The best WiFi router (disclaimer: our client TP-LINK is a clear winner

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy.
Read the original full article below at TheWirecutter.com

After spending a total of 200 hours researching and testing over 20 WiFi routers, plus analyzing reader comments and feedback, the $100 TP-Link Archer C7 (v2) is the router we recommend for most people right now. This dual-band, three-stream wireless-ac router usually costs between $80 and $100 — the same price as many older, slower routers. But unlike those slower routers, the C7 supports the fastest connections of every major device you can buy today.

We compared the Archer C7 against 21 different routers over a 10-month testing period. On most of our tests, the Archer C7 was the fastest — outperforming routers that cost twice as much. You won’t find a better-performing router than the Archer C7 for less, and you’ll have to spend a lot more money to get a better one.

http://www.engadget.com/2015/08/28/the-best-wifi-router-for-most-people/

Infographic Looks At The Science Of Native Ads – WebProNews

In-feed ad unit adoption is growing across publisher sites with different ad unit types introduced and/or retired quickly,” said the IAB’s Susan Borst. “In addition, feed types are also evolving beyond the three main types (content, social and product), to mixed feed types that have variable aesthetics/content which don’t fall clearly into one bucket. But even with these changes over time, it is important that one thing remain the same and that is the need to evaluate the in-feed ads from the consumer perspective to ensure that they remain native, meaning that they are so cohesive with the page content, assimilated into the design, and consistent with the platform behavior that the viewer simply feels that they belong.”

They have a helpful infographic on this as well, which you can see here.

http://www.webpronews.com/infographic-looks-at-the-science-of-native-ads-2015-08

The Smart Home Market Insights

THE EVOLVING SMART HOME MARKET: BI Intelligence Research Analyst John Greenough presented at IoT Evolution on the current state of the US smart home market. Here are some of the key takeaways:

Americans are excited and ready for the smart home. Over half of America is excited for the possibility of having smart home devices. In addition, three-quarters of Americans have wireless internet and 57% have a smartphone — two crucial components of the smart home ecosystem.
Security is often cited as the top benefit Americans want when purchasing a smart home system. 41% of Americans said the top benefit of a smart home system is security.
Cable, telephone, and security companies with a large employee base are well positioned to provide home automation systems. Smart home providers including Comcast’s Xfinity Home, Time Warner Cable’s IntelligentHome, ADT Pulse, and AT&T’s Digital Home, have allocated a lot of marketing dollars to help grow their smart home divisions. This could be especially crucial to cable companies who are continuing to lose cable subscribers to cord cutting alternatives.
The US smart home market is currently in the ‘chasm’ of the tech adoption curve. The chasm is the transitional point from the early adopter to mass market phase of the tech adoption curve. It previously occurred in the smartphone market in 2009-2010, when smartphones were proven to be a necessity and were adopted by the masses.
To reach the mass market stage, smart home device makers and providers will have to prove a need for their devices, fix the technological fragmentation, and try to drive down prices.
BII JG IoT Evolution

THE IoT ANALYSTS SPEAK: At IoT Evolution in Las Vegas, multiple IoT analysts participated in a panel discussion on the IoT market. The analysts disagreed over how many devices are going to be connected to the Internet by 2020. This has been a hotly contested topic since the IDC released their original forecast saying 50 billion things will be connected to the Internet by 2020. Multiple firms, including BI Intelligence, have reported varying forecasts which generally fall between 10-200 billion devices. Here are some of the takeaways from the discussion:

The analysts have varying definitions of what is included in the IoT, and therefore have very different forecasts. Some analysts include devices running near field communication (NFC) and RFID, while others do not. Therefore, each forecast needs to be read closely to see what devices are included. These definitions are important for clarity around what the IoT encompasses.
A few of the analysts made the point that the number of devices connected to the internet does not matter. The bigger message these analysts had was that the growth rate is the most important number. We tend to agree with this group of analysts. However, the overarching theme of the IoT is that it will be big and it will make businesses more efficient.

Congrats to TP LInk and Goolge

We love it when clients come together and partner. Congrats to TP Link and Google on your innovation and successful collaboration.

READ THE WIRED POST

Today, the company is launching a new device called the OnHub, in partnership with router-maker TP-Link. There’s another, Asus-made device in the works. For $199, it promises to make your Wi-Fi faster and more reliable, and to give you the ability to update and fix your connection. (You know, for the rare times unplugging it and plugging it back in just won’t do.) Presales start today, and devices will ship in the coming weeks.

