Quantious Team

Apr 3, 2020

3 min read

Emerging Tech Roundup — April 3

The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.

This week in tech: T-Mobile and Sprint finalize their merger, Niantic bets big on augmented reality, the FCC requires anti-robocall technology, Zoom video conferencing steps into the limelight, renewable energy technology takes a step forward, and Facebook joins Plessey in an effort to make AR glasses a reality.

T-Mobile Closes Merger With Sprint, and a Wireless Giant Is Born

(New York Times, Apr 1)

T-Mobile and Sprint have merged in a $30 billion deal, bringing the number of major carriers in the U.S. to three: AT&T, Verizon, and the newly merged T-Mobile. The merger came together in an effort to speed up wireless technology and add another option against AT&T and Verizon, which have long dominated this space. As a result, T-Mobile will now have ~100 million customers and plans to develop 5G wireless technology to provide faster connections throughout the country.

Niantic Acquires Augmented Reality Startup as It Looks to Build Powerful Rival to Apple’s ARKit

(9to5Mac, March 31)

The studio behind the wildly successful Pokémon GO, Niantic, is betting big on augmented reality with its acquisition of AR startup, 6D.ai. Known for its work in the AR space, 6D.ai has been focused on technology to help smartphones quickly detect 3D layouts. With the technology from this new acquisition, Niantic hopes to create an augmented reality developer platform for other applications to use, similar to Apple’s ARKit. In the coming weeks, Niantic will be shutting down 6D.ai’s developer tools and integrating them into its Real World Platform.

FCC Requires Anti-Robocall Tech Be Used by June 2021

(The Verge, Mar 31)

If you receive numerous spam phone calls throughout the day, you are not alone. Thankfully, those annoying robocalls will soon be a thing of the past. Some phone providers had begun voluntarily rolling out call verification technology (referred to as STIR/SHAKEN), but a new rule approved by the FCC will now require all phone providers to implement the technology by June 2021. Though this will not prevent all spam phone calls, it will be a major step in the right direction and will block out a significant amount of robocalls for all phone users.

How Safe Is Zoom?

(Popular Mechanics, Mar 30)

As video conferencing is becoming a larger part of many people’s everyday lives during the COVID-19 outbreak, Zoom has seen its global daily active users grow by 67%. But just how safe is Zoom? With the rise in users, so comes a rise in privacy risks like Zoom hacks and unwanted intruders during Zoom calls. Stay safe by checking out helpful tips and tricks to keep, and stay informed about the latest privacy and security policies when using the platform.

This Company Wants to Turn Your Windows Into Solar Panels

(CNN, Mar 30)

Ubiquitous Energy, a California-based startup, has developed a transparent organic dye coating that goes over glass surfaces to capture invisible infrared rays from sunlight. This means practically any everyday glass surface can be used to generate energy — from windows across homes, skyscrapers, and automobiles to the glass on mobile phones, and more. Though the technology is still in its infancy, the company is hopeful that its technology can positively contribute to renewable energy efforts and transform the way we collect, harness, and generate energy.

Facebook and Plessey Pair on Consumer AR Glasses With microLED Screens

(VentureBeat, Mar 30)

Facebook is working with U.K. company, Plessey, to create new technologies for the AR/VR space, including lightweight AR glasses. The deal between the two companies isn’t an acquisition — Plessey is dedicating its LED manufacturing operations to Facebook, focusing on microLED displays for the next-generation computing platform. With this microLED technology, as well as Facebook’s ongoing research, Plessey believes that together they can make AR glasses a reality for the future.