Kate Spade was hardly the first fashion brand to inhabit a self-generated fantasy environment; Ralph Lauren had been doing as much since the late 1960s. Nor would fashion be the only product category to benefit from an all-encompassing approach to retail and product design—as companies such as Apple and Nike have demonstrated. These enterprises don’t just sell products; they sell an experience. But many others have tried to take the same approach and failed, because the requirements for success with this kind of experience are seldom fully understood or appreciated.
Popular Mechanics on how The New York Times operates in modern times including the digital innovations it keeps delivering.
“The R&D Lab opened nine years ago with the goal of looking three to five years into the future. (The Times declined to say how much it cost to build.) Marc Frons, the company's CIO says he has no idea how people will interact with the Times in ten years, "whether it's on your wrist, or your forehead, or you take a pill, or it's a holographic contact lens, or a head-up display in your vehicle—or on your mirror in your bathroom." The lab explored E Ink before the Kindle even existed, was responsible for delivering the earliest versions of the paper's mobile news alerts, and helped the Times become the first publisher with an application on Google Glass. One of the lab's researchers recently designed a brooch programmed to light up whenever a topic is mentioned that matches something the wearer read about online that day. What good would that do, exactly? Boggie answers with enthusiasm, "We don't know yet!"”
“When Google hosted a boot camp this month for its Android operating system, there were some new faces in the room: automakers.
They made the trip to learn about Android Auto, a dashboard system meant to let a smartphone power a car’s center screen. Tasks as varied as navigation, communicating, and playing music, apps all constantly talking to the cloud. And to the driver. A similar scene is playing out at Apple, where its rival CarPlay system was developed for iPhone users.”
“In coming months, dealerships across the country will begin selling vehicles capable of running Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, or both.
The systems go far beyond current Bluetooth pairing for playing music or making hands-free calls and allow Google’s or Apple’s system to take over the center screen and certain buttons in the car.”
During two rounds of judging, science and visualization experts at the National Science Foundation and Popular Science winnowed 303 entries to 50 finalists, 10 in each category. To arrive at the Experts’ Choice, a panel of final-round judges rated the visualizations on their artistic merit and communication excellence. Readers voted online for the People’s Choice. Each of the winners was vetted for accuracy by independent experts.
In September, Novartis Chairman Joerg Reinhardt announced the company’s new commitment to aging research. “Over the long term, one could argue that R&D productivity has relentlessly declined,” he said in a keynote at a drug development conference in Basel, Switzerland. Aging represents a fertile field of discovery: Identifying the pathways and proteins associated with aging could yield promising drug targets, he said. By tweaking the right pathways, researchers could theoretically prevent a host of age-related diseases. Novartis is not alone in this: Chicago-based AbbVie has complete a $750 million partnership with Calico, an aging-research venture founded by Google.
Rapamycin isn’t the only widely used medication that’s turning out to have possible anti-aging properties. Millions of diabetics take a drug called metformin, which has been around for decades. Like rapamycin, metformin extended the life of federally funded mice in a clinical trial. And there is evidence that it might do the same for people. Diabetes typically shaves about five years off a person’s life. But a large retrospective analysis found that diabetics on metformin had a 15 percent lower mortality rate than nondiabetic patients in the same doctors’ offices. “To me that suggests that it’s actually targeting aging,” says Kennedy.
Leave it to Disney and its technologies to make you part of the show – even when you are far from their parks
At a mall
Love the bit where the guy says on his phone "I think I am being shadowed by Goofy". How did person at other end react?
Also geeks, sure you know what Umbra and Penumbra are?
By making you part of a show
Mickey hats with LEDs allow audiences to Glow with the Show. BTW there is also a Minnie Mouse-inspired headband, a Mickey Mouse glove and, my favorite, a magical wand that reminds me of Sorcerer Mickey.
