Inside Amazon’s surveillance-powered no-checkout convenience store

 By now many have heard of Amazon’s most audacious attempt to shake up the retail world, the cashless, cashierless Go store. Walk in, grab what you want, and walk out. I got a chance to do just that recently, as well as pick the brain of one of its chief architects. My intention going in was to try to shoplift something and catch these complacent Amazon types napping. But it became clear… Read More

CTRL+T podcast: As long as it tastes like chicken, folds my clothes for cheap and doesn’t run me over

 Wait, what? Yeah, this week a company called SuperMeat announced that it raised $3 million to create chicken in a lab. It requires real chicken cells, Petrie dishes probably and some patience. The benefits for fake (fake real?) chicken are numerous, not the least of which it’s better for the environment. But we wonder how it will taste. Like chicken? Like fake chicken? In the lead-up to… Read More

Tovala, which sells ‘smart’ ovens for $399, just raised fresh funding from local VCs

 The track record for smart kitchen devices is fairly uneven. On the one hand, you have Juicero, which was widely ridiculed for selling a $400 juice machine and that shut down soon after Bloomberg reported it was no more effective than one’s own hands (but not before investors sank more than $118 million into the company). On the other hand is the Anova Precision Cooker, a $145 Wi-Fi-… Read More

What it’s like cooking with meal kit startup Chef’d

 I’ve tried both Blue Apron and HelloFresh before, but I don’t like being locked into some subscription, so I decided to go with Chef’d this time around. Chef’d, which raised $35.2 million in August from strategic investors like pork producer Smithfield Foods and online grocer Fresh Direct, is different in that you don’t need to subscribe to anything, ever. There… Read More

Uber brings five-star rating system to UberEATS app

 UberEATS, Uber’s standalone app for on-demand food delivery, has added in-app restaurant reviews in order to help people make more informed decisions about what to eat. “We had heard from our consumers for a long time that they were interested in more information in general to help them make a decision of which restaurant to eat at,” UberEATS Product Manager… Read More

This edible sensor could help keep food fresh

 Making sure fresh food is kept at the right temperature during transit is a harder problem than one might think — but the Swiss are on the job. Not only did they create robo-fruit to mix in with the real ones, but another research team has created a biodegradable temperature sensor that sticks to food all the way from its starting point to the inside of your mouth. Read More

Yomee wants to take the guesswork out of culturing yogurt at home

 In a post-Juicero world, the bar has been set high for any piece of smart kitchen hardware that only makes one type of food. Enter Yomee, which bills itself as the Keurig of fresh yogurt and is now raising funds on Kickstarter. Lecker Labs, the startup behind Yomee, hopes that its relatively low price (each unit will retail for $99) and cost-savings will let it succeed where Juicero failed. Read More

GrubHub trial could have major implications for the gig economy

 Next week, GrubHub will face two of its former drivers in court, which could set a precedent for future cases around the 1099, gig economy. The trial, which is the first of its kind in California, looks to answer the question many in the tech industry have had for years: Should a worker for on-demand companies be classified as an independent contractor or as a W-2 employee? The suit, which… Read More

The top 7 startups from Y Combinator S’17 Demo Day 1

 A stem cell cryobank, self-flying personal planes, and an augmented reality data platform were amongst the highlights of the prestigious Y Combinator startup accelerator’s Summer 2017 Demo Day part 1. You can read about all 50 startups that launched today in verticals like AI and biotech, and check back later for the full list and favorites from day 2. For now, based on investor buzz… Read More