Clever sensor tells your iPhone whether your favorite restaurant is full

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The Density sensor can be mounted to a door frame to track people moving in and out of  a businesses, like a restaurant or your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Density sensor can be mounted to a door frame to track people moving in and out of a businesses, like a restaurant or your local Department of Motor Vehicles.
Photo: Density

Your iPhone can help you find a good brunch place, with reviews on Yelp that indicate a restaurant’s best dishes. But there really isn’t any real-time help, except maybe calling or taking your chances and just showing up, to find out if you and your friends can get a table at a local hot spot.

A company called Density has developed a door-frame sensor that monitors the coming and going of people and then reports to an iPhone app whether your favorite place is full. It collects data on people’s movement at various hours of the day and recommends windows of time when you can get right in.

Uber’s new video game puts you behind the virtual wheel

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Is it really this glamorous and fun?
Is it really this glamorous and fun?
Photo: Uber

Uber, the disruptive (and controversial) ride-sharing service, has a real problem. If you want to corner the market on the backs of a global workforce of what are essentially freelancers, how do you ensure that they all know how to use your system? And, more importantly, how do you replenish your supply of willing Uber drivers.

The San Fransisco company thinks that a video game may be the answer. Called UberDrive, it will be available on the App Store for anyone who wants to take a virtual trip as an Uber driver.

“UberDRIVE is a compelling representation of what it’s like to be an Uber driver-partner on the platform,” said Mike Truong, a senior product manager at Uber, in a statement. “Through the course of playing the game you can get a sense of how much money you can make using your own car and driving on your own time. With the sign-up flow embedded directly into the game it makes it really easy to start the sign-up and screening process right then and there.”

Cruiseable cuts through the hassle of high-seas vacations

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Find a cruise that matches your style and budget without a lot of travel industry tricks.
Find a cruise that matches your style and budget without a lot of travel industry tricks.
Photo: MSC Cruises

If you’ve ever tried to book a cruise through a portal like Cruise.com or — heaven forbid — via a cruise line’s website, you know that it can be an incredibly confusing and costly experience.

The thing is, though, that it doesn’t have to be. Cruisable is a startup that hopes to take the obfuscation away and let you find affordable and/or incredibly fantastic cruise vacations with a website and app that won’t try to trick you.

“Cruises can be cheaper than other getaways,” said CTO and co-founder Giacomo Balli, “as low as a couple hundred dollars.”

Delayed gratification is key feature of new Hipstamatic photo app

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Hipstamatic rolled out DSPO, a new product that creates a social network. Photo: Hipstamatic/iTunes
Hipstamatic rolled out DSPO, a new product that creates a social network. Photo: Hipstamatic/iTunes

Many smartphone photographers use Hipstamatic as a way to articulate their personal vision. But the quest for beautiful photos need not be so solitary.

The iPhone app that lets you apply a vintage aesthetic from any era of photography now has a social component called DSPO.

Moju image app puts your moments in motion

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Just twist and watch your Moju file come to life. Photo: Moju Labs
Just twist and watch your Moju file come to life. Photo: Moju Labs

We grew up in homes with robust photo albums, reels of 8 mm home movies and stacks of VHS tapes. These represent the branches and blossoms of our growing family trees.

In the digital age, we’ve filled out the branches, capturing millions of pictures and video clips almost out of concern we will miss something.

And we rarely look at any of it.

Mok Oh wants to change that with Moju, an iPhone app that distills the essence of a life moment by taking a sequence of photos and creating seamless motion in a file that comes to life with a simple twist of your phone.