Category: Uncategorized

42 percent of smart speaker owners have bought a second device (or more) – TechCrunch

Here’s a promising metric for Amazon, in terms of its ability to maintain its current lead in the voice computing market: 42 percent of smart speaker owners have two or more devices, according to Edison Research. This figure is seemingly growing, too. Last year, there were about 1.18 Amazon Echo devices per Alexa household, but this new finding pushes the number to around 1.5 to 1.6 smart speaker devices per household.

Not exactly apples to apples, but Echo still dominates.

Amazon today has a solid lead in voice computing, despite new entrants on the market like Google Home and soon, Apple’s HomePod. A recent survey estimates that Amazon has sold more than 10 million Alexa-powered Echo devices since late 2014. Morgan Stanley believes that figure could be more than 11 million. Amazon is also forecasted to control 70 percent of the voice-controlled speaker market this year.

https://techcrunch-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/techcrunch.com/2017/06/23/42-percent-of-amazon-echo-owners-have-bought-a-second-device-or-more/amp/

Connected Devices Working Together Tops Brand Value 02/23/2017

For the Internet of Things to move forward significantly, more connected devices need to be able to work together.

While this may seem obvious, it’s not necessarily so easy to do.

A group pushing IoT standards has just released the findings of a survey it conducted at CES and found that, at least among this group, most people say it’s very important that their devices work together more seamlessly.

Interoperability is even more important than the brands they buy from, according to the survey of 250 attendees at CES in January, conducted by the Open Connectivity Foundation.

Attendees at CES are not average consumers but rather represent the companies that may distribute or sell IoT products to consumers. CES is the annual event where all the new gadgetry that consumers will see during the coming year are shown to those who will decide precisely which products they select to market.

There is plenty of agreement that devices should work well with each other. Here’s the breakdown of how important CES attendees say that devices should interoperate and communicate seamlessly with each other:

  • 63% — Very important
  • 29% — Somewhat important
  • 6% — Not very important
  • 2% — Not important

The view of brands from which products are purchased fared somewhat differently. Here’s the importance of brand or manufacturer of a devices in the CES attendees’ decision to purchase:

  • 53% — Very important, only buy from brands I trust
  • 33% — Somewhat important
  • 11% — Not very important
  • 3% — Not important, buy on value alone

Consistent with numerous other studies, concerns about privacy are on the list of obstacles, though not at the very top. These were rated as the biggest single limiting factors to universal adoption of connected devices:

  • 37% — Lack of interoperability between devices
  • 26% — Concerns over security and/or privacy
  • 16% — Concerns of devices being non-essential or non-valuable
  • 15% — Devices cost too much

Aside from all the issues of privacy, security, interoperability and costs, the most important attribute that would improve the value of connected products to consumers was ease of use.

Anyone dabbling with a number of smart or connected objects knows that the market is not quite there yet.

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/295720/connected-devices-working-together-tops-brand-valu.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=readnow&utm_campaign=100794&hashid=GDUskglhnvDLb35PkVj_E8-yz3s

Oh boy, security is a growing issue in the growing I.O.T.

Millions of Internet-connected devices may currently be exposed to potential hacking.

More than 178 million connected devices and systems in the U.S. are exposed to security vulnerabilities, according to a new study by Trend Micro.

The study, comprising an analysis of exposed cyber assets in the 10 largest U.S. cities, found that Los Angeles has the highest number of exposed assets, followed by Houston and Chicago.

The top four cities each account for more than 2.5 million exposed cyber assets, according to Trend Micro.

Exposed cyber assets are defined as Internet-connected devices and systems that are discoverable on search engines and accessible by the public Internet, according to Trend Micro.

Among the top devices are routers, webcams and DVRs, which have previously been used in IoT-driven cyberattacks, as the IoT Daily reported at the time (U.S. To Issue IoT Principles After Internet Cyberattack).

The number of exposed routers seems to be somewhat consistent among top cities. Houston leads with 3,500 exposed routers, followed by Los Angeles (3,000) and New York City (3,000).

However, the study said that the majority (79%) of exposed DVRs are in Chicago and more than three quarters (80%) of all exposed DVRs are made by TiVo.

Internet-connected cameras that are most exposed include home cameras made by D-Link and security cameras made by GeoVision and Avtech, according to Trend Micro.

The study notes that exposure doesn’t mean all of these devices have been compromised, but rather that they could be.

The risks associated with such exposure can range from the systems leaking sensitive information without the owner knowing to being hacked and leveraged in a cyberattack.

Here is the Trend Micro ranking of level of exposure in the 10 largest cities, in order:

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Houston
  3. Chicago
  4. Dallas
  5. Phoenix
  6. San Jose
  7. New York
  8. San Antonio
  9. San Diego
  10. Philadelphia

 

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/295268/potential-security-threats-found-in-178-million-co.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline&utm_campaign=100628&hashid=GDUskglhnvDLb35PkVj_E8-yz3s

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

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

img_0052

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.

Here’s what a Trump presidency means for the economy

Credit to Joe Brusuelas, Chief Economist at RSM. The post below can be found on the RSMUS.com website.

Subscribe to “The Real Economy” by clicking here: http://rsmus.com/economics/here-s-what-a-trump-presidency-means-for-the-economy.html

Changes coming for growth, taxes, infrastructure, interest rates and trade

The upset presidential election victory of Donald J. Trump and the Republican hold of the House of Representatives and the Senate signal major changes ahead in both the federal government’s approach to growth and the Federal Reserve’s approach to monetary policy. Most evident will be a return of supply-side tax cuts, large operating fiscal deficits, and a move back toward more traditional monetary policies that, over time, should lead to higher short and long-term interest rates.

