I read articles today about free Brick and Mortar in store WiFi to utilize tech to enhance in store experiences. Another article I read about Nike embedding tech to enhance their products echos manufacturers might want to continue to pursue embedding chips, such as Near Field Communications (NFC) in conjunction with in store WiFi to offer both programmable manufacturer rebates as well as in store sale offers turning window shoppers into sales. WiFi would not just entice the prospective shopper, but also provides manufacturers with the ability to update rebate offers as seasons and styles are shifted to help move stock. A win for the consumer, manufacturer, and retailer.
Is this just a question of Samsung verse Apple, or iOS verse Android, but Apple is not battling the U.S. company, Google, and Google is not defending it’s partner because it has its own internally acquired hardware vendor, Motorola Mobility?
Since Samsung is a foreign company, should it be protected under United States Antitrust regulations, and if so, do they apply? If by taking Samsung out of the U.S. marketplace, would Apple monopolize the marketplace? Is it a grey area, the current number of mobile hardware manufacturers, relative to their share in the market, and how much control Apple would have shaping the U.S. marketplace if Samsung was removed? Are the mobile hardware and/or OS manufactures an Oligopoly or a Monopoly? As an example article, here is a brief statement on Monopolies and Oligopolies, and examples of Oligopolies. U.S Antitrust Laws could apply, but this decision should at least be presented to the U.S. Supreme Court, and possibly in a different context. Is this a hardware manufacturer issue, or a mobile Operating System issue?
I continually see news articles like, Apple wants ban on Samsung products, even more damages. Here is a solid paper from a Law student at Fordham regarding Oligopolies and Antitrust Law. It started to make me think, along with another article from CNN Money, Android races past Apple in smartphone market share. In the article it mentions how RIMM and Nokia / Symbian fell in market share significantly, and the top two competitors are Apple and Android. For me, these articles raised a few questions. Clearly RIMM and Nokia/Symbian differ in form factor and feature capabilities, and have been outpaced by Apple and Android. Google purchasing Motorola Mobility seemed to enhance the lack of Google’s interest in backing other hardware manufacturers. My first question is what is the difference between generic drugs and name brand drugs, and this situation, and how do Generics persist in the marketplace? Is this battle really Android versus Apple, but Google is keeping an arm’s length because they have their own hardware manufacturer internally? Second, are every single innovation adopted by one OS and/or hardware manufacturer, e.g. mutithreaded / multitasking support, all up for debate, fines, and closed the ability to compete in the marketplace. This situation smells of geopolitics, and how American Capitalism marketplace may be leveraging some form of Protectionism. Again, this case, and possibly Samsung should partner with another Android OS partner, possibly outside the U.S., to transform this case to the U.S. Supreme Court, and make this about the Operating Systems rather than hardware.
As with everyone else on the market creating these devices, it occurs to me that as mobile devices contain more and more memory, e.g. 1 GB RAM on the Samsung Galaxy S III and Apple iPhone 5 as well as adding CPU cores, especially with touchscreen keys and gestures, as well as ‘core or bundled applications’, it IS increasingly important to manage memory in mobile systems the way desktop or server systems manage memory. See Multi-level cache and Multi-core chips in the Wikipedia article CPU cache as two levels of complexity in working with expanding CPU and RAM sets. A person is already able to create delays in touch typing in these cool new devices as they have several to many applications running in parallel processing data. Beyond expanding the capacity of these devices, CPU and memory management has to be a key factor in maintaining the stability of these devices. Maybe this is already implement although not transparent in the specifications I have seen. Although at present, not as important, or glitzy in marketing literature to sell more devices, or currently negligible to the non-power user, it will become increasing transparent. At this stage, we are just ‘throwing bodies’ at the problem, i.e. adding more CPU and Memory capacity.
Although it may have seemed obvious to anyone who has seen the Goggles app, heard about the Google Glass project would have probably used their imagination, but if you have tens of thousands of Google Glasses in the marketplace, the Google Goggles app should be able to identify clothes, and accessories, and determine from a fashion standpoint, what is really ‘trending’. If it wasn’t obvious before, in the article, With Glass, Google Gives a Fashion Icon a New Toy, it says Von Furstenburg (or DVF, for short) used them to document her days in the lead up to New York Fashion Week. Is Twitter opening up an office in NYC part of the beginning moves to be acquired by Google?
Big Data Creates Opportunities for Small to Midsize Retail Vendors through Collective Affinity Marketing outside Financial Institutions.
In the Harvard Business Review, there is an article, Will Big Data Kill All but the Biggest Retailers? One idea to mitigate that risk is to create a collective of independent retailers under affinity programs, such as charities, and offer customers every N part of their purchase applies to the charity to reach specific goals as defined by the consumer. Merchants, as part of this program, decide their own caps, or monetary participation levels. Consumers belong to an affinity group, but it’s not limited to a particular credit card. The key is this transaction data is available to all participating merchants for the affinity. Transaction data spans all merchants within the affinity and not just the transactions executed with the merchant.
Using trusted, independent marketing data warehouses independent retail vendors share ‘big data’ to enable them to compete and utilize the same pool of consumer [habitual] spending data.
