Nabyl’s Weekly Digital Age Update – Episode 29

By August 5, 2019 Insight

In Episode 29 of my weekly update I’m sharing stories and insights about Facebook’s research in brain control, handling robots in virtual reality, and continued waves from the world of eSports.

1. Facebook is exploring brain control for AR wearables

The intersection of exponential technologies is paving the way for many anticipated innovations, including a brain-reading computer interface from Facebook. In other words, getting rid of voice commands and typing, and instead simply imagining what you want to say. Applications could include assisting people with medical conditions, amongst other functions. The idea of using tech to augment the brain might sound familiar to those who remember Ray Kurzweil’s TED talk on hybrid thinking (using nanobots that will connect part of our cerebral cortex to a synthetic neocortex in the cloud), and more recently, Elon Musk’s Neuralink that is developing brain-machine interfaces capable of transferring large amounts of data using flexible ‘threads’.

2. Space robots remotely controlled in VR

In Episode 28, I noted the partnership between software platform Olis Robotics and hardware company Tethers Unlimited that will produce a remote-controlled system for in-space manufacturing processes. Now, SE4, a software-for-robotics company combining AI and VR (virtual reality) is working to initiate “off-world robot-driven industries”. In a nutshell, just as companies like Facebook and Neuralink are developing brain-machine interfaces for humans (see above), other companies are working to develop human-machine interfaces for robotics – in this case, SE4’s approach to have robots execute complex tasks, virtually.

3. Esports star Ninja ditches Amazon’s Twitch, inks exclusive streaming deal with Microsoft’s Mixer

Back on earth, the competition for eyeballs in the world of video game streaming continues to heat up. Amazon-owned Twitch remains the platform of choice with a staggering 2.7 billion hours watched (approximately 72% of all live hours watched) in Q2 2019 compared to 702 million hours for YouTube Gaming, and a mere 119 million hours for Microsoft’s Mixer platform. With this in mind, eSports phenom Tyler “Ninja” Blevins (one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world) signing an exclusive deal with Mixer signals Microsoft’s intentions for their piece of the highly valued eSports market.

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