Snapchat’s new lenses will respond to spoken cues; Pluto TV links with Vizio; scooters moratorium proposed in L.A.

Snapchat Launches Speech Recognition

Techcrunch reports that Venice’s Snap Inc. will roll out Aug. 1 new lenses on its Snapchat app which will respond to verbal cues given by users. The new tech allows users to toggle animated photo filters by clearly speaking English words such as “yes,” “no,” “hello,” and others. Lenses have been one of Snapchat’s main features differentiating it from other social apps, and this latest update is its first foray into lenses that actually recognize and understand verbal cues.

Pluto TV Launches Streaming With Vizio

Mid-Wilshire digital television provider Pluto Inc. will launch its own video streaming service Aug. 1 in a partnership with high-definition TV manufacturer Irvine-headquartered Vizio Inc., Socaltech reports. The new service called WatchFree will allow users free access to over 100 channels both live and linear, encompassing sports, news, TV shows, movies, and viral videos.

Councilman Seeks Scooter Moratorium

Los Angeles city councilman Paul Koretz called for city officials to take “all available measures” to temporarily ban motorized scooters in L.A. as well as limit the number of scooters allowed. Koretz’s proposal would limit companies to operating no more than 5,000 scooters in L.A. and mandate focus on distributing them in underserved communities. The Los Angeles Times reports the measure, if approved by the City Council, would bar scooter companies from operating in the city until they obtained proper permits, an undetermined amount of time.