Marriott enters Airbnb territory
In yet another confirmation that the Internet economy is making a sizable dent in legacy businesses, Marriott has announced that it will offer an online home rental service to compete with Airbnb, a company that has announced that it will enter the traditional hotel business. FoxBusiness
dis-rup-shun: A reminder that whatever business you are in, you will be disrupted by technology and, in a tit-for-tat battle, two big players enter one-another’s market space. Airbnb enjoys a large and growing membership of people looking for more personal and more economical travel experiences, and Marriott hosts a large network of Bonvoy loyalty members with branded credit cards and points. Both platforms are competitive advantages and stand to improve the supply of both good hotels and great home rental options.
Robocalls reaching a tipping point
SPAM phone calls, or robocalls, now make up nearly 50% of phone traffic. Number spoofing — displaying a number on caller ID which looks like it could be a friend or neighbor, is commonplace. Carriers are developing new technologies to authenticate calls, ending the robocall tricks. New York Times
dis-rup-shun: I have been using RoboKiller, a smartphone app which is mostly effective at blocking unwanted calls, but unfortunately, a few that I wanted. While apps are helpful, a new technology called Stir/Shaken adds a digital signature to phone calls. Without a valid digital signature, a call will be flagged as SPAM. Clever people will undoubtedly figure a way to fake digital signatures, but hopefully that will take long enough that we can enjoy a year or two of peaceful phone use before the next spoofing technology is prevalent.
Vivint smart home doubles down on innovation
Vivint, the home automation and security company owned by private equity firm Blackstone Group, is one of the largest players in the U.S. home security market, with over 1.4 million subscribers. The company beat out all other organizations in the state of Utah, including the University of Utah, in patent filings in 2018 by filing 74 patents. Deseret News
dis-rup-shun: Vivint has long been respected as a home security leader, but has not been viewed as a technology leader. Clearly the company is very focused on new technology and deploying artificial intelligence to enable the home to better learn the patterns of those inside so that systems will work seamlessly in the background. Like smart home technology provider, People Power, Vivint understands that technologies customized to their owners’ schedules and preferences will lead the smart home market to new levels of adoption.
Ready for smart lighting (cheap)?
CNet provides a guide to smart light bulbs which can be purchased for under $20 to make an apartment or home instantly smart. The guide offers help with the accessories needed to make the bulbs work nicely in the home.
dis-rup-shun: Until you have tried smart lighting, you don’t realize how convenient it can be — enabling you to turn on lights from anywhere in the world if you wish to look like you are home, or set scripts to turn on and off at certain times of day. Most smart bulbs require a hub – used to control other home devices, and this hub could be your Google Home or Alexa device. Lifx offers a bulb for $20 that uses your Wi-Fi router as its hub, so you likely already have everything you need to get going.