Digitopia is proud to present The Top 10 in Tech News. A monthly curation of newsworthy happenings in the global digital universe. The Digitopia Research Team works around the clock to bring you the latest news, views and insights in technology, and digital transformation.
1. Netflix says its gaming push will begin with mobile
Take: After its successful attempts at interactive content with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, the streaming giant Netflix recently announced that the company is exploring the gaming field. Moreover, the customers won’t need a bigger subscription package, the games will be included. Netflix had a soaring end quarter in 2020, adding 16 million new subscribers. As the vaccine roll-out eases the restrictions, Netflix intends to keep the engagement up with its users through mobile games.
Take: Twitter’s part-time CEO, Dorsey was known to be a crypto-enthusiast from its $23.6 million bitcoin fund with Jay Z and his other company Square’s push on decentralized finance. However, it was never on Twitter’s agenda until recently. As the company recently added more subscription services such as Super Follows and Tip Jar, Dorsey confirmed to the investors that the company is exploring options to integrate bitcoin into its product line.
Take: The Covid pandemic took its turn in the U.K. to become a “pingdemic” as the National Health Service app pings many workers to self-quarantine for 10 days as they contacted with a case. Many citizens started panic-buying as supermarkets, haulage firms and manufacturers reported difficulties keeping operations going. The side-effects of such an application raised questions about how the data is used, regulations, and the next steps living in a world of vaccine passports and geo-fencing.
Take: Last year, DeepMind surprised the biology world by predicting the structure of a protein within the width of an atom using AlphaFold. Recently, the London-based company published the details of that tool, released its source code, and announced that it has used its AI to predict the shapes of nearly every protein in the human body, as well as the shapes of hundreds of thousands of other proteins found in many widely studied organisms.
Take: The term “metaverse” was coined back in 1992 with a sci-fi novel Snow Crash, which meant the convergence of physical, virtual, and augmented experiences. Today, the term is Zuckerberg’s vision for the future of Facebook. In an internal address to the employees, Zuckerberg announced that divisions focused on products for communities, creators, commerce, and virtual reality would increasingly work to realize this vision, which would be the next big thing after the internet. While the White House is trying to tear down the giant, it certainly is interesting timing to set the horizon to a more converged future.
Take: Starting off as an ecosystem of commerce tools and services, now Square is officially a bank, too. A new product called Square Banking combines a checking account, savings accounts, debit cards, and loans together. With this offering, Square wants to capture all the financial needs of SMEs.
Take: After its successful IPO two years ago, Zoom was aggressively working its way to becoming an all-in-one communications platform by adding several office collaboration products, a cloud phone system, and a home communications appliance. The company’s freshest addition to the line of offerings is cloud call center with its acquisition of the 20-year-old Five9.
Take: Beijing government asked help from Tencent Holdings and Ant Group to create a state-backed. The People’s Bank of China in recent months has accelerated the testing of its digital yuan, putting Alipay and WeChat Pay in a difficult spot. The PBOC said the e-CNY is being developed mainly for domestic purposes. Tencent and Ant can try to design its use purpose to keep their competitive advantage.
Take: Home Depot is accelerating its cloud adoption to keep up with the rising demand from DIY and professional customers amidst the pandemic. The company aims to improve its digital presence with more tools and services running on Google Cloud. From inventory shortage predictions to voice assistants for smart search bars, the company wants to equip both its employees and customers with digital capabilities for a better experience.
Take: The edtech giant Duolingo is going public and its shares were expected to debut at $85 to $95 per share. Per the unicorn’s SEC filings, Duolingo is now targeting a $95 to $100 per share IPO price range, paving a strong path for the other edtechs. Before its public offering, the largest single hit of capital that Duolingo raised was a $45 million Series D from 2015.
Digitopia’s Final Take
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