Weekend Wrap-Up: Amazon Buys Twitch; IFTTT Raises $30 Million
How’s your Labor Day weekend going? America may be grilling and drinking and all that, but we’re still here keeping you current on the latest tech news, including the top stories from the past week.
Ready to dive in? Let’s go.
Amazon Buys Twitch for $970 Million
In recent months, it seemed all but certain that Google would acquire Twitch and expand its video empire. We got one heck of a surprise this past week when we learned that wouldn’t be the case; instead, Amazon threw down $970 million to buy Twitch and keep it out of Google’s hands. It doesn’t seem like much will change at this point — Twitch CEO Emmett Shear insists that Twitch will remain independent, but will be able to do more with Amazon’s backing. We shall see.
Internet automation service IFTTT (if this, then that) enables a lot of different services and devices talk to each other. Now IFTTT has pulled off a new trick: the company raised $30 million in a new investment round from Norwest Venture Partners and Andreessen Horowitz. The money will be used to do some hiring and work on the business development side of things. Hopefully, we get even more services and gadgets tied into the IFTTT ecosystem.
Microsoft Announces Standalone Kinect for Xbox One, Priced at $149.99, Coming October 7
When it comes to the Kinect, you’re more than welcome to question Microsoft’s decision making. While going with a Kinect-less bundle was ultimately the right call, doing so without having a standalone Kinect to sell wasn’t the best idea. Fortunately, Microsoft has finally moved toward righting this wrong, announcing that a standalone Kinect will go on sale October 7 at a price of $149.99. Those who bought the $399 bundle can now join the Kinect party if they so choose, and ultimately, giving consumers that choice will only help Microsoft down the line.
Google is Doing Drone Delivery, Too, with Project Wing
Look out, Amazon — Google is eyeing up the drone delivery space, as well, with something the company is calling Project Wing. If you want to see it in action, there’s a video embedded in the great write-up Brian did for it on Friday. While the United States is still very much against drones being used commercially, it really feels like this is a technology that will have its day at some point in the near future. Both Amazon and Google are working to get our stuff to us more quickly; that’s something I can definitely get behind. Hopefully the government changes its tune at some point.