HomeInsightsWireless Week: the force is with Facebook as BlackBerry goes public with...

    Wireless Week: the force is with Facebook as BlackBerry goes public with Priv


    Facebook wasted no time in revealing its rumoured 360 video app, in a week where it helped bring a (relatively) cheap VR headset to the masses with Samsung.

    [Read more: Samsung brings wallet-friendly VR to consumers]

    The social network managed to hit the nerd sweetspot by showing exclusive footage of a crashed Star Destroyer from the forthcoming The Force Awakens movie. Facebook users on the web and with Android devices are able to view the footage now, with iOS compatibility to follow.

    Maher Saba, Engineering Director, Video, says: “It’s early days, but we’re excited about the possibilities for 360 video and hope it helps people explore the world in new, immersive ways.”

    Meanwhile, Netflix revealed it was working on an app for the Samsung Gear VR. As John Cormack, CTO of Oculus, writes in an incredibly detailed blog post explaining exactly how you can build a VR app: “Despite all the talk of hardcore gamers and abstract metaverses, a lot of people want to watch movies and shows in virtual reality.”

    Drinking until the wheels come off

    If you experience trouble keeping your bike safe and cycling while drunk (two things that could be related), Japanese company Koowhoo has developed bike lock that only opens if you pass a breathalyser test.

    The, wait for it, Alcoho-Lock costs a mere £200 and requires you to breathe into the device before it lets you get back on your bike. And if you fail the test, the lock even dobs you into your partner, sending them a text that you are over the limit.

    As the London Evening Standard reports, said partner can remotely unlock your bike via an app. There are probably cheaper options out there. Leaving your bike at home when you head for a night on the tiles, for one.

    How much is a minute worth?

    If you could fully charge your phone in 60 seconds, what would you be willing to pay? Power company StoreDot believes the answer is $100. The business has received financial backing from Samsung and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and it is hoping to mass produce the devices from 2017.

    Despite the leaps and bounds in smartphone innovation, battery life has been neglected, leaving older consumers to pine for the days of Nokia devices that lasted for days. StoreDot is trying to solve this issue but only if smartphone makers are willing to pay for it.

    Bloomberg reports the company’s batteries cost 30 percent more than today’s products. Anyone keen on being able to charge their device quickly will have to pay for the privilege.

    BlackBerry surprise

    After months of telling people otherwise, it turns out BlackBerry do still make devices after all. The one-time smartphone king has been telling the industry its future lies in software and security, with the Z10 and hiring Alicia Keys to do…something (sorry, it’s a fading memory).

    The manufacturer revealed results this morning that disappointed analysts but slipped in its biggest handset announcement in several years. According to CEO John Chen, Priv will “combines the best of BlackBerry security and productivity with the expansive mobile application ecosystem available on the Android platform”.

    With BlackBerry advocates still out there, the company is hoping Priv could become somewhat of a sleeper hit. However, even though the marriage of Android’s app ecosystem with BlackBerry’s business heritage is a smart move, it’s one that should have happened several years ago at least.

    Wireless Week rounds up the best of the rest in mobile. If you don’t follow us already on Twitter, you really should. We’re @mobileeurope