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ANDRÉ CRAMER

… my view of where technology innovation will lead us

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Background & Opinions

Enjoyed this here… and there is an intriguing thought on the future UX for mobile services: The iPhone X is the Beginning of the End for Phones (Owen Williams)

This is a nice read on where we might be heading in the smartphones space, or better put: mobile computing and mobile access to internet services. Most intriguing thought in this for me is if removing a brick/smartphone type of device in this equation might help us liberate our attention from the grip of attention manipulating social networks (btw… great TED talk on this from Tristan Harris).

From the Owen Willams’ post:

Using a Watch to stay connected but not having a phone would do wonders for my concentration, too.

Rather than responding to every single thing as it comes in, having it on my wrist would allow me to know what’s going on but save responding until I’ve got a larger keyboard in front of me to type on.

Such a ridiculous setup could also loosen the grip Instagram, Facebook and others have on our attention span. No more ending up at the bottom of social networks when you planned to just read a message…

Read the whole article here The iPhone X is the Beginning of the End for Phones

Awesome Outlook of what the upcoming iPhone 8 might do to mobile computing & smartphone use cases: iPhone AR Selfie Revolution (Mike Rundle)

This is a must-read speculation article giving an outlook of what some of the rumored cutting-edge new tech ingredients like

  • dedicated infrared light sensors
  • improved front-facing camera with higher fidelity & frame-rate
  • faster and more secure unlocking and payment authorization tech like facial recognition & tracking
  • new image processing functionality able to track and deciper eye movements and alterness

could mean for the future of mobile computing and smartphone based everyday use cases.

“These aren’t just the ingredients for a new way to unlock your phone, these are the foundational elements for some truly futuristic technology that no one else is building.”

My personal highlight:

“A revolution in mobile advertising where apps and advertisers will know if you actually looked at a banner or not. This data would be more valuable than any metric advertisers currently receive, but could have pretty evil consequences…”

Read more at iPhone AR Selfie Revolution – Mike Rundle – Medium

Very good read on what the Digital Disruption of our Social Life is doing to us: Is Social Media The New Tobacco? (John Battelle)

The digital disruption of our everyday life, in particular, our social relationships and interaction among each other is not really a spotlight topic. We talk about the future of jobs, autonomous driving, the Internet of Things and since the 2016 elections we at least talk about the impact of digitalizing and democratizing our media. This article takes a closer look at social media and what it can do and does to our life, especially to that of our kids and teenagers. We need to be more conscious of this, and make sure the social media industry gets regulated where there is a need for regulation. Read for yourself:

“I’ll admit I was a slow-follower when the iPhone launched ten years ago. I was suspicious of Apple’s intent — I was not fan of its closed, vertically integrated model — and the market’s infatuation with apps felt like a fad that would ultimately fade. When I finally did get an iPhone, I felt complicit in the what amounted to internet climate change: slowly but surely, our new addictions were bound to swamp all that we had worked so hard to build on the open web. As Tristan Harris and many others have pointed out, the economic incentives driving our mobile landscape (in short: advertising) are based fundamentally on the science of addiction, and addicted we certainly are…”

Source: Is Social Media The New Tobacco? – NewCo Shift

Tesla Shows How Traditional Business Metrics Are Outdated (Eddie Yoon)

A great article using Tesla as an example of how in the digitalization age traditional business metrics get outdated. How do we compare new concepts, businesses, ecosystems to related traditional counterparts? Here’s some very useful food for thought:

“Elon Musk is having a moment. Tesla just delivered its first Model 3, the affordable model that he envisioned in his “secret” strategy some 11 years ago. He wanted to build a sports car, then build a more affordable car with zero emissions. He’s basically already there. The Model 3 has mostly rave reviews and a multiyear waiting list, which is quite a feat, even for an industry leader like Musk.

And yet confusion still abounds regarding Tesla. There are roughly the same number of buy, hold, and sell ratings on the company, which means Wall Street has no idea what’s going on. Tesla’s recent announcement to raise $1.5 billion in debt was largely met with a yawn by stockholders, as shares moved down a slight 0.5%. Tesla’s ability to surprise has analysts wondering if it is wise to ever bet against Elon Musk…”

Read the article on HBR: Tesla Shows How Traditional Business Metrics Are Outdated

A totally Must-Read on what AI can do right now and what not: The Business of Artificial Intelligence (Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee)

And again… if you read one Artificial Intelligence article this month, make it this one. I highly value Erik Brynjolfsson since I saw his TED talk (here is also a great recap and interview with him in the NPR TED Radio Hour “The Digital Industrial Revolution”). Together with with fellow MIT principal research scientist Andrew McAfee he draws a sharp and easy to grasp picture of what machine learning is really capable of today and what the outlook for the future is. This is really worth your time, providing first class insights into “no bullshit” artificial intelligence state of the nation. Here’s an intro… follow the link at the end of this post for the full article on Harvard Business Review:

“For more than 250 years the fundamental drivers of economic growth have been technological innovations. The most important of these are what economists call general-purpose technologies — a category that includes the steam engine, electricity, and the internal combustion engine. Each one catalyzed waves of complementary innovations and opportunities. The internal combustion engine, for example, gave rise to cars, trucks, airplanes, chain saws, and lawnmowers, along with big-box retailers, shopping centers, cross-docking warehouses, new supply chains, and, when you think about it, suburbs. Companies as diverse as Walmart, UPS, and Uber found ways to leverage the technology to create profitable new business models.

