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Do Physical Digital Libraries Make Sense?

February 7, 2013


Bexar County in Texas will be home to one of the world’s first digital libraries which contains just e-readers and lots of electronic editions of books. The interesting idea here is the library is going digital but still needs $1.5 million to start up. Moreover, it believes the ongoing costs to maintain the library will be lower than one which contains traditional books.

The natural question worth asking is, are libraries missing the bigger picture?

Video is the Recurring Star

January 29, 2013

There is an insatiable demand for content of the video variety. It is so great in fact that sports networks like ESPN are getting an outsized portion of your cable bill. The network in fact gets more than $5 per subscriber per month regardless of whether you ever watch their networks. Cable and IPTV companies for their part are in quite a pickle as more subscribers drop their service altogether for OTT competition.

Thanks to FDA, Robotics Takes a Massive Leap Today

January 29, 2013

Forget everything you know about robots - the market is about to explode with growth. To date there has been much commercial success with floor cleaning and even window washing robots and both of these are huge markets. But they may be nothing compared with the next frontier of this amazing technology which will allow them to navigate around humans in operating rooms at hospitals.

You see iRobot just got FDA approval for a new robot to do just that.

Apple needs an iPhablet

January 23, 2013

For over 2-and-a-half years, Apple has watched the smartphone competition grow taller and wider and it eventually capitulated on a taller iPhone size with the latest iPhone 5. But it is still way behind when it comes to providing total screen real-estate when compared to a Samsung Galaxy S3 or Note 2.

I’ve argued repeatedly that the company needs a wider phone and that market forces will damage Apple in the long-run as many form factors will be developed and some will be hits. The point was that in the eighties we saw vibrant PC competition destroy Apple’s price/performance position.

Gesture-Based Eye-Tracking, Hand-Sensing Tech Coming but What of Standards?

January 22, 2013


Microsoft certainly popularized gesture-based computing with the Xbox Kinect but it seems one of the next areas where this sort of interface will have a big impact is in your automobile. Hyundai in fact unveiled a concept car recently which allows the driver to turn virtual knobs and choose from a menu using just their eyes.

Hyundai eye control technology



Hyundai virtual knob turning demonstration








Other areas are ripe for gesture control as well – Samsung is using the technology in its televisions and Leap Motion is using it to control PCs and laptops.

The logical question to ask as we enter this brave new world of gesture-based computing is what about standards?

HTML5 Finally Eating Apple's Profit

January 18, 2013

I have discussed for some time how HTML5 will loosen Apple’s grip and decrease the amount of revenue the company makes from apps. Case in point, Amazon recently started touting the Cloud Player app which runs on iOS but allows you to purchase songs via HTML5 using the web browser Safari. The point is by using the web, Amazon sidesteps the 30% cut Apple usually takes from sales which take place via apps on their platform.

How painful will this be for Apple?

It's an App Eat App World

January 17, 2013

Peter Bernstein has a great analysis piece on how the Unilever/Slim-Fast empire is struggling in-part because the company was too slow to come out with an app as well as the fact that other competitors have expanded their offerings to match the company or even take the lead. Personal experience has shown that the majority of my friends and acquaintances are now using apps to track their fitness – running and/or eating via calorie counting.

It’s amazing to me that even a company which profits handsomely from items sold in grocery stores can lose share because it didn’t provide apps on smartphones. This is in contrast to Starbucks who I tweeted about earlier this week – they really think mobile and social are crucial to their future.

Awareness Ads Important but Often Forgotten

January 17, 2013

I'm sitting here at a restaurant called Tengda in Darien, CT a stone's throw from my office just thinking about how I came to know about this restaurant. You see I've eaten at Tengda before - but I didn't know they had a location right by my office. In fact when the weather is warmer I often walk here - its probably just over a mile away from TMC's River Park headquarters.

The point is I found out about this location through one of the daily deal sites - it was likely LivingSocial but perhaps Groupon.

A Larger iPhone - Apple Will HAVE to Listen Now

January 8, 2013

Sometimes I feel like a broken record MP3 player but when you know you are right and you are a student of history, you see the mistakes companies make before they do. On July 8th of 2010 I told you that larger Android devices would be a threat to Apple. The point was that Apple is repeating its mistake from the eighties where it had its own hardware competing against many manufacturers. At the time price/performance was the Achilles heel of Cupertino but now the challenge is not only price/performance but form factor.

How Mobile Will Destroy Retail Margins

December 21, 2012


Some of the news of the week has to do with eBay deciding mobile advertising doesn’t work for them as it clutters small screens and doesn’t provide that much revenue. This seems to make sense but if you think this in any way is going to change the impact of mobile advertising and commerce you are dead wrong.

Logic and rumors tell us Amazon will be releasing a telephone soon and the reasoning for them to do so goes far beyond expanding its ecosystem and pushing people to download apps and watch videos online.

Location based advertising is where everything is going.

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