Drivetime nabs $11M from Makers Fund, Amazon and Google to build voice-based games for drivers

Fully autonomous cars may (or may not) be just around the corner, but in the meantime, a startup that’s building in-car apps to help human drivers pass the time when behind the wheel has raised a round of funding. Drivetime — which makes voice-based trivia quizzes, games and interactive stories that people can play while driving — has raised $11 million in funding led by Makers Fund (a prolific investor in gaming startups), with participation from Amazon (via the Alexa Fund) and Google (via its Assistant investment program). The startup today has eight “channels” on its platform consisting of games and stories that you can access either within a limited free-to-play tier or via a paid subscription (

Amazon unveils a new Fire TV Cube, soundbar and over a dozen Fire TV Edition products

At the big European tech trade show, IFA 2019, Amazon today announced more than 20 new Fire TV-branded devices, including a next-generation Fire TV Cube, Fire TV Edition soundbar from Anker — its first foray into Fire TV Edition audio products — and 15 new Fire TV Edition products, including the first OLED Fire TV Edition smart TVs. The announcement represents a significant expansion of Amazon’s Fire TV hardware line and integrations at a time when Roku has gained a lead over Amazon in the U.S., in terms of connected-TV market share, while Fire TV has been claiming the top spot in some European markets and an international lead over Roku. The company today said its Fire TV devices now …

The Knight Foundation launches $750,000 initiative for immersive technology for the arts

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is looking for pitches on how to enhance and augment traditional creative arts through immersive technologies. Through a partnership with Microsoft the foundation is offering a share of a $750,00 pool of cash and the option of technical support from Microsoft, including mentoring in mixed-reality technologies and access to the company’s suite of mixed reality technologies. “We’ve seen how immersive technologies can reach new audiences and engage existing audiences in new ways,” said Chris Barr, director for arts and technology innovation at Knight Foundation, in a statement. “But arts institutions need more knowledge to move beyond just experimenting with these technologies to becoming proficient in leveraging their full potential.” Specifically, the foundation …

What lower Netflix pricing tells us about competing in India

At a conference in New Delhi early last year, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was confronted with a question that his company has been asked many times over the years. Would he consider lowering the subscription cost in India? It’s a tactic that most Silicon Valley companies have adapted to in the country over the years. Uber rides aren’t as costly in India as they are elsewhere. Spotify and Apple Music cost less than $2 per month to users in the country. YouTube Premium as well as subscriptions to U.S. news outlets such as WSJ and New York Times are also priced significantly lower compared to the prices they charge in their home turf. Hastings had also come prepared: He acknowledged …

Amazon Prime Day Is Over. These 31 Great Deals Remain

Note: Until July 18–20, there may still be some active deals here and in our Deals from Amazon Rivals, but we are no longer actively updating and monitoring these guides. As always, we hope we helped you sift through the sales madness and find great products. Check the WIRED Gear section for the latest news and reviews. Prime Day 2019 has come and gone, but some deals remain. After studying spreadsheets and combing the Internet until our screens blurred before our eyes, we found a considerable number of great deals this year. Hopefully you were able to grab the noise-canceling headphones or Instant Pot of your dreams at a much more reasonable price. If not, have no fear. Prime Day …

The best stuff we bought on Amazon this year

While costlier items with household names tend to steal the Prime Day spotlight, there is a world beyond them. Oftentimes, the most random of Amazon purchases end up becoming the thing you realize you cant live without. Weve rounded up the best things we bought on Amazon this yearnote, we said best, not most exciting. Prime Day: The best stuff we bought on Amazon this year AmazonBasic Wired Keyboard ($13.99)a cheap, boxy, and black office keyboardRamon Ramirez, News Director WeMo Mini Smart Plug ($17.99)Lowes Iris techMonica Riese, Director of Production AV to HDMI Video Audio Converter Adapter ($14.99)ClerksSwingersJosh Katzowitz, Senior Writer Stanwood Needlecraft Wooden Umbrella Swift Yarn Winder, Medium ($49.95), Stanwood Needlecraft Large Metal Yarn/Fiber/Wool/String Ball Winder, 10-Ounce ($72.95)Game of …

Reese Witherspoons Hello Sunshine to debut an exclusive lineup of Audible Originals

A year ago, Amazon -owned Audible announced a deal with Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine to develop exclusive audio productions for Audible Originals — the company’s entertainment offering that features audio content that’s longer than podcasts, but shorter than audio books. Now, the first set of these Hello Sunshine original productions are being announced, including performances from music business matriarch Sophia Chang, judge Rosemarie Aquilina and comedian/activist Maysoon Zayid. Like Hello Sunshine’s other efforts, the Audible Originals focus on highlighting female storytelling, and join the brand’s other projects across books, film, TV, podcasts and streaming services like Apple TV+ and Hulu. In addition, last year Audible and Hello Sunshine collaborated to launch a showcase of Audible audio books, selected by Reese’s …