A Drone That Takes Next-Level Selfies, & More

Photo: Courtesy Lily Camera.
There's so much happening in the world of tech, and it seems like every day, there's a new app or hashtag. It can be hard to stay on top of all the latest developments and to know what actually matters, what you should care about knowing, and what's worth your time (and the precious space on your phone).

To give you a quick rundown, we've rounded up five key stories from this week that you need to know in order to be casually and conversationally knowledgeable about what's happening. Your brunch convos just got way more techy.
Lily, A Flying, Robotic, Non-Drone Camera 
Don't call it a drone. Lily is a robotic "throw-and-shoot" camera that flies and shoots all on its own, un-piloted. It trains its eyes on a single subject who wears a GPS tracking device, shooting 12 megapixel images. It's now available for pre-order for $500. 

Why This Matters:  Lily, if it works as promised, could shake up not just the drone industry, but the camera industry as well. Since it doesn't need to be piloted (it uses computer vision to navigate, in addition to GPS to track your, and its, location), the barrier to usage is much lower than a normal drone. And because of that ease of use, it could be adopted by a wider range of pro and amateur photographers who can now add unique aerial footage to coverage of things like sporting events, weddings, and beach outings, among other things. Since the subject has to be holding its companion GPS tracker, it lacks some of the icky voyeurism of a traditional piloted drone. 

Your Apple Watch Can Be Reset If Stolen
The Apple Watch features security measures that protect your data, but not ones that keep thieves from using the device if they steal it from you, iDownloadBlog reports. For the past two years, the iPhone has included something called Activation Lock, which prevents an iPhone being reset (and then, resold) until the owner's correct username and password are entered to disable Find My iPhone. But the Apple Watch doesn't have this function. 

Why This Matters: Since the addition of Activation Lock, the incidence of iPhone theft has dropped dramatically, so anti-theft solutions like this are successful. And for a device that costs a minimum of $350 and is capable of having such an anti-theft measure, it's important from both a consumer and responsibility standpoint that it does. Hopefully, Apple is already working on a solution to this issue.  

Google Reveals Its Self Driving Cars Have Been In 11 Accidents In Six Years
Following a report from the AP that four out of the roughly 50 self-driving cars in California were involved in accidents over the past nine months, Google revealed that its cars have been in 11 accidents over their six years and 1.7 million miles on the road. However, humans were at fault in each case (the majority were rear-endings). 

Why This Matters: These accident reports highlights a couple important things. Firstly, transparency: What standards should Google, and other self-driving car programs, be held to in reporting accidents to the public? (Accidents are filed with state public records, which was how the AP discovered the initial accident reports.) Secondly, while autonomous car driving technology is very advanced, we're still a long ways from the day when you'll be able to walk up to your neighborhood Toyota dealership and grab a self-driving Camry. 

Fitbit Plans To IPO This Year
Fitbit has filed for an initial public offering to raise $100 million. The eight-year-old company, which makes a variety of wearable fitness trackers ranging from $60 to $250, now has close to 600 employees.

Why This Matters: Fitbit will be the first wearables company to IPO, and the latest in a string of high profile tech IPOs that includes GoPro and Candy Crush-maker King. While its list of competitors grows stronger and more numerous, Fitbit perhaps has the strongest brand recognition in the wearables space  — perhaps with the exception of the Apple Watch. But, despite that, roughly 40% of wearable buyers abandon their activity tracker within the first six months, a stat that doesn't bode well for Fitbit's longterm success.

Google's  Head Of Public Policy & Communications Joined Uber
Rachel Whetstone, Google's Public Policy and Communications lead, is now Uber's SVP of policy and communications. The position was previously held by David Plouffe, Obama's former adviser, who will now join Uber's board and act as an adviser to the company and its CEO, Travis Kalanick. 

Why This Matters: Whetstone brings with her serious chops when it comes to managing global communications and policy, having successfully navigated inquiries from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (and also dealing with the European Union) over Google's search powers. In recent months, Uber has made a number of high-profile hires in order to bolster its presence in Washington (and anywhere it faces regulatory opposition) and boost its image. For instance in April, Uber hired Facebook's chief security officer, Joe Sullivan. 
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