New developments and scuttlebug this week from the big names in the Tech game, Apple and Samsung.
Some insights from Instagram on their cool new video functionality, sharks not taking nicely to hi-tech intrusion, and maybe the last rites on the humble personal computer have been a little too hasty; yes, really!
The hype was right
Wearable technology was touted as a growth niche toward the end of last year/early this year and the findings of global research company Canalys show the hype was right.
A total of about 6 million smartwatches and fitness trackers have been shipped in the first half of 2014, nearly 700 percent more than a year earlier.
Fitbit and Jawbone have grown share in the wearable basic band market with Nike falling and the new Garmin release closing in on third spot.
Apple – will they or won’t they?
Apple has confirmed an announcement on 9 September with speculation that it will announce its entry into the wearable market as well as an iPhone 6.
TechCrunch reports that whatever the wearable is it’ll be a sensor-laden device that can measure things including blood pressure, hydration, heart rate and steps, and that it should feature smartwatch functions like notifications of incoming messages, too.
Apple co-founder Steve ‘Woz’ Wozniak told CNET that wearables are a hard sell, but he’s confident that if Apple go into the market it will be with something special.
But wait, there’s more
Samsung has revealed its new Gear S smartwatch is expected to be available from October.
It features a 2-inch Super AMOLED display and is based on the Tizen mobile operating system, an alternative to Google’s Android, and includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity options.
Jessica Alba: Her billion dollar start-up
Actress Jessica Alba’s start up, The Honest Co, has just raised $US70m giving it a valuation of almost $US1 billion. Selling natural and eco-friendly baby products had previously raised $US52m in funding.
It currently employs 275 people and is expecting revenue of $US150m this year. Currently it only ships to the USA and Canada but is set to expand to China, England and Australia.
The next level
Hyperlapse is only available on iOS for the moment and allows users to shoot high-quality timelapse video, with advanced image stabilisation that makes clips look smooth even when shot handheld while walking, running or otherwise being in motion. It looks very cool.
Scientists trying to undertake one of the most comprehensive studies of the Great White Shark developed a special autonomous SharkCam called REMUS (Remote Environmental Monitoring Units).
It can go down to 150m, stay underwater ghosting a great white for up to 45 nautical miles, is fitted with 6 GoPros and has some sophisticated on-board computing.
When they dropped it over the side off the West Coast of Mexico they got more than bargained for.
Google: changing inside and out
Since going public 10 years ago, Google has pushed the boundary of innovation on so many fronts, including its management approach.
It’s held up around the world in universities and management schools as an example of innovation in motion.
This Harvard Business Review blog looks back on what has worked and what hasn’t worked and the challenges and changes management has had. Interesting read.
The PC may not be dead
Put away the rosary beads and cancel the funeral, the PC is not dead yet.
As mobiles devices take hold, the latest research by IDC shows the worldwide shipment of PC’s is likely to fall by 3.7% in 2014, not the 6% previously predicted. PC makers are now expected to ship 303 million units this year, down from last year's 315 million, IDC said.
One of IDC’s senior research analysts said "Coupled with a shift toward more mobile PCs, the market has seen a quickened pace of innovation and a focus on price points. Nevertheless, the prospects for significant PC growth in the long term remain tenuous, as users increasingly see PCs as only one of several computing devices."