Global Pandemic Continues to Encourage a Digital World
Emerging Tech Roundup May 08 2020 from Quantious
This week in tech: Manufacturers are integrating AR into their infrastructure, a new non-profit charity partners with Google and the Gates Foundation, Finland hosts it’s largest online event ever, the FDA grants emergency use for wearable biosensors, Facebook is launching a new VR headset, Apple’s new mobile technology shows great potential, and Intel acquires a promising new company.
Manufacturers Use Augmented Reality to Retool Production Lines and Retrain Employees
(Tech Republic, May 07)
Using augmented reality, Rockwell is helping manufacturers retrain employees, retool production lines, and adjust to new business conditions. The company has acquired several companies over the years that have assisted them with the digital transformation of their infrastructure. Keith Higgins, Vice President of Digital Transformation, believes that any company looking to do the same thing, will need to start their digitizing process by looking at asset management and overall equipment effectiveness.
Google, Gates Foundation Join Digital Payments Initiative — Mojaloop
(Gadgets 360, May 07)
On Wednesday, a new non-profit charity called the Mojaloop Foundation, revealed that they will be partnering with Google and the Gates Foundation, to promote digital payments for people who do not have bank accounts. Using open-source software, the initiative aims to target the 1.7 billion people who do not have access to digital banking, and provide an affordable method for them to access digital financial services.
Helsinki’s Huge VR Gig Hints at the Potential of Virtual Tourism
(The Guardian, May 05)
Every year Finland hosts a festival called Vappu which is celebrated to mark the end of winter. This year the Vappu festival was held in virtual Helsinki, the virtual identical twin of Finland’s capital, using VR headsets. The virtual show was watched on over 400,000 computers with an estimated 1.5 viewers per computer. In total, almost 700,000 people were able to witness the virtual event, making it Finland’s largest online event so far. About 150,000 people created actual avatars, but users could only see 500 avatars at a time.
FDA Authorizes Remote Heart Monitor for Hydroxychloroquine Patients
(Digital Trends, May 05)
The VitalPatch, a wearable biosensor created by VitalConnect, has been granted Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It monitors the heart rhythms of coronavirus victims who were treated with hydroxychloroquine, a drug that is also used to treat malaria. The patch comes in different skin colors and is placed above the heart. It can detect over 20 types of arrhythmias and fibrillations, and 11 physiological signs, that relate to coronavirus symptoms.
Facebook Reportedly Prepping New, Smaller Oculus Quest VR Headset
(CNET, May 05)
Facebook is looking to launch its second version of the Oculus Quest VR headset by 2021. The new headset will be smaller and lighter than its predecessor. The company also redesigned the controllers, improved the refresh rates, and added more realistic content. With a lighter headset, Facebook is hoping that users will find the device more comfortable, allowing for longer wears.
How Apple’s U1 Chip Could Change the iPhone Forever
(Wired, May 04)
In the latest iPhones, Apple has installed a new U1 chip, which helps with file-sharing using Airdrop. It uses ultra-wideband (UWB), a type of wireless technology that is similar to bluetooth but uses different frequencies to provide an improved performance. UWB is not new, but this is the first time it has been installed in a mass-market device. Unlike bluetooth, UWB can transfer larger amounts of data and can more accurately pinpoint the location of other location-based technologies. Research has shown that UWB technology can have a significant impact on the future of augmented reality and can help Apple’s mobile devices achieve stronger connections with AR applications.
Intel Boosts Mobility, Snaps up Moovit Platform in $900m Deal
(CNET, May 04)
On Monday, Intel acquired Moovit, a transportation app, for $900 million. The acquisition helps Intel with their Mobileye division’s goal to become a complete mobile provider. The Moovit app provides users with the ability to create a route using all forms of transportation, including rented bikes and electric scooters. Intel aims to integrate Moovit’s main business functions to create a car supply chain. The supply chain will manufacture robotaxis that independently picks up and drops off passengers around cities.