Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Anki Launches Real-World Videogames With $50M in Funding and a Primo Slot at WWDC

A new robotics startup called Anki helped kick off Apple’s WWDC keynote today with a demo of its car-racing game. Now that it’s out of stealth, Anki is saying a bit more about what it’s doing.

i-JWx2mTn-X2The company’s vision is to build “the first video games in the real world.”

Anki said it will launch its first product, Anki Drive, this fall on iOS for a retail price of $200. At a basic level, it’s a set of sensor-loaded cars controlled by iOS apps, but apparently the real magic is in the artificial intelligence of the device to make decisions on the fly, and in the app to give drivers “an immersive real-world experience.”

In a blog post today, Andreessen Horowitz’s Marc Andreessen called Anki “the best robotics startup I have ever seen.”

Founded by a group of Carnegie Mellon robotics PhDs, Anki has raised $50 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures and Two Sigma; it has been in stealth mode for the past 16 months.

Here’s a teaser video that doesn’t show much, but looks like it’s about to go viral, and here’s a video of the founders talking about their ideas.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald