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FeibusTech: market insight & analysis. Influencer, analyst in IoT, digital health/fitness, wearables, connected car, smart home, privacy/security. Columnist for Tech section of USA TODAY and Fortune.

FeibusTech is brought to you by TechKnowledge Strategies, which has been providing clear, critical and independent insight to technology buyers and suppliers for more than a decade.  TechKnowledge offers a mix of business acumen with a discerning grasp of technology and a savvy honed by years of hands-on experience. If you have questions, TechKnowledge has answers.

FeibusTech Blog

Open Wi-Fi: A Cure for TS?

Mike Feibus


Have you ever faced a purchasing decision so weighty and daunting that you delayed or avoided it altogether?

I have a name for the phenomenon. I call it “Threshold Syndrome,” or TS. People with TS know that what they want is waiting for them on the other side of the proverbial door. But the gravity of the decision keeps them from passing through. They worry that the cost of making a bad choice could be life-altering. So they linger in the doorway.

IT buyers know TS all too well. They typically come down with it when they take on new network deployments. Because they know that once they pull the trigger, they’ll be locked into a vendors’ system. Which means that they go as the vendor goes. If the vendor raises prices for new hardware or tacks on maintenance fees for new services, then they pay more. And if the vendor is late with new hardware, then the state-of-the-network lags.

Fortunately for network decision-makers, an antidote for TS is gaining momentum in the marketplace: open Wi-Fi. By giving IT the power to mix and match compatible hardware, software and services from different vendors, open Wi-Fi effectively breaks down big deployment decisions into smaller, more palatable choices. If the access points turn out to be disappointing, for example, IT can turn to a different supplier for upgrade and expansion.

Naturally, prices will come down and quality will rise once vendors are forced to compete at every turn. It’s one reason FeibusTech is forecasting growth in enterprise Wi-Fi deployments to accelerate.

Open Wi-Fi is gaining steam in the marketplace. At the Open Compute Project’s annual US Summit this week, in fact, the 3,000 or so attendees and exhibitors will be treated to Wi-Fi connectivity by way of the first-ever all-open, large-scale deployment, courtesy Mojo Networks and Edgecore Networks. It’s a significant, if symbolic, milestone in the legitimacy of open Wi-Fi.

And, in the process, we’re one step closer to stamping out TS in the enterprise.

OCP: One Small Step for Open Wi-Fi ...

Mike Feibus


Facebook founded the Open Compute Project seven years ago with a vision of building powerful, cost-efficient datacenters and networks. So imagine how demotivating it would have been for attendees and exhibiters at the OCP’s US Summit next week in San Jose to be forced to connect to the internet over pricey, proprietary Wi-Fi networks.

Two OCP members decided that was unacceptable, and decided to do something about it. So together, Mojo Networks and Edgecore Networks built the first large large-scale open Wi-Fi network for the 3,000 Summit attendees and exhibitors, spanning 75,000 square feet of the San Jose Convention Center. Mojo’s cloud-managed suite, Cognitive WiFi, is serving as the network’s operating system for Edgecore’s access points.

Now that’s motivation!

FTInsights: 2018 - Takeoff Time For Remote Patient Monitoring?

Mike Feibus

Follow along as I interview Eric Rock, founder and CEO of Vivify Health, one of the largest remote care platforms on the market today. We're talking about cost management, establishing a hierarchy of care, transitional care and patient self-management. More and more, the remote patient monitoring and interpretation of data is blurring the lines between wellness, prevention, to diagnosis and treatment. It's also disrupting the traditional onboarding of patients to providers in an in-office environment, and that's not a bad thing.

Highlights From CES Digital Health Summit and Last Gadget Standing

Mike Feibus

Conversation with David Rhew, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Healthcare and Fitness at Samsung, and Rob Flippo, CEO at MobileHelp, talking about the user experience and simplifying healthcare tech for emergency response applications. Watch the video to learn more about the advances in the data collection and what that means for the consumer, and where the wearable technology is going towards prevention and connection to emergency services.

Rebecca Madsen, Chief Consumer Officer at United Healthcare, and Naimish Patel, Vice President Client Solutions at Rally Health, Inc. discuss how healthcare companies are partnering with health tech solutions to bridge the gap to consumers. From finding a primary care to contracted rates and understand co-pays, applications and real time integration between the payer and provider is the future of consumer healthcare.

With privacy being a forefront concern among smartphone and connected tech users, Joshua Konowe, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Silent Circle, introduces us to their new product, GoSilent. David Pogue, Founder of Yahoo Tech, brings up objections for the mobile firewall that claims to protect your data by connecting to any existing network.

Buyers' Guide: Gateways for Remote Patient Monitoring

Mike Feibus


Remote patient monitoring is taking off, driven in part by a desire to improve care and in part by necessity to help ease the nation's growing healthcare burden Many healthcare systems, as a consequence, are adding remote patient monitoring programs to their offerings.

