Emerging Tech Roundup — August 27
The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.
This week in tech: ‘Tesla Bots’ provide an opportunity to work on Mars, TikTok Effect Studio undergoes beta testing, TRIPP and PsyAssist combine forces to lessen the pressure of psychedelic assisted-therapy, Tilda Swinton brings awareness to mental illness in a new VR project, Mojo Vision develops an AR contact lens, various big tech companies contribute to increasing cybersecurity at the White House, and the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles uses VR to alleviate painful procedures for patients.
‘Tesla Bots’ to Potentially Work on Mars in Inhospitable Environments
(Business Insider, August 21)
Elon Musk announced that his team is working toward the development of ‘Tesla Bots’, a 125 lb. robot that could potentially operate on Mars, completing tasks. The robot will have cameras for eyes and navigate a surrounding environment using the same self-driving software as Tesla’s electric vehicles. As Tesla Bot grows older, it will gain knowledge through its Dojo chip, used for machine learning.
TikTok to Build its Own AR Development Platform, TikTok Effect Studio
(TechCrunch, August 23)
TikTok Effect Studio is currently in private beta testing and the company is keeping its current plans for the project confidential. If the project comes to life as expected, TikTok would establish its place in competition with industry rivals Snap and Facebook. The technology would only be compatible with the TikTok app and would not be intended for third-party use. TikTok’s main goal, as always, is to enable their users to explore original, innovative ideas and bring them to life in the app.
TRIPP Acquires PsyAssist to Move Into Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy
(MobiHealthNews, August 23)
TRIPP plans to mix its psychedelic imagery in virtual and alternate realities with PsyAssist’s research in ketamine-assisted therapy, MDMA, and psilocybin trials. The offering, dubbed TRIPP PsyAssist, will help patients gain comfort with the feeling of undergoing psychedelic treatments before they actually undergo the treatment. Before participating in psychedelic-assisted therapy, patients can use TRIPPs VR headset as a stepping stone to ease some of the nerves surrounding the ambiguity of psychedelics.
Tilda Swinton to Narrate VR Project Exploring the Weight of Mental Illness
(The Hollywood Reporter, August 24)
Swinton will be narrating in Goliath: Playing With Reality as Echo, a character whose mission is to knock current prejudices of mental illness in our world today. The VR experience will immerse participants in a setting where they can better understand what it feels like to have a mental illness, specifically schizophrenia. The experience will premiere on September 1st at the Venice Internal Film Festival and will later be available in the Oculus Quest store on September 9th.
Mojo Vision’s Contact Lens to Include AR Display, Processor, and Wireless Tech
(CNET, August 24)
Mojo Vision is developing the Mojo Lens, an AR-incorporated contact lens, using a “femtoprojector” magnification system. The lens uses a small camera and a computer chip to process imagery, perform eye-tracking, and communicate with external devices. The Mojo Lens is wireless, rechargeable, and expected to be available for sale in the near future.
Google Plans to Spend $10B on Increasing Cybersecurity within the White House
(CNBC, August 25)
After several significant cyber attacks at the White House, Google has agreed to invest $10 billion over five years to help increase security. The investment will provide for enhanced security tools and thorough training for IT and data workers. Apple, Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon Web Services also made generous contributions to the increased cybersecurity within the White House. Participants in the cybersecurity meeting deemed it productive and have high hopes for future security.
VR Reduces Pain and Anxiety within Children Undergoing IV Catheter Placement
(News Medical, August 25)
The research of investigator Jeffrey Gold, PhD shows that VR works wonders to lessen anxiety and pain in children undergoing painful medical procedures. The Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles now offers a combination of VR and numbing cream to make medical procedures less intimidating for children. Children play games within the VR experience that require high focus, distracting them from the procedure at hand and increasing relaxation, making the procedure itself run smoother.