ETC@USC Student Challenge: Future of Themed Experiences

On October 22, ETC@USC began a one-week student challenge on “The Future of Themed Experiences.” Leveraging the tools, techniques and resources of today and those that could emerge in the next few years, students were asked to come up with an original idea for an experience that: 1) has a specific location-based experience, and 2) extends the experience out into the real and virtual worlds before and after the person has the location-based experience. Eighteen 3-minute pitch videos were submitted and an esteemed panel of industry executives chose to reward five of them. All 18 videos with follow-up Q&A discussions are available online. Continue reading ETC@USC Student Challenge: Future of Themed Experiences

Robot Renaissance Triggers a Surge in Automaton Workforce

The world is experiencing a skilled labor shortage, and robots are stepping in to fill the void. Last year, some 500,000 industrial robots were added to the global workforce, bringing the total figure to about 3.5 million, according to a new report by the International Federation of Robotics trade group, which says the number of robots added in 2021 exceeds by 22 percent a record set in 2018. The pattern indicates the industrial robotics market will grow from $15.7 billion in 2022 to $30.8 billion by 2027, a CAGR of 14.3 percent, according to the report. Continue reading Robot Renaissance Triggers a Surge in Automaton Workforce

Magic Leap Will Target the B2B Market with New AR Headset

The business-oriented Magic Leap 2 AR headsets will debut in three models on September 30 in global territories including the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and Saudi Arabia. The Magic Leap 2 Base starts at $3,299. There is a midrange Magic Leap 2 Developer Pro, working up to the Magic Leap 2 Enterprise, which sells for $4,999. Smaller and lighter than its 2018 predecessor, Magic Leap 2 comes with a hip-worn AMD processor, offers a wide field of view, and has a dimmer that can be applied to background visuals to make virtual objects pop. In the U.S., Magic Leap 2 will be available through IT solutions reseller Insight.  Continue reading Magic Leap Will Target the B2B Market with New AR Headset

Atlanta Apple Store Employees Pause Union Organizing Push

Apple Store workers in Atlanta, Georgia have paused organizing efforts that could have resulted in the first unionized Apple Store in the U.S. The matter was scheduled to be put to vote this month, but the Communications Workers of America withdrew the request, citing the safety of Cumberland Mall workers amidst a COVID-19 surge and charges of union busting by Apple. At least three other U.S. Apple Stores are holding union drives, according to reports. Workers at a Towson, Maryland location are scheduled to vote June 15, with New York City’s Grand Central Terminal Apple Store also teeing-up, union leaders say. Continue reading Atlanta Apple Store Employees Pause Union Organizing Push

Nikon Offsets Shrinking Camera Sales with Tech Components

Nikon Corp. is restyling itself from a company that primarily manufactures cameras to one that supplies components to other businesses. Its consumer market share eroded by smartphone image systems, the Japanese company’s revenue also plunged, dropping by about 50 percent since its 2013 peak of $8 billion. In February, Nikon upped its revenue forecast for the year ended March 31 to $4.35 billion, more than $370 million of it projected as operating profit, thanks in large part to components, which is expected to earn more profit than any other division, nosing past imaging. Continue reading Nikon Offsets Shrinking Camera Sales with Tech Components

Magic Leap 2 Lighter with Better Field of View Than Original

Announced in 2019, the Magic Leap 2 augmented reality headsets are now being demoed for reviewers, with a commercial launch set for later this year. In 2020 the company shelved consumer plans to focus on enterprise clients in areas like healthcare, manufacturing and defense, where it will compete against Microsoft’s HoloLens. Offering a significantly improved field of view compared to the original 2018 Magic Leap, the new Magic Leap 2 is also lighter and more powerful than its predecessor. The new goggles are wired to a disc-shaped processor that must be carried or clipped on for mobility. Continue reading Magic Leap 2 Lighter with Better Field of View Than Original

NFTs Are Poised to Move Beyond Arts into Academia, Health

As NFTs work their way into the social fabric via digital art and collectibles, there is speculation that their usefulness is only beginning to be understood. While non-fungible tokens have gained popularity due to their use in illustration, music, entertainment, gaming and sports, as a medium they’re still in their infancy. As units of data saved onto a blockchain, the provenance of every NFT is trackable, substantiating ownership and authenticity. As such, there is interest in using them for everything from educational credentialing and documenting medical treatment to automotive applications and philanthropic fundraising. Continue reading NFTs Are Poised to Move Beyond Arts into Academia, Health

