Two Silicon Valley companies delivering thousands of entertainment channels over the internet have announced significant funding rounds and milestones for their services.
Roku, whose set-top box delivers more than 700 channels of movies, TV, music, radio and web content, has received $60m in a Series F round, while TuneIn, which gives access to more than 70,000 radio stations, has bagged $25m in Series C funding. Read more
A new mobile service operator called ItsOn aims to shake up the US smartphone business by offering users the ability to tailor their voice, text and data plans precisely, and – perhaps most interestingly – buy data by the app.
The company’s Zact service – a play on the word ‘exact’ – operates as a cloud-based mobile virtual network operator, buying capacity on Sprint Nextel’s 4G/LTE network and reselling it to its own customers via a smartphone app or web page.
Things are looking up for Nokia in the US, a territory where it was unloved and unrepresented by operators not so long ago.
Now it has not one but two carriers touting its latest Windows smartphones, with Verizon launching the Lumia 928 this week and T-Mobile having its own exclusive with the 925, unveiled in London on Tuesday and available at a date to be announced in the US. Both represent advances on its signature Lumia 920 launched last year. Read more
The Fitbit is no longer fiddly.
Its San Francisco-based maker has removed my chief problem with this useful health tracker – launching a Fitbit Flex version today that straps to my wrist rather than the USB-stick shaped predecessor that was always getting lost in one of my pockets. Read more
The hearts of two health-tracking leaders are to beat as one, with Jawbone announcing this morning it has acquired BodyMedia, in a deal reportedly worth $110m.
Taking the best elements from both’s products would represent a combination only seen thus far in the sleep-monitored dreams of fitness fanatics. Jawbone’s Up bracelet and its app’s interface are beautifully designed but relatively light on meaningful information, while BodyMedia’s armband is ugly, but packing data-rich sensors. Read more
Dysonics, makers of an immersive audio app that puts a virtual room inside your head in which to hear music better, has come up with an attachment for headphones that makes the experience of spacing and placing sounds even more realistic.
Rondo Motion is a thin, square device, about the size of a watch face, that can be easily strapped to the band on a headphone to give it motion-sensing capabilities. This means if you turn your head, the music doesn’t move with you, it stays in the same place in the “room”. Read more
Leap Motion has announced a two-month delay to shipments of its long-anticipated gesture-based controller as it spends more time working on the software.
The San Francisco-based start-up said shipments for customers who had pre-ordered the device would now begin on July 22, rather than the May 13 date it announced in February. Prior to that, it had spoken of an “early 2013” ship date. Read more
The Nest thermostat, designed by iPod creator Tony Fadell, is a fun way to turn your air conditioning system on and off, but it could soon be saving users serious money with its latest deals.
The Silicon Valley company says it is now working with leading US energy providers to reduce energy usage and consumers’ bills through its auto-adjustment of their home’s heating and cooling needs. Read more
At a time when laptop makers are looking for ways to cut the price of ultrabooks to appeal to mass-market consumers, Toshiba has announced a new luxury line where no expense is being spared.
The Japanese company’s Kira brand makes its debut with the 13.3-in KIRAbook, available next month in versions costing from $1,600 to $2,000 in the US. Read more