Competitive Edge
Follow
Find tag "tech"
15.8K views | +5 today
Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

The Strength Of A Transparent Startup | TechCrunch

The Strength Of A Transparent Startup  |  TechCrunch | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

If you ask a member of the business-tech community about the benefits of closed systems versus their open counterparts, one word that will almost certainly come up is “security.” There’s been a long-held belief in the tech industry that closed systems are more difficult to corrupt and, therefore, more secure than systems built on a philosophy of radical openness.


But in recent months we’ve seen this idea of “closed is more secure” flipped on its head. Once concerned primarily with keeping hackers and other “outsiders” from accessing sensitive data, consumers are now more aware of the importance of maintaining personal security and privacy from corporations, governments and other powerful “insiders.”

We’ve seen this trend gain momentum in America following Edward Snowden’s NSA program leaks, and even more vocally in Hong Kong recently with the Occupy Central protests against the Chinese government’s famously closed election system.

Meanwhile, we’ve also begun to see cracks appearing in one of the world’s most popular and fanatically trusted closed systems — Apple’s. While the iCloud celebrity nude leaks reminded us of the value of multi-factor authentication, a fake Occupy Central app that spread phishing malware in Hong Kong poked a few more holes in the perceived security of iOS’s closed system.

So in a world where being “closed” can not only prove ineffective but also raise red flags, it makes more sense than ever for tech startups to adopt a policy of radical openness: transparency leads to trust; collaboration leads to innovation; and decentralization leads to empowerment.

Transparency Leads to Trust

Each year, GMI Ratings releases a list of the 100 Most Trustworthy Companies, inspired by the abuses that led to the financial collapse. GMI’s stance is that trustworthiness comes from transparency — even when the news is bad, the companies on this list are keeping shareholders informed, leading to less investor uncertainty and, in most cases, solid stock prices.

What might surprise you (or might not) is that technology is cited as one of today’s most fraudulent industries along with pharmaceuticals. This means that the opportunity is ripe to distinguish your tech startup from closed-up competitors by employing a model of radical openness with investors and clients.

That may mean providing more performance and financial data, being up front about long-term goals (or your more agile, wait-and-see approach, if that’s the case) and even coming forward to report your mistakes and near misses. It might be painful, but it can actually strengthen your relationships over time.

Collaboration Leads to Innovation

Some of the most talked-about startups in recent years would not exist if not for open data. Wikipedia is an obvious example, but also consider Waze, which was acquired by Google in 2013. Waze uses user-submitted traffic data to recommend the fastest driving route, which adjusts in real time as the user drives. Imagine the efficiencies that would be lost if Waze tried to generate this data by itself instead of tapping into the free, unlimited power of collaboration.

Investors in companies like IFTTT (which stands for If-This-Then-That) are also placing huge bets that the future lies in interconnection and open interaction among a multitude of platforms and devices. While many tech startups were thinking about how to carve a niche, own it and charge for it, IFTTT was strategically positioning itself as the go-to platform for the impending Internet of Things.

This brilliant, long-game strategy landed the company a $30 million investment in August of this year. Imagine if the company had instead built a platform that only functioned with IFTTT-approved devices, following a closed, vertical integration model. It might have enjoyed some early success, but it would have inevitably been unseated by a more open provider.

No closed system is safe from the disruption of a more open alternative.

Even a closed behemoth like Microsoft is now recognizing the value of open-sourced collaboration, recently announcing its decision to open source its server-side .NET Framework and also take it to Mac and Linux. Launching a startup with “artificial walls” in place, such as exclusive partnerships or extensive restrictions, in all likelihood means signing your own death sentence. Hold up Apple as a shining exception if you want, but history shows that tech that doesn’t play well with others gets left behind as collaborative innovation happens outside its walls.

For example, if Apple decides to throw its hat in the virtual reality ring, it will have to do on its own what the united front of Samsung (in other words, Google’s Android OS), Oculus Rift (in other words, Facebook), and the world’s entire network of virtual reality developers are collaborating to create.

