The Waterfront Toronto board of directors approved Sidewalk Labs’ smart neighbourhood project on Quayside, Google acquires Fitbit, and its November 2019, which means that Blade Runner has officially become a movie set in modern day.

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Waterfront Toronto’s board voted unanimously last week to move ahead into an evaluation phase of Sidewalk Labs’ proposed Quayside smart city project planned for the city’s east end. The two sides had set an Oct. 31 deadline to resolve issues including the project’s scale, public transit commitments, developer selection, and privacy and data issues before going further in the process. Sidewalk Labs had also originally proposed a civic “data trust” that would oversee the collection and storage of data obtained by sensors at Quayside. The data trust has been eliminated, as well as the term “urban data”, according to Stephen Diamond, chair of the Waterfront Toronto board of directors, who penned an open letter after the news, saying he was pleased to see the two sides come to an agreement but that “this was not a done deal”. The latest agreement means a decision about whether to move forward with the MIDP will be made by March 31, 2020 by Waterfront Toronto’s Board.

There’s a lot of chatter on Twitter about Google’s acquisition of Fitbit. As was rumoured earlier this week, Google has bought the wearables tech firm Fitbit, and the deal will see Fitbit at a valuation of US$2.1 billion. Google’s hardware chief, Rick Osterloh, says the deal will help Google advance its progress for Wear OS, the operating software for its smartwatches. This move follows Google’s January purchase of US$40 billion of smartwatch technology from Fossil.

And lastly, people on Twitter are wondering where our flying cars are. That’s because 37 years ago, the movie Blade Runner came out, painting a high-tech future – set November 2019, by the way – filled with neon lights, oil flare booms, flying cars and humanoid-looking robots – most of which are completely absent in our 2019. Instead, we got smartphones, the internet and social media. Other once-futuristic movies set this year include 1988’s Akira, Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Running Man and 2009’s Daybreak, which imagines a 2019 where the world has been overrun by vampires.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. I’m Alex Coop, thanks for listening.

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