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Tech Information 10

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GameFly's game streaming service comes to Samsung TVs
GameFly's streaming game rental service has expanded its availability to include Samsung smart TVs. The $6.99 per month service, which was already available on Amazon Fire TV boxes, gives users access to a bundle of seven games each month. The Verge (8/20)

LeapFrog's Epic Android tablet grows with its users
LeapFrog has created a kid-friendly tablet that gives parents control over Web browsing and time spent on the tablet. The LeapFrog Epic Android tablet is aimed at children ages 3 to 9, and it adapts to the user's age and learning level, Laura Rosenfeld writes. Tech Times (8/20)

"Ring" gets $28M more for connected doorbell
The creator of the "Ring" doorbell, which has a camera that streams video of a front porch to the user's cell phone, has secured $28 million in its second round of funding. The smart doorbell doubles as a motion sensor, notifying users to movement in the front yard. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (8/20)

Uber predicts driverless fleet by 2030
Ride-sharing firm Uber has invested in autonomous vehicle technology and plans to offer driverless service by 2030, according to CEO Travis Kalanick. A recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that "autonomous vehicles would reduce the number of vehicles on the road by 99 percent, and the fleet of cars in the U.S. would fall from 245 million to 2.4 million.” GovTech.com (8/19)

Ralph Lauren enters mobile-health market with fitness-tracking shirt
Ralph Lauren will release its PoloTech line of shirts with fitness-tracking sensors next week in partnership with OMsignal. PoloTech was designed to monitor the wearer's vital signs, such as heart rate and breathing depth, as well as stress levels and calories burned. The sensors can also transmit that data to an application that works on Apple's mobile devices. MobiHealthNews.com (8/20)

More schools turning to Chromebooks over iPads
Personal computers -- largely in the form of Google's Chromebooks -- are supplanting Apple's iPads as the device of choice in more schools, IDC reports. While Microsoft retained its lead with a 38% market share in 2014, mainly with desktop and laptop PCs, Chromebook sales more than quadrupled from the previous year. At the same time, iPad's education sales slipped by about 7%, IDC says. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (8/19)

Apple begins selling new watch through Australian and French retailers
Shoppers outside the U.S. and Canada will soon get their chance to buy the new Apple Watch as the company releases it for sale through Australian department store chain Myer and French electronics retailer Fnac. Outside of being sold in Apple stores, the watch had only been available in Best Buy stores. 9to5Mac (8/20)

Shopify retailers let customers pay monthly with Affirm financing
Internet Retailer (8/20)

 

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life."
-- Steve Jobs,
entrepreneur

 

Sony readies SmartBand 2 fitness tracker
Sony has lifted the curtain on its SmartBand 2 fitness tracker, which monitors the user's heart rate, sleep patterns and stress level and delivers phone notifications to the user's wrist. The waterproof device will be available next month for around $132. Ubergizmo.com (8/20), The Verge (8/20), TechCrunch (8/20)

LG adds features to portable Bluetooth speakers
LG has added features to its P5, P7 and SoundPop portable Bluetooth speakers, including dual play, auto music play and multipoint Bluetooth, Joseph Palenchar writes. LG is also readying a two-speaker home theater set with Blu-ray. TWICE (8/19)

Google Play Music is teaming with trendy brands
Google Play Music is attempting to differentiate itself from other online music streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify by teaming with brands such as ASOS and healthy food startup Munchery. For example, Google created a shoppable fashion guide with ASOS that matches outfits to music playlists, and Munchery chefs are choosing playlists to complement their menus. Adweek (8/19)

Four Behaviors that Fuel Innovation

 
Bad habits can negatively impact innovation. Instill these behaviors in your innovation teams to improve results and sustain them over time. Read this Viewpoint

Innovation Allies
Innovation leaders can't go it alone; allies are needed for long term success. Here's what you need to know about each executive ally and their role in improving results from innovation. Read this Viewpoint.

