News Around The Mobile Metaverse – October 5 – 9, 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.

The Story Behind the Surface Book’s Crazy New Hinge
By Margaret Rhodes, Wired

Microsoft unveiled a new computer yesterday called the Surface Book and earned a lot of praise for their new design. That star of the show? A hinge, but not just any hinge, Microsoft is calling it the “dynamic fulcrum hinge.” Basically, the dynamic fulcrum hinge is four pieces of aluminum that unroll to allow the Surface Book to transform from a laptop to a tablet. The idea behind the Surface Book was to design a “laptop first” tablet, but that presented the issue of folding a laptop into a tablet. DFH was the answer, and so far, it’s working.

Google Street View Now Lets You Enter Virtual Reality
By Chris Burns, Slash Gear

When Google changed to Alphabet, a lot of the different divisions split from each other into unique entities. One such split occurred between Street View and Google Maps, and for their first solo trick, Street View is introducing a virtual reality feature. The new VR effect is a combination between two mobile apps Google Cardboard and Street View. When a user opens the Street View with the Google Cardboard app, the screen will be split in two with a different view on the right and left. Click the link above to see a video, it’s pretty cool.

Wearable Tech Has Moved Beyond Fitness to Lifestyle Products
By Anupam Mathur, Financial Express

No doubt the most successful wearable devices to date have been fitness oriented. Specifically, watches and bands that track calories, steps, and heart rate have become an obsession among the health conscious. But, for the most part, these devices have been heavy on function and low on fashion. As a result, the potential users of these fitness trackers are a very small niche of all possible consumers. To broaden appeal, Mathur suggests that companies must improve the aesthetics of their products without sacrificing the functionality that made them successful in the first place.

Facebook Finally Reveals What its ‘Dislike’ Button Will Really Look Like
By Paul Sawers, Venture Beat

Ever had the inkling to punch your computer screen after reading a Facebook post? Ever chuckled aloud at a friend’s antics? Ever shed a tear after hearing news over social media? Everyone has felt different emotions on Facebook and now the company wants to allow users to express themselves beyond ‘like.’ Facebook is introducing a set of emoji-based buttons that are similar, but more specific than the ‘like’ button. For example, in the near future Facebookers will be able to love or laugh at posts, and show sadness or surprise. The future starts tomorrow in Spain and Ireland where Facebook will test their new feature.

The Dark Side of Wearables: How they’re secretly jeopardizing your security and privacy
By Teena Hammond, Tech Republic

Think before you wear a wearable device, that’s the lesson to be learned from this article. Because while they seem harmless, activity trackers record a lot of personal information such as sleep patterns, diet, weight, and daily habits. All of the information that is taken in by the devices is stored in the cloud. The reason for this is so individuals have the ability to compare and track their health over time but what if that information gets into the wrong hands? What if a hacker breaks into a vault of personal fitness information and sells it to a health insurance company under the table? Rates go up, all because you worn a stinking little band on your wrist.

Nest Weave Arrives To Connect The Smart Home (Dumb Appliances, Too!)
By David Nield, readwrite

Google’s Nest division is leading the charge to increase the IQ of your home. The Nest Weave is the captain, acting like a command center that connects all the smart devices in your home and according to Nest, Weave tech has been secretly built into their devices for years. And, the most impressive part about the Nest Weave is that it allows devices to communicate without Wi-Fi. This means, for example, that your home security system works even if the internet is down. Don’t think your dumb appliances are left out, though. Weave ropes them into Nest’s so-called “mesh network” that lets them communicate too.

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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.