This month Walker introduced his company’s big play, a service called Switch that replaces workers’ desk phones and numbers with an app that works across whichever devices they want. If your boss calls your number, you can take it on your cellphone while walking from your car and then transfer it to your PC-connected headset at your desk. And when Switch connects to Google Apps it pulls in whatever data the apps have on the caller, such as e-mails, calendar meetings and shared files.
For my previous books, publishing houses have taken care of the design, production and distribution. For SAP Nation, I have had a chance to be much closer to those steps. I originally planned to only release it in eBook format. But in looking at reader demographics and interest, decided to also offer it in paperback and hardcover editions. This has given me a look at a breathtaking range of technologies that have revolutionized the varied book industry channels and formats. When you consider individual authors are one degree removed from all the resources that make these possible, Gutenberg surely is beaming from above at the democratization of the printing press. Over the course of a few posts, I will describe the technologies that have helped turn my humble Word pages into hyperlinked MOBI files, stunning covers and 1.5 pounds of airplane boredom-killers and strategy guides.
Let’s start with the Amazon Kindle platform. Book readers love how the device (and those like the Nook and others) have transformed the experience. Pack 5-10-50 books into something lightweight, have it read to you when you are tired, fast forward quickly to specific locations, magnify the font as needed, use its app on a PC, Mac, iPad or so many other mobile devices and it is smart enough to tell you where you left off on a previous device. Click on an endnote and you could watch, as an example, the Mad Money Jim Cramer interview of Bill McDermott referenced in Chapter 2. We all have our favorite features in our eReaders. Amazon keeps enriching the experience – you can loan copies to friends, you can buy an unlimited subscription and skim even more books.
The experience from the author side is even more interesting. As readers highlight sections they particularly enjoy, Amazon helpfully tracks them across the customer base (see on left).
The modern author gets that and even more specific feedback, positive and negative, from reader reviews. Think how long it took Hemingway and Kipling to get fan feedback.
The production assistance via its Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform is even more impressive. Once you upload your mobi file, Amazon software “proofs” it to suggest where the aesthetics could be improved. It allows you to simulate the book as it looks on the UX of various Kindle versions, on an iPad, etc.
The distribution capabilities are even more streamlined. You get to identify global markets where you have distribution rights (see bottom). You get to price differently for each of its major sites like .co.uk, ,de, .in and so one. To encourage reasonable eBook pricing, Amazon rewards authors with higher royalties for reasonable pricing. So, in emerging markets that means even better pricing. In India, my book is priced at INR 399, a third lower than comparative US pricing. To protect authors from arbitrage, consumer IP address tracking precludes them from going to the .in or .br site unless they are in the region.
Gifting books is an absolute breeze and some thing I have used to share the final version with a number of contributors to the book. Enter an email address and a few minutes later the person half way across the world can start to read it. Other features allow authors to run promotional pricing campaigns, offer eBook buyers cheap versions of the printed versions, lots of reports, book and author pages and so much more.
To that end, the industrial conglomerate is a surprising and noteworthy experimenter with new media. Engaging in what is called “branded content” or even sometimes “brand journalism,” GE is Instagraming pictures of its machinery, pinning photos on Pinterest, blogging on Tumblr and posting six-second videos on Vine, among other things.
Last year, GE was one of the first companies to join Vine, posting its first clip the day after the video-sharing platform first launched. Produced for about $2, the video showed how combining milk, dish soap and food coloring can create a geyser of colors.
Technology is transforming the way women like Devi farm. In rural India, impoverished women do most of the labor using methods passed down for millennia. About 100,000 (mostly male) government and private agricultural experts roam the country to teach farmers modern techniques. But fewer than 6 percent of farmers have ever seen one, according to the World Bank, and women are often excluded from those training sessions because they lack legal rights to their husbands’ land.
Digital Green, a nonprofit founded by Microsoft researchers, is trying to change that. The group distributes pocket cameras and tripods to local women and trains them to storyboard, act in, shoot, edit, and screen videos demonstrating farming innovations. Because the villages where the women work often lack reliable electricity, it’s all done via battery-powered projectors. Women who screen the videos keep track of attendee questions and monitor adoption of the practices to help directors improve later versions. Using the audience’s peers as actors is particularly important, says Rikin Gandhi, Digital Green’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “Viewers identify with those featured in videos based on dialect and appearance, etc., to determine whether it is someone they can trust,” he says. Villagers will tune out if they see items that aren’t common in their communities, such as a plastic bucket or a watch.