Companies that rely on the idea that they’re “completely irreplaceable” need only look at the long list of alternatives that have arisen to even some of our most institutionalized services in recent years: bitcoin for traditional currency; at-home 3D printing for manufacturing; and right now in Hong Kong, Firechat, which is enabling protesters to circumvent Internet service providers. No closed system is safe from the disruption of a more open alternative.

Decentralization Leads to Empowerment

Back to Waze for a moment. Let’s imagine the blowback the company would receive for trying to charge for its user-submitted information. The commercial real estate industry has done precisely that for many years. The largest data providers have served as arbitrary gatekeepers for the world’s commercial real estate listings by asking brokers and agencies for info on their available spaces, then packaging that information and charging for access to it.

It’s unsurprising that free and open alternatives are now arising, threatening the existence of these long-established gatekeepers. (Disclosure, I run RealMassive, one such company.)

The commercial real estate industry lost sight of one important fact — the Internet has made kings of us all. In a Google world, the encyclopedia salesman is a relic, and businesses built around proprietary data have an expiration date.

If your startup is basing its business model on data that another company could feasibly gather and give away for free, you can expect that very thing to happen in the near future. Would you be able to survive? Do you really want to find out?

The Choice Is Yours, And Not Choosing Is a Choice

When it comes to making a choice between radical openness and “closedness” as a business philosophy, the best time to choose is in the early months of your company. A company that starts out with a closed paradigm and later chooses to open up will have a tough time rerouting company culture and also runs the risk of losing ground to more open competitors early on.

Even worse, a company that starts out open and later chooses to become closed will almost certainly make enemies, as Makerbot learned after it suddenly clamped down on its open-source 3D printing hardware after a community of early supporters spent years contributing to Makerbot’s design (it’s worth watching “Print the Legend,” a new documentary that chronicles the whole ordeal, available on Netflix).

Since you must choose one — and you must — openness is simply a better option for tech startups who stand little chance of deploying a successful vertical domination strategy like Apple or Sony built in decades past. When it comes to relationship-building, innovation, and eliminating competition, the best thing you can do to guarantee your company a spot in the future is to employ a philosophy of radical openness.

Schoolyard politics still apply: Secrets don’t make friends and neither do bullies.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent article. Openness promotes collaboration and is a sign of self confidence and trustworthiness. Apparently, it's similar in the tech world.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Hiring startup engineers? Talk about challenge, not pay

Hiring startup engineers? Talk about challenge, not pay | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Here's what matters most to people when considering a job.

Back when I worked at Microsoft and Amazon, I spent a lot of time hiring and building teams. I had the methodology down: Get referrals from strong people already on the team. Look for someone who is uniquely great at something, preferably something that makes them different from the rest of the team. Don’t let problem personalities past the first step no matter how capable they are.

When I decided to take the leap from the corporate world to starting my own company, I figured hiring would be the easy part. But when I sat down to write the copy for the careers page on our company website, I got stuck. I’d always advised job-seeking friends to choose the manager first and the specific job second. Most of my colleagues looking for jobs in the corporate world would talk about what they were looking for in terms of factors like pay and opportunity for continued advancement.

But the more I talked to people at startups, the less relevant these factors seemed to be. Although several people mentioned the potential long-term payoff of sweat equity, they were mostly not motivated by immediate pay; they would have been working at corporate jobs if they had been. They talked a lot about wanting to be part of a team of smart and collaborative people, but few mentioned direct manager as a consideration. Many of them talked about how much they were learning. I never heard anyone discuss promotions.

We didn’t want to advertise our roles in a way that would attract the wrong candidates — or worse, no candidates at all. We are also huge analysis nerds. We wanted to get beyond the anecdotal conversations. Just as we do for any important product or business decision, we decided to get some data.

We wanted to understand what candidates look for when they visit job listings. And not just any candidates but the particular candidates who fit the profile of people we want to hire. Our career site needs to be true to who we are as a company; it’s important to speak to our genuine values and hiring philosophy. It also needs to speak to the unique concerns of the people we want to hire.