Everywhere you go
You can show off your Disney Side with your mobile phone
Apple® today announced a €1.7 billion plan to build and operate two data centres in Europe, each powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The facilities, located in County Galway, Ireland (see artist impression below) and Denmark’s central Jutland, will power Apple’s online services including the iTunes Store®, App Store℠, iMessage®, Maps and Siri® for customers across Europe.
The two data centres, each measuring 166,000 square metres, are expected to begin operations in 2017 and include designs with additional benefits for their communities. For the project in Athenry, Ireland, Apple will recover land previously used for growing and harvesting non-native trees and restore native trees to Derrydonnell Forest. The project will also provide an outdoor education space for local schools, as well as a walking trail for the community. In Viborg, Denmark, Apple will eliminate the need for additional generators by locating the data centre adjacent to one of Denmark’s largest electrical substations. The facility is also designed to capture excess heat from equipment inside the facility and conduct it into the district heating system to help warm homes in the neighboring community.
When viewers tune into the Academy Awards Sunday, they can be forgiven for thinking the swelling music is coming from an orchestra hidden somewhere inside the 3,400-seat Dolby Theatre. The truth is a little less glamorous - they are a mile away, playing live at Capitol Records.
The sound is then piped through fiber optic cables back to the theater - in only 2.7 milliseconds.
"We just keep trying to get that latency down as close to zero, so that performers can hear exactly what the orchestra's doing and the orchestra can respond,"
"The most requested thing that kids have wanted to do with Barbie, and Mattel's done unbelievable amounts of research over the course of decades, is to talk to Barbie," says ToyTalk CEO Oren Jacob, Pixar's former CTO, who worked at the groundbreaking animation company for 20 years. "That's the number one request over all demographics, over all geographies, of all time. For the first time we're doing that for real now."
Yet it’s equally hard to overstate how dramatically the hyperloop could change the world. The first four modes of modern transportation–boats, trains, motor vehicles and airplanes–brought progress and prosperity. They also brought pollution, congestion, delay and death. The hyperloop, which Musk dubs “the fifth mode,” would be as fast as a plane, cheaper than a train and continuously available in any weather while emitting no carbon from the tailpipe. If people could get from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in 20 minutes, or New York to Philly in 10, cities become metro stops and borders evaporate, along with housing price imbalances and overcrowding.
The only thing this geek fantasy is missing: Musk. With his hands full simultaneously running Tesla Motors and SpaceX, he’s left it to others to make his theory a reality. He declined to comment for this story. But his fingerprints are on each of the groups vying to build the hyperloop, even though they couldn’t be more different.
It wasn’t long ago that the idea of a pre-IPO tech startup with a $1 billion market value was a fantasy. Google was never worth $1 billion as a private company. Neither was Amazon nor any other alumnus of the original dotcom class.
Today the technology industry is crowded with billion-dollar startups. When Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee coined the term unicorn as a label for such corporate creatures in a November 2013 TechCrunch blog post, just 39 of the past decade’s VC-backed U.S. software startups had topped the $1 billion valuation mark. Now, casting a wider net, Fortune counts more than 80 startups that have been valued at $1 billion or more by venture capitalists (full list here). And given that these companies are privately held, a few are sure to have escaped our detection. The rise of the unicorn has occurred rapidly and without much warning, and it’s starting to freak some people out.
“The Trecan 60-PD and 60-PG is the true work horse of the fleet, with a capacity of melting 60 tons of snow per hour. Its 12 million BTU / hr burner can melt 150 to 300 cubic yards of snow with an average snow density of 15 to 30 lbs per/ft. per hour.”
Nice McKinsey interview with Lorraine Twohill, Google’s senior vice president of global marketing
“The way I think about marketing—and the way I tend to talk to my team about it—is “knowing the user, knowing the magic, and connecting the two.” Knowing the user means understanding who your consumers are, who your customers are. Not just knowing who they are, but what they need, what are their deep insights, and understanding how we can help them. Knowing the magic means knowing what’s in the hearts and minds of your engineers and your product managers, and what they’re building. Connecting the two means bringing the magic built by engineers to the world in a way that is relevant, meaningful, and compelling to the everyday consumer. So we create something that the world will be excited about.”
