webmasterJuly 26, 2018July 26, 2018This month’s focus is on gaming, smartphone innovations, a predictive analytics loyalty app, AI for dummies and open source data transfer. Here are the six technology announcements I’m keeping an eye on and you and your organization should, too. Top Tech Announcements for July Apple Announces New MacBook Pros There will be a 13” and 15” notebook with Turbo Boost, True Tone display, 2-4 TB of SSD storage, 10 hours of battery life and a third-generation keyboard. The 13” model will contain Intel i5 and i7 processors while the 15” will have i7 and i9 cores. Business Impact: These new True Tone displays will provide less eye strain, a much desired feature for creative individuals who sit in front of a laptop for hours at a time. The keyboard allows for quiet typing, another characteristic that’s appreciated in crowded offices. Apple users, who are contemplating moving to Windows machines because of more functionality, should wait until they can test drive these new products next year. Asus Reveals New Gaming Laptop The Asus Republic of Gamers Strix Scar II features a color-calibrated screen with thin bezels and a long battery life. It has an Intel i7 core, 1 TB of SSHD and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card. At five pounds, it’s the smallest and lightest gaming laptop with full graphics. The Strix Scar II can be tethered to multiple devices. Business Impact: Definitely geared to hardcore gamers or developers, this innovation can also be useful for small Gaming events where the cost of renting desktops is prohibitive or the space is too small for larger devices. Samsung Showcases Foldable Phone This 7” display will bend much like a wallet and have the capability to display two separate application screens. It’s expected to be released sometime next year. Business Impact: The company’s identified niche are gamers and multitaskers. If it is fast and has the resolution most smartphone users expect, I can see busy professionals utilizing the two screens for on-the-go collaboration. Qualcomm Unveils 5G Smartphone Antennas 5G networks are coming, but not without a few infrastructure hiccups. New standards must be adopted and new routers developed. When in place, Qualcomm will be ready with their QTM052 mmWave antenna modules. Business Impact: Smartphones will be much faster but have a shorter reception range. This antenna can be easily blocked by walls or even how the user positions their hand over the phone, potentially frustrating them. Be on the lookout for more 5G announcements in the coming months. Put off replacing routers and modems, especially if you know your area is targeted for this upgrade. A Predictive Analytics Tracking App That Delivers Points Miles, is a reward program that gives points based on the user’s transportation mode. A green app, it gives more points the greener the path (i.e. walking versus driving a car) to get from Point A to Path B. After so many points are accumulated, the user can cash in on gift cards, discounts or free offers from companies like Starbucks, Amazon, Bath & Body Works and Hello Fresh. Using predictive analytics, the app can match users to deals they should like. The catch? They must allow constant access to their location. Business Impact: This creative app is the future of software development and brings up an interesting dilemma. Are users willing to sacrifice privacy for personalized rewards? The answer will be overall adoption rates. Google Adding AutoML to its AI Suite At their Cloud Next conference this week, Google announced its Beta program Cloud AutoML which is intended to allow non-AI and individuals with limited coding experience to train themselves to use this program. Cloud AutoML comes in three flavors, Translation, Natural Language and Vision. It’s being marketed to the non-tech industry. Business Impact: This is the first entrant into DIY AI application development. Successfully implemented at Urban Outfitters, Hearst and Nikkei Group, its intended to help companies bring to market offerings only humans have been able to do in the past. The Beta program is available now and offers a GUI interface for faster development. 7 Companies Come Together for Data Transfer Project Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, Remember the Milk and SmugMug have joined the Data Transfer Project, an open-source, service-to-service data portability platform that will allow users to easily move their data between online service providers. Business Impact: Rather than downloading photos, videos, contacts and documents from one provider to your computer or the cloud and then uploading to another, this collaborative effort will save users time. If fully adopted it will help the big tech companies avoid any future accusations of anti-competitive or monopolistic practices. This may be the boost startups have been looking for, thus allowing more mobile apps into the marketplace. 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