Apple Dropping $3.6 Billion in Kia-Partnering With Hyundai; New Zoom Features Anticipate Office Return; Amazon E-Vans Will Be Rolling This Year; Rundgren Will Mount Geofenced Virtual Tour

Apple is apparently prepping to drop $3.6 billion into Kia Motors as part of a manufacturing partnership that will see Kia build Apple Cars at a plant in Georgia. Macrumors.com notes that Kia is a subsidiary of Hyundai, which had been strongly rumored to be in talks with Apple. Hyundai hadn’t wanted to be seen as being a sub for Apple like Foxconn, and this neatly avoids that. The rumor has Apple Cars hitting the road in 2024, and they plan to build 100,000 per year in the deal with Kia as they get started. The vehicles will be made on the Hyundai E-GMP battery electric vehicle platform right out of the gate. Since Apple has picked up a chassis engineering manager from Porsche, look for them to expand on that. 

Zoom is looking ahead to people getting back to the office, and to more hybrid working. Cnet.com reports that it is adding features to its Zoom Rooms to boost employee health and productivity…no matter if work is in the office or home office. Zoom Room customers can now pair their Zoom Room with their mobile device, to more easily join meetings directly from your phone. You can also download the Zoom Rooms Controller app to turn your phone into a remote control, giving you the ability to start or join a meeting and full audio, video and participant controls. In addition, IT admins can view how many are in a conference room in real time, to ensure social distancing. Zoom will also connect with the Neat Bar that will allow monitoring air quality, humidity, 

Amazon’s e-vans from Rivian will be hitting the streets in some dozen cities yet this year. According to theverge.com, they are already making some deliveries in Los Angeles. Amazon plans to have a fleet of 10,000 of the vans on the roads by 2022. Rivian is also planning an R1t pickup and the R1S SUV. Both those are said to have 400 miles of range, and will start at $70,000. 

If you have been missing live entertainment like a lot of folks, the always forward-looking Todd Rundgren has come up with an unique idea. He is planning a geo-fenced, virtual tour. Techcrunch.com says Todd and his band will play all the sets from Chicago, and the songs will span his career from the early hits to his entire album ‘Nearly Human.’ The virtual tour will start in Buffalo February 14th and finish up March 22nd in Seattle. They will play the shows starting at 8PM local time. Besides the geo-fenced local shows, they will do a virtual meet and greet with fans. Todd thinks we will be looking at a hybrid model of both virtual and live shows in the future. 



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