The most striking thing about the OnHub is the way it looks. It’s not your average router, with wires and antennas poking out from every side; it’s a large cylindrical device with a blinking light on the top, shades of the Amazon Echo or Apple’s Airport Extreme router. Its outer shell is removable, and comes in either blue or black (more colors are coming, Wuellner says, to better suit your room). It’s pretty, in its way.

This is intentional: Google doesn’t want you to crawl behind your desk every time you need to get at your router. It wants the OnHub right in the center of everything. This itself is a boon to your connection; hiding your router behind closed doors or underneath your TV is horrible for your signal. (Yes, people do that.)

“We discovered that when you put a router on the floor,” Wuellner says, “versus on the shelf, the one on the shelf performs twice as well as the one on the floor.” Wuellner’s team also discovered that making it a tall cylinder made users less likely to stack things on top of it, which also destroys signal.

If step one was to build a router people want on their shelf, not in the closet, then step two was to make it work really well. The OnHub has 13 antennas inside, 12 for casting signal and one for measuring congestion on your network. The device’s software is constantly monitoring channels and frequencies, making sure you’re connecting in the most efficient way. Wuellner says Google didn’t just want to blow your mind with antenna power, but figure out how to use it properly. “Imagine yourself in a battle with your neighbor about who can listen to their stereo,” he says. Most routers just keep cranking the volume to try and drown out the other; the OnHub wants to help everybody share.

The Google re-org may help it innovate faster and find its place as a leader within the #IoT

Per BI, Google’s big reorganization, which made Google and its different brands separate subsidiary companies under a wider holding company called Alphabet, could mean fast growth for some of its IoT initiatives. Google has rapidly grown beyond its traditional web and search businesses in recent years, and under the umbrella of Alphabet those projects will have more flexibility as independent companies to innovate faster, according to an article in PC Magazine. 

The article explains that as Google reaches into more experimental areas like self-driving cars and healthcare, its investments in these areas have grown harder to justify to shareholders, who would likely prefer the company and its executives keep their focus on core businesses like search, Gmail, and Android. 

Under the new arrangement though, Google itself will be exposed to less risk should one of these side projects fail spectacularly: Google will be its own independent company that could be spun off to protect its share price should such a failure happen. That will both make shareholders happy because their shares’ value will be safe, and it will allow these side projects to be more aggressive in experimenting with nascent technologies, since they won’t be handcuffed by the risk that they could crater Google’s share price.

The reorganization will also allow Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to focus more on these non-core businesses, as they will become co-CEOs of Alphabet and hand off the CEO role at Google to Sundar Pichai. The most important new companies  under the Alphabet umbrella in regards to IoT development will be:

  • Nest will become an independent company under Alphabet, which will hopefully help the company speed up the expansion of its product portfolio of smart home devices. The company has been slow to grow beyond its first offering, the Nest thermostat. Google acquired Dropcam for $555 million last year, and made it part of Nest. Nest hasn’t done much with the acquisition though: its released a connected home security camera earlier this year that didn’t do much to improve on the original Dropcam. Nest needs to release more innovative products if it wants to be a smart home company, not just a smart thermostat company.
  • Google X, Google’s innovation lab, will also become an independent entity. The lab is working on several projects that are relevant to the IoT including Google’s self-driving car tests; Google Wing, a drone delivery service; and Google Loon, an effort to expand internet access to new geographies using high-altitude balloons. Google X will be able to move forward with these projects more rapidly now that they the lab is more independent from Google.

I am making my return to the stage… with Darren Herman, Donny Osmond and Tony Hsieh #iot @betheexception @thebuddygroup #IMPACT15

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My marketing and storytelling career started in New York City on America’s first social medium; The Broadway stage. Since then, The Buddy Group has flourished to help shine the spotlight on deserving brands looking to better understand their audiences, tell compelling stories and push beyond what is expected.

This year I will have the privilege of sharing the Main Stage at IMPACT15 with Darren Herman, VP Content Services at Mozilla. We will be discussing the evolution of content, IoT,  the need for transparency in advertising and the important role Mozilla has in defining the future of our industry.

Pretty neat stuff, eh?
Well, according to my Mother, all of that pales in comparison to the fact that my picture is next to Donny Osmond on the IMPACT15 website.

Buy your tickets now; I am working on my choreography.

Pete

(for more information on IMPACT 15 or to become involved, feel free to email me pete@thebuddygroup.com and I will put you in touch with the right people.