Hot smart home products are cooling down
Smart home hero products losing their luster as sales drop, says Thinknum. The report states that top selling smart products such as Philips’ Hue lighting system, Nest thermostat, Samsung’s SmartThings, as tracked by Amazon.com sales volume, have all fallen off the top sellers list. Ring doorbells, however, remain among top sellers.
dis-rup-shun: Crossing the chasm — selling beyond early adopters to early majority and mass market is a challenge for new product categories. Smart home products that are new, cool and convenient will continue to titillate consumers, but building these technologies into everyday systems such as air conditioning, lighting, washing machines and intercoms, rather than expecting mass market consumers to add on do-it-yourself kits, will signal the arrival of smart home for the masses.
Samsung warns of reduced profits
Samsung warned that Q2 profit was off as much as 56% due to slowing smartphone sales, a lower demand for memory chips, and U.S. led sanctions against China’s Huawei. The company’s flagship Galaxy S10 smartphone has sold slowly. CNN
dis-rup-shun: The consumer tech economy is driven in large part by smartphones. Top of the line smartphones are simply the best ever made, with large enough capacity for all your photos and apps, outstanding cameras, and amazing screens. Phones that serve needs longer and that are no longer heavily subsidized by carriers have life cycles of 3+ years, changing the entire demand model. Both carriers and handset makers have created their own dilemma — changing the product and buying experience but expecting the same replacement cycle.
Navigating the challenges of travel with the right apps
Wired offers some travel tips, aside from suggesting that you sign up for TSA Pre-check. Finding cheap flights: Skyscanner, Google Flights and Scott’s Travel Scanner are good discount finders. Downloading Google Maps of your destination before you leave helps you avoid data roaming fees. Google Translate will help with language issues and if you are heading to Southeast Asia, you will want to grab Grab, the Asian equivalent for Lyft and Uber. App in the Air provides updates on delays and gate changes, and Mobile Passport Control is similar to Global Entry, providing you with expedited customs processing in (hopefully) shorter lines.
dis-rup-shun: Over 2.7 million apps are currently listed on Google’s Play Store. Travel apps fall into two categories: ones that help you shop across all vendors for the cheapest, closest, or most available, and those that help you quickly shop your preferred provider (American Airlines, Bonvoy Hotels, Avis Rental Cars). The ultimate success of brand marketing is to keep you shopping within one brand, making all the other apps irrelevant. Expect to see more loyalty points awarded within a vendor’s own app to keep you “at home.”
Planes that can land themselves anywhere
Researchers at Munich’s Technische Universität München (TUM) have developed technology that enables an autonomous plane to land without ground to plane radio communications. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: Commercial aircraft have employed autopilot features to assist with landings for many years. Unlike the system developed at TUM, today’s systems depend on a series of ground based radios, found only at larger airports, to guide the plane. The autonomous system enables a plane to land anywhere based on the “visual” capabilities of the onboard computer. This technology will be increasingly important to drones that will have to ‘spot’ good landing surfaces on your front porch, or to differentiate the sidewalk from the grass or planting bed.