Dom Hoffman created a new creative tool and a social network that went into private beta yesterday. It is schedlued to open to the public later in July. Byte aims to destroy he notion of constraints and see what emerges from the chaos, unlike Vine. How does the app work? There’s a feed of creations from the people you follow, an activity feed , and a place to edit your profile. One of Byte’s more original features is a “soundtrack” button, which lets you create miniature, looping synths that play inside your creations. Byte’s most ambitious tool, though, is the computer — an app launcher within the app that lets you pull a variety of images, text, and memes into your Bytes. The content is selected at random, but you can cycle through it by tapping arrows on either side of the rectangle that houses the content.
What is Echo?
- Wireless speaker with a voice controlled personal assistant built in
- “Amazon has named the smart speaker Alexa. Alexa is named after the library of Alexandria, which stored the knowledge of the ancient world
- Similar to Google Now and Apple’s Siri
- Always-on, always-listening (downside: has woken people up in sleep)à quick way to provide answers
What are the Echo’s properties?
- Standard Bluetooth speaker
- Ability to answer questions
- You just need begin commands or questions by saying “Alexa” to appropriately address the robot.
- Wi-Fi network connected device
- Music comes through shallow, tiny and compressed
- Once music starts to play, Alexa cannot hear your commands
- Rated 7 out of 10 on The Verge
- Black cylinder
- Size of tennis-ball
- Blue-green light flashes around top of canister
- Volume ring on top of device
What else can Echo do?
- Play music and podcasts on demand
- Order products from Amazon with just a voice command
- Report the time
- Report the weather
- Set timers and alarms
- Calculate measurements
- “How many tablespoons are in a cup”
- Add items to your shopping list
- “Alexa, add chicken broth to my shopping list”
What if Alexa can’t answer your question?
- A query is made in the Echo App and with one tap becomes a Bing search
- Stores a running history of all your questions
- Helpful tips on how to talk to Alexa
- Announced Echo technology Novemeber 2014
- Needed an invite to purchase prior to today
- Now Amazon is opening up the purchase of Echo to anyone with shipments beginning July 14th
Price = $179.99
New features since launch
- Hub for a smart home
- Turning on various lights and appliances
- Belkin’s WeMo + Philips’ Hue connected home systems
- Improved speech recognition and accuracy
- Info can be stored on third party services with IFTTT integretaion (if this then that)
- links with Gmail, Twitter and Evernote
Amazon plans on providing additional applications for the Echo that will make it the leader in smart home technology.
Rhythm changes how we feel and behave. This product is a psychophysiology wearable for people who want to be able to influence how they’re feeling by using a tactile rhythm (aka customized haptic feedback) — as a noiseless alternative to listening to mood-influencing music of different tempos. It is designed to tap your wrist at a pace of your choosing. “Doppel harnesses your body’s natural response to rhythm similarly to upbeat or downbeat music, but it’s a pulse you feel on your wrist rather than one you hear. This new piece of tech was founded by students at London’s Imperial College. The founders include a mechanical engineer, a theoretical physicist, a materials scientist and an industrial designer.
So what is the app for? It helps you stay calm when nervous, energized when exhausted, and tired when going to sleep.The device is still in prototype and available on Kickstarter.com. We will see if this wearable can effectively compete with the overcrowded wearable market in the coming months.
Apple surpasses user expectations every year at the Worldwide Developers Conference. The most important highlights are featured below.
El Capitan – OS X 9
OS X 8, Yosemite, had the fastest adoption rate in 8 months compared to any other operating system ever developed. Apple has made improvements to the user experience in the beautiful new El Capitan.
Volume control buttons on Safari Tabs
Shake the cursor to make the icon larger
Swipe feature in Mail
Swipe left to delete/Swipe right to keep
Spotlights new personal search feature is more knowledgeable then ever
Full screen Mail is simpler and easy to use
Siri has 1 billion requests per week. Now Siri will act as proactive assistant by adopting to your daily routines.
Notes App update
Notes is used by half the users on iPhone. The new features include a toolbar, checklist, stencil drawing, and ability to upload media.
Maps App update
Maps has 5 billion user requests per week. Apple solved problem for public transit such as buses, trains, and subways. Rollout in New York. Baltimore, Berlin, Chicago, Mexico City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington DC.
Apple Pay -UK
Apple pay in UK coming next month will cover 70% debit/credit card users. Can be used for the London transportation system.
Apple Pay – Store/Reward Cards
Beautiful content, custom layout, interactive platform. Replaces FlipBoard.
DJ sessions from celebrity performers, first global 24/7 radio, and connection between fans & artists. $9.99 subscription
Apple watch 2
New watch faces
Can select photos from library or the new time-lapse videos.
