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Kuri, the cutest home robot, has learned how to dance

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Kuri’s definitely the most adorable home robot, even if that’s not that hard an honor to claim given the relatively sparse competitive field. But it’s even cuter now, because it can now dance. The debut product from Mayfield Robotics shows off its moves in a brand new video from the company, dancing to a pancake robot song.

If you missed it Kuri debuted at CES last year, and has been steadily growing more capable in the intervening months. Regular software and hardware updates have given it a range of new abilities in preparation for its launch, which is set for the end of this year.

The $800 robot is designed to be part virtual assistant, part mobile entertainment device and part digital companion – it could already play back music and audio content via its built in Bluetooth speakers, but now it can dance along to the beat when it hears one as well.

Kuri will also capture candid moments of your family with a video recording feature – though you have full control over when and where it’ll do that, or whether it’ll do it at all, in case you’re nervous about privacy issues.

Pre-orders are still ongoing, but any purchases of Kuri now won’t ship until next year, the company says – the first robots should still going to start rolling out to early buyers by December, however.

And in case you’re addicted to this particular groove, the tune is Pancake Robot by Parry Gripp.

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Apple’s Face ID will support only one registered face per iPhone at launch

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Apple’s forthcoming FaceID technology will support just one face registered per device, at least initially. This has been reported by multiple people who spoke to Apple at this week’s iPhone event, and confirmed separately by TechCrunch, but it’s worth noting because it could change some user behavior regarding the device.

Face ID supporting just one face makes a lot of sense on the face of things (sorry), since unlike with Touch ID, users have only one face to use for their unlocking purposes. Touch ID ostensibly allows multiple fingers to be registered because you have quite a few digits of your own, and depending on how you’re using the device or in which pocket you keep it, one might be more convenient to use than another.

The issue is that people also often register the fingerprints of their significant others, or even kids, depending on how they use their device. The phone can store up to five fingerprints, which makes it relatively easy to keep a few of your own as well as those of a significant other on your device just in case.

A one phone, one face policy obviously won’t support that kind of arrangement: If you want to give your loved one access, you’ll need to smile for the camera, or share a backup passcode so they can get in that way. The passcode option is only marginally more inconvenient than a registered Touch ID fingerprint, of course, but it still makes a difference, especially if someone’s only very occasionally accessing your device and might not have committed a pin to muscle memory as a result.

I think this is more of an issue if Apple ends up moving Face ID across its product line, to devices like iPads that are much more often shared gadgets. Still, depending on how your use your phone, it might be another decided factor in whether you go with iPhone 8 or iPhone X – or, of course, neither.

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Essential Phone now on sale at Sprint stores

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Essential’s first phone, the aptly named Phone, is now available in Sprint retail stores. The retail availability follows pre-orders and sales via web and Essential’s own online store, and will provide the first opportunity many potential customers have to get their hands on the device.

Despite some hardware hiccups and a launch shipping delay, Essential has done an impressive job with their first piece of hardware. The Phone (technically the ‘PH-1’ by model designation) has a nearly edge-to-edge 5.71-inch HD display, with a ceramic back and titanium frame for extra durability.

It’s a strong contender for the best looking Android phone ever made – and maybe even the most attractive smartphone design all around, and it runs a nearly stock version of Android that’s a refreshing change from the bloatware-laden builds other manufacturers put out. Essential has also been pushing out frequent updates since launch to improve performance and stability.

Via Sprint, the Essential Phone is available either at its full price of $699.99, or via $29.17 monthly instalments on an 18-month lease. The phone is also still available unlocked direct from Essential’s own website, as is the 360 camera add-on (pictured attached above) and via Telus in Canada.

Featured Image: Darrell Etherington

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