Project Ara, Google s modular smartphone concept, is slowly but surely inching its way closer to becoming a consumer product.On Friday, project lead Rafa Camargo revealed a huge milestone in that developer kits will be shipping later this year.Best yet, a consumer version will be available sometime in 2017.The revelation came as part of an exclusive interview with Wired.In it, we learn that the developer edition shipping later this year will feature a 5.3-inch display and is described as a fairly high-end handset.The Project Ara team decided to handle this aspect of the device with software as it prevents mechanical accidents or failure.
Twilio stormed into the telecoms market several years ago with a set of services that turned core communications features once controlled by carriers, like text messages and phones numbers, into API-based services that any developer could easily customize and use in whatever app or site she or he chose.Today, the company is unveiling its next step in its bid to take on more telecoms infrastructure: Twilio is launching a new product called Programmable Wireless — a SIM-based service that it has built in partnership with T-Mobile so that developers can build full-featured, all-in-one cellular services, to be used wherever they want, whether that s in an object as part of an IoT network, or even a consumer product, like a new mobile phone service.While the old-guard carriers stifle innovation and try to lock up all the value for themselves, T-Mobile has a different philosophy; we openly partner with world-class companies, like Twilio, to empower entrepreneurs and ignite wireless innovation.Second, using these services is typically a lot less expensive than working to get the same service by way of the telco directly.For now, Lawson tells me that the most immediate users of its SIMs for phone-based services are likely to be enterprises, which might develop phones for their workers that are customized with a very limited set of calling options, or are simply more easy to track in a bigger bring-your-own-device program, where workers provide their own handset or choose whichever handset they want to use, but get the SIM put into it.Pricing — specifically how people will respond to it — is one of the biggest, but so is security and how its SIM will work with third-party programs to help track and lock down phones in an enterprise network.
Over at UL previously known by its full name, Underwriter s Laboratory , consumer safety director John Drengenberg concurs.Consider the humble hoverboardDespite the lack of a legal requirement to do so, billions of products are tested every year by independent third-parties like UL and TUV, which is why dangerous product failures are relatively rare.Trouble is, the battery and charger are only two parts of a larger system, which includes the circuitry that transfers power from the battery to the motor and the housing of battery.Fortunately, following a harsh warning issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to all hoverboard retailers earlier this year, there is now a full UL certification standard for these products and the first fully-compliant models are now being made available.Third, though retailers are likely to insist on a safety certification for products they sell, the lack of a legal framework to require it, or any mechanism to enforce it, means that non-certified products can and do make it onto retailers shelves be they physical or digital.Beware of items that are significantly less expensive than comparable products, warns Rerecich.
It would appear that the parent company of Google, Alphabet, has begun its consumer product investment focus in ernest.A cool $30 million USD has been raised for the company Light from Alphabet's venture capital business, that which used to be called Google Ventures, now just called GV.Light creates a product by the name of L16, a camera which works with 16 cameras inside a single small housing.And consider the possibilities once Google gets ahold of the tech - Tango, anyone?The first product in this company's line, the Light L16, is able to capture images up to 52-megapixels large.This camera will fit in the average citizen's pocket and costs a cool $1,700.
While other "big hope" concepts such as genetic engineering, nanotech and quantum physics have yet to make much of an impact, 3D has been making immediate inroads into traditional, sometimes ancient manufacturing techniques.The UK is among the international leaders in the game, according to Phill Dickens, professor of manufacturing technology at Nottingham University and a leading light in additive manufacturing.In the past four years, high-value manufacturing has utilised 3D printing, including the production of pharmaceutical pills."In my organisation's database of the UK's small and mid-sized firms, there exist no fewer than 132 UK businesses active in 3D printing, a host of often very small prototyping companies, and the leading dentistry firm Attenborough Dental and medical device biz Brightwake Ltd, both in Nottingham.On its website is a TV commercial showing a little boy, confounded by early attempts at creating a robot figure from clay, who turns to a Zinter to produce a monster Dalek figure.Also, in 2016, Nimesh Thakrar co-founded Banneya London, a startup that uses 3D printing for bespoke fine jewellery.
We've all seen what augmented reality AR can do with Microsoft's Hololens and, more recently, Pokémon Go.While Microsoft's AR vision is impressive, the company is currently charging developers $3,000 for a headset just to test it out.It better watch out, because AR startup Magic Leap may beat it to the punch as the company is readying its first consumer product for mixed reality.Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz, revealed at the Brainstorm Tech conference that the company is reading its production line in Florida, as reported by Fortune.But Abovitz revealed a little bit more about how Magic Leap's technology will work, saying, "Our system basically replicates how your eyes and brain work, how our neuro-visual system is designed to work, and it turns your brain into this kind of display.Magic Leap currently has over 600 employees, and they're busy working to bring products to light.
