Trump issues orders on TikTok, WeChat | Battle of the smart assistants | Amazon enhances Echo Flex with smart clock feature
August 7, 2020
Consumer Technology Association SmartBrief
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Trump issues orders on TikTok, WeChat
(Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump has issued two executive orders, which take effect in 45 days, that could ban TikTok and WeChat from the Apple and Google app stores in the US on the grounds of security concerns. The vague ban targets ByteDance, the apps' Chinese parent company, which says it has 100 million US users.
Full Story: The Associated Press (8/7) 
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Battle of the smart assistants
Tech writer Patrick Hearn outlines the pros and cons of three smart assistant platforms: Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant and Apple's HomeKit. The areas examined include product support, user friendliness and complexity of installation.
Full Story: Digital Trends (8/5) 
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Vehicle Tech
A study at Florida Atlantic University is examining passengers' trust in autonomous vehicle technology. Researchers are using virtual reality scenarios and biometric sensors to look at the psychological and physiological responses of people experiencing simulated AV situations, with hopes of helping the industry design more responsive control actions for the vehicles.
Full Story: Claims Journal (7/31) 
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Tech News
More than 40% of Android devices contain a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip that researchers say has more than 400 vulnerabilities, putting them at risk of malicious activity such as denial of service, data theft and spying. Qualcomm has patched the vulnerabilities, though the threat remains until networks and vendors push updates out to users.
Full Story: CNET (8/6),  Forbes (8/6) 
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Retail Trends
Forty-six percent of consumers surveyed by Periscope said they'd switched brands recently, and more than half said they'd done so because they were looking for lower prices. "This could be a once-in-a-generation opportunity because so many shoppers are switching," says Brian Ruwadi, global leader of Periscope.
Full Story: MediaPost Communications (8/6) 
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Association News
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, technology has played a critical role in triaging, diagnosing and helping treat and mitigate the spread of coronavirus. To ensure an effective public sector response to future pandemics like COVID-19, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) has convened more than a dozen health care and technology leaders to lead a new effort -- the Public Health Tech Initiative. In a panel discussion hosted by CTA, experts from Brookings, Microsoft, and SSM Health discussed the initiative, lessons learned from the response to the pandemic and the significance of using technology in preparing for future emergencies. View the webinar.
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Join the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC) on Aug. 11 at 11 a.m. ET for the next Masters of Leadership webinar featuring Mindy Grossman, CEO of WW -- formerly Weight Watchers -- in a conversation with Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of CTA. Grossman will discuss her decades of experience in building and transforming consumer brands, the importance of being able to pivot during uncertain times, and the leadership principles that guide her. Register now.
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US consumers' enthusiasm for autonomous delivery technologies -- including drones, self-driving vehicles and robots -- is growing during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Autonomous Delivery Systems: Consumer Awareness & Favorability Study. The study finds one-quarter (26%) of consumers now view autonomous delivery technologies more favorably than before the coronavirus health crisis. Half (49%) of consumers rate these technologies as somewhat or very favorable. For more key findings, access the report.
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Jonas Salk,
virologist, medical researcher
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