In December, Starbucks will launch an app that will allow customers to pre-order and choose a pickup time. Fast food restaurants such as McDonald's, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza Subway, and Dunkin' Donuts are already using, testing, or developing similar apps.
OrderAhead, a three-year-old startup based in San Francisco, is assembling a network of merchants and taking a 5 percent to 10 percent cut of each transaction. Mobile-payment startup Square released its preorder app for restaurateurs in New York and San Francisco in October and has signed up hundreds of businesses. The Starbucks app allows customers to choose their item and pickup location; they will then receive an approximate wait time.
Last spring, Estonia’s IT leaders proposed an ambitious plan for the country: Estonia should be moved into the cloud, which would make occupying the country meaningless. This week, the country tested the idea with Microsoft.
This week, the Estonian Centre of Registers and Information Systems (RIK), the justice ministry, the ministry of economic affairs and Microsoft tested the idea by hosting the website of the Electronic State Gazette of Estonia in a virtual data embassy, meaning in the international cloud service.
The director of RIK, Mehis Sihvart, specified that despite the fact the Electronic State Gazette only includes public information, it is nevertheless important to protect it from potential cyber-attacks, to ensure continuous access to legal information for the citizens and maintain the country’s international reputation.
Smartling attacks such problems with a translation hub that eliminates inefficient document-based communication. Developers no longer pass around Excel sheets filled with words; the system automatically sucks up Pinterest’s new content and delivers it to preapproved translators around the world. (Smartling contracts with thousands of translators and has a staff of roughly 160.) Translators then interact with the content in its proper context, with an editing system that resembles changing words on a live website. The “home” button is immediately distinguishable from “Apply for a Home Mortgage.”
“The traditional tools work like a 1995 PC, but Smartling is more like Facebook or Twitter–it’s sexy,” says English-German translator Anja Jones. She expanded her own agency with work from Smartling. Jones says she onboards new freelancers in less than half an hour.
The University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business began its Master of Business Analytics program this fall with 30 students. About 50 to 60 students are expected to enroll in the $47,000 program next year, the school said.
The program was the brainchild of Marshall’s corporate advisory board-executives at blue-chip firms like General Electric Co. , Boeing Co. and Walt Disney Co. who say they need more hires with analytics talent, said James Ellis, the school’s dean. The board also recommended that undergraduate students at Marshall be required to take a course in the subject.
I tell companies to plan on multiple releases of their innovation – because competitive advantage is fleeting and they better be thinking of next wave.
Proof positive of that comes from this gallery – several cars for under $ 20,000 now boast technology which till a couple of years ago was only available in $ 50,000+ cars
They include the enhanced iPhone integration via Siri Eyes Free, on-screen navigation functionality via a $50 smartphone app, and GM's OnStar telematics system in its Chevy Spark (pictuerd), Around View Monitor in the Nissan Versa, Honda's Lane Watch blind-spot camera, HondaLink apps, and a swipe-enabled touch screen in its Civic.
These days books have their own microsites, Amazon feedback loops, Twitter hashtags, LinkedIn groups, Facebook pages, even their own apps and related tracking metrics and social analytics. My books had had most of these.
For The New Polymath, my fellow author friend Peter Fingar created an animato.
For The Digital Enterprise, Jon Reed and Fred Zimmerman used ‘anthropomorphism-friendly textbots’ at Fred’s startup PageKicker to create a tag cloud.
For SAP Nation, Dennis Howlett has invited me to try CrowdChat. CrowdChat is a free community platform started by our friend, John Furrier that works across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIN to allow users to discuss a topic using a specific hashtag.
Join Dennis and me Monday morning – details here. There you can see a 'sign' icon at the top right and can use LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter credentials to come into the chat. You'll have the option to post whatever you say out to Twitter etc as well.
We will be giving out 3 free Kindle copies of the book – one based on just showing up (so long we see your Twitter handle or other identifier), one based on the smartest question during the session, and one based on a write up or review which mentions that chat. Dennis will be judge and jury for all 3 awards – so you better be nice to him for the next few days.
