inspiral + innovation   823

Theranos was Fraudulent, What About Its Patents? - Marginal REVOLUTION
Despite never having built a working product, Theranos accumulated hundreds of patents. These patents are now the only thing of value left but the patents aren’t valuable because of breakthrough science, the patents are valuable because they can be used to force people who do breakthrough science to cough up part of their return.
Theranos  patents  intellectualproperty  innovation  review  critique  MarginalRevolution  2019 
18 days ago by inspiral
Amazon Alexa and the Search for the One Perfect Answer | WIRED
The rest of us, meanwhile, may be losing the very skills that allow us to hold these gatekeepers to account. Once we become accustomed to placing our faith in the handy oracle on the kitchen counter, we may lose patience with the laborious—and curiosity-stoking, and thought-­provoking—hunt for facts, expecting them to come to us instead. Why pump water from a well if it pours effortlessly from your faucet?
virtualassistant  searchengine  evolution  oneshotanswer  innovation  informationliteracy  review  critique  forecast  Wired  2019 
4 weeks ago by inspiral
Apple and Samsung feel the sting of plateauing smartphones - The Verge
Smartphone markets are slowing down in large part because they’ve served their purpose. We wanted phones with great displays, fast connectivity, all-day battery life, and a few extra luxuries thrown in, and now we’ve got them in abundance. The system works. When the next truly compelling upgrade shows up on the horizon, consumers will once again throw money at the latest and greatest products. But until then, all this competition makes for a bumpy ride for any company venturous enough to be in the phone-selling business, including those at the very top.
smartphones  sales  decline  innovation  review  critique  China  Apple  Samsung  TheVerge  2019 
10 weeks ago by inspiral
Ways to think about machine learning — Benedict Evans
I spend quite a lot of time meeting big companies and talking about their technology needs, and they generally have some pretty clear low hanging fruit for machine learning. There are lots of obvious analysis and optimisation problems, and plenty of things that are clearly image recognition problems or audio analysis questions. Equally, the only reason we’re talking about autonomous cars and mixed reality is because machine learning (probably) enables them - ML offers a path for cars to work out what’s around them and what human drivers might be going to do, and offers mixed reality a way to work out what I should be seeing, if I’m looking though a pair of glasses that could show anything. But after we’ve talked about wrinkles in fabric or sentiment analysis in the call center, these companies tend to sit back and ask, ‘well, what else?’ What are the other things that this will enable, and what are the unknown unknowns that it will find? We’ve probably got ten to fifteen years before that starts getting boring. 
machinelearning  opportunity  innovation  automation  imagerecognition  relationaldatabases  review  BenedictEvans  2018 
june 2018 by inspiral
The Bike Share War Is Shaking Up Seattle Like Nowhere Else | WIRED
Yet the willingness—even eagerness—of Seattle's three dockless bike sharing companies to enter into expensive and restrictive agreements with the University suggests that another way is possible. Instead of squeezing into gaps between the rules, these companies are entering into operational and financial partnerships with a jurisdiction, albeit a small one.
cycling  bikeshare  dockless  transport  regulation  innovation  Ofo  Limebike  Seattle  USA  Wired  2018 
june 2018 by inspiral
Should You Ride an Electric Scooter? - The Atlantic
What became clear in those first few days—and what I’m a little shocked to be writing now—is that electric scooters are a novel mode of transportation. They unite many of the best elements of traveling by car, bike, and foot. Like cars, they have an engine, so you can get to work without getting sweaty. Like bikes, there isn’t really road congestion, so you can travel faster than most cars can. And like walking, they let you spend your commute outside.
scooter  transport  innovation  review  comparison  cycling  startup  TheAtlantic  2018 
june 2018 by inspiral
The Rise Of The Omnibots
Chatbots are growing up. Welcome to the age of the omnibot, where brands become beings.
customerservice  chatbots  growth  evolution  omnibot  brand  branding  innovation  FastCompany  2018 
april 2018 by inspiral
Retailers Race Against Amazon to Automate Stores - The New York Times
Some traditional retailers are also skeptical about whether the sort of automation in Amazon Go can move to large stores. They say the technology may not work or be cost effective outside a store with a small footprint and inventory.

“That’s probably not scalable to a 120,000-square-foot store,” said Chris Hjelm, executive vice president and chief information officer at Kroger.

