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

Fitbit intros the Versa 3 and Inspire 2

Fitbit’s big news for today was the launch of the Sense, a new, more premium smartwatch line designed to compete directly against the likes of Apple and Samsung. But Fitbit has never been one for so

Connected Roombas get smarter with iRobot’s ‘Genius’ update

For iRobot, much of the last several years has been devoted to making its line of home-cleaning robots smarter. There hasn’t been much in the way of new hardware in a while, as the company focuses o

Sony WH-1000XM4 headphone review

There was a mixed reaction among the TechCrunch staff when Sony’s WH-1000XM4 were announced the other week. There was excitement among those looking for new headphones and disappointment for those w

Google brings emergency alert tools to Search and Maps as fires rage in Northern California

Lightning and a massive heatwave have contributed to raging wildfires in Northern California. By last count, some 11,000 lighting strikes caused hundreds of blazes in a 72-hour period — 26 of which

BlackBerry’s smartphone brand switches hands again, set to return as a 5G Android handset

A good brand is hard to kill. Over the past several years, the smartphone space has seen a resurgence of once-mighty mobile brands making a comeback with various degrees of success. HMD’s Nokia phon

Facebook Portal gets serious about remote work with BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, Webex and Zoom apps

Facebook’s Portal line didn’t get off to the smoothest start when it launched back in 2018. The company no doubt realized from the outset that it would have a lot to prove on the privacy front whe

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review

The Galaxy Note Ultra is a $1,399 smartphone. Even by Samsung’s standards, this is a high-end luxury device. It’s the phone for people who board the plane early and derive a sense of pride in watc

Amazon will add 3,500 tech and corporate jobs across six US cities

Amazon today announced an upcoming hiring spree set to bring 3,500 jobs to a half-dozen U.S. cities. The news is, of course, particularly notable amid a pandemic that has caused many industries to fre

Quell’s resistance-based workout can get you in shape by boxing virtual enemies

Quell is positioning itself as a kind of low-cost take on Peloton (less than 1/10th the price, it notes). You might too, if you were in the London-based startup’s place. With the stationary bike-mak

Attabotics raises a $50M Series C for its warehouse fulfillment robots

The uptick in robotics funding continues this week with a big round for Calgary, Alberta’s Attabotics. The warehouse fulfillment startup announced a $50 million Series C, led — interestingly enoug

US Commerce Department updates rules to further limit Huawei’s chip access

The United States Department of Commerce this morning issued updates to a list of rules designed to restrict Huawei’s access to U.S.-based technology. The new restrictions follow a similar decree an

Researchers explore sound to help improve robotic perception

Robots primarily rely on two basic senses: vision and touch. But even the latter still has a long way to go to get up to the speed with the former. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are lookin

AMC will offer 15-cent tickets when it reopens 100+ US theaters on August 20

Like so many industries, the last five months have been absolutely devastating for movie theaters. As far as sheer volumes go, no one has been harder hit than the world’s largest theater chain. AMC

Root AI raises $7.2M seed round to deploy its harvesting robot amid COVID-19-fueled demand

By all accounts, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of robotics and automation by months, if not years. The reasons are fairly clear — robotics don’t call in sick, nor are they dis

Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 review

Samsung makes good smartwatches. The fact tends to get lost in discussions about a category that’s traditionally been so dominated by a single player. Things have shifted a bit of late, globally. Ap

Microsoft’s dual-screen Surface Duo arrives September 10 for $1,399

I can’t recall the last time people were this intrigued by a (non-Xbox) piece of Microsoft hardware. Announced a little under a year ago amid a deluge of new devices, the Surface Duo turned a lot of

Apple watchOS 7 preview

US gaming industry records another excellent quarter as pandemic fuels sales

The COVID-19 pandemic has utterly decimated a number of industries over the past several months, but the U.S. gaming industry continues to benefit as people continue to be stuck at home. Yet another r

IFA cancels Global Markets event, but organizers say rest of show planning is in ‘full swing’

Late last-month, CES’s organizers called an audible, canceling the in-person tech show for 2021. The news seemingly caused the forces behind Berlin-based IFA to double down on the messaging for thei

Moft is back with a clever laptop sleeve that converts into a stand

Moft is a clever company that makes clever products. For a while there, I was sporting their laptop stand. It was a head-turner when I used to unfold it during meetings — back when we used to do tho
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