Tech Trends- Feb 20-21
Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo, Samsung makes your car a hotspot, NASA uses the Hololens and more in this week’s Weekend in Tech Trends.
Tech Trends 1) Virgin Galactic reveals SpaceShipTwo
Virgin Galactic has unveiled the new and improved SpaceShipTwo, which will be the ship that brings “space tourists” into space. This SpaceShipTwo has taken the name Unity, after some inspiration from Stephen Hawking. The design of Unity remains close to the first SpaceShipTwo with just some engineering updates. Specifically one to make sure the feathering function that brought down the first SpaceShipTwo cannot malfunction the same way.
Despite tickets being $250,000, hundreds of people have already signed up to take a ride into space when Virgin is able to commercialize the program. During the flight, six passengers get a chance to experience weightlessness as well as see the earth from the edge of space. Then land safely on a runway. Sadly, that’s still a few years away. Virgin says that they will be running a very high number of tests before tourists are ever able to board. Check out the featurre by CNN below to see the behind the scenes of the SpaceShipTwo.
Tech Trends 2) Samsung release Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge pre-order and release dates
Samsung has unveiled and announced the release date of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Pre-orders for the new phones begin on Tuesday, February 23rd and the devices will arrive as well as be in stores on March 11th.
Now that carriers have made pricing plans complicated, the pricing for the new Galaxy varies. The 32GB Galaxy S7 will cost you $27.09 on Sprint and $27.91 on T-Mobile over 24 months. The pricer S7 Edge, meanwhile, comes in at $31.25 on Sprint, and $32.50 on T-Mobile. AT&T has only announced pricing for its 30-month plans; they come in at $23.17 per month for the S7 and $26.50 for the S7 Edge. Verizon has yet to announce their pricing plan. However, if you order your phone before February 27th, Samsung will throw in a free Gear VR headset. So atleast you get a little something extra for ordering early. On top of that, each carrier also has their own promotion for pre-ordering early so be sure to look into your carrier to see what you get for being an early adopter. Check out the video below to see TheVerge breakdown both the Galaxy S7 and the S7 Edge.
Tech Trends 3) NASA astronauts use Microsoft Hololens as a sidekick on the ISS
It’s cool enough being able to live in the International Space Station, but now astronauts are also getting to be early testers of the latest and greatest in tech. Astronauts in the ISS are now testing out Microsoft Hololens. The Hololens is a part of a project titled Sidekick, which is meant to provide the crew with a helping hand without having to flip through manuals or stay on a radio. As seen in videos, the Hololens allows for objects to be drawn on or even have animations overlay on top of them. This means astronauts can receive amazing help when wearing the Hololens. They say it’ll be awhile before the Hololens is standard issue but at least this is a step in the right direction.
Tech Trends 4) Samsung Connect Auto turns your car into a Wi-Fi hotspot
Beside unveiling a set of phones this weekend, Samsung also unveiled something for your car. At the Mobile World Congress, Samsung unveiled the Samsung Connect Auto. Samsung Connect Auto is a dongle offers Wi-Fi hotspot functionality while also giving you data on your driving efficiency based on distance, time traveled, and current fuel prices. And it will take the further step of tracking your driving habits with a focus on safety.
The Samsung Connect Auto plugs into your OBD II sensor and is compatible with both iOS and Android. It will initially connect to AT&T’s network in the U.S. Samsung Connect Auto can also do other things such as notify you if your car moves(in case it’s getting towed), as well as have the “virtual mechanic” let you know if something needs to be fixed on your car. Currently, the Samsung Connect Auto does not have a price and the release date is set for the second quarter of this year.