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This Week in Technology News

  1. Zoom's New App for Apple's Vision Pro: Zoom has launched a new app for Apple's Vision Pro VR/AR headset. This app aims to blend video conferencing with users' physical environments, featuring an avatar function called Personas that uses facial scanning technology to create an AI-powered spatial representation of users. The app also includes features like customizable meeting backdrops and 3D object-sharing tools, along with compatibility with Team chat for easy information sharing among colleagues​​.

  2. Neuralink's Brain-Computer Interfaces: Elon Musk's company Neuralink, known for developing brain-computer interfaces, has made significant progress. Their device, about the size of a coin, is designed to be implanted beneath the skull to read neuron activity. Trials have been conducted in animals, and as of January 2024, the first human trial has taken place with a subject recovering well. The technology aims to enable tasks such as searching for information or performing complex calculations with computers, potentially restoring sight to the blind and allowing paralyzed people to control prostheses​​.

  3. Amazon's Prime Delivery Speeds: Amazon has achieved its fastest ever delivery speeds for Prime customers in 2023. The company has been focusing on improving inventory placement and implementing a new regionalization model for shipments. Amazon also started testing a robotic storage system called Sequoia, which enhances the order processing efficiency by 25% and plans to roll out this technology to more warehouses​​.

  4. Innovations in Electric Vehicle Batteries: A new type of electric vehicle battery, known as the nanoelectrofuel flow battery, is being developed with the potential to recharge in just five minutes and avoid fire hazards. This battery could store 15 to 25 times as much energy as traditional flow batteries and outpace lithium-ion cells in terms of energy density. It's expected to be powerful enough for use in electric vehicles and on the wider grid, with potential applications in electric aircraft manufacturing as well​​.

  5. Samsung's SmartThings for B2B Displays and Interactive Displays: Samsung showcased its SmartThings for Business platform, which is set to be globally available in the first half of 2024. This platform offers smart management of various devices across industries. Additionally, Samsung announced its first Google Enterprise Devices Licensing Agreement (EDLA)-certified interactive display, powered by Android™ 13, which provides a suite of educational tools and access to educational apps through Google Play. Samsung also unveiled a new 105-inch, 21:9 Smart Signage model optimized for hybrid work environments, compatible with Cisco Room Kit EQ and certified for Microsoft Teams​​.

These developments highlight significant strides in VR/AR technologies, brain-computer interfacing, logistics efficiency, battery technology, and smart connectivity solutions, indicating a continuously evolving and innovative tech landscape.

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