The smart toaster is here for $300
If you are really into toast, the Revolution Cooking R180 is the product for you. It’s touch screen interface enables you to specify exactly how you like your bread, and provides accurate timing and progress reports. The pricey device, however, does not connect to the cloud, so Google or Facebook can’t tell when you are making breakfast or cannot send ads for bread to your toaster screen. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: The smart kitchen is slowly arriving, with many devices offering smarts of questionable value. Is a smart kitchen smart because of intelligence built-in to the appliance, or because it uses cloud-based resources to help prepare meals? Smart kitchen appliances bring value when they enable control remotely, like from the bedroom, home office, or remote office, and when they provide guidance or insights based on recipes or knowledge of what supplies are on hand in the pantry or refrigerator. So expect high-end kitchen appliances to increasingly have their own touch screens and be called “smart,” though smarts require remote control and, for better or worse, connections to the cloud.
Did you leave your garage door open?
No more guessing if you left the door open, as a number of inexpensive garage controller add-ons make it simple to see if the door is open or closed or to open it for someone else. Chamberlain’s MyQue is simple and inexpensive and works with Apple’s HomeKit (for an additional fee), meaning you don’t have to use a separate app for the garage door. The more expensive Tailwind can be voice controlled through Alexa and works with Amazon Key, if you are a frequent buyer through Amazon. You do need to have a strong Wi-Fi signal in the garage. CNET
dis-rup-shun: It is exceedingly affordable to transform home systems into smart devices. Doing so, however, introduces “app fatigue” which is the frustration of having to dig through your smartphone to find an app in order to control a device — often resulting in a decision to not use that device often. Apple and Google hope to overcome this barrier with a “do-all-smart home operations” app. Apple’s is Homekit and Android offers a number of options including an app called Gideon. When our cars are outfitted with Alexa on -board (many new ones are), then we can talk to our smartphone in our car to control the garage doors.
Sony Playstation controller “game changer”
New consoles will arrive next week, and gamers are anxious to get their hands on them. Sony’s new controller, DualSense, is packed with new features including better haptic feedback, a headphone jack, a USB-C connection, adaptive resistance triggers, speaker, microphone and touch pad. CNET
dis-rup-shun: The world is now awash with gaming options across any platform, so the console experience must be quite special in order to justify the investment. “Real gamers,” as some like to call themselves, will not settle for less than a high performance gaming PC or top end console, or both, and Sony and Microsoft are racing to provide that premium experience.
Alibaba cloud growth outpaces Amazon
Chinese tech giant Alibaba reported growth of its cloud computing division that dwarfed that of larger cloud providers Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Both U.S. based cloud providers grew, in the same timeframe, 29% and 48% respectively. Alibaba’s growth in the September quarter was 60%, further affirming that the future of computing is in the cloud. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: 5G has arrived, making the vision of super fast access, from mobile devices, of cloud-based content, a reality. The implications for this new model are vast, from shopping, to entertainment, to mobile commerce. Expect Alibaba to catch up in revenue size to AWS and Azure very quickly.