Trends with Benefits: Autonomous taxis, X-ray vision, and the VR gold rush

On opening weekend alone, it’s estimated that Star Wars generated over $529 million in revenue, breaking the previous record by Jurassic World. Even with a $350 million advertising budget, Disney is definitely getting its money’s worth.

Google has been breaking, or “leaking”, a lot of news lately. For instance, sources are saying that Ford and Google may partner up for a new line of self-driving cars. This could be a smart move to get ahead of the CES news cycle.

Self-driving cars are definitely coming; the real questions are how the regulations work, and whether you’ll want to buy one. While we’re in the very early stages of this new tech, we discuss what the end result could actually look like for consumers.

Google has already made it clear that it would like to take on Uber and Lyft, most likely with an autonomous taxi service. Could we soon have robot taxi drivers, a la Total Recall?

Virtual reality is set to be the biggest story at CES this year. But with so many companies jumping into the market, could it become over saturated? We discuss the implications of a VR gold rush, along with the present and future of VR content.

MIT researchers have found a way to give you superhero powers! Well … not exactly, but they have created a way to use wireless signals to see through walls. X-ray vision could be for sale as soon as 2017. No way that this tech could be abused, right?

Today’s episode features Matt Smith, Dan Gaul, Caleb Denison and Greg Nibler. Please subscribe and share Trends with Benefits and send in your questions to We also broadcast the show live on Periscope, so join us next Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Pacific!