The Technological Revolution has changed our lives, that is undoubted. But it has not only had an impact on people’s habits and routines, but has also changed the configuration and distribution of the international economic market. Currently, there are four companies that dominate the world in terms of market value and all of them are technology companies: Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon . This is basically because they are the ones that invest the most in improvements and innovation , reinventing themselves day after day.
Converting the fruits of this innovation into new and improved products , functions and applications for the consumer or customer is the main challenge of each company, so their investment in this field is unmatched.
But what are the innovations that the technology giants are working on?
Facebook: augmented and virtual reality, improvements to the Messenger service and more live video
On April 18 and 19, the traditional annual F8 conference took place in California, in which Facebook presents the main novelties in which it is working and which it plans to introduce on its platform. The president of the company, Mark Zuckerberg, affirmed that the plan for the coming years is to bet on augmented and virtual reality, new forms of interaction on its Messenger message platform, and enhance live video.
The company intends to implement augmented reality through its AR Studio camera platform . The objective is that the camera of our mobile phones can recognize objects and faces to which we can make any modification : apply masks, drawings, text … In addition, AR Studio is also designed to create 3D photos from 2D and include effects, which which means that virtual elements can be introduced to a photograph or vision of the real world that we are seeing live through the camera of our phone.
Facebook entered the world of virtual reality with the purchase, last year 2014, of Oculus , the company responsible for creating one of the most promising virtual reality headsets, Oculus Rift . Through the Facebook Spaces tool , the technology company intends that users who use the helmet can share a virtual environment with their Facebook friends.On this platform, an avatar will be created based on our Facebook profile image, which will be completed with body language and voice and can also be modified according to our tastes. Through the virtual video call it will be possible to add people to our virtual world, where you can chat, draw, watch 360-degree videos, make video calls and take pictures.
In relation to its Messenger service , the company wants to increase the number of existing chatbots , those interactive programs powered by artificial intelligence that simulate human conversations. In addition, it intends to implement them also in group chats, where you can include real-time information about sports events or news. Within Messsenger the Discover function has also been announced , with which users will be able to find out the profiles of companies and businesses.
The live video through the platform Facebook Live seems to be the new obsession of the company. Zuckerberg announced at the conference that this service, available to all users of the social network just a few months ago, was open to all developers who want to create new functions. In addition, it was reported that new ways to create, share, discover and personalize live videos would be introduced at the end of June.
Google: progress in Android, more augmented reality, a new chat for YouTube and improvements in Google Home
The news from Google, now Alphabet, was presented on
May 17 and 19 also in California and although most had been announced long ago, there were some surprises.
This time the company has focused a large part of its efforts on improving its operating system, Android , which, along with Apple’s, is the most widely used around the world: according to official data, 2 billion devices are activated every month that use the Google operating system. In this sense, Picture in Picture has been introduced , a new function with which videos, calls and other apps with multimedia content will keep a small playback window open when you press the start button . The notification balloon is another improvement: small balloons were anchored to the desktop icons that will display the notifications only to keep them pressed.
Improvements have also been announced in Google Photos , the company’s photography app. Now, if we take an image in which we go out with another person or we make it directly to this person, we can automatically share it with this user and organize them later in shared albums . But the improvements in the photographic field of Android do not end here. One of the most outstanding innovations will be the incorporation of Google Lens , a new artificial intelligence that aims that, through voice indication, the user can ask for the same thing that he asks Google Assistant for.. For example, the wizard can be told to focus on a flower that appears in the image plane and he will recognize it and will.
Google also does not forget its virtual assistant, Google Assistant , which increases its capabilities : the conversation function has been improved and also the proactivity, perfecting the ability of the assistant to interact with the user.
In the field of augmented and virtual reality, Google also
incorporates advances after the creation of its Google Daydream glasses. Thus, it has announced its union with more manufacturers to bring new virtual reality glasses capable of recognizing the space around us.
YouTube , a Google affiliate since 2006, also announces progress. A new YouTube application has been developed for televisions in which 360-degree videos can be viewed . In addition, it adds to the fashion of live videos , for which the new Super Chat will be available , a space where people who are viewing the same video can make comments and receive live responses.
Finally, Google’s home assistant, Google Home , also acquires modifications. In it you will be able to add reminders and calendar entries and, among others, automatic reading of notifications and control of other Smart Home devices have been incorporated thanks to the Bluetooh. It is planned that this summer I arrived in Canada, Australia, France, Germany and Japan, we still do not know the date of arrival in Spain.
Apple: the new iMac, iPad Pro and HomePod and improvements in iOS 11 and watchOS4
The Apple developer conference took place at the beginning of June in
California and in it, responding to the criticism of the lack of innovation that the company had received in recent months, great novelties have been presented that are going to be implemented as throughout this 2017.
The most unexpected surprise , which the experts did not have, was the announcement that a new iMac Pro is being worked on , which will arrive in early 2018 with a completely renovated design. It will be the most powerful computer so far from Apple and will meet the demands of those who asked the company for a more powerful machine aimed at the professional user. However, we must take into account its high price, which will be around 5,000 euros.
Continuing with the company’s traditional product innovations, the new iPad Pro was also presented at the conference , in which, as in previous designs, edges continue to be reduced. In addition, this latest product includes a notable improvement in the stylus , which slides easily across the screen.
Regarding operating systems , the arrival of iOS 11 was announced at the meeting , in which new software has been included to facilitate the editing of photos and videos with more advanced options such as the identification of people and animals in images through artificial intelligence. Also, in this new version, iCloud messages can be synchronized between different devices. Finally, continuing with the company’s great commitment to the field of applications for private payments, in this new Apple Pay system it will be integrated into messages and will make it easier to send money between users.
Efforts are also being spent on Apple’s smartwatch , watchOS4 . For example, the features of Siri have been enhanced, which from now on will show the content that it considers most relevant to the user, including reminders and notifications. In addition, new functions and the possibility of setting training objectives and measuring the goals achieved are added . It will also be easier to browse Apple Music and thus search for songs, playlists or folders.
Apple has always been a great promoter of technology in the
musical field, which is why it has also announced the launch of HomePod , a highly intelligent wireless speaker that is able to identify the elements of the environment such as furniture, see how they are located and According to this information, better direct the sound. Siri will also be integrated into this speaker, so the user can ask it to play songs or lists, read messages or set alarms.
Amazon: the new Amazon Ice
Amazon is currently one of the most powerful technology companies. It is no longer just a portal to buy all kinds of products, but it has become a company that creates products such as virtual assistants or mobile phones and tablets.
In 2014 Amazon launched Alexa , a virtual home assistance that is having a lot of success, especially in the United States, and that is competing with Google Home. Alexa, which is hosted by a cylindrical speaker called Amazon Echo , solves the doubts of those who ask them and can perform tasks such as setting reminders, reading messages …
But Amazon’s innovation has not stopped there. A few years ago,
the company also entered the world of mobile telephony with the FirePhone and it seems that now it is working on a new Smartphone of its own, the Amazon Ice . The terminal is expected to incorporate a 5.5-inch screen and 2GB memory. In addition, it will have a 13 megapixel camera, so it seems that the specifications will not be bad. And the best will be the price, about 100 euros.
In summary, most companies are investing in augmented and virtual reality , which are going to become part of our day to day before we know it. In addition, it seems that live video is going to have more and more importance in the world of social networks. In the field of products, many of them are focusing on developing new computers and mobile phones , as well as improving their operating systems including new functions.