But he said it was just a matter of time before more cameras and sensors were commonplace in stores. “It’s a few years out,” he said, “before that technology becomes mainstream.”
retail  automation  Amazon  AmazonGo  BingoBox  Alibaba  JD  Walmart  innovation  China  NYTimes  2018 
april 2018 by inspiral
JRA with the Angry Asian: Does frame compliance still matter? | CyclingTips
One of the areas that I regularly see touted as undergoing steady improvement is frame “compliance” — otherwise known as how much the chassis flexes beneath you vertically in an effort to enhance comfort. But the downward trend in tire inflation, and the upward trend in tire size, got me thinking lately: Does frame compliance still matter at all? Can’t we all run super-stiff frames and adjust the tires to get the ride quality we want?
cycling  design  innovation  frame  compliance  review  CyclingTips  2018 
april 2018 by inspiral
Bitcoin Is Ridiculous. Blockchain Is Dangerous: Paul Ford - Bloomberg
People feel compelled to make predictions about blockchains. Here’s mine: The current wave of coins will eventually ebb, because it’s a big, inefficient, unholy mess. It’s more ideology than financial instrument, and ideology is rarely a sustainable store of value. Plus, transactions are slow (everyone says they’re fixing that), and you shouldn’t have to use an aluminum smelter’s worth of power to make new currency.
blockchain  Bitcoin  review  critique  innovation  author:PaulFord  Bloomberg  2018 
march 2018 by inspiral
Steel History Shows How America Lost Ground to Europe - Bloomberg
Spoiler alert: Unfair trade practices of foreign nations had nothing to do with it.
steel  manufacturing  innovation  decline  trade  USA  Bloomberg  2018 
march 2018 by inspiral
Why Decentralization Matters – Chris Dixon – Medium
The lesson is that when you compare centralized and decentralized systems you need to consider them dynamically, as processes, instead of statically, as rigid products. Centralized systems often start out fully baked, but only get better at the rate at which employees at the sponsoring company improve them. Decentralized systems start out half-baked but, under the right conditions, grow exponentially as they attract new contributors.
blockchain  cryptonetwork  decentralisation  opportunity  innovation  startup  author:ChrisDixon  Medium  2018 
february 2018 by inspiral
3D printing is yesterday's news. Rapid liquid printing is the future | WIRED UK
A new printing method developed by MIT Self-Assembly Lab and Steelcase has the potential to change the way we think about design
3Dprinting  innovation  manufacturing  MIT  Wired  2017 
january 2018 by inspiral
Inside Amazon’s surveillance-powered, no-checkout convenience store | TechCrunch
Like so many ways companies are applying tech today, this seems to me an immense amount of ingenuity and resources being used to “solve” something that few people care about and fewer still consider a problem. As a technical achievement it’s remarkable, but then again, so is a robotic dog.

The store works — that much I can say for it. Where Amazon will take it from here I couldn’t say, nor would anyone respond meaningfully to my questions along these lines. Amazon Go will be open to the public starting this week, but whether anyone will find it to be anything more than a novelty is yet to be seen.
AmazonGo  Amazon  retail  bricksandmortarretail  innovation  review  automation  Techcrunch  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
Inside Amazon Go, a Store of the Future - The New York Times
At Amazon Go, checking out feels like — there’s no other way to put it — shoplifting. It is only a few minutes after walking out of the store, when Amazon sends an electronic receipt for purchases, that the feeling goes away.
AmazonGo  Amazon  bricksandmortarretail  retail  innovation  personalaccount  review  NYTimes  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble - The New York Times
Yes, the blockchain may seem like the very worst of speculative capitalism right now, and yes, it is demonically challenging to understand. But the beautiful thing about open protocols is that they can be steered in surprising new directions by the people who discover and champion them in their infancy. Right now, the only real hope for a revival of the open-protocol ethos lies in the blockchain. Whether it eventually lives up to its egalitarian promise will in large part depend on the people who embrace the platform, who take up the baton, as Juan Benet puts it, from those early online pioneers. If you think the internet is not working in its current incarnation, you can’t change the system through think-pieces and F.C.C. regulations alone. You need new code.
Blockchain  Bitcoin  Ethereum  decentralisation  identity  innovation  review  NYTimes  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
CES 2018: Real Advances, Real Progress, Real Questions
After my 3 days and 87,207 steps I offer these five observations about the direction of products and technology on display at CES.
CES  review  consumerelectronics  voicerecognition  virtualassistant  Google  GoogleAssistant  television  OLED  headphones  Samsung  LG  strategy  augmentedreality  PCs  laptops  wirelesscharging  Qi  innovation  author:StevenSinofsky  LearningbyShipping  Medium  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
Bob Bob Ricard Restaurant Plans to Revolutionize the Way You Pay to Eat Out - Bloomberg
One of London’s leading restaurants will today start pioneering a new pricing model based on the travel industry, with different charges depending on the day of the week and time of your booking.
BobBobRicard  restaurants  pricing  innovation  London  Bloomberg  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
Solar's Bright Future Is Further Away Than It Seems - Bloomberg
There is now a doctrine of what I call “solar triumphalism”: the price of panels has been falling exponentially, the technology makes good practical sense, and only a few further nudges are needed for solar to become a major energy source. Unfortunately, this view seems to be wrong. Solar energy could be a boon to mankind and the environment, but it’s going to need a lot more support and entrepreneurial and policy dynamism.
solarenergy  energy  innovation  critique  review  author:TylerCowen  Bloomberg  2018 
january 2018 by inspiral
Ten years in, nobody has come up with a use for blockchain
Everyone says the blockchain, the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, is going to change EVERYTHING. And yet, after years of tireless effort and billions of dollars invested, nobody has actually come up with a use for the blockchain—besides currency speculation and illegal transactions.

