Monday, 8 July 2013

What I've been reading this week

I’m 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: robots, wearables, self-driving cars & some thoughts on decisions

Media

The BBC has suspended 3D programming indefinitely, citing limited audience appetite. 3D just hasn't worked out as the TV industry hoped, but these things happen. And 4K is nearly here. The audience will definitely like that. Oh yes! http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Technology/2013/07/05/BBC-announces-decision-to-halt-3D-television-programming/UPI-41911373064121/

If you were somehow watching the Wimbledon tennis championships on 4K you could also enjoy adverts placed onto nails, water bottles etc... in real time. Fascinating. Pointless. It's tech! http://metro.co.uk/2013/07/04/video-wimbledon-allows-adverts-on-nails-as-sony-showcases-4k-ultra-hd-3869279/

The average UK gamer is 35, not necessarily male and earns about £25k. Who'd have thought it? I like this sort of thing, by the way. In our Media Consumer study this year, we also found that the average pirate is in their thirties - digital is not just for kids. Just saying... http://beefjack.com/news/pixwoo-poll-women-in-the-uk-play-games-just-as-much-as-men/

A nice analysis that demonstrates why artists should stop whinging about how much money they get paid on Pandora. http://theunderstatement.com/post/53867665082/pandora-pays-far-more-than-16-dollars

Technology

The more mainstream press articles about the benefits of self-driving cars appear, the more rapidly people will lose their fear of the computer taking the wheel. Most modern cars actually have now mechanical connections between the driver and the controls, in any case, so this it just one last step to a safer and more efficient road system. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/10108638/Robocars-will-take-us-out-of-drivers-seat.html

A well balanced article about Google's Loon project, which uses high altitude balloons to provide broadband internet access to areas without fixed infrastructure. Yet another use of robot vehicles to enhance human lifestyles. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130618-google-balloon-wireless-communication-internet-hap-satellite-stratosphere-loon-project/

A talk on how robots will enhance the lives of an aging population. Worth 10 minutes of your time. http://www.ted.com/talks/rodney_brooks_why_we_will_rely_on_robots.html

A nice little article on how Nokia can make money on $20 handsets. Not much, mind you, but it is impressive how much technology $20 buys in 2013! http://qz.com/98979/how-nokia-makes-money-on-a-20-phone/

Generally speaking, profits are hard to find in handsets now. HTC join Samsung in announcing disastrously falling profits. Time for the tech industry to find new categories soon, I think. Only Apple looks like it'll be able to hold on to its profitability, in similar fashion to the PC market. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/06/samsung_isnt_alone_htc_profits_take_a_huge_dive/

A crowd funding page for smart socks. The falling cost of tech will see a wave of this kind of wearable sensor entering the market in the next few years. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sensoria-smart-sock-fitness-tracker

Dell are now apparently coming to the table with wearable technology. Gotta' hope they make a better fist of it than they did with mobile and tablets. http://www.slashgear.com/dell-smartwatch-hinted-as-company-invests-in-wearable-rd-04289096/

Microsoft going for advertising revenues using Kinect. This might be scary if they're planning to live feed information... http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/07/microsoft-xbox-one-advertising-will-integrate-with-kinect/

Just for fun

I really enjoyed this article on decision fatigue. With so many new ways of accessing information, I hope that user interface designers focus on reducing the number of decisions we need to make. Google Glass will be great, I'm convinced, but I worry about having to make even more choices to manage the flood of information than I do today. Scary stuff. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

A video about choices, since we're on the subject. http://www.ted.com/talks/sheena_iyengar_choosing_what_to_choose.html


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