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Thursday, August 5, 2021

Global Tech Roundup: Streamed Movies Now Eligible for Oscars, Travis Scott’s Fortnite Concert and Others

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This week was an exciting week of numbers, most tech companies released their first-quarter results. However, apart from the numbers, there have been several major stories in the global tech space.

Here is a quick roundup of things you might have missed across the globe during the course of the week.

Steamed movies now eligible for Oscars

In an unexpected twist of fate, streamed movies have been considered temporarily eligible for the Oscars. This was due to the widespread closure of theatres due to the COVID-19 Crisis.

Previously, movies that were not screened commercially for at least seven days in a Los Angeles theatre was not eligible to compete in the Best Picture and other categories of films in the awards.

However, due to the pandemic, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has chosen to loosen the rules around which films qualify for the Oscars. This will be good news to a streaming agency like Netflix, who may not necessarily be able to meet the theatre requirement for all its movies.

TikTok hits 2 billion downloads

Beyond most analysts’ early expectations, TikTok has grown exponentially to become one of the top video-sharing apps in the world. Born out of china, TikTok is the first app after Facebook, WhatsApp and Messenger to cross the 2 billion downloads threshold.

Although the stay at home policy caused by the virus boosted its growth, the app had already amassed about 1.5 billion downloads pre-COVID. Also, the platform has been making a considerable growth in revenue as users have spent about $456.7 million on TikTok, although 72.3% of it is from china.

Despite suspicion from several lawmakers in the US, TikTok still generated about $86.5 million on the app, making the nation the second most important market for TikTok.

NASA’s Mars helicopter

Exploring deep space is something that still very much interests we earthlings, and the possibility of life in Mars seems closer with each tech innovation. NASA in its next Mars rover this year, is planning to launch a brand new helicopter robot called ‘Ingenuity’.

The robot helicopter will attempt to make history by becoming the first vehicle to perform a powered atmospheric flight on another planet. The Ingenuity is a revolutionary piece of engineering that will attempt to overcome the increased lift requirements of Mars to perform short-altitude “hops” on Mars.

If the test is successful, man will be closer to having a full flight into Mars’ atmosphere. NASA’s Mars 2020 mission is currently scheduled to launch between July 17 and August 5 this year, with an expected arrival date of February 18, 2021.

Tesla Cars now see traffic lights

Tesla won’t just stop innovating. In its latest software update, Tesla has equipped its car with the functionality that lets it recognize and respond to traffic lights and stoplights. Isn’t that interesting?

Global Roundup: Streamed Movies Eligible for Oscars, Travis Scott Fortnite Concert
Tesla Cars can now sense traffic lights

According to the company, the new feature which is called Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control is designed to stop properly equipped Tesla vehicles when using “traffic-aware cruise control” or “Autosteer.”

When equipped, the vehicle will slow down and stop at the red line shown on the driving visualization, for all detected traffic lights, including green, blinking yellow and off lights.

2.3 Million attended Travis Scott’s Fortnight Concert

Following the lockdown in place across the world, Fortnite, a gaming platform, has suddenly become the popular home for concerts. Popular musician Travis Scott hosted a 10 minute concert on the multiplayer game which attracted a whopping 12.3 million people in attendance.

Now getting over 10 million people in a concert is a big deal, either physical or virtual. This shows that people are opting for a 3D virtual experience of concerts even if it’s with an enormous, Travis Scott avatar looming over players and teleporting around the venue while the visuals around him get increasingly psychedelic.

With the evident success of the concert, Epic games owners of Fortnite will be looking to host more live concerts. Also, with no evident end to the pandemic in-sight, it will be interesting to see if video game concert will be a new norm which people will gravitate towards.


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