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Dec 29
Smartphone sizes preference stabilizes at 5.3 inches

In the first half of 2015, US and UK smartphone users were most likely to be interested in a device with a display size of 5.3-inch overall, according to a new report from the Mobile Device UX (MDX) group at Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com).

The report also showed that respondents surveyed in the US have a greater interest in the larger sized prototypes than those surveyed in the UK, while Android owners have a greater interest in phablet sized prototypes compared to Apple owners. Current smartphone owners are also more likely to prefer a thicker prototype with a longer battery life over a thinner phone.

Similar to the second half of 2014, the prototype with a 5.3-inch display was most preferred by consumers overall in the first half of 2015. This was followed by the 5.0-inch and 5.5-inch prototypes. Even though the majority of smartphone owners surveyed preferred a...

| Read more »
Dec 28
Smart watches top planned health/fitness tech...

Of the 74 percent of online American adults who are likely to purchase health and fitness technology in the next 12 months, one in three (35 percent) plan to buy a smartwatch, according to the latest research from the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

The study, Consumers Journey to Purchase: Health and Fitness, found that consumer purchase intent in the health and fitness technology category is highest for smart watches, followed by fitness-related apps (30 percent), dedicated wearable fitness activity trackers (27 percent), smart apparel (27 percent) and devices that track sleep patterns (23 percent).

Led by the popularity of activity tracking devices, CTA's “U.S. Consumer Electronics Sales and Forecasts” (http://www.cta.tech/salesandforecast) projects sales of health and fitness devices will reach $1.8 billion in...

| Read more »
Dec 23
Look outside the US for medical app growth

One half of the market for medical apps is now conducted in the United States, according to Kalorama Information (www.kaloramainformation.com). However, that’s expected to change rapidly, as medical systems in other parts of the world come to rely on mobile devices. 

The healthcare market research firm said that United States' share will shift to just one-fifth of the market for mhealth by 2020. This is the result of soon with rapid adoption in the rest of the world, and was a key finding in Kalorama's report, mHealth Markets Worldwide, a comprehensive study of the mobile health industry.

"Brazil, China and other nations have already mobilized in many other industries and as their healthcare systems developed, mhealth solutions will prosper," said Bruce Carlson, Publisher of Kalorama Information.   

The report said that China has become a focus market for device manufacturers...

| Read more »
Dec 22
10% of US broadband households intend to buy a...

New research from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) finds nine percent of U.S. broadband households own a wearable camera (including cameras and camcorders) and 10% intend to purchase one by midyear 2016.

"Nearly one-fourth of the wearable cameras and camcorders bought in the last year were given as gifts," said Barbara Kraus, director of Research, Parks Associates. "This product will continue to be a hot high-tech gift through the holidays and into 2016. Consumers are using wearable cameras to record daily life (36 percent of owners) just as much as they use them during notable events like vacations, holidays, and birthday parties (36 percent of owners), so as adoption increases, privacy concerns will arise, as anyone in the camera's line of sight might assume they are being recorded. Google Glass created similar concerns."

Parks Data research shows that roughly 25 percent of all...

| Read more »
Dec 21
15% of U.S. broadband households plan to buy wireless...

New Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) research shows 15 percent of U.S. broadband households plan to buy wireless speakers over the next 12 months, while 18% plan to buy earbuds and 16% plan to buy headphones.

"The smartphone has evolved into the primary interface for the connected home, and it is helping to create new app use cases for services such as Pandora and Spotify, which in turn drive interest in new connected audio devices," said Brad Russell, Research Analyst, Parks Associates. "Nearly 50 percent of U.S. broadband households have bought headphones as a separate purchase, and the growth of premium brands, including Beats, Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser, shows consumers are interested in high-quality audio devices.”

Parks Associates' industry report “Digital Audio for the Connected Consumer” notes that 22 percent of U.S. broadband households currently own wireless speakers,...

| Read more »
Dec 18
Gartner: consumers will own 3-4 devices by 2018

During the next five years, consumers will add more devices to their personal portfolio rather than consolidating it, according to Gartner, Inc. (www.gartner.com). By 2018, a consumer in a mature market will use and own more than three personal devices, says the research group. 

