E-sport has grown increasingly popular in recent years, but the pastime has remained a decidedly private enterprise. A new US startup is hoping to turn it into a sport for the masses, however, with its plan to introduce the world of competitive video games into high schools. PlayVS, which just announced a huge $15 million in new funding this week from an investor group that includes the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and rapper Nas, has partnered with US high school sports authority NFHS to form leagues around the country. The LA-based company’s platform helps schools to schedule games, establish set rules and keep track of stats. PlayVS expects to launch its inaugural season in October, which will include 18 states. Who knows? Someday your children could be landing college scholarships for e-sport.
US magazine Forbes this week unveiled its annual list of the highest paid sports stars. Boxer Floyd Mayweather topped the list with a staggering $285 million, much of it thanks to his high-profile bout last year with UFC fighter Connor McGregor (who himself was fourth on the list). Footballer Lionel Messi ranked second at $111 million, while his rival Cristiano Ronaldo trailing just behind him. It is basketball stars, however, who make up the bulk of the list thanks to soaring salaries in the NBA - they occupy 40 of the top 100 spots. Overall, Forbes said the world’s best paid athletes raked in $3.8 billion, a 23 percent increase from last year. When it comes to sports, it certainly pays to be at the top.
The electric car market in China is red hot, and industry pioneer Tesla wants in on the action. CEO Elon Musk told attendees of the company’s annual shareholder meeting this week that Tesla was planning to build its second Gigafactory in Shanghai. Tesla already has a company in China focused on technology development, but this new facility will allow it to produce cars and battery packs on site. Tesla currently has one Gigafactory in Nevada and is eyeing sites in Europe for its next facility. The company aims to ultimately have 10-12 worldwide. Musk said Tesla will announce more details about its Shanghai Gigafactory next month.
Microsoft has turned to what appears to be the world’s last true swathe of untouched territory for the site of its latest data center: the ocean floor. The software giant this week sunk its European Marine Energy Center off the coast of Scotland’s Orkney Islands. The idea is to develop undersea cable-powered, self-sufficient data centers that provide high-speed cloud computing services to nearby cities. By going underwater, the computers can operate without costly cooling equipment, or the oxygen and vapor that, while necessary in a human environment, can prove corrosive to electronic equipment. There is just one catch: If any technology on the data center breaks, there is no fixing it.
London-based startup Roli wants to transform the future of music and the way we make it. The company designs keyboards that allows musicians to compose and play music that can be integrated with smartphones and other devices. The idea is to radically alter the way a musician interacts with the composition process, thus opening up an entirely new world of sound that has never been heard (or played) before. This innovative new approach has already earned Roli $50 million in funding, and this week the company announced further investment by media giant Sony. CEO Roland Lamb said “Sony’s approach to innovation echoes how we work at Roli,” because both companies design products that allow creators “to be innovative in their work.”