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Emerging Tech Roundup — November 11
The Quantious team’s top picks for timely trending news in the tech world.
This week in tech: Stranger Things steps into VR, Oculus co-founder creates a headset with frightening capabilities, researchers look into the honesty of Apple’s ‘iPhone Analytics’ setting, Microsoft makes changes to Outlook and OneDrive, Kavall simplifies dinner with a single button, Airly fights air pollution with affordable sensors and Amazon shares its latest rain-proof delivery drone.
‘Stranger Things’ VR Game is Coming in Late 2023 from ‘Virtual Virtual Reality’ Studio
(Road to VR, November 7)
Tender Claws is working with Netflix to bring the popular TV series Stranger Things into the metaverse via VR headsets. The game is being teased to release in winter 2023, though a specific date has not been confirmed yet. It will immerse players in a specific setting from the most recent season of the show, and the teaser images present the same color scheme and eerie setting as the TV series.
Oculus Founder Palmer Luckey Created a VR Headset That Kills You If You Die in the Game
(Gizmodo, November 7)
Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey has created a VR headset that adds a great deal of pressure to gameplay. If the user’s digital avatar dies during gameplay, so does the player — in real life. The headset is “rigged with bombs” that explode and blow up the device upon ‘game-over’, killing the player. The creator said he has not yet tried the headset himself as he is still too nervous.
Apple Is Tracking You Even When Its Own Privacy Settings Say It’s Not, New Research Says
(Gizmodo, November 8)
App developers and security researchers Tommy Mysk and Talal Haj Bakry dove into the effectiveness of Apple’s ‘iPhone Analytics’ setting in terms of limiting data collection. They found that there was little-to-no difference between the data collected when the feature was turned on, versus when it’s turned off, across the App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV, Books and Stocks apps. The independent researchers found that in the App Store specifically, Apple was collecting data including activity within the app, in addition to details about users and the devices they are using.
Microsoft 365 will soon cut these Outlook and OneDrive features
(Windows Central, November 8)
Microsoft has shared a handful of feature updates to Outlook and OneDrive, including storage changes. Attachments in Outlook emails will now count as a part of one’s OneDrive storage. However, to help users get used to the change and keep the switch smooth, Microsoft is offering users “at least 50 GB of extra storage to Outlook for one year.” The company expects the updates to go into effect in February 2023.
This button decides what you’re making for dinner and orders the ingredients
(The Verge, November 9)
Swedish grocery delivery company Kavall is giving some of its users a physical button that randomly selects a recipe and has the ingredients delivered by bike. The program delivers the ingredients in only 10 minutes and is currently in “pilot” for a limited time. Kavall says that the feature is meant to help people who have decision fatigue.
Airly fights air pollution with a network of affordable sensors
(Tech Crunch, November 10)
Cleantech startup Airly wants to help communities around the world improve air quality with affordable sensors and software, providing actionable insights. Based in London and Krakow, the platform’s insights help communities gauge real-time health risks of poor air quality based on WHO standards or illegal emissions. It analyzes trends to identify sources of pollution and gives recommendations on how to improve air quality.
Amazon Unveils Smaller Delivery Drone That Can Fly in Rain
(Bloomberg, November 10)
This past week, Amazon.com Inc. unveiled a new delivery drone design that’s smaller, makes less noise and can fly through light rain. This is the latest effort to get the long-developing project going after nearly a decade, reigniting Jeff Bezos’ vision of autonomous drones for package delivery.