“A ridiculously tricked-out Boeing 747-8, whose interior was refurbished by Washington-based Greenpoint Technologies, has just been delivered to an unidentified private owner. According to the Robb Report, it’s the first Boeing 747-8 (which is Boeing’s largest passenger jet) to receive Greenpoint’s VIP treatment. And it is stunningly luxurious.”
“Daytona Rising is a $400 million reimagining of an American icon – Daytona International Speedway.
Five expanded and redesigned entrances, or “injectors,” will lead fans to a series of escalators and elevators, transporting them to three different concourse levels. Each level features spacious social areas, or “neighborhoods,” along the nearly mile-long frontstretch.
At the conclusion of the redevelopment, Daytona International Speedway will have approximately 101,000 permanent, wider and more comfortable seats, twice as many restrooms and three times as many concession stands. In addition, the Speedway will feature over 60 luxury suites with track side views and a completely revamped hospitality experience for corporate guests.
The project officially broke ground in early July, 2013 and is expected to be completed in time for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona and DAYTONA 500.”
More than a decade after Polaroid ceased production of its iconic shoot-and-print cameras, Prynt is bringing the technology into the 21st century, enabling a smartphone to print photos onto sheets of paper within 30 seconds.
Pleased to see that Monty Hamilton and Rural Sourcing Inc which I profiled in The New Polymath in 2009 and recently in SAP Nation is part of the BBC program Bringing Business Back
Watch it live today at 330 pm est or Saturday, February 14th @ 12:30 am, 6:30 am & 12:30 pm; Sunday, February 15th @ 12:30 pm & 5:30 pm; Monday, February 16th @ 9:30 pm; Thursday, February 19th @ 7:30 pm & 10:30 pm
Good friend Troy Angrignon has an excellent analysis and a large photo gallery of wearable technology he saw in Vegas at CES in January.
Troy, who describes himself as Entrepreneur, Athlete, Adventurer, brings the credibility of having watched these devices evolve over years and the field testing he does with the very athletic lifestyle he leads
“Some patterns clearly emerged in the wearable sector, which I’ll outline below in more detail. But in short, here they are:
seven markets are clearly colliding;
customer segmentation and use cases are becoming more mature;
it’s not about the fight for the wrist anymore;
entire product portfolios are emerging from established players;
some cool new tech is coming, like sensor kits that stick on like bandages;
and the basic wearable (a band or watch with 3d sensor) has commoditized.”
Carroll’s book, The Nurnberg Funnel, outlined a new philosophy. Instead of focusing on the needs and values of the system designers, it shifted attention onto the end-user, the secretary in the office who needs to hyphenate a compound word.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, among others, quickly adopted a similar approach and more would soon follow. Writing a manual from a minimalist point of view, Carroll says, proved enormously successful because it harnessed the true source of all learning—active engagement. Short, succinct manuals allow the user to dive into many different tasks and to accomplish them quickly, thereby gaining a sense of control and autonomy that inspires further learning. "Skeptics would say we weren't providing the user with any theoretical foundation," Carroll says, “but we found that people got through their initial learning faster, and that later on, when they needed to learn more complex tasks, the users were also better at doing that, too.”
The latest weapon in the luxury high-rise arms race: a private pool in every unit on every floor. At ONE KL, a 35-story luxury building in Kuala Lumpur completed in 2009, the building’s tagline boasts, “94 Apartments, 95 Swimming Pools.” In the Bahamas, each of the 34 units at Honeycomb, a condominium with a hexagonal-patterned facade that’s expected to be completed in mid-2016, will have a 70-square-foot pool with a transparent edge, offering views of the marina and ocean. And in Mumbai, 30 stories of about 100 residential units at Bandra Ohm will include crescent-shaped pools on balconies enclosed in acrylic, the same material used for large aquariums.
