Code-teaching app wins ‘FbStart Apps of the Year’ competition

What Next?

LiveLike lets you watch live sports with your friends in VR

LiveLike is an app that brings the thrill of game-day stadium experiences into fan’s living rooms using Virtual Reality (VR). The LiveLike VR experience is a ‘virtual suite’ overlooking the field, where users have the ability to select different camera angles, look around the suite and view pre-produced content. The app has now advanced one step further by letting you watch these live sports with friends in the Fox Sports VR app. Users will be able to join a room with any of their Facebook friends who have also downloaded the app, where they will appear as an avatar. The app uses 3D audio which will make friends’ voices louder or softer depending on where they are looking, making the experience feel more real. To top it off, you don’t even need to have a headset to use the app. To make it accessible for everyone, users can still download the app on a phone or tablet and experience a ‘slimmed-down’ version through scrolling.

Snapchat’s ‘Paperclip’ tool lets you share links within snaps

Snapchat’s latest update has finally broken its ‘no links’ policy, as well as releasing new creative new tools. Paperclip allows all users to add links to their snaps simply by tapping the Paperclip button in the Vertical Toolkit and adding the URL. Viewers can then simply swipe up to open the website in Snapchat’s built-in browser, which can be utilised to share product pages or events. Unsurprisingly, shared links must abide by Snapchat’s terms of service, community guidelines and privacy policy. The update also introduced backdrops and voice filters to keep the platform advancing creatively. Backdrops gives people a way to augment the world behind them, by cutting out an object from a Snap and inserting a layer of imagery between the real photo’s background. Voice filters are exactly what they sound like – remixes of the sound of the voices in your Snaps, but now you can use them without an AR face filter. Check out the demo on how to use these new tools below.

The Voice ends on a high note

Program Station Audience
The Voice Grand Final – Winner Announced Ch9 1,357,021
The Voice Grand Final Two Ch9 1,347,045
The Voice Grand Final Ch9 1,230,750
House Rules – Sun Ch7 1,061,721
House Rules – Tues Ch7 975,633
House Rules – Mon Ch7 948,704
Masterchef Australia – Thurs Ch10 916,678
Masterchef Australia – Mon Ch10 904,164
True Story with Hamish & Andy Ch9 893,453
Masterchef Australia – Tues Ch10 878,651

 

TV Ratings: 02/07 – 08/07

New Google project aims to solve ‘artificial stupidity’

Google knows that human-AI relations can be improved. All virtual assistants, including Apple’s Siri and Google’s Google Assistant, are capable of ‘artificial stupidity’, which is essentially when they fail to do something we expect to be within their capabilities. To attempt to combat the disappointing responses people receive from their smart helpers, Google has announced the launch of AI. PAIR, the for People + AI Research initiative. It will be led by experts and is expected to ‘create a toolkit of techniques and ideas about how to design AI systems less prone to disappoint or surprise us humans’. The new initiative will also make artificial intelligence more transparent to regular people (e.g. not AI experts), so that we understand the capabilities of such systems. Making humans and AI more compatible clearly has prospective business benefits, so only time will tell what PAIR can come up with.

Code-teaching app wins ‘FbStart Apps of the Year’ competition

As part of the global FbStart program, Facebook hosts the ‘FBStart Apps of the Year’ event which recognises the most innovative and successful apps. SoloLearn took out the Grand Prize this year, which is a free mobile-first app for anyone who wants to learn how to code. The idea of the SoloLearn is to educate members through game mechanics, peer-to-peer sharing and user-generated content. The app offers 12 free courses, including JavaScript and HTML/CSS, and also gives members the chance to compete in head-to-head challenges and unlock hidden lessons. SoloLearn already has 5+ million profiled learners, with some community members even beginning to generate content within the app. The success of SoloLearn shows that coding is becoming an increasingly important skill in today’s tech age and it won’t be long until it’s a necessity on resumes. So if you’re interested in learning to code, there’s never been a better time to start.

KFC creates a Colonel Sanders robot to take drive-thru orders

KFC is keeping Colonel Harland Sanders’ memory alive by creating a robot replica of the founder. In celebration of America’s National Fried Chicken Day, people were able to order their regular KFC meals from the ‘state-of-the-art voice modulator system’. The robot is called H.A.R.L.A.N.D., which stands for ‘Human Assisted Robotic Linguistic Animatronic Networked Device’. So what was the aim of this bizarre yet advanced stunt? To give drive-thru customers the coveted experience of ordering from a device with the voice of Colonel Sanders.

Uptime doesn’t want you to YouTube alone

Uptime, YouTube’s experimental app, lets you watch videos with friends while reacting and commenting. The invite-only app was launched in March as a means of testing a more ‘social’ way to watch YouTube, but has now opened up to all iOS users for free. The app is linked with Facebook, so friends can either co-watch videos with you in real-time, or they can join later to see others’ reactions to the videos played back as they watch. Essentially, the app means you’ll never have to watch a YouTube video on your own again! And what’s the biggest perk? You can share videos immediately with friends without having to open another laggy app. The Uptime experiment is one of several to emerge from Google’s Area 120, which supports entrepreneurial-minded Google employees to try out new ideas.

Did you catch last week’s issue of What Next? Or would you like to browse our previous issues?

Back to all issues