Ryan Caldbeck is the founder and chief executive of the consumer and retail investment marketplace CircleUp.This week, the news was Unilever buying five year old Dollar Shave Club for $1B.The model has been evident in the pharmaceutical industry, where behemoths rarely invent products themselves and would rather acquire a company and then handle distribution, regulation and consolidation — as The Economist recently pointed out.Cost Cutting: A Bandaid on a Broken SystemFor a clear illustration of cost-cutting to deliver returns, consider the Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital Partners LLP s buyout of Heinz in 2013, followed by Heinz s $49-billion acquisition of Kraft.And, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV s proposed acquisition of SABMiller Plc continues to move forward.
Imagine those Samsung, LG, and Xiaomi smartphones having an original Apple operating system on them rather than the imitations they are presently running.And those users would download new applications and sign up for Apple s subscription services, giving the company a cut of everything they purchased, as well as valuable data and marketing opportunities.On the bright side, it said that quarterly revenue from its services business — the App Store, iTunes, and streaming music — grew by 19 percent year-over-year to $6 billion, making these services its second-largest revenue earner after the iPhone.If Apple made iOS available on other phones, it would not only multiply the markets for its service businesses but would also allow the devices to become a platform for all sorts of new products and subscriptions that other companies would develop.Apple has reportedly been working for years on developing video-streaming services that act as a version of Apple Music for TV and movies.Instead of owning a big chunk of a large pie as Google does, Apple owns a decreasing share of an increasing market.
MoreReckitt Benckiser CEO Rakesh Kapoor speaks during the Reuters Global Consumer and Retail Summit in London September 11, 2013.LONDON Reuters - Consumer goods maker Reckitt Benckiser has ramped up its efforts to sell items such as condoms and vitamins online, aiming to capture new revenue streams as traditional markets get more competitive.Reckitt's own Durex condom website in China is already its single largest customer in the world's fastest-growing e-commerce market, doubling the number of unique visitors over the last year to over 20 million.It expects that to double again, as consumers lap up its sexual health products, which can be personalized and delivered discreetly.As part of its drive, the group has established a new global "e-business unit" that Chief Executive Rakesh Kapoor says will help it deal better with customers like Amazon.com , be present in marketplaces like those offered by Alibaba and probe new areas such as cross-border e-commerce and direct-selling websites.Reckitt expects e-commerce to generate half its Chinese revenue by 2020, up from 25 percent last year and 35 percent by the end of this year.
Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne.Italian automaker Fiat Chrysler may have just found a promising buyer/partner for its Magneti Marelli components unit.The auto giant's Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne has indicated that he views the chipmaker as a possible strategic partner, amid interest from several potential buyers for Magneti Marelli."We have a very good relationship with Samsung, both as a supplier and as a potential strategic partner," Marchionne said."I happen to have a good relationship with Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae Yong as well because both serve on the board of Exor SpA," he said.Marchionne, however, did not indicate clearly whether Samsung was preparing to bid for the Marelli unit.
HSN is looking for the next big American consumer product.Today, 100 makers and entrepreneurs from around the U.S. will pitch their products for a chance to win airtime on HSN, a listing on HSN.com, a piece in Good Housekeeping magazine and its Seal of Approval, following testing.The result of winning could be a make or break moment for the right company and product, as HSN reaches 96 million cable TV homes across the U.S., and Good Housekeeping magazine has over 25 million readers.Its coveted Seal of Approval, meanwhile, was introduced back in 1999 as a means of backing a product with a limited warranty and a refund or replacement up to $2,000 if the product turns out to be defective within two years following its purchase.Last year, American Dreams partnered with established entrepreneurs like Bob Circosta, the first-ever HSN host; Daymond John, Founder, President, CEO of FUBU and Moguls Mobile; Randi Zuckerberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media; and Marc Portney, host of All American Makers.Is it good presentation?, he explains.
CPSC wants to check whether a replacement Note 7 device is an 'acceptable remedy'Samsung's Note 7 on show at the IFA trade show in Berlin on September 2, 2016.Samsung Electronics woes mounted Friday with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission urging consumers to power down and stop charging or using their Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, after reports of the overheating and bursting of the lithium-ion battery in the device in some cases.The statement by the CPSC comes a day after the Federal Aviation Administration advised passengers not to turn on, charge or stow away their devices in checked baggage when on board aircraft.Three airlines in Australia, including Qantas, its unit Jetstar and Virgin Australia, have also prohibited their passengers from using or charging the Galaxy Note 7 during flight.The agency, which is charged with protecting the public from risk of injury or death linked with consumer products under its jurisdiction, is working with Samsung to formally announce an official recall of the device.
