Ford Outfits Employees with EksoVests, Facebook Wants More (Data), and Magic Leap

Photo, courtesy of TheVerge

Photo, courtesy of TheVerge

If it’s Thursday morning, that means another segment with Mark Starling and the crew at First News 570. It seems a week can’t escape my view before I have to talk about Facebook. Personally, the big news this week is Magic Leap. For years, people pegged it as vaporware, but they announced a not-so-vaporific headset that may compete against Hololens and Occulus. We’ll just have to see.

Always tune in LIVE on Thursdays at 6:43 am on First News 570.

SCIENCE FICTION MEETS SCIENCE REALITY AS FORD OUTFITS 75 WORKERS WITH EXOSUITS, PUTTING RIPLEY TO SHAME
Remember the movie Aliens, and the exosuit Ripley was wearing when she kicked the Xenomorph’s ass? Well, science fiction meets science reality. Ford Motor Company is outfitting 75 of its employees in 15 countries with EksoVests. A device that wraps around the upper body and provides an assist when lifting heavy objects or reaching for items overhead. Ekso Bionics is the company who invented the device and were original deployed in 2 US factories for testing. Ekso says a person’s work day at Ford may consist of listing a bag of flour over their heads 4600 times. Ford thinks the EksoVests are an intermediary between a human doing something and a full-on robotic solution.
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STILL WILLING TO PUSH THE ENVELOPE, FACEBOOK ASKS FOR USER FINANCIAL DETAILS
Facebook asks users to share financial information via Messenger. Coming off of one of the biggest privacy scandals in history, Facebook is encouraging its users to share their credentials with financial institutions to receive realtime account balance, shipping updates, and transaction alerts through their Messaging app. Facebook says that the data will not be used across applications but on within Messenger. Facebook is actively talking to banks to get more institutions to sign up.
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AFTER BEING LABELED VAPORWARE FOR YEARS, MAGIC LEAP GOES ON SALE
Mixed or augmented reality company, Magic Leap went on sale yesterday. The Magic Leap One is a device that consists of goggles and a device for moving in goggle objects. Like other AR/MR headsets, Magic Leap One projects objects in 3D space. The device is expensive, but it is a developers preview. You can purchase a Magic Leap One dev kit for $2300. Magic Leap competes against Microsoft’s HoloLens technology and Facebook’s Occulus Riff. Like any new tech, Magic Leap suffers from some early glitches, but over time the goggles and software should come down in price. I’m hoping someone comes up with killer applications and content for these devices, it’s an exciting time for them.
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