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  • 03 May 2014
    Think about the implications of this for CONTENT creation and distribution. Wow! The continuing expansionn of the Google business model is fascinating to watch. They started as a search engine with a motto of "do no evil" - look where tey are today. Imagine the  possibilities for TNP! Greg Guenthner coming to you from Baltimore, MD... Greg Guenthner Your monthly phone and internet bills are a complete rip-off. You pay hundreds of dollars for slow download speeds, dropped calls and poor service. But imagine never having to pay another cell phone bill... That world is quickly becoming a reality. And some companies you'd least expect are taking charge of a movement that will unleash unlimited internet and phones calls for everyone--no telecoms necessary. Our own Noah Sugarman has been tracking this development for months... "What if that unlimited free internet was everywhere - not just at the local coffee shop?" Noah asks. "If Google and Facebook have their way, that access might not be a pipe dream for much longer." And free internet is just the beginning... These tech giants might be heated rivals, but there's one area where both companies work together - the spread of cheap and efficient internet access across the globe. Besides a slew of internet-providing drone acquisitions, both companies have been ramping up data center growth and fiber control. "We're now witnessing content creators cutting out the middleman and transforming into internet providers. And the best part is, they're focused on quality too. Even in its infancy, Google Fiber stands as a perfect example," Noah explains. "These companies are also investing in new submarine and underground cables, along with leases in dark fiber and the creation of in-house networking hardware." The results of all the undercover efforts are dramatic. Google now controls more than 100,000 miles of global routes - more than twice the size of Sprint's 40,000-mile U.S. network. For its part, Facebook has begun to service traffic on its own network of dark fiber in Europe. "But the real reason that non-telecom provided internet is so important lies in Facebook's recent $19 billion Whatsapp acquisition," Noah claims. "Whatsapp is a free messaging app that relies on internet connection to work. And the app is set to introduce voice calls this year." That's right, that'd mean phone calls, messaging, and internet access all provided by a tech firm for free. You can probably see where this is going... When consumers can access the internet, send messages and make phone calls for cheap - if not free - cell phone providers will begin to fade away. So Google and Facebook aren't just looking to compete with Verizon and AT&T on their home turf. They'd rather just destroy them... and this is a battle that's only going to get more heated. But no matter who wins in the short term, a price-race to zero is a war that the telecom business model simply can't win. Of course, the likes of Verizon and AT&T won't go down without a fight - even if they're playing on borrowed time. But don't worry, we've found the one company that stands to profit from this shift, no matter who comes out on top in the near term, and no matter how long it takes tech companies to dismantle the old telecom model.
    698 Posted by tnpaust holdings
  • 09 May 2014
    I received the following invitation today to join leading thinkers and decision-makers from around the globe to discuss the challenges of urbanisation by attending http://conferences.ft.com/_act/link.php?mId=R7741697252348118536188&tId=343456 Taking place on 12 June at the InterContinental Park Lane, London, the event will bring together leading thinkers and decision-makers from the private and public sectors for a focused discussion on innovations that can address the challenges of urbanisation. The Awards shortlist has now also been finalised, to find out who has been shortlisted please visit the event website.The Conference and Awards have become major landmarks in the event calendar, providing an invaluable opportunity to discuss key issues and network with industry peers. Chaired by Pilita Clark, Environment Correspondent, Financial Times. 
    622 Posted by tnpaust holdings
  • 25 Apr 2014
    Useful for: Small businesses that need to manage multiple different deals  and calculate progress through the sales funnel. This Customer Relationship Management (CRM)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_relationship_management for small businesses makes it really easy to run a CRM system and get a good understanding of your sales pipeline, deals and outstanding tasks. You can import your contacts from Linkedin, Microsoft Live, Gmail or Yahoo, connect contacts to deals and schedule tasks. You can see how many deals you still have to close, the value of each contact and manage the progress of each deal through each stage through to close. This is a really intuitive app that works across timezones. Cost: Free
    541 Posted by tnpaust holdings
  • 02 Sep 2014
    The following ACMA research snapshot examines internet and mobile internet usage in Australian capital cities, urban and non-urban areas, and compares usage growth between 2009 and 2013. Graphics are nicely done and highlight that across all regions, Australians are broadening their online activities, with the number and nature of activities performed online increasing and diversifying. This diversification is being led in particular by growth in two areas of activity—‘entertainment’, and ‘blogging and online communities’. http://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/engage-blogs/engage-blogs/Research-snapshots/Regional-Australia-in-the-digital-economy Watch the embedded video - very interesting
    459 Posted by tnpaust holdings
Computers & Internet 234 views Sep 08, 2015
The World of Augmented Reality