Each purported use case — from payments to legal documents, from escrow to voting systems—amounts to a set of contortions to add a distributed, encrypted, anonymous ledger where none was needed. What if there isn’t actually any use for a distributed ledger at all? What if, ten years after it was invented, the reason nobody has adopted a distributed ledger at scale is because nobody wants it?
Blockchain  cryptocurrencies  Bitcoin  technology  innovation  review  critique  author:KaiStinchcombe  HackerNoon  2017 
december 2017 by inspiral
Estonia, the Digital Republic | The New Yorker
Its government is virtual, borderless, blockchained, and secure. Has this tiny post-Soviet nation found the way of the future?
tech  government  ID  blockchain  innovation  review  Estonia  NewYorker  2017 
december 2017 by inspiral
Mastodon is big in Japan. The reason why is… uncomfortable
Our team at the MIT Media Lab — Chelsea Barabas, Neha Narula and myself — are releasing a new report today on distributed publishing, titled “Back to the Future: the Decentralized Web” We end up speculating that the main barriers to adoption of decentralized platforms aren’t technical, but around usability. Most distributed publishing tools are simply too complex for most users to adopt. Mastodon may have overcome that problem, borrowing design ideas from a successful commercial product. But the example of lolicon may challenge our theories in two directions. One, if you’re unable to share content on the sites you’re used to using — Twitter, in this case — you may be more willing to adopt a new tool, even if its interface is initially unfamiliar. Second, an additional barrier to adoption for decentralized publishing may be that its first large userbase is a population that cannot use centralized social networks. Any stigma associated with this community may make it harder for users with other interests to adopt these new tools.
Mastodon  decentralisation  socialmedia  socialnetworking  innovation  review  Japan  pornography  author:EthanZuckerman  Medium  2017 
august 2017 by inspiral
What we get wrong about technology
Forget flying cars or humanoid robots, the most disruptive inventions are often cheap, simple and easy to overlook
innovation  technology  impact  review  author:TimHarford  FinancialTimes  2017 
july 2017 by inspiral
The Quantum Computer Factory That’s Taking on Google and IBM | WIRED
No company is yet very close to offering up a quantum computer ready to do useful work existing computers can't. But Google has pledged to commercialize the technology within five years. IBM offers a cloud platform intended as a warmup for a future commercial service that lets developers and researchers play with a prototype chip located in Big Blue’s labs. After a few years of mostly staying quiet, Rigetti is now entering the fray. The company on Tuesday launched its own cloud platform, called Forest, where developers can write code for simulated quantum computers, and some partners get to access the startup's existing quantum hardware. Rigetti gave WIRED a peek at the new manufacturing facility in Fremont—grandly dubbed Fab-1—that just started making chips for testing at the company's headquarters in Berkeley.
quantumcomputing  hardware  innovation  Rigetti  startup  review  Wired  2017 
june 2017 by inspiral
The Shattering Truth of 3D-Printed Clothing – Backchannel
Fashion visionaries are using 3D printing to create mind-bending textiles that are nearly impossible to wear.
3Dprinting  fahsion  threeASFOUR  innovation  creativeshowcase  BackChannel  2017 
may 2017 by inspiral
Flying car contenders taxi for take-off
Flying car contenders taxi for take-off “If cheap drones are the peace dividend of the smartphone wars, self-flying cars are going to be the peace dividend of the drone wars,” says Jeremy Conrad, partner at hardware investor Lemnos Labs.
aerospace  flyingcars  innovation  Uber  Airbus  transport  battery  review  FinancialTimes  2017 
may 2017 by inspiral
How Intel Makes a Chip - Bloomberg
The development of a microprocessor is one of the riskiest, costliest, and most technically complex feats in business.
Intel  microchips  manufacturing  design  evolution  innovation  profile  Bloomberg  2017 
april 2017 by inspiral
The end of smartphone innovation — Benedict Evans
There's a paradox here, perhaps: slowing innovation in the iPhone and in Android doesn't mean weakness ("Apple doomed!" "Android falling behind!") but strength: it reflects the fact that we are in a phase in which they're unassailable. The fact that almost all of the white space has been filled in - the big problems solved - also means that we have left the part of the S Curve in which a new idea or execution could overturn the incumbent. They're too feature-rich and, of course, have too much scale in units and ecosystem. 
smartphones  innovation  review  artificialintelligence  augmentedreality  voicerecognition  BenedictEvans  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
Self-Driving Cars’ Spinning-Laser Problem - MIT Technology Review
Many components go into making a vehicle capable of driving itself, but one is proving to be more crucial and contentious than all the rest.

