Stories for Jul. 25, 2014

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Stories for Jul. 24, 2014
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In Brief

Oculus’ second-generation developer kits for its virtual reality headset are now shipping, according to emails sent to developers last night. The news first surfaced on a Reddit thread before being picked up by Road to VR. Oculus community manager Andres Hernandez confirmed the shipments in the Reddit thread under the name cybereality: “We’ve started and it’s the real deal.” Oculus plans to ship 10,000 DK2 units in July, though as of April it had sold 25,000 headsets.

In Brief

LoopPay’s digital credit card has attracted the attention of credit card titan Visa, which may be just be looking for alternatives to plastic. LoopPay said on Thursday that Visa has made a strategic investment in the company of an undisclosed sum. LoopPay makes programmable keychain fobs and iPhone sleeves capable of generating a magnetic field that emulates the magnetic stripe on a credit or debit card. And point-of-sale terminal that can read it. GE’s financial arm has also made an investment in Loop, and last year the Boston startup raised at $10 million Series A round.

Prototype Atheer One and developer kit glasses, as of December 2013. Photo by Signe Brewster
photo: Signe Brewster

The startup recently canceled its crowdfunding campaign and shifted from consumer to enterprise customers. It will focus on industrial and medical applications before returning to working on a device for the general population. Read more »

Stories for Jul. 23, 2014
In Brief

The Windows Phone app store is a lot better than when it launched, but that just makes its app holes more glaring — like Uber, which used to have an app (really a website in an app wrapper) until it pulled it from the platform last April. Well, good news for Windows Phone users who love on-demand car services: you can now download an official Uber app, as opposed to using the service’s mobile website. Like my colleague Kevin Tofel and his need for a decent Google+ client, I’m sure there are people whose last hurdle to adopting Microsoft’s mobile OS was the lack of a decent Uber app.

In Brief

Sprint and Google already have a history of close cooperation on consumer apps — Sprint was the only major U.S. carrier to support Google Wallet — but now it looks like they’re making their partnership more professional. In August, Sprint will start offering Google apps to small business and enterprise customers. The carrier won’t just resell access to Gmail, Calendar, Drive and Docs business accounts; it will provide customer support, giving those businesses a single point of contact for their mobile network and device problems as well as their app issues.

In Brief

Otter Media, the adorably named joint venture between AT&T and the Chernin Group, is about to buy a majority stake in Fullscreen, according to a Recode report. The deal would value Fullscreen between $200 and $300 million, according to Recode. Fullscreen is a one of a number of so-called multichannel networks on YouTube, and clocks more than 3.5 billion views every month across its channels. The company’s YouTube talent includes Grace Helbig, Shane Dawson, the Fine Brothers and Michael Buckley.

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