5G: the end of home Internet frustration

Cable alternatives coming soon

Many people complain about sporadic Internet and Wi-Fi service at home, and many people have only one or two broadband provider options. Wireless carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint/T-Mobile will soon be viable options for home broadband, providing a wireless 5G modem to replace your cable box or home router. 5G provides wireless data service at speeds of 1 to 1.8Gbps through a small modem attached to the side of your home or apartment. CNet

dis-rup-shun: 5G will be a game-changer in that it will increase the number of carriers competing for your home broadband service. Current equipment fees are high, but the service does not rely on wiring from the street to your home, so in theory, infrastructure is less expensive. Streaming Netflix and listening to Pandora on multiple devices should be easy and fast, as capacity exceeds most current broadband modems. Expect to see the traditional carriers offer some great deals to keep you from switching when 5G rollout starts on a broad scale.

Toyota using Olympics to showcase future of transportation

Toyota will use the 2020 Tokyo summer Olympics to showcase new vehicle concepts, from scooters, to people movers, to electric cars. 3700 vehicles will be provided for the event, 850 will be electric. Toyota’s early lead in electric cars has been obscured by luxury models from Tesla, GM and others, but will release six new electric models in the next five years. The Verge

dis-rup-shun: As Gen Zers are not buying cars at the rate of their predecessors, auto makers are getting aggressive about redefining their business. The rise of electric, autonomous, green, ride sharing, and the high cost of ownership are hammering traditional car buying habits, and Toyota and others are in the process of redefining their roles as providers of conveyance, not just automakers.

LinkedIn training non-technical workers to become coders

There are nearly 500,000 unfilled computer programmer jobs in the U.S. The U.S. immigration policies have increased the talent deficit since 2017. LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, has initiated training programs and is recruiting workers from the food service industry, veterans and mothers, to help solve the labor shortage. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: AI is changing the economy, eliminating many jobs but increasing the demand for technical skills. The impact of AI, named by some, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, requires new methods of training, educating and managing work forces. Companies such as LinkedIn that are proactive in re-training work forces, will have a competitive advantage as knowledge worker scarcity increases. Expect companies that re-train new employees to have higher retention, reversing the trend of shorter employee engagements and frequent job hopping.

Ford adds sensors to create the safer scooter

Ford’s Spin electric scooter company is adding sensors to scooters for a year long experiment at Virginia Tech. The year long project is designed to collect data on how people use scooters and how they get hurt. The outcome will determine what changes need to be made to scooters, sidewalks and laws to make the two-wheeling a mainstream mode of transportation. Wired

dis-rup-shun: People are turning to many substitutes for owning cars, and automakers such as Ford are determined to reinvent their products accordingly. Ford performed enough research on the Purdue campus in 2018 to justify a $100 million acquisition of Spin. Expect the product lines of the big three automakers to be highly diversified by 2023.

Walmart discovers $10 billion app

Walmart misstep turns to $10 billion gain

Walmart, in an acquisition questioned by many, acquired, for $17 billion, an Indian e-tailing company, Flipkart. Last year’s acquisition was seen as a misstep given vast cultural differences between the companies and Walmart’s distance behind Amazon in e-commerce. Recently, however, Walmart discovered that the acquisition’s subsidiary, payment app PhonePe, has experienced 77% growth in the past year. The payments company is riding atop of rapid growth of Indian consumer use of payment apps. ZDNet

dis-rup-shun: Walmart needs a little luck as it struggles to catch Amazon in the online retailing race, but finding it has control of one of the fastest growing payment apps in India could open new lines of business for the company that has mostly struggled to gain traction outside of North America. As mobile payment apps quickly become preferred forms of commerce outside of the U.S., Walmart can build on its strong position in India.

Attorney General Barr decides to take on Big Tech

After a number of controversial testimonies, the U.S. Attorney General has decided to investigate if Big Tech has become anti-competitive. Stock prices of Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Apple fell 1% in extended trading. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: If the determination of anti-competitive is having a “dominant market position,” then Google search dominance will be a problem, as will Facebook’s dominance in social networking with not only its Flagship, but its owned subsidiaries of Instagram and WhatsApp. Amazon’s domination of ecommerce will be hard to dispute.

Honeywell T9 smart thermostat full on features, light on design

Resideo’s newest smart thermostat, branded Honeywell T9, has remote sensors that go beyond Nest and Ecobee by measuring both temperature, presence and humidity. Despite the strong feature set, the device lacks the sleek industrial design of leading competitors. The Verge

dis-rup-shun: Despite Honeywell being the best recognized brand in residential HVAC controls, it has struggled to grasp the importance of cutting edge design and to shake off its industrial heritage. As the smart home struggles to move from Early Adopter to Early Majority, engaging the young professional, tech savvy buyer who considers aesthetics as important as features, is critical and appears even more important than brand recognition.

Electric Ford F-150 pulls a train

Ford sold 1.1 million F-150 pickup trucks last year. The company released a video showing a prototype electric F-150 pulling a train load of F-150s (42 trucks). Ford believes that consumers perceive EVs to have less power, hence the towing demonstration. Ars Technica

dis-rup-shun: Global share of electric vehicles of all vehicles was up 54% in 2017, and is expected by Statista to make up 14% of all U.S. vehicles sold by 2025. Government policies, providing incentives for electric car buyers, has been critical to sales growth. Now car makers are offering some exciting electric options. Expect ride sharing apps to offer an electric vehicle option, as soon as there are enough on the road to enter the ride share pool.