Apple Invests in Laser Chips for iPhone; T-Mobile Launching TV Service; Amazon Expands Same and One Day Delivery Service; Target Enters Same Day Delivery Biz

Apple has plowed $390 million into laser chip maker Finisar. Cnet.com says they will use the money to refurbish a plant in Texas to make chips designed for iPhones, running features like Face ID, animojis, and portrait photography. The plant is in Sherman Texas, and will employ 500 skilled workers…Finisar expects to start shipping by the 2nd half of 2018.

Oft times renegade wireless provider T-Mobile is launching a TV service in 2018, with the purchase of Layer4 TV. According to geekwire.com, T-Mobile CEO John Legere says will take on cable companies Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, Frontier and Fox with the same competitive zeal that he has applied to Sprint, AT&T and Verizon. Legere made the announcement in a video, noting about cable and satellite providers ‘It’s no secret that these guys are the absolute worst”

Amazon has announced that it is expanding same day and one day delivery service to thousands more cities for Prime members. Now, the rapid deliveries will be available in some 8,000 cities! Faster delivery has been a major selling point for Prime, and lately Walmart has been getting into Amazon’s jeans with their 2 day delivery service. Now, techcrunch.com reports that Target is buying same day delivery service Shipt for $550 million. Shipt will run as an independent division of Target, and work to expand partnerships with other retailers in addition to serving Target. Target customers will need to sign up to be able to use Shipt. The first products available for same-day delivery will include groceries, non-perishable essentials, home and electronics equipment, and will expand over time to include all of Target’s wares by 2019.


UberRush is Now Live in New York and San Francisco

Uber has launched UberRush in New York and added San Francisco and Chicago. The same day delivery system had been piloting in New York, with the price of delivery ranging between $5 and $7. According to recode.net, businesses can either sign up for the program directly, or access it through e-commerce software like Shopify and Bigcommerce. Other partners include delivery.com, ChowNow for food, BloomNet for floral services, and the Clover digital cash register service. Uber is going after smaller local retailers and restaurants, as big name retailers have been tough for them to pull into the program. Diliv, Postmates, and Sidecar are already in this rapid delivery space, so Uber doesn’t have totally clear sailing…or in this case, driving.

Gadgets and software to repurpose old devices into monitors for your home are already out there, but not for free…until now. Perch is a startup from the Samsung Accelerator program, and right now, you can download their software for free to turn an old USB-based webcam, smartphone, or tablet into a security monitor. Thenextweb.com reports that it allows for two way communication, too, so you can turn on the audio and tell your pooch to stop barking. It’s movement based, and they claim it’s smart enough not to send you an alert if a dog or cat moves, just a person. You can also use it to turn on internet of things gadgets like smart light bulbs and appliances. It’s out for Android 4.1 or later, and Wi-Fi only for now. iOS and Smart TV support is on the way.


Uber Testing a Huge Delivery Program

On the heels of the roll out of UberEats food delivery in 4 cities, word is out that Uber is stealthily testing a gigantic delivery program. According to techcrunch.com, Uber is testing same day delivery with both UberRush couriers and Uber drivers. Talks are underway with Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany, Hugo Boss, and others. They are partnering with Spring…the mobile shopping app…for part of the testing. Apparently, part of the plan includes Uber drivers being able to take both passengers and Uber Merchant orders simultaneously using an intelligent routing system.

Here’s a forward looking area of college study…UAS…unmanned aircraft systems…drones, to the rest of us. Kansas State University, University of North Dakota, and Embry-Riddle now all offer a bachelor’s degree in UAS operations. Arstechnica.com says grads from North Dakota and K-State receive Commercial and/or Private Pilot Certificates…Embry-Riddle students can as well with a course option. All of the programs started with a handful of students, but are now up to triple digits.