#404 March 09, 2015 – VR Looms Large at the Mobile World Congress

This week’s headline story: VR Looms Large at the Mobile World Congress

vrVirtual Reality headsets were huge at the Mobile World Congress tradeshow last week. In addition to the grand daddy of VR, Oculus, there was

  • HTC’s Vive VR headset, created in partnership with game giant Valve,
  • Avegant’s Glyph video headset and Vuzix’s VR headset that include cushie headphones,
  • Samsung’s Gear VR, which utilizes the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 as the display,
  • and Sony’s VR headset nicknamed Project Morpheus that will debut in the first half of 2016.

There’s even a VR headset add-on called Feelreal that adds scents and smells to your VR experience. VR headsets can be used to play video games, watch 2D or 3D movies, or run VR apps that immerse you in virtual environments.

in other tech news…

  • iPhone 6, LG G3 Phones Win Top Honors at Global Mobile Awards [NewsFactor]
    Apple’s iPhone 6 and LG’s G3 shared an award for best smartphone of 2015 during a ceremony at the GSMA Mobile World Congress. Among the other winners of the GSMA’s Global Mobile Awards were Ericsson’s technology for cloud-connected cars; Jasper’s platform for Internet of Things businesses; Citi’s mobile Web app; and Huawei’s solution for delivering better broadband.
  • Android Pay: Mobile Payment Systems, Unite [Ecommerce Times]
    Google is continuing its advances to compete against Apple Pay in the mobile payments market. In addition to its recent partnership with the big three wireless carriers that I reported on last week, now Google has announced that it is preparing to launch a mobile payments framework called “Android Pay” that includes a development kit allowing developers and device manufacturers to build payments into their own apps.
  • Can Samsung Pay One-Up Apple Pay and the Rest? [NewsFactor]
    Apple and Google aren’t the only two fighting to dominate the mobile payment industry. Samsung has announced a technology it calls Samsung Pay, which it says will usher in a “new era of mobile payments and commerce.” Samsung Pay hopes to differentiate itself in the market by allowing its customers to use their mobile devices to pay at existing point-of-sale terminals.
  • Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links [New Scientist]
    Google is changing it’s age old method of ranking pages for search results. In the past Google’s search algorithm judged the importance of a page based on how many other pages linked to it. More popular pages are listed higher in search results. Now Google is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. In addition to counting incoming links, the new system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. A page that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy. The score that Google computes for each page is called its Knowledge-Based Trust score.
  • Self-Driving Cars Could Drive Billions in Internet Revenue [NewsFactor]
    McKinsey just released a new study predicting self-driving cars could generate billions of dollars in revenue every year from mobile Internet products and services — even if occupants only spend some of their free time surfing the Web, according to a Reuters report.

in Information Security News…

  • Apple Pay Cybercrime Burns Banks [Ecommerce Times]
    Banks respond to fraud with improved verification for Apple Pay [Engadget]
    Online fraudsters are taking advantage of Apple Pay to steal millions from banks. Armed with iPhones, the fraudsters are entering stolen payment card information into Apple Pay. Due to weak authentication procedures at the institutions issuing the cards, they are able to use the stolen cards to make purchases through Apple Pay. Banks are stepping up credit card authentication measures for Apple Pay payments to address the problem.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Google Motors Into Car Insurance in Latest Expansion [NewsFactor]
    Last week we learned that Google’s Flights service is competing with travel web sites to find you the best deals on flights. This week, Google is getting into the Insurance business, by using its Google Motors website to help drivers shop for car insurance comparing vehicle insurance quotes from up to 14 carriers that are participating in the comparisons.
    Of course Google will be taking a percentage of each transaction.
  • Apple Beats Samsung To Become No. 1 Smartphone Maker [NewsFactor]
    Apple topped Samsung in smartphone sales for the first time since 2012, selling 74.8 million units in the fourth quarter of last year, surpassing Samsung as the No. 1 smartphone maker globally. Apple’s success was driven by huge demand for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in the U.S. and in China, according to research firm Gartner.
  • Finally, Microsoft Launches Free Office 2016 for Mac Preview [NewsFactor]
    Microsoft has released a free preview version of the new Office 2016 for Mac. Office 2016 is cloud-powered allowing users to store and access their documents on OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint.
  • Facebook Scrubs Page Likes from Inactive Accounts [NewsFactor]
    Businesses are likely to see a dramatic decrease in the number of Facebook Likes they have received. The social media giant will no longer count likes from inactive accounts. This change ensures that data on Facebook is consistent and up-to-date, the company says.

and finally,

  • Every Audi To Have AT&T High-Speed Internet [NewsFactor]
    AT&T and Audi have announced that they were working together to provide 4G LTE service to every 2016 model Audi. Each Audi will come pre-equipped with an AT&T SIM chip (basically, the car will have its own phone number), which will give the telecommunications firm the opportunity to either sign up new high-speed data subscribers or up-sell existing customers on a fatter data plan. The high-speed connection will enable Audi to provide its purchasers with better map updates, real-time traffic information, social media connectivity and Internet radio.

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