In several of my books I have brought out why innovators need to think multiple releases ahead because competitors catch up rapidly with ubiquitous access to technology. This week, the fleeting advantage from technology was in vivid display at the Hyundai dealer.
My family tends to be “value” shoppers when it comes to cars. Our vehicles tend to average 7 to 8 years and 80,000 to 100,000 miles. Our Vera Cruz SUV was approaching that EOL and the dealer called me to offer a very generous trade-in. I expected to walk out with the base model of the replacement Santa Fe – my technophobe wife would have preferred that. Instead I got a model chockfull of technology. What's remarkable is the vehicle for about $ 30K packs features which just a couple of years ago were only available on Mercedes, Lexus, BMW, Tesla models at twice or three times the price.
Proximity sensors for auto tailgate open and for blind spot detection
Touch screen for all kinds of navigation, communication, rear view and entertainment options
Mobile app to control access to car, monitor whereabouts etc.
Next-gen rear view mirror
HID Xenon headlights with LED accents
And some of the features are available even on Hyundai’s smaller cars for $15K.
And as you look around there is so much more technology in the form of electric options, autonomous driving, mobile hotspots and more that our new SUV is already dated.
A handful of companies, including film producers, have gotten waivers from the FAA to use drones for commercial purposes. But the filmmakers, for instance, must notify the FAA three days in advance, only film on a closed set and obtain permission from nearby people.
Such restrictions wouldn’t make sense for covering breaking news, said CNN Senior Vice President David Vigilante. The network is proposing a different approach, such as regulations similar to those for helicopters, “so it allows us the flexibility to deal with breaking news,” he said.
CNN is testing a range of drone types, from the hobbyist models that many people got for Christmas to powerful pieces of machinery that could carry a glass lens camera and transmit high-definition video, he said. The TV network plans to share its findings with the FAA over the next 12 to 24 months.
I am more of a dog person, but I saw a fascinating cat program on PBS last night. With GPS chips and night vision cameras around their necks and elaborate data visualization technologies, 50 cats share their nocturnal habits, and their tribal and social behaviors.
The BBC promo is below and there is more info on the BBC website here. This Vimeo site also allows for a download of a rather large MP4 file of the program.
It's a fair summary of Nike's annual challenge—to unveil a new shoe that promises more agility, more durability, and, somehow, more LeBron. The company does its job well: This year, James's shoe will bring in $300 million in U.S. revenue, according to SportsOneSource. So as Nike releases the newest model, the LeBron 12, its team dishes on how it designs in collaboration—and keeps fresh a very important, very visible 12-year relationship.
While many have highlighted Apple Watch’s payments software and health-monitoring capabilities, its ability to connect us to what our phones already know about where we are and what we’re doing—augmenting our reality with a new layer of data—makes me think it could bring about profound behavioral change in its users. As Apple illustrated with the iPhone, it’s changes in what we find it easy and enjoyable to do that beget changes in our habits and social norms. And those are the shifts that create real opportunities for the next billion-dollar startup.
Electronic House has a list of technologies including the Epson projector and speakers
“If you think that 65-inch Samsung TV is big, then imagine what you could do with this Epson Home Cinema 3500 LCD projector. It can work either for permanent installation, or just bring it out on special occasions and aim it at a temporary screen or a white wall. It includes built-in speakers, so all you need to do is hook it up to your TV box. With 2,500 lumens of brightness, it will light up any football party.”
Even better is the support Silicon Valley is showing for the movie which depicts the origins of the modern day computer and the math and science which has helped our industry evolve. The ad above shows quips from various tech executives, not movie critics.
Below Keira Knightley who stars in the movie describes private screenings of the movie in SV.
Ellis says it was a controversial decision to run it early, even among the ad agency and VW’s marketing team. “But I thought if everything goes right, this thing will catch fire and go viral,” he says.
