Good morning! More Mars colony announcements, blood-sugar monitors that don't need to break the surface of your skin and a GoPro that truly delivers on high-quality video. The future is here this Friday morning.
At a speech in Australia, Elon Musk provided details about SpaceX's next rocket, the BFR (yes, you're right, that is what it stands for). Capable of carrying 150 tons and refueling in space, it's the key factor in Musk's plans for human outposts throughout the solar system. Even if you don't take a ride on its first manned Mars trip in 2024, there's one more reason to pay attention: SpaceX plans to use these rockets for trips around Earth, carrying passengers to any city on the planet in under an hour.
Of course, the BFR is also designed for interplanetary travel, and Musk explained his idea to build a self-sustaining city on Mars. The plan starts with two uncrewed missions filled with supplies in 2022, followed by four more rockets -- two with people aboard -- in 2024 to start building out the settlement that will become Mars City.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first continuous glucose-monitoring system for adults that doesn't require drawing blood several times a day. Instead, the FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System works by inserting a sensor wire under the skin, for up to ten days. After 12 hours, the patch is ready for the wearer to monitor blood-sugar levels by passing a mobile reader over it.
There's just one problem: According to Apple, the iPhone 7 and 8 don't have FM radio chips or antennas.
"We've finally been able to make a GoPro without compromises. We haven't had to work around somebody else's chip design and chip limitations," Nick Woodman, GoPro founder and CEO said. The "somebody else" in that sentence refers to Ambarella, the company that made the processor for almost every GoPro up to this point -- and the processor for most other action/drone cameras on sale right now, for that matter. Woodman is enthused about GP1 for a number of reasons, but key is that GoPro is no longer sharing technology with its rivals. James Trew talks more with the founder and explains all about GoPro's newest camera.
Howdy there, moody protagonist.
Amazon's overstuffed Echo event made one thing clear: It's not afraid of doubling down on smart speakers. The company announced a smaller $100 Echo (just as we reported in July); a $150 Echo Plus with smart hub features; and an Echo-powered alarm clock called Spot. And that's not even including the truly strange stuff: Echo Connect, which turns your Echo devices into speakerphones for landlines. Now, a wider variety of Echo devices is a good problem for Amazon. It may get tougher for consumers to figure out what they need, but it also gives the company more ways to fit Alexa into their lives.