Hashtag Trending – Facebook’s new business venture, IT safeguards from Elections Canada, Uber’s new safety system

Facebook is hoping to replace your smartphone with smart glasses, Elections Canada beefs up IT security ahead of October 21st, and Uber is set to launch a new safety system for riders and drivers.

First up from Reddit is Facebook’s next business venture – smart glasses that aim to replace smartphones. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s interest in augmented reality glasses has been pretty well covered since 2016 and new reports say at least one project is now in the works. Facebook’s Reality Labs is allegedly teaming up with RayBan sunglasses to create a device with a small screen that would let users take calls, livestream with friends, and show other information. User input would apparently be handled by a voice assistant being developed by the same team. Reports say the tech giant is aiming for sometime between 2023 and 2025 to have these smart glasses ready for consumers.

Next up from Twitter is potentially reassuring news about the upcoming Canadian federal election. The head of Canada’s elections agency says he is confident in the security measures the organization has taken to safeguard the election – which includes “considerable” improvements to IT infrastructure. This comes after recent cases of foreign interference in elections in countries like the U.S. It’s been a hot topic as of late for obvious reasons. Elections Canada says it’s worked closely with security agencies and other federal departments to prepare the necessary infrastructure. It’s new social media monitoring unit is also working to shut down the spread of misinformation online.

And last but not least from Reddit again is a new feature from Uber that will be coming to Canada soon. RideCheck utilizes the GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, and other sensors inside a smartphone to detect trip irregularities, like a vehicle crash or an unexpected long stop. The safety system will then send a notification to both riders and drivers asking if everything is okay, which leads to a list of possible answers – including the option to call 911 or Uber’s safety hotline. When the feature is triggered, Uber can verify that there’s been an accident and reach out to ensure everyone is safe. After a year of piloting, RideCheck is officially live in the U.S. this week and will be expanded to other countries shortly. You can learn more on Uber’s website.

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Mandy Kovacs
Mandy Kovacshttp://www.itwc.ca
Mandy is a lineup editor at CTV News. A former staffer at IT World Canada, she's now contributing as a part-time podcast host on Hashtag Trending. She is a Carleton University journalism graduate with extensive experience in the B2B market. When not writing about tech, you can find her active on Twitter following political news and sports, and preparing for her future as a cat lady.

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