Friday, 6 January 2012

What I've been reading this week

I’m firmly of the belief that participants in the TMT industry need to read widely in order to understand the present and future dynamics of the market. To that end, this post is a collection of the articles that have caught my eye.

This week – mobile applications the must-have gift for Christmas, how to make a very cheap computer very expensive and how to use a watch to avoid getting mugged.

New business models

Smartphones are now a must have device and there are signs that consumers are beginning to utilise apps in a much more meaningful way. I got an iTunes voucher for Christmas... which I spent on music. Perhaps I’m now a Luddite?
http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/daily-app-downloads-more-than-double-on-christmas-20539/?utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=mc&utm_medium=textlink

Although, according to Comscore MORE PEOPLE ARE DOWNLOADING APPS THAN BROWSING! Freak out mobile industry! Or, alternatively, this isn’t statistically significant. Let’s see how this one goes – personally I don’t buy it, but I’ve been wrong before.
http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2011/12/comScore_Reports_November_2011_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share

A very cogent analysis of the myth of exploding data demand – in short, demand is up, but only by a low double digit percentage.
http://www.analysysmason.com/About-Us/News/Insight/Insight_collapse_value_GB_Jan2012/?id=&utm_campaign=Insight+6+January+2012&utm_source=emailCampaign&utm_medium=email&epslanguage=en-GB

Neat hack, although it should really be unnecessary. I pay a not-inconsiderable sum for 3G data access and I should be able to do what I want with it!
http://www.slashgear.com/android-hacker-koush-makes-mobile-internet-tethering-undetectable-by-carriers-02205425/

Technology evolution

I love two things about the Raspberry Pi. First the idea of a full feature $35 computer, which should enable far more screens to become connected in a meaningful way – this would be particularly impactful in enabling retail screens to become both interactive and insightful to shoppers. Second, the funding model of auctioning the first devices to generous techies, which is smart and very social. I hope this product is a big success.
http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/489

Another full screen tablet, using an Apple TV this time. All this makes you wonder why YouView has taken so long to come to market and makes me very excited about the much-rumoured full size Apple TV.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3A5vfML100

And speaking of TVs, here’s the coolest one I’ve seen to date. Just how thin can these things get? One way or another, Apple are going to have to have something very special up their sleeve to decommoditise this industry.
http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/lg-unveils-4mm-thick-55-inch-oled-tv-ahead-of-ces-02-01-2012/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+geeky-gadgets+%28Geeky+Gadgets%29

Personal Area Networks (PAN) are just beginning to gain traction and although a bit of a gimmick at the moment, there is considerable utility to being able to access certain smartphone features without having to pull out the phone itself. Navigation seems like a prime candidate, also SMS and instant messaging, particularly if combined with a Siri-alike voice-to-action technology.
http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/casioslatest-g-shock-watch-will-connect-to-your-smartphone-02-01-2012/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+geeky-gadgets+%28Geeky+Gadgets%29

...and this is the type of navigation technology that could enable the growth of PAN devices. Very smart, although possibly controversial!
http://www.geekwire.com/2012/new-microsoft-patent-walking-directions-that-avoid-bad-neighborhoods

HUDs are the next logical step in interfaces – heads up displays have gone from fighter jets to cars to ski goggles and now to the high street. I hope they fit over my NHS specs though...
http://www.electricpig.co.uk/2012/01/06/vuzix-hd-smart-glasses-the-future-of-augmented-reality-eyewear/

Digital media

Nice use of social network behaviour to increase the accuracy of polling. I’ll be interested to see whether it leads to genuine improvement, seeing as Twitter and Facebook use may be misaligned to the voting population, however I do like the idea. Perhaps they should build location or Foursquare usage into the system as well?
http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/social-media-performance-seen-correlating-to-voting-intention-20582/

Breakthrough technology

The X37 is one of the coolest pieces of tech on (or off) the planet right now. I personally don’t buy that its spying on a Chinese space lab – more likely their orbital paths are coincidentally intersecting – however whatever nefarious purpose it’s in orbit for, the technology behind it and the speed with which it hit the launch pad suggest that the future of mankind in space might not be as bleak as we first thought.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16423881

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