That vital ingredient is the lidar sensor, a device that maps objects in 3-D by bouncing laser beams off its real-world surroundings. Self-driving vehicles being tested by companies such as Alphabet, Uber, and Toyota rely heavily on lidar to locate themselves on the detailed maps they need to get around, and to identify things like pedestrians and other vehicles. The best sensors can see details of a few centimeters at distances of more than 100 meters.

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Most companies in the race to commercialize self-driving cars consider lidar essential (Tesla is a rare exception, relying solely on cameras and radar). Radar sensors can’t see much detail, and cameras don’t perform well in conditions with low light or glare. A Tesla vehicle ran into a tractor-trailer last year, killing the car’s driver, after the Autopilot software couldn’t make out the trailer against a bright sky. Ryan Eustice, vice president of autonomous driving at Toyota, recently told me it was an “open question” even whether a less ambitious safety system the company is working on could work without it (see “Toyota Tests Backseat-Driver Software That Could Take Control in Dangerous Moments”).

But self-driving technology has ramped up so fast that the nascent industry is suffering from a kind of lidar lag. Making and selling lidar sensors was previously a relatively niche business, and the technology doesn’t yet seem mature enough to become a standard component in millions of cars.
selfdrivingvehicles  automotive  innovation  LIDAR  review  critique  TechnologyReview  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
DeepMind Finds Way to Overcome AI’s Forgetfulness Problem - Bloomberg
DeepMind, the London-based artificial intelligence company owned by Alphabet Inc., claims it overcame a key limitation affecting one of the most promising machine learning technologies: the software’s inability to remember.

The breakthrough, described in a paper published Tuesday in the academic journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, may open the way for artificial intelligence systems to be more easily applied to multiple tasks, instead of being narrowly trained for one purpose. It should also improve the ability of AI systems to transfer knowledge between tasks and to master a sequence of linked steps.
DeepMind  artificialintelligence  machinelearning  memory  innovation  Bloomberg  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
How Drive.ai Is Mastering Autonomous Driving with Deep Learning - IEEE Spectrum
Among all of the self-driving startups working towards Level 4 autonomy (a self-driving system that doesn’t require human intervention in most scenarios), Mountain View, Calif.-based Drive.ai’s scalable deep learning approach and aggressive pace make it unique. Drive sees deep learning as the only viable way to make a truly useful autonomous car in the near term, says Sameep Tandon, cofounder and CEO. “If you look at the long-term possibilities of these algorithms and how people are going to build [self-driving cars] in the future, having a learning system just makes the most sense. There’s so much complication in driving, there are so many things that are nuanced and hard, that if you have to do this in ways that aren’t learned, then you’re never going to get these cars out there.”
Drive.ai  selfdrivingvehicles  deeplearning  automotive  innovation  review  IEEESpectrum  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
The fatal flaw in subscription models
Paywalls rely on publishers assuming that an individual will only have one or two subscriptions, and therefore that theirs is the only content worth paying for. Yes, on a publisher-by-publisher basis, it is critical that the content they produce is valued and paid for. But on an industry level, it isn’t sustainable.
subscription  webjournalism  paywalls  media  innovation  Medium  Blendle  TheMediaBriefing  2017 
march 2017 by inspiral
How the technology behind Bitcoin could change the music industry
MP3s, AACs and the rest, are laughably insecure when it comes to metadata. As Rogers points out, it is the work of seconds to strip out artist data from a file of this kind. But, he says, “the persistence of information on ownership is going to become really important. The bass player who played on a track that’s sampled 600 times and then played on a platform that makes money – how does that money get back to the bass player?” By hard-wiring the rightsholder information into the file, he thinks he can help to eliminate the black boxes being sat on by YouTube and their like – and, by building a system whereby rightsholders, labels, licensees and streaming platforms all transact on a blockchain, that information can be rendered immutable by anyone but the parties with the right to change it.

