IKEA nabs augmented reality provider
Ikea’s store division, Ingka Group, has purchased U.S. startup GeoMagical Labs — a company that enables AI-based renderings through a smart phone. The technology will enable users to take a smartphone photo of rooms they wish to decorate, and then fill an image with virtual IKEA furniture, becoming their own interior decorators. Reuters
dis-rup-shun: One can assume that this will become the new standard for furniture, paint, floor covering and clothing shopping… take a snap of that which you wish to change, try out virtual samples, then press a button and Amazon, UPS or FedEx will deliver within the same or (godforbid) three days.
Exactly how much have our online habits changed?
App Annie is a research firm that captures actual app usage for IoS and Android. In short, due to the pandemic, app usage has increased between 10% and 30% during the most intense times of shelter-in-place. Gaming usage has soared, and non-games app usage is also substantially higher. Time on apps is up as is spending through apps, as people buy more games, books, music and supplies.
dis-rup-shun: Mapping our pandemic behavior will provide great data for anthropologists, policy makers, doctors and marketers for years to come. Suffice it to say that consumer technology, in general, has been a big winner of the Coronapocalypse. The real question now is how much of the surge in digital services usage will remain when we find a new normal? It is safe to guess that most all of the services that we are using heavily will experience a significant fall back when the crisis is over, but will level off higher then pre-pandemic levels.
Apple accidentally unveils new tracker product
It seems that there are so many Apple watchers, that whenever the company posts something out of the ordinary, people notice. Such a posting was caught by a blogger who reveals that Apple appears to be about to release an object tracking service — similar to Tile. AirTags, as the product is called, will feature some sort of battery operated tracking device that one can affix to wallets, keys, bicycles and other objects that could get misplaced. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: For Tile, the news is not so good, though the company may benefit from Apple’s advertising and marketing power, generating more awareness and demand for the product category. Tile may have to price below Apple to find its niche within the object tracker market, and there are plenty of similar case studies of Apple absorbing a technology that is already in market. A few to study are smart watches, sleep monitors, and even ear buds.
New product from Ring — Doorbox
In another inadvertent product leak, it appears that Ring is about to release the Doorbox. A picture is captured by CNET fuels guessing on what the device will do. It could be a mailbox that detects motion and affixes to a door or gate. The picture suggests that the device does not have a camera.
dis-rup-shun: Ring is working quickly to move from provider of niche connected smart home products, to provider of do-it-yourself integrated systems. The fact that the company is owned by Amazon makes for an interesting future, with tighter integration between the devices and Echo-powered devices. Other than SimpliSafe, there aren’t many complete DIY smart home system offerings in market. Nest comes and goes leaving Ring an opening to be the most complete provider of low-priced smart home products at retail.