By 8 a.m. Thursday, “The Force” had been viewed 1.8 million times on YouTube and had racked up 17 million views before kickoff, according to figures provided by Deutsch. Today, “The Force” has 61 million views on YouTube and is still the most shared Super Bowl ad of all-time and the second most shared TV commercial ever.
My town is famous for the annual pirate invasion and day of debauchery. Now, the celebration is going digital.
“Come this spring, expect the start of the same kind of interest and attention for Tampa’s combined Gasparilla festivals, including the debut of the Gasparilla Interactive Festival. GIF will debut on Friday, March 6, as the missing link soon connecting the long-standing Gasparilla festivals that feature music, film and arts throughout March.”
Royal Caribbean in April will debut the 4,180-passenger Anthem of the Seas, a sister to the much-ballyhooed, two-month-old Quantum of the Seas. Norwegian follows in October with the 4,200-passenger Norwegian Escape (below) -- its largest ship ever. Also debuting this year is the 930-passenger Viking Star, the first ocean ship for river cruise giant Viking. And the transformation of upscale adventure line Ponant continues with the arrival of its fourth new vessel in five years: the 244-passenger Le Lyrial.
A Delta pilot sitting next to me yesterday gave me a tour of the navigation and other apps on his standard issue Microsoft Surface. It was the proverbial cherry on a fortnight of a technology dessert I have experienced on Delta 717-200s, 737-900s, 767-400s and its terminals.
Pleasantly on the flight to Spain, the GoGo wifi was available across much of the Atlantic. Soon many international flights will support connectivity.
With the connectivity, the entertainment options on your mobile device via Delta Connect have expanded exponentially.
Most planes now offer power outlets and USB ports
The self service options at airports have grown significantly to include iPads to order meals, to change flights and even expedite immigration processing via the Automated Passport Control kiosk
The Delta mobile app besides allowing all kinds of seat selection, check in, flight notifications also has useful features like tracking your bags and storing details of your car parking space.
Nice to see the whole Delta experience continue to get richer with all the technology.
A synthetic material designed to mimic the elasticity and sensory capabilities of human skin. Kim says his “electronic skin” can detect heat and pressure and even warms to the temperature of the human body.
The grocery business is plagued by notoriously slim margins. The trade group Food Marketing Institute estimates the supermarket industry as a whole turned in a 1.3% net profit after taxes in 2013 on $620 billion in sales.
Those numbers haven’t stopped venture capitalists like Mr. Mortiz from taking a chance again. “After our experiences with Webvan and the electroshock therapy we needed, none of us thought we’d venture ever again into the grocery business,” said Mr. Moritz, who sits on Instacart’s board. “The one thing we were very right about is that if there is an easy and reliable way to order groceries from home, the demand will be insatiable.”
I have been excerpting here from the book’s case studies. They profile 12 strategies across four groupings of customers A) Un-adopters B) Diversifiers C) Pragmatists and D) Committed.
The customer profiled below is part of the third group which has four strategies in the book:
When I heard about Project Slingshot at British Gas, and SAP’s role in it, I was eager to profile it in the book. There are so many unique aspects to the project; CRM, industry extensions, the Internet of Things, a systems integrator who delivers on budget — many of which are elusive to find these days in the SAP roadmap where most recent focus has gone to HANA projects. So, I pursued an interview with Cooper, even delaying the release of the book to include his comments. What I expected was an enthusiastic analysis of the project — instead I got a flattering commentary on the outcomes based performance by the systems integrator, Cognizant, but also questions about SAP’s direction.
Such problems are common with “over customization” of the SAP software. They also reflected SAP’s functional immaturity in this industry vertical, when the project was started over a decade ago. Given this track record in the B2C segment, and that a previous B2B implementation had stalled for a number of years, a different approach was called for. Having come from the telecom industry where SAP has not been a significant industry vendor, Cooper evaluated his options for Slingshot with an open mind. He says he decided to stay with SAP because it was the least-costly option providing the project stuck with out-of-the-box functionality.
