Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of Nov. 21, 2021

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Get caught up on the latest technology and startup news from the past week. Here are the most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of Nov. 21, 2021.

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Most popular stories on GeekWire

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Ed Fries interview — From building games for the original Xbox to investing in gaming startups

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Dean Takahashi of GamesBeat interviews Ed Fries about the 20th anniversary of the Xbox.


Join gaming leaders, alongside GamesBeat and Facebook Gaming, for their 2nd Annual GamesBeat & Facebook Gaming Summit | GamesBeat: Into the Metaverse 2 this upcoming January 25-27, 2022. Learn more about the event.  Without good games, the original Xbox would have crumbled in defeat before the gaming might of Sony and Nintendo. While Microsoft…Read More

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A giant ship from Halo appears at Oregon Ducks football game as part of mixed reality experience

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(Photos courtesy of  Oregon Athletic Department)

Mixed reality is making its way into the sports marketing world.

The latest example was Saturday afternoon at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., where Xbox showed off a unique mixed reality experience to promote Halo Infinite during halftime of the Oregon vs. Oregon State football game.

A projection of a vehicle used in Halo came swooping onto the field before dropping logos for Halo Infinite and the University of Oregon. The mixed reality tech was shown on the big screen at Autzen Stadium — at 12,276 square-feet, the largest in college football — and shared online.

Though it looks realistic, the flying vehicle was not actually at stadium. However, Halo’s Master Chief did make an appearance at the game. And the Oregon Marching Band performed rendition of sounds from Halo Infinite, the latest installment in Microsoft’s Halo franchise that officially debuts next month.

Xbox partnered with Portland agency Studio Mega and the Oregon Athletic Department on the brand collaboration.

Other teams have tried out similar mixed reality experiences, including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and Baltimore Ravens.

Mixed reality is just one type of tech that teams are using to enhance the fan experience. The NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights, for example, wowed fans with their pre-game on-ice video from this season’s home opener.

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What we’re most thankful for in tech, science, business, and innovation

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We’re hopeful about the impact that MacKenzie Scott, left, and Melinda French Gates will have as independent philanthropists. (Photos via Bystander Revolution and Gates Foundation)

This was a week when many of us in the U.S. paused to reflect and give thanks. We’re keeping the tradition alive on the GeekWire Podcast. On this special holiday episode, we offer our gratitude for some of the technologies, trends and hopeful developments of the past year, as reflected in news coverage on GeekWire.

Listen below, and subscribe to GeekWire in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Continue reading for a rundown of our picks.

mRNA vaccines: Here we have science, technology, innovation and a spirit of cooperation helping to address one of the most challenging situations on the planet. COVID-19 vaccines are a no-brainer to top this list.

Environmental awakening: 2021 has been a watershed moment for investors, startups, and the general business population waking up to climate change in a much bigger way. Some of the examples we discuss:

Electric vehicles and high-speed rail: The proliferation of electric vehicles on the road, and long-term planning for high-speed rail in the Cascadia Corridor has us hopeful about the future of alternative forms of transportation.

Cloud storage: It’s not a new development, of course, but the ease of storing, syncing and backing up data in the cloud is one of those advances that become an integral part of life almost without us noticing. Something as seemingly mundane as Microsoft OneDrive has made switching among PCs seamless, for example.

Everyday AR: In much the same way, the little touches of augmented reality in the world around us have made life easier. An example: the guidelines in the backup camera on cars that make reversing into a space that much easier.

The next generation of innovators: Examples abound, as evidenced by our Junior Geek of the Month series. However, the example that stands out from the past year is Seattle teen entrepreneurs Sage Khanuja and Nikolas Ioannou building and selling their telemedicine startup in a successful exit earlier this year.

Commercial space tourism: Sure, there are plenty of reasons to be skeptical about billionaires blasting themselves and a chosen few into low-Earth orbit. But if this is a key step toward a multi-planetary species, there’s also reason to be optimistic. At least, that’s one way of looking at it. We were divided on this one.

MacKenzie and Melinda: We’re hopeful about the impact that MacKenzie Scott and Melinda French Gates will have as philanthropists in their own right. For purposes of interesting news coverage, we hope the former spouses of Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates team up even more than they already have, although it might be better for the world for them to work independently.

Listen to the full episode above, and subscribe to the GeekWire Podcast for previous episodes. Hosted by GeekWire co-founders Todd Bishop and John Cook. Produced and edited by Curt Milton. Theme music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.

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