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Friday Five: 10/17 – 10/21

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TGIF! Check out some of the latest tech stories before heading out for the weekend:

XYZPrinting’s CEO still believes in 3D-printing ubiquity - TechCrunch

Despite a stall in 3D-printing buzz, XYZPrinting CEO Simon Shen still believes the future is full of 3D printers. The Taiwanese company aims to make the 3D printer an everyday tool from the home to the office. According to Shen, the next step to evolve the 3D-printing industry is making it more accessible and affordable. The company is trying to execute based on that goal by expanding into multiple industries. After getting involved in education, XYZPrinting plans to make moves into more professional and manufacturing spaces.

Slack surpasses 4 million daily active users - ZDNet

This October, Slack reached more than 4 million daily active users. The workplace app proved to be a major force among collaboration tools with more than 1.25 million paying users and over 33,000 paying teams. Third-party integration with other apps is cited as one of the keys for Slack’s success by allowing personalization over other collaboration options. Meanwhile, Facebook’s Workplace and Microsoft’s Skype Teams are just around the corner to try and steal the spotlight from Slack.

Gartner: By 2020, you'll say more to a machine than to your spouse - CIO

Gartner's Symposium/ITxpo delivered some interesting predictions in regards to virtual reality technology, the downfall of the mobile app and the rise of blockchains. Gartner expects the future of both online and in-store shopping to engage customers through Augmented Reality (AR), making retail both interactive and futuristic. The research firm also predicted that 2019 would be the year that brands abandon apps in an over-saturated marketplace that makes it far too difficult to find the apps that are actually useful. Lastly, Gartner is predicting blockchains will be a multibillion dollar industry that will lead to larger and more transparent transactions.

Why Google A.I. is the last user interface - Computerworld 

With the rise trend of artificial intelligence (A.I.) and the push to optimize the technology, some are speculating that A.I. is the new user interface. Through conversing with the computers, not only does it simplify the interface, but it also makes it more adaptive. Google Assistant promises to be an effective AI virtual assistant through the company’s various tools. Gmail, Searches, Contacts, Calendar and even YouTube can all be leveraged to get to know the user better and prompt more specific commands.

Apple Deepens Enterprise Push With Deloitte Partnership - Fortune

In a move that aims to drive up enterprise sales, Apple partnered up with Deloitte. With declines to the sales of iPhones and iPads, the company is getting serious about a role in corporate technology. Though Apple has been accused of neglecting the enterprise space, this partnership along with Apple’s previous enterprise partnerships, seeks to develop and position iOS as an enterprise tool.

What did you read in tech news this week? Tweet us @WalkerSands!