The blockchain technology also offers the opportunity to conduct transactions virtually in real time, circumventing an industry that, according to Rogers, still routinely conducts its business on paper. In a blockchain model, an artist might set out the terms on which they want to license a track, and any restrictions on use. A potential licensee could then use a ‘smart contract’ function to do a deal instantly, without weeks of paperwork.
music  DRM  blockchain  dotBlockchain  PledgeMusic  innovation  FactMag  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Hollywood Has No Idea What to Do with VR
VR will never become the new cinema. Instead, it will be a different thing. But what is that thing? And will audiences trained in passive linear narrative—where scene follows scene like beads on a string, and the string always pulls us forward—appreciate what the thing might be? Or will we only recognize it when the new medium has reached a certain maturity, the way audiences in 1903 sat up at The Great Train Robbery and recognized that, finally, here was a movie?
virtualreality  film  movies  innovation  review  critique  evolution  TechnologyReview  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Facebook’s AI unlocks the ability to search photos by what’s in them | TechCrunch
Initially used to improve the experience for visually impaired members of the Facebook community, the company’s Lumos computer vision platform is now powering image content search for all users. This means you can now search for images on Facebook with key words that describe the contents of a photo, rather than being limited by tags and captions.

To accomplish the task, Facebook trained an ever-fashionable deep neural network on tens of millions of photos. Facebook’s fortunate in this respect because its platform is already host to billions of captioned images. The model essentially matches search descriptors to features pulled from photos with some degree of probability.
Facebook  FacebookLuomos  imagerecognition  launch  neuralnetworks  innovation  Techcrunch  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Uber Hires Veteran NASA Engineer to Develop Flying Cars - Bloomberg
The man who inspired Google’s co-founder will join the ride-hailing startup’s nascent project.
Uber  flyingcars  innovation  MarkMoore  management  Google  Bloomberg  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
The Bad Product Fallacy: Don't confuse "I don't like it" with "That's a bad product and it'll fail" at andrewchen
So instead, I leave you with a couple questions to ask when you are looking at a new product:

If it looks like a toy, what happens if it’s successful with its initial audience and then starts to add a lot more features?
If it looks like a luxury, what happens if it becomes much cheaper? Or much better, at the same price?
If it’s a marketplace that doesn’t sell anything you’d buy, what happens when it starts stocking products and services you find valauble?
If none of your friends use a social product, what happens when they win a niche and ultimately all your friends are using it too?
innovation  startup  disruption  growth  opportunity  AndrewChen  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Pinterest introduces Lens, a Shazam for objects in the real world - The Verge
Pinterest today introduced Lens, a new visual search tool that uses machine vision to detect objects in the real world and suggest related items on the service. Lens, which is now in beta, is a tool inside the Pinterest mobile app that functions as a kind of Shazam for objects. Point it at food, furniture, or even the night sky, and Pinterest will return objects that it believes are related.
Pinterest  PinterestLens  objectrecognition  launch  mobileapps  innovation  TheVerge  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
The Self-Driving Car's Bicycle Problem - IEEE Spectrum
Nuno Vasconcelos, a visual computing expert at the University of California, San Diego, says bikes pose a complex detection problem because they are relatively small, fast and heterogenous. “A car is basically a big block of stuff. A bicycle has much less mass and also there can be more variation in appearance — there are more shapes and colors and people hang stuff on them.”
cycling  selfdrivingvehicles  safety  automotive  innovation  critique  IEEESpectrum  2017 
february 2017 by inspiral
Asking the wrong questions — Benedict Evans
So, a pretty common theme of discussion in tech now is to ask what comes 'after' mobile, now that it is moving from the creation to deployment phase and the smartphone platform wars etc are over. There are a bunch of exciting things going on, certainly, from machine learning to AR and VR to electric and autonomous cars. What content will work in VR? Who will be best placed to make AR glasses? Will EV batteries be a competitive advantage, or end up like LCD screens, low-margin commodity? Who will have enough of the right kind of driving data for autonomy? But every time I think about these, I try to think what questions I'm not asking. I still want a glider though. 
technology  forecast  innovation  review  critique  BenedictEvans  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
Autonomous drones set to revolutionize warfare - 60 Minutes - CBS News
Autonomous drones are being called the biggest thing in military technology since the nuclear bomb. David Martin reports.
drones  military  artificialintelligence  innovation  Perdix  USA  CBSNews  2017 
january 2017 by inspiral
Google studying ways to deal with offensive search suggestions & results
Facing criticism over "fake news," inappropriate search suggestions and more, the search company is looking for long-term and comprehensive solutions.
Google  search  moderation  algorithms  innovation  autocomplete  fakenews  strategy  SearchEngineLand  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
A Very Depressing Paper on the Great Stagnation - Marginal REVOLUTION
Are Ideas Getting Harder to Find? Yes, say Bloom, Jones, Van Reenen, and Webb. A well known fact about US economic growth is that it has been relatively constant over a hundred years or more. Yet we also know that the number of researchers has increased greatly over the same time period. More researchers and the same growth rate suggest a declining productivity of ideas. Jones made this point in a much earlier paper that has long nagged at me. With just one country and rising world growth rates, however, I wondered if the US had somehow had offsetting factors. Bloom, Jones, Van Reenen and Webb, however, now return to the same issue with a more detailed investigation of specific industries and the picture isn’t pretty.
innovation  productivity  review  critique  author:TylerCowen  MarginalRevolution  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
What are progressive web apps (PWAs)? | Econsultancy
Simply put, they are websites that feel more like an app.