The most important general-purpose technology of our era is artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning (ML) — that is, the machine’s ability to keep improving its performance without humans having to explain exactly how to accomplish all the tasks it’s given. Within just the past few years machine learning has become far more effective and widely available…”

via The Business of Artificial Intelligence (@Harvard Business Review)

Extremely good Read on your Role in the Business Models of Social Networks: You Are the Product (John Lanchester)

“At the end of June, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook had hit a new level: two billion monthly active users. That number, the company’s preferred ‘metric’ when measuring its own size, means two billion different people used Facebook in the preceding month. It is hard to grasp just how extraordinary that is. Bear in mind that thefacebook – its original name – was launched exclusively for Harvard students in 2004. No human enterprise, no new technology or utility or service, has ever been adopted so widely so quickly. The speed of uptake far exceeds that of the internet itself, let alone ancient technologies such as television or cinema or radio.

Also amazing: as Facebook has grown, its users’ reliance on it has also grown. The increase in numbers is not, as one might expect, accompanied by a lower level of engagement. More does not mean worse – or worse, at least, from Facebook’s point of view…”

Source: John Lanchester reviews ‘The Attention Merchants’ by Tim Wu, ‘Chaos Monkeys’ by Antonio García Martínez and ‘Move Fast and Break Things’ by Jonathan Taplin · LRB 17 August 2017

Really, really must-read Tom Friedman Interview on Jobs, learning, and the future of work (Deloitte University Press)

If you read one future of work article this month, make it this one. Really good interview touching key topics of how we will work in the future and what the change in technology and business models will mean for employment models and of course how we should adapt our approach towards education. Really good read, smart thoughts! Here you go:

“Smart machines, businesses as platforms, and a waitress at Perkins Pancake House—all of these and more figure into Friedman’s buoyant riff on where the future of work could be taking us. […] I couldn’t resist reaching out to Tom to see if he would speak with Cathy Engelbert, CEO of Deloitte, and me on this particular topic. We ended up covering a very broad terrain with Tom and, in his usual fashion, he brought these diverse trends to life with compelling stories…”

 

Source: Tom Friedman interview: Jobs, learning, and the future of work | Deloitte University Press

Super Useful Read on Tech Body Implants: How Apple is putting Voices in Users’ Heads – Literally (Steven Levy)

This is a super insightful read on a very tangible example of where and how the enhancement of the human body already works today. In fact, hearing-impaired humans are the first beneficiaries or powerful use cases for audio transmission from electronic devices right into peoples’ brains. Think listening to music, audiobooks and no one even notices you have a technical devices plugged into you. Think amplifying voices from a conversation while muting surrounding sound. Many powerful use cases imaginable! As in many “bionic” or “human enhancement tech” scenarios, such tech is developed to help handicapped people and then finds its way into helping everyone. I wonder when we will see first non-handicapped humans tinker with tech like this in order to benefit from such advancements.

Here’s a glimpse; read more on WIRED:

“My conversation with Mathias Bahnmueller started as pretty much all my phone interviews do. “Can you hear me?” he asked, and I replied affirmatively. Then I asked him the same question. His answer was yes—he could hear me very clearly. And this was a tiny miracle.

That’s because Bahnmueller suffers from hearing loss so severe that a year ago he underwent surgery to install a cochlear implant—an electronic device in the inner ear that replaces the usual hearing mechanism…”

via How Apple Is Putting Voices in Users’ Heads—Literally | WIRED

Great Read on the bleak outlook for Energy Utilities: Utilities fighting against rooftop solar are only hastening their own doom… Batteries are going to make rooftop solar invulnerable (David Roberts)

This is quite useful to better understand the likely development that solar tech in combination with rapid efficiency improvements paired with scale-driven cost reductions in batter tech will do to the energy utilities. I personally like the outlook of a total democratization of the energy production. I guess it will take quite a bit more time when it comes to “total”, but the consumer segment with residential customers being able to “cord cut” in terms of energy supply will speed up the energy market disruption.

“Several of the big trends in clean electricity depend, in one way or another, on batteries. How fast batteries get better and cheaper will help determine how fast renewable energy grows, how fast fossil fuel power plants get shut down, and how fast the vehicle fleet electrifies. The consulting firm McKinsey & Company recently released an analysis noting that batteries, like solar panels before them, are getting cheaper much faster than anyone expected — and the consequences for the power sector are going to be immense…”

Read more here: Utilities fighting against rooftop solar are only hastening their own doom – Vox

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