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Brian Heater

Brian Heater

Hardware Editor

Brian Heater is the Hardware Editor at TechCrunch. He worked for a number of leading tech publications, including Engadget, PCMag, Laptop, and Tech Times, where he served as the Managing Editor. His writing has appeared in Spin, Wired, Playboy, Entertainment Weekly, The Onion, Boing Boing, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Beast and various other publications. He hosts the weekly Boing Boing interview podcast RiYL, has appeared as a regular NPR contributor and shares his Queens apartment with a rabbit named Lucy.

The Latest from Brian Heater

Here’s the Surface Duo

I can’t remember the last time I did a hands-on with a device prior to powering it on. The idea of basing posts entirely around glamour shots without really interfacing with the product feels like a

Luna Display adds a teleprompter mode

I really like the Luna Display. The dongle still occupies a spot in my travel-cord bag. But like the bag it resides in, the iPad accessory hasn’t gotten much use in the past year.

Google is pushing to get the Nest Hub in more hotel rooms

Given the number of rooms I’ve stayed in over the past couple of years that still sported a 30-pin iPod alarm clock, I think it’s a safe bet that refreshing a new technology isn’t high up on the

DJI rebrands its Osmo line with the arrival of the magnetically connecting OM 4

Beyond the drones it’s known for, DJI has carved out a nice niche for itself in the camera stabilization market. Building on the technology it has developed for the aerial imaging space, the com

Desktop Metal going public in SPAC-led deal that could value 3D printer company at $2.5B

Desktop Metal’s had no shortage of investor interest in its business during its half-decade existence. To date, the metal 3D printing company has raised $430 million, becoming one of the fastest U.S

XYZ Robotics raises $17M for its pick-and-place logistics robots

COVID-19 is proving to be a massive driver for robotics investments — and for good reason. Robots don’t call in sick, and they’re far less likely to be disease vectors than their human counterpa

Austin’s Fox Robotics raises a $9M Series A for its robotic forklifts

The COVID-19 pandemic is, understandably, proving to be a major driver for robotics and automation adoption. The already hot categories are proving to be even more appealing as companies look to techn

Vue’s $179 Lite smart glasses have built-in speakers for music and calls

Perhaps some day in the not-so-distant future, we’ll all be wearing smart glasses. Stranger things have happened. And hey, most people were fairly skeptical in the early days of smartwatches. And wh

COVID-19 blamed as smartphone sales plummet 20% in Q2

The last couple of years have been tough on the smartphone industry, as sales plateaued and eventually eroded. But nothing could have prepared manufacturers for 2020. This was supposed to be the year

Fitbit launches a $330 Apple Watch competitor

Fitbit would be the first to admit it was late to the smartwatch game. When it did finally launch a proper smartwatch with the Ionic, it was something of a misfire. But the Versa helped the wearable p

Fitbit intros the Versa 3 and Inspire 2

Fitbit’s big news for today was the launch of the Sense, a new, more premium smartwatch line designed to compete directly against the likes of Apple and Samsung. But Fitbit has never been one for so

Connected Roombas get smarter with iRobot’s ‘Genius’ update

For iRobot, much of the last several years has been devoted to making its line of home-cleaning robots smarter. There hasn’t been much in the way of new hardware in a while, as the company focuses o

Sony WH-1000XM4 headphone review

There was a mixed reaction among the TechCrunch staff when Sony’s WH-1000XM4 were announced the other week. There was excitement among those looking for new headphones and disappointment for those w

Google brings emergency alert tools to Search and Maps as fires rage in Northern California

Lightning and a massive heatwave have contributed to raging wildfires in Northern California. By last count, some 11,000 lighting strikes caused hundreds of blazes in a 72-hour period — 26 of which

BlackBerry’s smartphone brand switches hands again, set to return as a 5G Android handset

A good brand is hard to kill. Over the past several years, the smartphone space has seen a resurgence of once-mighty mobile brands making a comeback with various degrees of success. HMD’s Nokia phon

Facebook Portal gets serious about remote work with BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, Webex and Zoom apps

Facebook’s Portal line didn’t get off to the smoothest start when it launched back in 2018. The company no doubt realized from the outset that it would have a lot to prove on the privacy front whe

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review

The Galaxy Note Ultra is a $1,399 smartphone. Even by Samsung’s standards, this is a high-end luxury device. It’s the phone for people who board the plane early and derive a sense of pride in watc

Amazon will add 3,500 tech and corporate jobs across six US cities

Amazon today announced an upcoming hiring spree set to bring 3,500 jobs to a half-dozen U.S. cities. The news is, of course, particularly notable amid a pandemic that has caused many industries to fre

Quell’s resistance-based workout can get you in shape by boxing virtual enemies

Quell is positioning itself as a kind of low-cost take on Peloton (less than 1/10th the price, it notes). You might too, if you were in the London-based startup’s place. With the stationary bike-mak

Attabotics raises a $50M Series C for its warehouse fulfillment robots

The uptick in robotics funding continues this week with a big round for Calgary, Alberta’s Attabotics. The warehouse fulfillment startup announced a $50 million Series C, led — interestingly enoug
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