We’re probably all familiar with the term “virtual reality.” It’s now a well-established concept where your view of the real world is replaced by one provided by a special goggles showing some distant reality, a panoramic view of an event, a completely computer-generated artificial reality, or a combination of these.

Augmented reality is a rather different beast ­— it provides a contextual overlay on what you’re seeing, rather than blocking out the real world with an immersive virtual world. It’s much less mature than virtual reality but, arguably, it has the potential to have effects more far-reaching than virtual reality, to have many more applications, and to profoundly change the way we live.

Those are the conclusions Shara Evans came to after interviewing Scott O’Brien, an augmented reality pioneer. Scott told her how he had become an instant convert to augmented reality, back in 2009. “I was helping an event called Online Retailer, and it was all about going beyond picture and price for retail experiences … It took me about 60 seconds to realise the magic of it,” he said. Within six months he had started a company to develop and exploit augmented reality.

Scott defines augmented reality as being a “digital overlay of the real world”, the addition of information relevant to our physical surroundings. It could be information about a product you have picked off the shelf at the local supermarket, details of where to find the nearest café, or public toilet, as you are walking down the street, or — by exploiting facial recognition technology — the name and a whole lot of other information about someone you meet.

Augmented and Virtual Realities Meet

Another area where Scott sees huge potential is point-of-view video, which he says “can be like an augmented or virtual experience.” This is reality from multiple perspectives. It could mean enhancing your experience of any kind of spectator event — from soccer to a symphony concert — by enabling you to watch from multiple viewpoints, such as “from the helmets of the NFL or NHL players,” as Scott says. Or you could experience Madam Butterfly from the perspective of Cho-Cho-San.

Scott says this point-of-view video represents the next phase of growth, and he identifies several startups active in this area: TriggarNextVR and Livelike.

He says augmented reality offers a tremendous opportunity to rights holders in the sports and entertainment world to generate additional revenue: it increases our engagement, and hence our willingness to “make micro-investments in our favourite players, in our favourite pastimes.”

What came across very strongly from my interview with Scott was the range of potential applications for augmented reality and virtual reality. This should come as no surprise: reality is what we experience every minute of every day, so in an age when so much information is in digital form and communication is ubiquitous, there should be enormous opportunity to add information to what we experience.

Augmented Reality for Every Industry

By the same logic, almost every industry, and every business is likely to find some application for augmented reality. Scott highlighted a few early ones that are already available, such as the Commonwealth Bank’s real estate app, which he describes as a 3D augmented reality experience.

“You can point a smartphone to certain homes and then, in front of them, you have intelligence of their most recent sale price or what their prospective sales price would be, some new information about the seller and so on,” he said.

Limitations to Augmented Reality will Diminish in the Near Future

The main limiting factor for augmented reality today seems to be the technologies able to present the additional information. One of the most common “augmented reality” technologies is eyewear, ranging from the, relatively discrete, Google Glass to the decidedly dorky-looking and highly obtrusive.

Scott acknowledges that these devices might impose some constraints on augmented reality uptake today, but he makes the point that they represent just the latest iteration in a continuum of evolving interface technologies, and says further evolution is inevitable “We are moving from desktop, laptop, cameras, through to smartphones, through to eyewear, then through to contact lenses.”

He says current eyewear weighs in at between 200-300 grams and believes weight will no longer be an issue when they can become sub-100 grams.

With augmented reality having such enormous potential, it’s not surprising that multinationals like Apple and HP are gearing up to be major players, acquiring innovative start-ups with relevant technologies. In the next blog I’ll take a look at what Scott had to say about some of these.

Shara interviewed Scott O’Brien for Market Clarity's Future Tech series, where they discuss many emerging technologies. The full article is available here.