Why is Facebook Interested in Oculus?
Facebook+Oculus seems like an awkward marriage at first glance, but the deal highlights how much Facebook sees itself as a platform company. Oculus has a lot going for it in the race to be the VR platform of choice, but is early enough in that journey that Facebook can add a lot of value through the hard lessons they’ve learned in developer relations as they stood up their social and ad platforms. Mark Zuckerberg’s vision is that Facebook will be is so much more than just a social network, and Oculus will play a key role in that vision. With the deal officially closed, only time and energy stand between Facebook and that vision.
Why is 3D Printing so Interesting?
It’s not hard to imagine a world where instead of going to the store, many small items (both consumable and non-consumable) will be bought via an online store (possibly first previewed in 3D via Oculus Rift) and printed at home on a 3D printer. For consumers, this saves time, money, reduces congestion on the roads. For businesses, this is great because it eliminates many of the main barriers to purchase, in addition to cutting down on many of the infrastructure costs that makes the retail business so tricky. I predict we’ll soon see Amazon produce their own 3D printer to make it even easier for their loyal customers to purchase from them.
Why are Computer Companies Building Self Driving Cars?
So it turns out that the same artificial intelligence and deep learning techniques that are used to power online search and personal assistants can be used to make smarter cars, and the automobile industry is conveniently a trillion-dollar-per-year industry that is just begging to be disrupted (see: Tesla). Sounds like a match made in heaven, and while there are certainly a myriad of social and moral issues involved in autonomous vehicles, it generally is. The most interesting thing about Baidu getting involved in the game to me is their realization that building a fully autonomous vehicle for the less-than-law-abiding drivers in China and India poses many challenges that the less-creative drivers on North American and European roads do not have to face.