Tech round-up for May 29: Galaxy Fold preorders cancelled, iRobot's tag team cleaners, Training Commission tells story through email, Minecraft Earth brings blocks to real life

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, robots that will clean your floors, storytellers find new ways to thrill, and Minecraft in real life. Sort of. But first, the latest on Samsung’s Galaxy Fold.

Some Galaxy Fold preorders are being cancelled

If you had your heart set on a folding smartphone, you may want to wish for something else.

In the U.S., Best Buy has cancelled preorders for the Samsung Galaxy Fold

Samsung’s U.S. division sent emails to customers earlier in May saying that if the handsets weren’t shipped by May 31, orders would be automatically cancelled. This was done to adhere to U.S. federal regulations, Reuters learned.

And today, Korean news outlets were reporting that Samsung has decided it can’t hit the unofficial relaunch window of June.

Samsung Canada is still collecting information from customers interested in being notified about the Fold north of the 49th.

iRobot unleashes tag-team cleaners for your floors

If you thought having a robot vacuum your floors was cool, imagine a robot that will mop them, too.

You don’t have to imagine, as iRobot has made this a reality.

The company has gone even further, today revealing the latest models that work together to keep your floors clean.

After the Roomba s9+ finishes with the vacuuming, it tells the Braava jet m6 that it’s time to mop.

Both devices are equipped with the iRobot sensors that enable them to navigate and map your home to clean effectively and efficiently.

The new robots are available starting today.

The Roomba s9 sells for $1,300 and can be purchased with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal (as the Roomba s9+) for $1,650. The Braava jet m6 sells for $700.

Clever creators keep finding new ways to tell stories

There’s this new serialized story I’ve been reading, and it’s being delivered to me by email.

It’s called The Training Commission and it’s written by Brendan Byrne and Ingrid Burrington, and this curious narrative experiment is set in a near future United States, and imagines what society might be like if we continue down the current path of social media run amuck and personal privacy at the mercy of corporations.

The tale is told through emails that are sent by freelance journalist Aoife Tkachenko to various contacts. There’s a lot of information that is left to the audience to fill in, and the instalments so far have been setting up some great narrative moments.

When you subscribe, you get three emails a week; we’re three weeks into the eight-week story. It’s not too late to subscribe and get caught up before the story really takes off.

Minecraft augmented reality experience coming this summer

Microsoft continues to show that the $2.5 billion it paid for Mojang was money well spent.

This summer, Minecraft Earth is being released in a beta version for Android and iOS mobile devices, and will bring the experience into the real world through augmented reality.

Through your device’s screen, you’ll be able to see Minecraft structures – and creatures – in the world around you. Some of these you’ll be placing yourself, others will be placed by other players, and there will also be areas in which Minecraft staff have created spaces where multiple players can come together and interact with the AR Minecraft at the same time.

The experiences are not only going to be about building, either. Minecraft Earth will also include combat.

I’m ridiculously excited about this, as this mobile game was borne out of something that Minecraft developers were building in HoloLens. I was one of a handful of people who got to try the HoloLens Minecraft demo at E3 in 2015, and this is very similar.

Here’s where you can sign up for the closed beta.


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