First Click: Depp, VanMoof, Xiaomi, and other difficult names in the week ahead

May 23rd, 2016

Now that Google I/O is a wrap, it seems the rest of the tech industry has slunk into the rafters hoping to avoid comparison. As such, we’re looking at a relatively slow week ahead. But hey, not every week can see the introduction of a watch with working radar, a new version of Android, Instant apps on Android and Android Apps on Chrome, a modular phone, an Amazon Echo competitor, a refreshed smartwatch OS, and new messaging apps. And that’s just scratching the surface of what Google had to say.

Slow doesn't mean boring, though.

Later this morning we’ll see the kickoff of the EmTech Digital conference in San Francisco. With any luck we’ll gain some insight into what’s next for artificial intelligence in the fields of robotics, autonomous vehicles, and personal AI assistants, for example.

On Wednesday the 25th we’re looking forward to two announcements. First up is Xiaomi teasing what could become the Chinese company’s first drone. Xiaomi has a habit of entering new categories with products of reasonable quality priced low enough to disrupt the incumbents. So you better believe that companies like GoPro and DJI will be paying attention.

Then we’ve got Dutch bike maker VanMoof teasing a "revolutionary" new bike. The company already makes one of our favorite electric bikes. Now it’s going after bike thieves, according to an invitation sent to the press. "Since starting VanMoof eight years ago, we’ve dreamed of putting bike thieves out of business," reads the invitation. "Not just here in Amsterdam, but in every city around the world. On May 25 we’ll be launching the bike that will turn that dream into a reality."

Friday will bring the week to a close with the US release of X-Men: Apocalypse. Reviews have been lopsided so far, with critics roundly panning the film while fans can’t seemingly get enough. Friday’s also the opening for Alice Through the Looking Glass, the Disney followup to its live-action take on Alice in Wonderland. Tim Burton’s producing the film, but James Bobin is now directing. Otherwise, the original cast returns with Alice (Mia Wasikowska) going back to Wonderland to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) from the evil Time (Sascha Baron Cohen).

Of course, this is just a taste of what’s to come this week on The Verge. But hey, it’s only Monday morning so let’s first get our bearings with a look back at the weekend that was.


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Diet Coke Fan of the day

uh oh spaghettios!!!!

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