News Around The Mobile Metaverse – October 19 – 23, 2015

Every day the Sourcebits team internally shares links to our favorite mobile industry news and stories. Many are related to mobile app design and development — others are just plain fun. Here’s a roundup of interesting stories we uncovered this week from around the mobile metaverse.

Stanford Researchers Treat Autism With Google Glass
By Nitish Kulkarni, Tech Crunch

Google’s first foray into wearable optical may not have panned out with consumers in the way the company had hoped, but the technology is finding an application in the medical field. Autism Glass Project at Stanford University is using the Google Glass to help educate autistic kids about how to recognize emotions on other’s faces. Glass tracks where the child is looking during periods of treatment and also records the facial expressions of the people with whom they interact. By logging the line of sight and corresponding emotions of others, researchers hope to increase the emotional intelligence of their patients. The long term goal is to educate autistic children to the point where they can recognize emotional expression without wearing the device. This story goes to show the amazing potential of wearable technology to improve human life.

Fitness Band Sends Kids on Digital Humanitarian Missions
By Margaret Rhodes, Wired

A sad irony of the modern world is the unequal distribution of food sources around the globe. Here in America, childhood obesity is an epidemic while in other parts of the world starvation is a real threat to survival. Now, UNICEF is imagining a solution to both problems with the Kids Power Band which encourages first-world kids to walk to unlock food for children in other countries. And UNICEF is not taking the promotion of their new mobile device and corresponding mobile apps lightly. They have recruited professional athletes, Hollywood, and the designers of the Beats headphones to help make the Kids Power Band a success. If it does catch on with the little ones, this new fitness band will be good for the heart and soul.

Facebook Rolls Out Instant Articles to All iOS Users and Announces an Android Beta
By Casey Newton, The Verge

Open up your Facebook feed. Do you see a news article with a lightning bolt next to the title? That’s no regular link, that’s an instant article that publishers bet will be the future of news reading on mobile apps and devices. These articles load 10 times faster than normal links and rank higher in the feed the more they are shared across social media. Dozens of the country’s top news sites including The New York Times, BuzzFeed, and The Huffington Post are partners in the program and many more are salivating at the opportunity to be included. Facebook isn’t just a place to keep in touch with friends; it’s now the Grand Central station of world news.

6 Months On – Effects of Google’s Mobile Update
By Oliver Neely, Business 2 Community

Remember the Google software update back in April 2015 that sent business owners of all sizes into a frenzy? The update put a new emphasis on mobile-friendly websites in its search algorithm, rewarding websites that pass the “Mobile Friendly Test” and demoting those that do not. Now, after six months of action, not much has changed. Many major companies still don’t have mobile-friendly websites, which is funny considering over half of all internet searches happen on a mobile device. Besides that, the further a website drops in the search results, the less clicks they get, further harming their bottom line. Any business that is running a non-responsive website and mobile app is behind the times. It’s time to catch up with the pack.

FIFA Wants to Create a Standard for Wearable Tech in Football
By Christian de Looper, Tech Times

The beautiful game has had an ugly year off the pitch but the game of football (soccer) is as popular as ever. FIFA is the largest governing body in the sport, you know, the one in the midst of sport’s largest corruption scandal. Well, though the organization is in turmoil, they are still attempting to function and improve the game they are meant to oversee. A recent request from FIFA asks fitness band producers to pitch their ideas for a wearable device that can be used by all FIFA teams for training and perhaps in matches. All the device and accompanying mobile app have to do is be medically beneficial and safe for players to wear. This is a potentially huge contract for the producer that can land it and sure to attract all the heavyweights of wearable tech. Let the games begin!.


Piotr Gajos, Chief Innovation Officer

Piotr is Sourcebits Chief Innovation Officer. A 2006 Apple Design Award winner, Piotr draws much of his inspiration from film and music, and focuses on leading our Innovation Strategy Workshops, generating new ideas for Sourcebits, and consulting on projects.