Stuff I found interesting in CW34

News and topics I found interesting in calendar week 34. Topics Augmented sound Novel Effect is a bedtime app that overlays sound effects to bedtime stories you read. I am a big fan of augmented audio (see my “The future of headphones report”) and find it great to see development in that direction. However, I am unsure if such applications could be used somewhere else, although education (adding animal sounds, for example) could make sense. Knops — The volume button for your ears: These over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids are earphone-shaped and allow you to adjust outside noises (increased/decrease volume). Interesting to see non-medical products in the form of earphones which do not aim at playing music and are OTC. Expecting to see more of these OTC hearing aids. Smart rings second… there’s many “smart ring” projects out there focusing on different value props: fitness, security, identity, payments, etc. — Luke Wroblewski (@lukew) August 21, 2017 I also recently came across the ORII ring which uses bone conduction technology for sending and receiving text messages. Besides that, there are several other things you can do with rings: use it as a panic button record audio receive notifications through light or

Augmented Reality in automotive — OEMs vs. aftermarket Head-Up Displays

Here I concluded that Head-Up Displays (HUDs) in the automotive sector are currently the only commercially available consumer application of Augmented Reality (besides smartphones, tablets, and similar non-AR specific devices). Based on this, I have explored here the state of HUDs in the OEM and aftermarket. Conclusion The available HUDs are not as reality augmenting as they could be HUDs’ product value is limited OEMs will dominate the market in the long-run through AR windshields Current competitive landscape looks advantageous for aftermarket, but investment is not recommended There are two manufacturing categories. OEMs and the aftermarket. These segments are split into two technologies (Augmented Reality HUDs and Holographic HUDs) and two feature categories (Dashboard HUDs and Smart HUDs). Augmented Reality (AR) HUDs project information on the car’s windshield or onto a separate device in front of the windshield. Dashboard HUDs display only basic driving-related information such as speed or navigation and Smart HUDs integrate functions familiar from our smartphones such as notifications or gesture control. This market is as follows. We have several AR Dashboard HUDs (lower left quadrant) in the aftermarket and from OEMs. There are no Smart AR HUDs from OEMs but several in the aftermarket (lower right quadrant).

Need-based product substitution

We use products to satisfy a need. But we can choose from a range of products to satisfy that need. For instance, we use a car instead of a bike to satisfy the need of getting faster to a location. Or we use a train instead of a bike for the same purpose. This substitution is even more evidence in the case of fundamental human needs. For example, we can satisfy the need for leisure through going to the movies, riding a bike or reading a book. It is fascinating that when substituting one product for another, secondary outcomes do not seem to weight that much. A study (in German) argues that there might be a correlation between the amount of time spend with PCs and smartphones and sports. In this case, the smartphone replaced biking as the satisfier for the leisure need. Lately, I have come across three need satisfiers that might not exist in the future anymore. The smartphone, cars, and the cinema. Smartphones We use the smartphone for dozens of things. Besides, the “application” level such as texting, online banking or dating, we also use it on the “need level”. The smartphone is a void killer when

Cameras everywhere

In fifty years or sooner (fifty is just a wide guess) we will be wearing cameras 24/7. Beginnings of that are already observable with GoPros and similar cameras in niche applications (sports, festivals…) or body cams worn by the police. Furthermore, a few new wearable cameras came out recently. Shonin, a camera you clip to your clothes, started August 1st on Kickstarter. FrontRow was announced aon 13th of August and is a round camera you hang around your neck. Whereas Shonin is easily identifiable as a camera, FrontRow has a necklace like design and blends very inconspicuously with your clothes. However, all day cameras have been along for quite some time (see Memoto or Panasonic, for instance) but have only reached the mainstream in the aforementioned niches. There are four reasons why all day cameras are still used only in niches. Expensive (relative to the smartphone): The newly introduced FrontRow, for example, costs $399.00 That is a lot, especially as you still will want to own a smartphone. Unfashionable looks: Even the quite unintrusive looking FrontRow looks to “gadgety” to be worn all day. People’s looks are precious to them (consider how much time and money flows into outfits) and

Report about the future of headphones

Currently, most headphones are wireless, easily visible and mostly used for listening to music and making phone calls. In the far away future (30+ years) I believe them to change into devices that we use for direct brain-to-brain and brain-to-machine communication that allow us to send and receive information such as images or sound without any other input devices. The way towards this future will progress in several periods [1]: Now (next twelve months) Near-term (one to five years) Mid-range (five to ten years) Long-range (ten to twenty years) Far-range (twenty to thirty years) Distant (more than thirty years) In this report, I have described how I imagine this future to unfold. Click here to download The future of headphones report Notes [1] Time zones based on Amy Webb Note that I am using headphones, earphones and, hearables (smart headphones, a category of wearables) interchangeably.
 Featured Image from Harpal Singh: Harpal Singh

