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Published: June 18th, 2018

Snapchat opens its platform up to third party developers, the 2018 World Cup is a testbed for new tech, and Tesla announces full autopilot.

First up from LinkedIn, Snapchat’s parent company Snap Inc. has begun working with third party developers for the first time ever and appears to be determined to avoid the privacy issues experienced by Facebook. The company’s new software-developer kit makes certain that developers can’t get ahold of any personal data on users or their friends, and it has explicitly said it doesn’t plan on using third-party data in targeted advertising from partners like Tinder. Bloomberg notes that the move puts Snap squarely at a disadvantage with competitors like Google and Facebook, which collect online data in order to market products to users.

Next up, you’ve undoubtedly seen that the World Cup officially began last week and has been trending on just about every social media platform since. This year’s tournament is in Russia and is serving as a sort of testbed for new technology. For the first time ever, video replay and goal line technology will be used at the World Cup, and all referees will have special connected watches that can get notifications from the technology and help them more accurately determine extra time. The entire tournament will be broadcast in 4K and 8K, as well as virtual reality in some cases through Facebook’s Oculus Go app. SAP is working with Team Germany to unveil a new sports video analytics platform, and the game balls will have tracking microchips in them. I don’t know who you’re rooting for, but technology might be the winner already.

And last but not least, Tesla announced it will turn on fully autonomous features in its vehicles’ self-driving autopilot software this August. CEO Elon Musk announced the major autopilot rollout in a Twitter response to someone concerned with how their Tesla handles lane merging when on autopilot, and says the new version of the software will support fully functional autonomous activities and will also fix the alert system that requires drivers to touch the wheel every 30 seconds or so when on autopilot. The last software update to Tesla’s autopilot was in July 2016, so this is a much-needed upgrade. The company’s over the air technology also means this update will be automatic; owners won’t need to take their vehicles to a service centre for the new tech.