Modern Technologies News

NYPD Equips its Officers with Body Cameras

I know what you’re thinking: police officers and body cameras are a good match. And I’m pretty sure that most US citizens liked this idea. But for an unknown reason, the plan didn’t take off. Fortunately, NYPD has moved forward by signing a contract for 35,000 body cameras.

All the officers should get the equipments by the end of 2019, and then they will be able to patrol the streets while record what is happening around them. This will help keep them – and us – safe.

A few police officers were accused of deleting or editing the filmed material in the past. Apparently, the goal was to hide their excessive usage of force. By utilizing the new body cameras, these problems should quickly disappear.


Facebook Gets Into Video Streaming

It looks like Facebook wants to take on the online video giant – Google. And I’m pretty sure that we are only a few years away from the moment when the social media mammoth will launch its own search engine. It makes a lot of sense to stay in close contact with your friends, search the web, watch a video, run a webinar, purchase things online, and so on – and do all of this from within Facebook, isn’t it?

It is known that YouTube rewards videos that are watched for a longer time by pushing them upwards, closer to the top of its search results. It makes a lot of sense to do so, because having great videos at the top will encourage people to spend more time on the site, and thus “offer” them the chance to click more ads, keeping the advertisers – and Google – happy.

Facebook has incorporated the same idea into its algorithm, pushing engaging videos in front of more people. And now, it looks like Facebook has started to develop an app that’s supposed to run on several TV boxes. According to an unofficial source, Apple TV is one of the sought after targets, but I really can’t see what would prevent Facebook from building its own TV boxes.

Facebook plans to sign several contracts with some of the world’s largest media companies, with the goal of licensing thousands of shows, movies, sports events, and so on.


SoundHound vs. Google + Amazon?

OK, I hear you: SoundHound is too small to compete with Google or Amazon. In fact, it may be even too small to compete with Nuance, the makers of Dragon Naturally Speaking – world’s best-selling speech recognition software, according to its makers.

And yet, SoundHound has somehow managed to raise 75 million dollars from companies such as Samsung and Nvidia, which have also invested money into this company in the past. Most of the investment will be used by SoundHound to expand its business across Europe and Asia. The goal is to incorporate the company’s voice recognition software into as many Internet of Things devices as possible.

But why would anyone choose SoundHound, when Google and Amazon offer similar, proven, time-tested solutions? There is a simple, and yet rock-solid reason to do it: the company won’t ever try to hijack the manufacturers’ IoT products.

Both Google and Amazon force people to log into their accounts, and then they have access to their users’ data. With SoundHound, companies can keep their customers’ data for themselves.

Truth be told, I don’t see too much value in this for us, the end users. SoundHound plays a fair game, I agree, but who knows what the IoT devices makers plan to do with our personal data? Still, the prices for voice-powered IoT devices may be a bit smaller in the future, now that a third player has joined the race.