Tempo weightlifting provides live coaching online
Peloton has changed home workout equipment forever, and Tempo, with Series A funding of $17 million, is on its way to making home weight lifting state-of-the-art. The six foot tall station includes a flat panel equipped with a 3D camera, which monitors your reps and form and corrects improper form. Live classes not only offer you a just-like-the-gym experience, but the instructor on the other side of the screen can see if you are using poor form and can call you out to correct you across the wire. TechCrunch
dis-rup-shun: Imagine a high end home with a collection of state-of-the-art exercise devices. Because the owner wants only the best, each piece of equipment has its own programming, its own class subscription plan and pricing, and its own schedule for live classes. It would be like going to the gym and finding that every piece of equipment was made by a different company and worked a bit differently. The home fitness industry is entering a stage in which most devices are connected, offer an experience as good or better than from a live trainer, and demand a hefty monthly subscription fee. If the result is that more people get in better shape for the same or less money than going to the gym, then everybody wins. The question will be to see if gym memberships decline, or if the need for human fellowship keeps the gym buzzing.
After information, controls is next tier of smart speaker usage
Smart speakers are now found in 35% of U.S. households, according to Interpret’s New Media Measure quarterly survey of 9,000 U.S. households. The screen-enabled version of smart speakers, called smart displays, were heavily promoted for the holidays, with commercials for Facebook’s Portal, Amazon’s Echo Show, and Google’s Nest Home Hub. Smart displays will likely be used more frequently than smart speakers for shopping, as only 8% of respondents claim to make purchases through smart speakers. The primary use case for the devices is asking about the weather (53% of respondents), searching the web to answer questions (34% of respondents), followed by keeping a to-do list and task reminders (27%). An impressive 26% of respondents reported that they control smart home devices through their smart speaker. Interpret Analysis
dis-rup-shun: If half of smart speaker owners are now controlling home systems through their smart speakers, the devices are paving the way for increasing adoption of smart home products that can communicate with Alexa or Google Home. Amazon now owns Ring and Google owns Nest, so both companies are poised to finish what they started — building a full array of smart home systems, from lighting to thermostats, cameras, doorbells and leak sensors. With the riches possessed by both companies, however, one wonders why the companies haven’t moved more quickly to acquire these missing pieces. Perhaps it is only a matter of time.
Disney’s new CEO leaves analysts questioning
On Tuesday, Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, announced his resignation and appointment of Bob Chapek, head of amusement parks, as his replacement. The announcement puzzled analysts who have heard, for the past several years, that Disney’s future is all about streaming video, suggesting that head of Disney streaming, Kevin Mayer, would be tapped for the top job. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: The selection was unexpected, but perhaps the toughest job in the room is keeping the magic that is Disney, continuing. The video business is critical to Disney’s future, but what makes the company special is imagination and imaginative content, and perhaps the way to keep imaginations blooming is through the man who kept the theme parks imaginative and fresh.
Home videoconferencing technologies are improving
Share prices for videoconferencing software companies are on the rise, thanks to coronavirus. But the increase in videoconferencing started way before the virus. Gartner Research says that more than 50 percent of global employees will work remotely, on occasion this year, compared to 20 percent in 2016. The result is more software choices, but also better features, such as shared whiteboards, the ability to choose from a variety of backdrops, and even technology from Microsoft that makes you appear to be looking into the camera even when you are surfing Instagram. Wired
dis-rup-shun: The efficiencies of remote work are proving effective, as forming specialized work groups seems to be ever more important in today’s global, connected economies. The industries clobbered are likely the relocation companies: moving vans, corporate apartments and the like, as the reasons for relocating for work are fewer, at least for specialized knowledge workers.