Growing capabilities fueled by innovation in tech

Emerging Tech Roundup — September 2

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

This week in tech: Apple raises suspicions of an upcoming AR headset, researchers create an underwater mode of communication, researchers explore VR for hens, Snapchat introduces a dual camera, Bristol offers an immersive, historic tour, Meta allegedly forms a paid features group, and researchers discover air production capabilities on Mars.

Trademark Filings Suggest That Apple Is Reserving Names for AR Headset

(CNET, August 28)

Immersive Health Solutions, which is believed to be an Apple shell company, has filed trademarks for multiple AR-related product names. The recently-trademarked names include “Reality One,” “Reality Pro,” and “Reality Processor.” Apple has already expressed its interest in the AR market, which is one of the main reasons for speculation around these filings.

University of Washington Researchers Create an Underwater Messaging App

(TechCrunch, August 29)

Researchers at the University of Washington have developed AquaApp, an app that allows for communication underwater. The app uses sound waves and high-frequency “chirping” instead of radio waves, and it can be used on any smartphone with a waterproof case. The developers of the technology expect this app to be used in addition to diver gestures, rather than in place of them, at least while it’s still in the early stages of use.

Virtual Reality Could Be the Future of Poultry Health

(FSN, August 29)

Researchers at Iowa State University are finding ways to bring the positive effects of free-range living to hens — without actually giving them freedom across a farm, which can result in injuries and infections. Presenting the hens with a free-range VR simulation has been shown to “stimulate similar immunological benefits” to actually letting them roam freely. Although the research is still in the early stages, the team thinks this is a viable option to improve poultry health.

Snapchat’s New Dual Camera Feature Also Works With AR Lenses: Hands-on

(CNET, August 29)

Snap has fulfilled its promise of developing dual-camera capabilities, now offering the feature to iOS users. The new shot can be accessed from the camera screen, and it works with the entire suite of AR lenses offered in the app. In addition, users can choose the formatting of the shot, offering more creativity than dual-camera competitors.

Hidden Bristol Stories Told Through Virtual Reality Tour

(BBC, August 30)

Bristol Story Trails has developed a virtual tour using various stories they collected from local businesses. The goal of the immersive tour is for people to not only learn, but experience the emotional stories and resilient mindsets of locals. The virtual tour helps older people experiment with new technology, while helping younger people learn history. The immersive experience will be available until February 2023.

Meta Forms Group to Plan More Paid Features for Its Apps

(The Verge, August 31)

Meta is allegedly forming a division dedicated to exploring paid features for Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. The comment reported to The Verge explained that the tech giant has an interest in “products, features, and experiences that people would be willing [and excited] to pay for.” Though no specific features have been mentioned, the company seems to have this component as a focus in its long-term vision.

Small Device on Mars Is Generating as Much Oxygen as a Tree, Scientists Reveal

(VICE, August 31)

Michael Hecht and his research team have found that a lunch box-sized device has the capability to produce six grams of oxygen per hour on Mars, which is equivalent to the production of a small tree. Though the device, dubbed MOXIE, is highly capable of producing breathable O2, it could not yet sustain a habitat. Scientists plan to explore how they can increase MOXIE’s capabilities, including thinking about increasing its size.

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