US military increases recruiting activities on Twitch
The new military requires a new type of recruit, and he or she is likely lurking on Twitch — Amazon’s Internet channel for video game streamers. Twitch hosts 3.9 million monthly unique streamers — people who wish to play and watch other people play video games live. These game enthusiasts display many of the skill sets needed by the armed services to operate today’s and tomorrow’s weaponry, intelligence and tactical command operations. While the armed services have not been well received so far by this audience, the Pentagon has stated that it will continue to invest more in recruiting from this population. Wired
dis-rup-shun: Cyber warfare and cyber weaponry, along with unmanned drones and craft, are the future of geopolitical power struggles and tomorrow’s military requires a change in mix of personnel. Less needed are the brawny jar heads whose physical strength and courage are in another world, while increasingly important are brainy nerds who would not have considered themselves warriors in the past. Until the armed services learn the culture of core gamers, their recruiting tactics will remain awkward, but expect recruiting to become more effective once the recruiters better understand the recruits.
Apple Watch SE — Apple applies iPhone lessons to watch
Apple’s new Apple Watch SE follows the script from iPhone SE — take components from previous generations, add new software with a few key features disabled, and sell for less. The Apple Watch SE at $279 to $304 lives in the space between between the current Series 6 and the older Series 3. It is a reincarnation of Series 4, enabling the owner to run the latest OS and most of the current features, without the always-on face and ECG features while saving $120 or more. The body materials and types are limited, as are the colors. The Verge
dis-rup-shun: Apple’s leadership, not only in technology, but in marketing, continue to develop. Apple fairly quickly applied learnings over product pricing to the Apple Watch lineup, relying on colors and accessories to drive excitement among a more price sensitive shopper — unlocking a new demographic that it was potentially missing with its flagship lines. As Apple’s future is more about services than devices, it benefits by making its services, such as Apple Fitness, more accessible to more people through more devices. Expect to see more SE variations in other products, including computers, streaming TV devices, and even AirPods.
Nest Audio is newest in Google’s lineup of smart speakers
A refresh to Google Home had been expected for some time. The new Google Nest Audio is the latest flagship in the smart speaker lineup, with this colored-cloth device shaped like a large chiclet, and designed to look less like a tech gadget and more like a home decor accessory. The slow transition to Nest branding continues, but unlike better-known thermostats and smoke detectors from Nest, this device uses a separate app – a fact running counter to the assumption that Google is seeking to create one interface for all its devices. The Nest Audio sells for $100 and features bigger, better speaker components and a faster quad-core processor — enabling more on-device computing and improved security. CNET
dis-rup-shun: Google’s hardware strategy continues to be disjointed, with Nest being one brand, while Pixel and FireTV are other brands within the brand. While the Nest Audio appears to be a welcomed update to Google’s smart speaker base product, it is difficult to see how this product is the next step in a clear strategy. Amazon, on the other hand, clearly plans for Echo and Alexa to be an interface to most any home appliance, from microwave to TV, but for Google, it seems that this device is mostly a reaction to a fast changing smart speaker market that expects better sound and better looks.
Portable Bluetooth Projector from Anker
Anker, a company that sells some impressive devices through mass merchant retailers has added a portable projector to its lineup for $550. The device offers a small, easily portable, battery-powered projector/speaker combo device that may be perfect for back yard TV watching — requiring about 9 feet to project a 100 inch picture. With the built in speaker and on board Wi-Fi, the system can stream content from one of your favorite accounts without involving your PC or smartphone in the mix. CNET
dis-rup-shun: New technologies continue to give us new, never before considered product categories. While many are turning to Samsung’s outdoor optimized smart TVs to permanently affix on the back patio or poolside, Anker provides a device that can bring the indoors out in a mobile kind of way. As the pandemic continues to keep people mostly tethered to the home and back yard, investments in home entertainment continue to rise, and who doesn’t need to take TV, movies and YouTube clips to the back patio?