Former Apple employees start a smart lock business
Level Lock is the latest entry into the smart lock business. The founders are former Apple employees who envision a smart lock that can be controlled by an app, by smart speakers such as Alexa, can be included into home automation scenarios, can be unlocked with a code texted to someone, and is backed by Walmart and Lennar homes. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: A few former Apple employees leave the company to create a far better version of an everyday household product that will sell for a premium. If the story sounds familiar, it is the story of Nest, which was quickly gobbled up by Google for $3.2 billion. Level Lock sounds like a great sequel, but this time big investors like Walmart and Lennar lined up early, possibly to keep the company from being swallowed up by Amazon or Google, or big lock makers such as Assa Abloy or Spectrum, who purchased August Lock and Kevo, respectively. Add in the growth of the AirBnB rental economy plus the rising demands of home health care, in which strangers will frequently enter homes, and the timing is good for Level Lock.
Google’s hardware party
Google unveiled several new products at a launch event in NYC. The new products include:
Pixel 4 Phone – selling for $799 or $899 for the XL version, implements a better camera, facial recognition technology, and gesture control.
Pixel Buds – Google’s answer to Apple’s AirPods, featuring BlueTooth distance of a football field or three rooms inside a building.
Pixelbook Go – starting at $649, is a souped up Chromebook that provides more memory and more processor for those that can live on a cloud based computing device.
Nest Mini (re-branding of the Google Mini smart speaker) – is $50, smaller, comes in bright colors, can serve as a home intercom, music player, or can be used to call people on their phones.
Nest Wi-Fi Router — priced at $269 for 2 or $349 for 3, are colorful small devices that spread Wi-Fi signal throughout the home by creating a mesh network. Wired
dis-rup-shun: Google’s hardware rollout has been, to date, a bit disjointed and it has definitely made some heavy handed moves with its integration of Nest products into the Google mothership. It is hard for the Big Tech companies to be all things, but it appears that they are all trying, with even Facebook now in the hardware business. Given the close relationship between devices and services, first manifest in the iPod and iTunes, it seems that each Big Tech company needs to ensure that its services will have a device home by building its own hardware. The dream of open systems in which any hardware device can run any software or service app (like an AM/FM radio or a WinTel PC) is once again under fire, as companies race to own complete product ecosystems.
TytoCare is a home health device that includes the doctor
TytoCare is a multi-purpose tool about the size of an orange, with multiple attachments to enable one to perform simple at home health tests. Tests include ear exam, heart rate measurement, temperature, lung and throat exams. The app connects the device to a doctor, who can either remotely take over the exam, or who can read data from the just-performed exam and make a diagnosis, including prescribing medicine. BestBuy Studio @ Gizmodo
dis-rup-shun: When the first in-home thermometers were sold, people must have felt they were on the threshold of a technology breakthrough. Tyto is the new home thermometer, and for those with young children, the convenience is astounding. Devices like Tyto will contribute to the demise of the family doctor, who will now be bypassed by the rotating crew of corporate doctors at the other end of the TytoCare app. As mentioned previously, these new business models will make it easier for doctors to thrive in the world of expensive office rents, equipment and insurance.
Flexera survey spells trouble for enterprise IT providers
A study of anticipated IT spending shows that as computing moves to the cloud, makers of enterprise premise software, namely Oracle and IBM, may be big losers. ZDNet
dis-rup-shun: Migration to the cloud is no secret, and a trend that started a handful of years ago. But legacy software and services providers may not have moved quickly enough to stem the rush of revenues to big cloud providers such as AWS, Microsoft and Google. What is not measured by Flexera is the fallout to IT consulting shops such as Accenture, HPE, Deloitte, etc. whose businesses may be under pressure from cloud companies who are good at packaging solutions with their cloud services. Why would an enterprise pay Accenture hundreds of thousands for a custom implementation when AWS could offer similar solutions-as-a-service rolled into the cost of computing time and data storage fees? It’s a fast changing landscape.