Decision-makers at healthcare systems not only need to choose which connected devices to include in kits. More importantly, they need to select a platform to engage patients, collect the data and transmit it securely back to the EHR.

FeibusTech has produced a research brief, commissioned by Intel, to help those guide decision-makers through the process. The brief, Remote Patient Monitoring Gateways: Key Considerations for Choosing the Best Option for your Remote Patient Monitoring Programs, is now available for download.

Post CES 'Most Mentioned' and More

Mike Feibus

Following CES 2018, I have plenty to explore in healthtech, especially the design, metrics, and integrations on the verge with wearables, hearables, and other health tech trends. I’ll be touching on insights with Samsung and MobileHealth emergency response system.

Pay attention to directional changes in the health sector in regards to diabetes & hearing aids.

Non-intrusive data collection is huge, but more importantly, what consumers can gain from the metrics without the data overload.


Notice the twitter ‘most mentioned’ - if you’re on twitter, follow me here for updates.


Plus an honorable mention in DigiObs TOP 15 INFLUENCERS:

digiobs ces 2018Jan nuFINALpng.png

FT INSIGHTS: 2018 CES Preview

Mike Feibus

With CES fast approaching, I’m breaking down my predictions for the hot trends and themes for 2018. It’s an exciting time for healthtech, from sleeptech to hearables. Voice assist, such as Google Voice, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa will be expanding throughout your home this year. Mixed reality, augmented reality and virtual reality, have grown up with new developments for business application. Find out when you can catch me at the Digital Health Summit at CES, and watch more on my Youtube Channel here.

Heart-Healthy Wearables? Believe It

Mike Feibus


A new wave of wearables and companion apps is emerging with the ability to monitor vital signs crucial to spotting heart problems, giving us and our doctors powerful new weapons to fight stroke and heart disease.

It should make for a very exciting 2018. I can't wait!

Want to know more? Read my latest column in the Tech section of USA TODAY here.

The Incredible Disappearing Ethernet Cable

Mike Feibus


Evidence that the digital transformation in the workplace is under way abounds. In conference rooms, break rooms and other common areas in buildings and around campus, employees are working and collaborating wirelessly using their personal devices and other office equipment.

Connections of new wireless equipment already outnumber wired devices by a 6:1 ratio, and that number is forecasted to grow to more than 30:1 by 2022, FeibusTech forecasts.

There is another more subtle artifact of the transformation. Although Ethernet jacks are still commonplace in offices, conference rooms and other work areas, the cables used to connect devices to the network via those jacks are disappearing.

If you are an IT decision-maker planning your organization's digital transformation, the growing paucity of Ethernet cables is telling you something. Read the new FeibusTech research brief, and find out what it means for your deployment plans.


Intel, Flex Inject Choice into Home Health Market

Mike Feibus


Intel and Flex revealed today that they have partnered on a remote patient monitoring platform that gives care providers a new level of flexibility and choice.

Flex is now offering the Flex IoT Compute Engine, built around Intel’s Health Application Platform, a compact gateway that remote care providers can use to anchor monitoring kits that are reliable, secure and simple to use.

Remote patient monitoring is one of the fastest-growing segments in healthcare because it has such great potential to slash hospital readmissions and, consequently, lower costs for our overburdened healthcare system. Constant monitoring helps ensure patients are complying with recovery plans, and also helps spot signs of trouble early, so providers can react before things spiral.

Intel and Flextronics believe the openness of the platform will draw remote care providers, because they want to be able to choose which cloud services to use. And they also want to maintain control of their patients’ data from end to end.

I’ll be in Boston next week for the Connected Health Conference, meeting with – among others – remote care providers. I’ll see what they have to say about the potential for this market, and also get a sense for what they’re looking for in home-health gateways that anchor their platforms.

I’ll report back soon. So watch this space!

(produced in cooperation with Intel)

Will Your Doc Ever Prescribe a Fitbit?

Mike Feibus

Validic co-founder and CEO Drew Schiller is in a great position to answer that question, because his company is the go-to liaison between electronic medical records and data flowing from wearables and other connected devices. In this latest FTInsights video interview, Drew shares his thoughts on the state of wearables in health and wellness, and the future for connected devices in the clinical workflow.

How Healthy Are You, Really?

Mike Feibus

Good question! You have a fitness band. So you know how many steps you take each day. But you're not much closer to answering the critical question, how healthy are you, really?

VO2max is a valuable metric for evaluating fitness and health. Unfortunately, it’s been a very difficult metric to gather, requiring extensive lab tests. That's changing now, thanks in no small part to wearables metrics pioneer Firstbeat. The V02max metric is now available on Firstbeat-equipped wearables like the vivosmart 3 from Garmin, the Huawei Band 2 Pro and the Jabra Elite Sport hearables. That, in turn, is empowering wearables vendors to give us some good old-fashioned fitness assessment and advice.

