Category: Social computing

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.

Huawei introduces MediaPad 7 Vogue

When Samsung launched the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note in October 2011, critics scorned at the size of the phablet and wondered if people would actually buy the product. In under two years, the Galaxy Note has not only proven to be a success but has become the trailblazer to bigger-screen phones.

The latest iteration is the Huawei MediaPad 7 Vogue, which sports a 7-inch display, aluminum unibody and quad-core processor.

We’re delighted to introduce the MediaPad 7 Vogue, our call-enabled tablet with world-class entertainment capabilities and long-lasting battery power,” said Richard Yu, Chief Executive Officer of Huawei Consumer Business Group. 

GSMA to create Connected City experience at Mobile Asia Expo

GSMAVisitors to Mobile Asia Expo 2013 in Shanghai will get to delve in a new Connected City experience. They will be able to stroll down a city street of the future and experience the Connected Life powered by intelligent mobile connections.

The Connected City will build on the success of the Connected City at this year’s Mobile World Congress and draw on developments that have put Asia at the forefront of connected device and service uptake.

 

In partnership with China Mobile, Cisco, Ford Motor Company, Huawei, KT Corp. and SAP, the Connected City will be a life-like urban environment where attendees will experience how these companies are making homes smarter, motoring more intelligent, shopping easier and city living safer in the largest and most forward-thinking mobile market in the world. Each area will bring together the latest in cutting-edge products and services to demonstrate how a connected future, driven by mobile, will simplify and enhance people’s everyday lives.

IDC: Fiercer competition after 3G rollout in Thailand

IDCThe launch of new 3G data plans by all three Thai mobile operators will introduce broad changes to the competitive dynamics among mobile operators, particularly in how they deal with the mass market segment. 

IDC issued this warning after a review of the price plans and potential market share of the three mobile operators after the release of their 3G service plans.

IDC believes the industry is set for a slew of promotional and pricing competitive pressures in the next six months, possibly resulting in significant churn among the customer base if one of the telco operators does not keep its defenses up.

IDC: 3rd platform will drive China’s smart manufacturing sector

IDCIDC believes that IT vendors can leverage business opportunities created by China’s smart manufacturing policies, endeavours to consolidate relationships with governments and industry associations, and enhanced R&D innovation utilising 3rd Platform technologies (cloud computing, big data, social business, and mobility).

Smart manufacturing has been identified and supported by the Chinese government as the key field for further development. In line with this, the national ministries have released research that could drive the continuous construction of IT infrastructure in manufacturing enterprises. Next-generation technology architecture or 3rd platform has triggered clear demands from enterprise customers and created a thorough R&D ecosystem.

Since 2011, the Ministry of Industry and IT of PRC, along with the National Development and Reform Commission, have been releasing a series of research papers on smart manufacturing. IT service providers could identify potential business opportunities by analysing the subject directions and final approved lists.

Gartner: India’s mobile services market to hit US$2.2b in 2013

GartnerIndia’s mobile services market is continuing its growth momentum. According to Gartner, it will increase by 8 percent to hit US$2.2b this year. Mobile connections will grow 11 percent to 770 million in 2013.

“The mobile market in India will continue to face challenges if average revenue per unit (ARPU) does not grow significantly,” said Shalini Verma, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner. “If the prevailing conditions do not change in the Indian telecom market, India will account for 12 percent worldwide mobile connections, but just 2 percent of worldwide mobile services revenue (in constant US$) in 2013.”

Indian telecom operators are faced with two major challenges – growing their profit margin in the face of intense competition and successfully competing with over the top service providers, such as Facebook and WhatsApp.

Gartner: Top 10 technology trends for the energy and utilities sector

GartnerGartner has identified the top ten technology trends affecting the global energy and utility markets in 2013, as the industry faces significant challenges from ongoing environmental sensitivity, changing policymaker attitudes and consumer expectations.

“Searching for successful business models that will address these issues and generate anticipated shareholder returns in uncertain regulatory settings is a top priority for this industry,” said report author Kristian Steenstrup, Vice President and Gartner Fellow. “This is in addition to protecting the security of critical generation and delivery infrastructure, as well as maintaining system reliability with aging physical assets. Public and private utilities are looking at how technology can reduce cost, drive efficiency and enhance competitive advantage.”

According to Steenstrup, what was once considered a conservative and slow-moving industry has seen a wide range of innovation from within and outside the traditional IT organization. He believes that understanding business trends is a crucial requirement for energy and utility organisations to create a successful IT strategy in this market.

Gartner: 2.4b PCs, tablets and mobile phones to ship in 2013

GartnerWorldwide shipment of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are expected to top 2.4 billion units in 2013, a 9 percent increase from 2012, according to Gartner. Device shipments are predicted to reach more than 2.9 billion units in 2017. However, the mix of these devices will significantly change over the forecast period.

The proliferation of lower-priced tablets and their growing capability is accelerating the shift from PCs to tablets.

“While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device,” said Carolina Milanesi, Research Vice President at Gartner. “As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis.”

Asian mobile players and operators among Global Mobile award winners

The ASUS-made Google Nexus 7 clinched the Best Tablet Award.
The ASUS-made Google Nexus 7 clinched the Best Tablet Award.

Asia is becoming a leading force in the mobile communications space. Mobile product makers Samsung and Asus and mobile operators NTT Docomo, Bharti Airtel and SK Telecom were among the winners at the 18th Annual Global Mobile awards, held at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Government of New Zealand also nabbed the Spectrum for Mobile Broadband Award.

More than 170 independent analysts, journalists, academics, and subject matter experts and 13 representatives from mobile operators throughout the world participated in the judging of the 2013 awards.

The full list of winners and finalist for the 2013 Global Mobile Awards is available at www.globalmobileawards.com/winners-2013

Gartner predictions for IT organisations and users for 2013 and beyond

GartnerGartner has revealed its top predictions for IT organisations and IT users for 2013 and beyond.

Gartner’s top predictions focus on economic risks, opportunities and innovations that will impel CIOs to move to the next generation of business-driven solutions. Selected from across Gartner’s research areas as the most compelling and critical predictions, they address the trends and topics that underline the reduction of control that IT has over the forces that affect it.

“The priorities of CEOs must be dealt with by CIOs who exist in a still-turbulent economy and increasingly uncertain technology future,” said Daryl Plummer, Managing Vice President and Gartner Fellow. “As consumerisation takes hold and the Nexus of Forces drives CEOs to certain expectations, CIOs must still provide reliability, serviceability and availability of systems and services. Their priorities must span multiple areas. As the world of IT moves forward, it is finding that it must coordinate activities in a much wider scope than it once controlled, and as a result, a loss of control echoes through several predictions we are making.”