Digital Trends Live: The dark age of streaming, booze delivery, and more

On the 50th episode of Digital Trends Live, DT’s daily morning show, host Greg Nibler and special guest Nicole Raney (managing editor of The Manual) celebrated by diving headlong into the hottest news stories of the day.

First up: Netflix, having just dropped a bunch of money on the streaming rights to Friends and raised its prices, doesn’t seem too worried about other streaming services eating into its market share. In fact, the streaming titan recently claimed, in a letter to shareholders, that its biggest competition is the popular video game Fortnite, the video game that is so popular, it’s causing a panic among parents and even NBA players. Kids aren’t just playing Fortnite; they’re watching other people play it on platforms like youTube and Twitch, in shockingly large numbers.

“We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO.” Netflix says in its letter. “When Youtube went down globally for a few minutes in October, our viewing and signups spiked for that time … There are thousands of competitors in this highly-fragmented market vying to entertain consumers and low barriers to entry for those with great experiences.”

Streaming may be heading toward a dark age

Netflix may not be sweating the competition in the streaming industry, but its price hike — along with the proliferation of other streaming sites — indicates that we may be looking at a dark age for streaming. That’s what DT’s Ryan Waniata argues in a recent op-ed, delving into how the increasing fragmentation in streaming, with every company hoarding their own IPs, will make streaming TV an annoying minefield for consumers to navigate.

Massive data breach

Change your passwords and check your credit rating, because there has been another massive data breach. Lots of email addresses and passwords were uploaded to a cloud service site called Mega, and while Mega has since taken the files down, that information may be floating out there.

CEO Cory Rellas explains Drizly, the startup helping shop for alcohol online

Have you ever wanted a nice bottle of gin, but don’t happen to live near a well-stocked liquor store? You might want to check out Drizly, an app that enables users to browse local shops and order alcohol via delivery. It’s sort of like PostMates for booze. CEO Cory Rellas appeared on DT Live to explain the company’s mission.

“The reality is that we live in a very regulatory-driven space,” he said, “so the genius of Drizly was not necessarily in the idea itself, but more in applying e-commerce to a regulatory-driven industry that … how do you bring a controlled substance online? So really what we do is allow consumers to go online or on our app, and shop across their local retailers, accessing a larger selection than they can get in any one store, compare pricing, all with the convenience of delivery within 40-60 minutes.”

Hoobox Robotics is using facial recognition software to improve life

We like robots at DT, especially when they serve some sort of social good. Hoobox Robotics is a company looking to use artificial intelligence to help make life easier for people with physical impairments.

Dr. Paulo Pinheiro, CEO of Hoobox, appeared on DT Live to explain the sort of tech his company is building, and how it can benefit people.

“We are developing a very, very specialized facial recognition software,” Pinheiro said. “That means that we are able to capture micromovements in the face in a more precise way than any other technology can do. Our technology is pretty unique because it works regardless of light condition and regardless of the position of the head.”

One application for this software is the Wheelie, a wheelchair that users can control entirely via facial expressions.

Digital Trends Live airs Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. PT, with highlights available on demand after the stream ends. For more information, check out the DT Live homepage, and be sure to watch live for the chance to win occasional prizes.

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