In our latest FT Insight video interview, we speak with Aki Pulkinnen, who heads up Firstbeat’s consumer business, about the importance of VO2max, what it means for this new band of wearables – and for your health.

Can Navy ships be hacked?

Mike Feibus


Two fatal crashes in Asian waters by US Navy ships in as many months has some people wondering if the vessels' on-board systems were hacked. What are the chances? What would a hack like that entail? Talk radio host Jon Grayson asks the questions. Mike Feibus has the answers. Listen on SoundCloud HERE, or click below.

Galaxy Note: Cure for the Aches and Pains of Packrat-itis

Mike Feibus

What a difference a day makes.

I went into the “Road Warrior Challenge” that Samsung Business  sponsored with a few pre-set expectations. I knew at the outset, for example, that I’d lightened my load with the new Galaxy Book. By swapping out my old tablet, laptop and their respective power supplies – the latter an old-style “brick” – for Samsung’s brand-new 2-in-1 notebook, I shed more than two pounds from my overstuffed, chiropractor-friendly backpack.

I also knew that I’d be pulling out the sleek, stylish Galaxy Book with pride, because I’d used it enough back in AZ to know it’s an attention getter. And that’s even before I would wow folks by unlocking the notebook with the fingerprint scanner on my Galaxy S8+ smartphone (more on that later)!

And I knew that the Galaxy Book had plenty of giddyap from the built-in 7th-generation Core i5 from Intel. I knew I had all the storage I needed. (I don’t just carry the world on my shoulders courtesy my backpack. I’m also a digital packrat. So I added a 256GB SD card to double the on-board 256GB SD storage capacity. Plenty of room – even for me!)

I got hooked on the accompanying pen before I arrived in NYC for the Challenge. A quick click and my notepad is open and ready for me to write. Very convenient!

Finally, I knew that battery life on the Galaxy Book was good, and charging was quick. So I felt confident I could coast through the daylong Road Warrior Challenge without worrying about whether the Galaxy Book would also make it through.

Indeed, after using the Galaxy Book for a couple weeks at home, I didn’t think there was anything left the Road Warrior Challenge could teach me. But I was wrong. Thanks to the Challenge, I found the Galaxy Book liberating in ways I didn’t expect.

For example, Samsung Flow – the app that enables the cool unlocking-the-notebook-with-your-phone trick – has more than that to offer road warriors like me. Once you use Flow to sign into the Galaxy Book, it automatically checks to see if the notebook has a Wi-Fi connection. If it doesn’t, then it offers up the Galaxy S8 as a mobile hotspot.

I didn’t fully appreciate this feature before the Road Warrior Challenge. Because up until yesterday, I was just roving between my home broadband network and public hot spots at my local haunts. So I was never pining for connectivity. Like I was on the Staten Island Ferry. And in Battery Park. And on the High Line. And even at Samsung 837.

If you’ve never used a notebook with built-in cellular connectivity, then I guarantee you don’t appreciate how liberating it is to hit the internet running every time you open your laptop. Because you don’t appreciate what a hassle it is to open your laptop and enable your smartphone’s hotspot before you can start surfing until you no longer have to do that.

It’s a real game-changer. And Flow’s one-click connectivity is near-cellular quality. Like, really near. It will spoil you. Unless, of course, you’ve already had built-in cellular in a laptop.


Here’s a second, more subtle benefit I’m now hip to, courtesy the Road Warrior Challenge. The power supply is not a brick. It’s a modified USB charger that’s only slightly larger than the one you’re probably using right now to replenish your smartphone. I knew it was going to lighten my load.

But I didn’t know it would fast-charge my Samsung smartphone as well as my Galaxy Book. Which means I can quick-charge both devices, keeping them powered all day, by carrying with me just one USB charger and one cable.

Think about that for a second. That should really enable me to just leave behind my backbreaking pack in the hotel room. Right?

I don’t know. I mean, what if I lost an earbud fitting on the road, and needed a spare? Or if I got something caught in my teeth and needed floss? Or if I tore something and needed duct tape to hold it together?

Yes, I’m serious!

So OK, maybe I’m not ready just yet to ditch my scale-tipping pack. But after the Road Warrior Challenge, at least I’m now able to leave it behind. Sometimes.

That might sound like a baby step. But it's a big step for me. Thanks, Samsung!

Find out more about the Samsung Road Warrior Challenge. Check out #AskMikeF and @SamsungBizUSA on Twitter.



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Medical-Grade Wearables Coming Soon

Mike Feibus

Many clinicians believe that there are wearables, and then there are clinical devices. And never the twain shall meet.

Until now. Biotricity and CardiacSense are two startups with wearable technology that's now going through the FDA approval process for use in healthcare.

Watch my video to learn more about it. For more, check out my interviews with executives from both Biotricity and CardiacSense. They're both available to view on my YouTube channel.