Posts tagged Tech
Introducing Reporter, an app which helps you track your life so that you might understand it better.
Nicholas Felton and I have been working on various iterations of this app since 2011, testing and tweaking it to capture the most data with the least amount of hassle and present it in the most insightful way.
Click through and sign up if you’d like to be notified when Reporter is available.
Stay tuned for more details.
7% of all adults use location check-in services, according to a newly released PEW study.
A few caveats and points:
- PEW asks people if they use check-in services. So ‘geosocial’ services are only mentioned if their geo-ness is apparent. (Which is probably why only 1% of geosocial users cite Twitter)
- Facebook is the top cited app, at 39% of geosocial users. FourSquare comes in second, at 18%.
- PEW data is based on a tracking survey administered to 2,252 people, which are demographically representative but still just a sample. So these numbers certainly skew a bit from reality.
But while geosocial is shrinking, location services are growing. PEW says they’re flat at 74% of smartphone users, but we’re seeing the number of apps capturing location steadily increase1.
The divergence between geosocial and location-services apps supports what I said just over a year ago: location technology isn’t just for location apps anymore. These functions are no longer the specialized domain of location social networks or map apps. Location intelligence can and will apply to a vast array of applications and use cases.
I chalk up this difference to PEW asking respondents if they use ‘location-based information services’, so apps which don’t clearly integrate location information but capture location (like chat apps) aren’t identified and cited. ↩
The chip “continuously measures motion data,” and includes an accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass, Apple said. The chip measures and captures data from sensors without waking the A7 up, while a new API named “CoreMotion” identifies the user’s movement and makes “optimizations based on contextual awareness.”
A few thoughts:
1. There’s no greater argument for a watch than the introduction of the M7.
Being able to keep the A7 spun down while monitoring movement history is a big win for the ever battery impacted smartphone. However, the M7 isn’t a benefit but an enabler for a smart watch, which will require a multi-day battery life (I would be shocked if Apple shipped a watch with anything less than a 5 day battery life.)
Further, Apple has a history of piloting tech in niche products (which I imagine the 5S will become compared to the 5C) to weed out bugs and build reliable, scaled assembly lines without mass pressure. Consider the SSD in the initial MacBook Air, the large Retina display in the clumsily named MacBook Pro with Retina Display, or the pre-Bondi transparent plastic in the eMate. Shipping the M7 in the 5S boots up and scales the fab lines, begins accruing test data, and weeds out software bugs – all factors Apple would like mitigated prior to the big splash launch of a watch.
2. Fitbit needs to start acting like Netflix.
It was December 2007, and the device was just weeks away from launching. Yet after all the years and resources and talent invested in the project (a team of roughly 20 had been working on it around the clock, from ironing out the industrial design and user interface to taking trips to Foxconn to finalize production details), Netflix CEO Reed Hastings was having serious second thoughts. The problem? Hastings realized that if Netflix shipped its own hardware, it would complicate potential partnerships with other hardware makers. “Reed said to me one day, ‘I want to be able to call Steve Jobs and talk to him about putting Netflix on Apple TV,’” recalls one high-level source. “‘But if I’m making my own hardware, Steve’s not going to take my call.’”
To the surprise of most employees at the company, Hastings decided to kill The Netflix Player, and spin the team out as a separate company. His decision, made almost exactly five years ago this month, was one of the riskiest moves in Netflix’s history. But it also proved to be one of Hastings’ most prescient. By shelving its hardware and remaining an agnostic platform, Netflix was able to transform itself into a digital powerhouse and become the dominant player in subscription streaming video. Its service is now ubiquitous, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets, Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, and video game consoles.
Every morning I pocket my keys and wallet, strap on my Pebble, clip on my Fitbit, and grab my phone. Three out of the five objects I carry everyday can count my steps (though the Pebble’s ability is currently latent). If Fitbit wants to survive going forward they should abandon hardware and build the best software for Android, iOS, and whatever is next. The M7 will spur apps upon apps which will put pressure on Fitbit. That it was Nike on stage and not Fitbit is worrying.
3. Human-Machine interfaces are being further blurred.
Apps can now more granularly utilize a person’s movements. Not just where they are, but how they’re moving. Context from around the device is bleeding through the hardware.
The iPhone 5S takes your fingerprint every time you wake it.
Siri is getting better and can now utilize Wikipedia as a collective brain. Talking to the 5S might eventually become practical.
It’s not hard to imagine a future where the line between human and device becomes softer, especially as Apple emphasizes health applications with the 5C.
Will the next home button log my body temperature? Will movement processing become more nuanced, able to tell when my step alters beyond my habits to notice a pulled muscle or worn down shoe? Will the new facial recognition APIs translate smiles into emoji within iMessage?
Our phones know more about us every year.
"A new camera from Ricoh allows users to take spherical shots with one snap." The photos are then synced to an iOS app. Ars Technica has the write up.
Very happy that this concept camera is being made available. The rapidly declining camera market is spurring bold moves and smartphone companions, like the QX line from Sony and this entry from Ricoh. It’s an exciting market to watch.
“ Handshake says it’s aiming to cut out the market research middle man — and also circumvent the whole ‘free service’ data-grabbing antics of Facebook, Google et al — by building a platform where users can sign up to be approached by companies, negotiate a price for their data, and decide who to sell it to (and who not to). The basic idea is to create a marketplace for personal data. “Handshake.uk.com will turn what has previously been stolen into a currency which can be traded,” says co-founder Duncan White in a statement. It estimates that users of the platform could earn between £1,000 and £5,000 per year for selling their data via the platform — and says it’s basing this estimate on “the traditional cost of market research agencies”.”
No one is paying $1k per year for your data.
It is clever of Handshake to lump the ‘sell your own data’ dream in with market research (aka surveys and focus groups). Marketers won’t touch Handshake’s user-opted-in data until it reaches an amazing size. While we wait for that, surveys will theoretically shore up the ecosystem by paying users and attracting clients.
But still: most won’t find survey time worth the time and will abandon quickly, likely before the dream of a user opted-in data marketplace reaches sufficient scale.
The problem with selling your own data is that alone it’s worth almost nothing. A handful of bucks a month, perhaps, if you share your entire internet history. Why it’s so cheap is a topic for another post, but trust me here: one person’s data is not worth much.
To really crack this market, companies are going to have to figure out how to turn the few dollars your data will earn into something more compelling than a few dollars.
Funnily enough, that’s exactly online publishing’s business model. They package you data advertising and trade you to marketers in exchange for free content. A data marketplace needs to make small amounts of money at least as compelling as content for people to opt-in and customers to shell out.
My hunch is this market will be cracked by people who offer long term relationships. The ‘payment’ will take advantage of compound interest rates or insurance pools. Perhaps it will subsidize health care when you retire (“share your history with us and we’ll let you stay with your doctor when you turn 65!”). Or perhaps it will negotiate deals with other interest based businesses on similar time lines (“lower your student loan rates by installing this plug-in!”).
It’s champagne’s year:
The camera site has previously revealed the lens cameras will attach to iOS and Android devices and act as a wireless lens using Wi-Fi. This time, the big surprise is color: SAR has obtained images from an anonymous source that show the rumored QX10 lens camera in a champagne gold and silver finish — perfect for that rumored gold iPhone 5S.
I really like the new Sony. (Via The Verge)