Wynd’s air purifier has broad ambitions and a short reach

The Wynd smart air purifier is designed to create “bubbles” of fresh air — small, one-person respites from pollution, allergens and other detrimental particles floating in the ether. It feels almost dystopian, a world in which we’re required to arm ourselves against the air around us, but the product clearly struck a nerve, with more than 3,400 supporters backing the project to the tune of $604,792, late last year. What’s most compelling about the product is where it goes beyond a simple air purification offering. There are a million of…

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Tempow turns your dumb Bluetooth speakers into a connected sound system

Meet Tempow, a French startup that can make your Bluetooth speakers more versatile. The company has been working on a new implementation of the Bluetooth protocol in order to let you play music from your phone on multiple speakers and headphones at once. Bluetooth speakers have become a common gift and a hit item in consumer electronics stores. Most people now have multiple Bluetooth speakers and headphones at home. While it’s nice that you don’t have to use cables anymore, it can be quite frustrating that you can only play…

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Snapchat is stifled by its un-algorithmic feed

Snapchat invented its best products by being the anti-Facebook. Its disappearing chats made visual communication quick and casual compared to Facebook’s email-esque text messages. Stories ditched the likes and permanency so you could share your raw moments in the now, instead of just the life highlights that define you forever on your Facebook Timeline. But now this “opposite of Facebook” orthodoxy is holding Snapchat back. After a brutal year of being copied by the world’s biggest social network, Snapchat might be wise to return the favor. Twitter and Instagram prove…

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Middle East startups are growing fast, and that’s even before the flying taxis arrive

The flight from Tehran to Dubai is about two hours, similar to the flight from New York to Chicago. The flight from Cairo to Beirut is one hour and 15 minutes. In more peaceful times, the drive from Beirut to Damascus in Syria would take you less than two hours. The interconnectedness of the Middle East / North Africa (MENA) region is apparent once you start travelling around — although, admittedly, the politics may vary. And it’s that interconnectedness, but also the fact that — in-spite of what you might read…

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How Echo Look could feed Amazon’s big data fueled fashion ambitions

This week Amazon took the wraps off a new incarnation of its Alexa voice assistant, giving the AI an eye so it can see as well as speak and hear. The Echo Look also contains a depth sensor that’s being used, in the first instance, to create a bokeh effect for a hands-free style selfies feature that Amazon is hoping will sell the device to fashion lovers, by making their outfits pop out against the bedroom wallpaper, and making them more eager to socially share. The Echo Look app is where users can view the style selfies…

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