This week in tech keeps you informed by bringing you the most important news in the industry. Here’s what you need to know this week.
Instagram is joining Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks soon in making our very big world a little bit smaller - with the launch of their text translation feature. This new text translation feature is set to roll out sometime in July. This means that the Instagram app will now auto-translate comments and descriptions to the user's chosen language. The full list of languages for this feature has not yet been released, but we look forward to being able to understand every picture and story soon.
Sleep better with the new Fitbit app
Fitbit’s new app update brings a much needed improvement to their sleep tracking tool. Previously, Fitbit included only the basic sleep tracking tools when it came to sleep monitoring. But with this new update, users can now track their Sleep Schedule to attain more consistent sleep patterns. This scheduler looks at past sleep patterns and suggests how to get more restful sleep based on those logs. It can also customize a bedtime and wake up reminder, so you can maintain your sleep goals. We've heard that Fitbit will continue to make major improvements on their app throughout the rest of 2016.
Pokemon is a go for smartphones
Millions of millennials will be able to play their favorite childhood game on their smartphones this July, when Pokemon Go, a smartphone game for Android and iOS, is released to the public. Nintendo reports that Pokemon Go uses augmented reality to allow users to capture Pokemon and his friends in the real world. Players can also look forward to a $34.99 Pokémon Go Plus watch wearable that allows them to play the game without their smartphone – although the wearable won’t be available until sometime after the game launch.
360-degree Facebook videos work in virtual reality
Facebook 360 Videos are a way users can explore the world inside a posted video. This means users can click and drag, or move their device around, to attain a different view within the video. And now users can become even more immersed in those 360 Videos, because Facebook released Facebook 360 Videos that are compatible with Gear VR. This means VR users can use Facebook’s Reactions on any 360 Video within Facebook. Spokespersons for the social media platform have stated that VR Facebook Reactions could also be coming to 360 Photos soon.
Atlantic flight powered by the sun
It is almost unbelievable that an experimental aircraft has crossed the Atlantic fully powered by the sun. But it's true. The Solar Impulse 2 completed the trip in just four days, starting off in New York and ending up in Seville, Spain on Thursday, June 23, 2016. This record-breaking flight marks the most difficult leg of its round-the-world trip, which started in March 2015. The aircraft is covered with 17,000 photovoltaic cells that charge its batteries for flight power. And because the plan can only carry one passenger in its unheated and unpressurized cabin, this technology still has to travel a long way before the public can fly on solar power.
Teaching kids time management
Technology is making the task of teaching children real life skills easier and even trackable. One such product that is helping teach time management skills to kids is the Octopus smartwatch. This new kids wearable, produced by JOY, appeared on Kickstarter about a month ago, and it’s been fully funded already. In fact, it’s received over 120% more than the makers requested. The smartwatch connects to an app on the parents’ phone, where the parents can determine timers and alerts that they'd like to set for their child. For example, a parent can set a task to ‘feed the fish’ at 7:20pm every night, which will then appear as a fun icon alert vibration on the child’s watch, reminding them of their responsibility.
Want more ways to stay in-the-know about the newest technology? Check out our TCC Talk YouTube series. Each episode features information and how-to tutorials on smartphones, tablets, wearables, apps, and more.