Google & LG-Highest Res AR&VR OLED Display; Amazon Sells Face Recognition Tech to Police; Drink a Day Purveyor Hooch Expands

Google has taken the wraps off a high resolution OLED display that more than triples the pixels per inch of the Oculus and the HTC Vive. 9to5google.com says the mobile display was developed in partnership with LG, and has 1443 PPI, a wide field of view, and is optimized for both AR and VR. No word yet on when you might be able to wrap one of these around your face or how much it will cost, but it will essentially take mobile VR and AR headsets from 2-3 megapixels to 18!

Amazon has begun selling facial recognition technology called Rekognition to police. The tech, which Amazon boasts can track and analyze hundreds of people in a photo using a database with tens of millions of faces, has been used in Orlando, Florida, and by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon. According to cnet.com, Rekognition isn’t used for active surveillance… but in a video clip posted online, it was noted that Rekognition could follow Orlando’s mayor using cameras throughout the city. Amazon says the tech matches photos and videos uploaded by the customer — not by Amazon. They note on the positive side that it has been used to help find lost children at amusement parks, and was used for public safety at the Royal Wedding on Saturday to identify attendees. Both the EFF and ACLU have expressed grave concerns about this kind of tech in the hands of law enforcement and government…particularly since tests in London show that facial recognition tech can be wrong up to 98% of the time!

Drink-a-day startup Hooch has announced that it has raised almost 3 million in seed money. Techcrunch.com reports that they are also adding to their base plan…which
offers a basic subscription of $9.99 that gets you one free drink per day from a variety of partner bars and restaurants. Hooch Black (which you have to apply for, and which costs $295 per year) adds hotel deals, concierge service and other perks on top.
On top of that, Hooch is planning to launch its blockchain initiative this summer. They believe that by having their own cryptocurrency token, Hooch could work with partners to create a “decentralized model for consumer rewards.” After reading about the Amazon facial recognition for law enforcement, you might want to subscribe to Hooch!


More iPhone 7 Rumors; Twitter Limits US Spy Agencies Access to Alert Tool

With the iPhone 7 models due out in around 4 months, the rumors are breaking more frequently now…and contradicting each other. Bgr.com says a design leak obtained by French site NowhereElse shows the iPhone 7 as having identical height and width as the 6 and 6S. It doesn’t disclose whether or not the next model will be thinner, however, or if the headphone jack on the bottom stays or goes. There is no opening at the bottom for a Smart Connector like on the iPad Pro, which had been rumored, but the camera opening is larger…it may not be large enough for the dual lens camera…which is supposed to bow on the larger iPhone 7 Plus anyway, but perhaps to allow for a larger sensor. The cam opening is closer to the edge, too.

Twitter has blocked US law enforcement and spy agencies from using a data analytics service that processes tweets and messages in real time. According to cnet.com, the tools are from the private company Dataminr. Twitter hasn’t publicly confirmed or denied the change. Apparently the analytics gave authorities a 10 minutes lead over mainstream media outlets in covering and responding to the Brussels attacks. Spies being spies, it’s probably only a matter of time…and not much time….before they are able to restore their access to this type of info from Twitter, even without Twitter’s blessing or knowledge.