The future of headphones — next twelve months

Currently, most headphones are wireless, easily visible and mostly used for listening to music and making phone calls. In the far away future (30+ years) I believe them to change into devices that we use for direct brain-to-brain and brain-to-machine communication that allow us to send and receive information such as images or sound without any other input devices. The way towards this future will progress in several periods [1]: Now (next twelve months) Near-term (one to five years) Mid-range (five to ten years) Long-range (ten to twenty years) Far-range (twenty to thirty years) Distant (more than thirty years) Now (next twelve months) Within the next twelve months, I am expecting to see more wireless and smart headphones. Wireless headphones In the next twelve months, the market share of wireless earphones will keep growing. Sales of Bluetooth headphones have already slightly surpassed wired ones in 2016. The removal of headphone jacks on several mobile devices (rumor has it that Google’s new Pixel 2 will come without a headphone jack as well) is maybe the best indicator that the wireless trend will continue. Furthermore, as consumer electronics companies like Apple, Samsung, and Motorola all have wireless headphones in their officering, we can

Stuff I found interesting in CW33

Topics Alexa for X Last week I wrote about how we might be heading into an “X with Alexa” trend (X being any product you can think of) which reminded me of the “Tinder or Uber for everything” trend. With the Klove Knob, a stove knob with Alexa built-in, and Vobot, a smart clock Alexa built-in, I came across two new devices this week. Still unsure why it should make sense to add Alexa to each imaginable (consumer) product. Niche development for autonomous cars We won’t have autonomous cars overnight. This is not only due to technological but also compatibility issues (people are not familiar with the technology, they do not trust it, they prefer driving because it equals enjoyment and fun…; see Compatibility here). However, compatibility can and will increase through several steps, which, again won’t only be of technical nature (such as the progression across the autonomous driving levels) but also through use cases in niches. One niche application is public transport. For example, the city of Berlin and two other partners are going to operate autonomous buses in 2018. That public use of autonomous driving technology will familiarize citizens the concept of autonomous driving. Furthermore, autonomous cars are more

Digital hangouts

With apps like Houseparty, Oculus Rooms in virtual reality, or the increasing use of second screens we can observe what Business Insider names “digital hangouts”. Digital hangouts are about digital live togetherness. Virtual living rooms in Oculus Rooms and Houseparty (from left to right; Sources: Oculus Rooms, Houseparty) One of the reasons why people like these “digital hangouts” is because it is an entirely natural behavior rooted in our preference for instant feedback to ideas or questions. Just consider study groups or people bouncing off ideas with co-workers. I can imagine that the almost instant access to the internet on Google Home or Amazon Alexa will further enforce this tendency. Eventually, we will want even more instant access to the web and people than we have today. Hearables can provide us with both. Through direct access to voice-assistants (with AirPods, for example, you only have to double-tap one side to activate Siri) we will get instant access to the internet. Sony Anytime Talk is one example for instant access to people. As far as I know, Sony’s Anytime Talk, is the first chat app developed exclusively for a headphone. It allows you to create voice-based group chats with Xperia Ear

How consumers’ perception of autonomous cars will influence their adoption

There are two sides when it comes to customers and the emergence of a new technology. On the one hand, we have consumer adoption and on the other hand consumer acceptance. Adoption is the process of consumers using a technology. Acceptance is the process of non-consumers tolerating the existence of a technology. I have covered acceptance in a separate post; here I am going to look at adoption (also referred to as diffusion). Concretely I will look at the adoption of fully autonomous cars. This Level 5 autonomy implies that autonomous cars will be introduced in a big bang approach skipping all semi-autonomous levels [18] and putting Level 5 cars directly onto our streets. There are two reasons why I consider this bang approach impossible. Firstly, direct introduction would be impossible because autonomous cars are not an isolated product but part of a bigger system. This so called socio-technical system requires a myriad of other things to happen before we can use Level 5 cars en masse on our streets. The only alternative is the incremental introduction of autonomous cars in niches. The second reason why a big bang introduction is impossible is that consumers simply won’t accept such a

Ubiquitous Learning — a primer

Ubiquitous learning is defined as an all day learning environment supported by technology (such as wearables). It is enriched with interaction (with the material as well as other people), can be accessed anywhere anytime, is personalized to the user and its environment and is a mixture of “real reality” and virtual reality. Personalized requires more elaboration in this context; it refers to the learner’s goals of learning, her interests, and preferences, capabilities, learning progress, level of expertise, the used technology and the setting in which learning takes place [1]. Whereas ubiquitous learning can apply to organizations and individuals, I will focus on individuals here. Furthermore, it makes sense to differentiate between willing and unwilling learning as well as active and passive initiation of learning (although there is no such thing as passive learning, I will refer to it as active/passive learning for the sake of brevity). Willing and unwilling learning refers to situations where the learner does or does not want to learn something, respectively. Active and passive initiation of learning distinguishes between how people seek out improvement. Actively means that they start learning something on their own, passively means that somebody or something nudges them to start learning. Thus,