This Week’s Need to Know: The Future is Four-Eyed

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Snapchat Spectacles

THE FUTURE IS FOUR-EYED

This week Snap Inc. (née Snapchat) released Spectacles, “a rounded, vaguely hipsterish pair of sunglasses with the ability to record up to thirty seconds of footage at a time.” The video can then be uploaded directly to Snapchat, and is recorded in a new “circular” format, putting an end to those infuriating portrait videos. Snapchat was also in the news earlier this week when our Oompa-Loompa presidential candidate purchased a derogatory Snapchat filter on the day of the first debate. But I’m going to keep my opinions to myself (shimmy!).


Boiling iPhone

ADS ON ADS FOR ADS ABOUT ADS

Like the checkout lane candy at the grocery store, you can now advertise your apps directly in Apple’s App Store. Since a reported 65% of purchases start with a search in the store, the new ads will appear at the top of the screen as you type in keywords, with the intention of helping lesser known apps to compete with developers that are backed by huge marketing budgets. Shopping on your iPhone will never be the same, and at least there’s something you can do about it.


Gotta Snap That

DON’T CALL ME, I’LL CALL YOU

In news that only grandma will find surprising, mobile phone users aged 18-to-24 wouldrather delete the calling feature from their phones than Snapchat, texting, and even freakin’ Pokémon Go. A full 35% of respondents said that if they could only keep one app, it would be Snapchat. But they might reconsider now that Tinder’s launched Boost, a pay-for-play way to get your profile on other users’ screens first. And you can chat through it! If only Tinder launched some sweet video glasses to record your dates…


Doom

DEATHBOT 5000

Because what could go wrong with programming an Artificial Intelligence bot to only seek out and destroy? This week, researchers from Facebook launched “VizDoom,” a bot that is programmed to learn and win 8-player deathmatches in the video game Doom. That’s it. Using on-screen data only, the bot learns to kill. This is made by Facebook. Facebook is using on-screen data to kill… Never mind, I’m not gonna get worried.


Texting in Class

FAREWELL, MY SWEET BLACKBERRY

Welp, it’s finally over: Blackberry’s gettin’ outta the game. The once-ubiquitous business phone company announced this week that it’s going to stop manufacturing its own devices and focus instead on software only. The physical keyboard devices were struggling to regain their dominance in the corporate world as the iPhone and other touchscreen devices rapidly took market share over the past several years, but I bet you can now sell those old devices for a pretty penny on eBay. Vintage gold, just like my Beanie Baby collection.