BIGnews in the Tech World

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The world of technology is always changing and sometimes it’s tricky to stay up to date on the latest trends and news. Instead of constantly refreshing your Twitter feed, check back here every other week for the tech news you need to know!

App Updates:

In Snapchat’s latest update – Snapchat 10 – there is a big emphasis on Bitmoji, the ever popular personalized emoji app. If you use Bitmoji, it’s now your profile “picture” and pops up in search results. In addition to the events and location-based stories, Snapchat just introduced the “global Snapchat Story” which allows users to contribute their own take on what’s happening anywhere in the world through pictures and videos. It’s also been a big week for the company itself as it officially filed the paperwork for its IPO, with hopes that it will boost earnings while maintaining the incredibly high amount of daily users.
Facebook recently launched Facebook Stories for users in Ireland, with other countries slated to receive access in the next few months. Just like Snapchat and Instagram, users share a picture or video that disappears just 24 hours after posted. Sounds familiar right? Instagram was the latest social media site to add a stories element to their app, much to loyal Snapchatters’ dismay. However, Instagram stories succeeded with 150 million daily users in just 5 months. Stay tuned to see if Facebook Stories have the same success.

Virtual Reality:  

Television networks, advertisers, and producers are now integrating the hottest 2016 holiday gift – virtual reality devices – into their work.
Super Bowl 51 featured different VR elements during its FOX broadcast. Instead of shelling out thousands of dollars to attend the Super Bowl for yourself, VR company LiveLike VR broadcasted 20 highlights from the game for fans to get almost the same experience as their favorite athletes. With six different cameras around NRG Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday, users could switch between vantage points while controlling their VR device.
Aside from football, commercials are one of the biggest draws for people viewing the Super Bowl. Samsung released a virtual reality commercial with a longer version available online that allows viewers to use a VR device to look around the entire scene.
Google’s VR film “Pearl” is the first VR film nominated for an Oscar for best animated short film. The film is available in both VR and digital presentation, and, although it’s not nominated because of its VR pedigree, it is paving the way for the evolution of films in the VR world.

Are Robot Managed Stores the Future?:

Soon enough, you won’t have to suffer through grocery store or coffee shop small talk, thanks to Cafe X and Amazon Go.
Located in San Francisco, Cafe X is a fully mechanized coffee shop centered around the idea that baristas often spend the majority of their time moving cups around while making different drinks. In an expedited process, customers are able to order espresso drinks with milk and flavorings, placing their order through kiosks or an app. The coffee beans are locally sourced and beat the typical $4-$5 prices typically found in the area, costing only $2.25 for an 8 oz drink.
Just a bit further up the west coast in Seattle, Amazon opened its own “electronic” store, Amazon Go, based on the principles of no lines and no checkout. Their “Just Walk Out” mentality allows customers (currently Amazon employees in the Beta program) to download the free Amazon Go app, walk in the store, pick what they want and then be on their merry way. The patron’s Amazon account is charged, and a receipt hits their inbox. Products in the Amazon Go store include freshly cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner; national brands; and local goods. Amazon hopes for more Amazon Go stores to open throughout the country in 2017.
Make sure to check back on the BIGblog to keep up-to-date on all the hottest tech news. Saw something we missed? Let us know by tweeting @BIGfishPR!

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