I did a quick survey of nearly 350 developers, designers, technical marketers, product managers, sales leaders, and user researchers who work at a mix of corporations, startups, midsize companies, and nonprofits. Participants answered a single question: what are the top three factors that you look for in a job? I suggested some possible answers with the question, including challenge, pay, location, team, manager, flexibility, social purpose, and specific job description, although respondents were free to add any factors of their choosing.

What I had observed anecdotally showed up in the data. Here are the job selection criteria techies mentioned most often in different kinds of organizations, along with the percentage of respondents who mentioned them:


Everyone cares about things not in their top three list. Few people would turn down great pay on a fun team working towards a cause they believe in. But the data shows interesting and relevant differences between what people in different kinds of organizations care about most.

Manager, scope, and growth are corporate terms. Team, challenge, and learning are their startup equivalents. Corporate workers prioritize immediate pay more highly, while people at startups value flexibility. We realized as we looked through this data that the selling points we have to offer people joining Kidgrid aligned well with the factors that people working in startups value. That made us feel like we were on the right track.

Now that we’re up and running, we’re finding that the people we’re the most interested in are the ones who care about team, challenge, and learning, because those are the things we care about too. That’s true whether they currently work at startups, at corporations, or in some other environment. A good culture fit is just a good culture fit.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Startups, Tech Companies Shop for More MBA Hires

Startups, Tech Companies Shop for More MBA Hires | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The smallest companies are making the biggest splash on business school campuses, according to a survey released this week. Slightly more schools saw more companies of any size coming to campus to recruit MBAs, driven by a flurry of startups that started to hunt for new hires.

The survey by the MBA Career Services & Employer Alliance, an association of business school career-management offices and companies, found that 55 percent of business schools saw a rise in on-campus recruitment in the spring of 2014. But that growth—up from 48 percent a year earlier—was mostly tepid, since many schools in the survey saw only a modest uptick or reported flat recruitment numbers.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Recruiting quality employees is becoming a problem for tech companies.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Startups Galvez
Scoop.it!

Emerging Payment Technologies Will Create New Winners And Losers In The Giant Credit Card Industry

Emerging Payment Technologies Will Create New Winners And Losers In The Giant Credit Card Industry | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

The credit card companies themselves aren't going anywhere for now. Visa and MasterCard in particular will remain an indispensable part of the chain because they don't actually process payments. They simply provide the rails that the credit card system runs on. Credit card processors like First Data that actually do the work of processing merchants' credit card transactions on the back-end are also in a strong position.Two pieces in the chain are particularly vulnerable to disruption: the makers of the actual hardware — basically card readers and registers — that are used to physically accept card payments at stores, and the hundreds of vendors known as merchant service providers, or MSPs, which set businesses up to accept credit cards.Manufacturers of register systems are vulnerable: Point-of-sale hardware faces an immediate threat from mobile devices. These devices are cheap and easy to implement, they do not require consumers to adopt new behaviors, and they free up retailer space previously devoted to bulky hardware.In addition, the new payments companies — including PayPal, Leaf, Revel Systems, Square, and others — could shove traditional MSPs aside as they bridge the offline and online worlds. They pair their mobile registers with consumer-side smartphone apps, and often also provide additional merchant services, like software for loyalty programs or for parsing online consumer data. These new companies want to replace the old players that focused mainly on logistics, i.e., helping merchants take credit card payments.But it's not all doom and gloom yet for legacy MSPs: they have existing relationships with the majority of merchants who accept credit cards and with banks. They also have established marketing channels and large sales forces. Large MSPs will move to acquire new payments technologies to squelch the disruption threat.

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via Philippe J DEWOST, Jose Galvez
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

 A lot of innovation is going on in the payment realm. Innovation, disruption, positioning, strategies...

What happens to all the small percentages?

more...
Philippe J DEWOST's curator insight, May 21, 8:48 AM

In Tel-Aviv, I paid a taxi with my and his smartphone and a square like dongle. Since, I'm getting more and more interested in #Fintech disruption...

