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This Is Google’s Plan to Beat Apple Pay

TIME

Google’s mobile wallet platform is poised to get a much-needed boost through a partnership with AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.

The search giant announced Monday that Google Wallet will come pre-installed on phones sold by those carriers beginning later this year, as long as they run the KitKat version of Android or better. Google Wallet also requires phones to have NFC (near-field communication) technology.

Google is also acquiring the technology behind Softcard, the carriers’ mobile payments platform, as well as its intellectual property. For now, Softcard will continue to be available as a separate app. A blog post by Softcard says the company will share more information about the app’s future in the coming weeks.

Like Apple Pay, Google Wallet and Softcard both use NFC technology to let users seamlessly make in-store purchases with a tap of their phones. Google has never disclosed how many people use Google Wallet, but one…

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CSR will give Bluetooth gear in the smart home super powers

Gigaom

This year is going to be a big one for Bluetooth technologies in the smart home. Thanks to some updates in the Bluetooth standard from a year ago, we’re seeing products such as light bulbs, outlets and more using the radio technology to connect devices. But it’s not just the standards update that’s helped; a few firms have also introduced software that have allowed companies to turn their Bluetooth radios into a mesh network that offers more resiliency and rangefor the technology.

The Bluetooth SIG will embrace mesh

One of the more popular is CSRmesh, the software designed by CSR, the company that helped invent Bluetooth and is now in the process of being acquired by Qualcomm. Now a year old, and primarily used in lighting products like those out from Samsung or Avi-On, the CSRmesh tech lets you group up to 64,000 bulbs or devices…

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This Startup Is Basically Making Ultimate Frisbee With Drones

TIME

A new “drone game” that allows players to pilot a drone across the sky in friendly competition has launched on Kickstarter. Players use a wand to control a drone’s flight and play games like pong, soccer or race through an obstacle course.

Made by the startup Zyro, the specially-designed drone used in the games is better protected than some other drones. It’s built to swing and spin with the wave of a wand, almost like hitting a ball with a tennis racquet. Players can choose whether to swing or pass Zyro based on the game they’re playing.

Zyro wants to open up its API to allow developers to work on new games.

So far Zyro has raised just over $650 out of the total $50,000 the project needs to be funded, with 18 days left.

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