Not as funny as the past years! #hkuiom knows what this is about.
Not as funny as the past years! #hkuiom knows what this is about.
Phillips and Accenture have created a proof of concept to showcase the possibilities that lie when wearable computers (Google Glass) are used in the healthcare arena.
Most analysts have hailed Google’s recent acquisition of Waze for $ 1.3 billion a masterstroke (a minority thinks that this is going to be a botched overstretch, a la Motorola). [See some nice reports here, here and here and the Waze blog announcement here.] However, there seems to be no agreement on whether this is a strategic M&A, a pure technology acquisition or an acqui-hire. Different folks have differing opinions; IMHO, this acquisition offers Google a few advantages of each of these.
A Pre-emptive strategic move: It was reported that there were several suitors for Waze, including Facebook and Apple. By spending a small part of its $50 billion plus cash pile, Google has managed to keep a key technological advancement out of the hands of the competition and this been able to maintain its pre-eminent position in the Maps market.
A technology acquisition: By definition, a technology acquisition provides the acquiring firm with a technology or technological knowhow. Waze will enable Google to add a critical element to its Maps technology – real-time, crowdsourced updates. A weakness of all the major players in the Maps market has been the need to spend millions of dollars to periodically update the maps for accuracy in a rapidly changing world (cue the Apple Maps disaster). Waze will augment Google’s efforts by providing a cheaper option for map updates as well potential future monetization through location based advertising.
An acqui-hire: While the technology artefact represented by Waze is impressive indeed, Google will also benefit from the knowledge residing within the employees of Waze. Google has committed to maintaining the Waze R&D team in an ‘as is’, independent state, thus ensuring continuity of tacit forms of individual and group level knowledge. This will maximize the potential innovation outcomes from the Waze R&D team, and Google will be able to benefit from potential knowledge spillovers to its own R&D centres (some of which are located relatively nearby). [It is reported that Waze employees have been offered nice retention bonuses to stay for 4-5 year post-acquisition, thus maximizing the time for spillovers, knowledge transfer, and innovation.]
Overall, the Waze acquisition provides Google with several benefits which will enable it to possibly dominate the ‘Lo’ portion of the next big battlefield – The SoMoLo Convergence.
Google’s home page has a link to the Google Cultural Institute – a wonderful repository of 20th century history. This impressive initiative by Google, which “helps preserve and promote culture online”, is in line with Google’s mission to”organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Talk about strategic alignment!
Is this a peek into the future, where successful authors (or their publishers) will bypass platform owners (Amazon, Apple, and others) and directly offer e-versions of their top sellers to customers?
Despite the wide availability of pirated copies, the ebook versions of the books have been widely successful.
During an interview with Radio Litopia’s “The Naked Book” Wednesday afternoon, Redmayne said Pottermore sold more than $1.5 million worth of Harry Potter books in the store’s first three days online.
What is to be seen is if JK Rowling will follow a similar strategy for the sales of her new novel. Though ebook prices have been announced, it is still not clear if the publisher of this book will bypass the Amazon, Google and Apple platforms. A Kindle version is currently available for pre-purchase, but eventually, this link might forward buyers to the publisher’s website.
The Casual Vacancy
480 pages (approximately)
ISBN 9781408704202 (hardback) price £20.00
ISBN 9781405519229 (ebook) price £11.99
ISBN 9781405519212 (audio download) £20.00
ISBN 9781405519205 (CD) price £30.00
Reliance Communications, India‘s second largest telecom operator, has announced that all Android smartphones sold in India for the next two years, will come with a free bundled 3G connection (albeit, with a 1GB limited download capacity). This marks the first major competitive move by a telco in this fast growing market segment, to grab market share by providing free connections. This will help moving consumers from the slower and cheaper 2G data connections (which cost 2$ a month for 2.5 gb) to the more pricier 3G connections (which cost $15 a month for 3 gb).
Android currently rules in India’s small, but fast growing smartphone segment. With its large installed base of cellphone subscribers, it offers a huge market opportunity, which Google seems determined to tap.
RCOM and Google have entered into a two-year deal according to which all Google-endorsed android mobile devices from companies like Samsung, HTC, Sony Ericsson and LG will come with the telco’s third generation, or 3G, mobile connection with 1 GB of free downloads for the first six months.
Google has posted a video about Project Glass – a
concept technology that enables a heads-up display through a pair of wearable glasses. Termed Google Glasses by some, this product will enable users to access Google’s growing basket of services through a combination of voice and gesture commands. This product, which is rumored to hit the market by the end of the year (plausibly in a less finessed form?) and is being tested in the wild, will provide augmented reality displays by pulling data from Google Search, Maps, and Plus, and also have calendar, contact book, music player, and video conferencing capabilities. Images of the glasses show a rather minimalistic design, thus it is possible that the glasses will connect to a base station (an Android phone perhaps?) via bluetooth for memory storage, GPS, phone and internet access capabilities.
Google’s India strategy has taken another critical step forward with the addition of 19,000 episodes of 300 Indian TV programs in six different languages. These programs come from YouTube‘s TV partners – Sony Entertainment Television, Colors, ImagineTV, Star India, and VikatanTV.
The rapid growth in internet users, expected proliferation of smartphones, and increasing availability of free, legal online content in India can together have potentially massive impacts on consumer viewing & consumption habits. Is Google’s offering of free Bollywood movies just a strategy aimed at growing internet adoption or a harbinger of the future? A future where copious amounts of digital advertising will make Indian movies free for online consumers? A future where the internet will become a viable 3rd channel for production houses and movie studios in India?
This infographic by Google showcases the real-time changes in what people were searching for on Google during this year’s Super Bowl. This offers an interesting snapshot into the how people researched the teams prior to the event and changed their searches according to the on field action during the event. Most interestingly, there was a huge movement towards mobile search during the event.
This makes one wonder, if scientists of the future will one day be able to piece together our present by scanning our collective Google search history.
See the original Google article and infographic here.