October 12, 2022
Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Good morning! Meta took the wraps off its Quest Pro VR headset, with a price tag that will be out of reach for most casual virtual reality consumers. But that’s just fine with Meta.
Meta Connect yesterday was a huge celebration of Meta’s giant gamble on VR. Yet it remains clear there’s still a long road ahead for the technology at an uncertain moment in the global economy.
The event was packed with announcements. Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass and Windows apps will be available on the Quest. Meta is partnering with NBCUniversal to offer content that can be streamed in VR. Dozens of apps and games have grossed over $10 million in revenue through Quest’s official app store, the company said. It’s even bought three more VR development studios.
The biggest news was the unveiling of Quest Pro, which was commonly known as Project Cambria up until now. (It looks like this.) Compared to the Quest, the new headset offers higher fidelity, mixed reality, and face and eye tracking. Its hefty $1,500 price tag puts it out of reach for most consumers, but Meta isn’t calling it an enterprise device.
But this is very much a next step on a long road for the company. “We're definitely trying to continue to push the industry forward, and one of the best ways we know how to do that is to release these devices that demonstrate to people what can be done,” Bosworth told Janko. .
How does Bosworth feel about all the risk in the current climate? “It's challenging for the global economy, and it's particularly challenging for our industry,” he told Janko. “Certainly, you make the road map changes that you need to make … But in exchange for that, you also get a little more focus, you gain some clarity of vision. It's not always a bad thing.”
Read more: Bosworth’s full Q&A with Janko.
Intel is spinning out Mobileye, its autonomous-driving tech unit, as a separate company through an IPO. Protocol’s Max Cherney dug through the company’s prospectus, and here are the major takeaways.
What does Mobileye do? The company, purchased by Intel in 2017, makes a combination of hardware and software that enables advanced driver-assistance systems in vehicles.
How does it make money? The majority of its sales come from chips: 76% of the company’s 2022 revenue was from sales to vehicles made by eight automakers.
What could go wrong? Mainly it’s that building a new business in an emerging market comes with its fair share of competition and risks.
What’s next? Though Mobileye was an early adopter of self-driving tech, the first-mover advantage only lasts so long, Dylan Patel, principal at SemiAnalysis, told Max: “The whole sector will grow, but Nvidia and Qualcomm especially have a ton of wins when we start looking out over three or four years.”Read more: The full cheat sheet on Mobileye’s IPO.
In 2012, Tinder co-founder Christopher Gulczynski and his colleagues needed to figure out a way for users to show interest in one another. What they stumbled upon didn’t have any significant meaning at that moment, but it’s safe to say that the ability to swipe right or left has become a defining feature in online dating over the past decade.
Sarah chatted with Gulczynski about how the app’s founders came up with the swiping feature in an interview, which you can read in full here.
Read more: How Tinder’s co-founders changed the way people find love.
There’s no let-up in the surge of cyberattacks against businesses. But shutting down the hackers will require many enterprises to evolve their strategy. Presented by At-Bay.
Chronicle may be Google’s way into the cybersecurity market — especially with help from Mandiant, according to Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian:
Lego parent company Kirkbi is buying ed tech company Brainpop for $875 million as part of its plan to establish itself in a new business sector.
Thoma Bravo is buying ForgeRock, the security company, in an all-cash deal valued at $2.3 billion.
Joe Dillon is joining Baffle as EVP of sales. Dillon most recently worked at Code42 as VP of security solutions sales.
Monica Pool Knox joined Domo as chief people officer. She's held similar roles at Microsoft, Twitter, and Verizon.
Andrew Smeaton is Afiniti’s new CISO. Smeaton most recently worked in the same role at DataRobot.
Skillsoft named Richard Walker as its new CFO, effective at the end of October. Gary Ferrera, Skillsoft’s current CFO, will remain with the company until the end of the year to help the transition.
Intel is cutting thousands of jobs as demand for PCs dramatically slows down.
Brex cut 11% of its workforce as a part of restructuring. The company’s CFO is also leaving to join fintech company Rippling.
The SEC is investigating Yuga Labs, the creator of Bored Ape Yacht Club, to determine whether its NFT sales violate securities laws.
Google is partnering with Coinbase to allow some Cloud customers to pay for services in crypto early next year.
Blockchain.com was approved to operate in Singapore. Coinbase just got a license in the country as well.
TikTok's offering to buy back shares from employees at $155 per restricted stock unit. It's the company's second round of share buybacks this year.
The Labor Department revealed a proposal that would classify millions of gig workers as employees, rather than contractors.
Twitter is reassessing its policy on permanent user bans, according to the Financial Times. A change like that would align with some of Elon Musk’s thinking about social networks.
BNY Mellon is now taking crypto. The oldest bank in the U.S. will start receiving bitcoin and ether from select customers this week.
Former Peloton CEO John Foley faced several margin calls on money that he borrowed against his holdings in the company.
If you were hoping that “Coin: A Founder’s Story” was as exciting as the headlines the company made last year, you might be disappointed. Rather, the 84-minute film is “more than a little uncanny in the way that obvious propaganda tends to be,” The Atlantic’s Charlie Warzel writes. Others agree:
But maybe the propaganda is the point. As POLITICO’S Derek Robertson points out, the movie gives insight into how hardcore purveyors of crypto think about themselves in relation to the world: “As altruistic entrepreneurs on a mission to economically empower the common man, seeking, to paraphrase one talking head, to ‘change the world’ by ‘creating value’ in it.”
“If money were not an issue, the first thing I would do is move all of our customers to the cloud. As an insurer, we know that moving your business systems, data, and services to established cloud environments can dramatically reduce your attack surface and improve security controls, while reducing the time and cost to recover in the event you’re hit with an attack.” - Rotem Iram, Co-founder and CEO at At-Bay
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