Disney’s VR treadmill, OpenAI fixes ‘lazy’ GPT-4, and Apple offers stolen device protection


Hello friends, welcome to the Week in Review (WiR), TechCrunch’s regular newsletter that covers notable events in the tech sector over the past few days.

Also on the agenda for this edition are Disney’s innovative VR treadmill, OpenAI fixing its “lazy” AI, and MIT’s high-capacity, fast-charging organic battery technology. We also cover Apple’s new stolen device protection feature, AI startup Rabbit’s nifty hardware, and app makers debating whether to launch apps tailored for Apple’s Vision Pro headset.

There’s a good chunk of news to recap this week, so let’s get to it. But first, a reminder to sign up here to get WiR in your inbox every Saturday if you haven’t already done so.


Disney’s VR Treadmill: Disney has developed a treadmill-like system for VR that’s made up of hundreds of small, round “tiles” that appear to be the size of silver dollars, writes Brian. Each acts as a kind of mini, omnidirectional treadmill.

OpenAI fixes GPT-4: OpenAI dropped the prices of several AI models this week as it introduced a solution for its “lazy” GPT-4 models that refused to work — and launched new models for specific use cases.

Apple’s new device security: Romain writes about Apple’s new stolen device protection feature that, when turned on, requires Face ID or Touch ID biometric authentication for certain tasks like accessing stored passwords and credit cards.

Vision Pro Apps maybe: After Netflix said it would not release a dedicated app for the Apple Vision Pro, other app makers including YouTube are following in its footsteps. This trend is not necessarily good.


rabbit’s r1: AI startup Rabbit is developing what Darrell believes is a better vision of the future than Apple’s Vision Pro. The R1 can reportedly do what a normal smartphone can do – but using generative AI and natural language.


But equityThe crew talked about Plural VC announcing a new fund, Fantuan teaming up with Chowbus, Vroom leaving the car selling business, and what’s happening at Brex.

During this, found Ben Goodwin is the co-founder and CEO of Olipop, the gut-healthy soda brand that generated $200 million in gross sales just five years after its launch.

And chain reaction Was Anatoly Yakovenko, co-founder of Solana Labs, on the pod. Solana’s goal is to help grow the ecosystem for Solana, the layer-1 blockchain.


TC+ subscribers get access to in-depth commentary, analysis and surveys – which you know about if you’re already a subscriber. If you haven’t, consider signing up. Here are some of the highlights from this week:

Surge in technical layoffs: Alex and Anna write about the increase in staff cuts at tech startups in recent weeks, which has dampened expectations for this year.

HEPE deal for Juniper: Ron and Alex reflected on Apache’s decision to buy Juniper Networks for $14 billion a few weeks ago. The gist is, the companies think the numbers look great – and they match up really well (unless Cape messes it up).

Fintech, down but not out: Fintech has been in a downturn for some time now, and with companies like Brex once again cutting staff as they try to rein in costs, you’d be forgiven for assuming that the market for fintech products is struggling. doing. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, Alex and Anna write.

bonus round

Lamborghini licenses MIT battery technology: Writing for TechCrunch+, Tim reports that Lamborghini has licensed new battery technology from MIT that could overcome the limitations of lithium-ion batteries in widespread use today.

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