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).

The decentralization of the smartphone through hardware

Smartphones turned hardware into software The two pictures below illustrate how the smartphone changed our everyday life. We moved from a fully covered desk to one with only a laptop and smartphone. After Apple introduced the App Store, we have seen waves of new apps. Lately, however, the interest in apps started to fade. Firstly, through (Chat)bots, app in apps and instant apps we see a tendency towards fewer installed apps. Secondly, hardware companies have been working in a somewhat reversed direction of the two pictures shown above. New devices in the form of GoPros and Spectacles are bringing back cameras to our desks, and VR headsets give us a second screen for smartphones. But there are also new devices which did not exist before the smartphone. IoT devices such as buttons, cubes, bricks and headphones are decentralizing our smartphones There are several smart devices, connected to smartphones, that carry out particular tasks on the connected phone. Here I want to give a short overview of some of them. Smart buttons, cubes, bricks and other devices can either be tailored to individual use cases or generally applicable Amazon’s Dash: The Dash is a button that is assigned to one particular item available on Amazon. When you press the button it will order that

Digital assistants and app in apps might be the future of smartphone apps

During Oculus Connect 3 Opening Keynote Mark Zuckerberg criticized that our smartphones are organized around apps and not how we actually process the world. For example, imagine sitting in a restaurant: If you want to talk to somebody or take a picture do not have to change the room (which translates — according to Zuckerberg — to switching to another app). You can talk, eat and take pictures in the same place. On you phone, you would need a different app for these actions. (You can watch Zuckerberg’s explanation here.) Oculus wants to change that and a possible future of smartphone apps with its platform Social VR.  Social VR puts people first and you do not have to switch apps to get different tasks done. With Social VR, you can, for instance, watch a movie, talk to people, take a picture, etc. all at the same place without changing the app. Desks before the smartphone (Source) If we look at how MP3 players, maps, and digital cameras have merged into your smartphone and personal computer we can see an analogy in the hardware world. While a smartphone is not perfectly suitable for everything (see here for some examples) having one device for everything

Coca-Cola made a selfie bottle

Coca-Cola unveiled a selfie-bottle: A camera attached to the bottom of a bottle that takes a picture once the bottle is tilted above 70 degrees and allows you to share these images on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. The Coca-Cola selfie bottle (Source) In one way it is similar to Snap’s spectacles which went on sale last week; Both devices allow you to take pictures without having to hold your smartphone. The main difference, however, is that that selfie bottle takes pictures of yourself, with Snap’s glasses you photograph your environment. The selfie bottle is certainly a nice gadget, and whereas I doubt that Coca-Cola is going to push it as a commercial product, third-party manufacturers will make sure we see them next summer. Source of header image: http://thenextweb.com/gadgets/2016/11/17/coca-cola-selfie-bottle/

Gaming “the” application for VR?

In terms of interest, Virtual Reality (VR) started to take off in 2015 and has been raising in popularity ever since. Lately, it experienced an all-time high in Google searches. However, there was not only interesting development in search volume but also in sales volume, especially for Sony’s PlayStation VR. The market research company SuperData initially estimated that it will sell 2.6 million devices by the end of 2016. Recently, however, SuperData downsized that number to about a fourth, to about 750.000 (see chart). Nevertheless, the PlayStation VR is estimated to outsell the Oculus and HTC Vive headsets by more than 100% and 60% respectively. Whether the updated prediction is true is hard to tell. Assuming it is, makes me think if that can tell us anything about the critical success factors for VR. Considering the headsets’ different price levels one might assume that to be the reasons for Sony’s success. Sony’s VR is almost half the price of Vive and Oculus To use Sony’s VR you need a PlayStation 4, to use the Vive or Oculus you need a PC. Bundled together the PS4 and the headset (with controllers and a game) cost about $830. This is almost half of what the cheapest Vive

The reasons why Echo and Google are winning over HUE and Nest

I have recently looked through more than 30 smart home providers and realized that there are four groups: Mass product providers: Companies like Samsung SmartThings that ofer all kinds of smart devices. Niche product providers: Companies focusing on one or two products. Like Philiphs with its HUE light bulbs or Rachio with a wifi-controlled sprinkler. Central units: Products like Homee with serve as a bridge between devices from different manufacturers and with different technologies. SaaS platforms: Software companies like qivicon offering cloud solutions for the management, integration and combination of smart devices. Interface provider: There are two broad distinctions in this sectors: Software solutions like the Magenta SmartHome app and hardware providers like the Senic smart controller or Flic, a smart wireless button. The idea of smart homes has been around for over 80 years (here you can find a video of a robot made in 1932) and I honestly think the biggest impact originates from Google’s and Amazon’s introduction of their home assistants (Amazon Echo and Google Home). Their established distribution channels are only of their impact. I believe there are three more reasons: Immediate gratification: Compared to a window sensor or smart doorbell getting a question answered by Echo or a summary of my day is immediately useful. A smart doorbell which helps me talk to postman is certainly

How Apple is pushing ubiquitous computing with the iPhone 7

I get that why people are complaining about Apple removing the headphone jack with the iPhone 7, but I think they should not. By removing the headphone jack Apple wants people to use its wireless headphones called AirPods. One of their key features are built in controls which can be used to activate Siri without taking your phone out. I have described here why wireless headphones are amazing, in regards to the iPhone and Apple in general they transferring parts of your iPhone into your ear. It is true that you can achieve the same with wired earphones as well but by making them wireless they are firstly, less intrusive and secondly they automatically connect to iPads, Macs and the Apple Watch. I have used wireless headphones before and after a while you start using your phone’s hardware less but your phone’s software (e.g. Siri) more and the phone as itself is merging more and more into the background of your life. Even though your phone might not be physically present, your phone’s functions are. For example, you can leave your phone in the bedroom and use have a phone call in another room. Your phone’s functions are everywhere, they ubiquitous. Another interesting aspect