Android's new facial expressions feature, Reddit videos and more | Bolt Trend Report

August 15, 2021

We start the week with the tragic news of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, and our hearts are with the people who endured this natural disaster. We always pause when something of this nature affects the world. As the recent days brought grim news from around the world, we’re also digging into the latest trends in technology, social media and more. Let’s get started.

Upcoming Holidays & Observances

  • National Tell a Joke Day – August 16
  • Women’s Equality Day – August 26
  • National Dog Day – August 26

 Trends You Should Know

  • Haiti was hit with a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that tragically took the lives of almost 1,300 people on Saturday. The island is prone to earthquakes due to the location near the intersection of two tectonic plates, the North American plate and the Caribbean plate. Because of this, earthquakes have been wreaking havoc there since the 18th century, and Saturday’s horrific earthquake is likely to have occurred in the same fault zone where the devastating 2010 earthquake took place. Humanitarian officials are deploying aid, tennis star Naomi Osaka will be donating her prize money from the upcoming Western and Southern Open to relief efforts for Haiti, and there are several ways the general public can help those affected by finding a reputable organization from a list such as this one posted by CNN’s Impact Your World.
  • Do you have a poker face, or will you share your facial expressions with Android? The latest Android feature allows facial expressions to open the smartphone! With Google’s handset innovation, you can control your smartphone using only your facial gestures, which also helps disabled people access their devices easier. This Camera Switches feature is part of the fourth Android 12 Beta release and is already rolled out in Pixel models. Can you imagine using your device without even touching it? Certain facial actions correspond to various commands, and you can even assign them according to your preferences. A few of the recognized expressions include smiling, raising your eyebrows, looking up, opening your mouth, and looking to the left and right. We don’t know about you, but we think that this new high-tech feature is jaw-dropping!
  • Reddit expands video options. Short-form video is sweeping the social platforms and growing in popularity. Like every major social platform, Reddit is tapping into this trend and meeting user demand to maximize engagement. Reddit now offers a feed of short video clips that are very TikTok-like and are aligned with specific user interest based on the subreddits that they follow. This video player comes as no surprise, since Reddit acquired the interactive video app Dubsmash just last year.
  • Muhammad Ali’s grandson makes his boxing debut wearing a special hand-me-down. Nico Ali Walsh, a 21-year-old college student, followed in his grandfather’s footsteps in the boxing ring on Saturday night, stopping his outmatched opponent midway through the first round. He paid homage to his grandfather, wearing Muhammad Ali’s trunks.  

Thanks for reviewing the latest happenings and trends with us, and we look forward to meeting you back here on the blog next week.

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