Apple Supplier Cuts Deal to Make Lenses for AR Glasses; Self-Driving Nissan Leaf Taxi Test; Amazon Handmade in Hand in 2 Hours

It’s an open secret that Apple has been working on AR smart glasses. Now, 9to5mac.com reports that Apple supplier Quanta has inked a deal to start making lenses for augmented reality smart glasses. This deal isn’t apparently specific to Apple, but it sure opens the door for Cupertino to bring such a wearable to market. Last year, Quanta poured $45 million into Lumus, which makes AR lenses, and they now have apparently struck a licensing agreement that will make AR glasses much more affordable. Quanta has indicated that full AR headsets could be priced at less than the cost of a high end cell phone, or under $1000. Quanta says an AR product may be out in 2019, but maybe not from Apple, which is shooting for 2020.

Nissan has fired up 2018 Leaf production in the US, with the promise of battery packs coming that will get drivers 150 miles between charges…and down the road 225 miles. Now, according to techcrunch.com, the company is working with Japanese software maker DeNA to test an autonomous ride-hailing service. They expect to start testing the self-driving cabs in Japan this March. The interesting wrinkle about Nissan’s project is not just getting from point A to point B…you can apparently put in a general written inquiry such as wanting a specific kind of food, and the car will find and take you to a restaurant that serves it!

Stepping things up a notch for people using Amazon Handmade so they can better compete with Etsy, Amazon will start offering Prime Now 2 hour delivery for handmade artisan products. According to geekwire.com, customers in select Prime Now cities will be able to buy handmade items between now and Christmas Eve for the 2 hour delivery. The cities include: Austin, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh, San Diego, San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle.

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Reactions Emoji May Be the Facebook ‘Dislike’ Button

Reactions Emoji

Today, in Spain and Ireland, Facebook rolled out Reactions emoji alongside the thumbs up with the like button. Techcrunch.com says this may be their answer to a ‘dislike’ button that Mark Zuckerberg talked about last month. The little emoji are for like, love, haha, yay, wow, sad, and angry. Facebook says the reason for Spain and Ireland is that both have largely in-country friend networks, so work better as test groups…and of course enable testing in both English and Spanish. Right now, Facebook isn’t planning to add them to Messenger or other stand alone products. The emoji will eventually make it to their analytics dashboard, so social media managers will have a more granular idea about how people are responding to a particular post.

Amazon is moving in on Etsy’s territory. The giant online marketplace has launched ‘Handmade,’ with over 80,000 items from jewelry & stationary to party supplies and furniture. Users can filter by location to buy locally, or search the world. Sellers have their own profile pages where they can tell the story of themselves and their handmade products. According to geekwire.com, 600 of the items are eligible for Amazon Prime free 2 day shipping initially. Amazon is launching with a special promotion where they will just take a 12% cut until August 1st of next year…then their piece of the pie will be per existing category averages.