Gartner estimates that in 2016, the installed base of devices will total 7.8 billion units (including wearables, phones, tablets and PCs) and is on pace to reach 8.3 billion units in 2018. 

"The combination of the high level of adoption of technology, the availability of faster networks, and decision making becoming increasingly dependent on real-time information, will undoubtedly lead to more devices per user," said Anshul Gupta, research director at Gartner. 

Gartner expects mature market users to use three to four personal devices from a mix of "main" and "niche" devices. Main devices will include smartphones, tablets,...

| Read more »
Dec 17
Apple names Jeff Williams Chief Operating Officer

Apple has announced that Jeff Williams has been named chief operating officer and Johny Srouji is joining Apple’s executive team as senior vice president for Hardware Technologies.

Phil Schiller, senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, will expand his role to include leadership of the App Store across all Apple platforms. Apple also announced that Tor Myhren will join Apple in the first calendar quarter of 2016 as vice president of Marketing Communications, reporting to CEO Tim Cook.

“We are fortunate to have incredible depth and breadth of talent across Apple’s executive team. As we come to the end of the year, we’re recognizing the contributions already being made by two key executives,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Jeff is hands-down the best operations executive I’ve ever worked with, and Johny’s team delivers world-class silicon designs which enable new innovations in our products year after year.”

He adds: “In addition, Phil is taking on new...

| Read more »
Dec 17
Gartner: smart cities will use 1.6 billion connected...

Gartner, Inc. estimates that 1.6 billion connected things will be used by smart cities in 2016, an increase of 39 percent from 2015.

"Smart commercial buildings will be the highest user of Internet of Things (IoT) until 2017, after which smart homes will take the lead with just over one billion connected things in 2018," said Bettina Tratz-Ryan, research vice president at the research group.
Commercial real estate benefits greatly from IoT implementation, according to Gartner. IoT creates a unified view of facilities management as well as advanced service operations through the collection of data and insights from a multitude of sensors. Especially in large sites, such as industrial zones, office parks, shopping malls, airports or seaports, IoT can help reduce the cost of energy, spatial management and building maintenance by up to 30 percent said Tratz-Ryan. 

The business applications that are fueling the growth of IoT in commercial buildings are handled...

| Read more »
Dec 16
Adoption of 802.11ac wave accelerating

The 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard has started to gain rapid traction, and will become the highest shipping Wi-Fi standard yet, according to Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com).

“802.11ac Wave 2 with MU-MIMO provides significant benefits to users and a better Wi-Fi user experience compared to 802.11n and 802.11ac Wave 1, but works best when both ends of the Wi-Fi connection have Wave 2 capable radio chips,” says Christopher Taylor, director of RFWC, Strategy Analytics. “With the efforts of Qualcomm and other chip suppliers, more than 60 mobile device models with 802.11ac Wave 2 have now reached the market, and Wi-Fi equipment vendors have embraced Wave 2 for residential and enterprise Wi-Fi infrastructure applications.”

David Watkins, director of the Strategy Analytics Connected Home Devices service, adds: "Hundreds of millions of Wave 2-enabled mobile devices will ship in 2016...

| Read more »
Dec 15
Multiple improvements requires to create compelling...

Consumers continue to look to mobile health and fitness applications to help achieve and maintain a healthier lifestyle. By tracking their progress, both in what they eat and activities they undertake throughout the day, consumers are using these types of apps to make smarter, more health-conscious decisions, in addition to improving various aspects of their fitness.

However, a new report from the Media and Services UX (MSX) group at Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) surveying avid health and fitness consumers using health and/or fitness mobile applications, has found that implementing multiple improvements will lead to more useful, usable, and compelling solutions.

Surveying consumers in the US and UK who used at least one health and/or fitness mobile application multiple times per week, Strategy Analytics found that many of these apps catered only to one side: either...

