Top Tech News This Week:
Sony PlayStation Releases VR Headset Bringing Virtual Reality to the Masses
Sony PlayStation has released the cheapest VR headset currently on the market, and it has the potential to go mainstream. The two main competitors, HTC Vive, and the Oculus Rift, are also strong candidates, although PlayStation has a cult following for being the best-selling console of all time, Playstation-2, plus the best-selling console of the Millennial generation, PlayStation 4. It’s not surprising that Sony has the more refined design of the virtual reality headsets, and is also easy to set up. The engineering applies on the inside, as well, with sharp screen and optics. The headset has clear advantages to gaming and to gamers, with object and text popping into clarity for this use. Most reviewers are giving PSVR high scores, including Jeff Grubb of VentureBeat who says, “for first-gen VR tech, I’m blown away.”
Twitter and BuzzFeed to livestream the election night coverage.
In an unlikely partnership, Twitter and Buzzfeed are partnering to produce a live TV-style broadcast produced by Buzzfeed’s News political team on election night. Twitter has streamed political coverage in the past with CBS and Bloomberg for political conventions and will have a better suited audience for Buzzfeed than Facebook. November 8th will be the first TV-style live broadcast produced by Buzzfeed and will include commercials for revenue.
Free Online TV Startup ‘Pluto TV’ Plans to Expand Service to Europe
Pluto TV offers 100-plus free channels and has now raised an additional round of funding to continue its growth. As of now, Pluto TV has five million viewers who watch the news, entertainment and internet shows and carries content from 75 media partners, including NBC, CBSi, Bloomberg, Sky News, A&E Networks and Paramount Pictures. Unlike many other cord-cutting services, Pluto’s content is pre-programmed and viewers can not choose what they want to watch on-demand. Linear programming is gaining in popularity with other services such as Twitch and Vevo TV. The promising startup has a $140 million valuation in a nearly $200 billion global television market.
Google Releases Smarthome Control Centre and Wi-Fi Speaker ‘Google Home’
The Echo-like device called Google Home is now available. Google Home is a home assistant providing voice features to anyone in the family from anywhere in a room, not unlike Amazon Echo. Google has already perfected natural language processing featured on Android smartphones and is now leveraging it for a centralized home network. There are three other pieces to how Google is tackling the Internet of Things, including Thread, offering a network built on open standards and IPv6/6LoWPAN protocols, Brillo, an operating system, and Weave, a common language for fragmented devices to communicate about things such as lowering the heat, turning on the lights or locking the doors. This is where Google offers some improvement over what Apple offers by making a platform for other companies to build hardware and communicate within the network. Meanwhile, Apple is only letting companies connect their hardware to its own hardware. Apple is providing the gadgets while Google offers an operating system.