Besides the Red Hat investment, Cooper is a big believer in other open-source software and commodity platforms. From a Big Data perspective, British Gas has a significant commitment to Apache Hadoop. He also likes to use commodity hardware as it is easily swappable and scalable in the form of low-cost servers. The proprietary SAP appliance hardware from its partners around HANA goes against that philosophy. British Gas has evaluated HANA and thinks it is fine for speedier queries. In order to replace its Oracle database, however, HANA would have to match resilience and disaster recovery thresholds needed for heavy transaction processing. When considering the business case for HANA, the years of experience in the team working with the Oracle database and the cost of retraining need to be considered. His conclusion so far is — British Gas does not have a burning performance problem today to justify the risks of moving to HANA as a transaction engine.
FanDuel paid out more than $500 million in winnings in 2014 and took in $50 million in fees. This year Eccles expects to pay out more than $1 billion, which translates into $100 million in revenue (and a $1 billion valuation using the multiple analysts apply to the industry). FanDuel currently has about 75% of the daily fantasy market and has the most liquidity, allowing it to offer the biggest payouts and cheapest fees.
Over the next few weeks I am excerpting here from the book’s case studies. They profile 12 strategies across four groupings of customers A) Un-adopters B) Diversifiers C) Pragmatists and D) Committed.
The customer profiled below is part of the second group which has four strategies in the book:
According to Martin-Festa, while the consolidation of ERP systems continues in parallel — Schneider Electric is consolidating into a “federation” of 11 ERP instances, most of them SAP-based — the real value is from the sales, inventory, operations, and planning (SIOP) tools on top of these ERP transaction feeders. ‘We get an end-to-end view with Kinaxis, the planning vendor we have partnered with,” says Martin-Festa. “That allows collaboration and connectivity all the way from key customers to critical suppliers.”
By all accounts, the rollout has progressed well. By the middle of 2014, as Figure 2 shows, collaborative sales forecasts were available for nine countries, distribution planning across 57 distribution centers, and manufacturing planning across five plants. Clayton has shared, at industry events, some of the early returns on investment, including €778,000 of excess inventory in Russia that has been turned into extra revenue and a significant reduction of inventory levels in Saudi Arabia.
It’s particularly hot among universities in the Tampa Bay area. Consider:
♦ The University of Tampa has announced it will begin offering an undergraduate major in cybersecurity this fall.
♦ Saint Leo University launched a master’s program in cybersecurity in August, complementing its undergraduate program in information assurance and security.
♦ The brand new Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland has a concentration in information assurance and cybersecurity in its computer science and information technology degree track.
♦ Last year, buoyed by a $5 million allocation from the Legislature, the Florida Cybersecurity Center, or FC², opened on the campus of USF, acting as a statewide clearinghouse to share knowledge, resources and training among the state’s 12 public universities.
I have been excerpting here from the book’s case studies. They profile 12 strategies across four groupings of customers A) Un-adopters B) Diversifiers C) Pragmatists and D) Committed.
The customer profiled below is part of the third group which has four strategies in the book:
“We have the best product in the market. Now we have to also make our interface with our customers the easiest,” says Jeff Robertson, CIO of DigitalGlobe, a leading provider of earth imagery solutions. Its portfolio includes information products derived from imagery, geospatial analytic software, and expert services that derive insight from the imagery.
DigitalGlobe brought in a consulting firm earlier this year to see if the SAP customizations could be reversed by moving to more out-of-the-box functionality that has since been delivered by SAP. It also helped evaluate if the new SAP UX of Fiori and Personas could be leveraged to improve the user experience.
By starting with the customer first, DigitalGlobe is relooking at all of the core lead-to-order processes. A customer advisory board is helping to define the next generation interactions with the company. In addition, DigitalGlobe is leveraging a more agile, rapid, prototyping approach. Rather than defi ning the entire end-to-end experience in detail, the team is quickly configuring and defining new experiences.
It is another example of a pragmatic customer who did not just take SAP’s talk of Fiori UX at face value — especially when SAP expected customers to pay a premium for it