Facebook Rooms, Apple Pay and Robots Battling Ebola? | This Week in Social Media

Facebook RoomsWhat’s old is new again

Remember the early days of the internet when chat rooms that connected people with specific interests were big? Facebook wants to bring that back with its new Rooms app for iOS. A Room allows you to access a feed of photos, videos and text like you might normally see on your Facebook page – but all tied to a specific topic you find interesting. Want to talk about that big move trailer you’ve been gushing over? Go to a room. Love windsurfing? Chat about it in a Room with others. A big departure from Facebook, however, is the use of a pseudonym to allow you to chat (or troll) anonymously. Android and desktop versions are currently in development.

Advancing the mobile wallet

Apple launched Apple Pay on Monday, allowing iPhone 6 users to use their devices to forego their wallets to purchase items. The function uses the fingerprint scanner on a phone to connect to your preferred financial service to pay and approve transactions. While all three major credit card companies are currently working with Apple Pay, several banks and retailers have yet to join, leading several users frustrated that the service was unavailable to them. However, that isn’t the worst thing that has happened. Some people have complained of being charged twice when they made their purchases, though that glitch has been observed with a fix on the way.

Robots vs. Ebola?

The U.S. government is reportedly looking at the use of robots to help combat the threat of Ebola in Africa. A simulcast workshop next month by Texas A & M University’s Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASARwill look at the feasibility of using robots in the battle against Ebola. There are already some fascinating ways robots could help battle the virus. Some of those include the safe transport and disposal of infected bodies, automated material handling to reduce staff at risk, detection of infection and sterilization.