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Most Eco-conscious Scooter Rolls to Next-Gen



Now is the time to go green on the road with Bird Three, the next generation of eco-conscious scooters. As the microbility industry moves forward, the newest Bird scooter model is decked with cool upgrades made for our optimal comfort.  

But has it improved compared to the last model? First, let’s see what the hype is all about:  

The Bird Three

After Bird announced a merger with Switchback II, a special-purpose acquisition company, we’ve been blessed with the next-gen of scooters. As Bird expands to become a public company, we can expect a brighter future for short-range electric transportation. That’s great news, by the way, as our world needs fewer carbon emissions.  

According to the study from the University of Toronto’s engineers, 90% of vehicles must run on electricity by 2050. So, no worries, we still have 29 years to meet that goal. So there’s not much pressure there. 

Bird started its journey in 2017 and has grown into a microbility company with stations across more than 200 cities. The new generation of eco-conscious scooters is the result of Bird’s four years in the industry. 

With Bird Three, the company offers its riders a better scooter with longer hours of battery capacity. It’s been created by experts to bring as little carbon emissions as possible. In addition, it comes with a design that requires less maintenance to improve rider’s comfort and safety. 

It’s understandable that Bird made a big move. First, the cost of maintaining and building vehicles is a massive setback for profitability. Second, developing a long-lasting vehicle with great specs is excellent for long-term planning. The best part? It gives them more opportunity for growth. 

Bird Three’s Cool Upgrades 

Bird’s next-generation, coined as Bird Three, is better than ever with its cool upgrades. So what’s in it for the riders? Here are the cool perks Bird has rolled out for us: 

The Bird OS

The microbility company has created its operating system called “Bird OS.” According to Scott Rushforth, Bird’s chief vehicle officer, it’s a motor controller with an IoT system. It’s packed with a self-diagnostic system that lets the battery connect and communicate with the vehicle’s network. 

So how does that benefit its riders? For example, if your Bird Three scooter gets too hot, it will alert the server. But wait, Bird’s convenient system does not end there. As the server gets notified, it will automatically adjust itself by slowing down its speed to cool down. In short, we can expect a more innovative health monitoring system with Bird OS. 

On the other hand, Superpedestrian, a competitor of Bird, is powered by its VIS or Vehicle Intelligent Safety system. It runs at least 1,000 vehicle checkups every second of the ride.

New and Improved Battery

As the battery upgrades to a bigger and long-lasting version, it doesn’t end there. Bird’s battery does not only offer longer life but also comes with more protection. It’s encased with a hermetically sealed IP68-rated protection that’s tamper-proof. As a result, it’s protected against dust, water, and even theft. 

When we say the battery is larger than its last version, it’s the largest in the industry at a 1 kWh capacity. However, compared to Superpedestrian, it has about the same capacity with a few differences at .986 kWh. Meanwhile, Lime, the biggest competitor of Bird, has gone for the opposite. They opted for a smaller swappable battery that has a capacity of .460 kWh. 

With its latest release, Bird’s scooter managed to double down its energy consumption. According to Rushfort, the scooter’s battery is so large that it doesn’t need to be charged that often. The charging only takes place at least once a week. As a result, it can ride smoothly from 15,000 to 20,000 miles without any problem. 

Most Eco-conscious Generation of Bird Scooter

Bird is on the way to create the most “green” vehicle existing in the entire world. In order to accomplish that goal, the scooter’s system needs to be highly durable. A sustainable scooter doesn’t end with its battery capacity or carbon emissions. There is so much more to take into consideration. 

According to Rushfort, as long as the vehicles “last longer,” there’s less demand for vehicles in the long run. The next-gen scooter is made with the same platform as its predecessor, Bird Two. Many parts are the same, so it’s easier to “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” 

Bird Three is built to “last longer” than your average scooter as it’s undergone 60-k impact testing. It ensures only the best class durability to prolong its lifespan. 

Other Features to be Aware of:

  • Beginner Mode’s gentle acceleration 
  • Extended chassis for a longer Bird wheelbase
  • Improved high-power LED headlight and tail light
  • Automotive, self-sealing pneumatic tires

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Bird and Scootaround Team Up to Offer On-Demand e-Scooters in NYC



A gap in the electric wheelchair market was seen by vehicle company Scootaround over 22 years ago. While vacationing in Hawaii, the founder’s family expressed their disappointment about the lack of mobility scooters for rent. This is how the big transportation solutions company Scootaround came to be. Now, scooter company Bird has seen the same opportunity, hence, partnering with the 20-year old transportation service Scootaround. 

Bird and Scootaround team up to offer on-demand electric wheelchair rental services to New York City this summer. Bird is on a mission to make vacationing, travelling, or going around NYC comfortable even for people with disabilities. 

Ban on e-scooters lifted

Electric scooters weren’t always welcomed in NYC. Before November 2020, NYC civilians posed a concern about reckless two-wheeled or four-wheeled drivers. There was a surge of electric scooters in the streets of New York, and people have stated that they’re a “nuisance.” 

