Tech Companies Unveil Exciting New Improvements for Entertainment and Medical Treatments

Emerging Tech Roundup — October 30th

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

This week in tech: Coca-Cola upgrades their Soda Fountains, Snapchat unveils a new feature for Halloween, Blair Witch VR releases, AI helps detect people who are Asymptomatic with Coronavirus, and AI advances help treat cancer patients.

Coca-Cola Is Using Amazon Tech to Let You Pour Drinks by Tapping Your Phone at 52,000 Freestyle Soda Fountains

(Business Insider, October 28)

Coca-Cola has been using “Freestyle Soda Fountains” in various places around the country. The fountains use a touchscreen to offer users a very wide range of different soda choices. The fountains are a big hit, but the ongoing pandemic has made people less comfortable using the touch screen on the machines. To avoid this part of the process, Coca-Cola partnered with Amazon Web Services to create a mobile experience that integrates with the machines. By scanning the machine’s QR code you can use your phone to browse soda types and flavors without ever having to touch the machine.

Snapchat’s New Halloween AR Lenses Offer Full Body Tracking

(VR Focus, October 28)

Snapchat is releasing new filters for halloween, and some of them use full body tracking rather than the usual face tracking. With the full body tracking, you can take zoomed out pictures and videos where your whole body will appear in costume. There are a total of 7 full body filters to choose from, ranging from a green skeleton to a hot dog costume. Snapchat’s new filters are able to track 18 joints on the human body, and then the app applies the digital model to closely match your movements.

Blair Witch VR Review — Bringing The Iconic Horror Series To Quest

(Upload VR, October 29)

If you are looking for a thrilling VR experience this Halloween, you should try Blair Witch VR on the Oculus Quest. The game was previously released on some non-VR platforms, but now it’s releasing as a VR game which will prove to be even scarier. The game is not tied directly to the Blair Witch movies, but it takes place in the same spooky setting. The game released on October 29th, and Upload VR rates the overall game as “Great.”

Artificial Intelligence Model Detects Asymptomatic Covid-19 Infections Through Cellphone-Recorded Coughs

(MIT News, October 29)

A new AI program is helping detect people who may have Coronavirus, but are not experiencing symptoms. The experiment is showing that even asymptomatic COVID patients will exhibit signs that they are sick. Notably, there is a very slight difference in the way they cough compared to a healthy person who does not have COVID-19. The difference is not detectable to the human ear, but the recording can be studied and examined with Artificial Intelligence to accurately detect the virus. In the study, this process accurately identified 98.5 percent of coughs from people who were confirmed to have Covid-19.

Google and the Mayo Clinic to Use AI to Better Target Radiation Therapy

(STAT, October 28)

Google and Mayo Clinic are teaming up to improve Radiation Therapy used for cancer patients. The idea is to build an AI tool that will help them map out the areas around tumors, and also assist with the determination of optimal doses of radiation for each patient. Radiation Therapy is a complex treatment, and these AI improvements will hopefully enable doctors to do an even better job when treating cancer patients.

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