eSports is becoming one of highest growing markets in the sports world. ESPN has its own section on their website dedicated to eSports. Who could’ve imagined 20 years ago that playing video games could become as successful as being a professional athlete. Superstars in eSports make millions comparable to athletes in basketball, football, and baseball. There are Madison Square sized stadiums jam packed during a playoff game. Al of this has us wondering: is eSports the future of ALL sports?
Okay back up-so what is eSports? In layman’s terms, eSports consists of professional video game players competing in teams or individually against each other in a league. The winners of these leagues win prizes, most of the time the prize being money. eSports athletes not only make money like other professional athletes, they also receive sponsorships like them too. The arenas are capable of filling thousands upon thousands of people, one would think they’re at a football game by the size of the crowds in the arena. Tickets to these events cost upward of $99.
So is this the future?, Well, the U.S. government already recognizes the gamers as professional athletes. In 2013, the U.S. allowed the gamers to receive visas and same traveling privileges as other athletes so they can compete internationally. In the 2016 closing ceremonies for the Olympics, they showed a brief teaser video of Mario and the legendary Pac-Man for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. It’s interesting because although it’s a long shot, the Olympic committee has looked into considering eSports as an event for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.
The future of sports is changing in front of our very eyes. eSports is drastically growing and the advancement of technology is only going to catapult it even quicker to the mainstream. Major corporations and groups are identifying them as professional athletes. It’s only a matter of time before we starting cheering on for our favorite eSport player.
Pumpkin Spice Latte season is upon us, and there will (hopefully) be a crisp breeze in the air coming soon. With the holiday season coming up, the city of Chicago will be bustling with activities ranging from the Chicago Marathon to the Chicago Oktoberfest. Besides great scheduled events like these two- there’s also pumpkin patches to visit along with apples to pick. The opportunities are endless in and around the city, but here are some of the events we’re most looking forward to this fall:
Although it might not feel like Autumn yet, I have a feeling that soon enough the leaves will start changing and everyone will start getting into that Halloween spirit. The possibilities are endless when it comes to Chicago, all you have to do is step one foot outside your door.
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The digital and real worlds are coming closer and closer to colliding each day. This has incredible implications for anyone trying to communicate and engage with an audience. As tech developments continue in the AR field, content creators will be able to merge the digital and real worlds in more intuitive ways. This will drastically alter what we can do as we create communications, promotional experiences, events, websites and apps. Now we have to tools to guide people through spaces, show them products in their homes and get them to interact with brands face to face. The best part is that we don’t need to convince them to get expensive devices or learn new technologies. All we need is to repurpose a device they are already using: their smartphones.
Major changes are coming to AR development with Apple releasing ARKit (a set of tools that enable developers to create augmented reality apps.) Apple is already developing AR as a feature for their maps. Imagine what you could do to guide people through a space.
Google has also been exploring AR with Project Tango. This project seeks to develop mobile devices that can map indoor spaces and to know the location of the device within that space using sensors. This project aims to integrate your body and movements, as well as, your surroundings into its simulation; changing the way we interact with physical spaces.
As Apple and Google develop their technologies, brands have also been exploring the use of augmented reality to engage their audience. Here are some examples:
Ikea is making the most out of this technology allowing people to virtually place objects into their spaces before buying them. Customers will be able to take a photos of their room and use the app to place a photo-realistic render of an Ikea product into their space. They have partnered with Apple in the use of their new AR tech and it is said to be so precise it will show how the product’s size and lighting will look.
L’Oréal has several apps that let people try makeup on their selfies before trying the products. They are also working on some in-store AR applications, installing AR at beauty counters in stores. This gives them data on the kinds of products people are buying as well as how the interactions affect their purchase decisions.
CEDAR POINT THEME PARK
Cedar Point is taking a more playful approach and has included AR in their app creating The Battle for Cedar Point experience. People visiting the park can join different roller coaster-themed clans and compete by scanning the park with their smartphones. The app transforms the physical park into a video game and changes the way attendees interact with the space.
What is the coolest AR experience you’ve seen or had?
Keeping up with all the latest tech and social media updates is not an easy task. Most of the time your devices are updating without you even realizing it. Companies such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook are constantly evolving and stealing each other’s ideas in order to stay on top. Here are the latest updates for these social media platforms:
Snapchat: Snapchat has been under a lot of pressure after finally going public earlier this year. Instagram and Facebook have been on their tail mimicking almost every move Snap has made. Because of this sticky situation, in order to stay relevant Snapchat has made some major updates to their platform.
1. First, Snapchat is now letting you create your own custom Geofilters inside the app. Within the app there is a creative studio that lets you customize the Geofilter with themes, text, stickers, and of course, your Bitmoji. Once the filter is created it can cover the total area of an event or up to an entire block. Prices start at $5.99 and increase with the size of the area and the amount of detail within the filter. Not only has Snapchat made it easy on the users, it made it easy to take your event or party to the next level…..For only $6.