They load quickly (no App Store involved), can be added to your smartphone home screen, function offline and can send push notifications - making them much more convenient than a traditional web app.
ProgressiveWebApps  mobileapps  mobileinternet  offline  Airberlin  WashingtonPost  creativeshowcase  launch  innovation  Google  Econsultancy  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Google Makes So Much Money, It Never Had to Worry About Financial Discipline - Bloomberg
Critics, including more than a dozen former top Google executives who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they signed nondisclosure agreements, describe a company having trouble balancing innovation and its core business, search advertising. Over the 12 months ended in September, Google’s ad business accounted for 89 percent of Alphabet’s revenue, or $76.1 billion. As one ex-executive puts it, “No one wants to face the reality that this is an advertising company with a bunch of hobbies.”
Google  Alphabet  strategy  management  innovation  profitability  RuthPorat  Bloomberg  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
Magic Leap is actually way behind, like we always suspected it was - The Verge
Magic Leap’s allegedly revolutionary augmented reality technology may in fact be years away from completion and, as it stands now, is noticeably inferior to Microsoft’s HoloLens headset, according to a report from The Information. The report, which incorporates an interview with Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz, reveals that the company posted a misleading product demo last year showcasing its technology. The company has also had trouble miniaturizing its AR technology from a bulky helmet-sized device into a pair of everyday glasses, as Abovitz has repeatedly claimed the finished product will accomplish.
MagicLeap  augmentedreality  innovation  review  critique  TheInformation  TheVerge  2016 
december 2016 by inspiral
How the SoC is Displacing the CPU – Medium
Over time, in line with classic disruption theory, the SoC transistor platform caught up to the incumbent CPU transistor platform to the point where now the Apple A9X SoC offers 64 bit desktop-class computing enabling a handheld tablet to go toe-to-toe with a state-of-the-art laptop CPU from Intel (See John Gruber here).
The key to the success of early post-PC products like the iPad is the fact that they were designed from the ground-up without the baggage of legacy PC-era software (Mac OS) or hardware (x86 CPU).
CPU  SoC  microchips  innovation  Intel  ARM  comparison  evolution  author:PushkarRanade  Medium  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
Facebook Manages to Squeeze an AI Into Its Mobile App | WIRED
Typically, neural networks run on large numbers of computer servers packed into data centers on the other side of the Internet—they don’t work unless your phone is online—but with its new app, Facebook takes a different approach. The Picasso filter is driven by a neural network efficient enough to run on the phone itself. “We perceive the world in real-time,” Mehanna says. “Why wouldn’t you want the same thing from your AI?”

Already available in Ireland and due soon here in the States, this new Facebook app is another sign that deep neural networks will push beyond the data center and onto phones, cameras, and various other devices spread across the so-called Internet of Things. Last summer, Google squeezed a neural network into its Google Translate app, which can identify words in photos and translate them in new languages. And so many other operations, including the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, are developing similarly svelte neural networks.
Facebook  neuralnetworks  mobileapps  photography  launch  filters  innovation  Wired  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
Found in translation: More accurate, fluent sentences in Google Translate
In 10 years, Google Translate has gone from supporting just a few languages to 103, connecting strangers, reaching across language barriers and even helping people find love. At the start, we pioneered large-scale statistical machine translation, which uses statistical models to translate text. Today, we’re introducing the next step in making Google Translate even better: Neural Machine Translation.  

