Emerging Tech Roundup — August 20
The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.
This week in tech: Google and Facebook introduce Apricot cable to help increase internet access, Unity plans to support and contribute to the metaverse, MIT develops a new prosthetic hand, Altoida develops a device to spot early onset Alzheimer’s, Waya experiments with VR healthcare for veterans, Geenee makes it easier to create things in AR, and Facebook launches VR collaboration platform Horizon Workrooms.
Google and Facebook’s New Cable to Link Japan and Southeast Asia
(Bloomberg, August 15)
Google and Facebook are implementing a new cable Apricot to enable broadband access across Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, Guam, the Philippines, and Indonesia. The advancement will also help with 5G wireless connectivity and improve the user experience of Google Cloud in affected areas, delivering at more than 190 terabits per second.
Unity’s John Riccitiello is a Strong Believer in the Metaverse
(Tweak Town, August 16)
Leading game engine Unity plans to heavily contribute to the growth of the metaverse. The company plans to develop more interactive and real-time, 3D games to create opportunity for creators. Unity also wants to incorporate added cross-platform access, while focusing on bringing the gaming community together, including “reducing the friction between creators and consumers.”
MIT Develops Low-Cost Prosthetic Hand for Use by Amputees
(Engadget, August 16)
MIT is working with Shanghai Jiao Tong University to develop a $500 prosthetic hand, capable of performing various grasps. The technology uses a software that decodes EMG signals from the brain to command movements. The developers hope to advance capabilities further before selling the product to the public, including added customization and more accurate interpretation of signals.
Device to Spot Alzheimer’s Onset in Adults Recognized by FDA
(Alzheimer’s News Today, August 17)
Altoida has developed an AI device to recognize Alzheimer’s before adults show evident symptoms. The patient can complete a 10-minute assessment that tests for and measures 800 digital biomarkers and 11 neurocognitive domains, helping the device recognize the disease. The developers have 20 years of research backing the device and hope that it can diagnose patients before irreversible damage occurs in the brain.
Waya Health to Lead Study of Virtual Reality Health Care for Veterans
(AIThority, August 18)
Waya is working with multiple VR companies to bring innovative healthcare to veterans, using various neurological assessments and pain and anxiety management procedures. After three years of experimentation with the headsets, they have been found to reduce discomfort and stress and bring an enjoyable experience to veterans. Researchers plan to continue working on the innovation to better the experience and later, make it more accessible to the public and other health professionals.
Genee Launches No-Code WebAR Platform to Build AR Experiences in Minutes
(Auganix, August 18)
Geenee has announced the launch of their cloud-based, AR creation platform that does not require coding. The platform has capabilities to drag-and drop various 2D and 3D files into users’ projects, powered by Sketchfab, and offers audio files for use by Spotify. Users can collaborate across teams within the app and also enjoy built-in analytics and insights.
Facebook Launches an “Open Beta” for Horizon Workrooms, a VR Meeting Space
(Oculus, August 19)
Facebook has launched the open beta of Horizon Workrooms, a collaborative working platform for Oculus Quest 2. Some of the new features include avatars, hand tracking, VR video conferencing integration, calendar integration, and spatial audio. Users can now enjoy all the perks of being in an office, such as sketching on a white board, file sharing and collaboration, and socializing with natural flow, all with their Oculus devices.