Welcome to this week’s edition of “The Week in Tech,” where we recap some of the most interesting technology and mobile stories from the past week.
This week we cover the announcement of Facebook Messenger payments, TAG Heuer’s smartwatch plans, and Tesla’s self-driving car.
You can now pay your friends via Facebook Messenger
On Tuesday, Facebook announced its peer-to-peer payments feature for Facebook Messenger.
Messenger users can connect a debit card to their account and easily send money to friends with no fees. Facebook realized there were many conversations occurring where users would exit the Messenger app to make payments, and the company processes over a million transactions per day through its ads and games platforms, and so this peer-to-peer payments function was the next logical step for the social network.
This puts Facebook in direct competition with Paypal/Venmo, Google Wallet, Square Cash, and most recently Snapchat. Unlike the latter, who partnered with Square to facilitate Snapcash, Facebook built its payments platform from the ground up.
TAG Heuer teams up with Intel and Google on smartwatch
Luxury watch maker TAG Heuer is partnering with Intel and Google to develop a high-end smartwatch to compete with Apple Watch.
The companies will work together to mesh utility and beauty perfectly. TAG Heuer will design and manufacture the watch, Google will provide its Android Wear platform and build additional software, and Intel will contribute processor chips to power the watch.
With the market for smartwatches growing at a rapid clip, TAG Heuer had to jump on this opportunity to take a piece of the market.
Tesla Model S to have self-driving mode soon
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the Model S will have an “autopilot” mode within three months. This self-driving mode steers the car in the case that the driver has a moment of inattention, and Musk claims that the car can drive from Seattle to San Francisco without the driver doing anything.
The autopilot mode will only be allowed on highways. While Musk claims the system can technically drive from one parking lot to another, that feature won’t be enabled due to safety concerns. In the future, car owners will be able to summon the Model S to drive to her location, as well as have the car park itself in a garage.
What do you think of these stories? Have you read other interesting mobile and technology stories this week that are worth mentioning? Feel free to add your thoughts to the comments.
Photo courtesy of Facebook.