Category: innovation

ALLIANCE allows for synchronization and more

Wireless connections within the Internet of Things may soon rival the capabilities of wired systems, based on new standards being released by Wi-Fi Alliance.

The new standard, called TimeSync, is a Wi-Fi feature that brings precise timing and synchronized operation to wireless devices by aligning them to the same internal clock. It was introduced at CES, just concluded in Las Vegas.

This type of synchronization would enable properly synced audio and video playback wirelessly across a full surround-sound system, according to Kevin Robinson, VP of marketing at Wi-Fi Alliance.

“As Wi-Fi becomes more firmly planted in the connected home space, it is growing from simply delivering Internet connectivity to connected devices to now moving into the interconnections between the components themselves,” Robinson told the IoT Daily.

“Part of the reason Wi-Fi has been as successful as it has is that it’s a very flexible and capable platform for other technologies, other ecosystems, to build on top of and it really allows industry to continue to innovate on top of this very capable platform,” he said.

Bringing a cross-brand standard to wireless devices is the goal and Wi-Fi Alliance plans to launch a certification program for device manufacturers to integrate the TimeSync capability into their products later this year.

The Alliance now has more than one flavor of connectivity tailored to different use cases.

For example, Wi-Fi ac, which was updated in mid-2016, is designed to deliver Internet access to wide areas and multiple devices simultaneously. An example Robinson referenced was a recent implementation of Wi-Fi ac access points throughout Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, which brings high-speed Internet across the entire stadium.

On the other side, Wi-Gig, which was launched in October 2016 and was shown in products at CES, brings short-range, but very high performance speeds. This type of connectivity can enable wireless virtual reality experiences.

The TimeSync feature is not intended to act as a type of connection, but rather as a coordinating layer that can enable better experiences, according to Robinson.

“One way to look at it is it’s an ingredient that will help other technologies in applications perform better,” Robinson told the Daily.

“TimeSync would allow you to create that precise coordination between various devices, whether it’s a VR headset, speakers in the room or a wireless headset,” he said.

Wi-Fi Alliance also plans to launch an indoor location-tracking capability later this year, which would operate similarly to GPS with accuracy within a few feet.

There are currently 8 billion Wi-Fi devices in active use, according to Robinson.

 

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/292636/new-wi-fi-standard-syncs-home-devices-in-real-time.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=readmore&utm_campaign=99529

BREAKING— I have returned from CES 2017 without a cold!

BREAKING— I have returned from CES 2017 without a cold! Each year CES typically leaves its attendees with a version of the funk that typically takes you down upon returning home. Here is to a healthy, funk free, 2017!

This year marks my 16th year attending CES, the default event for those who create, sell and market the technology in our personal lives. Each year I write up a post on the best things I have seen. This year, I am going to shake it up because times, they are changing…

Over the last decade, I have made it a point to drive to Vegas for the event. It proves to be a great plan as the meeting rooms, dinners and meet-ups tend to be spread out in multiple hotels or restaurants. It also serves as a great tool for reflection as the 4-5 hours is often plagued with poor cell service and true quiet time.

So, on my drive home I asked the question (to myself)…

Where is it all going?

To best answer this, I thought about the evolution of the CE (Consumer Electronics) industry over the last 17 years.

Since 2010, CES has been mostly about displays, plastic, hard drives and processors. From ultra flat monitors to tablets, innovation was best observed in the physical products on the floor. Booths were constructed with items spinning under spotlight and demonstrations meant people picked them up or watched their 4k brilliance.

If you follow the trades (and mainstream media) you heard that Amazon stole the show this year with Alexa. You also likely heard people say that they didn’t see anything that wowed them. Well, both are correct. However, I think this is not the full story…

The next 5 years or so will feel like nobody is innovating because innovation has always been measured in physical product. More and more “things” are being connected and as a result, the physical is becoming software enabled. As things become connected, it will be hard for them to be MORE connected. Thus, the innovation we are going to see and need to be better at managing will be in the ability for companies to understand customer needs and create a personalized experience IN or AROUND the products for which they produce.  This will appear more as incremental innovation to outsiders but it truly is the holy grail of innovation.

