VR Goggles for Mice, Apple’s Vision Pro Training, and Much More

Quantious Team
4 min readDec 15, 2023

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Emerging Tech Roundup — December 15

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

This week in tech: Arc Browser Launches its Windows Client in Beta, TikTok Becomes First Non-Game App to Reach $10B in Consumer Spending, Scientists Create VR Goggles for Mice, E.U. Reaches Deal on World’s First Comprehensive AI Rules, Apple Releases New Journal App as Part of its Latest iPhone Update, Apple Store Employees Start Vision Pro Training, and Study Finds ChatGPT Did Not Increase Cheating in High Schools.

Arc Browser Launches its Windows Client in Beta

(Tech Crunch, December 11)

The Browser Company just launched the beta version of its Windows client, following demand from users and observers since 2022 after the Mac client’s invite-only mode. The company plans to onboard more beta users throughout the month and increase invite roll-outs in January, with over 500,000 users on the waitlist. While not specifying full feature parity with the Mac client, The Browser Company mentioned ongoing work to port features like Peek and Mini Arc to the Windows version, acknowledging the possibility of some features being absent at launch.

TikTok Becomes First Non-Game App to Reach $10B in Consumer Spending

(Tech Crunch, December 11)

TikTok made history by becoming the first non-game mobile app to surpass $10 billion in consumer spending across the Apple App Store and Google Play. In 2023, TikTok saw a 61% increase in spending, adding $3.8 billion throughout the year — 15% more than in 2022. Users mainly spend money on virtual coins for in-app gifts to creators, with a popular $19.99 bundle accounting for a quarter of TikTok’s revenue.

iMRSIV: Scientists Create Cute Miniature VR Goggles for Mice

(Interesting Engineering, December 11)

Researchers have developed miniature virtual reality goggles, named iMRSIV, for mice, offering an immersive tool to study neural circuitry and behavior in laboratory settings. These compact goggles provide a 180-degree view without wrapping around the mouse’s head, enabling a distraction-free exploration of the impact visual stimuli have on behavior. The innovation improves the understanding of mice responses in controlled environments, though challenges remain in achieving full immersion and overcoming initial training hurdles.

E.U. Reaches Deal on World’s First Comprehensive AI Rules

(Time, December 11)

European Union negotiators have reached a landmark deal on the world’s first comprehensive rules for artificial intelligence, paving the way for legal oversight of AI technology. The tentative political agreement, known as the Artificial Intelligence Act, addresses controversial issues such as generative AI and the use of face recognition surveillance by police. While hailed as a significant step in setting clear rules for AI use, civil society groups have expressed reservations, stating that the deal doesn’t go far enough in protecting people from potential harm caused by AI systems.

Apple Releases New Journal App as Part of its Latest iPhone Update. Here’s What it’s Like

(CNBC, December 11)

Apple has introduced a new AI-powered Journal app for iPhones in its iOS 17.2 update, utilizing Siri to suggest relevant journaling topics based on user activities like music listening or daily appointments and workouts. Notably, Apple’s AI approach prioritizes on-device processing for privacy, setting it apart from cloud-based models employed by rivals like Google and Microsoft. The Journal app showcases this strategy while subtly emphasizing “machine learning” over explicit AI promotion in its marketing.

Apple Store Employees Start Vision Pro Training

(PC Mag, December 11)

Apple is gearing up for the full launch of its Vision Pro headset by initiating training sessions for Apple Store employees, with two-day classes set to commence in January 2024. The headset is anticipated to be exclusively available in stores, allowing buyers to receive guidance on the setup process, including achieving a custom fit to address the device’s considerable weight. Although the launch was initially expected in January, recent reports suggest it may be delayed until March, and Apple is already addressing the headset’s recent size and weight concerns for the next generation.

ChatGPT Did Not Increase Cheating in High Schools, Stanford Researchers Find

(CNN, December 13)

A recent study indicates that despite initial concerns about AI chatbot ChatGPT enabling cheating, the percentage of high school students engaging in academic dishonesty has remained consistent or slightly decreased since the tool’s launch in November 2022. An anonymous survey was launched across 40 US high schools, revealing that 60% to 70% of students had cheated in the last month, with only 19% of teens using ChatGPT for schoolwork. While concerns persist about AI’s potential to perpetuate biases and spread misinformation, the findings suggest limited impact on overall cheating behavior among high school students.

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