CES: Panel Reveals Surprising Statistics on Perceptions of AI

CES 2022 featured a compelling session that focused on “Artificial Intelligence: Expectations, Rules and Achievement,” which began with introductory remarks by Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) who questioned whether the federal government had AI experts who understood the innovations. “These are disruptive technologies,” she said. “What will it do to our healthcare system? With autonomous vehicles, do we have the relevant policies in place for government and insurance companies?” She also worried about competition in the space. This jump-started a panel discussion on the numerous opinions involving AI. Continue reading CES: Panel Reveals Surprising Statistics on Perceptions of AI

CES: Case Studies on How Gaming Tech Can Improve Health

Much has been written on how gaming can be an incentive to change behavior. But can it also be used to clinically improve health outcomes? Lygeia Ricciardi, founder and chief executive of AdaRose — “a community of powerful women who are maximizing self care, health and wellness” — gathered executives at CES who said their companies have successfully used gaming to improve health for numerous use cases including pain reduction, aid in concentrating, lower drug reliance and more medical compliance as well as generally improved levels of well-being. Continue reading CES: Case Studies on How Gaming Tech Can Improve Health

CES: Stakeholders Debate the Complex Issues of Privacy 3.0

During CES this week, CTA senior vice president of political and industry affairs Tiffany Moore led a discussion on the contentious issues surrounding privacy in an evolving digital landscape. With her, former FTC acting chair Maureen Ohlhausen was joined by Asad Ramzanali, legislative director to Representative Anna Eshoo (D-California), and Dr. Carlos Nunez, ResMed chief medical officer. Ohlhausen noted that the FTC is the primary agency tasked with privacy issues, based on a 1938 law passed by Congress prohibiting “unfair and deceptive acts or practices.” Continue reading CES: Stakeholders Debate the Complex Issues of Privacy 3.0

CES: Connectivity and Data Fuel Innovations in Digital Health

Pioneering tech journalist Robin Raskin brought together six companies that have created innovative digital health products due to the increased use of data and connectivity. “Connectivity is a predictor of health,” said Raskin. “The more connected we are, the healthier we will be. Next, we need to get this technology out there as inexpensively and widely as possible.” Deloitte’s national consulting leader for life sciences and health care practices Dr. Lynne Sterrett outlined five macro trends: interoperable data, equitable care, owning our own data, the use of data to inform behavior change, and science as the winner during the pandemic. Continue reading CES: Connectivity and Data Fuel Innovations in Digital Health

Innovation Takes Center Stage at CTA’s State of the Industry

Consumer Technology Association (CTA) president and chief executive officer Gary Shapiro and CTA executive vice president Karen Chupka cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of CES 2022 and then took two photos: one with masks and, quickly, one without. The message was clear: CES is back in person, but safety protocols are still in place. “We made it to Las Vegas at a time when innovation has never been more important,” said Shapiro. “We’ve embraced technology during the pandemic and survived a virtual world in large part due to modern technology.” Continue reading Innovation Takes Center Stage at CTA’s State of the Industry

Oracle Ramps Up Cloud Expansion with Acquisition of Cerner

Oracle is expanding its healthcare footprint and teeing up to turbo-charge its cloud business with the $28.3 billion purchase of medical software and IT firm Cerner Corporation. Many healthcare providers use Oracle database solutions, but the company says Cerner will be “Oracle’s anchor asset to expand into healthcare.” Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison said in a statement that together the firms “have the capacity to transform healthcare delivery.” The deal — the largest in Oracle’s history — will provide “overworked medical professionals” with access to Oracle’s “hands-free voice interface to secure cloud applications,” Ellison added. Continue reading Oracle Ramps Up Cloud Expansion with Acquisition of Cerner

Post-Brexit, UK Plans to Create Its Own Privacy Regulations

Since leaving the European Union, the UK government, which has inherited the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect in 2018, is now faced with creating its own privacy laws in order to enact data transfer agreements with other nations. The EU stated that the new UK regulations must feature those that are equivalent to the GDPR. So far, the UK government has said that its privacy rules will be “innovation-friendly” and permit easier data sharing but eliminate the EU’s “box-ticking” requirements. Continue reading Post-Brexit, UK Plans to Create Its Own Privacy Regulations

New York Is First City to Open a Cyberattack Defense Center

New York City just opened its Cyber Critical Services and Infrastructure (CCSI) Project, a real-time operational center to protect the metropolitan area against cyberattacks. Located in lower Manhattan, the center shares intelligence with 282 partners, including the New York Police Department (NYPD), Amazon, International Business Machines (IBM), the Federal Reserve Bank and several New York healthcare systems. The anti-cybercriminal effort started two years ago but has been entirely virtual until now. Continue reading New York Is First City to Open a Cyberattack Defense Center