A growth plan includes more than just imagining long-term achievements.Here are five best growth strategies that new ventures need to consider.Not every strategy will be a good fit for your situation, yet some of these might offer an excellent opportunity to introduce your products in the competitive market.Related Article: 20 Social & Digital Trends That Will Impact Marketing in 2016Strategy 1: Set Up a Value PropositionTo manage long-term business growth, you should understand and develop a customer value proposition that describes your potential customers why they should buy your products.
According to statistics, we currently use 1.5 times the entire resources available on this planet to sustain ourselves each year, meaning that it takes the Earth about 1 year and 5 months to rebuild the resources consumed by us in just one year.While running out of the planet s resources sounded like a rather distant threat even a few decades ago, it is now a very real and existent, no longer dismissable as a concern for future generations.It is somehow admirable to hear terms like ecological balance and sustainable living spew forth from the mouths of Oxford scholars and political candidates; having a gentle heart that weeps for the indiscretions against the world in which houses us is certainly good for business.But truly, how far are we prepared to go in order to save Planet Earth from the inevitable collapse it has been prophesied to have by scientists, not priests in the few coming years?We, as humans, may have finally got around to acknowledging the harm we have done to our environment, but we are still not even close to reeling back from the damage we have done so far.To be amongst the selected few who have actually risen up and spent day and night to actually do something for a sustainable future, it is harsh to have the subject of your life s work dismissed as a mere buzzword.
Are Snap's Spectacles the precursor to VR?Snap Inc., formerly known as Snapchat, officially launched its first technological product with the announcement of Spectacles, a new type of camera.Spectacles is a camera with a 115-degree field of view and can record up to 30 seconds of video with a lens located on the frames near the left eye.While the glasses/camera is interesting as a consumer product now, it can be seen as the first step towards an iterative process to launch a virtual reality product, a field in which it currently lags behind its greatest rival Facebook.Oculus VR began shipping in the first quarter of 2016 and received more pre-orders than expected, according to Oculus' founder Palmer Luckey at CES 2016, who gave no specific numbers.Spectacles, on the other hand, is not a VR headset, but the company has recently made efforts to hire people to prepare for a possible move into augmented reality or virtual reality.
The consumer products startup founded by Jessica Alba, The Honest Co., on Friday told the Wall Street Journal that it plans to reformulate its dish soap, laundry detergent and other cleaners after an earlier controversy over their ingredients.The Honest Co. markets its products as gentler, healthier and more environmentally sustainable than those of mainstream brands in the U.S.However, reporters with the Wall Street Journal and a third-party testing laboratory earlier found that some products made by The Honest Co. contained ingredients that the company previously said it excluded, namely, sodium lauryl sulfate SLS .While SLS is used in plenty of soaps and cleaners already, and is generally seen as safe, The Honest Co. claimed it wasn t the healthiest option for consumers and was harsh.The Honest Co. claimed, counter to the WSJ s findings, that its own lab tests never detected SLS in its products.The five-year-old startup also said then that it used sodium coco sulfate not SLS.
The Clearly Vision Prize, conceived by Clearly campaign founder and investor James Chen, seeks out startups designed to hack what it calls the number one unaddressed disability in the world - poor vision .Good vision empowers and transforms lives on every level, Chen said.We need technology gurus, supply chain experts, data wizards and more to share their ideas and enter The Clearly Vision Prize.These people could put glasses in the hands of everyone who needs them or give more children access to vision correction and the education that follows.Although the awards ceremony does not take place until 6pm on October 12, at which time the finalists will be ranked and their funding announced, WIRED can exclusively announce the five winners below.This disposable, open-source device – a traditional opthamologist s tool used to screen for refractive errors like short– or long-sightedness – was inspired by Google Cardboard.
Razer CEO Interview 2016 Min-Liang Tan A few days before his European keynote, we caught up with Razer CEO and co-founder Min-Liang Tan for a brief chat and to follow up on our considerably longer interview from last year.bit-tech: A hot topic at the moment is VR.Regarding OSVR, is it difficult getting developers onboard with a lesser known platform?I think we've done remarkably well for that because when OSVR first started out, or at least when we first initially announced it, most of the platforms were trying to move into a closed type of ecosystem and with OSVR around I think many of them have taken a bit of a step back and have become a lot more open.Now, with Razer the difference is we're really focussed on the perfect experience which is why there isn't a Razer VR product as of yet and that's one of the things that we are excited about.
View photosMoreFILE - This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo, shows the Amazon logo in Santa Monica, Calif. Amazon reports financial results Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016.The company, which has been expanding its grocery delivery efforts for almost a decade, now wants you to order your turkey online this Thanksgiving.Right before the cooking-heavy months of November and December, Amazon rolled out a monthly payment option for its grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh.On Monday it expanded to several new cities including Chicago and Dallas.It's a highly competitive arena filled with rivals like Walmart and Instacart trying to lure customers away from traditional grocery stores.But Amazon has spent years ironing out the kinks with its delivery service, he said.