Amazon’s Alexa Is Dominant Platform By Far


Amazon continues its dominate run to take over the world and become our one and only retailer. Growth has come from many different elements of Amazon’s ever expanding business models and while it stumble early on with hardware (the horrible Amazon One phone), it has seen the patience pay off with Alexa.

Recent reports suggest Amazon has a 70.6% share of the voice digital assistant space….virtually leaving all competitors to fight for the remaining balance (including Apple and Microsoft.)

In 2017, 35.6 Million consumers in the US will use the voice activated assistant devices, up ~130% from prior year and growing. These figures are supposed to hit the exponential curve as the hardware integration begins to penetrate automotive and appliance markets where consumer value is immediate.

Analysts expect Amazon to give back some market share as Google Home and others scale, but dominate it will remain and who knows…with additional advancements in hardware it will be hard to catch.


Facebook Translates Your Thoughts Into Text


Facebook has many ambitions, some of which are obvious, some of which are not so obvious. Yesterday, Facebook announced its intention to build a brain computer interface that could allow people to type a message with just your mind.

Essentially….FB uses a technology to that scans your brain more than 100 times per second to detect you silently speaking and translate that into text. If you stop for a moment when you are typing an email, you will notice you are silently speaking what you are typing…this is what they are picking up on (try it and you’ll get it.)

They apparently have about 60 engineers working aggressively on the concept and have working prototypes of individuals being able to type 8 words per minute. They believe they can eventually accelerate this to 100 words per minute (well above typing speeds for average workers.) The applications are endless…help for people living with complete paralysis, people who suffer strokes and lose mobility skills to augmented and virtual reality controls.

FB is running all of this (and much more) through their Building 8 program and in partnership with UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Ultimate goal is to be able to solve the need for implants and to deliver non-surgical solutions at scale across a broad set of use cases.

Navigating To Your Next Meal – Waze Introduces Order Ahead


Waze, arguably one of the most significant and popular GPS navigation platforms worldwide, has continued to evolve their consumer value proposition beyond directions. Within last 12 months, we have a massive acceleration of local advertising and offers embedded within the experience. It appears now they are moving to make these actionable with an order ahead function.

This week, Waze will introduce a pilot with Dunkin Donuts allowing users to order their coffee ahead, based on their location. While using the device, consumers will be presented with a coffee offer it real time, based on their location, that they can simply tap to order ahead. Waze will then an order to Dunkin with estimated arrival time for a grab and go experience.  Consumers will have to be enrolled in Dunkin’s mobile application for payment management but will not be required to use the DD app for purchasing. What’s powerful here is Waze as a logistics platform partner for Dunkin and how they become a sales and marketing, plus logistical partner (think Uber.) You can easily see how this could expand into other QSR  restaurants, parking spaces, and convenience stores.

This is reinforces the power of platforms and they attempt to drive greater value through simplicity and convenience. Imagine an app that helps you efficiently navigate the world to save you time, enables you to buy goods you need along the way and helps to manage logistics for millions of retailers connected to the network.

Learn How To Translate Techie Jargon

Every want to sound like you know what you’re talking about? More importantly, ever want to understand what someone else is talking about? Well good news…there is a new learning tool to demystify what the complex terms like IP Address, Protocols and Flux Capacitor mean. It’s a new site called the Sideways Dictionary and it’s being brought to use by the world information organization engine, Google. It’s brilliant in its simplicity….it uses everyday analogies to explain jargon.

The site is apparently a collaboration between Google’s incubator company called JigSaw and the Washington Post and is simply designed to be an open source dictionary for all technology terms. For many it can be a blessing…we’ve all been there, hearing a term that was unfamiliar, and spending the entire time trying to tease out its meaning from the ongoing conversation.  This is increasingly complex as technology is creating its own language.

Simple example…”Encryption” is explained by the site as the process of sending a sealed envelope versus a post card. Unintended recipients cannot see the contents unless the crack the seal..known as the Encryption. Regardless of your technical acumen, you can certainly grasp the concept….well maybe if you are a young kid who has never seen a postcard.



Story Telling Now Comes In Text Format From WattPad 

WattPad has brought forward a breakthrough idea with it’s new mobile app called Tap, that changes how story stories are told using text messaging format. In short, users of the service can read a variety of free and paid story stories on the mobile phones in text format, almost as if they are reading someone else’s text messages. The form factor by nature makes stories more digestible and builds natural curiosity to “tap” to see what happens next in the thread. Tap now has more than 45Million users worldwide with over 250Million stories having been consumed.

 The service has a number of subscription levels and clearly is focused on their individuals who are looking to consume content in a different form or are bored during their daily commutes. WattPad (the owner) has been working its way along Hollywoods biggest content producers to inked deals enable access to content and potentially bigger things.