This concern prompted NYC lawmakers to ban the use of electric scooters. However, during the start of the pandemic, people realized how convenient e-scooters were for essential workers. This, again, prompted lawmakers to lift the ban on using throttle-controlled e-bikes and e-scooters altogether. 

Of course, this comes with a few rules on riders. Only riders aged 16 up will be allowed to run on e-scooters and e-bikes. Moreover, riders below 18 must wear a helmet while on their electric scooters. Finally, some throttle-controlled bikes will require riders to wear helmets for safety as well. 

Gov. Cuomo had approved a tentative budget legalizing any electric mobility device, including e-bikes and e-scooters. This was a year after he had vetoed a similar legalization bill passed in 2019. Thus, a decade of back-and-forth is now coming into place as the e-bike, or e-scooter budget is now approved. 

NYC is now one of the cities that allows electric scooters, along with Atlanta, Washington, and San Francisco. 

Bird’s pilot program

NYC will now be seeing more of Bird’s electric scooters this summer. Bird has chosen the perfect trusted company for transportation services, Scootaround, for its pilot program built for sustainability. 

Bird promises a better and more convenient way of moving around NYC for people with mobility issues. Both companies are now making mobility service transportations accessible by tapping a few buttons on the Bird mobile application. 

Bird first announced Bird Zero in 2018, an electric scooter designed for ride sharing with longer battery life. Not long after, Bird created the Bird Platform to provide individual operators to use the platform for advertising their own shared, branded e-scooters. Bird reached over 10 million rides that year. 

Now that two of the most reliable scooter companies have teamed up to provide better transportation services, people with mobility issues can now select, reserve, and pay for their chosen electric scooter, including the WHILL Model C. A design with a more excellent aesthetic, reliable wheel structure, and prompt joystick feature.

How to reserve

Bird boasts a user-friendly interface to conveniently reserve and pay for an electric scooter. Riders can go to the bottom button on the Bird app. Then, select among three available vehicle types.

They would have to input the rent duration, which is from one to 14 days, and preferred pick-up and drop-off locations. 

Furthermore, riders will receive an in-person demo on using, storing, and charging the electric scooter. In addition to that, a toll-free number is also provided for any questions or concerns about the rental process or vehicle. 

With the campaign rolling out in the summer, people with mobility issues will now be more confident in roaming around NYC. No more concerns about e-scooter rentals as Bird lets everyone travel comfortably, with a minimal carbon footprint.

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Coinme: Financial Services Crypto-Enabling Legacy Raises $10M Funding



Coinme, a cryptocurrency startup based in Seattle, raked in $10 million worth of funding from investors. Although fluctuating, cryptocurrency is still a powerhouse this 2021. It’s no wonder why Coinme managed to raise a $10 million grant from its existing investors.

What is Coinme?

Coinme is a cryptocurrency startup founded in 2014. Since day one, the company has made it its mission to be one of the world’s trusted cryptocurrency gateway. The legacy started with the most well-known digital currency— Bitcoin. Using the most relevant digital currency back then, Coin me started a few Bitcoin ATMs. It offers an enterprise “application programming interface” or API to provide Bitcoin’s secure sale. 

Between 2017 to 2020, Coinme experienced an overwhelming 2,200% revenue growth. Due to the consumer’s demand for bitcoin and the pandemic’s uncertainty, their revenue skyrocketed. 

Fast Forward to 2021, Coinme managed to build up and grow thousands of kiosks. The company believes that cryptocurrency provides an equal opportunity for everyone. Therefore it needs to be more accessible.  

Coinme is supported by the following: 

  • Pantera
  • Blockchain
  • Digital Currency Group
  • Xpring
  • Coinstar
  • Hard Yaka
  • Nima
  • Percival Capital

How to Use Coinme

For those who are not aware of how to use Coinme, you can buy Bitcoin with four simple steps. First, you’re required to create a Coinme account. Next, you must be able to locate the nearest kiosk to your place. After that, you can insert cash into the kiosk. 

However, it would be fantastic if you kept in mind that coins are not accepted for Bitcoin transactions. Finally, you can redeem and receive your Bitcoin in an instant. Another thing you need to remember is Coinme’s daily purchase limit.

‘Crypto-enabling’ Feature

Coinme allows the buy and sell of bitcoins with cash for its customers. Currently, the startup has more than 15,000 locations through partnerships such as Coinstar and Moneygram. Coinme had its bitcoin ATM. However, it’s focusing on its cryptocurrency cash network. 

Using the digital currency cash network allows financial services such as Moneygram to be “crypto-enabled” via an enterprise API. 

Although the market is volatile, most of Coinme’s consumers are not speculating about its price. Instead, they take advantage of Coinme to acquire cryptocurrencies at store value. There are a lot of ways to take advantage of Coinme’s services. It includes using cryptocurrencies as payment for services and goods or sending it to your friends and family.

$10 Million Worth Funding

As the largest licensed cash network for cryptocurrencies in the US, Coinme raised $10 million for strategic funding. The funds were raised by Coinme’s existing investors, including Digital Currency Group, a capital market company.  

