Welcome to Sheppard Mullin’s Weekly Web Wrap-Up, a quick list of the past week’s top news in the social media, gaming, and virtual goods and currencies industries curated by Social Media & Games Team. Here are some of the stories that we’ve been reading:
Rise of the (Helpful) Machines
This week in robot news we bring you helper-bots! Check out all the new ways robots and AI helped out this week. They’re brewing your beer, delivering your takeout, diagnosing eye disease, and helping you out with parking tickets. If that wasn’t enough, they’re interested in your emotional needs, too. We’ve come a long way from the helper-bots of yesteryear.
Amazon’s new HQ in downtown Seattle is part office space part conservation project. While chief executive Jeff Bezos is famously adverse to the perks offered by other tech companies, he responded in style to research finding a key thing missing from typical work environments is a link to the natural world. The company is building three 100-foot tall spheres to be filled with more than 300 endangered plants where employees can take a breath of fresh air. The spheres, designed by architecture firm NBBJ, are already an architectural focal point in the city—Bud and Doyle not included. Although the spheres are set to be completed until 2018, tours are already open to the public.
Nintendo is having its moment in the mobile-game-market sun. Stock prices surged 36 percent after the Wednesday launch of Pokemon Go. The mobile game quickly jumped to the number one spot in Apple’s iOS store, with $1.6M in daily revenue. Rumors are that Trainers might even get real Pokeball controllers to use in the game. Nintendo has partnered with Tokyo-based gaming developer DeNa to develop its mobile games. Fans are still waiting on the fabled Super Mario Bros. mobile game, but Nintendo’s next two games set to hit smartphones this fall. For now, Pokemon Go is catching us all—often in unexpected ways.
Facebook is rolling out a beta version of a new feature it calls “Secret Conversations.” Facebook will use the Open Whisper Systems protocol, which is already used in WhatsApp, Allo, and Signal’s standalone app to offer end-to-end encrypted messages. Facebook’s approach will have some key differences, such as the opt-in requisite and a single-device implementation.
Darktrace, a cybersecurity firm based in Cambridge and San Francisco, has raised $65 million in Series C funding, now valuing the company at more than $400 million. Darktrace operates from the assumption that all major company networks are likely already compromised or are wide open to compromise. Its hardware appliance—the Enterprise Immune System—doesn’t rely on stopping cyberthreats by building bigger and better “walls.” Darktrace claims to mimic the human immune system by accepting malicious attacks will get through and stopping harm via touted machine-learning techniques.