Big Changes Are Coming to Popular Tech Platforms
Emerging Tech Roundup — July 24
The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.
This week in tech: Game developers receive funding, TikTok aims to pay creators to make videos, YouTube and Google face lawsuits, sketch program becomes available on Oculus, Oculus receives a new party feature, VR is used in robotics, researchers create a new sensory wristband
Epic Games Awards More than $42 Million in Grants for Developers
(Venture Beat, July 24)
Epic Games has set aside $100 million for grants that would support programs from teams working with their open source software, game engine, and 3D graphic tools. The company invested $42 million to award over 600 developers in Epic MegaGrants. The company is looking to help teams working with the company’s unreal engine tools accelerate their work. Over the past year, Epic Games has kept the same pattern by making several efforts to support developers. Recently, Advanced Micro Devices has extended its support to Epic MegaGrants. The company contributed to Epic’s efforts by donating 200 AMD Ryzen 7 3800X desktop processors eligible for a giveaway to new and existing award recipients.
TikTok Is Launching a $200 Million Fund to Pay Creators for Their Videos
(The Verge, July 23)
TikTok is trying to foster the new talent patronizing their app by creating a $200 million creators fund. The fund will support ambitious creators, making this TikTok’s first serious effort to pay creators for their content. What makes this fund special is that it will be paying creators regularly over the course of next year to make videos, not through monetized live streams off of videos made on the creators own time. Creators 18 years and older, that consistently post original videos that align with the app’s guidelines, will be eligible to apply for funding in August.
Steve Wozniak Sues Google over YouTube Bitcoin Scam
(CNET, July 23)
On Wednesday, Apple co-founder and tech entrepreneur, Steve Wozniak, filed a lawsuit against Google over a YouTube scam that supposedly used his name to convince people to send cryptocurrency during a fake bitcoin giveaway event. Those running the scam also used images and video of other celebrities, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The scam took place over many months and promised to double the viewers return on their investment, but unfortunately that was not the case. Viewers received nothing back in return leading to Wozniak filing the suit with 17 other victims that claim YouTube and Google repeatedly refused requests to remove the video.
Gravity Sketch Brings Co-Creation to PC VR and Oculus Quest
(VR World Tech, July 21)
Co-Creation has made its way to PC VR and Oculus Quest. Co-Creation is a feature of Gravity Sketch’s early-stage design tool and it will be available to small studios, with free 30-day trials available for select businesses. The software enables designers to skip straight to the 3D model creation section in VR. Once completed, the users can then transfer their model to computer-aided design (CAD) programs. Gravity Sketch strives to make 3D designing easier, and the Co-Creation feature is a big step towards that.
Oculus Introduces Group Game Launching & Switching To Stay With Your Party
(Road to VR, July 21)
Oculus has rolled out a new party feature that allows groups of players to launch into the same app together. Players can also move from one app to the other and they can create public parties to discover new players to add to their friends list. This new Travel Together feature only works for multiplayer apps. Party members are launched into supported apps together and then they are placed into the same lobby or match. Right now the Travel Together feature is out in Quest and it is unclear if it will be launching on the Rift headset.
Company Raises $30M to Make Programing Industrial Robots Easier With the Help of SteamVR Tracking
(Road to VR, July 21)
A $30 million Series B investment was raised by robotics company, Wandelbots, for Valve’s SteamVR Tracking technology used in a non-VR application. The technology was used to create their TracePen tool, a motion-tracked stylus used to program the complex movements of industrial robots. In 2015, when the tracking technology was created the company said they wanted it to be similar to WiFi, but for motion tracking — It would allow any device to take advantage of shared tracking volume. Wandelbots is using the pen to make programming industrial robots easier and faster. The company believes that limiting the challenges around robotic programming will enable wider use of robotic automation amongst companies.
3D Hand-Sensing Wristband Signals Future of Wearable Tech
(Science Daily, July 20)
Researchers from Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, have designed a wrist-mounted device — The bracelet, FingerTrak, continuously tracks the entire human hand in 3D. Using a combination of thermal imaging and machine learning, FingerTrak is able to virtually reconstruct the hand. It senses and translates positions of the human hand into 3D using miniature, low-resolution thermal cameras that read contours on the wrist. The device could be used in several modes such as sign language translation, virtual reality, mobile health, human-robot interaction and other areas.