Apple, Google and Amazon Join Forces for More Connected Smart-Homes

A new coalition (which officially launches this year) between Apple, Google, Amazon and the Zigbee Alliance will result in most new devices being compatible with each aforementioned brands’ smart-home products. Setting an official standard for how products should coexist and connect will “make it easier both for consumers to build their ideal smart-home environment and also for manufacturers to develop new products.” That means one …

Link About It: This Week’s Picks

A 3D-printed neighborhood, at-home insemination tools, alternative education and more innovation from around the globe

Hawaii Moves to Ban Single-Use Takeout Containers Part of a comprehensive plan to drastically reduce single-use plastic reliance within the state, Hawaii passed a ban on plastic takeout containers—plates, bowls, cups, utensils, straws, foam containers, and more. The plan (formally named Bill 40) will roll out over two years, allowing restaurants and other purveyors the opportunity to convert to more sustainable options. Two exceptions will …

Google Launches Assistant Interpreter Mode

Available today on iOS and Android, Interpreter Mode translates conversations in real time through a process similar to Google’s preexisting Translate page. According to the company, the feature can be prompted by saying phrases like, “Hey Google, help me speak Thai” or “Hey Google, be my German translator.” Simply recite a phrase and an automated process will translate it and play it back in the …