Zoom Picks Up Encryption Startup; Peloton Sports Big Revenue & Membership Bump; Volvo Eyes Lidar and ‘Eyes Off’ Driving; Tile Partners with Intel to Track PCsPosted: May 7, 2020
Zoom has been repeatedly pounded for its rather porous system and the ‘Zoombombing’ by hackers, and the like. Now, they have taken action…acquiring encryption startup Keybase. According to zdnet.com, it is the first ever acquisition by Zoom. The new tech will enable end to end encryption of video calls for all paid accounts, a big step in Zoom’s promised 90 day security push. Zoom says it will publish a draft cryptographic design May 22nd, and ask for feedback from crypto experts and customers before locking in the final design and rolling it out to Zoom users. They have assured users they won’t be building any back doors in, either.
You’d think with all the sheltering in place, Peloton would do well…and you’d be right. In fact, they even beat the Street, blowing past Wall Street’s lofty expectations. Techcrunch.com says quarterly revenues were up 66%! Peloton reported $524.6 million for the quarter, passing up the expected $488.5 million by a country mile. The connected bike runs $2245, with the treadmill coming in at $4295. As people head back to work, a lot will probably keep their subscription, but the big unknown is how many who tried the 90 day free trial will sign up for the paid sub.
In what could be a huge challenge to Tesla and others, Volvo will start building cars with powerful lidar sensors from Startup Luminar. Arstechnica.com reports that Volvo pumped money into Luminar in 2018. The lidar equipped Volvos will be out in 2023, and will likely be available on the XC-90 and maybe other models. Some higher end lidar units spin at 360 degrees, but the ones from Luminar are fixed with a 120 degree field of view. Volvo will build them into the car just above the windshield, giving a good, clear view of the road ahead. Top line lidar has run up to $75,000 as recently as a few years ago, but Volvo thinks this different tech will bring the price down to under $1000 per car!
Tile has announced it is partnering with Intel to get its tracking tech into laptops….to help track down stolen or lost PCs. According to theverge.com, we could start seeing PCs with the trackers by late this year or early 2021. Tile trackers connect over Bluetooth to aa Tile Mobile app. If the PC is in Bluetooth range, you’ll see the location on a map. If the computer is moved out of range, a loud alarm sounds. You can also ping Tile’s crowd-finding network, which will notify you with the device’s location if it gets in range of another Tile equipped device. The HP Elite Dragonfly is already out, and features the tech, if you are so inclined and in the market…but it’s no bargain basement laptop!