Happenings in the World of Artificial Intelligence

While much of the tech media have been focusing on the goings on at the Mobile World Congress, some of the more interesting stories of the week are to be found elsewhere. While the differences between this year’s smartphones and last year’s models are becoming increasingly difficult to discern, the same is not true for the goings on in the world of Artificial Intelligence. Already a topic of a blog post of mine a short time ago, there have been some particularly … Read more…

Amazon Dash – this genuinely deserves the ‘Internet of Things’ tag

The Internet of Things hype continues unabated, with companies allegedly hiring Chief IoT officers, though a quick search on the Indeed website failed to throw up any ads. However, today I came across a news item that genuinely deserves a bit of hype. While all sorts of technologies and products get pitched as an IoT play, Amazon’s Dash service is a genuine internet of things application. In a nutshell this service allows companies to use Amazon as a fulfilment service … Read more…

Talk to me – The role of Voice Control in the Smart Home

A recent Smart Home report on what features are most desired by users showed that in addition to self-adjusting thermostats, remote locking of burglar alarms and other such staples, one of the features that users really want is a master remote for all services. This is an expression of the frustration with the morass of incompatibility between smart devices.  Very few systems talk to each other in a meaningful way and it is clear that the fragmentation of standards and systems continues to cause … Read more…

Comparing the Cloud giants – Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure

Last month saw a number of number of the tech giants provide their most recent quarterly earnings. For both Amazon and Microsoft, their cloud activities gained a lot of headlines and column-inches in both the technical and business press. Although adopting different growth and technology strategy, their cloud computing offerings represent a significant engine of growth going forward, and is becoming an area of ever-more intense competition. Here we take a brief look at how they compare and what the … Read more…

Amazon still king of the Cloud, though Microsoft is catching up

You can’t go far in reading the tech press before coming across the term ‘cloud’, a term that causes no end of confusion. In the enterprise IT world, the public cloud refers to the setup where IT applications and capabilities are provided to a company by an external provider via Internet connections on a shared infrastructure. This means that the company can benefit from shared economies of scale as other customers use the same infrastructure, and the same scale also provides the … Read more…

Amazon rethinks mobile payments strategy

Only six months after launch, Amazon has appeared to have pulled its beta Amazon Wallet app, in the wake of a raft of poor reviews, having averaged 3.1 stars on the Google Play store. This product could only use Amazon vouchers and credit as a means of payment, and was consequently not well received by users, who did not see the point of it. Pointedly, all its main competitors seem to have more comprehensive products and strategies in this space – Apple Pay accepts … Read more…

Business Models for the Internet of Things

I unsuccessfully tried to avoid calling this blog “Business Models for the Internet of Things” as there is no shortage of web articles on this topic. A recent Harvard Business Review online issue on the Internet of Things has triggered a fair deal of debate on whether IoT radically changes business models or to what extent unlocks new value. Like all technologies in the hyped ramp-up phase, it is often difficult to separate fact from fiction, and prediction from fanciful guesswork. Here I … Read more…

Amazon Echo – Who’s listening & why?

As discussed previously in this blog, the proliferation of connected sensors will produce a stream of information back to a cloud-based service provider about what a person is doing throughout the day. Last week saw the announcement of two products that make use of sound sensors (i.e. microphones) as a key part of the product experience. The one that has got most interest, is the Amazon Echo. This is essentially a voice-controlled Bluetooth speaker with Cloud-based Artificial Intelligence in a similar vein to Apple’s … Read more…