Recently, MIT Technology has ranked the public company Illumina as the #1 smartest company of 2015. The genome-sequencing business is the result of the human genome project that launched 25 years ago. Illumina can successfully identify all three billion base pairs in human DNA and map all of the genes of the human genome. This amazing technology is available for anyone for a surprisingly low price of $1,000 and will soon be cheap enough to be used regularly for pinpointing medical problems.
Illumina will be an enormous business in years to come and already holds a 70% stake in genome sequencing technology. The San Diego based company sells sequencing machines, and software and services that analyze genome data. The current CEO Jay Flatley joined the 25-person startup in 1999, one year after formation, noticed the group only sold microarray chips, which were useful in examining specific spots on the human genome.
Flatley had a vision to fulfill the human genome project. The CEO made his first pivot when bought Solexa because they provided a technology he needed. Solexa sequences genomes by synthesis, which is 100 times faster than other technologies. Within three years Flatley built Solexa from a $2.5 million business to a $100 million business, reaching new markets by expanding internationally. His accelerated growth shutdown competitors and many had to phase-out.
The second pivot taken by Illumina was to acquire Verinata Health. VH is a maker of noninvasive prenatal sequencing test to identify fetal abnormalities. This investment has potential to return billions in revenue. In the past decade, Illumina has spent more than $1.2 billion on acquisitions. These acquired companies have profited very well for Illumina.
A smartphone app is currently available to review your genome if it has already been analyzed. The app tells you what your genetic variation is and what the genome means. This is significant because the cost of sequencing has fallen faster than the cost of computing.
NASDDQ: ILMN opened today at share price $205.76
Announced earnings on Tuesday, April 21st; $0.91 EPS, beating the analysts consensus
$20 Billion market opportunity
Over 3,750 employees
What if you knew what was in the air around you? Now you can with Awair, a wireless technology that monitors your home or office’s air quality in real-time. The device has a sleek disguisable stereo-look to fit perfectly in any room. It analyzes dustiness, CO2, humidity, temperature, and volatile organic compounds (toxins emitted from building materials, furnishings, and cooking activities) and reports the information to an App on your smartphone. The report, an Awair Score, helps you understand and improve the overall quality of the air your breathing by giving you tips and recommendations on how to achieve the best air quality for you. Awair can be connected to related products such as humidifiers, air purifiers, thermostats, filters, and fans. The app can then trigger these devices to stabilize the healthy air levels. This product enhances productivity by decreasing the chances of headaches, fatigue, and dry eyes. If you are interested then pre-order today for $149 on the company’s website https://getawair.com/air.html
Just coming into existence is Google’s virtual reality experience and it’s beginning to display signs of future potential. The new VR platform, JUMP, enables users to be immersed in places that would not be possible without VR. Before Google created the platform they offered users to access a simple VR viewer called Cardboard. The idea is simple, slide your smartphone behind the lens and images are converted into a 3D experience. You can fly through a Google Earth’s map or view pictures in a new perspective. Google recently announced new improvements to this inexpensive device. The improved Cardboard viewer can fit larger mobile phones, has a 3-step assembly process, and supports both Android and IOS. The mission for this technology was to make it affordable for everyone, $4-$20, so that the entire population has the opportunity to experience VR. Google is aiming for a large, mainstream audience and has already acquired 1 million users this way.
Google’s first JUMP product was introduced yesterday as the finale of their annual I/O conference. Google has teamed up with GoPro to create a world beyond imagination. The product, Array, is a super-camera equipped with 16 cameras that allow the operator to feel as if they’re present somewhere else in the world. Retailed at only $400, you can now feel as if you’re in the front row of a concert or at the pinnacle of mountain range. Google is changing the limitations of cameras by creating new technology that seamlessly adds depth to pictures. Far objects seem far away and close objects feel as if they’re in reach. Raw footage is converted to VR video. So where will people watch this? YouTube starting July 2015. Just open the YouTube application on your phone and insert into Google’s Cardboard. Handlers will soon be virtually traveling to their favorite vacation destinations to relive their previous involvement.
Seeing a place with your own eyes creates a memorable experience and a relationship, as opposed to inspecting a picture. Expeditions, another VR application, brings Cardboard technology to any classroom for educational purposes. It allows teachers to take students on field trips anywhere. Children need to explore places outside of their community to understand their presence in this world. Whether that is at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean or The Great Wall of China, students will appreciate the information they’re learning in school and have a greater understanding of what their teachers are talking about. Google’s unique products are going to change the way teacher’s approach learning and how people view the world. Google is just tapping into the VR realm with limitless applications. Be excited to see what Jump will rollout next.