Tag Archives: Google

Digi.me raises $6.1 million from Swiss Re

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Digi.me, a UK-based startup that enables users to download their online social life and unify their social networks, has raised $6.1 million. The Series A round was led by leading reinsurance company Swiss Re. The Digi.me app allows users to back up and re-share content they have previously posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, LinkedIn, Google+, RSS, Pinterest and Viadeo. The app creates a searchable data journal that can keeps all social media content to ensure important online memories are safely saved. With the new funds, Digi.me aims to build a data-sharing platform that will give users more control over their content while also helping businesses gain access to user data. Instead of data harvesting, Digi.me promotes informed consent by letting people chose who and how they share their data.

Google acquires Webpass

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Google recently announced it acquired San Francisco-based Internet service provider Webpass. The move means the search giant will now be able to expand the reach of Google Fiber, which is its own fiber-to-the-premises Internet and cable TV service in the US. More significantly, the acquisition will allow Google to have a look at pCell, a breakthrough wireless antenna that Webpass is helping to test. Developed by Steve Perlman of Artemis Network, pCell technology gives users their own wireless Internet bubble that follows them around, and provides full speed mobile Internet service, no matter how many people are in the area. According to sources, Artemis Network has agreed to continue to work with Webpass after the merger with Google Fiber. Industry observers predict the collective technologies of Google Fiber, Webpass and Artemis Network may pave the way for speedier Internet connection for everyone.

Is Augmented Reality the future of gaming?

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Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are two of the most exciting things happening in gaming today. According to research firm Digi-Capital, the VR market is expected to be worth $30 billion in 2020 while the AR market is expected to grow to $120 billion that same year. So, not surprisingly, investors and tech companies have taken notice and, as a result, they have been investing serious cash in the space in the past years: Facebook spent $2 billion for Oculus, Google led a $542 million round of funding in Magic Leap, Apple acquired German AR company Metaio, and Microsoft developed its HoloLens. While it is likely that we will eventually see intense competition among these companies, one independent startup is making some headway in the AR space. Niantic Labs, a former Google company, is developing a new AR game called Pokemon GO that will allow players to “see” and “capture” Pokemons in the real world. An app will direct the players to real locations where they can “catch” lurking Pokemons. To help build the game, Niantic Labs has raised $20 million in funding from Nintendo, the Pokemon Company and Google. Although the success of this game remains to be seen, it is a sign that AR could change the way people play games.

Weekly Featured Company: Google DeepMind

Founded Headquarters Sector Employees Revenue Total Investment Recent Investment
2011 Mountainview, California Software & Services 75
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The future of AI?

Despite the warnings of Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates about the potential dangers of machine superintelligence, Google recently announced that its DeepMind division is accelerating its efforts in Artificial Intelligence or AI. Google DeepMind has recently partnered with the renowned Oxford University for AI research. Google acquired UK-based DeepMind in 2014 for more than $500 million. Founded by neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, a former child prodigy in chess, Shane Legg, and Mustafa Suleyman, DeepMind is a formidable player in the AI community. The company specializes in an advance form of Machine Learning called Reinforcement Learning. In a nutshell, Reinforcement Learning (RL) is a branch of AI that allows software to learn by interacting with its environment. Rather than acting from what it has been explicitly taught, the software or RL agent learns from the consequences of its actions and selects its actions based on past experiences and new choices. A numerical reward signal is provided to encode the success of the action’s outcome. This week, Google DeepMind announced that they have developed AI software capable of learning to play video games just by watching them. The software scored highly against its human opponents in Atari games such as Video Pinball, Boxing and Breakout.