 

We are in for an era of innovation where consumers buy and recommend based on a product or services ability to “fit them” or “adapt to their needs”. How and where they find out that these features fit them is more important that going to see a product on a shelf at Best Buy. These experiences will carry the innovation banner forward for the years to come.- my 2017 prediction

 

I saw this first hand this year in several instances. Most impressive was the demonstration of Comcast’s Xfinity network customer experience. The super smart, customer focused team at Comcast welcomed me into their suite at Venetian and offered a tour of what will be rolling out to all their customers in just a few months. Sure there was a box on table but the presentation was nearly 100% about the experience and the ability for the customer to control what mattered to them most. For example, Xfinity customers will soon be able to create profiles for their family members on their network allowing them to monitor, report and establish boundaries. This is great for families with kids who have personal devices but also the avid streamer who may be looking for better performance in their streaming.

xfinity-smarter-ecosystem.pngxfinity-smarter-laptop.png

 

xfinity-smarter-parental-control.png

They have streamlined the onboarding process too, demonstrating that innovation doesn’t have to be wrapped in hard plastic. The new experience will be automatically enabled in the first half of 2017 for the approximately 10 million existing Xfinity Internet customers who have a compatible Xfinity Wireless Gateway. That number is expected to grow to more than 15 million by the end of the year as Comcast’s new Advanced Wireless Gateway becomes available to customers. This Advanced Gateway is capable of delivering up to nine gigabits per second over Wi-Fi within the home, supports voice, home monitoring and automation applications and will be the device Comcast uses to make one gigabit per second Internet speeds available across its entire service area.

My hat is tipped to the Comcast team for the fortitude and courage to show up at CES with commitment to the customer experience. Your investment there will win over those markets where you compete against outdated providers. Now, if only you offered your services in Orange County, California!

The number of connected devices is expected to rise from 10 to 50 devices by 2020. However, we are in for a period of time where “The Bigs” and “Start-Ups” alike will compete for your spare change via features that enable a more relevant, useful and personalized experience rather than push more product. Sure we will see people replacing physical items (Dishwashers, Cars, Toasters, etc.) with a new connected version but the idea that we will have tons of new devices in our home in addition to currently non-connected devices is likely a fallacy with the exception of companies like SEVEN HUGS.

  • The Bigs: Will compete with a value proposition of an Ecosystem of products that work together. Their typically closed system (think Apple) will begin to turn people away as consumers are more and more wanting things to work together regardless of the platform.
  • The Start-Ups: Will deliver against niche experiences and gain market share because they deliver amazing experiences that serve a specific persona’s needs. They will of course be gobbled up by a Big in the future but until then, they will blaze trails at a pace only a smaller, nimble company can and a pace that consumers have grown to expect.

Stop looking for the new plastic on the shelf and start looking for the features that make it all “work for you”.

Personalization is going to change consumer expectations, security, user interface design and content delivery. As it pertains to the working world, Intel’s Brian McCarson calls this- Phase Two of the Internet of Things. The use of data to create a more optimized, personalized and relevant experience.

One size fits all will never work again- thankfully. We are in for an era will brands and manufacturers are going to be looking to consumers to help shape (real-time) the features, functions and experience with preference, data and feedback. 

I am excited for a great 2017 filled with innovation, personalization and better customer experiences.

Pete

 

2016 Tech Year in Review

Dec 30, 2016 9:00 AM EST
AMAZON.COM INC
-15.28
AT CLOSING, DEC 30TH
749.87 USD
ALPHABET INC-CL A
-10.43
AT CLOSING, DEC 30TH
792.45 USD

⇑  THE GOOD  ⇑

 

▲ Tech Superpowers Eat the World: For the first time this year, technology companies at times held each of the top five spots of the world’s most valuable public companies. The combined market value of tech’s Five Fab — Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc. — was $2.4 trillion as of Dec. 27, or more than 11 percent of the S&P 500’s value. That means tech superpowers are inching toward the 16 percent share of the S&P 500 they held at the peak of the tech bubble in March 2000. The bad news: Big Tech’s growing power makes them a target of politicians worldwide.

Tip Top Tech
The five biggest tech companies’ share of S&P 500 market cap
Source: Bloomberg
Note: Companies listed from highest to lowest market cap.

