Each week, we review the press, highlighting and responding to interesting and relevant articles in the news.

Facebook (smart)Watch Party

Facebook may try to break into the smartwatch arena, taking on Apple’s 33% dominant market share. The reported fitness and social device may have a heart rate monitor, LTE connectivity, and two cameras, one front-facing for video calls and one detachable (GoPro style). This is not the first time Facebook has shown interest in the smartwatch sphere as they attempted to buy Fitbit back in 2019. Facebook has demonstrated interest in moving towards consumer devices, though its Oculus VR headsets and Portal video device accounts for less than 3% of its revenue. However, can Facebook shake privacy concerns and convince users that their data (especially sensitive health data) will be protected?

Transatlantic Tech & Trade

On Tuesday, Presidents Joe Biden and Ursula von der Leyen launched the EU-US Trade & Technology Council (TTC). The transatlantic collaboration will create new trade standards and regulations for emerging technology, encourage bilateral trade, collaborate on researching and developing technologies together, and promote democratic values online. The TTC vowed to forge a more resilient supply chain less dependent on China and address semiconductor shortages by providing incentives. In joining forces, the TTC may serve as a direct counter to China’s state-controlled tech sector, pooling investment, research, and development to compete globally.

Source: Airspeeder

NASCAR, but make it in the sky

Airspeeder just announced EXA, the first racing series for flying electric cars. EXA is “where pilots and flying machines merge at the digital frontier,” as drone racing pilots will remotely control multicopters along AR-enabled sky-tracks. But the mission of Airspeeder goes beyond just making Star Wars podracing a reality. Founder Matt Pearson is focused on hastening the arrival of electric flying cars, acknowledging that “competition accelerates progress.”Just as NASCAR and Formula 1 drove innovation in production cars (i.e. clutchless manuals, rearview mirrors), EXA has the potential to drive innovation in electric vertical take-off and landing (eVOTL) and advanced air mobility technologies (AAM) through intense competition.