Innovation Trends

Product News Round-Up: New Ways to Get Around the Universe and Apple's Big Acquisition

Two of this week’s selected big stories revolved around transportation (though vastly different modes), the third is the awaited confirmation of a rumored acquisition. Read on for recaps of some of the week’s biggest product stories.
Google Unveils Its Self-Driving Car
At this week’s Code Conference, Sergey Brin announced that Google has developed its own self-driving car and unveiled the design. The car is a two-seater that looks like a cross between a Fiat 500 and a Smart car. The current version of the test model has radar sensors and a roof-mounted camera, but two things it doesn’t have? A steering wheel and brakes. See video of test drives of the car below and read more about it at The Verge.

SpaceX unveils Dragon V2
This week SpaceX unveiled its first manned spacecraft design. The company has previously successfully sent its Dragon craft to and from the International Space Station (ISS) carrying cargo. The Dragon V2 marks a milestone SpaceX has been working toward for years, to become the first commercial space company to build a craft that can carry people to and from the ISS. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk says that the ship can be reused and land with the precision of a helicopter, both major feature improvements over current and past shuttles. Read more at CNET and watch a video rendering of the spacecraft below.

Apple Acquires Beats by Dre
This week the rumor reported earlier this month that Apple was buying Beats by Dre was confirmed. The purchase, for $3 billion, is Apple’s largest acquisition ever and represents a commitment to the music business that helped elevate the brand during the iPod’s heyday. Many analysts speculate that while Beats is famous for its headphones and speakers, there is big value in the company’s streaming music service, which competes with Pandora and Spotify. Read more about the acquisition and its implications at The Guardian.
Tell us your thoughts about these stories or others from this week in the comments below or find us on Twitter @JamaSoftware.