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Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of this week’s industry news:
Samsung Announces Gear 360, a New Virtual Reality Camera -- New York Times
Samsung announced this week at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain that it will launch Gear 360, a camera designed to record virtual reality videos. This innovation along with two other Galaxy smartphones presented at the conference will complement the Gear VR, which serves as a virtual reality headset and works exclusively with Samsung phones. With a camera on both the front and back of the Gear 360, the device allows users to capture their entire surroundings and share an experience in virtual reality. The new phones are expected to hit the U.S. market on March 11. The camera will be released later this year as well, though pricing information is not yet available.
Volvo wants to replace car keys with smartphones -- USA Today
Volvo plans to sell keyless cars by year’s end. According to USA Today, the Swedish manufacturer believes that Bluetooth-enabled smartphones will become “digital keys” for Volvo vehicles, enabling drivers to share their car with family and friends by merely pushing a button. The company will begin testing this new technology by partnering with a car-sharing firm at the Gothenburg Landvetter Airport in Sweden.
MasterCard Launching Selfie Payments -- CNN Money
As financial transactions shift to a more mobilized platform, MasterCard has announced a new technology that will authenticate their customers using fingerprint scans and selfies. Designed to improve security for the MasterCard network, the new strategy uses an app that allows cardholders to take a photo each time they make an online purchase. The decision to use facial recognition biometrics was announced at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, Spain and is expected to launch in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and other European countries.
Facebook Gives Us More Ways to Push Each Other's Buttons -- TechNewsWorld
Facebook has given its nearly 1.6 billion users more options when responding to a particular post or advertisement. Understanding that a “Like” is not always the right sentiment, the company rolled out five new “Reactions” including Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry. The update will also have key implications for marketers by providing a deeper understanding of the feedback an advertisement receives.
Google Docs has changed its voice features yet again. After introducing users to voice typing only six months ago, the collaborative technology now offers voice commands for users to edit and format documents. Commands such as “select all,” “align center,” “bold,” and “increase font size” make up this newest update. Although this shortcut may seem inconvenient to some, the advancements are designed to help people with impairments that keep them from using a keyboard.
Read anything that caught your eye this week? Give us a shout out on Twitter @WalkerSands.