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Innovative Marketing and Crowdfunding
Scoop.it!

Camera-equipped soccer ball will bring new views to World Cup

Camera-equipped soccer ball will bring new views to World Cup | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Get ready to see the World Cup from a whole new perspective.

Cameras are everywhere, and now they're going to be in the soccer ball that will be used in the World Cup in Brazil. Created by Adidas, the Brazucam is arguably the most high-tech soccer ball ever conceived. The custom soccer ball is equipped with six high definition cameras (GoPros, if you must know), which will be used to record the game from new angles.

What kind of angles and views can we expect? How about views from the ball flying in the air before it gets kicked by another player? Or views of the ball coming right into the goal? You can see a teaser for types of awesome angles the camera-equipped ball will enable.

By our calculations, though, the footage would greatly benefit from 3D. Yeah, imagine that, footage we actually want to see in 3D.

Adidas plans to release a new video on its YouTube channel every week as the ball travels around the world and ends up at the World Cup in Brazil.

To view the video that comes with this article, click on the title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Via Marty Koenig
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Technology keeps on offering great new perspectives. I'm sure that soccer fans will love this one.

more...
Two Pens's curator insight, April 6, 1:05 PM

The reason they invented a camera-equipped ball is that there is an arms race for new, interesting visuals--whether in moving pix or print or on the web. Think Go-Pro for the foot.

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Technology in Business Today
Scoop.it!

5 Business Tools and Apps your Employees will Love

5 Business Tools and Apps your Employees will Love | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
From task execution to expense reporting and more, here's a look at five business tools that you, and your employees, will benefit from.

Your workforce is the backbone of your small business. Some may argue that it is your human resources department, or an external recruiter that makes it all possible. While that is certainly open to debate, one irrefutable fact remains: The quality of the people doing the work determines the quality of an organization.

Developing a quality workforce requires motivated employees; and motivated employees are engaged and productive individuals. Yet while motivation is not the sole responsibility of an employer, as a business owner, it pays dividends to do your part.

One of the best ways to equip your people is through the use of tools to help them do their job better, with ease. From task execution to expense reporting and more, here’s a look at five business tools that you, and your employees, will benefit from:

To read the full article, click on the title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via TechinBiz
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great tools. I especially like 'Expensify'. Keeping track of expenses is such a challenge.

more...
dan's curator insight, February 18, 10:04 AM

#apps

TechinBiz's curator insight, February 18, 12:40 PM

Business Tip: Looking for more Business Tools, then checkout our Great Pinterest Board Here: http://www.pinterest.com/technologyinbiz/business-apps/

aanve's curator insight, February 18, 10:00 PM

www.aanve.com

 

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Secrets of Success for Women Entrerpreneurs
Scoop.it!

How Tech is Leveling the Playing Field for Women Entrepreneurs | Business on GOOD

How Tech is Leveling the Playing Field for Women Entrepreneurs | Business on GOOD | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Finding entrepreneurs to jumpstart your small business is an old game, but the chances of bumping into the right one—between one looking to ride your idea and one looking to rig it with horsepower—depend on your gender and income level, a survey by the Kauffman Foundation has found.

The difference between the two is crucial. Most Americans are familiar with the run-of-the-mill entrepreneur, engaged in so-called “subsistence entrepreneurship”—or someone looking to support a business and maintain its livelihood.

To read the full article, click on the title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here:

http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via Deb Bailey
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great article on 'Good' that shows that women are 'at least' as much succesful as men and are more savvy with funding money than their counterparts. Hopefully investors will take this information into account.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Tim Ferriss on personal mantras, work-life separation and the future of flexible careers

Tim Ferriss on personal mantras, work-life separation and the future of flexible careers | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Tim Ferris, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, weighs in on work-life balance, dependance on technology and the future of the career landscape.

There's no shortage of motivational career and lifestyle advice out there, but one of the most ubiquitous presences in the space over the past few years is surely Timothy Ferriss, author of the acclaimed 4-Hour book series and the de facto face of a concept (and movement) aptly dubbed "Lifestyle Design."