2. Snapchat is also now letting you become a stalker without any of the ramifications. Yes, that’s right. The newly introduced Snap Map lets you see exactly where your Snapchat friends are around the globe in real time. So if you want people to constantly know where you are, or maybe you’re just interested in seeing what your ex-girlfriend has been up to, this update was made for you. If you’re not one of these types of people that’s okay too. The update lets you have the option to be on “Ghost Mode,” meaning your Snapchat friends will not be able to locate you at any time.
3. Snapchat has also released custom stories, which are exactly what they sound like. Custom stories are perfect for trips, events, and parties. Snap lets you decide who is allowed to view the story, as well as who can add to the story. Of course you are able to add your Geofilter or location.
4. You are now able to attach a website or link into your snapchats. When viewing a snap there is now an option to “swipe up” which will take you to Snapchats internal browser. From the internal browser you are able to go to the attached link. What does this mean? Now you can share funny websites or memes with your friends through Snap. Celebrities and businesses are using this to advertise their brands and sell their items.
1. Instagram has recently introduced a number of added features to live stories. Everyone knows live stories are all the hype nowadays and Insta is making it even easier. User are now able to replay the live stories just in case you missed out on something. Additionally, users are now able to reply and comment on the live videos. In order to avoid cyber bullying, Instagram added a feature that allows users to block or hide any offensive content.
2. Location Stories and Story Links are two other new and interesting features. When posting a story there is now an option to add your location in which people are able to click on and see similar posts that have used that same location. There is also now a way to add a link into your story (though mostly for businesses or bloggers) if your trying to direct your followers to a specific site.
3. Instagram has also added Hashtag Stickers as well as additional Selfie Filters. Like I said before, Instagram is doing all they can to wipe Snapchat off the grid, and these features are their latest attempt.
1. Facebook has altered a lot of their advertising practices in terms of placement and formatting. They also now offer users the option to pay a fee in order to optimize their post in order to reach the right audience. They will also implement sticker click-bait rules that will apply on the site.
2. Facebook Live is also going through a reboot. You are now able to have private conversations simultaneously while broadcasting a live video. This means if you and a friend are both watching the same Facebook live stream, but are in different locations, you have the option to create a private chat room where you and your friend can hash out their differences.
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We’re living in an age of disruptive business. First, Uber changed the way drive, then AirBnB changed the way we travel. Now, these six start-ups are breaking through in their respective industries with innovative solutions to our everyday needs. From digital pill bottles to self-brewing beer machines, these futuristic inventions are bridging the gap between science fiction and reality.
Described as a “fit bit for cars” Dash is a tech device that monitors user driving and vehicle health needs. It’s designed to help save money, improve safety, and save time. The product combines a mobile app with a hardware device to provide real-time feedback on driving, vehicle diagnostics, navigation, and trip logs. Since its trial in 2015, over 250,000 drivers have been using dash in the U.S.
If you enjoy eating out at the price of packing a lunch, then MealPal is the app for you. This startup service allows members to order lunches from local restaurants, skip the in-store line, and pay under $5 for each meal. Cross your fingers that this service is provided in your city because you can save up to $600 a year on lunches with a subscription.
Praised by Richard Branson as the “most disruptive startup in the beer space” MiniBrew is the world’s first all-in-one beer brewing machine. Consisting of a digital appliance, a fresh ingredient pack, and a mobile app, MiniBrew allows consumers to design and create a variety of beers from virtually. Whether you’re looking to replicate a flavor you tried once in a bar or discover a new beer that matches your mood, this product is the perfect way to express your inner-hipster.
#4 Bump Mark
Designed to reduce food waste and keep consumers informed, Bump Mark adheres to food packaging and alerts consumers when food is going bad. Once the small sticker product is attached to any container, it reacts to the conditions inside. Consumers will know their food has gone bad if the Bumb Mark begins developing a bumpy texture.
Babylon Health is eliminating all of the time-wasters and hassles of the healthcare industry. With their mobile app, users can book face-to-face consultations, ask medical questions, conduct health tests, check clinical records, and even monitor health indicators such as pulse and blood pressure. While other healthcare apps simply match users with doctors over the phone, the Babylon Health app utilizes artificial intelligence to make predictions, prevent illness, and provide solutions before symptoms progress.
Here with the latest in smart technology, AdhereTech has designed a pill bottle that alerts patients to take their medication. AdhereTech recognized the extremely common problem that patients often forget to take their medicine, so they created this simple solution. Although the product itself is small, it’s saving the industry billions of dollars in follow-up care and intervention.