The Tech World’s Abuzz
We’re in the midst of the busiest tech-news season, during which the world’s heavy-hitters announce their future plans. Here’s a rundown of the most exciting announcements thus far:
Facebook directly took on other major tech players at its F8 conference by predicting the demise of the screen-based gadgets via its plans for “smart glasses.” Indistinguishable from regular glasses, the device would project your games, videos, and conversations right into your eyes.
Facebook also announced the development of smart AI bots, allowing businesses to communicate with customers via Messenger in real-time.
Finally, the company shared its next foray into the augmented reality arena: Camera Effects. The platform allows external developers to build augmented-reality apps that are accessible via Facebook’s in-app camera, “… theoretically open[ing] the door for Facebook to host the next phenomenon like “Pokémon Go.’”
At Microsoft Build, the company released a set of motion controllers that add-on to its mixed-reality headsets. “Microsoft has been making strides in fulfilling its vision of ‘mixed reality,’ a mesh of virtual and augmented reality. The headsets — which stand out from the competition because they’re fully tracked by sensors in the headset rather than externally — will ship later this year.”
A public preview of developer tools for Cortanta, Microsofts vitural assistant, was also released. Though it’s lagging behind Google and Amazon efforts in the same space.
Google Assistant, a sort of supercharged Siri, can now analyze the world around you via your phone’s camera using a technology called Google Lens. Point your phone at a restaurant façade and you’ll be able to see its rating, a flower and you’ll be told its species, Wi-Fi login credentials and your phone will auto-connect to the network. Previously only available for Android, Google also announced Assistant is now available to iOS users.
Google Assistant is also integrating with Google Home, the company’s smart speaker, to make the device more valuable in its own right. It can show your calendar for the week on your home TV, send directions to Google Maps on your phone, and more. Home will also function as a phone, a Bluetooth radio, and can control HBO Now, Hulu, SoundCloud, Deezer, and more.
Apple is the final piece in the global tech puzzle, with its Worldwide Developers Conference coming in just a few weeks. Facebook, Microsoft, and Google are holding the company to high standards, though it’s unlikely Apple will disappoint. In the meantime, take a look inside Apple’s new, spacey HQ.