Weekly Roundup

Posted April 22nd 2016


This week, we explore how multitasking and live experiences are being integrated into mixed reality environments. We also look at how platforms like Youtube and YouNow are connecting with younger audiences by sharing revenue with their top creators. On top of that, we’ve got a couple interesting sub-trends about automating our shopping routines and stimulating new behavior change.

Advances in Mixed Reality

  • YouTube live-streams Coachella in virtual reality: The Google-owned platform said select concerts from California’s Coachella festival would be the first to use the virtual reality facility. In addition, it announced videos on its service could now be enhanced with “spatial audio,” which simulates the effect of sounds coming from different directions and distances. [via BBC]
  • Facebook shows what social VR looks like: A social virtual reality demo by Facebook at its F8 developer’s conference showed two people separated by 35 miles interacting in VR with hand gestures, voice chat and head movements. The pair connected in VR as naturally as if they were standing together. [via UploadVR
  • The untold story of Magic Leap: Wired ran an enormous profile on mysterious AR startup Magic Leap, written by legendary tech journalist Kevin Kelly. The article explores what Magic Leap’s mind-bending technology tells us about the future of virtual reality. Here are five burning questions that still remain. [via Wired]  


Reaching Young Audiences

  • YouTube is bigger than any TV network: YouTube now reaches more 18-to-34-year-olds than any TV network—broadcast or cable—on mobile. According to the research, more than half of young millennials watch YouTube through connected TVs and 90% of them use a smartphone, tablet or computer while watching TV. [via Mashable]
  • YouNow is gaining attention from publishers: YouNow is a social network that lets its users broadcast themselves to peers and fans in real time. The livestreaming platform has gained the attention of publishers from Refinery29 to The Huffington Post to MTV. For brands still getting versed with YouNow and its crop of young influencers, here’s a look at five of the platform’s popular social media stars. [via Digiday
  • Facebook is considering adding a tip jar: Facebook is exploring new ways for individual users to profit from their posts, but they would not be the first. YouTube launched a revenue-sharing program for prominent users in 2007. Twitch lets partners make money through revenue sharing, subscriptions, and merchandise sales. YouNow earns money by taking a cut of the tips and digital gifts that fans give to its stars. [via The Verge


Automating Shopping Routines

  • Tesco created its own channel on IFTTT: The channel has two triggers and a single action. For example, a customer could use the platform to have burgers added to their shopping basket if it is warm the next day, add salmon if it falls in price, or receive an email if the price of diapers changes. [via PSFK
  • Bank sends timely notifications to curb expenditures: As the name suggests, Splurge Alert aims to stop you from spending too much money on guilty pleasures. Anytime you get a little too close to that Starbucks, Macy’s, or Best Buy, Splurge buzzes up in your phone and warns you not to break the bank again. [via Digital Trends]


Performance Enhancing Wearables

  • Stimulating the brain to boost performance: Looking a pair of regular headphones, the Halo Sport device beams a flow of electrical pulses to the brain’s motor cortex, apparently supercharging its ability to learn new skills and build physical strength. [via Fast Company
  • Learning to wake up without hitting the snooze button: Using conditioning, the Shock Clock aims to train your brain into getting up and not hitting the snooze button for the risk of getting shocked. Eventually, your brain will be trained to respond to the vibration alone as you’ll know what will come if you ignore it. [via Android Authority]