For all intents and purposes, Lifestyle Design is a more modern incarnation of the "American Dream" — but with a focus on leading a happy, healthy and fulfilling life instead of working yourself into the grave. Much of the advice found in Ferriss' hugely successful published work provides glimpses into the future of the career landscape, as well as an underlying message of "you do you" that resonates with millennials and established business professionals alike. The bottom line: Your life is yours; don't let the status quo dictate how you live it.

We caught up with Ferriss to discuss his predictions for the future of the career industry and some of the most rewarding aspects of his work. Check out the full Q&A below.

More here: http://snip.ly/i0Qc



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Box, Dropbox and Hightail Pivot to New Business Models

Box, Dropbox and Hightail Pivot to New Business Models | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it


Box, Dropbox and Hightail are rethinking their core business models, focusing on specific industries or bolstering customer service.

SAN FRANCISCO — Nothing concentrates minds at a tech start-up like living in the middle of a price war between Amazon and Google.

Just ask executives at companies like Box, Dropbox and Hightail. They pioneered a new kind of Internet service that allows people and companies to store all kinds of electronic files in an easy-to-use online locker. But as often happens, the much bigger companies liked the idea so much they decided to do the same thing — at a much lower price.

“These guys will drive prices to zero,” said Aaron Levie, co-founder and chief executive of Box. “You do not want to wait for Google or Amazon to keep cutting prices on you. ‘Free’ is not a business model.”

So how do you avoid free? Box is trying to cater to special data storage needs, like digital versions of X-rays for health care companies and other tasks specific to different kinds of customers. Hightail is trying to do something similar for customers like law firms. And Dropbox? It is trying to make sure that its consumer-minded service stays easier to use than what the big guys provide.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


“It’s very tough just to be in the storage business,” said Brad Garlinghouse, the chief executive of Hightail. “We don’t think that is what we’re selling anymore.”

In the tech industry, they call this sort of reinvention of the core business model a “pivot.” Another way to describe it is a fight for survival.

Box, founded in 2005, has attracted $512 million in investment, and in March it filed papers for an initial public offering of stock. In July, the company said it had 39,000 businesses paying $15 to $35 a month a user. It is hard to know how many people that is, since some businesses have just a couple of people, and others include General Electric and Eli Lilly.

Dropbox has 300 million customers worldwide and actually runs inside Amazon Web Services, as do parts of Box. Many Dropbox customers pay nothing and get two gigabytes of storage capacity a month, the equivalent of 1,000 books or seven minutes of high-definition television. A version for $10 a month offers 100 gigabytes.

Hightail, which used to be called YouSendIt, says it has over a half-million business customers paying $25 a month or more, depending on the features chosen.

“There’s a place for all of them,” said Amita Potnis, an analyst at IDC. “Amazon’s focus is really computing itself. The smaller ones have to focus on ways businesses actually use it.” For example, she said, the services can help companies collaborate with each other online instead of sending emails back and forth with attachments.

While devices and apps get most of the attention, data storage is every bit as important, particularly as objects like phones, tablets, cars and thermostats become appendages of the Internet. Throw in trends like collaboration and big data analysis, and all those bits of data become more dynamic than something in a file cabinet. They are fluid and being entered and retrieved from many points.

Managing all that data should be a good business.

The problem for everyone is price. Amazon and Google have for years decimated competition in their respective fields of Internet advertising and retail. As the two companies move to dominate cloud computing, including online storage, they are turning that relentlessness on each other.

In March, Google celebrated the unification of several cloud computing services with price cuts of 68 percent for most customers, to 2.6 cents a gigabyte a month, about one-quarter the price of Dropbox’s premium consumer service.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Amazon’s Web Services, which had cut prices at least four times since 2008, responded with cuts of its own, including one cut to 2.75 cents a gigabyte for large amounts of storage, and just a penny a month for data used less frequently. It has made further price cuts on other types of storage since then. Many expect Microsoft, which runs its own big cloud business, called Azure, to follow with similar cuts.

