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Emerging Tech Roundup — September 24
The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.
This week in tech: Shopify steps up competition with Amazon, AR Paint Portal comes to TikTok, AR Spiders help fight arachnophobia, Slack releases short clips to replace video calls, PayPal shares features within its “super app,” telesurgery is further explored, and the European Union proposes tech mandates.
Shopify Surpasses Amazon in Online Traffic, Increasing Competition
(Business Insider, September 20)
Shopify has surpassed Amazon’s average of 1.10 billion monthly unique visitors in a quarter. At the end of the quarter in June, Shopify had reported their three-month average of 1.16 billion unique visitors. While Amazon’s revenue remains higher than Shopify, Shopify’s website traffic is expanding at a faster rate. For the first time, Amazon is believed to have a substantial competitor.
Bell 5G and TikTok Bring Creators Together with Paint Portal AR Effect
(Yahoo! Finance, September 20)
TikTok’s new AR feature Paint Portal allows Bell 5G canadian users to co-create in real time on the app. After painting a picture, users can add stickers, music, effects, and share to further enable creativity. Users can also duet Paint Portal videos to give feedback, or add their own paintings to match the artwork of others.
Realistic AR Spiders Are Here to Help Battle Arachnophobia
(CNET, September 21)
Researchers in Switzerland have developed app Phobys for those with arachnophobia to face spiders using AR. The ‘exposure therapy’ practiced within the app was reported to help 66 participants lessen their fear and disgust of spiders, allowing them to get closer to spiders than they were able to before using the app. Phobys has 10 levels for users to complete and its creators are hopeful that it can help those with “mild, clinically insignificant” arachnophobia.
Salesforce and Slack Digital HQ Innovations Announced at Dreamforce 2021
(Salesforce, September 21)
Slack has announced a variety of new features that are coming to its platform, including Slack Clips, which may save a lot of time spent on video calls. The new feature allows users to share brief video and audio content with their team via Slack, on their own time. In addition to the perk of Slack Clips replacing short video calls, the feature also allows users to playback the media as much as they need to.
PayPal Launches ‘Super App’ Combining Payments, Savings, Bill Pay, Crypto, Shopping and More
(TechCrunch, September 21)
PayPal’s new “super app” is anticipated to transform the company from a payments utility app to a finance app. All within the new app, users can direct deposit, bill pay, practice crypto capabilities, shift their paychecks into PayPal and more. The app also contains payment reminders, viewing and tracking of bills, and options for savings through its partnership with Synchrony Bank.
Boosted by VR and AI, Telesurgery is on the Rise
(Healthcare IT News, September 21)
Dr. Sam Brown is working on integrating surgery with virtual reality and artificial intelligence. The experience offers surgeons an augmented reality, 360-view of an operating room. As both seasoned surgeons and those in training can better their work with telesurgery, it is expected to be a game changer in the industry.
EU Plans One Mobile Charging Port for All, in Setback for Apple
(Reuters, September 23)
The European Parliament has proposed a new tech mandate to roll out over the next two years. The proposal intends to implement one, universal USB-C port across all devices. Apple pushed back on the proposal, arguing that it will curb innovation among consumers.