Apple acquires AR tech, Samsung’s bendable phone, Alexa-powered headphones, Science is strategy, Consumer vs enterprise products & more.
Welcome to a new week full of fresh ideas and innovation at elproducto!
📰 Seen on the news
Apple acquires AR headset firm Vrvanafor $30M; the Canada-based company developed the unreleased Totem headset, which featured dual-cameras.
Apple may release an iPhone SE 2 by July 2018, according to a China Economic Daily report; expected to retail at a $450 price point and to come in 32 GB and 128 GB storage configurations.
Google is set to add Lens to Google Assistant on Pixel and Pixel 2 devices in the coming weeks; the tool lets users point the camera at various objects to get more information; the feature is already available via the camera app on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
Uber expands its beacon program and adds live location sharing, in-app gifting, and improved “request for guest” feature; location sharing helps drivers find riders once in the general pickup area; beacons are colored lights placed inside drivers’ windshields; riders select custom colors to make Uber vehicles easier to identify.
Tencent surpasses Facebook, reaching a market cap of $522B, (Facebook $519.3B). Becomes the fifth-most valuable company; Tencent’s growth has been driven by its mobile games division and messaging app WeChat.
Skype has been removed from iOS and Android app stores in China; Apple says VoIP apps were removed in accordance with local laws; Skype continues to work within China.
Samsung is set to release a bendable smartphone called the Galaxy X; the company published a support page for a SM-G888N0 device; the SM-G888 code has previously been linked to the rumoured Galaxy X.
Inspero launches a Kickstarter for Vinci, Alexa-powered headphones with a 3G connection; promises gesture controls, support for music streaming services, and more; has raised $303k on a $20k goal, ends Jan 14.
Amazon updates its AWS computer vision service, Rekognition, with improved face detection, real-time face identification, and recognition of text in images; can now detect up to 100 faces in crowd photos; now provides real-time search of identified faces within tens of millions of images.
EU regulators say online retailers will have to make products available across all 28 member states; as part of the rules, e-commerce firms will no longer be allowed to redirect consumers to a country-specific website, though they don’t have to offer cross-border delivery; the new legislation will not apply to certain digital content such as music and film downloads.
Planyway, a Calendar integration for Trello boards. Planyway offers calendar view for visual card scheduling, team timeline views, 2-way sync with 3rd party calendars and more.
📚 Good reads
Science is strategy. Can the scientific method be applied to strategy. Rachel Weston argues experimentation is not just tactical, but it should be applied at strategic level too.
Consumer vs enterprise products. Rose Yao, Director of Product at Google, explains her transition to enterprise product, and shares some of the differences and similarities with her previous consumer-focused role.