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.
Pokémon Go will start in-game ads
Pokémon Go (PG) has been incredibly successful in its opening week, so it’s no surprise that the makers, Niantic, are already eyeing a longer-term avenue of profit – advertisements. Niantic CEO John Hanke told the Financial Times that sponsored locations would become a regular part of the augmented reality game, along with in-app purchases of power-ups and virtual items. This means that retailers like Starbucks, Target, and others will have the ability to pay to be featured in PG’s virtual map. This is expected to act as a trigger to push customers into specific corporate locations. Hanke went on to divulge that these sponsors would be paying on a cost-per-visit basis, rather than the cost-per-click algorithm used so often in marketing. Many U.S.-based retailers are already informally jumping on the PG advertisement bandwagon. These companies are buying $10 in-game Pokémon lures to entice PG players through their store doors. Other companies are rushing to social media to boast how many Poke Stops they house.
Google set to allow family sharing
Google says they’ll be letting Android and Google Play users share their purchased apps, games, and media with up to 6 other people for free. This means the primary Google Play account holder has the ability to pick and choose what songs, movies, and games to share with other people. The Google Play Family Library plan is set to become available in late July.
Facebook post translation in the works
You may already be seeing translations in your Facebook feed. If not, very soon Facebook will be able to translate any post you write in English to a variety of different languages. So if you want to write a post in German, you can. And although the translation software used by Facebook is not always accurate, you’ll also have the ability to edit your newly-translated post to your liking. Furthermore, Facebook says that the more the translation software is used, the more adept it will be translating. Facebook post translation is currently only available to certain people who manage pages right now. Those who currently have access still need to manually permit the translate feature by going to the language section of account settings. But because over half Facebook’s users are non-English speakers, we think the translation feature will soon be available to everyone.
Jumping higher at the Olympics
The Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics are just around the corner, and we’re starting to see some really cool technology that the athletes are using in their training and competitions. VERT is a wearable that is being worn by all the ladies on the U.S. Women’s Olympic Volleyball team during their daily six-hour practice sessions. The VERT jump monitor, which fits around all of the players’ waists, measures and counts their jump heights. The related app collects all of that data, which the team has been using as an injury prevention tool. This information allows the team and coaches to determine who is jumping too high or too much, and they can then restructure the play around keeping that player from jumping too much. We can’t wait to see just how far VERT can take the U.S. Women’s Olympic volleyball team.
Video games and kids with special needs
Educational video games are released daily in the U.S., including thousands that are created specifically to help educate kids with special needs. However, expert Caroline Knorr with Common Sense Media says that even mainstream video games can benefit a child with special needs. This might be surprising news, but popular video games can boost a kid’s self-confidence, allow them to approach an adult to ask for help, and can educate a child with learning difficulties in a safe environment with safe challenges. Games can positively supplement a child with special needs’ communication, motor skills, organization, reading and writing, and even social interaction.
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