Soft and Chewy Centers” That Put Your Data at Risk

A security startup called Illumio launching today has already signed up Yahoo and other large companies that need new ways to protect their data centers.

Energy

Why Solar Is Much More Costly Than Wind or Hydro

A new report from the E.U. estimates the true economic cost of different forms of energy production.

Computing

The Quest to Put More Reality in Virtual Reality

The inventor of Second Life has spent 15 years chasing the dream of living in virtual space. Can his new company finally give virtual worlds mass-market appeal?

Computing

A Physical Key to Your Google Account

Google says using a small USB stick to vouch for your identity is more secure than either a password or conventional two-factor authentication.

Business

China’s Growing Bets on GMOs

New technology and large government research initiatives in ­genetically modified crops are giving China a storehouse for a more populous future.