Novelis, the world’s largest aluminum recycler, showed Ford how it could afford the switch to higher-priced aluminum (adding about $750 per truck) by using recycled scrap instead of buying virgin aluminum mined from bauxite. Together they created an innovative supply chain that allows Ford to recover a big chunk of its aluminum costs by selling the scrap back to its suppliers and reusing it.
Phil Martens, a former Ford executive who is now chief executive of Atlanta-based Novelis, says the virtuous circle is a clever example of risk management. “Give us your scrap and that will turn into your product.”
Tomorrow, Amazon will release the eBook version of SAP Nation. So, you can read it on your Kindle, or the app on your PC, iPad or other mobile device.
The book had more pre-orders on Amazon than any of my previous books and those readers came from its .com, co.uk, .ca, .de, .fr and .com.au sites. I have priced them even more competitively for the .in and .br sites so expect an even broader global audience.
In a couple of weeks, a soft cover, print on demand version should also be available. In January, hardbacks will ship to those who have ordered bulk (25+) copies.
I expect many more reviews and comments as the first wave of readers gets their copies
I will also be excerpting about 10% of the book on the Deal Architect blog over the next few months.
Thanks to so many who helped with the research, production and promotion of the book. It truly takes a village. In particular, I want to recognize Michele and Ronda at 1106Design for taking humble Word docs and turning them into easy on the eye mobi files and stunning covers.
Final note to European readers: Amazon tells me that starting January 1, several EU countries will collect VAT on digital content including eBooks. That could be as high as 22% in some markets. If you plan to buy SAP Nation, please consider doing so as part of your Christmas shopping.
In 2009, Williams developed a racing flywheel mechanism called a Kinetic Energy Recovery System, capable of capturing energy generated by Formula One cars during high-speed braking, storing it, then delivering it back to the wheels when drivers needed an extra kick of acceleration.
Starting this month, Williams will begin installing huge versions of its energy system at wind turbines around the islands. The units will store excess juice and channel it back to residents, stabilizing the power grid and eliminating the need for the generators, as well as limiting blackouts.
Docker kicked off the container boom 18 months ago, when it released its technology (also called Docker) under a free-of-charge open-source license. The software sparked the kind of rapid uptake generally reserved for consumer gewgaws like FarmVille, clocking 43 million downloads as of early October. Users include Google Inc., International Business Machines Corp. , Spotify, Yelp Inc. —and, yes, Microsoft—as well as nontech companies like the BBC and a handful of big banks, according to people familiar with the financial institutions’ operations.
“The interest level is off the charts,” says Dave Bartoletti, an analyst with technology research firm Forrester Research Inc.
New international route business models – courtesy of Time
La Compagnie, Yvelin’s new carrier (in photo below) runs 74-seat, all-business-class 757s between New York City and Paris, charging about $2,000 round-trip vs. $5,000 to $11,000 for the same seat on a larger carrier.
WOW recently launched four-times-a- week service from Baltimore and Boston to Reykjavík for as little as $400 round-trip, with continuing service to 18 other European cities. Unlike some long-haul carriers, WOW uses narrow-body Airbus A320s for the five-to-six-hour trip. Using smaller jets means you need fewer passengers to fill them, so there’s less capacity risk; charging 400 bucks round-trip almost guarantees you’ll get all the passengers you need. The WOW approach is the opposite of another Scandinavian carrier, the rapidly growing Norwegian Air Shuttle, although both are devotees of the ULCC model. Already a power in Europe’s short-haul market, Norwegian has taken advantage of global deregulation to take on long-haul, point-to-point service. The company is flying wide-body, 294-seat 787 Dreamliners to London from New York City and Los Angeles as well as Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The company is also running from Oakland, Calif., to Oslo and Copenhagen. With 11 Dreamliners on the way, including the newest, longer-range 787-9s, Norwegian has big plans. “Everybody thinks that long-haul, low-cost is a different ball game,” says CEO Bjørn Kjos. “What drives cost is utilization and how you operate.”
The result is the world’s smartest all-purpose party starter. It stores food and drinks, sure. But it also touts a blender (“for vodkaritas,” Grepper offers), an LED lid light (“to see if you’re reaching for beer or Clamato juice”), a USB charger (“so nobody’s phone dies”), a Bluetooth speaker (for tunes) and big wheels designed to navigate many terrains (beach, parking lot). “I just want to make the coolest cooler out there,” says Grepper. Hence the name: Coolest Cooler.