▲ Advertising Becomes a Two-Horse Race: Alphabet’s Google and Facebook are popular destinations for billions and their technology makes it easy for carmakers and detergent companies to pinpoint the right people for their product pitches. As a result, the two gobble a combined 58 percent of all the advertising purchased in the U.S. online or on mobile phones. With Google and Facebook as the only companies generating significant digital ad sales, every other company dependent on advertising — from TV networks to news organizations — is rethinking existing business approaches.

google fb ad spend-01

▲ Amazon’s Ambition Knows No Bounds: It became clear in 2016 that no industry should be free from Amazon paranoia. It’s a giant retailer of every product and service, a growing entertainment power, and a would-be transportation giant that aims to control land, air, sea and new horizons. In an example of the impact Amazon’s ambitions can have, its Amazon Web Services cloud business — a type of computing Amazon created from nothing 10 years ago — made up more than 100 percent of Amazon’s total operating profit in the third quarter (after accounting for international losses), and it’s not an exaggeration to say AWS has changed the direction of both Amazon and the tech industry.

▲ China Tech Flexes Its Muscles: China’s tech giants Baidu Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. are unimaginably big and broad, cutthroat competition has honed the next-generation stars such as Didi Chuxing, and many novel tech ideas born in China are being copied elsewhere. China’s tech powers are extending their advantages at home and stretching into other parts of the globe, though few have made major inroads into the U.S. yet.

Internet Tidal Wave
China’s roughly 700 million internet users are double the population of the U.S.
Sources: International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report and database, and World Bank estimates; Bloomberg Intelligence

▲ Television Finally Meets Technology: Television’s dominance of Americans’ leisure time and advertisers’ wallets has peaked, and changes are slowly coming to the fundamental nature of TV. Commercial-free binge watching on Netflix, the popularity of nontraditional video on smartphones and the development of new types of online TV services are reshaping entertainment. Will digital “television” simply replicate the TV we’re used to or become something else entirely?

Changing the Channel
Online pay-TV services like AT&T’s DirecTV Now are estimated to reach nearly 15 million subscribers by 2020, according to UBS estimates
Source: UBS

⇓  THE BAD  

 

▼ Apple Hits a Wall: The decade-long era of Apple’s impossibly fast growth and profits came to an end. Apple’s revenue fell this year for the first time since 2001. The company can’t outrun a changing market for smartphones globally, and it continues to grapple with government resistance to its power on issues such as law enforcement, taxation and manufacturing.

No Longer Defying Gravity
The last time Apple’s annual revenue declined was 15 years ago
Source: Bloomberg
Note: Data for fiscal years.

▼ Startups Reckon with Austerity-ish: After two years of seemingly limitless funding for young technology companies, there was a marked retrenchment this year. Money invested in tech startups remains historically high but is on track to decline materially from 2015. Smartly, many private tech companies started to manage for profits — or “profits” — instead of straining to grow at all costs. Otherwise the fallout from the investment pullback could have been much worse.

Pullback
Amount invested in companies backed by venture capital
Source: CB Insights
*Data through Q3.

▼ No Mercy for Yahoo and Twitter: Internet companies have to keep growing, or they die. Yahoo Inc. and Twitter Inc. in 2016 each went through protracted sale efforts — Yahoo found a buyer, Twitter didn’t — and had to deal with the punishing effects of disappearing growth in revenue and users.

Growing Pains
Revenue growth is diminishing for Yahoo and Twitter. Change in revenue from a year earlier:
Source: The companies
Note: Yahoo’s revenue excludes commissions paid to web-search partners.

▼ Batteries Had the Worst Year Ever: Samsung was forced to end production of its Galaxy Note 7 after reports of fires or explosions caused by faulty batteries. The U.S. also forced a recall of hoverboards because of overheating batteries, and Apple dealt with battery life hiccups for its new MacBook Pro line. The (sometimes literal) battery flare-ups in 2016 show the fragility of one of the essential components of computing in everything from smartphones to driverless cars.

Look Out Below
Quarterly revenue for Samsung’s mobile division took a dive in the latest quarter, hurt by recalls to its Galaxy Note 7 phone.
Source: Bloomberg

▼ Old Tech Shrinks: The technology industry is brutal to its stragglers (see Yahoo and Twitter above), and that meant painful job cuts in 2016 at some old-guard companies. IntelCorp., Cisco Systems Inc., HP Inc. and others continued to cut back — in some cases drastically — to offset falling revenue or to shift resources away from declining businesses.

