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Boston Tech Watch: Apple, Lyft, BU, Astral Capital, Cengage and more



It's time to catch up with the latest technology headlines from the Boston area:

– People can now walk around the Boston Seaport neighborhood in a self-contained vehicle, thanks to a pilot program launched this week by the company Lyft. and NuTonomy, the start of autonomous vehicle software now owned by Aptiv. (Aptiv is the name of the autonomous vehicle business formed this week when Delphi Automotive was divided into two companies). But despite these milestones here and in other cities in the US UU., It is very early for vehicles that drive alone, and many things must still be solved, including regulations and business models.

-Apple launched a study with Stanford University and American Well, based in Boston, that will use Apple Watch data to try to identify irregular heart rhythms, including those derived from potentially dangerous heart conditions. When an irregular heartbeat is detected, patients can connect with a doctor on their phones through American Well's telehealth software.

-Astral Capital, the venture capital firm led by Accomplice's former partner Jon Karlen, raised $ 48.9 million from investors, according to a SEC filing uncovered by BostInno. Astral's first investments include PillPack and Klaviyo, according to reports from Fortune and Bostinno, respectively.

-Boston University and a group of alumni will spend $ 20 million over the next decade to try to drive innovation on campus. The Innovate @ BU initiative includes converting a former RadioShack store into a 6,000 square foot technology center that will house hackathons, accelerator programs, classes, shared workspaces and more.

-ZeroTurnaround, a Java developer based in Boston software tools, was acquired by Rogue Wave Software, based in Louisville, CO. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. ZeroTurnaround had raised at least $ 7.7 million in capital funds, the SEC filings show.

-Elsen announced that it raised $ 2.4 million in funds led by Hyperplane Venture Capital, with contributions from Accomplice, Launch Capital and individual investors. Boston-based startup Fintech has raised a total of $ 2.9 million from investors. With the new investment, Hyperplane managing partner Jack Klinck, a former State Street executive and BNY Mellon, joined Elsen's board of directors.

-Cengage, a Boston-based textbook publisher, announced a new subscription service that gives students unlimited access to all of its digital content library of higher education course materials-more than 20,000 products in 70 disciplines -about $ 1

20 per semester. The new service is launched in August 2018.

The move is part of Cengage's efforts to shift its focus from print to digital; The company also launched the new service as an attempt to make course materials more affordable, as students face rising costs of education. Read more about those efforts in the recent Xconomy interview with Cengage CEO Michael Hansen.

-Circulation added the Lycling service to the list of transport options available to its users. Boston Circulation software coordinates non-emergency medical transportation for patients, many of whom are elderly, disabled, or low-income. The company, which raised $ 10.5 million in investors earlier this year, already had a partnership with Uber.

– 3D printing startup in the Boston area Rize hired a new CEO, Andy Kalambi, according to a press release. Kalambi was previously an executive at Dassault Systèmes. Rize was previously headed by Frank Marangell, who is now president of US operations at BigRep, a 3D printing company based in Germany, according to his LinkedIn profile.

-The Boston cybersecurity startup Pwnie Express named Matthew Williamson as its technology director. Williamson was previously in vArmour, Rethink Robotics and Sana Security.

The original Pwnie and CTO founder, Dave Porcello, became an advisor last year, and his next CTO, Artur Adib, now works at Beta Air, based in Vermont. , according to his LinkedIn profile. Meanwhile, Pwnie appointed board member Todd DeSisto as CEO last week; he took over for Paul Paget, who switched to executive vice president of strategy.

Jeff Engel is the principal editor of Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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