Like many professional women, Christina Mercando keeps her smartphone in her purse, which meant she was constantly digging it out to check for important notifications. But what if she could get that info from something she was already wearing, much as pants-wearing men can feel a phone buzz in their pocket? That’s the thinking behind Ringly, a line of rings that can be programmed to glow when wearers get an email from their boss, a text from their Uber driver or any number of other can’t-miss communications. Mercando, a former product and design manager at eBay, raised more than $1 million to realize her vision. So far, the concept is working: the first 1,000 Ringly rings, which debuted in June, sold out within 24 hours.
At a 1.2-million-square-foot warehouse in Tracy, Calif., about 60 miles east of San Francisco, Amazon this summer replaced four floors of fixed shelving with the robots, the people said. Now, “pickers” at the facility stand in one place and wait for (Kiva) robots to bring four-foot-by-six-foot shelving units to them, sparing them what amounted to as much as 20 miles a day of walking through the warehouse. Employees at some robot-equipped warehouses are expected to pick and scan at least 300 items an hour, compared with 100 under the old system, current and former workers said.
Myris, a sleek handheld iris scanner, brings biometric security to home computers. The device plugs into a USB port and takes a split-second video of both eyes, scanning more than 240 points in each. A government-grade encrypted digital signature syncs with passwords stored on Myris, and never on your desktop. Once it verifies a match, it automatically signs the user into accounts through a browser extension. Since no two irises are alike, the chance of a false positive is less than one in two trillion.
I recently crossed the Delta 3 million lifetime milestone. The majority of those miles originated in the efficient airport that is Tampa International – TPA. It is consistently ranked as one of the best in the country and it is good to see the local aviation authority is looking ahead to 2017
TIA's top executive was showing off architectural renderings of what the airport will look like when its $943 million expansion and renovation project is completed in 2017. TIA officials said the new renderings are very close to what the finished product will look like…The new renderings showed that glass and steel will be added to the concrete exterior that has dominated the airport's architecture since the main terminal opened in 1971.
Cisco and McAfee have rolled out products intended to function as central hubs. Cisco’s is called the Platform Exchange Grid, and McAfee’s is the Threat Intelligence Exchange(see video). In February, CSG Invotas introduced Security Orchestrator, a program that unifies security data onto a single screen and can automate some functions. An employee in the IT department can push a button to reset a compromised user’s password instead of having to do it manually. “Our tool turns that data into actions, and when we turn that data into actions, it doesn’t require people to do what machines do a whole lot better,” says CSG Invotas’s chief information security officer, Peter Clay.
Some people have a lot of trouble waking up in the morning, especially when the bedroom blinds are keeping the room dark. Motorized window coverings can be programed to automatically open when your alarm goes off, or, if you don’t need to wake at a specific time, they can be synced with a smart home system that triggers the blind to open at sunrise (based on an astronomical clock). You can use the sun to warm your living room in the morning, and insulate it in the evening, by setting your shades to automatically open when the sun is shining on one side of the house, and close when the sun has moved away. If you’re worried about furniture, rugs or art fading from sun exposure, automated shades can keep those damaging rays away without you having to be home to close anything.
With Intercloud, Cisco is reprising the strategy that brought it success in hardware. In the 1990s its routers were in demand because they let various proprietary technologies work together—an IBM network could communicate with an Apple one.
More than 3,700 people have been pulled from all corners of Cisco to work on Intercloud. The company has set aside $1 billion to develop or acquire technology and to persuade cloud providers to join the Intercloud ecosystem. So far 40 partners, including Deutsche Telekom (DTE:GR), have signed up, and a handful of organizations, among them Johns Hopkins University and real estate investment trust Boston Properties (BXP), are using Intercloud.
Most of the armchair aliens shared a demographic, the young-man Marsophile: guys with tattoos across their necks and arms, goatees and mustaches, variations on the Weird Al look. But there were also older women in the room, and kids too young to drive. What brought them together was an abiding belief in Lansdorp’s central message, that humans should be expanding onto other planets, and they should do so now. A few years ago, President Obama announced that the U.S. would put astronauts in orbit around Mars by the mid-2030s, but budget cuts and sequestration have slowed the project down, if not killed it outright. Even if NASA gets the mission back on track, the agency has said it will only send humans to Mars if it can also bring them back—a maddening bit of bureaucratic circumspection for the crowd assembled in Washington, D.C. “The technology to get you back from Mars simply doesn’t exist,” Lansdorp said, stirring up his audience, and it may not exist even 20 years from now. “We need to do this with the stuff that we have today, and the only way we can do that is by going there to stay.”