Gartner: Android's Q2 growth was lowest since 2013
Google's Android smartphone sales rose by 13.5% in the second quarter from the previous year, the platform's slowest performance in two years, Gartner reports. Analysts pinned the slowdown on a sated Chinese market, which represents about 30% of global smartphone sales. TechCrunch (8/20)

Report: Home routers become targets for cyberattacks
Home routers and other devices that answer Universal Plug and Play requests are being used to ramp up distributed-denial-of-service attacks, according to a report issued Tuesday by Akamai Technologies. The study found that DDoS attacks in the second quarter were up 7% compared with Q1 and increased 132% from a year earlier. PCWorld/IDG News Service (8/18)

How a single platform aims to streamline the IoT device-making process
New Electronics (8/19)

Best Buy's AppleCare deal strengthens its ties with Apple
Best Buy will become the first retailer outside the Apple flagship shops to offer AppleCare warranties and extended warranties on Apple products. Customers can tag the warranties onto iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watches starting Sept. 13. TWICE (8/19)

Target slims down delivery time to buff up online sales
Target is working to deliver items to online shoppers faster and within a more precise window of time to improve already rising online sales, CEO Brian Cornell confirmed. The company will spend $1 billion this year to ramp up its e-commerce strategy. Fortune (8/19)

Vaio will stage a PC comeback on Microsoft store shelves this October
TheStreet.com (8/19)

"Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you're not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were."
-- David Rockefeller,
banker and philanthropist

Smart device inventors to compete on Intel's reality TV show for $1M
Intel and "Shark Tank" creator Mark Burnett will debut a reality TV series on TBS next year where inventors will battle to create the next best smart device using Intel's Curie technology. The winner of "America's Greatest Makers" will take home $1 million. eWeek (8/18), Variety (8/18)

Razer readies 3D camera for PCs
Razer has a 3D camera for PCs in the works that features Intel's RealSense technology, which will enable gamers to add their faces to streams while playing live on Twitch. Intel confirmed it will power the camera, but price and release date are still under wraps. Gizmodo Australia (8/18)

Turtle Beach speakers will beam sound to those with hearing loss
Turtle Beach is gearing up to release its $1,500 HyperSound Clear audio system, a set of speakers designed to let people who have hearing loss hear music and TV more clearly. The device beams sound to a "sweet spot" in the room. USA Today (8/18)

Dragon dictation app bridges devices with move to cloud
Nuance Communications unveiled a cloud-connected version of its Dragon dictation application Tuesday with an upgrade that the company touted as a "true" mobile version for iOS and Android. Dragon Anywhere uses the cloud to transmit files among its products and links them to updated versions of its Mac and PC platforms. PCWorld (8/18)

Siri hears cries for help, saves man's life
A Tennessee man is alive today because of his iPhone. Siri, the device's personal assistant, heard his cries to "call 911" after a truck fell on him in a remote area, the victim told officials. Emergency response teams used the cellphone's signal to locate him. "I guess I'm stuck with an iPhone for the rest of my life," said the victim, Sam Ray. The Associated Press (8/17)

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Newegg lets Premier customers share perks with friends, family
Newegg Premier account holders can share their free shipping and free return perks with up to four people on a single account. Newegg's move to add the friends and family option came on the heels of Amazon's decision to pare Prime memberships down to two adults per account, Tracy Maple writes. Internet Retailer (8/18)

Survey: Mobile, social play bigger back-to-school roles
Facebook and other social sites will be top-of-mind with back-to-school shoppers this year, with 82% of parents surveyed by RadiumOne planning to share purchases on Facebook. The survey also found that 90% of parents who use live video technology will chat on FaceTime while shopping. Adweek

"Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago."
-- Warren Buffett,
investor and philanthropist

Google's next tasty treat is a Marshmallow
Android M, Google's next major update to its wireless operating system, will stand for Marshmallow, the company said Monday. In a blog post, developers also said that the follow-up to Android L will support fingerprint scanning. They also released the final development tools for the software. CNET (8/17), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/17), Computerworld/IDG News Service (8/17)

Microsoft aims for IoT win with Windows 10
Microsoft is appealing to Internet of Things innovators with its Windows 10 IoT Core operating system tailored for microcomputers such as the Raspberry Pi 2 and the Intel MinnowBoard MAX. "We're presenting what we have to bring to the party, rather than trying to bring them to our party, which is what Microsoft has done in the past," said Tony Goodhew of Microsoft's IoT Team. Fast Company online (8/17)