Pink Slip
Legacy tech companies had some major layoffs in 2016
Source: Bloomberg

 

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the authors of this story:
Shira Ovide in New York at sovide@bloomberg.net
Rani Molla in New York at rmolla2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.net

Google launches first developer preview of Android Things, its new IoT platform | TechCrunch

Google today announced Android Things, its new comprehensive IoT platform for building smart devices on top of Android APIs and Google’s own services. Android Things is now available as a developer preview.

https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/13/google-launches-developer-preview-of-android-things-its-new-iot-platform/?ncid=rss&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&sr_share=facebook

Why I joined the OCTANe and Project Hope Alliance Board of Directors

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I am committed to seeing Orange County take its rightful place on published lists of great places for tech startups and business to grow.

As an investor, builder and lover of all things tech, I am interested in seeing other passionate entrepreneurs commit to setting foundation within our community and throw out the challenge to join me by starting and building here.

Having lived and worked in New York, LA and Long Beach over my career, I can honestly tell you that OC is the most desirable and most conducive for building culture and brand value. The talent pool is growing as is the available capital.

The addition of high potential companies, led by high performing entrepreneurs is great for our economy for all the reasons we already know. However, it is often overlooked that the new tech can be leveraged by local brands enabling first mover competitive advantages and differentiation. Bridging the gap between innovation, start-ups and brands is one of my real passions.

My other passion is finding ways to give back to our community. By combining the mutual interests of a thriving tech and start-up community with the needs of community focused organizations everyone wins.

I am proud to be a member of the Board of Directors for Project Hope Alliance and, as of yesterday, OCTANe.

 

OCTANe drives technology industry growth and innovation in Orange County by connecting ideas and people with resources and capital. Its members represent Orange County technology executive leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, academicians, and strategic advisors, all working together to fuel innovation in the OC. The organization has helped more than 800 companies via the LaunchPad™ SBDC accelerator. LaunchPad™-certified companies have received more than $1.7 billion in investment and equity exits. OCTANe annually welcomes more than 7,000 people to its programs and events. More than 2,000 business leaders throughout the Orange County region are OCTANe members. For more information, visit www.octaneoc.org.

 

Founded in 1989, Project Hope Alliance is ending the cycle of homelessness in Orange County, one child at a time. The nonprofit organization supports homeless students and their families, meeting the unique academic and psychosocial needs of these children via a two-generational approach targeting innovative rapid rehousing and education programs. Since 2012, Project Hope Alliance’s Family Stability Program has worked with over 150 families to end homelessness by moving more than 700 parents and children into permanent housing with financial independence. For more information visit www.projecthopealliance.org.

Last month my interests in The Buddy Group, OCTANe and Project Hope Alliance collided with The Buddy Group Invitational.  What came out of it was huge for the community, huge for the tech and investor scene and huge for local brands (yes, I wrote that knowing full well that you would be putting a Trump accent on the use of “huge”).

I look forward to helping Orange County thrive, grow, give and build sustainable businesses over the next 10 years and create an even better Orange County for my kids and future entrepreneurs to enjoy.

Care to join me? Connect with me on LINKEDIN.

Secrets Behind Building Any AI Driven Smart Service – A Software Insider’s Point of View

The combination of machine learning, deep learning, natural language processing, and cognitive computing will change the ways that humans and machines interact with our environments.  AI-driven smart services will sense one’s surroundings, know one’s preferences are from  past behavior, and subtly guide people and machines through their daily lives in ways that will truly feel seamless. This quest to deliver AI driven smart services across all industries and business processes will usher the most significant shift in computing and business this decade and beyond.

Organizations can expect AI driven smart services to impact future of work flows, IOT services, customer experience journeys, and block chain distributed ledgers.  Success requires the establishment of AI outcomes (see Figure 1).  Once the outcomes are established, organizations can craft AI driven smart services that orchestrate, automate, and deliver mass personalization at scale.