The Altoona (Iowa) facility is the first in Facebook’s fleet to feature a building-wide network fabric – an entirely new way to do intra-data center networking the company’s infrastructure engineers have devised.
The social network is moving away from the approach of arranging servers into multiple massive compute clusters within a building and interconnecting them with each other. Altoona has a single network fabric whose scalability is limited only by the building’s physical size and power capacity.
Nearly 90% of those over age 65 say they want to remain at home as long as possible, and many companies are trying to make it easier–or more pleasant–for them to live on their own. This summer a small company called Stitch launched a simple social network for seniors seeking companionship, trying to eliminate the loneliness that can lead to poor health. The company employs identity checks and opt-in messaging to protect users from fraudsters who trawl sites like Match.com.
Other companies are trying to make virtual connections and checkups easier. In September, Boston-based Oscar Tech launched two apps. Grandma downloads one of them, Oscar Senior, onto a tablet, and it condenses her operating system into a few basic functions like making video calls, and her grandson downloads the other, Oscar Junior, which allows him to manage her device remotely. Bay Area startup True Link Financial is offering a replacement for Grandma’s checkbook, a common target of swindlers. Its Visa debit card allows an older person’s child or caregiver to set limitations or get text-message alerts about suspicious activities, such as a $1,000 payment to QVC or a hefty cash withdrawal.
The Messrs. Grose intend to outfit the microbrewery with stationary bikes wired to produce the energy needed to brew beer. They estimate that Joe Sixpack can pedal at a rate to produce two to three beers an hour. Customers can shed calories and save energy before kicking back to drink some of the beer they helped create.
Flavor houses not only tout the breadth of their offerings but their ability to produce them inexpensively and abundantly, without seasonal disruptions.
Synergy Flavors, an Illinois company that makes ingredients for ice cream, yogurt and other products, says its flavoring formulas currently number about 80,000, up sharply from around 13,000 in 2002. It has about 1,000 banana flavors alone, ranging from “green banana” to “banana foster.” On a recent afternoon, its employees wearing white lab coats were testing a French-toast flavoring for vanilla ice cream.
People have relied for millennia on salt and spices to flavor and preserve their food. But the use of modern chemistry to enhance food really took off during World War II, as the government sought to make meals tastier, less perishable and more nutritious for fighting men overseas.
WSJ with nice interactive axis of common additives in foods
Philae has successfully landed on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and reported back to European Space Agency Mission Control. The team in Darmstadt, Germany broke into applause when they started receiving data.
The Philae lander sent back telemetry information that confirmed it was on the surface, which was relayed from the overhead Rosetta spacecraft to Earth. The signal takes a bit more than 20 minutes to travel from Rosetta to Earth, a distance of 316 million miles.
For the last month or so, an army of editors, proof readers, indexers, graphic designers and digital artists have been polishing my book on the SAP economy. This is my fourth book, and it’s the first time I have got to work closely with many of these creative artists. It feels good to support them as they continue to hone their craft.
The schedule calls for media review copies to be sent out Thanksgiving week, eBooks to be available on Amazon in mid December, and hard copies in January.
From book being largely written to eBook availability that is roughly 75 days. That compares very well to the 200+ days it took Wiley to make available my first book, The New Polymath. The economics of book publishing are also moving more in favor of the author (so it appears – I will know in a few months once I tally the income statement for this book). All this would suggest a promising environment for that creative community.
Having said that 75 days is still too long. With blogging technology we have seen how quickly content can be created and distributed. I have impatient, digital readers like Dennis Howlett who keep asking why it takes so long. Part of the challenge is business books still sell in bulk as hard copies. The laws of physics in that channel make the prep a parallel rather than a serial task and it also slows down the eBook process. And let me take the blame too for scope creep. The book was originally supposed to be a 150 page eBook only production. Now it is a 300+ page eBook, soft cover and hardcopy deliverable. I owe it to the 25 powerful case studies I have lined up to add the extra ink.
But Dennis is correct. In our fail-faster, agile world, authors and the creative community around them have to get faster. For the next book, I hope I can shrink the 75 days down to 30.
