DMA Tech Watch: NASA on Mars, Apple Sales, Tesla ETA, VR Woodstock

By Phill Powell

Welcome to the first weekly DMA Tech Watch, where we review the biggest news events and tech trends now on the radar. Here’s what we’re watching as of September 28, 2015:

NASA’s Awesome Discovery

With water discovered on Mars’ surface, what does that mean for the search for life in the universe?

The question of the possibility of life on Mars has always revolved around the presence of water on the Red Planet. Today, NASA announced that through spectroscopic techniques used on dark streaks on the planet’s surface, it appears that the presence of liquid water on Mars has been confirmed. (Interesting that this news appears in the same week that the new film The Martian opens…)

Apple Shatters Existing Sales Record

This past weekend, Apple was selling 3,000 iPhones per minute.

This weekend the tech giant topped its own record for launch sales of a new iPhone. Within a three-day period, Apple moved 13 million iPhone 6S and 6S Plus smartphones. That’s an increase of 3 million phones over last year’s launch. We found much to like about the phone’s newly revamped OS. (Read more about iOS 9 best features.)

Virtual Reality Woodstock

Everybody at Oculus Connect last week got their Virtual Reality on big-time.

Last week, 1,500 attendees flocked to the Oculus Connect VR convention in Hollywood and got a closer look at the Oculus Rift VR headset, set for release in early 2016. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg attended, as did Oculus Chief Executive Brendan Iribe. Revealed: News about a Touch controller that will follow the Rift, plus an app called Oculus Medium, which brings VR to painting/sculpting/design.

Tesla Model 3 Could Roll by 2020

An affordable Tesla Model 3? You bet…and sooner than you may think.

Tomorrow Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors launches its crossover SUV (the Model X), which goes for a hefty $132,000. But the big news is from the Jeffries investment firm, which forecasts that Tesla could manufacture a Tesla Model 3 car by 2020, which could be sold for as little as $35,000, while still profitable for Tesla. Credit lower battery-pack costs. We can’t wait to see what Tesla will build next.

Pope Cuts Album, Astounds Everyone

Pope Francis is currently on tour in the United States.

Proving that everyone really is getting into music production these days, Pope Francis is preparing to release a music album. On Nov. 27, the pontiff’s album, titled Wake Up, will be released, with pre-orders now available on iTunes. What can Pope fans expect? Prog-rock, with Pope Francis’ spoken vocals (taken from his public speeches) dubbed on top of a contemporary music backing.

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