Category: Social computing

Amazon Echo Spot heads to Australia

More smart speakers are heading to this part of the world. Amazon has announced that the Echo Spot is ready for pre-order in Australia.

7-minute grace

whatsapp-logo

Ever sent a WhatsApp message only to wish that you could delete it later? Or have you ever sent a message to a wrong chat? Well, it looks like you’re not alone because WhatsApp has introduced a delete function that lets users delete messages within seven minutes of sending.

This seven-minute grace could be a face- or even life-saver for those moments when we hit sent too quickly.

Delete only works if both the sender and recipient are using the latest version of WhatsApp for Android, iPhone or Windows Phone.

E-commerce to account for a quarter of retail sales by 2025

Greater internet and mobile device accessibility are driving e-commerce growth in Southeast Asia.

According to ABI Research, Smart Retail has gone through revolutionary changes in the past 10 years and will exponentially continue to do so going forward.  Brick and mortar stores are no longer the only option for consumers across the globe to make their everyday purchases, due to significant advancements in technology, both in-store and online.

Key players include Senion, who implements some of the world’s largest Indoor Positioning System (IPS) solutions to enhance in-store experiences, and AisleLabs who provides shopper traffic behavior analytics to help retailers optimise store layouts.  Leading POS software vendors, Shopkeep and Square are allowing retailers to sell across multi-channels from a single platform. These and other key vendors are paving paths to making the offline and online worlds seamless experiences.

Deeper into AI

The keynote address at Google I/O yesterday showed that Google is much more than just a search company. It is becoming more artificial intelligence (AI). Google is specifically using deep learning to help in many areas of everyday life.

 

Here are some as shared on Google’s blog post:

Google Assistant can help answer your questions and find information—but it can also help you get all kinds of useful things done. Today we’re adding a few more:

  • Schedule new calendar appointments and create reminders. Starting today on Google Home, you can schedule appointments and soon you’ll also be able to add reminders. Since it’s the same Google Assistant across devices, you’ll be able to get a reminder at home or on the go.
  • Make your home smarter. We now have 70+ smart home partners supporting the Google Assistant across Google Home and Android phones, including August locks, TP-Link, Honeywell, Logitech, and LG.

Caffe2, anyone?

Facebook is developing new artificial intelligent (AI) systems to help manage the vast amount of information — such as text, images and videos — generated daily so people can better understand the world and communicate more effectively, even as the volume of information increases.

It has worked with NVIDIA on Caffe2, a new AI deep learning framework that allows developers and researchers to create large-scale distributed training scenarios and build machine learning applications for edge devices.

Providing AI-powered services on mobile is a complex data processing task that must happen within the blink of an eye. Increasingly, the processing of lightning-fast AI services requires GPU-accelerated computing, such as that offered by Facebook’s Big Basin servers, as well as highly optimised deep learning software that can leverage the full capability of the accelerated hardware.

1 in 5 user interaction with smartphone will be via VPAs in 2019

google-nowAdvances in various technologies will drive users to interact with their smartphones in more intuitive ways, said Gartner. It expect that, by 2019, 20 percent of all user interactions with the smartphone will take place via virtual personal assistants (VPAs).

“The role of interactions will intensify through the growing popularity of VPAs among smartphone users and conversations made with smart machines,” said Annette Zimmermann, Research Director of Gartner.

Gartner’s annual mobile apps survey conducted in Q4 among 3,021 consumers across three countries (US, UK and China) found that 42 percent of respondents in the US and 32 percent in the UK used VPAs on their smartphones in the last three months. More than 37 percent of respondents (average across US and UK) used a VPA at least one or more times a day.

Move aside content. Culture is king!

20161110_094140_1478850013151In the age of the Internet, it is widely believed that content is king.

However, US strategist and serial entreprenuer Richard Nash (above) thinks otherwise. He believes that the 21st century will be about sorting demand and culture is king, not content.

At his keynote address at StoryDrive Asia, Nash said the book publishing industry should start modelling itself as a service, rather than a manufacturing business.

Computex introduces InnoVEX to showcase ICT and IoT innovators

InnoVEXComputex will introduce InnoVEX, a platform to showcase infocomm technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) innovators. Around 170 startups from 17 countries have already signed up to showcase their latest innovative products and services.

At InnoVEX, along with out-of-the-box, open booths and networking spaces, a wide range of events designed to maximise innovative, technological, and investment exchanges to help startups succeed, including forums, demos, matchmaking, networking events, and pitch contests with a cash prize of US$30,000.

The show will be held at Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC) Exhibition Hall 3 from May 31 to June 2. Diverse activities such as keynote speech, forums, demo, pitch contest, and networking parties will be held throughout the show.

Facebook detaches Messenger

Facebook DislikeMessaging on Facebook will become a little more inconvenient as Messenger will become a separate app from Facebook app. This means that messaging will no longer be possible with the Facebook app.

Here’s what Facebook just sent:

We wanted to let you know that messages are moving out of the Facebook app to our Messenger app, a free app that’s faster and more reliable for everyday messaging. Messenger also includes new ways to send photos and videos, voice calls, stickers, group conversations and more.