Even by the standards of computing, where services seem almost invariably to become cheaper and faster, storage prices have had an exceptional fall. The first gigabyte storage device in 1980 typically cost $120,000 and weighed 550 pounds. Amazon’s cloud-based storage might cost 12 cents a year.

None of the smaller online storage companies doubt that Amazon and Google can make seemingly impossible pricing moves. Both companies also have a scale that means even the tiniest profit can be huge. A.W.S. brags that almost all of Netflix, and Amazon itself, is inside its cloud, along with hundreds of other substantial companies.

Apple’s iCloud storage service and other parts of Apple, along with operations at several large banks, run inside A.W.S., say people familiar with the service who spoke on the condition they not be named so they could sustain relations with the powerful cloud company.

Amazon would not comment on confidential customer agreements. An Apple spokesman noted that Apple had its own data centers in four locations in the United States and said that “the vast majority” of data in services like iTunes, Maps and the App Store ran on its own computers. Apple uses other facilities as well, he said.

Google does not have anything like the Amazon customer list, but its computer network is probably the largest corporate network in the world. It includes custom-made computing and power systems and several thousand engineers to keep it running. According to one person with knowledge of the system, Google spends about $2 billion a quarter on its computing infrastructure.

Google would not comment on its costs. In an email, Tom Kershaw, a product manager for Google’s cloud service, predicted more cost-cutting. “As more customers store more information, for longer, we’re able to make gains in efficiency and pass these savings along to the customer.”

Both Box and Hightail now say they assume that they will offer customers unlimited storage free and push their costs into the prices they charge for other services. “At this point, it’s better just to say ‘unlimited,’ ” Mr. Levie said. “The thing to do is take into account why someone is storing something online and what their needs are.”

Box has hired people with specialties in health care, media and entertainment, hospitality and retailing. Dropbox still has supposed limits on storage in its business offering, but they start at a terabyte, or 1,000 gigabytes, and customers can upgrade from there with seemingly no fee.

This niche approach could work, provided the big companies do not go after these industry-specific storage markets or build more consumer-focused service offerings. Mr. Levie said he thought that was unlikely. “No one is going to build Google Health Care,” he said.

Google’s Mr. Kershaw differed. “Industry-specific solutions are the wave of the future and a key part of what Google is building for our customers,” he said.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Coming up with a great idea in the tech world and putting it out is not a direct road to success anymore. Companies, even successful ones, need to adjust, pivot, and compete with corporations like Google and Amazon. Not an easy task. Complex world.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Delivering World-Class Service on a Startup Budget

Delivering World-Class Service on a Startup Budget | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Top-notch customer service doesn't need to be costly. Here are three ways new ventures can provide amazing service without breaking the bank.

The late Maya Angelou once said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did but people will never forget how you made them feel.” This is as true in business as it is in life: Outstanding service can help a company stand out and be remembered in a crowded marketplace.

Unfortunately, many startup founders believe that great customer service can’t be delivered until their company has reached sufficient scale. While it’s true that customer service can’t be streamlined and automated to the same extent as some other business operations, even the leanest of startup teams can create a wonderful experience if they have the right mindset.

Here are three ways your company can provide world-class service on a startup budget:

To read the full article, click on the title or image.




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Google Wants to Patent Contact Lenses That Can Snap Photos

Google Wants to Patent Contact Lenses That Can Snap Photos | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

IThe tech company has a new patent application to apply Google Glass's camera feature to contact lenses.


It seems like every other day we read about some far-out, new technology that makes us scratch our heads and say, "What the heck?" In this series, we'll take a look at all types of crazy new gadgets, apps and other technologies -- and the entrepreneurs dreaming them up.

Today and today only, Google Glass is available to anyone 18 or over in the U.S. (OK, so supplies are limited and the price hasn't been marked down from $1,500, but still). As is the way with disruptive technologies, however, the time will inevitably come when we look back at Google Glass and think "how vintage."