Group: Boards of HP spinoffs will have strong diversity

The boards of directors for Hewlett-Packard Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, created in the division of HP this fall, will be the "most diverse" in the tech industry, the Rainbow PUSH coalition says. Four women and two minority appointments have been added to the boards. "We challenged them -- and the tech industry -- to confront the virtual exclusion of women and people of color in the tech industry. HP committed to make demonstrable strides in expanding diversity and inclusion," the Rev. Jesse Jackson said in a news release. Business Insider (8/14), Fortune (8/14)

Apple supplier LG Display earmarks $8.5B for next-gen screens
Bloomberg (8/17)

Feds seek to add to "tech army"
The U.S. government is seeking recruits for the Presidential Innovation Fellows, described in this article as an elite "tech army." Time.com (8/17)

Forecast: 25B devices will make up a $1.7T IoT market in 2020
The number of Internet-connected devices is expected to grow from 4.9 billion to 25 billion over the next five years, Gartner predicts. IDC data show the Internet of Things will be a $1.7 trillion market by 2020. BizReport (8/18)

Why TV, camera-makers should collaborate to bring 4K to consumers
Camera-makers and TV manufacturers could benefit from promoting 4K Ultra HD products together, showing consumers how the high-quality content can look on the latest TVs, says analyst Scott Peterson of Gap Intelligence. Without cross-promotion, companies are missing out on opportunities, Peterson says. HD Guru (8/17)

Apple Watch: A "game-changer" for shoppers, retailers
The Apple Watch has the potential to be a shopping "game-changer" for both consumers and store associates, Josh Marti writes. The hands-free device gives shoppers a personalized experience that can be based in the aisle they are standing in, and its applications can help employees be more productive and efficient. Luxury Daily (8/18)

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."
-- Oprah Winfrey,
businesswoman

Toshiba targets seniors with sensor-packed wristbands
Toshiba is releasing two wristbands for senior citizens that track daily habits, monitor changes in the body such as skin temperature and pulse, and have emergency alert buttons. The trackers will be part of an Oita University study on dementia and are also available for retail purchase. CIO.com/IDG News Service (8/17)

IHS: Wearables, VR drive demand for gesture sensing control
Virtual reality devices and wearables are helping drive demand for gesture sensing control interfaces and will spur a 10% growth in the category this year, IHS data indicate. DigiTimes (8/17)

LG eyes OLED display domination with $8.5B investment
Reuters (8/17)

"Call of Duty: Black Ops 3" beta comes to PS4 Wednesday
The "Call of Duty: Black Ops 3" beta will launch for PlayStation 4 gamers Wednesday, with amped-up fighting features, such as midair direction changes, wall runs and firing while swimming. International Business Times (8/17)

Candy Crush revenue strong, but paid users dwindling
The good news for King Digital Entertainment is that its popular Candy Crush mobile game is generating more monthly revenue per paying player than it did last year. But its payer base is shrinking, a problem it's trying to address by adding more games. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/14)

Apple Music gets play from exclusive Dr. Dre release
Dr. Dre's "Compton: A Soundtrack," one of the first major releases on Apple Music and an early test for the music streaming service, has garnered 25 million global streams and sold close to 500,000 downloads via Apple's iTunes store. Those are modest numbers compared to other major digital releases, writes Ben Sisario. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (8/16)

Tech giants report higher minority hiring rates
Apple and Intel are showing commitment to a diverse workforce by hiring more women and minorities. Apple reported that about 50% of new hires during the first six months of this year in the U.S. were women and minorities, while Intel has already passed its 40% diversity hiring goal for 2015. PCWorld/IDG News Service (8/14)

Survey: Pinterest users tap pins while shopping in stores
Pinterest users prefer to shop on smartphones over tablets and PCs, states an AcuPOLL survey conducted for Ahalogy. It also found that the social bookmarking site is a common shopping companion, with more than two-thirds of users having referenced pins on their mobile devices while in stores. eMarketer (8/17)

Wal-Mart launches new mobile solutions in India
Wal-Mart recently launched new mobile solutions for customers at its wholesale stores in India, banking on a projected rise in online and digital sales as 4G technology continues to improve. "If we look at digitally influenced business, nearly 90% of our business would be digitally influenced, primarily because those who are coming to our store are also checking price on web through their cellphone," said Wal-Mart India CEO Krish Iyer. Business Standard (India)/Press Trust of India (8/16)

"If things seem under control, you are just not going fast enough."
-- Mario Andretti,
race car driver

 


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