This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.
Facebook Messenger launches six-screen group video chat with selfie masks
Facebook Messenger is launching its own split-screen group video chat feature. Six users can appear in split-screen at a time with Snapchat-style selfie marks, while 50 total can listen and talk over voice while sending text, stickers, emojis, and GIFs.
Instead of simply logging into an ever-present video chat room that notifies friends, you deliberately select friends or a group text thread to invite to a video cal.
On in, up to four Messenger users can share big slices of the screen. Between four and six callers, the Messenger screen switches to a gallery format, with the speaker taking over the bulk of the screen with little thumbnails of everyone else at the bottom. Beyond the first six, up to 50 callers will only be able to listen, speak, and send content but won’t appear in the video gallery.
Lumus raises $45M to make wearable augmented reality displays
Lumus has raised $45M for its augmented reality smartglasses displays.
Taiwanese laptop maker Quanta Computer led the round, with additional participation from strategic investors like HTC, Shanda Group, and Crystal-Optech.
The Rehovot, Israel-based company makes the optical engine that powers AR solutions.
“This new funding will help Lumus continue to scale up our R&D and production in response to the growing demand from companies creating new augmented reality and mixed reality applications, including consumer electronics and smart eyeglasses. We also plan to ramp up our marketing efforts in order to realize and capture the tremendous potential of our unique technology to re-envision reality in the booming AR industry.”
-Ben Weinberger, Lumus CEO
“AR/VR is well aligned with our growth strategy, and we’re pleased to invest in the Lumus optics solution for augmented reality. This is pioneering technology, and we have great confidence in Lumus as an innovator and industry leader for transparency optical displays in the AR market.”
-C. Leung, Quanta Computer vice chairman & president
“We are very committed to AR/VR. Our current investment is aligned with HTC’s natural extension into augmented reality, following our successful Vive launch earlier this year.”
-David Chang, HTC chief operating officer
OneWeb raises $1.2B to offer satellite-based internet services
OneWeb has raised $1.2B in new funding in its quest to offer satellite-based internet services rolling as soon as 2019.
According to the company, the funding will go towards “support” of a high-volume satellite production facility that will be located in Florida that was first announced at the start of the year. The project aims to churn out 15 satellites a week at a “fraction of the cost of what any manufacturing facility in the world can produce today.” Development of the Florida facility is expected to be completed in 2018, and will create around 3,000 new jobs over the next four years.
“With this new round of funding and based on our rapid technical progress over the past year, we also announce a much larger goal: To fully bridge the Digital Divide by 2027, making Internet access available and affordable for everyone.”
-Greg Wyler, OneWeb founder & chairman
According to Wyler, the company will launch an initial 10 test satellites in early 2018 with the goal of introducing a full fleet of 72 low orbit satellites six months later.