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Dec 14
Self-driving cars to take off by 2021

A new study from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) forecasts almost 20 million fully autonomous or self-driving vehicles on the road by 2025, with consumer adoption set to take off in 2021. Driven by increased safety and convenience for drivers, development has progressed to live trials with North America and West Europe set to become the first to witness driverless cars in use on the road.

The research found that in the interim, consumer usage of ADAS (Advanced Driving Assistance System) technologies such as adaptive cruise control and automated braking will become key. Juniper Research says that these systems will serve to prepare drivers for the psychological change from the role of driving a car to operating a driverless car.

The research finds that although the market has progressed to live trials, a discernible monetization strategy hasn’t become evident. Stakeholders are...

| Read more »
Dec 11
One-third of US broadband households own a connected...

According to new data from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com), there’s increased adoption of of digital health/wellness devices among U.S. broadband households — an increase from 26 percent in 2014 to 3 percent now. The research group reports that most of these devices are fitness-related, with connected fitness trackers reaching 10 percent penetration in 2015, while smart watches reached 4 percent.

"Digital fitness tracker is the fastest growing category in the connected health device market, with Fitbit the clear leader with more than 50% market share, and its early 2015 acquisition of FitStar will help the company expand its wellness services," said Harry Wang, director, Mobile and Health Products Research, Parks Associates. "Attrition of fitness tracker usage, a closely watched metric, is not as bad as the industry once perceived, at least not among existing users.”

The Parks...

| Read more »
Dec 10
Faster broadband speeds drive more switching than...

New research from Parks Associates (www.parksassociates.com) shows that nine percent of U.S. broadband households switched broadband providers in the past 12 months, with 35 percent of them doing so to get a faster broadband speed. Only 18 percent of switchers changed because a different provider offered a lower price at a comparable speed.

"For many, broadband is a necessity for the home. No one wants slow or spotty service, and consumers are quick to switch if they encounter problems," said Brett Sappington, Director of Research, Parks Associates. "Operators are promoting broadband speeds of 100 Mbps or more. While 43% of subscribers do not know their current broadband speed, they do know about the experience that they have online, particularly as it relates to digital media. Respondents who own multiple connected entertainment devices are more likely than others to plan to upgrade their broadband...

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Dec 09
Smart home automation growth to exceed 1000%

New data from Juniper Research (www.juniperresearch.com) has found that home automation hardware, sold as standalone units rather than as part of a subscription package, will exceed 300 million in 2020. This represents growth of over 1000 percent from an estimated installed base of 28 million units in 2015.

While the smart home industry has been years in the making, more open approaches, partnerships and falling hardware costs are driving adoption, according to the research group. What’s more, media and retail efforts are aiding in raising consumer awareness.

The new research from Juniper found that early “piecemeal” hardware efforts simply created isolated smart automation units. Open platform efforts, such as those championed by SmartThings and Wink have nevertheless driven more cohesive ecosystems. Meanwhile Deutsche Telekom’s open platform, Qivicon, demonstrates a shift in attitude even...

| Read more »
Dec 08
How you can maximize your online privacy

Technology and cybersecurity experts are scrambling to find solutions to huge security threats in the era of IoT (the “Internet of Everything). NordVPN (NordVPN.com) is a VPN service provider that believes in educating the public about basic security steps anyone can take and recommends the following to maximize your online privacy. 
 
° Change default usernames and passwords. Regularly change passwords on your devices, and select sophisticated ones that are impossible to guess.
 
 
° Delete cookies. Regularly delete cookies from your browser to interrupt being tracked.

°  Get a VPN and learn how to use it ­ VPNs will be increasingly popular as security issues grow to monumental proportions. Encrypting your device¹s online data is a great starting point for the security conscious. VPN encryption can help secure transfer of sensitive data. NordVPN uses encryption with a 2048 bit strength SSL key and is available on 6 devices on one account....

| Read more »
Dec 07
It’s hard to understand what’s happening in the AI...

It is difficult to understand what is happening in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). New developments seem to happen weekly, and companies use different words to describe their products.

