Take on the Week: When big ideas aren’t necessarily great ideas.
During the same week that Boston Dynamic’s Atlas robot conquered its Ninja Warrior course with disturbing ease, and Tesla unveiled their humanoid TeslaBot, Disney announced its plan to populate its parks with “sentient” robot versions of all your favorite animated characters. The prototypes are no doubt impressive, but leave it to Twitter to point out the obvious parallels with another robot-populated theme park gone wrong.
In an effort to capture a younger audience, Sirius XM has officially launched TikTok radio, a weekly countdown of the top 10 trending songs on TikTok, hosted by some of TikTok’s biggest stars. With music inextricably linked to the TikTok experience, the app has shown the power to launch up-and-coming artists to new heights, and introduce new generations to timeless classics. But will this unique partnership be enough to convince TikTok’s audience to pay for satellite radio? That question is still very much up in the air.
For those of us ready to take our Zoom meetings to the next level, Facebook launched a new Virtual Reality platform this week called Horizon Workrooms. The service is free to download for owners of the Oculus Quest 2, and allows users to conduct simulated “in-person” meetings, populated by custom animated avatars, from the comfort of their own headset.
Facebook has poured billions of dollars into virtual reality since the acquisition of Oculus in 2014, and while the devices have yet to go mainstream (sales did pick up during the pandemic), they are clearly betting that VR has a role to play in the office of the future.
What I’m Watching: Never Have I Ever
What I’m Reading: Cribsheet. And all the other baby books. Wish me luck!
What I’m Listening To: The Atlas Obscura Podcast