Real-Time PowerPoint Translations….And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — You can now add real-time captions to your PowerPoint presentations.

Called the Presentation Translator, the tool lets you include “real-time captions to a live presentation in a wide variety of languages, using the power of machine learning.” After downloading the add-in to PowerPoint 2013 or 2016 on Windows, users can “speak in Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, and listeners can see content translated into one of more than 60 different languages.” (Source: VentureBeat) (My company, The Marks Group PC, is a Microsoft Partner.)

Why this is important for your business:

This is a potentially huge aid if you’re doing PowerPoints in front of an international crowd – and could expand your ability to sell to new markets.

 2 — Google has established a new artificial intelligence investment firm.

Called Gradient Ventures, the project is “unique among investment firms because it is run by engineers, not financiers,” and it focuses “exclusively on companies working on AI-enabled products and services.” So far, the firm has invested in Seattle-based Algorithmia and three California-based companies, Cogniac, Aurima and CAPE. (Source: GeekWire)

Why this is important for your business:

Anna Patterson, the founder and managing partner of Gradient Ventures, said, “Through Gradient, we’ll provide portfolio companies with capital, resources, and dedicated access to experts and bootcamps in AI.” Could this be your company?

3 — PayPal is bringing its payment option to iOS devices around the world.

The payments company has announced that Apple products will now have PayPal as an optional payment method on popular services like the App Store and iTunes. (Source: TechCrunch)

Why this is important for your business:

Previously, your customers only had the ability to add PayPal “as their payment method on iTunes desktop on Mac and Windows when configuring their Apple account.” The new partnership also means that PayPal can be a default payment method on the iPhone or iPad, so that any purchases they make from your business “will be charged to PayPal – no credit or debit card required.” In addition, the PayPal option will be available in 11 countries outside of the U.S., including Canada, Mexico, France, Australia, and Germany.

4 — Silicon Valley has a new, vehicle-focused startup venture fund.

Autotech Ventures recently raised $120 million to establish a new fund that will “invest in startups working on transportation services and digital vehicle technology.” (Source: Reuters)

Why this is important for your business:

Are you working on auto-related technology? The fund plans to “connect startup companies with its corporate investors, which include big automotive suppliers BorgWarner Inc and Autoliv Inc.”

5 — A special watch strap will soon be able to help you control a drone.

A research center in Switzerland called Empa has developed new technology for drone flying that is “integrated into a normal-looking watch strap.” (Source: New Atlas)

Why this is important for your business:

The watch strap can convert a user’s hand movements so that they correspond with the drone’s flight pattern, meaning “waving the hand to left or right causes the aircraft to turn accordingly, while making a fist causes it to land.” Drones are getting easier and easier to use.

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