The New Facebook Messenger

Over the weekend, Facebook announced a new initiative targeted at a specific group of people. This group is kids. They launched a new addition of the messenger app that is strictly designed and marketed to kids between the ages of 6 and 12.

With this new app, Facebook includes ways for kids to chat with their friends, send age appropriate GIFs, and video chat. Many adults feel like this could be a big problem, however, Facebook wants you to know they are trying to make it as safe as possible.

They have included certain safeguards on the app to keep kids safe. One of these precautions includes having parents sign up their children. The parent must approve who their child is allowed to chat with and the child will not be able to be searched for added privacy. Along with this, unlike an adult’s Facebook, little data will be taken from children and they will not be able to view advertisements.

With this new app, Facebook hopes that they will help solve parent’s concerns of safety online and give kids a new and safe option to communicate with one another.

A New Way You Can Use Your Smartphone

Recently, a group of researchers from University of Houston announced a new way to use your smartphone. They came up with a set of instructions people can use to turn their phone into a microscope. The type of microscope the phone could become would allow people to look at aspects of cells and tissues that could not be seen otherwise.

One way the researchers claim this new feature could be useful is to people traveling/ backpacking around the world. The backpackers could use the microscope to look at rivers/streams for dangerous pathogens before using them for drinking water, etc.

Along with this, the scientists who created the instructions on how to complete the task of adding the microscope feature to the phone want it to be accessible to everyday people, not just scientists. They claim that all of the necessary parts for the microscope can be constructed using a 3D printer, which is a growing technology in the IT world.

Overall, this could be a cool new way for people to utilize their smartphones to analyze cells and help detect pathogens or bacteria on everyday surfaces, etc. It is yet another way to open up the minds of individuals to a new wave of technology.

The New Way to Get Dressed

For quite some time, the world of clothing and how we get dressed had not been touched by the technology world. However, that is beginning to change. Technology is starting to break through that will allow people to have help from virtual assistants when picking outfits and shopping.

An example of a virtual assistant can be seen with Amazon’s Echo Look. The Look will help you choose an outfit by taking a photo of you in two different options and selecting the best choice. The shape of the device allows it to get a full body picture. Some of the elements that the device takes in consideration are style, fit, seasons, etc.

Although the technology may seem convenient and make your mornings a little easier, after being testing, the device usually produces a great result or the complete opposite. The consistency level does not seem to be there. Taylor Okata, a personal stylist, thinks that although the new technology could be useful, he does not think it will jeopardize his career. There are certain things real people can do that a device will never be able to when it comes to fashion.

Another company that seems to be attempting to change the shopping experience is Obsess VR. They are using augmented reality platforms to let people shop for products without having to go to a physical location.

Cisco Starting to Implement Spark Assistant, A New Way to Videoconference

Over the past year or so, virtual assistants have become huge in the technology world. It all started with Siri on the IPhone, and now people can buy the Amazon Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant. As a result of this changing technology, Cisco has decided to start using a new system for meetings called Spark Assistant.

Spark Assistant is a voice activated Artificial Intelligence system that will make setting up and holding meetings a lot easier. It will allow employees to join and leave meetings, book available rooms for meetings, and access relevant files to the meeting using voice command. Cisco will continue to add additional features to the process and is going to start using Spark Assistant with a small group over the next year.

After testing the technology out with a small group of people, the company will be able to fix any issues to usability and ease of access. Cisco is following a plan similar to that of Microsoft as they also plan to incorporate Artificial Intelligence into their company and meeting systems.

New Gesture Technology Allows You to Change Channel With Any Object

It was just recently announced that new gesture technology has emerged that will allow users to use any object to change the channel/ control their TV. A group of researchers from Lancaster University introduced this new phenomena earlier in October at an IST conference in Quebec City.

The name for the technology being introduced by the researchers is called “Matchpoint” technology. All you need to use the technology is a small webcam. The webcam is able to display moving targets that each correspond to a certain TV function. These functions include volume, menu, channels, etc. Instead of trying to identify a particular body part like your fingerprint or hand, the technology allows you to synchronize any body part to control the functions.

Due to the programs ability to identify multiple types of body parts, you do not have to calibrate anything like an IPhone using your fingerprints, making it a much more flexible system. Although the system was introduced with use for TV screens, it can be used for other screen platforms as well. This includes things such as Youtube videos or streaming websites such as Netflix.

This new “Matchpoint” technology will revolutionize the way we control our viewing screens in the upcoming years.