Internet for everyone, Google ATAP projects and changes in social networks all in this week’s Top 5!

​Zuckerberg, Bill Gates pledges for universal internet access by 2020

Zuckerberg made the pledge to the United Nations on Saturday to make giving universal internet access a global priority, alongside Bill Gates, Bono and Charlize Theron.

It’s a really amazing philanthropic effort, considering that not only is this a technological and infrastructural change, but the access to free online education could vastly improve the lesser economically-developed countries’ literacy and numeracy rates.

Read the full article here.

This New Google Project Is So Futuristic You Won’t Be Able To Understand It

It must be nice to have so much money that you can spend your days pushing the boundaries of technological innovation. Google’s ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) division are behind Project Ara (that I’ve spoken before about) amongst other cool projects.

Soli, is really cool. The project aims to place radar into wearables so sensitive that it can detect sub-millimeter movements in your fingers.

There are undoubtedly some amazing potential applications for it, but it seems kind of unnecessary. I mean, the energy output of pressing a button, or winding a watch? Hardly significant.


Read the article here.

Google Nexus 5X and 6P

Another Google story! This time it’s their low-key announcement of their two latest phones (amongst other things like the Pixel C and Chromecast Audio), which was in stark contrast to Apple’s gigantic announcement just a few weeks ago.

As is the way with Nexus phones, they’re both made by other manufacturers (5X by LG, 6P by Huawei) and then have the Nexus branding slapped on the back. My personal opinion is that they look a little cheap (probably due to the use of matte plastic) but have some great features; the placement of the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone being one.

The phones start from £339 for the 5X and £449 for the 6P, a decent price for the kind of specs you get from this phone.

Read Digital Trends’ hands-on review here.

New Profiles on Facebook Mobile

There has been an overhaul of Facebook’s mobile profile.

It is viewable across all devices, however you’ll only be able to add Profile videos (or possibly those new iPhone 6S Live Photos, I’m not sure). I think the actual look of the new profile is so much nicer, but I’m unsure as to how many people will use the temporary and moving profile pictures.

“We’re starting to test all of these features to a small number of iPhone users in the UK and California, and we’ll be rolling them out to more people soon.” 

It’s also iOS only at the moment, and I was one of the lucky ones to get a look at it. It’s pretty interesting and a bit of a change from what you’re used to, but it’s also an absolute nightmare to try and sort out to any degree of sophistication. It is literally just like having a Vine as your profile picture.

Read the Facebook release here.

Snapchat Sponsored Lenses

I’ve written in past Top 5 Reads that Snapchat’s monetisation is starting to pick up, with 99¢ replays among the first user-generated monetisation strategy. Now, Snapchat have released yet another advertiser-based monetisation idea, whereby the Snapchat lenses that have recently been introduced are sponsored, much in the same way that geofilters are sometimes sponsored.

Sponsored Lenses, have the ability to make crowd-distributed advertising like this more engaging and personal, as the Lens working truly depends on the sender’s face, compared to the Sponsored Filters which are merely overlays. Instead of being able to tack on a Filter of a snap of you hating being at McDonalds for example, the Lens may ‘force’ you to smile so that it works when it’s sponsored. Creepy, but probably quite effective.

Those are my Top 5 Reads of the Week. If there are any huge stories you feel should’ve made it, feel free to let me know in the comments or @VelocityDigi.

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