The terms artificial intelligence, cognitive intelligence, autonomous machines, and machine learning are all thrown around. New research from ReportLinker (www.reportlinker.com), a market research solution, says AI) is a vision, a goal, and a set of technologies. Its breadth and complexity make it a difficult subject to understand and explain.

Adding to the confusion is the number and variety of terms used. Machine learning (ML), deep learning, neural networks, and predictive analytics describe different AI approaches. Other marketing terms such as cognitive computing or autonomous machines further muddy the water.

The term artificial intelligence is often used to refer to artificial general...

| Read more »
Dec 04
KPMG: consumers want automakers to match the ‘sexy’...

Car makers will need to act more like technology, software and consumer electronics companies with more highly customized products, quicker introduction of new, "sexy" models, and nearly flawless quality to address competition from new entrants in the business, according to a new KPMG study (www.kpmg.com).

These new entrants, from technology giants to startups, operate at faster clockspeeds and are accelerating the pace of innovation in the auto industry.  Automakers must now reconcile the industry's rigorous standards of Six Sigma Quality and a traditional 5-7 year powertrain and vehicle platform clockspeed with a new "sexy, dynamic experience" that includes things like the upgrading of sensors, actuators, and displays in 18 to 36 months and quarterly over-the-air upgrades of software. Thus, KPMG says the auto industry faces the clockspeed dilemma: the need to serve multiple paces at once.

"Consumers expect as a...

| Read more »
Dec 03
MarketResearch.com: Major retailers see decline in...

Best Buy and Target both reported slow third-quarter sales, according to MarketResearch.com. Both stores reported a decline in consumer electronics sales.

Target saw a double-digit decline in electronics sales, which is a category they offered significant promotions for earlier in the year. Best Buy saw falling sales of tablets, mobile phones, and digital imaging products.

According to a report by First Research Inc., the U.S. industry for consumer electronics is very concentrated, with 50 of the largest companies accounting for 70 percent of sales. The market itself gains annual revenue of about $100 billion.

With the holidays here, it's unclear if stores will hit their revenue goals. Because shopper interest in consumer electronics is low, there is no guarantee that Best Buy will be able to rebound from their decline in profits.

| Read more »
Dec 02
Strategy Analytics: Binge On to drive subscribers to T...

With Un-carrier X offering double the LTE data plus its new zero-rated video streaming service Binge On for no extra fees, T-Mobile US is set to maintain its Un-carrier momentum and gain market share in the fourth quarter (Q4) as it puts pressure on the pricing approaches of its rivals, according to Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com).

Through its Un-carrier initiative, including services like Music Freedom and now Binge On, T-Mobile is challenging its competitors by positioning itself as the most customer-friendly wireless operator in the US market, says the research group. Un-carrier momentum continues with the addition of the Binge On mobile video streaming service supported by zero-rated data over LTE and video optimization technology, strengthening T-Mobile's value proposition while challenging AT&T and Verizon Wireless to follow suit.

“Video is one of the fastest...

| Read more »
Dec 01
The Northern Spy: of reading and routing

By Rick Sutcliffe

At long last, the Spy's series The Throne is starting to see the light of day. The first book, Culmanic Parts was published in June. Now, the second, Rea's Blood or Navy Girl is available from publisher Writers Exchange. See the URLs below. The third book Tara's Mother is in publishers's editing as we write, and the fourth The Paladin is undergoing second proofing before being made available to the Spy's volunteer reader/correctors.

These books are background to the Alternate History series The Interregnum, which currently has six volumes published. The Throne was intended to be the final book in that series, but has grown into a four-book series of its own. The first three books of The Throne can be read as a standalone trilogy, and The Paladin will offer conclusions to both series.

The original intent was to offer a brief history of alternate earth Hibernia--how Ireland came to be the world's superpower, and something of...

| Read more »
Dec 01
Forty percent of firms expect a data breach in the...