Coinme Expansion

The startup plans to expand internationally in the upcoming months. Currently, the company has 58 people in total and managed $30 million to date. Neil Berquist, Coinme’s CEO and co-founder shared expansion plans later this year. He announced that the company would dive into various markets, starting with Latin American.  

El Salvador recently became the first country to adopt bitcoin as a legal tender formally. Yes, that means history was marked during cryptocurrencies’ most crucial time. Meanwhile, politicians of Latin American countries share support for bitcoin’s adoption as legal tender. The politician’s active support drives a more favorable opinion of locals. 

Specifically, politicians from various nations such as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, and Panama have expressed their interest and support for cryptocurrency. 

Other than penetrating the international markets, Coinme plans to add multi-coin support to its system. It means we get more digital currency offering aside from Bitcoin. It also plans to add a type of payment to buy and sell digital currencies on Coinme’s products. 

According to Bergquist, people want different types of payment. Consumers want to buy using their bank account. He especially pointed out how consumers expressed their demands to access different cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. Well, now, all your demands are being fulfilled by Coinme, one step at a time.  

Final Thoughts

According to PR News Wire, by 2023, the blockchain market, as expected, will rise to $23.3 billion. With the continued growth, investors are sure to spread investment to promising cryptocurrency startups. Since 2017, cryptocurrency startups like Coinme have raised funding. Overall, startups reached a whopping number of $20 billion to date.

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How Much Does It Cost to Understand Emotion? $73.5M, as per Affectiva Valuation.



Have you ever been in a situation where you’d pay anything to understand a person’s emotions? Well, the price tag might surprise you. Just recently, publicly traded Swedish company Smart Eye acquired emotion-detection tech Affectiva in a cash-and-stock deal. The valuation? A whopping $73.5 million.

Affectiva has surely gone a long way since it was first conceived in an MIT Media Lab back in 2009. Just three years after it spun out of the lab, the startup raised $12 million in funding. Back then, it had two flagship products – Affdex, a facial coding tech, and Q Sensor, a wearable sensor.

It was software way ahead of its time. In fact, venture capitalist Mary Meeker said then that measuring people’s real-time emotions while watching videos can improve online engagement. As a result, the tech enables ventures to gear their videos to better appeal to their target market.

Before the $12 million funds raised in 2012, the startup previously earned early-stage funding amounting to $7.7 million. This round was from WPP, Myrian Capital, and the Peder Wallenberg Charitable Trust. Seeing that the startup has won not one but a few National Science Foundation grants, it was surely a tech to look out for even during its early days.

Aside from those mentioned above, Affectiva is also backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Horizon Ventures, and Fenox Venture Capital.

Affective Computing and the Future of AI

The startup was founded by two effective computing pioneers, Rana el Kaliouby and Rosalind Picard.

El Kaliouby, who served as the startup’s CEO, is now the Deputy CEO of Smart Eye following the acquisition deal. According to the Egyptian-American AI thought leader, she’ll be working with Smart Eye CEO Martin Krantz to scale the venture. Their top goal will be AI tech that focuses on ethics, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Rosalind Picard, on the other hand, is the founder and director of the MIT Media Lab’s Affective Computing research group. Besides Affectiva, she’s also the co-founder of another startup called Empatica. The latter focuses on healthcare with AI tools for research and treatment.

Affective computing tools may sound like a sci-fi tool to some, but it’s actually more common now than ever before. In fact, 25 percent of Fortune Global 500 already uses Affectiva’s tech. In addition to that, over 1,400+ brands like Mars, CBS, and Kellogg’s use the platform to measure people’s response to digital content. Market research firms like LRW, Millward Brown, and Unruly also use the tech to acquire the data that they need for effective campaigns.

What Will Affectiva Bring to Smart Eye?

Just how will Affectiva tech boost Smart Eye? With the Swedish dabbling in auto tech and driver monitoring systems (DMS), it seems that the software will be used in transportation tech.

In a press release, Krantz said Smart Eye saw Affectiva as a great platform to bring the tech to market at scale. He also mentioned how Smart Eye aims to bridge the gap between humans and machines and improve road safety.

Besides its tech, the startup also brings with it the income and profit from its Media Analytics business. After all, 70 percent of the largest ad players in the world use the platform to gauge reactions to ads. In short, Affectiva’s data coupled with Smart Eye’s eye-tracking systems can provide a more holistic view of human factors research. 

The two ventures were competing against each other in the past. But both parties know that their techs will be more powerful combined. Also, they found common ground in terms of tech ethics.

El Kaliouby said that both parties share the same culture and values and the same vision for the future. She also said that by joining forces, they can now work to offer better tech that both won’t be able to provide alone.

With the recent acquisition, Smart Eye will now have a footprint in the East Coast, with Affectiva’s office in Boston. Affectiva’s Cairo office, on the other hand, will be used to access skilled local talent.

Aside from its office in Gothenburg, Smart Eye also has offices in Detroit, Tokyo, and Chongqing in China. Its office in Germany is now in the works.

For other tech-related stories, read more here from Owner’s Mag!

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