Below we outline our views on the implications of a Trump presidency for economic growth, taxes and infrastructure, central bank policy and interest rates and trade.

Economic Growth

We anticipate that the Trump administration will attempt to achieve the economic equivalence of a strategic breakout with respect to the pace of economic growth. It will also seek significant reform of Dodd-Frank, which would be a boost for Wall Street, and move to inject private competition into the health care system. Because the GOP does not have veto-proof majority, the reform of regulation governing finance and health care will be quite challenging and difficult to obtain.

While there will likely be a faster pace of growth in the near term, uncertainty about the role and status of the U.S. in the global economy may combine to create longer-term issues that, ironically, act as a drag on growth.

Taxes and infrastructure

From a purely economic point of view it will be difficult to lift the long term growth trend much above 1.5 percent without significant tax reform and productivity-enhancing changes related to tax investments and improving the condition of the national infrastructure. Given the major demographic challenges associated with the aging of the baby boomers, and the gradual entry of millennials into the workforce, the underlying conditions of the post-Great Recession economy are not conducive to a quicker pace of growth unless there is major tax and entitlement reform.

With Trump’s election, forward looking managers and investors should anticipate large tax cuts, deregulation and a likely return of greater risk-taking by financial firms in an attempt to stoke a greater pace of growth in the near-term.

In our estimation, based on visits to policymakers in Washington and on Capitol Hill, the order of operations for the first two years of the Trump Administration will likely proceed in the following fashion:

First, a move to engage on comprehensive tax reform will likely be one of the primary orders of business in January 2017. We expect an attempt to craft a deal that would revolve around lower individual and business tax rates along with an end to corporate tax inversions. Under these conditions, an attempt to lower individual tax rates on the margin likely around the framework set out in the House Republican blueprint released in June of this year of 12, 25 and 33 percent would be a workable framework to put in place the most significant tax reform since 1986. We anticipate that this will take up much of first year of the administration and congressional calendar.

At the heart of Trump’s tax plan is the intention to reduce taxes on pass through entitles to 15 percent, which would decisively favor the middle market which accounts for 40 percent of GDP and employs one-third the labor force. In our estimation given the fact that pass through entities account for roughly 95 percent of all firms in the economy, that this would be quite popular among the general public and Trump’s rust belt working class coalition.

Second, we think the opportunity for a bipartisan bill on a multi-year infrastructure project is ripe for passage. The glue that would hold this together would likely be parallel legislation that would seek to tax the $2.6 trillion in corporate profits being held abroad.  There is growing realization in both political parties that the infrastructure around the country has been allowed to slip into such disrepair that it has become something of a national embarrassment.

An infrastructure project probably won’t just focus on roads, bridges, ports and canals. It will likely be much broader and encompass sewage, water, broadband, hardening the energy infrastructure and cybersecurity. In fact, we suspect that the infrastructure bill will be sold as necessary for national security given the recent wave of cyber strikes on private firms and the Russian-led hack of the Democratic National Committee.

It is important to note that a robust infrastructure is not an economic panacea. It is a long-run productivity-enhancing policy that is more of a legacy issue, as opposed to something that will jump start economic activity in the near-term.

If there is no tax reform, then growth will remain decisively in the sub two-percent range. A quicker pace of growth won’t return until the demographic bulge from the millennials and generation Y take power and reform the country and economy to be better aligned with their tastes, preferences and interests.

Central Bank Policy

The initial financial shock associated with the Trump’s triumph is quickly waning. Investors in the U.S. have been conditioned over the past few years to buy on dips and using them as an opportunity to bolster quarterly returns, often around, accommodative policy out of the Fed. While, that is certainly the case in the near term, there is likely to be volatility ahead as markets begin to price in what will likely be major upcoming changes in personnel at the central bank.

The era of unorthodox monetary policy will slowly come to an end. It is almost certain that Janet Yellen will not return for a second term at the Fed, and that Trump will move to fill the two open positions on the board with allies who favor a quicker pace of rate normalization in the near-term than the dovish contingent at the Fed currently has in place.

Interest Rates

Interest rates are likely moving higher due to the return of fiscal policy via major tax cuts, which are certain to lead to larger annual operating deficits. The logic of the supply side economics that will be at the heart of Trump’s policy framework is a willingness to accept large increases in the federal deficit in return for greater growth. If Trump enacts his tax policies, growth will likely follow in the near term. During the medium term, however, due to the probability of very large operating deficits, investors will likely begin to push up long-term rates to levels that are not conducive to growth.

Trade

In our estimation, the TPP represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the middle market to be given preference in a multilateral trade treaty. It would not be any surprise if the TPP quickly becomes the last major policy debate of the outgoing Obama administration.  Given the outcome of the election, the upcoming lame duck session of congress represents likely the last opportunity for a number of years to pass multilateral trade policies that decisively favor the middle market.

It is here where the greatest risks lie. It is quite clear that Trump intends to slow down the pace of economic integration between the U.S. and its trade partners. More than half of all U.S. trade is with its North American partners, and is an important source of growth in the economy. To the extent that Trump either intends to, or can, renegotiate portions of NAFTA will define what appears to be neo-mercantilist policies that the new administration may adopt.

Because of the relative lack of substantial policy preferences set out by the Trump campaign, at the current time it’s difficult to quantify the overall economic impact from what policies do emerge. It is safe to say that it is best to avoid starting trade wars, which are always popular at the outset but end up harming everyone over the long term.