donderdag, oktober 05, 2017

Google launch event: Pixel 2/2 XL, Pixel Buds, Clips, Home Mini/Max, Pixelbook, Pixelbook Pen

Google launches new hardware & software/AI.

  • Smart speakers
    • Google Home Mini ($50)
    • Google Home Max ($400; with Smart Sound (adjusts to positioning in the room), Voice Match (identifies user))
  • Laptop
    • Google Pixelbook (from $1000, 3 versions; with 12.3 inch touchscreen)
  • Smart pen
    • Google Pixelbook Pen ($100; for Pixelbook)
  • Smartphones
    • Google Pixel 2 (5 inch; $650 or 750 for 64 or 128 GB)
    • Google Pixel 2 XL (6 inch; $850 or 950 for 64 or 128 GB)
    • work with Project Fi, eSIM, Android 8.0 Oreo, Active Edge (squeeze to activate Assistant)
    • unlimited free photo/video storage
    • Google Lens, Now Playing
    • accessories (incl. certification program for 3rd party manufacturers 'made for Google')
  • New Daydream View headset ($100)
    • currently over 250 apps & games
    • AR/VR for Pixel 2/2 XL: AR Stickers, AR apps (Houzz, League of Legends, Lego)
  • Headphones
    • Google Pixel Buds ($160; wireless)
  • Camera
    • Google Clips ($250; 8 GB; lightweight hands-free camera, control via app, makes clips, unlimited free storage)
  • Google Assistant (on all devices) to add
    • choice of voices (choice of 2)
    • Family Link (game playing)
    • manage home routines
    • transactions (starting with 1-800-Flowers, Applebee’s, Panera, Ticketmaster)
    • broadcast (to all Google Homes)
    • Nest control
  • Identification/recognition
    • Google Pixelbook Pen: handwriting
    • Google Clips: faces
    • Google Lens: landmarks, books, music albums, movies, artwork
    • Now Playing: songs
    • Real-time translation in Google Translate on Pixel: speech

maandag, oktober 02, 2017

Amazon's expanding CPE portfolio

Amazon's recent launch event brought the following.

  • Echo Spot (with circular screen, Alexa, front-facing camera, built-in speaker, Bluetooth, audio-out), $130 in US (Dec 17); 2018 in UK, Germany
  • New Echo, $100 (with Alexa, Dolby)
  • Echo Plus, $150.
  • New Amazon Fire TV, $70 in US (dongle; HDMI, 4K, HDR, Alexa Voice Remote, 60 fps, Dolby Atmos)
  • Echo Connect, $35 (Alexa accessory, turns Echo device into hands-free speakerphone for existing home phone line (PSTN or VoIP); connects to home phone jack or VoIP adapter & to Echo device over WiFi)
  • Echo Buttons, $20 for 2 in US, UK, Germany: device for playing games via Alexa; push to answer; Trivial Pursuit from Hasbr; Sounds Fun with Mike Epps; Buzzer Beater Basketball Trivia with Karl-Anthony Towns; Fourth Down Football Trivia with Philip Rivers; Full Count Baseball Trivia with Buster Posey from Ground Control; Beat the Intro from Musicplode)
  • Plans more Alexa Gadgets.
  • For all Echo devices: microphone array with second generation far-field technology.
Software & services
  • Fire OS 6.0 (based on Android Nougat), first in 4K Fire TV
  • Smart Home hub, built into the Echo Plus
  • Alexa Calling, in all Echo devices
  • Alexa Routines (customisable actions using a single voice command)
  • Free outbound calling in US, Canada, Mexico (excl 911)
  • Alexa reaches 25k 3rd party skills
  • 5k employees work on Alexa
The total hardware (CPE) portfolio
  • Kindle: e-readers (and a tablet)
  • Fire: tablets
  • Fire TV: casting devices (STB, console, dongle)
  • Dash: ordering devices
  • Echo (and Tap): smart speakers
  • Alexa Gadgets: Echo Buttons


maandag, maart 20, 2017

Facebook's CPE efforts are coming none too soon

According to rumors, Facebook will launch a range of CPE/hardware at next month's developer conference in San Jose (April 18-19), through its hardware division Building 8 (established at last year's conference).

It makes sense in a number of ways

  • Trend. All internet majors (Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook) engage in hardware development. It's a new market, they are flush with cash and they know precisely what their users do.
  • Cross-selling. With the exception of Apple, selling hardware is aimed at growing sales in an adjacent area.
  • Vertical intergration. As such, it is a form of vertical integration, capturing a larger part of the value chain.
  • Diversification. Facebook's revenues are 98.0% from ads (2.0% from payments & other fees). Diversification, in light of the inevitable growth slow-down, is coming none too soon. In fact, the other majors are way ahead of Facebook in this respect.

maandag, januari 16, 2017

Picnic: 24,000 customers, or 7.4% household penetration

Picnic on its website still states it has over 10,000 happy customers, but it looks like there a lot more now.

Picnic is an online supermarket, without traditional stores. It provides services in Amersfoort, Almere, Leusden, Soest, Maarssen and Utrecht. The business case is threefold:

  • Having no stores, prices can be lower than in traditional stores.
  • Having no stores, home delivery is standard. And it carries no extra fees.
  • Picnic really is an app. The website is just for promotion. All the custmer sees and needs is the app, which has great functionality.
The company sent out a mail to its customers on 10 January 2017, saying that it now has 24,000 customers.

The six towns mentioned above have 780,000 inhabitants (assuming that Picnic serves the entire cities where it is active), equalling roughly 325,000 households. Picnic's penetration then stands at 7.4%.