Affinity, marketing data companies can empower their retail clients/vendors with the tools for Business Intelligence and pull from the collection of consumer data. Trusted, independent marketing data warehouses sprout up to collect consumer data and enable it’s retail vendor clients to mine the data.
These trusted loyalty affinity data warehouses, not affiliated with a single financial institution, as previously implemented with credit cards, but more in line with, or analogous to, supermarket style loyalty programs, however, all independent retail vendors may participate OR may cap these affinity program memberships for retail vendor from small to mid-size companies.
Note: Data obfuscation could be applied so customer identification on fields like social security number will not be transparent, limiting any liabilities for fraud.
Google’s Project Glass, or Google’s augmented reality glasses, I wonder, as propably others, if ANY 3rd party developers will be allowed develop and roll out applications just as they have done with Google’s Android OS, and Google play. There may be liability concerns with applications, and how developers and their users engage in their use. It should be very interesting if 3rd party application developers, any, are allowed to develop and roll out apps. I can think applications will certainly go beyond what pop culture is expecting. If Google allows for any 3rd party applications, with development toolkits and a simulator just as it does for Android OS, it will streach all of our imaginations what the system and its users are capable of.
The list of applications is extensive from your basic set (i.e. checking email) to:
- Partnered with a Lucas Films licensee, use small plastic force feedback sticks, the handle of a light saber and leverage Force Feedback for game play with the glasses for the ‘light’ of the light saber (game)
- Just like there are apps for speed traps, and social network GPS network location check ins, application developers could really be ‘creative’ with this one, and some could similarly border the ‘speed trap’ legality issue.
- And finally, what parts of the spectrum will Google Glass allow the user to detect. I can see, excuse the intended pun, enabling the user, with an app, to view alternate parts of the spectrum, not visible light, and their could be a tremendous set of applications for this last point. If Google doesn’t include it, alternate competitors could, and there is an opportunity. Baby steps.
- The visible spectrum, with a creative application developer, could filter or disect parts of the view-able spectrum, and apply it to specific applications. Polarize me, Scotty!
Mobile Adverting, Cost Per Acquisition, will grow and continue to apply to In-App purchases, from appliances from a distributor catalogue to a mobile application, virtual products, relatively open landscape for advertisers and reliable, affiliate networks should bloom. Good brand, easy integration capability affiliates are an exclusive membership, primarily an oligopoly at this point, ripe for expansion and VC.
A Firefox smartphone for a developing world may be one small step to cost effective smartphones, however, the ultimate prize will be to get WebOS open source out of beta and in the hands of cost effective, even small country, government subsidized, hardware vendors to mass produce the devices. The question remains, will Firefox be expandable enough, yet energy efficient, and will WebOS be energy efficient. I hope HP designs a ‘lightweight/energy’ option into the phone. See article on “Firefox Targets Developing States with Open Source Affordable Smartphones”
As I approach a gap in society, I take pause, and say, is that an opportunity, and why does that exist? If people seize that opportunity who will it benefit, and who will it detract? In this case, I see a number of Information Technology contract positions as right to hire, or just 3 to 6 month or more contract roles, sometimes hourly, sometimes, rarely daily. So I ask myself, as I look at my 1930 AFL-CIO cane, I collect canes as a hobby, why isn’t there a very good health care / organized labor system for the IT industry. You too may have also been excluded as an independent contractor in IT, or your own field. In IT, you either work for a company as a full time employee with benefits, or work for a small to mid sized consultancy firm with no or some mediocre medical benefits. If you work for a large consultancy firm, and are able to transition to a firm, fantastic. You also have the ability to collect good benefits in a large consultancy firm. However, if you are an independent contractor in the United States of America, you may financial barriers securing premium health care insurance, such as a PPO with a small co-pay and without a referral. I am on my 18th month of COBRA and my current small company plan, if I got sick, I would be in serious financial trouble. This ‘Pains’ me to say, but why don’t we have good collective bargaining for Information Technology Independent Consultants? That is a rhetorical question. It would directly compete with large consultancy companies, their ability to deliver good benefits, and transition someone to an organization. If I took a count of how many people were on COBRA, or without healthcare, may be contractors, and would be more than willing to use collective bargaining to strong arm health insurance companies for a great health care plan through organized labor, I suspect we could do more than the United States Government has not been able to do for the American public.
Sign up to express your interest in contractor labor benefits.
Update: Since I originally posted this message, with a small budget, I’ve been able to reach thousands of people to read this post. If you don’t sign up here, I urge you to try to do the same thing, and reach out to form local labor unions of your own. Other fields are, and have done this for a long time. Isn’t it time you’re field of labor collectively worked together in the hopes not just to network for jobs, but for [health] benefits?
Take an open source OS such as a WebOS smartphone, without a contract, light weight requirements in processing power, and could it be the RedHat of Mobile devices? So many hardware vendors are still tied to Microsoft. WebOS could be the opensource OS. With VC funding, a spinoff from HP, which gives it focus again, and VC funding and hardware connections with a sick new phone like the Nokia Flex, an alternate shaped device, and a low price point, that device will fly off the shelves. No doubt about it.