China has the youngest premium car buyers in the world, and their tech-savvy demand for "connected cars"—coupled with Communist regulations—is driving international automakers into the arms of the country's Internet giants.
Growth is slowing and competition intensifying in the world's number one car market, but it also boasts Mercedes Benz buyers with an average age of 37, and Audi's customers even younger at 36. In contrast, the average Mercedes buyer in the US was over 54, according to IHS Automotive.
China's "Internet savvy" cohort is the youngest premium customer group in the world, Hubertus Troska, China chief for Mercedes' parent Daimler, said at the Beijing Auto Show this week.
"We really want to be at the forefront of connectivity and telematics in this country, so we're going with the best technology that we have," he added.
Automakers are racing to offer "connected" car services, which include in-car internet access, entertainment systems, and easy integration with smartphones, traffic lights, and other vehicles.
The global market for such connected-car technologies will be worth about 123 billion euros by 2021, according to consultancy PwC.
With more than 600 million smartphone users, China's consumers particularly prize such features.
Its applications extend beyond entertainment and games to include education, art and a range of other innovative uses.
But VR also has the potential to promote social change.
From words to pictures
There is a reason we say "a picture is worth a thousand words". Images can communicate complex ideas and provoke emotions more effectively than descriptions.
For example, take Aduc Barec's story: she was compelled to leave Sudan in the early 1990s because of the civil war. Her family walked for a month before reaching Ethiopia, where they lived in limbo until they settled in a refugee camp for five years. Aduc and her family were later resettled in Australia.
When we read her story, and those of other refugees, it is often difficult to imagine and understand their experiences.
Here's another example. Imagine reading for the first time reports from the animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) about the plight of pigs in factory farms. You would read that, from a young age, piglets are physically mutilated without painkillers, that for most of their lives they are confined indoors in a crowded pen, and that their ultimate fate is the abattoir, where they are stunned and slaughtered.
For some, the details in these examples are provocative enough. But others may find it difficult to empathise and understand when simply reading the descriptions on their own.
Perhaps watching a video of the plight of refugees or that of pigs in factory farms may stimulate greater intellectual and emotional reactions?
SAN FRANCISCO – There are at least three ways the FBI could attempt to extract information from the phone of San Bernardino killer Syed Rizwan Farook without having to ask Apple for help, hardware-security experts say.
None are easy, all are expensive and time consuming, and at least two run the risk of physically destroying the phone and everything on it. But they are possible, and one is commonly used by companies that reverse-engineer computer chips in search of patent infringements.
Given the resources, "it’s almost always technically possible to reverse-engineer a product,” said Julia Elvidge, president of Chipworks, a Canadian company that does patent analytics and forensics.