That day may arrive sooner than expected: Google has filed a patent application for a micro camera component that could work in conjunction with the smart contact lens it's already developing for people with diabetes. (The chips and sensors in the lens are built to track the glucose levels in a person's tears.)

The patent takes one of Google Glass's central features – the ability to take photographs – and repurposes it for contact lens by embedding tiny cameras in the contacts themselves.


To read the full article, click on the title or image.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Innovation seems to be the norm at Google. The article is called 'Far out technology'.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Mobile Cloud Computing And Beyond
Scoop.it!

8 Mind-blowing Uses of Wearable Technology (Seriously...)

8 Mind-blowing Uses of Wearable Technology (Seriously...) | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Some of the most interesting applications of wearable technology will come from the fusion of technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data.

What would your colleagues say if you asked them what wearable technology was, or what it can do?

You’ll quickly hear about smart watches like Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, fitness trackers like those produced by Fitbit and smart glasses projects like Google Glass.

As for what these products can be used for, after a bit of thought most people would come up with a few sensible use cases – like taking pictures using voice commands, keeping track of your daily calorie expenditure or receiving inbound messages.

Now try asking what wearable technology might be used for in the future – as in 10 years in the future?

It’s at this point that you’ll probably start getting blank looks.

In this research paper we describe 8 remarkable use cases for wearable technology that we believe will become possible within 10 years.

These 8 use cases are several full market cycles ahead of those that Google has  envisaged for Google Glass.

Some of the most interesting applications of wearable technology will come from the fusion of three different technologies:

Advanced wearable products: The three main wearable technology product categories are body sensors, smart glasses and smart watches. We expect dramatic improvements in all three categories in the coming years - in terms of capabilities, optimization of the user interface, size, battery life and price;
    
Artificial intelligence (AI) platforms: Technologies like Now (Google),  Siri (Apple), Cortana (Microsoft) and, most recently, IBM’s decision to provide mobile app developers with access to its supercomputer platform, Watson point to a future where it will be possible for users to carry out advanced web tasks simply by speaking or, in some cases, just thinking;
    
Big data: Whether it is the location of an individual, data about an individual’s search history or ad preferences or even information about what that person was looking at 30 days ago there is no shortage of data. If developers can gain opt-in programmatic access to very granular data about a user’s behavior – a goal that is extremely important to Google – then a whole panorama of new service possibilities will open up.

We think that when all three of these technological ingredients are combined then some truly remarkable and, in some cases, rather unsettling use cases will become possible:

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via Richard Platt, Fang Yang
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

It's as if a door opens to a whole new industry. Many more startups with great ideas will take advantage of this and find their niche. Great article.

more...
Richard Platt's curator insight, March 12, 1:36 PM

8 Use Cases for Wearables, not so mind blowing as this list is not something that we haven't seen before, (if you read my postings), and this isn't the whole list of use cases for wearables, this industry is just getting started.

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Travel Tech and Innovation
Scoop.it!

2014 - The Embolden Years: Change agents lead the way for digital transformation - Brian Solis

2014 - The Embolden Years: Change agents lead the way for digital transformation - Brian Solis | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

2014 is upon us and it’s once again time to share our (Altimeter Group) predictions for the year ahead. Except this time, predictions are moved aside in favor of important trends that are on the horizon. Let’s use this time together wisely in the hopes of prioritizing our investments in relevant strategies and the time and resources necessary to bring them to life this year and next.

In 2013, Charlene Li and I published several reports, infographics, Slideshares, and even an ebook on the state and evolution of social business. I also published a new book that focused on the specific behavior of Generation-C and how they make and influence decisions, digitally, in each of the Four Moments of Truth.

The link between everything last year sets the stage for my work this year.

To read the full article, click on the title.

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km


Via Luis Costa
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This guy, Brian Solis, is right on the edge. He took his surfboard and is playing the big wave! If you want to get a handle on what 'change' means today for yourself and your business, read the article.

more...
No comment yet.