Wass Up Tech: VR Olympics, Walmart’s race with Amazon, and IT’s sprint at Rio 2016

|August 6, 2016 0
The battle was never cold – but it just got a fresh torch

INDIA: Denim and leopard prints are back in season, but not where they are usually draped.

Another VR (Virtual Reality) toy! Not really, this one stands out for being smartphone-powered and for coming out of the stable of phone-major Xiaomi. The Chinese maker seems all set to challenge me-first-s of the market, whether it is a Cardboard or Oculus, with the game of pricing and color/style options as well as use of an open platform, content from Conde Nast and YouKu.

Would it be able to catch up with Google, Facebook, and Samsung etc.? Or would it suffer the aftermath of spreading itself too thin across electric cycles, kitchen cookers, besides laptops and hit smartphones? That answer would separate virtual from reality.

If a phone maker’s gambit into headsets sounds too strange then wait till Apple surprises further by selling solar energy in wholesale markets. It has reportedly got the nod to hawk energy generated at its $850m solar farm in California. Despite concerns over capacity-investment and actual-output mismatch, Apple’s foray into renewables could be enough to generate excitement for this category. But remember even Google is shopping wind farms.

Competition, after all, is never dozing. Even as Amazon was busy unfurling its own cargo airline, Wal-Mart is leaving no aisle un-trodden in snapping up Jet.com (after its last start-up buy of Yumprint) to flex its muscles better against Amazon in the e-commerce battle. The $3 billion price tag could be a huge one though, specially as Jet.com’s advertising spends and actual potential are still hazy and Amazon is also on its way to eat into Wal-Mart’s breakfast around fresh food deliveries. A good opponent makes for a good race and Amazon would keep giving that delight to Wal-Mart and others for some more time, experts indicate.

The Mecca for many opponents and fierce competitors comes alive this week as Rio Olympics games open. With that, technology is all set to surprise and overwhelm the world with its undeniable presence – from BMW’s dive into the water for tracking swimmers, finish-line image-captures, water-proof bracelet-powered or finger-ring NFC payments, virtual-reality content with 360 degree images to Nike’s or Adidas’s experiment with 3D printed gear and the big battle with Zika.

Nike vs. Adidas, Xiaomi vs. Samsung, Wal-Mart vs. Amazon: Fighting with competition has never been more fun.

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