The inventor behind RocketSkates has endeavored to sidestep the Segway’s flaws while revisiting its basic idea, with battery-powered, motorized roller skates. Peter Treadway, the Los Angeles-based designer, came up with something that’s fairly unobtrusive, relatively affordable, and not painfully dorky. You strap RocketSkates onto regular flat-soled shoes before floating down the street at 10 mph. Acton, Treadway’s startup, bills the skates as the “world’s first smart wearable transportation.”
On many planes you notice the seats are newer - many are from Recaro, a German seat maker.
Airlines like them so they can pack in more seats, and they are lighter – another feature they like. Many passengers complain the padding is too thin. Personally, I like it if they turn into more leg space, which they do in some of the configruations.
As America’s retailers struggle to keep up with online shopping, the Internet is starting to settle into some of the very spaces where brick-and-mortar customers used to shop. The shift brings welcome tenants to some abandoned stretches of the suburban landscape, though it doesn’t replace all the jobs and sales-tax revenue that local communities lost when stores left the building.
Venyu Solutions LLC, a data-center operator that is renovating the former department store in Jackson, sees more opportunity for conversion because of sheer amount of distressed retail properties. “Who else wants them?” said Brian Vandegrift, the company’s executive vice president of sales. “You’re not competing with people in substantial businesses who want those spaces.”
An electroencephalogram headset that measures the brain activity of dogs and interprets it with proprietary software to determine the relative strength of their likes and dislikes. It was designed to supplement the pet industry’s market research.
The biggest improvement is the screen—it displays text at 265 dots per inch (dpi), compared with the Kindle Paperwhite's 212 dpi or the Nook SimpleTouch's 167 dpi. While the differences between the numbers may seem relatively inconsequential, the Aura HD's higher resolution makes text markedly sharper. The screen is slightly larger, too: 6.8 inches diagonal instead of the 6 inches that are standard today—a subtle increase that fits considerably more words on each page.
The Aura HD also offers unprecedented control over how text is displayed. While many people may be content reading 12-point Helvetica, bibliophiles will appreciate the ability to fine-tune font weight, line-spacing and even the sharpness of each character. The Aura HD has other best-in-class features, like remarkably even lighting (the illumination of the lighted Kindle and Nook models is splotchy, by comparison) and, thanks to a zippy 1-GHz processor, faster page-turns and a more responsive touch-screen.
PlaySight is also the only service that tracks the speed of each shot, its height over the net and its depth. A software update scheduled for later this year will allow the system to track a ball’s revolutions per minute. In theory, that means players will be able to compare different rackets and even string patterns to see how they affect spin.
Of course, just because players have access to PlaySight’s intel doesn’t mean they’ll suddenly be dropping 120-mile-per-hour (193-kilometer-per-hour) serves into the corners of the service box.
“But when you can see where the ball lands,” Bloom says, “you can work on your weaknesses and try to increase your percentages. One of the most-boring aspects of practice becomes fun.”
The future of K-12 education is arriving fast, and it looks a lot like Mr. G’s classroom in the northern foothills of California’s wine country. Last year, President Obama announced a federal effort to get a laptop, tablet or smartphone into the hands of every student in every school in the U.S. and to pipe in enough bandwidth to get all 49.8 million American kids online simultaneously by 2017. Bulky textbooks will be replaced by flat screens. Worksheets will be stored in the cloud, not clunky Trapper Keepers. The Dewey decimal system will give way to Google. “This one is a big, big deal,” says Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
That’s why Perko is building a central command center to preserve his company’s institutional knowledge. The idea? Assemble that brain trust of gray-haired experts to help, with the aid of technology, less experienced employees in the field. The younger workers wear special safety glasses equipped with a camera, microphone, speaker, detachable flash drive, and wireless antenna. Through a Bluetooth connection to their phone, the fieldworkers transmit a live video feed of their actions back to the command center. A veteran watches and gives further instruction.
The “smart” safety glasses, made by a Nashville startup called XOEye Technologies, are a “game-changer,” Perko says. Problems get fixed faster, the younger workers learn faster, and reports can be sent to clients to verify that a job has been completed. Pleased with the results of a pilot, Perko plans to expand his use of the $499 glasses and potentially put them on the faces of 300 of his 800 employees.
Gillis now runs Bracket Computing, a startup that on Oct. 22 unveiled software designed to make public clouds secure enough for sensitive corporate data. Essentially, Bracket’s software wraps a company’s business applications in a bubble of encryption without making the applications harder to manage. “If we demonstrate that the public cloud is every bit as good, why would anyone build another data center?” says Gillis.
