Facebook amps up the cloud gaming race

Facebook launches cloud games but not on IOS

Facebook is joining Google, Microsoft and others with a cloud gaming offering. Facebook’s offering, however, does not require controllers and does not offer a console-like experience. The offering will likely increase the appeal of gaming within Facebook, but is not supported on IOS, given Apple’s app policies. The feud between Facebook and Apple originated with Tim Cook’s remarks about Facebook’s privacy policies, and continues as Facebook joins the growing parties of companies objecting to Apple’s control of commerce via the App Store. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Companies are jumping on the anti-trust bandwagon, trying to seize an opportunity to crack Apple and Google’s hold on all things app. The situation, however, is more interesting when Facebook, one of Congress’ targets for reform, is adding fuel to the fire. Will Apple escalate issues by furthering its criticism of Facebook’s security policies, and will the feud accelerate legislative actions? The infighting among BigTech companies will hasten needed legislative actions. Meanwhile, every tech giant will soon have its cloud gaming offering, making it difficult for customers, regardless of their price/performance preferences, to resist playing games at some point in their week.

London Tube deploys UV technology to clean surfaces

London’s Transit for London authorities have outfitted multiple locations with UV-light based cleaning devices that sanitize handrails on escalators. The authority states that trials of the technology show that it reduces germs on handrails by 50%. UV light is projected on handrails at one point in their circular rotation, keeping them constantly treated.  CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Public spaces will never be the same after COVID-19, and London is taking action to make spaces safer — not just from COVID-19 — but from germs carried and transmitted through touch.

Tips for a telemedicine future

Telemedicine is likely a part of your future. While most people will continue in-person doctor visits, these visits will likely be augmented by telemedicine appointments. Telemedicine provides an opportunity for patients to centralize their care information in one place, as providing a list of medications, contacts and health history will increasingly be the responsibility of the patient, not the doctor. This information will enable different care professionals and specialists, to be included in a remote care model. Wired

dis-rup-shun: Telemedicine will enable participation by multiple specialists, in many parts of the world, to be involved in the care process, and moving from a model in which a primary physician is the central point of one’s health care journey to one in which the patient is his or her own advocate will not happen for some. But for the masses who will be challenged with ever rising prices for shrinking coverage, movement to more cost effective care models will likely involve shopping for telemedicine suppliers and presenting one’s own case to chosen providers.

Bissell SpinWave is a robotic mop and vacuum

The evolution of robot vacuums continues, and Bissell’s $250 SpinWave combines mopping capabilities with vacuuming. The device looks much like a Roomba but includes two spinning cloth mops and a water tank in the unit. CNET

dis-rup-shun: For the price, these devices are helpful with regular maintenance, but technology has a way to go before replacing elbow grease. Expect robotic home cleaners to be a household mainstay in five years, but until then, they are nice-to-have additions to heavy duty vacuum cleaners, mops and brooms.

BigTech increasing presence in wallets

BigTech gaining increasing share of wallets

Tech firms have been seeking to replace our wallets with electronic payment methods which are very popular in many countries, but slow to catch on in the U.S. Apple’s credit card, along with payment services from Google and Samsung are increasingly accepted and 15% of Starbucks orders are now mobile.  McKinsey found, in a 2019 survey, that only 35% of people trust Facebook to handle their finances, compared with more than 50% who trust Apple and 65% trust Amazon. BigTech firms know that direct access to consumer spending data is a treasure trove of marketable information. CNET

dis-rup-shun: Banks are sitting ducks. While BigTech cannot take over all capabilities of banks, and while banks exist under charters issued, in the U.S., by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), many of their services will disappear. BigTech will take more transaction fees, annual membership fees, small loans, and yet to be created financial services. Currently big banks are forming close relationships with BigTech, which is a competitive strategy, but will also accelerate the displacement of traditional banking as tech firms acquire both ownership and knowledge of the industry.

Facebook accelerates gaming with dedicated app

Facebook is launching a dedicated app, Facebook Gaming, that allows users to watch live game play or to share live their own game playing. This release is timely, given the uptick in gaming as a result of the global pandemic. The app positions Facebook against live game playing platforms of YouTube, Amazon’s Twitch, and Microsoft’s Mixer. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Game playing is up by more than 20%, according to some sources, and Facebook is simply accelerating a plan that was already in testing in Asia. Facebook continues its wise moves to diversify and enrich its platform, as the core service is mature and losing many of its followers to alternative social media platforms that are seen as more trendy and relevant, as Facebook becomes, for millennials, like the phone book of their parents’ generation.

Apple Music now available without iTunes

Apple Music is now competing with Spotify, allowing streaming directly from a web browser for those with a paid subscription. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: We can thank Apple for reinventing the music business and igniting a round of innovation with the coupling of iTunes and the iPod. Apple, however, botched iTunes and the Apple experience when it made moving and authorizing owned music from device to device, complex. Apple’s failure to keep iTunes as the most friendly music experience pushed consumers to streaming platforms such as Real Audio, Pandora, Spotify and many other competitors. Now Apple is doubling down on services and trying to capture more of the market it gave away a decade ago.

Mendel air sensor critical for indoor growers

Mendel has manufactured a $99 air sensor that tracks temperature, humidity, VPD, and Lux (lumens). Data is refreshed every 15 minutes and displayed on an app. Mendel, reportedly, was encouraged to develop this technology by cannabis growers whose margins are thin and investments high. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Self-sustainability is more interesting than ever, with trips to the grocery store being dangerous and disappointing as a number of products, including produce, in short supply. Growing things indoors is challenging and the air sensor critical. With large numbers of people entering the cannabis business, demand for “smart gardening” products will remain strong.