What’s new in tech
Are you ready for Apple Glass?
Apple could be ready to unveil augmented-reality glasses by the middle of next year, said Tim Hardwick in MacRumors.com. The glasses “will be marketed as an iPhone accessory,” letting the company keep them “slim and lightweight,” without all the processing hardware of the ill-fated Google Glass. The headset would run on its own custom operation system, called rOS, for “reality operating system.” Apple has been exploring augmented and virtual reality for more than 10 years. CEO Tim Cook has called AR “profound” because the technology “amplifies human performance” without isolating people. In other words, a user can get live stats without turning away from a basketball game, and receive visual navigation alerts on a walk while continuing to chat with friends.
Phoning in your vote
Denver will allow some voters to cast ballots with a smartphone application this year, said Andrew Kenney in The Denver Post. The phone-based voting system will be available only to members of the military and voters living outside the United States. West Virginia tried a similar pilot test of an app in 2018. Denver has for years offered a website for overseas voters to mark ballots, but this is its first use of an app. It’s made by a Boston-based company called Voatz, and “users have to upload a 10-second video of themselves and a picture of their photo ID to register.” Votes are stored using technology that distributes the information across multiple private servers, minimizing the risk of a cyberattack—although “no technology is completely secure.”
Amazon loosens rules for sellers
Amazon this week quietly ended a controversial practice that restricted sellers in its marketplace, said David McCabe in Axios.com. The retail giant had insisted on a “most-favored nations” clause in contracts with sellers that kept them from selling the same products for less on any other website. Lawmakers in the U.S. and regulators in Europe have called the requirement anti-competitive. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D.-Conn.) asked regulators last year “to investigate the requirements for possible antitrust violations.”Amazon had already dropped the requirement in Europe following investigations from regulators in the U.K. and Germany. The change means that buyers may now find items from the same sellers for less on other platforms, or on a seller’s own website.