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Saturday, April 16, 2016

News Roundup: F8, Robot phones, and MacOS | IDG Connect

"A roundup of the week’s tech news including the new Boston Dynamics, AI waiters, and predicting gentrification." notes Dan Swinhoe, Staff Writer at IDG Connect. 

Facebook held its annual developer conference this week. The company kindly laid out its 10 year plan for world domination, including video, search, messaging, connectivity, Artificial Intelligence and Virtual/Augmented Reality.

There was a big focus on FB Messenger and the introduction of bots; the company has partnered with over 30 companies to provide automated customer service, and will open up the platform to allow others to develop their own bots. M, Facebook’s own chatbot assistant is reportedly still months away from released.

The company also revealed it had poached one of Google’s executive to lead its new hardware division. The company laid out its vision for the day when AR/VR glasses were indistinguishable from regular spectacles, as well as revealing its design for a high-quality 3D-360 video capture system. and Facebook’s Free Basics service may have a low take-up, but more than half of users switch to a paid service within a month of joining, suggesting Zuckerberg’s Facebook for All plan is slowly working.

We also learned that FB at Work – the social network’s attempt at moving into the enterprise, is still happening, but has been delayed until later this year...

Who needs chatbots, when you’ve got robot phones?
While automated chatbots are taking over customer service, and artificial intelligence will be taking over the world, Sharp have made the most adorable little robot phone you’ll ever see.

The $1800 RoBoHon, first revealed last year and due to go on sale next month, is a walking, talking cute-as-a-button robot with smartphone capabilities. Apparently its AI capabilities will enable it not only to understand voice commands, but also recognise your face and greet you by name.

Standing at nearly 8 inches and featuring arms & legs, it’s not particularly practical to put in your pocket. Despite the steep price tag and general ridiculousness of the product, Sharp hopes to sell 5000 RoBoHons a month.

Source: IDG Connect