Security software is typically designed to protect a particular application or type of data. Bracket encrypts everything before it gets to the cloud servers, leaving the customer with the only key to decrypt it. Its setup also seeks to simplify how IT is managed.
That’s one reason Krzanich is haunting maker faires and tinkering at home after work. He’s looking for the Next Big Thing in tech and taking a kitchen-sink approach, putting Intel chips into data-driven devices that fall under the banner “Internet of Things.” “We missed the impact of how big tablets are going to be. Shame on us for that,” says Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith. “Now we’re off looking—even before we know if a market is going to form.” Early Intel-driven products on the market include a wheelchair, endorsed by physicist Stephen Hawking, that collects biometric data about the user; a cloud-connected scale that can also measure body fat; and a PepsiCo-branded fountain machine that can concoct custom soda flavors.
The Microsoft Health platform includes a cloud service for consumers and the industry to store and combine health and fitness data to create powerful insights. Microsoft Health will be available for consumers from the new Microsoft Health app which launches today on Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Also launching today is the Microsoft Band, a smart band designed for Microsoft Health, for people who want to live healthier and be more productive.
First, let’s talk about how Microsoft Health will make tracking personal fitness easier, more insightful and more holistic. Microsoft Health will unite data from different health and fitness devices and services in a single, secure location. Once stored in Microsoft Health, you can combine the data you generate from different devices and services – steps, calories, heart rate and more – to receive powerful insights from our Intelligence Engine.
“Whether it’s Tesla, or SpaceX taking Ethernet cables and running them inside of rocket ships, you are talking about combining the old-world science of manufacturing with low-cost, consumer-grade technology. You put these things together, and they morph into something we have never seen.”
Fadell’s company, Nest Labs, took thermostats and smoke detectors and outfitted them with software, sensors, and wireless communications. Google acquired it for $3.2 billion in cash, seeing a chance to rethink home gadgets. A handful of startups are blending software and hardware in DNA sequencers and body scanners and building coordinated armies of tiny satellites that can act as reprogrammable eyes in the sky.
Coca-Cola South Africa has partnered with bottler Coca-Cola Fortune and communications company BT Global Services to provide underserved South African communities with free Wi-Fi ... which will be built into Coke vending machines.
Initially, the Wi-Fi will be available at machines located in two outlets – the Sasol Integrated Energy Centre in the village of Qunu in the country's Eastern Cape province; and the Thokozane Fast Food store, in the city of Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga province. Both locations are reportedly near schools and shopping centers, and are popular with locals.
GM is partnering with AT&Tto provide 4G LTE service through its Onstar subsidiary. Because it’s embedded into Onstar’s high-powered antenna and operates any time the car is on, you’ll get a more robust 4G connection in and around the car without draining a mobile device’s battery. Passengers can connect as many as seven devices to the car, making it faster and easier to surf the Web, stream live video, or get improved access to Onstar services like vehicle diagnostics and remote vehicle access. A stronger data connection opens up all kinds of new possibilities for enhanced digital services, which could provide a nice additional revenue stream for GM and Onstar.
Like Google or Xerox, “GoPro” is one of those branded proper nouns that has been so successful that it has become a verb. With 6,000 or more new tagged videos uploaded to YouTube each day, GoPro-ing is now a legitimate phenomenon. The cameras are sturdy, cheap and small enough to sit in the palm of your hand; they can be attached to almost anything, from a surfboard to a tripod to a recalcitrant labrador. They are easy to use and produce remarkably high-quality video, which you can post online right away. To Hennessy’s disappointment, though, that formula was not enough to gain the pair’s films any online traction.
My friend David Terrar is hosting what is shaping up to be a star-studded event on social collaboration and digital technologies at the British Academy for the Humanities and Social Sciences in London on November 26. Confirmed speakers are Mara Tolja of Deutsche Bank Celine Schillinger of Sanofi Pasteur, Bonnie Cheuk of Euroclear and Luis Garza of CEMEX among others.
He’s also planning an “unconference” on 27th. If you are anywhere near London those days, this should be on your agenda. It’s Thanksgiving weekend and we are expecting visitors, otherwise I would fly there. The Academy at the corner of St. James’ Park is a great setting.