Weekly Recap: the Tesla Powerwall Battery, Huawei Smart Watches, a Wearable Chair, the End of Social Engineering?, and Instagram Ads

The New Tesla Home Battery Available Soon

Maybe Tesla will not only revolutionze the world of electric cars (it's an understatement to say that their Model 3 is VERY MUCH anticipated), but also our day-to-day lives? CEO Elon Musk confirmed that a second version of the Powerwall battery should be launched over the summer. This wall-mounted, rechargeable lithium-ion battery can be used as a backup to power a home, and can be connected to either solar panels or to the grid. It will be offered in two versions: 7kWh and 10 kWh, with a 10-year warranty, and a price between $3,000 and $3,750 US. The first version of the Powerwall was offered in very limited quantities last year; analysts predict that this product might just ultimately become more popular that the cars themselves! http://on.mash.to/20tbTQT


Smart AND Beautiful Watches!

Even if smart watches are gaining traction on the market, it's not generally for their looks, let's put it this way. But Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei just changed the game by launching great-looking watches that all but look like (expensive) conventional ones. They work with the Android Wear platform, which has come a long way since first being launched a few years ago (while still not being quite there yet). The watch features a solid and appealing construction, with stainless steel and sapphire crystal (juste like the Apple Watch). It boasts 4 GB of storage, 512 MB of RAM, a 1.4 inch diameter screen with an outstanding visual quality, and is fairly waterproof (i.e. it can be immersed for 30 minutes before leaking, making it suitable for taking a shower but not for say, diving). The two models currently available in Canada (pictured) are available for $499 (in silver) and $579 (in black). Even it's that's fairly steep, testers say there's nothing better on the market right now. http://bit.ly/1nJbx6A (link in French)


#onlyinjapan: a Wearable Chair


Of course, the idea HAD TO come from our Japanese friends: a wearable chair! It looks a lot more like an orthopaedic prothesis than a piece of furniture, and is only currently at the prototype stage. Called Archelis, the product is made out of 3D-printed plastic parts, and was invented by a team of Japanese universities and design firms. Archelis is targeted for surgeons who have to stand for long hours while performing very precise tasks, but just think of all the possibilities! However, let's just say that as of now, it could not exactly go unnoticed at a bus stop, a retail store, or a construction site... http://bit.ly/20tfXAq


Google at War Against Fake Download Buttons

The days of sites such as Download.com and KeepVid may be numbered... Google just announced that it will systematically start blocking pages that contain fake download buttons to obtain an app, a game, an update, or other content. The move is part of a new initiative against what Google calls "social engineering", meaning shady pages or buttons that mimick known and trusted entities, or try to obtain data from users. Long-term result: certainly less malware on the computers your parents constantly want you to debug. http://bit.ly/1QeTj3W



60-second Ads Now on Instagram

Instagram just started featuring 60-second video ads, and, hey, that's just in time for the ultimate-ad-fest that is the Superbowl! Up until now, only 30 second ads were authorized, which was already double the length of videos users can themselves publish... Facebook, which owns Instagram, launched a big ad/monetization offensive on the artsy photo sharing platform last year, after years of "pure" (read, ad-free) use. The arrival of 60-second ads follows a simple logic: it's the format most commonly used on TV, and Instagram wants to attracts these advertisers, who might not be willing to invest in specific ads for every medium. We've been hearing a lot of gripe from Instagram users around us lately over the rapid "invasion" of ads, despite Facebook seemingly believing that they unrolled this very softly and gradually. http://tcrn.ch/1PSymLL