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Trends With Benefits

Mar 4, 2016

On this episode we discuss Apple vs. FBI, Apple Support, Amazon Alexa & the Echo Dot, Live Streaming ESPN, VR Roller Coasters, HTC Vive & Legends of the Hidden Temple.

The Apple vs. FBI public debate has quieted slightly in recent days, but the stakes are as high as ever. We discuss what could possibly be next in the ongoing court battle and what it means for consumer privacy concerns.

Apple was also in the news this week for the launch of @AppleSupport on Twitter. This is a new approach for their Customer Service, but how effective will it be? We've all had some successful and unsuccessful attempts at seeking help from corporations via a tweet.

Amazon beat out the Apple vs. FBI controversy in the news cycle today, with the introduction of two new Alexa-enabled devices. The Amazon Tap and Echo Dot are speakers that can connect to any bluetooth device you have in your house. With the increasing number of smart devices entering our homes, Alexa is attempting to be your gateway assistant. Caleb had a live Facebook video, demonstrating how to order the new speakers via Alexa.

Amazon is also in talks to bring live-streaming TV to their ever-increasing roster of programming. AMC and ESPN are rumored to be the initial live channels that the service would bring on. So far Sling TV has had the most successful platform for live programs, with little to no competition. Amazon certainly has the muscle to make a big splash, if the deals work out.

The viability of Virtual Reality received another boost this week, with pre-sales for both the Microsoft Hololens and the HTC Vive. The Vive alone sold 15,000 devices in 10 minutes, at $800 per unit! Ryan was able to try one out at MWC in Barcelona and his reaction is surprising.

There is also a push to take VR from a single-user experience and bring it into a group setting. Six Flags theme parks and Samsung have teamed up to accentuate rides at several of their parks with the Gear VR. The rides themselves sound fantastic, but would you really want to share a sweaty headset with a stranger?

Finally, it seems as if many television content producers are running out of ideas. Fuller House is just latest example and now Nickolodeon is jumping into the fray. Fans of Legends of the Hidden Temple may get to see their dreams come true, with the possibility of a TV Movie based on the show! If you have no idea what Legends of the Hidden Temple is, you are definitely not alone. Ryan fills us in on his dream and we all discuss what we'd like to see remade.

Trends With Benefits is a weekly tech podcast and live video broadcast. It brings together experts from Digital Trends to discuss the tech topics of the day and beyond.

Today's episode features Marie Pardo-Garber, Ryan Waniata, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler.

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