To build a great tech company, just creating great tech isn’t enough. At OnePlus, our goal is to make technology better and more accessible—for everyone. So, we don’t feel threatened by the big ideas of others; we feel inspired. Great ideas are great ideas, and they deserve to be shared.
On that note, we are introducing our weekly news roundup, curated by our editorial team. We will be bringing you the news that inspires us, each and every week. And, with OnePlus currently at CES in Las Vegas, there couldn’t be a more fitting week to start.
+ A New Way of Thinking about Passwords
With several high-profile hacks of major companies this year, it’s no surprise that many security technologies garnered attention at CES. The problem is simple: even the most complex passwords can be compromised, either by algorithms or old-fashioned information theft. What’s the solution? Many startups think that the key lies inside all of us, as we all possess unique biometric signatures. Using a quick video scan of your eye, Myris by eyeLock can verify your identity by the specific pattern of your iris. The company claims that false matches are less than 1-in-1.5 million.
Nymi takes the form of a wearable wristband that monitors your heart’s “unique signature,” similar to an EKG. Again, this information could be used to login to a smartphone or personal computer. Going beyond your personal electronics, similar technologies could be integrated into ATMs, websites, and credit card terminals, getting rid of PINs and passwords for good. For the time being, though, staring into a camera or constantly wearing a wristband might seem more cumbersome than typing in that password you’ve had memorized for 15 years. Regardless, biometrics could be the next big movement in cyber security.
+ Internet TV Takes a Giant Leap Forward
If one technology has failed to truly enter the 21st century, it’s live television. Online streaming services are now a dime a dozen, and set-top content boxes like Roku and Apple TV are becoming household names. But, nothing has managed to fully replace the demand for good old-fashioned cable television providers. Namely, two things have been holding back the progression: premium content providers and live sports.
HBO launched HBO Go almost 5 years ago, placing their entire catalog on the internet. But, users still have to be monthly cable subscribers for access. However, HBO recently announced that they will begin offering standalone HBO Go access this year, no cable subscription required.
And, on Monday, Dish Network became the unlikely hero to attempt to solve the second piece of the puzzle. The company announced Sling TV at CES, offering 12 live TV channels over the internet (which will be playable via Android, Roku, Xbox One, and an impressive slew of other devices). The kicker, though, is that the initial 12 channel lineup will include ESPN and ESPN 2, for the first time ever. It’s only going to cost $20 a month and requires no yearly contract. It’s not a perfect solution, and likely won’t be available outside of select regions. But, it’s a step in the right direction, and it’s beginning to look like 2015 could finally see the cable cord cut for good.
+ 3D Printing: New Materials, New Ideas
While many still view 3D printers as expensive toys for hobbyists, several companies are attempting to increase their mass appeal and utility. CES saw Hershey and 3D Systems joining forces to create CocoJet, a 3D printer using chocolate rather than plastic. MakerBot just launched their new filament line, mimicking wood, limestone, iron, and bronze. While the filaments are still PLA plastic-based, they take on the look, feel, and some of the properties of their intended materials, a breakthrough for the industry. Another leading 3D printing company, Ultimaker, will launch a mini, cost-effective printer in April, making 3D printing more accessible to the casual consumer.
+ For News Startups, Headlines are a Commodity
Back in August, Facebook announced their crusade against clickbait by limiting the visibility of links that promise more than they are offering. Upworthy, The Huffington Post, and even Clickhole (clickbait satire at its best) are all pros at nonsensical headlines and journalistic fluff. Emerson Spartz, founder of clickbait hawker Dose, has developed algorithms that fish around reddit and Imgur for content that will become the next overshared post in your Facebook feed. This New Yorker article offers a glimpse into the mind of the apparent “Steve Jobs of clickbait.” The formula may work, and people may love to share these stories, but is it worth the death of traditional media?
+ Android Auto Gains More Momentum
Volkswagen announced that it will follow the likes of Volvo, Ford, and many other automobile giants by bringing smart technology to its 2015 auto lineup, featuring compatibility with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Such seamless technology integration is set to change the way consumers use their smartphones on the go, but some automakers have drawn lines in the sand. With Ferrari solely sporting iOS capability and Maserati pledging its loyalty to Android, we might be witnessing the early days of another OS war.
However, there’s no need to buy a car with Android Auto pre-installed to enjoy the platform. Pioneer has just announced three stereos with Android Auto support, as revealed at CES this week. And, other manufacturers, like Kenwood and Parrot, are launching similar products.
Any other news stories you loved this week? Let us know in the comments.