Connected kitchen dead on arrival (so far)

Connected kitchen is a total miss, according to accomplished cook

So far the connected kitchen has consisted of appliances with fewer physical controls, augmented with Bluetooth and an app. Wired’s Joe Ray states that the problem with smart kitchen gadgets is that they don’t cater to cook’s needs for instant and constant adjustment. The kitchen, he says, is a place where creativity and craftsmanship trump algorithms and automation.

dis-rup-shun: Just automating existing devices is an unfortunate temptation by device makers. Adding highly valued non-existent functionality to kitchen devices is the path to value and customer delight. Device makers should focus on millennials and Gen Xers who have not yet developed kitchen skills, redefining the tools and spaces required to create great food quickly. Companies should emulate the success of Peloton’s exercise bike and top instructor model to bring pros into the kitchen and to create a support network of millions of other novice cooks.

Peloton, to be valued at $8 billion, redefines the home exercise market

Peloton to go public this week to raise $1.16 billion, following $994 million raised through venture capital. The Peloton network has the support of 1.4 million members and a cult like following that has made its trainers celebrities. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Peloton has done a fair job of creating attractive and adequate quality stationary bikes, but has nailed content production, combining strong, attractive personalities with great photography, music, and an interactive network of members. While the company is a long way from profitability, its platform is primed to sell products such as exercise apparel, supplements, other exercise machines, and even premium programming. Expect a very successful IPO and a long line of imitators.

Interlogix — long a provider of basic home security — quits

Interlogix, purchased by UTC from GE, will cease operations by the end of this year. The company that had 11% of the market only two years has lost its place in the market. Security Infowatch.com

dis-rup-shun: The home security industry has forever been changed by sophisticated, well-price home automation, and by DIY products that promise peace of mind. With somewhere around 75% of U.S. households without security, the opportunity for low cost, high functioning devices to win a share of the space is increasing. While many channels are pursuing this opportunity, it is clear that security and home automation are inextricable, and companies such as Interlogix who are not leaders in AI and home automation have no place in new security households.

Apple cuts corners on charger for iPhone 11

The iPhone 11 is far less expensive than the Pro or Pro Max, which arrive this Friday. The low priced iPhone, however, ships with a 5 watt charger, rather than the 18 watt charger included with the more expensive units. With an after market 18 watt charger, at the cost of $50 (charger and cable), the iPhone 11 can fully charge in slightly over an hour, an important feature new to the 11 family. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Fast charging is highly valued by consumers. Samsung took the lead on making wireless PowerShare a differentiating feature of the Galaxy S10. Apple will recoup a fair amount of revenues from those that decided to buy the low cost iPhone 11 after they buy Apple accessories — using a time honored tactic of offering lower end models and charging a premium for “dealer add-ons.” Expect to see more of these tactics with consumer electronics as many categories approach maturity.

ATMs of the future recognize your face

ATMs in Japan use facial recognition, QR codes and AI

NEC’s new line of ATMs are more secure and efficient, in terms of power consumption, self-diagnostics, and currency requirements. The devices authenticate users with facial recognition, then send a QR code to the customer’s smart phone that serves as the key to the transaction. AI tracks the patterns of customers and anticipates currency requirements, while better managing the power requirements of the cash dispensers. Enterprise IOT Insights

dis-rup-shun: Efficiencies will be another benefit of machine learning in everyday devices — anticipating needed maintenance and supplies (like cash). The idea of sending users a unique token for each transaction — in this case a QR code — increases security, making it tough to rob someone’s account without both their face and their smartphone (and fingerprint). Expect to see these technologies in global ATMs in the 2021 and 2022 time frames.

Verizon will bring 5G Home Internet to U.S. cities

Verizon announced that wherever it offers mobile 5G (for your smartphone and your car), it will offer 5G home Internet (replacing your home router). Initially priced at $70 per month, the service will provide really fast service for not much more than people are paying now. Ars Technica

dis-rup-shun: Today, your Internet provider has to drop a line to your home and install a router. Despite the rapid pace of technical innovation, you don’t get an updated router unless you complain, or until you have had it for five or six years. With 5G Internet, your provider just ships a modem to your home and you plug it in, and you have Internet speeds only offered by a few wired modems today. It costs the provider less to provision, and gives you the latest technology. While not likely to be available in rural areas, 5G will make access points in cities super fast, and competition from AT&T and T-Mobile/Sprint will keep prices down. Cable modem-based services from vendors like Comcast will reportedly brand Verizon’s service as their 5G option.