Neural Machine Translation has been generating exciting research results for a few years and in September, our researchers announced Google's version of this technique. At a high level, the Neural system translates whole sentences at a time, rather than just piece by piece. It uses this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation, which it then rearranges and adjusts to be more like a human speaking with proper grammar. Since it’s easier to understand each sentence, translated paragraphs and articles are a lot smoother and easier to read. And this is all possible because of end-to-end learning system built on Neural Machine Translation, which basically means that the system learns over time to create better, more natural translations.
GoogleTranslate  machinelearning  neuralnetworks  translation  innovation  language  Google  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
Cameras, ecommerce and machine learning — Benedict Evans
The key thing here is that the nice attention-grabbing demos of computer vision that recognize a dog or a tree, or a pedestrian, are just the first, obvious use cases for a fundamental new capability - to read images. And not just to read them the way humans can, but to read a billion and see the patterns. Among many other things, that has implications for a lot of retail, including parts not really affected by Amazon, and indeed for the $500bn spent every year on advertising, 
camera  machinelearning  innovation  impact  forecast  BenedictEvans  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
The audacious plan to bring back supersonic flight - Vox
We’ve largely learned to tolerate our slow, boring aircraft. But there’s a compelling case that we shouldn’t — that air travel should actually be much, much quicker.

Right now there are a host of energetic startups and NASA engineers working on sleek new supersonic jets that could fly twice as fast as today’s commercial planes, if not faster. These jets would be major upgrades on the noisy, fuel-squandering Concordes of old, and they could be ready within the decade.
aerospace  supersonic  airlines  Boom  Aerion  innovation  review  Vox  2016 
november 2016 by inspiral
Chatbots with Social Skills Will Convince You to Buy Something
Virtual assistants that can read social cues and nonverbal signals are less jarring—and surprisingly persuasive.
virtualassistant  chatbots  voicerecognition  facialrecognition  bodylanguage  innovation  Sara  TechnologyReview  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Pittsburgh's AI Traffic Signals Will Make Driving Less Boring - IEEE Spectrum
Idling in rush-hour traffic can be mind-numbing. It also carries other costs. Traffic congestion costs the U.S. economy $121 billion a year, mostly due to lost productivity, and produces about 25 billion kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions, Carnegie Mellon University professor of robotics Stephen Smith told the audience at a White House Frontiers Conference last week. In urban areas, drivers spend 40 percent of their time idling in traffic, he added.

The big reason is that today’s traffic signals are dumb. Smith is developing smart artificial-intelligence-fueled traffic signals that adapt to changing traffic conditions on the fly. His startup Surtrac is commercializing the technology.

In pilot tests in Pittsburgh, the smart traffic-management system has gotten impressive results. It reduced travel time by 25 percent and idling time by over 40 percent. That means less time spent staring out the windshield and more time working, being with your family, or doing anything else. I’m a Pittsburgh resident who has witnessed the city’s rapidly evolving urban landscape. And I can attest to the mostly frustration-free driving that has resulted from this system despite the city’s growing population. 
traffic  congestion  artificialintelligence  CarnegieMellonUniversity  innovation  IEEESpectrum  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Prepare to be Underwhelmed by 2021’s Autonomous Cars
But don’t expect to toss out your driver's license in 2021. Five years isn’t long enough to create vehicles good enough at driving to roam extensively without human input, say researchers working on autonomous cars. They predict that Ford and others will meet their targets by creating small fleets of vehicles limited to small, controlled areas.
automotive  selfdrivingvehicles  innovation  review  critique  Ford  Uber  BMW  TechnologyReview  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Photos: How Tools Start a Revolution
If you extrapolate from today you can start to see how mobile photography that incorporates multiple sensors, machine learning, and real-time compute will continue to create new types of images. These images are no longer going to be constrained by physics, but can tap into a whole new level of creativity. The fact that the smartphone’s ubiquity also democratizes these new forms makes the paradigm shift doubly cool.
So while the classical photographer was at first excited and then a little disappointed, the more I pondered where we are going the more I thought of all the new things that will come from a super computer in your pocket taking pictures that we could never take before.
That’s why, even as a photographer, I’m not downplaying the cool new features of the iPhone 7 Plus camera.
photography  iPhone7  Bokeh  innovation  evolution  review  author:StevenSinofsky  LearningbyShipping  2016 
october 2016 by inspiral
Zombie Moore's Law shows hardware is eating software • The Register
The cheap and easy gains of the last fifty years of Moore’s Law gave birth to a global technology industry. The next little while - somewhere between twenty and fifty years out - will be dominated by a transition from software into hardware, a confusion of the two so complete it will literally become impossible to know where the boundary between the two lies.
microchips  MooresLaw  speed  Intel  Apple  hardware  innovation  customisation  TheRegister  2016 
september 2016 by inspiral
Why Silicon Valley is all wrong about Apple’s AirPods – Chris Messina – Medium
And this is what Apple can do that no one else can: make the behavior of talking to a disembodied entity on your face so socially acceptable that the voice computer revolution can finally get underway.
Apple  AppleAirPods  innovation  design  strategy  advocacy  author:ChrisMessina  Medium  2016 
september 2016 by inspiral
The Most Innovative Business School Ideas of 2015 | John A. Byrne | Pulse | LinkedIn
Among all the innovation to hit the business school marketplace this year, we think there are at least ten that truly stand out–and deserve credit for being highly creative attempts to improve business education. They range from the unique and novel growth and scaling initiative at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management to the University of Illinois’ bold decision to launch a $20,000 online MBA program based entirely on massive open online courses (MOOCs).

