NewsBytes Briefing: US Army bets big on HoloLens, and more
If you thought augmented reality tech was just a passing fad, the US Department of Defense begs to differ. The agency made a massive $21.88 billion deal with Microsoft to supply the US Army with 120,000 ruggedized HoloLens AR units. Dubbed as the Integrated Visual Augmented System (IVAS), the beefed-up $3,500-worth HoloLens headsets will make war look more like your favorite first-person shooter.
As the lines between war and video games are getting blurred, Elon Musk and company are doing the same for tourism and space exploration. SpaceX's Crew Dragon capsule got an upgrade that gives it a 360-degree panoramic view. This will come handy in its upcoming space tourism mission meant to ferry a billionaire into space. The all-glass dome will offer a gorgeous view.
Coming back to Earth, things aren't looking cheery with the pandemic-imposed restrictions and economic downturn. It's grim to the point that even Google seems to have lost its sense of humor for the second consecutive year. Google has canceled its lively April Fool's Day pranks this year as well. It will instead find appropriate ways to bring joy to users throughout the year.
Unfortunately, not even the pandemic will prevent Silicon Valley from cannibalizing each other. After assimilating Clubhouse, Instagram has copied the wildly popular Duets feature from TikTok and called it Remix. In a way, the Biden administration revoking the TikTok ban is a good thing for Big Tech. Without it, they would actually have to get off their behinds and come up with innovative features.
We knew India was serious about its Make in India initiative, but nothing could prepare us for this development. The fledgling economic powerhouse is giving chipmakers compelling reasons to set shop in India. One billion good reasons to be precise. The Indian government will give a whopping $1 billion in cash incentives to any chipmaker willing to set up manufacturing plants in the country.