There have been a lot of changes to the mobile platform landscape in recent months. Innovative reimaginings of the way we connect with the world, new products and undeniably out-of-the-box features have made it an exciting time for consumers and the industry alike. But these big, bold changes have also created some uncertainty (and even anxiety) about where these moves are taking the market – especially the critical wearables segment.
We’re all wondering about where wearables are going, and what the future has in store for the wunderkind of the mobile family. That’s one of the reasons why we created our State of Wearables Report: to take a closer look at the launch of Apple Watch and Android Wear, and how these trailblazers could impact the market at large.
Unfortunately, when it comes to tech, fortune telling is a tough game. Research is one of the best ways to predict trends and provide precedent – but a little extra help never hurts, either. So, we compared notes with our trusty Magic 8-Ball to come up with our top three predictions for the future of Apple, Android and the rest of the wearables world.
You might not have heard of EMC , but it’s a technology behemoth that runs many of the services you use today.
The company provides datacenter storage for large technology companies — and today, it’s been acquired by Dell.
It’s the largest technology acquisition ever, coming in at $67 billion and eclipsing the next-largest in which Avago acquired chipset maker Broadcom for $37 billion in May 2015.
The offer put to EMC by Dell is $33.15 per share, with the remainder in securities equating to the value of EMC-controlled VMware, which will remain a listed company.
The deal will benefit Dell by helping to raise its profile in data centers, as EMC holds nearly twice the shares Dell has in the storage market. It also now makes Dell one of the largest providers of enterprise computing products and services.
While it’s a successful result for Dell, it seems to be a move in the opposite direction of its counterparts, Hewlett Packard, which has chosen to break up its business rather than make it larger.
Brian Lynch and Courtnie Swearingen, two attorneys and Reddit moderators for the popular subreddit r/iAmA, released an op-ed today in the New York Times that catalogued the frustrations that led to the blackout on the subreddit — and later, much of the website — nearly a week ago, when the company abruptly fired talent director Victoria Taylor, also known as /u/chooter.
“Ms. Taylor’s sudden termination is just the most recent example of management’s making changes without thinking through what those changes might mean for the people who use the site on a daily basis,” they wrote.
According to the pair, which in turn cite company statistics, the r/iAmA alone receives more than 8.5 million subscribers and between 20 and 30 million page views per month — largely fueled by its successful discussions with luminaries like Bill Gates and Barack Obama. Lynch and Swearingen both started contributing as moderators while still students, and now spend free minutes away from their full-time jobs moderating the site.
That work is in high volume, but the moderators built their system with Taylor in mind — relying on an in-house person to help facilitate logistics between the subjects and the moderators. However, when they found out Taylor had been fired through someone who had been scheduled for an AMA, they temporarily closed the subreddit to figure out how to go on without her. That’s when they were surprised by the response from the wider Reddit community.
That’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you launch Periscope, Twitter’s new live video streaming app for iOS. Sure, Twitter acquired Periscope in January and the app was already in development before that. However, you can’t help but think of the app darling of SXSW that made Twitter livestreaming all the rage.
ss prebroadcast 220×391 Twitter launches Periscope, its live video streaming Meerkat competitorYes, both apps stream video with almost zero friction. But when you get down to it, Periscope is what Meerkat would look like with a little more thought put into it. It’s cleaner, the chat function makes more sense and you can save your videos for later viewing. Plus, it features something that’s sorely missing from Meerkat: the ability to line up a shot before streaming
Google’s Material Design aesthetic is supposed to be the new standard for Android design, but not all apps have made the transition to the catchy new look.
That’s a shame, because it brings a level of beauty and polish to Android that hasn’t existed until the new design scheme was rolled out with Android Lollipop.
Fortunately, several developers have put it into practice and cranked out some rather good looking apps. If you want to find out what Material Design is about, then grab one of the following apps or custom launchers from the Play Store to experience it for yourself.
If you’re not satisfied with a standard sleep tracking app, Luna’s smart mattress cover could be just what you’ve been waiting for. The smart cover monitors your sleep, controls your bed’s temperature and can hook into a range of connected devices including Nest.
Luna is machine washable and available for preorder now in queen and king size from $179. It includes sensors to measure sleep phase, breath frequency, heart rate, temperature and light along with a microphone and Wi-Fi. It also integrates with Web automation tool IFTTT to trigger custom actions.
The data collected by the mattress cover is fed to the company’s free app for iOS and Android. Over time, it learns your individual sleep patterns and habits. Dual-side temperature control means that both members of a couple can have their side of the bed set to a specific heat and the app will recommend the optimum level for good sleep.
Luna’s accelerometer tracks sleep patterns. The microphone – which could be somewhat worrying to people fearful for their privacy – is there to detect snoring. Over time, the app will offer suggestions to improve your sleep based on analysis of the data it collects.
While some vintage technology gets permanently relegated to history’s dustbin, sometimes it can stage a comeback.
Vinyl records, it seems, never quite went extinct given the humongous number of them still in circulation, while throughout the digital age, a certain nostalgic affection for them developed. Amazingly, my local Whole Foods actually sells vinyl record albums for playing on turntables.
Now, it is the album cover that has assumed a higher tech profile. Novelia, a Cambridge UK company, has transformed the always expressive but essentially static sleeve into an interactive package that not only stores the record but can be used as a creative tool.
Remember that Google Translate update with real-time voice translation we heard about earlier this week? It’s now here for Android and iOS devices.
While Google Translate for Android has offered real-time conversation mode since 2013, the new version adds a much speedier version.
Tap the mic symbol, start speaking in a selected language, tap again and Google Translate will automatically recognize the languages being spoken. It will keep listening to translate through your conversation.
As the wearables market heats up with every company trying something, anything to attach their electronics to your body, it’s tough to know what will actually resonate with consumers. It’s so difficult that electronics giant Sony developed a watch then put it on a crowdfunding site to see if anyone was interested.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony has a project called Fashion Entertainments that develops electronic paper fashion devices. The first device it created was a watch that changes the band’s appearance and face when you move it. It looks intriguing.
When you think about passports, “gorgeous” may not be the first word that comes to mind. Government, bureaucracy, pain-in-the-butt — maybe. But Norway, in its inimitable way, has likely changed the language around passports forever with the announcement of its new — and arguably beautiful — new passport design.
The Oslo design studio Neue — which created the winning entry as part of a national competition — based the visual presentation on the Norwegian Landscape theme, which might partly account for its allure