In fact, the majority of the most impressive business school innovations are built on technology. They include Harvard Business School’s creation of the classroom of the future, an idea that borrows as much from TV broadcasting as it does from old fashioned classroom teaching, as well as the ongoing effort by William & Mary’s Mason School of Business to crowdsource a curriculum review that will lead to an overhaul of its MBA program.

Here are our picks for the most innovative moves by business schools in 2015.
MBA  businessschool  innovation  evolution  MOOCs  education  tertiaryeducation  LinkedIn  2015 
september 2016 by inspiral
With the iPhone 7, Apple Changed the Camera Industry Forever - The New Yorker
The distinct business advantage that Apple has achieved thanks to its hardware is the sheer volume of iPhone sales, which justifies the big spending on the specialized chips that make that hardware so powerful. The new image processor is a perfect example. It can spread the cost of that investment in chips over hundreds of millions of iPhones. In comparison, the falling sales of stand-alone cameras have hampered the ability of camera companies to innovate and spend on core technologies. Given that hardware and software are equally important today, Apple’s advances in both areas makes it difficult for anyone to beat the company in photography for the masses. You can see why the camera companies are doomed.
camera  photography  iPhone  iPhone7  Apple  review  innovation  decline  NewYorker  2016 
september 2016 by inspiral
Inside iPhone 7: Why Apple Killed The Headphone Jack - BuzzFeed News
The standard audio jack that connects your headphones to just about everything has been around for nearly 150 years. Here’s why Apple thought it was time for a change.
Apple  iPhone  iPhone7  headphones  camera  innovation  AppleAirPods  Buzzfeed  2016 
september 2016 by inspiral
How the Apple iCar could crack the automotive industry | Autocar
Tech giant Apple has ambitious - but secretive - plans to create a car which will revolutionise personal mobility
Apple  automotive  innovation  selfdrivingvehicles  electricvehicles  review  Autocar  2016 
september 2016 by inspiral
VR Pioneer Chris Milk: Virtual Reality Will Mirror Life Like Nothing Else Before
Chris Milk, founder and CEO of virtual reality company Within (formerly Vrse), has a vision for the future of stories. He was kind enough to take some time at Singularity University Global Summit to sit down and walk me through a wide-ranging conversation touching upon the future of storytelling as a medium, virtual reality as a platform for innovation and the wildly exciting interactions between virtual reality and other exponential technologies.

Milk is already a legend in the VR community. He exploded onto the scene with the breakthrough VR documentary “Clouds Over Sidra,” an in-depth examination of daily life in a Syrian refugee camp. When the history of VR cinema is being written, “Clouds Over Sidra” will almost certainly be the first classic VR film mentioned.

But Milk is just getting started. His company Within has plans to help shape the language we use for virtual reality storytelling. Because let’s be clear, VR storytelling is still very much in its infancy. This fact makes it even crazier there are already VR films out there that can inspire and captivate on such a profound level.

And we’re only going up from here.
ChrisMilk  virtualreality  360video  innovation  Within  interview  SingularityHub  2016 
september 2016 by inspiral
Qualcomm plots cheaper VR with all-in-one headset | Ars Technica
Qualcomm has unveiled a new reference platform for standalone virtual reality headsets, which it hopes will dramatically reduce their cost.

Dubbed the VR820, the reference device pairs the mobile chip maker's now ubiquitous Snapdragon 820 SoC with an eye-tracker, six-axis motion tracker, and a pair of AMOLED displays at resolutions up to 1440x1440 pixels each—a big jump over the 1080x1200 resolution displays of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, albeit running at 70Hz rather than 90Hz.

While that might sound expensive—particularly as the VR820 essentially integrates a high-end smartphone into its Galaxy Gear-like shell—Qualcomm hopes that third-party manufacturers will be able to save on R&D costs by using the platform, thus bringing down the overall cost. Qualcomm performed a similar trick with smartphones, putting out a series of reference designs that several manufacturers (particularly those in China) used to produce smartphones at cheaper prices.
Qualcomm  virtualreality  headset  innovation  launch  VR820  ArsTechnica  2016 
september 2016 by inspiral
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