Spain, SEAT and Telefonica leverage drones, 5G for safety

Spanish government agencies, along with car maker SEAT and Telefonica, have proposed and are testing a system to alert drivers of dangers on the road. Using a drone to spot road hazards and 5G to link cars to the cloud, drivers will be informed of hazards before they reach them. Enterprise IOT Insights

dis-rup-shun: The applications for 5G are almost unlimited, and connecting cars will be a major driver for 5G. For safety applications such as this, the question is who will pay for them? As the feature will initially be available only to owners of cars made by SEAT (a subsidiary of Volkswagen), it is unlikely that Spain’s government will cover the cost, and phone company Telefonica will not. At some point, auto customers will be accustomed to paying a monthly connection fee for cars, and perhaps this is best rolled into the cost of the new car so customers will not object to one more monthly fee.

Apple’s low price iPhone 11 selling well in China

Despite the recent struggles between China and the U.S., China’s initial orders for the low cost iPhone 11 are strong. Apple’s shipments to China dropped 14% in Q2 of this year, so Apple needs a win with the new generation of iPhones. Of all pre-orders through a Chinese Apple reseller, 60% were for the lower priced model. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Smartphone sales are a global economic indicator, and Apple’s sales have sputtered in 2019. Given that the flagship models are priced at more than $1000, the handset refresh cycle has slowed. Apple has wisely decided not to cede the mid-market to competitors and is fighting for relevance in this larger market. It is important to see the world’s leading consumer tech company keep sales strong.

The mobile revolution has ended

The skinny on iPhone 11

Rumors are piling up and it appears that all four new iPhone 11 models will be released on September 10th. The iPhone 11’s will feature three cameras on the back, including one wide-angle lens, and one on the front that is capable of slow motion. The phones feature Apple’s A13 processor and will again have touch ID. ZDNet

dis-rup-shun: As if Moore’s law has come to an end, innovation in smartphones is now painfully minor. Apple has not been as creative as Samsung when it offered capability to charge others’ devices, but, like Samsung, is making its largest strides in better camera technology. Sadly, the mobile technology revolution has ended, with only incremental feature improvements and processor improvements. What will be the next technology to truly alter our society and culture?

Google smart speakers fall to third place worldwide

A report by Canalys confirms that Amazon’s Alexa devices are well ahead of the pack, shipping 6.6 million units last quarter, with 50% being outside the U.S. China’s Baidu has taken second place, slightly ahead of Google, but focused mostly on the China market. Its annual growth rate of 3700% was the result of deep discounting, while Google’s -19.8% growth is attributed to the company’s questionable efforts to revamp its partner program.

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dis-rup-shun: 26 million units shipped in one quarter, meaning a year’s worth of sales will be over 100 million, and the number of households in the U.S. alone is 130 million. In a few year’s time, nearly half of the world’s broadband households will have a smart speaker meaning that the same number of homes potentially have a smart home hub, capable of controlling lights, temperature, entertainment devices and appliances.

Quick facts about smartphone batteries

Wired offers the keys to smartphone battery longevity. 1. Top off the charge every day instead of letting the battery go to zero power. 2. Avoid exposing your phone to extreme temperatures. 3. Use a corded battery charger that applies a slow, steady charge, rather than rapid wireless chargers. 4. If you aren’t going to use your phone for a while, leave it partially charged – not full. 5. Keep your smartphone software up to date, as each new version has better battery management features. 6. Make adjustments to your apps, such as brightness, to use less power.

dis-rup-shun: As people hold on to smartphones longer, battery health is even more important to device longevity. Apple is now making it difficult for non-Apple authorized service centers to replace batteries, as a software lock is shipped on new iPhones, and once you take your older phone to the Apple store, chances are good that you won’t resist the urge to upgrade the device, rather than keeping it for the extra year.

Disney declares streaming war on Netflix

Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+, offers more features for less money than Netflix. Priced at $6.99 per month, the service provides HD and a rich library of content, compared to Netflix’ $8.99 without HD. Disney’s broader bundle adds ESPN+ and (ad supported) Hulu to the mix for the same price as Netflix’ HD bundle, $12.99. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: The TV landscape is a bloodbath. AT&T’s TV services lost over 2 million subscribers in the past year. The giant realignment of networks, carriers and studios, including AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner, is notice that traditional TV providers will not cede the markets to upstarts Amazon Prime and Netflix, but will hemorrhage money to maintain market share. Netflix, spending mightily to create new content, does not have the distribution channels of Disney and therefore will not earn as much on original content as established studios. Expect Netflix to be acquired by one of the establish entertainment networks within three years.