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

House GOP discusses use of robot dogs to patrol US borders

The United States Department of Homeland Security caused a stir last February when it revealed that it was exploring deploying robot dogs on the U.S./Mexico border. “The southern border can be an in

Google’s Pixel Fold is a well-rounded take on the foldable form factor

The true mainstreaming of foldables remains an open question. There are still a number of key roadblocks on the way to broader adoption – mostly notably price.

Astropad returns with a $120 iPad drawing stand

Last May, Astropad celebrated its two-year anniversary of being Sherlocked with a blog post. “In the first few years of Astropad’s existence,” the startup noted, “we were too dependent on the

Gather AI buys drone inventory competitor, Ware

It’s always a bit of a bummer when an exhibitor pays for booth space at an event, but ultimately fails to show. The empty table, the photocopied bit of signage — perhaps one of the neighboring

Months after its last raise, Realtime Robotics drums up another $9.5 million

Realtime Robotics has been raising funding at a steady clip since announcing a two-pronged $31 million Series A back in 2021. This week’s $9.5 million announcement is a fast follow-up to last Septem

Life after logistics

You’ll have to forgive me, as this is going to be one of those in-between Actuator weeks. I finally took a couple of days off last week after working through the last few weekends, and today I’ve

Robots learn to perform chores by watching YouTube

Learning has been a holy grail in robotics for decades. If these systems are going to thrive in unpredictable environments, they’ll need to do more than just respond to programming — they’ll

Apple’s Vision Pro SDK is now available, in-person developer labs launch next month

Time to get a jump on all of that spatial computing. Apple today announced that its visionOS software development kit is now available, allowing 3D parties to begin building content for the Vision Pro

Dyson’s Gen5outsize is an excellent home vacuum

You don’t need a $1,050 home vacuum. Nobody does. No one spends $1,050 on a vacuum because it’s the only way to get the job done. But that doesn’t mean you don’t want one. I don’t blame you

These are the first Denon-branded Nura headphones

Nura suffered the same quiet fate as countless startups before. The innovative Australian firm was effectively acqui-hired by Masimo, which has been amassing its own arm of audio brands. The Southern

iPhone 14 and M2 Macs get added to Apple’s Self Service Repair program

Whatever the specific motivations might be, giving consumers more access to repair their own electronics is generally a net positive. After years of referring consumers to Genius Bars, Apple announced

Google Pixel Tablet review: It’s all about the dock

No need to sugarcoat it, the history of Android tablets is rough. There are some exceptions. Samsung, for one, has managed to carve out a decent market for itself in the space, courtesy of nice hardwa

Pieter Abbeel and Ken Goldberg on generative AI applications

I’ll admit that I’ve tiptoed around the topic a bit in Actuator due to its sudden popularity (SEO gods be damned). I’ve been in this business long enough to instantly be suspicious of hype cycle

Sony readies PS5 game streaming for PlayStation Plus Premium members

Sony this morning announced that it has begun testing PlayStation 5 game streaming. The feature is still early days, but it will eventually be available for those subscribed to PlayStation Plus Premiu

This little wearable is designed to detect blood flow to the brain

STAT Health calls the human ear a “biometric gold mine.” The startup, which emerged out of stealth this morning, is talking specifically about cerebral blood flow (CBF). That’s pretty much what

Apple M2 Ultra Mac Studio: Same shell, more firepower

“This completes the transition to Apple silicon,” Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering John Ternus noted during last week’s WWDC keynote. Apple never promised the process would happen o

ABB buys smart home device maker, Eve Systems

ABB this week announced that it has acquired Eve Systems, a German firm best known for a broad range of smart home accessories, including smart lights, plugs, air monitors and security cameras. I’ll

Apple 15-inch M2 MacBook Air review

The thin and light notebook is a creature of sacrifice. It’s a reminder that freedom of movement means leaving things behind. It’s packing a single knapsack for a week-long trip, leaving your home

Blue owned the consumer podcast mic market – now the brand is being phased out

Blue Microphones was ahead of the game. The first Snowball was released all the way back in 2005, as the company was celebrating its 10th birthday. Within a few years, the USB mics were everywhere. Th

How curbside pickup caused Wing to rethink its approach to drone delivery

In many ways, drone delivery still feels very pie in the sky in terms of scalable e-commerce. In smaller, controlled pockets, however, the concept is going swimmingly. Among the spots is a small Googl
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