FIGURE 1.  SEVEN SPECTRUM OF AI OUTCOMES

rwang0-spectrum-of-outcomes-for-ai

Secrets To Designing AI Driven Smart Services Start With The Orchestration Of Trust

Crafting AI-driven smart services requires a shift in thinking to atomic driven smart services.   In fact, these new AI driven smart services rely on five key components:

  1. Applying digital footprints and data exhaust use AI to build anonymous and explicit profiles.
    Every individual, device, or network provides some information. That digital footprint or exhaust could come from facial analysis, a network IP address, or even one’s walking gait. Using AI and cognitive reckoning, systems can start to analyze patterns and correlate identity. That means that AI services will recognize and know individuals across difference contexts.
  2. Immersive experiences enable a natural interaction.
    Context, content, collaboration, and channels come together to all AI-driven services to deliver immersive and unique experiences to each individual.  The services will use context attributes such as geospatial location, time of day, weather, heart rate, and even sentiment – combined with what the service knows of our identity and preferences – to improve relevancy and deliver the appropriate content. Sense-and-respond mechanisms will enable collaboration among participants and machines through conversations and text dialogs. Channels include all interaction points such as mobile, social, kiosks, and in-person. The goal is natural user experiences based on identity.
  3.  Mass personalization at scale delivers digital services.
    Anticipatory analytics, catalysts, and choices interact to power mass personalization at scale.  Anticipatory analytics allow customers to “skate where the puck will be”.  Catalysts provide offers or triggers for response.  Choices allow customers to make their own decisions.  Each individual or machine will have their own experience in contexts depending on identity, historical preferences, and needs at the time. From choose-your-own-adventure journeys, context-driven offers, and multi-variable testing on available choices, the AI systems offer statistically driven choices to incite action.
  4.  Value exchange completes the orchestration of trust.
    Once an action is taken, value exchange cements the transaction. Monetary, non-monetary, and consensus are three common forms of value exchange. While monetary value exchange might be the most obvious, non-monetary value exchange (including recognition, access, and influence) often provide a compelling form of value. Meanwhile, a simple consensus or agreement can also deliver value exchange on the veracity of a land title or agreement on a patient treatment protocol.
  5. Cadence and feedback continues and AI powered learning cycle.
    Powered by machine learning and other AI tools, smart services consider the cadence of delivery: one time, ad-hoc, repetitive, subscription based, and threshold driven. Using machine learning techniques, the system studies how the smart services are delivered and applies this to future interactions.

FIGURE 2.  THE SECRET TO DESIGNING ATOMIC AI DRIVEN SERVICES

rwang0-ai-atomicservices

The Bottom Line: Artificial Intelligence Augments Humanity

Fears of robots taking over the world have been overblown.  Successful AI driven smart services will augment human intelligence just as machines augmented physical capabilities.  By enabling reduction of errors, improving speed of decisions, identifying demand signals, predicting outcomes, and preventing disasters, AI driven smart services play a key role in defining business models for block chain technologies,  IOT, customer experience, and future of work.

http://blog.softwareinsider.org/2016/11/28/mondays-musings-secrets-behind-building-ai-driven-smart-service/

“Twitter could be the next Mozilla”

“Twitter could be the next Mozilla” @pauliooj https://medium.com/swlh/twitter-could-be-the-next-mozilla-e788e3bfd841

Today, the Mozilla Foundation is a core player on the open web. As a non-profit, it provides an important balance against the interests of the three giant corporations — Google, Apple and Microsoft — that own the other remaining web browser engines. Mozilla also develops many other projects, some unsuccessful and frankly lacking purpose (Firefox OS), some offering important solutions to hard technical problems (the Rust programming language).

Killer AR ideas

Put simply, AR is the technology that superimposes computer generated imagery onto the real world when looked at through a portable device. But, as marketers have discovered, AR can be so much more.

AR has not only succeeded where QR codes failed, but it has quickly shut down any opinion that its technology is gimmicky. No longer is AR the stuff of ‘oh look at this funny animation protruding out of a cola can’. Now genuinely useful experiences can be achieved to help your customers, clients and service providers in a real-life practical way.

Let’s take a look at some of these experiences…

The first three examples are taken from Blippar’s own case studies:

https://www.clickz.com/2016/04/29/how-to-optimise-your-page-images-to-increase-site-speed?ce_b4=*|EMAIL_B64|*&utm_source=ClickZ+Global&utm_campaign=fb6c3b5ffe-02_05_2016_NL&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_33e702b796-fb6c3b5ffe-16522205