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Wednesday
May282014

Chrome's Prospects? Ask Microsoft

A year or so ago, clients first started asking me what I thought of the prospects for Chrome OS. What I told them was this: if you want to know about Chrome’s chances, then find out what Microsoft is up to. After all, it was Microsoft’s missteps that gave Google’s cloud-centric PC platform the gaping hole in the desktop market to drive through. And it is the software giant that has the power to mute Chrome’s outlook by righting the badly listing Windows ship.

Clients still ask the question today. I still answer the same way, though the range of possible outcomes is better for Chrome than it was last year — and worse for Windows. A healthy Windows would still pinch the spread, but it could no longer eradicate Google’s upstart OS like it could in 2012.

In a year, I might still be giving the same answer. But the clock is ticking. 

Read the full column on TechPinions ...

 

Wednesday
Mar052014

Qualcomm Races to Fix Wireless Crunch

Qualcomm conducted a hyper-dense small-cell trial deployment at the NASCAR Sprint Cup race this past weekend, delivering 43 times more capacity than what Sprint currently deploys at events. 

Qualcomm said it chose the Sprint Cup event at Phoenix International Raceway because it's such a challenging RF environment with high demands on capacity from the nearly 70,000 fans as well as racing teams and PIR personnel. Hurdles such as battling reflection from the bevy of hauler trucks added to the typical challenges of providing coverage to a highly attended outdoor event.

Sprint typically supports wireless data capacity needs at NASCAR events with Cell on Wheel units, or COWs. For this event, Qualcomm deployed 31 small-cell base stations. In addition to dramatic capacity improvements, there could be cost advantages to Sprint in deploying compact small cells rather than COWs as well.

Many believe that small cells will play a critical role in solving the impending data capacity crunch, as demand for wireless data continues to grow many times faster than 4G alone will be able to provide. Qualcomm calls this the "1000x Challenge," as it forecasts that data demand will multiply 1000-fold by the end of the decade. You can find my white paper on topic HERE.

 

Wednesday
Feb052014

Is Fitbit the New Abdominizer?

Are wearable fitness trackers really a game-changing phenomenon? Or are they just the latest in a long line of gimmicks designed to snag money from the wallets of people who really want to get in shape but never seem to? 

I’ve been of the mind that an awful lot of the devices will be sitting with the Shake Weight on the treadmill-cum-clothesline in the study. But I'm starting to change my tune.

I’ll submit that my position may be colored at least in part by the wearables hangover I’ve been nursing since CES last month. The manic rush to strap sensors onto body parts and embed them into other connected devices at times felt more like parody than plan. It reminded me of the days before the dot com bubble burst – on a much smaller scale, of course – when all you needed was a PowerPoint deck and a sock puppet to secure enough funding to run Super Bowl ads.

By the time I flew out of Vegas, I'd coined a new acronym: IoC, or Internet of Crap.

No doubt, there is an awful lot of IoC out there. But it's not all IoC. There are Amazon.com's out there with the Pet.com's of the wearables era.

So which is Fitbit? Read my entire column HERE.

Wednesday
Jan222014

A Tale of Two eBurglaries

 

Hackers recently pried their way into customer data at Target and SnapChat. It’s a costly proposition for both, to be sure. But while one company’s wings may be permanently clipped, watch for the other to dust itself off and continue on as before.

Why are consumer reactions to the two heists so pronounced? Because they view the Target hack as a security breach. And even though thieves got less information per SnapChat customer, consumers see that breakin as a violation of their privacy.

Find out why HERE.

Friday
Dec202013

Powerful Incentive from Miami Dolphins

Autographs? Now that's how you get fans to share their location and other personal information with you!

Last Sunday, Qualcomm and the Dolphins lit up proximity beacons around Sun Life Stadium in Miami, and gave a group of fans a taste of location-aware discounts, inside information and other benefits delivered to their smartphones. Like notifications that the food line one section over is much shorter than the one you're standing in now. Or coupons as you pass the team store.

And an alert that players are signing autographs at the loyalty tent. What loyal fan wouldn't want their favorite player's autograph? Right?

There's a good lesson here for anyone planning contextually aware apps. That is, if you want their information, you have to follow these three steps:

  • Tell them what they're sharing
  • Tell them what you're going to use it for, and
  • Give them something in return.

Read my entire column on the subject HERE.