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Tech Time: Facebook buys 2 tech startups, working on smart devices

In this feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a bi-weekly global roundup of the latest developments in technology.

TOP STORIES

* Facebook Inc. acquired German software startup fayteq, deutsche-startups.de reported Aug. 11. Facebook could use fayteq's technology as part of its push into video and augmented reality, Business Insider reported the same day.

* Facebook on July 31 acquired Palo Alto, Calif.-based AI assistant startup Ozlo Inc. A majority of the 30 Ozlo employees will join Facebook's Messenger offices in Menlo Park, Calif., or Seattle, Recode reported July 31.

* Facebook's hardware development division Building 8 is working on a home video chat device with AI-powered components, as well as a stand-alone smart speaker, Bloomberg News reported Aug. 1, citing sources familiar with the matter.

CLOUD

* Hulu LLC said Aug. 14 that it selected Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Web Services Inc. as its cloud provider. The company used AWS to launch its new, over-the-top live TV service in May.

* Microsoft Corp. on Aug. 10 unveiled the Coco Framework, a new solution that it said will make it easier for businesses to adopt blockchain technology. The framework will be compatible with any ledger protocol and can operate both on premises and in the cloud.

* Frontier Communications Corp. said Aug. 3 it expanded Frontier AnyWare, its cloud-based, Voice over Internet Protocol telecommunications platform for businesses, to 50 U.S. states.

* Beijing Sinnet Technology Co. Ltd., operator of Amazon's cloud business in China, said it ordered its local clients to stop using software that would allow Chinese consumers to bypass the country's internet restrictions, The New York Times reported Aug. 1.

* Vonage Holdings Corp. said Aug. 1 that it made new investments in the Asia-Pacific region for cloud communication services.

* Australian cloud computing startup Joviam on Aug. 1 announced its expansion into the U.S. The company is launching its services out of San Francisco with an aim of doubling its size in the 2018 financial year.

5G AND THE INTERNET OF THINGS

* The Nigerian federal government is teaming up with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. for its smart cities initiative, which seeks to improve the delivery of public services in the country, Nigeria Communications Week reported Aug. 10.

* Brazil's Algar Telecom opened Brain, a digital innovation center focused on developing new products and business models for IoT, cybersecurity, cloud computing and digital technology, Telecompaper reported Aug. 10.

* Ericsson AB said Aug. 9 that it has been selected as the only technology partner of a consortium led by Kuwaiti operator Zain Group. The consortium, which has been set up to carry out a large digital transformation project for local utilities, tapped Ericsson to deploy a smart metering solution.

* M1 Ltd. rolled out Southeast Asia's first nationwide commercial Narrowband IoT network in Singapore, according to an Aug. 7 news release. Another Singaporean operator, Singtel, said the same day it is also planning to launch its IoT network nationwide by end-September.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said Aug. 3 that it will help drive Macau's development into a smart city as part of a four-year strategic partnership with the Macau regional government.

VIRTUAL REALITY AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

* Discovery Communications Inc. led a $10 million A round of funding for Here Be Dragons, a studio focused on VR, augmented reality and mixed reality, Multichannel News reported Aug. 9.

DRONES AND OTHER DEVICES

* Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., or Foxconn Technology Group, is planning to build a research and development facility for autonomous vehicles in the U.S. state of Michigan, the South China Morning Post reported Aug. 6.

* The U.K. Department of Transport announced new guidance on Aug. 6 aimed at better protecting internet-connected cars from hackers. The new guidelines are expected to ensure that engineers incorporate cybersecurity measures as they develop new vehicles.