Peloton revenues surge 66%

Peloton revenues up 66% as online fitness booms

The online biking and fitness company has expanded from spin classes to treadmill classes to bootcamp, crossfit, running and many other fitness activities. Last month it hosted a class with 23,000 participants. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: If you haven’t tried this COVID winner, you will find that the quality of the workouts is as good as any expensive exercise studio in town, save for the camaraderie. Peloton’s short-term success will put a long-term dent in fitness clubs. Fitness clubs will need to emphasize and promote personal training, as classes at home are as good as at the club.

Microsoft unveils more Surface options including earbuds

Microsoft continues to refine its Surface line, with additional units and accessories, including a docking station, upgraded headphones and new earbuds. Microsoft’s high quality hardware line gets stronger in the midst of slumping PC sales. Wired

dis-rup-shun: While the economy is in shambles, higher-end technology companies are seeing strong demand for quality products among those that are spending an extraordinary amount of time on screens at home. Microsoft continues to compete well with its biggest customers, such as Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer and others. The big PC makers will need to continue to find ways to expand into consumer electronics — something they have failed to do many times, as the PC business continues to mature and as Microsoft and Apple continue to carve out strong shares.

Best online games to play with friends during lockdown

CNET reviews the top online games to keep us entertained during lock down. Some favorites include Jackbox Games — easy online games, the Escape Game — the best virtual escape room, Tabletopia — the best online board games, Houseparty — best mobile games, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons for a hang-out activity.

dis-rup-shun: Two ironic truths of the lockdown are that, one, technology is bringing us community, and two, our sense of community has strengthened. These are generalizations, but it is safe to say that our pre-COVID fears that out culture was unraveling in part due to people’s immersions into their small screen has reversed. Screens are now the conduit for maintaining and even deepening our communities, and casual gaming together is a new way to have fun together.

Smart home platform Wink abruptly shifts to subscription model

Wink, the smart home hub with much promise, purchased by will.i.am in 2017, has stated that due to economic conditions, the company will now charge a monthly fee of $4.99 to subscribers who wish for their hub to continue operating.

dis-rup-shun: The smart home business is a tough one — requiring players to have deep pockets in order to make complicated business models pay off over time. The upside to the category has always been the ability to charge a monthly fee in exchange for a valued service, as just selling hardware works only for a few very efficient companies. will.i.am will be better served at less complicated ventures.

 

 

 

Is an uptick in PC sales an economic indicator?

PC sales are up, maybe

PC sales have been slowing as users rely on smartphones and tablets, but both IDC and Gartner analysts report an increase in PCs. IDC reports an increase of 4.7% and Gartner 1.5%. The firms have very different definitions of what is a PC. IDC counts Chromebooks but not Microsoft Surface Tablets. Gartner does not count Chromebooks, but does count Surface products. ArsTechnica

dis-rup-shun: Microsoft Surface has single-handedly brought a fringe of users who were Mac users but not in love with the MacOS back into the Windows fold. Surface is cool enough that a user can walk into a conference room in Silicon Valley and not receive the usual taunts from the Mac glitterati. Surface devices, except for the Go units, have keyboards and Chromebooks, which don’t run Microsoft software, have keyboards and are hinged. That said, PC growth is fueled by classroom success of Chromebooks and by the excellent design of Surface.

HeroLabs helps fight homeowners biggest enemy: water damage

HeroLabs, a UK startup, is developing Sonic – a water leak detector that attaches to pipes inside the house (underneath the kitchen sink) and “listens” for water movements throughout the home to identify leaks. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: As leaks are the biggest cause of insurance claims, cost effective, easy-to-install leak detection systems are theoretically more likely to gain a discount from insurance providers than a home security system. Even more, leak detectors that are connected to the cloud could be monitored by insurance providers, as those providers are the ones responsible for paying claims when water damage occurs. Expect property and casualty providers to be big players in smart home technologies.

Facebook attempts to explain Libra to Congress

The Libra Association has been summoned to Congress to explain the currency. The sophisticated crypto currency will be based in Switzerland and will conform to international monetary rules and will not compete or interfere with governments’ fiscal policies, the pre-released testimony states. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Congress has a tough challenge in that it must understand the impact, risks, and benefits of Libra or rely on consultants that do in order to properly respond, regulate, limit or prohibit the new venture. Like the rise of Uber, Libra will move far more quickly than legislators and will continue to redefine the rules of the monetary system. World governments need to rapidly understand from what dangers it must protect its own monetary systems.