Mobile data to overtake voice in Malaysia in 2017

IDCMobile data is expected to bring in more revenue than mobile voice in Malaysia in 2017, according to IDC.
Despite the penetration rate of Malaysian mobile users exceeding 140 percent and high prepaid-postpaid ratio, mobile operators have still been able to maintain their revenue growth. Total revenue has grown by 35 percent in the last three years, and IDC expects the revenue to continue to grow to RM27.6 billion in 2018 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.6 percent.
“Mobile data revenue will continue to grow strongly at CAGR of 8.5 percent and become the main driver of the total mobile revenue in the next five years,” said Alfie Amir, Research Manager of Telecommunications at IDC Malaysia.

GSMA and Facebook to connect the unconnected

GSMAGSMA and Facebook have announced a joint initiative to connect billions of men and women globally who currently have no access to Internet-based communications services. The initiative will focus on reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of mobile, given that mobile will be the enabling technology for the vast majority of people in developing markets.

The activities undertaken by GSMA and Facebook will entail working with governments in developing markets to address key factors that have an impact on affordability and availability. The partnership will focus on creating a sustainable environment to incentivise mobile infrastructure investment and usage, as well as eliminating or reducing existing mobile-specific taxation or refraining from imposing new such tax regimes.

Together, GSMA and Facebook will address a range of other issues that will improve affordability and help to connect the world’s population to the Internet, such as maximising the availability of harmonised spectrum to drive mobile broadband adoption; evaluating the establishment of local Internet Exchange Points; fostering the development of local Internet content; and examining the effectiveness of Universal Service Funds.

Target: Silver surfers

GartnerThe Baby Boomer generation is unlike any other. More technologically advanced, savvy and adaptable, they have been blessed with a slew of technologies and are not afraid to use them — for work and play.

Such is their influence that Gartner has note that silver surfers represent a more important technology market than Generation X and Generation Y.

Gartner Vice President and Fellow David Furlonger pointed out that with an aging population in many mature and emerging markets, technologists, designers and marketers must refocus to seize this crucial opportunity.

Gartner: Top 10 strategic technology trends for 2014

Gartner3D printing, personal cloud, the Internet of Everything — these buzzwords today are expected to be among the top 10 strategic technology trends next year, according to Gartner.

Gartner defines a strategic technology as one with the potential for significant impact on the enterprise in the next three years. Factors that denote significant impact include a high potential for disruption to IT or the business, the need for a major dollar investment, or the risk of being late to adopt.

A strategic technology may be an existing technology that has matured and/or become suitable for a wider range of uses. It may also be an emerging technology that offers an opportunity for strategic business advantage for early adopters or with potential for significant market disruption in the next five years. These technologies impact the organisation’s long-term plans, programs and initiatives.

Android mobile app revenue to hit US$6.8b this year

AndroidAndroid’s smartphone mobile app revenues are projected to reach almost US$6.8 billion by the end of 2013, nearly doubling its revenues from the previous year, according to ABI Research.

The Android platform has some way to go before catching iOS’s smartphone revenues but the smartphone app market will be Android’s most fruitful hunting ground compared to other devices.

ABI Research estimates that Android smartphone app revenues will increase from 59.1 percent to 65.9 percent when compared to iOS smartphone app revenues over the next 12 months.

WeChat soars past 100m registered users milestone

WeChat infographicWeChat has surpassed the 100 million registered user account milestone. That’s remarkable considering the strong competition it is up against.

In the last three months, it doubled its registered user account base reaching the 100 million milestone shortly after an independent survey found that the platform was the fifth most used smartphone app worldwide.  

Since its international debut, WeChat has been well received in Asia, quickly becoming the most popular mobile social app in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia across multiple smartphone OS platforms, where the user base has recently gained tremendous growth. 

Gartner adjusts worldwide IT spending projection downwards to 2% growth this year

GartnerGartner has adjusted its worldwide IT spending forecast for 2013 downwards to US$3.7 trillion in 2013. Last quarter, the research firm predicted a 4,1 percent increase compared to 2012 but that projection has been sliced by half to 2 percent. This reduction takes into account the impact of recent fluctuations in US dollar exchange rates. 

The Gartner Worldwide IT Spending Forecast is the a leading indicator of major technology trends across the hardware, software, IT services and telecom markets. For more than a decade, global IT and business executives have been using these highly anticipated quarterly reports to recognise market opportunities and challenges, and base their critical business decisions on proven methodologies rather than guesswork.

“Exchange rate movements, and a reduction in our 2013 forecast for devices, account for the bulk of the downward revision of the 2013 growth,” said Richard Gordon, Managing Vice President at Gartner.

Gartner: Worldwide PC, tablet and mobile phone shipments to grow 5.9% in 2013

GartnerCombined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are projected to reach 2.35 billion units in 2013, a 5.9 percent increase from 2012, according to Gartner. The market is being driven by sales in tablets, smartphones and to a lesser extent, ultramobiles, as PC shipments are on the decline.

Worldwide traditional PC (desk-based and notebook) shipments are forecast to total 305 million units in 2013, a 10.6 percent decline from 2012 , while the PC market including ultramobiles is forecast to decline 7.3 percent in 2013. Tablet shipments are expected to grow 67.9 percent, with shipments reaching 202 million units, while the mobile phone market will grow 4.3 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units.

The sharp decline in PC sales recorded in Q1 was the result in a change in preferences in consumers’ wants and needs, but also an adjustment in the channel to make room for new products hitting the market in the second half of 2013.