Digital Distribution

CES in Review

The show when: - Blockchain, AI, VR and other buzzwords - Hey Google! - One well placed rant - The robot uprising has begun - Not all robots were feisty - Time for a new body?

Blame it on the Moon

The U.S. is number four in the list of innovative countries worldwide, according to a June 2017 Business Insider article. On the surface, it's a puzzling rank. This is, after all, the country that put a man on the moon (and maybe will again soon), built the initial Internet, and is home to many of the major tech companies, such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple. And yet, Switzerland, Sweden, and the Netherlands all rank higher for innovation. Ouch.

2018: A Year of Defining Uncertainty

What do you do when your boss decides you should write a “crystal ball” blog about the upcoming year? Well, if you’re anything like me, you procrastinate until something strikes you. The predictions that follow aren’t necessarily going to tell you what to expect next year; rather, they will describe why 2018 will be characterized by large industry-wide disruptions in markets facing uncertainty.

Beached Whales and Neutral Ground

In England, all beached whales must be offered to the Reigning Monarch. This law came into force in 1322, is still in effect today and is, of course, a rather silly law in today’s world. No policy maker would consider building a proposal based on the precedent set out in the 1322 law. And yet, I feel that the FCC’s Net Neutrality argument is just as ludicrous.

Tale of the Phone Cutter

You’ve likely heard of cord cutting, the trend toward cancelling cable TV in lieu of streaming video or no paid TV service at all. This trend, which is becoming more mainstream, is no longer just a behavior of innovators who test the waters of new technology. In fact, it’s so pervasive that media companies such as Disney, CBS, and HBO, have or are in the process of decoupling their programming from the traditional pay-TV distribution machine, now offering streaming services that don’t require you to buy a large bundle of channels, but rather subscribe to the core content they offer.

Noise in the smarter machine

The lady sitting in front of me on the tram was clearly into her music. She was using headphones, but it didn’t really make much of a difference. The tram driver came back with the request for her to turn her iPhone volume down, which she did. In the relative quiet that followed, I realized that there were two tech issues addressed by that single moment. Firstly, in a future (or in some places, current) world where there is no tram driver anymore, we would have continued to listen to the tinny echoes of Eric passing through the headphones; and secondly, tech smarts can (at least for now) be ignored at will by the consumer.

All that glitters...

LeEco’s vision for the U.S. was bright and promising, but a bit more fleeting than some anticipated. The company started that way, with a spectacular launch event that promised an array of hardware (from TVs and VR, to a connected bike and self-driving car) as part of a much broader vision to be the ultimate content ecosystem. But its strategy quickly started to show flaws, with little positive news following the initial hurrah, and a slow trickle of doubts and rumors about if it was possible to turn the LeEco dream into reality.

Sitting Pretty in the Post-Mobile Era

If there was any doubt that we are entering the post-mobile era, this year’s CES ratified the fact. The absence of mobile integration as a core discussion, and “must show-off” checkbox, demonstrates that the ground has shifted. Where iOS and Android integrations were the must-have stamp of approval in previous years, this year the badge of honor was to show-off Alexa integration.

Chaos & Technology

As we embark on the holiday season, two distinct dynamics tend to converge: chaos; and new technology. Is your work done? Are you ready to take the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day? Have you even started your holiday shopping? As you read on, I hope you spot a gift idea for that tech-crazed special someone on your list.

Perhaps, to be Practical is Madness

We find ourselves among a new generation, one that is redefining the technology that will shape their lives. Not the often publicized Millennials, but their successors, Generation Z. While no dates squarely define their age and few characteristics evoke imagery of who they will become, one thing cannot be argued: they were born into an always-on, always-connected world.

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