Charles / Uncategorized / 2013, 2014, 3d, 3D printing, analysis, blackberry, firearms, Google, guns, insights, Microsoft, NSA, predictions, RIM, Security, sensors, spying, technology, trends, wearable / 0 comments
Love it or hate it, 2013 was a notable year in technology with many notable events in the tech space. Although not all of these were the most positive, the events have established a baseline for the innovation to come in 2014. The experts at Living in Digital Times have recently released a report outlining several key areas of innovation which will likely come about during the coming year. Of course before taking the report at face value, it is important to note that not all the experts quoted in the report are neutral within the industry and as such there are a few key areas which should be examined.
Expect Innovation With Some Turbulence
Some of the most notable pieces of innovation from 2013 include 3D printing and increased use of the cloud- and while these inventions have positive sides, we also witnessed the dark side of many. For example Business Insider reported on how a couple of individuals created a 3D printed AR-15 rifle –
the same gun which was used by Adam Lanza in Sandy Hook (UPDATE: A reader sent over a report from the Independent Journal Review stating Lanza only used pistols during Sandy Hook although authorities found an AR-15 in his car
On a related note, in Janary of 2013 we saw the creation of an auto aiming sniper rifle which integrated with the iPad. Unfortunately these inventions are just the beginning and in 2014 the floodgates will be open for much more crude content such as this.
Will Wearable Technology Come Into Vogue?
Wearable technology is one of the hottest things which came about in 2013. The Pebble and the Galaxy Gear ushered in the era of the smartwatch while Google Glass confirmed the fears of many that Google is on track to take over the world. Despite the innovation brought about by these devices, do they actually produce enough value to justify their existence? Smartwatches are merely a 2nd screen for smartphones which is worn on the wrist, while privacy concerns and other social taboos are crippling the social acceptability of Google Glass.
When it comes to sensors for health and related matters – Stacy Burr, VP Wearable Sports Electronics at Adidas sums things up perfectly with the statement “…We need to give context to data in order for the wear-experience to be meaningful and valuable.” As mentioned earlier on High Tech Realm, with any invention – the focus needs to be on adding value to the end-user.
Would you purchase a smart-bra? As ridiculous as it sounds, Mashable reports that Microsoft is working on that technology so that EKG sensors can more efficiently monitor heart rhythms. On the other hand, another report from Mashable profiles a dress which turns transparent when the wearer is aroused. This probably is one of the less ideal ways for someone to use wearable technology.
Overall expect 2014 to user in an era where the little guy can easily take on established firms. This trend has been happening since the dot-com bubble however thanks to Moore’s Law, technology is advancing exponentially year after year. Thanks to crowdfunding, Samsung managed to be knocked out in the smartwatch space by an average engineer with nothing but a computer and an idea. Despite not having a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, and a significant R&D bankroll, as reported by VentureBeat, the Pebble has been running laps around the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
Aside from hardware, thanks to open platforms and the increased popularity of programming, expect to see many software startups overtake established players. The demise of RIM (formerly Blackberry) and the rise of Android has proven that just because something is free doesn’t meant that it is a subpar offering which cannot be monestized.
Sure iOS from Apple is still big, however the walled off garden created by Steve Jobs will prevent iOS from being used in the same ways as Android. While the possibilities of open source software are too many to mention, a client of CJC Digital is aiming to replace proprietary educational platforms with open source software to save the districts tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars in software licensing costs.
Continuing on from the first half of Hatchery coverage from the September event, below is analysis of the final three startups to present at the event.
If you thought this name was a typo or maybe a translation error, unfortunately you are wrong. GGGRIT is the name of this startup which aims to provide executive coaching to “the 99%.” I’m not going to harp on the name here, but if you’re a business owner looking for a good name, definitely make sure that it’s easy to remember (and type in), and also make sure the logo fully reflects the name.
Moving on to an overview of the service, basically GGGRIT aims to allow companies to provide career coaching services to their female employees as an employee perk to help them further their careers. Currently the startup is in the early stages and only contracts career coaches, however their projections to the investors said they are aiming to get 39 coaches on staff full-time at a rate of $65k per year per coach. To top off those projections – GGGRIT aims to assign 400 clients per coach every year – a very aggressive number which seems to make this concept look like something on par with the pre-paid legal scams which provide you access to low quality counsel (who are typically overworked) for a flat monthly fee (typically $10-$60 a month).
That being said, overall despite GGGRIT boasting an online community for women along with the coaching, I feel that those are typically a dime a dozen – and when it comes to the scaling of these coaches I really don’t see why a company can’t just call in a coach themselves rather than paying for this service. Going back to the projections about needing 39 coaches – again, that’s a figure I’m having trouble wrapping my head around.
Bottom line – this venture doesn’t really seem viable and I highly doubt they will manage to scale to become anything significant on the market.
As much as I hate to kick off a review on a bad note – right here we’re pretty much dealing with yet another useless app trying to replace business cards – however what makes this venture absurd is that they DO NOT have a clear website. In particular I went to their domain CardSpark.me and was directed to a totally unrelated business card product causing me to have to spend more time to make sure I didn’t click the wrong product. Apparently they either changed the product name to CardHub, or the rep from the company pitching didn’t update her presentation.
So basically, Cardhub is simply an app designed to replace traditional business cards – yet, the startup actually also is in the printing business as a way to hedge against loosing that bet. Honestly however, why would a venture capitalist invest in a printing company, I have no clue.
What Cardhub provides is basically a landing page (like this) for users so when people scan the QR code on a card (also can be created easily), they can connect to your social profiles. That’s about it! $3 a month or $30 a year, but again – why bother when you can easily do this yourself fairly easily.
In fact Cardspark blew through $1 million in capital without getting any significant development – yet they were asking for $1.5 million to build up the company. Honestly – my advice here is that maybe it would pay to scrap the printing business and keep it separate from the digital side of things to help keep costs in check.
Today on the second day of Internet Week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled the launch of MappedInNY.com – an online map which showcases high tech start ups throughout the New York area. Currently the site lists 324 NYC start ups as hiring with over 1,000 engineering jobs listed. As today’s press announcement is the first significant public release regarding the map, Mayor Bloomberg explained the numbers of items on the list are expected to rise greatly over the coming days and weeks.
The Made in NY map provides a very simple to use interface for job seekers to connect with companies seeking talent, and also for investors and businesses in general to better collaborate in today’s rough economy.
For those unfamiliar with the festival, Internet Week is an annual event backed by New York City, intended to showcase the high tech talent in the area. Comprised of over 225 events and estimated attendance of over 45,000 individuals – the event is one of the most significant events in the technological industry.
Some facts of note from the conference – Bloomberg cited a report from the Center for an Urban Future which mentioned how New York City has overtaken Boston as the number two tech hub next to Silicon Valley. With over 500 start ups having been formed in the city since 2007 New York already has a solid track of embracing start ups in numerous verticals. The key differentiators between New York and Silicon Valley is simply the fact that although the Valley is filled with innovation, New York has a significantly more diverse culture.
Although High Tech Realm has long been focused on technology journalism – in order to better serve our audience and make our services more applicable, over the coming weeks we will be exploring ways to offer all or some of the following:
- Online lessons
- Market research reports
- and many other materials to help further your knowledge of technology
Although at the moment we are in the very early stages, if you have any suggestions for topics, feel free to contact us.