17 May Tech News
This past month has been typically turbulent in the world of tech, with innovations, business disruption and market surprises. So what’s caught our eye in recent weeks?
Facebook’s Oculus Drift?
Two years after buying Virtual Reality firm Oculus Rift, Facebook is scaling back on its VR output. Facebook has shut down its Oculus Story Studio, choosing to focus on externally created content instead.
Does this mean a scale-back on Facebook’s VR output? They claim that that’s not the case: The social media giant has allocated US$50million for non-gaming VR content.
Jason Rubin, the company’s Oculus’s vice president said in a blog post that the company is “still absolutely committed to growing the VR film and creative content ecosystem.”
Facebook bought Oculus Rift for US$3billion two years ago. Whether Facebook is indeed scaling back their VR production remains to be seen. They’re not the only company to see the potential in VR: HTC and Sony are also pouring vast sums of money into the virtual reality. Watch this (virtual) space.
The Internet in Space
It’s getting busy up there. Facebook and Google want to send balloons into the air, bringing wifi to places where it’s never been before. They might be competing for air space with Amazon drones. And further up, the private SpaceX plans to send 4,425 internet satellites into space.
These satellites are intended to improve internet infrastructure mainly in the US, but they could address wifi shortage just about anywhere in the world, and in almost real time.
The first prototype is scheduled to launch before the end of 2017, with the entire fleet expected to be in orbit in 2019.
Apple becomes first ever US$800bn Company
Rumours of Apple’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. Following a shares bump of 33% this year, the company’s worth is approaching US$800billion. This makes it the most valuable publicly traded company in history.
Much of that value is in shares, but it still leaves an estimated warchest of US$250billion.
With a new iPhone (number 10!) on the way in September, Apple’s value might cross the trillion-dollar threshold before the end of the year.
As it stands, Apple could go on a tech giant shopping spree if it wanted to: It has enough money in its coffers to buy Uber, Tesla, Twitter, Netflix, Dropbox, Snapchat, Airbnb and SpaceX, and still have an estimated US$20billion to spare.