Thanks for all the replies to last week’s update. Y’all are smart. Please hit reply anytime!
It was a long week, but it’s finally Friday. So let’s get right into it…
Here’s what I’m tracking this week…
Facebook Goes All-In on Audio: This week Facebook announced a number of audio features coming to the platform, including Soundbites (short-form audio stories), Podcasts, Live Audio Rooms in Facebook and Messenger (similar to Clubhouse), and a set of new audio creation tools including background noise cancellation, speech-to-text, and voice morphing. Listen to a sample of audio on Facebook here.
Purple iPhones and Other Apple Event Highlights: Apple’s first big tech launch of 2021 featured lost item finder chips called AirTags, super skinny and colorful new iMacs, podcast subscriptions, a new Apple TV box and remote (with actual buttons!), and a purple iPhone 12. Finally. Read more here.
Future Today Institute’s 14th annual Emerging Tech Trends Report: Futurist Amy Webb’s data-driven analysis for the emerging tech trends that need to be on your radar in 2021 from SXSW this year is now live on YouTube for anyone to watch. Amy walks through scenarios for the future of business, governing and society, and provides an accessible and engaging look at things like ingestibles, printing DNA, video glasses, and more. Watch here.
Patents of the Week: Although patent filings aren’t a guarantee that new technology will come to fruition, they give us a hint of where we may be headed next. Google is exploring restaurant menu codes that open AR looks at what each dish looks like. Amazon has a patent for group audio chats. Apple is looking at using your iPhone underwater and haptic feedback in AirPods. And reminders to tell you to charge your phone. Microsoft has designed a trap for mosquitoes to study the diseases they carry and help prevent their spread to humans. Read about these and more here.
Timeline of the Far Future: How long until the Sun turns into a black dwarf? How long before Mount Rushmore will be completely eroded? How long until Chernobyl is safe? Explore this far future timeline and try not to lose sleep. It’s all a LONG time from now.
Business Reads of the Week: 1) How Anjali Sud Reinvented Vimeo by Moving From Streaming to Software; 2) Anxiety When There’s a Lot to Be Anxious About; 3) The Raiders, Social Media Managers And The Vortex of The Internet’s Hate.
- Facebook is creating more ways for users to train their News Feed algorithms to be even more relevant.
- YouTube clarified its monetization policies for social justice content.
- Facebook is launching a new option in Business Suite for brands to compose and schedule Facebook and IG Stories.
- Instagram will be testing giving users the option to hide Like counts.
- Facebook is testing prayer request posts.
- Twitter is now supporting 4k images and adding background images and videos to Fleets.
- Facebook won’t sell ads in its planned Instagram app for kids.
- Nextdoor announced that it is introducing a new “anti-racism” notification that will prompt users to consider editing comments that could be offensive before posting.
- Would you exercise in VR? A leaked concept from HTC Vive reveals a headset designed for workouts.
- Penske Media Corporation—the publisher behind Rolling Stone, Billboard, and Variety—is now a 50% owner of SXSW.
- Reddit is adding social audio called Reddit Talk, similar to Clubhouse.
- How kids learned classical music from old cartoons.
- Satellite internet company Starlink should be ‘fully mobile’ by the end of 2021, allowing customers to use it at any address or in moving vehicles.
- NASA flew a helicopter on Mars, the first time an aircraft has flown on another planet, and converted Mars’ atmosphere into breathable oxygen. It was a big week for science.
- Instagram of the Week: @InspiroBot.me is an A.I. dedicated to “generating unique inspirational quotes for the endless enrichment of pointless human existence.”
- ASMR of the Week: Windows 95 gaming PC booting up.
- Tweet of the Week: If birds had arms.
- TikTokker of the Week: @fitdadceo, the creator of “No, dummy.”
- Fun Website Plaything of the Week: JazzKeys.
See you on the internet!