Clearswift (www.clearswift.com), a global cyber security innovator and data loss prevention specialist, has released their annual Clearswift Insider Threat Index (CITI) exploring why firms have been slow to address internal security threats and including data from extensive research into the security priorities and awareness of over 500 IT decision makers and 4,000 employees across the UK, US, Germany and Australia.

"The detachment between the front line security professionals and Board members within an organization is particularly worrying in the wake of recent high profile cyber breaches across the globe already this year,” says Heath Davies, CEO at Clearswift. “Cyber-attacks are a major problem and it’s time for Boards to take a proactive stance on this. Companies need a clear, coherent, adaptive strategy which encompasses people, processes and technology, and this mandate needs to come from the top.”...

| Read more »
Nov 30
Millennials embrace mobile apps for holiday shopping

Wanderful Media (www.wanderful.com), the company behind the Find&Save cash back shopping app, today released its 2015 Annual Holiday Shopping Survey. The findings feature insights on the role mobile plays in holiday shopping, and specifically for millennial shoppers.

Of the millennial holiday shoppers, 92 percent said they use their mobile phones while shopping, compared to 73 percent of all shoppers who were surveyed. All shoppers, including millennials, primarily use mobile to find deals, coupons and/or promo codes for stores nearby; compare prices from other stores or online; and find store locations.

The survey also found mobile shopping apps are popular, since 78 percent of millennials said they are willing to use shopping apps this holiday season – compared to 67 percent of all shoppers surveyed.

More than 80 percent of millennial holiday shoppers said they are interested in mobile app...

| Read more »
Nov 25
Personal storage market continues to shrink

Worldwide personal and entry-level storage (PELS) shipments declined -13.4 percent year over year to 16.7 million units in the third quarter of 2015 (3Q15), but were up 10.3 percent compared to the previous quarter, according to the International Data Corporation. Shipment values declined along with unit shipments, down -19.8 percent from a year ago to $1.3 billion, notes the research group.

“The personal and entry-level storage market was stagnant in 2014 and started to show signs of decline in 2015," says Jingwen Li, senior research analyst, Storage Systems, IDC (www.idc.com). "The adoption of cloud storage has been gaining traction in the consumer space with its easy data access and mobile device integration. One of the negative impacts of cloud storage deployment leads to shrinking demand within the PELS market.”

Personal storage remained the dominant component of the PELS market and accounted for over 98% of...

| Read more »
Nov 24
One in five consumers: paying with chip-enabled credit...

HarborTouch (www.harbortouch.com), a point of sale (POS) system and merchant services provider, has published the results of a national survey examining consumer sentiment and usage trends among early adopters of EMV or “chip” enabled credit cards.

Just one month after the Oct. 1 EMV transition deadline, the survey of more than 5,000 U.S. adults found that one in five consumers consider transaction time as their top concern when using an EMV-enabled credit or debit card. These concerns could spell trouble for brick-and-mortar retailers this holiday season. This is especially true for big-box stores like Target, Best Buy and Walmart, which depend on in-store holiday transactions and have made EMV adoption the centerpiece of their store payment security strategies.

“On average, it takes between seven to 10 seconds to pay using a chip card versus two to three seconds to pay using a traditional swipe...

| Read more »
Nov 23
Archiware releases one-click archiving tool

Archiware, manufacturer of the data management software suite Archiware P5, is launching its P5 Archive app and version 5.3 of the Archiware P5 Software Suite, including Snapshot support and LTO-7 capability.

The P5 Archive app is designed to simplify the Archiving process by allowing users to archive and restore files directly from Finder via the right-click context menu, without the need to open P5 Archive itself. Final Cut Pro X projects are archived and restored including all media used in the project.

Archived files and folders are represented by a link file which displays metadata and previews on double-click. Metadata can be added during archiving. All jobs are listed in a monitoring window for verification. The P5 Archive App will be available for Mac OS X initially, with more platforms to follow in the future.

Until May 31st, 2016, an introductory offer with a 50 percent discount is available for a package including the P5 Archive App and 5 Workstation...

| Read more »
 
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Kill the Plumber World guide - How to ou...
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