Tech Digest daily roundup: ALI Technologies launches £500K hoverbike

ALI Technologies hoverbike costs nearly £500,000. Image: ALI Technologies

A Japanese start-up is hoping to convince motorists to swap their cars for a $680,000 (£495,000) hoverbike. ALI Technologies’ XTurismo Limited Edition went on sale in Japan, earlier on Wednesday. Electronics giant Mitsubishi and footballer Keisuke Honda are two backers of the Tokyo-based company. ALI Technologies says the hoverbike can fly for 40 minutes at up to 100km/h (62mph) on a single charge. The company aims to have manufactured 200 single-rider 300kg (47-stone) hoverbikes by mid-2022. Each is equipped with a conventional engine and four battery-powered motors. BBC 

Amazon said Wednesday it’s investing in three more start-ups as part of its $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund. The Climate Pledge Fund, launched by Amazon last June, is designed to invest in technologies being developed to stop climate change and global warming. So far, Amazon has backed 11 companies across several industries, ranging from manufacturing and energy generation to food and agriculture. One of the new recipients is Resilient Power, an Austin-based start-up that’s developing electric vehicle charging technology that has a smaller footprint and is quicker to install than comparable systems. Amazon said the start-up will help further the company’s own goals of deploying 100,000 electric delivery vehicles by 2030. Amazon has contracted Rivian Automotive to produce those electric vehicles. CNBC

South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics posted a 28pc jump in operating profit on Thursday despite global supply chain challenges caused by the pandemic. The world’s top chipmaker saw its operating profit reach 15.8 trillion won (£9.8 billion) for the July-September period, it said in a regulatory filing. Its sales rose 10pc to a record £45.9 billion on the back of strong performance from its memory chip division thanks to sustained global demand. “Favourable market conditions continued in the memory market” resulting in “robust sales”, the company said. Telegraph

Apple Music has officially launched for the PlayStation 5, making it the first console to feature the music streaming service since Apple launched it. Through the Apple Music app, players will be able to listen to music both in the PlayStation 5 menus and during gameplay. According to the blog post, in addition to being able to listen to their own playlists and over 90 million different songs, Apple Music subscribers will also be able to find recommendations for playlists that match the games they’re currently playing as well as a range of music videos that can be streamed in 4k. IGN

British lawmakers are set to grill Facebook and other tech giants Thursday over how they handle online safety as European efforts to regulate social media companies gain momentum. Representatives from Facebook, Google, Twitter and TikTok will be questioned by members of a parliamentary committee scrutinizing the British government’s draft online safety legislation. Governments on both sides of the Atlantic want tougher rules aimed at protecting social media users, especially younger ones, but the United Kingdom’s efforts are much further along. AP News 

SpaceX is having to fix its leaking toilets ahead of its planned launch at the weekend. The space technology company and Nasa are doing maintenance on its capsule which is due to launch on Sunday from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center. They want to ensure the toilet does not leak after problems were reported. Works are also underway on another spacecraft which has been parked at the International Space Station since April. SpaceX’s Vice President William Gerstenmaier said the problems occurred when a tube became unglued during SpaceX’s first private flight last month. This resulted in urine spilling onto the fans and beneath the capsule’s floor. Evening Standard

Chris Price
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