Category Archives: Technology

Mobile World Congress 2016. Days 2-3 Highlights

The MWC event is incredibly enormous and so is the potential of ideas and projects that people share at this event. You can see the wireless projector from SK that projects HD video on any surface, has a 2 hour battery life, and fits in your palm of your hand. You experience a Virtual Reality rollercoaster with Samsung’s ‘VR Feature with 4D’.
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We were excited to visit the Wearable Technologies conference and confirm our expectations of how the smart and connected world of things is evolving. Below is what Comboapp liked most:
 
 1) Smart watch revolution

Smartwatches are all over news titles and blog reviews and there is a good reason for it. This device becomes a main connector between the human body and monitors. It can track almost anything from sleep quality, like the app we worked with – MobileSleepDoc, to emotions. 

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MainTool says that smartwatches are supposed to be the next big thing. Geeksme claims that even love can be measured. Apart from fitness and sleep tracking, their watch is designed to track intensity, speed, quality of sexual activity, and help evaluate the way a person felt during sex. 

2) Fitness moves wearables forward

Sport and healthcare industries were always early adopters of new technologies. Now they inspire companies to create futuristic wearables.

Kinematix designed smart insoles that track a person’s movement. This is very valuable information for runners as this insoles show the behavior of both feet on the ground. With the information received, you can build a personalized running plan and avoid injuries from bad running technique. 

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First V1sion presented Smart Jersey, an actual jersey that tracks sport activity. It weighs 300 grams and has a battery life of up to 2 hours with a full HD camera. Yes, a jersey with a camera! There are also different versions for each sport type, as fabric should vary depending on type of activity.

Talking about fabrics, one more curious device from ComfTech was the smart garment with sensors that are integrated into the fabric. As a result, you get an imperceptible and easy to care wearable that also serves as clothing.

 

3) Smart headphones for adults and unborn babies
 
IBM has displayed headphones with 4GB memory, a heart rate monitor, mic, and oxygen saturation sensor. These are basically microcomputers that lead us to the era of cognitive Internet of Things. 
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We couldn’t ignore the presentation of the already famous Babypod. This is a device that helps broadcast music to an unborn baby. With positive reviews from BBC, Guardian and other major media sources, we expect it to be very popular.

 

4) One more time about connected everything

We talked about connectivity as a trend in a previous post, but when it comes to world-changing technologies, it’s never enough. 
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Atooma presented a cloud that lets you manage all of your devices, IoTs and apps. It claims that big companies, like Samsung, will create a global ecosystem where things will interact with different devices, connected cars and homes through apps.

 

According to PWC, the connected living market is estimated to be worth 1 trillion by 2020, connected cars will triple over the next 5 years and new digital players will enter traditional markets.

ComboApp‬ expert comments on the future of ‪‎Apple Watch

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Serge Kanishchev, Strategy Director at ComboApp, has shared his thoughts on the future of Apple Watch in Empirical Works article.
 
“Talking about app promotion and monetization, Apple Watch will intensify the adoption of cleaner and native-looking ads. In order to catch the attention of potential users, app developers should demonstrate immediate value and perfect design in their app.”

The Power of The Collective

 

The Collective

In the age of digital world big changes happen every day. But only some of them can really shake the market and set up the new rules of old game.

For this time such turning point in advertising industry was an announcement of first data-driven project called Collective. It’s was created by the initiative of a mobile ad attribution company Kochava that teamed up with four mobile ad networks including AdXcel, Altrooz, Appia and Liquid. The main questions are whether this association will bring Kochava a competitive advantage and how it will affect the current leaders such as Appsflyer, Tune and Adjust. It’s only a matter of time when a redistribution of market players’ forces will start.

 

 

Just imagine the scale: the participants of this joint project develop the largest Mobile Graph™ which helps advertisers precisely detect the needed custom audience and target it by multiple parameters seriously increasing the value of an ad impression. At the heart of this idea lays an audience API layer for the exchange of information between advertisers, publishers,  measurement partners and the Audience Manager. 

The Collective

Source: kochava.com

But what about the data safety? Managing such amount of the information requires strong security system. Kochava affirms that to keep clients and measurement data secure and independent Audience API Layer technology, personally-identifiable information (PII) is closed for being shared by the Advertisers using the Collective.

 

The Device IDs doesn’t passed to the advertisers in any form, it rather uses its network connections for the recommendation of an ideal network to reach targeted audience members. With changing target criteria the recommendation will also changes.

 

Charles Manning, CEO, Kochava, explains: “Asking an advertiser to hand over their unique user data is akin to asking a professional sports team to hand over their playbook, along with notes on what’s working and what’s not, to their competitors. The Collective believes that the advertiser’s data is their data and we adhere to how the advertiser wants their data to be treated. At the same time, publishers want to make their audience data available to advertisers to enable better targeting, filtering and ad buying – at scale. We achieve both with the Collective.”

 

How it affects the other market players? Basically there are Facebook and Google and many other independent players.Talking about Facebook there are chances it may interpret the emerging of Collective as a competitive step from Kochava’s side and go on the offensive, crushing the foe as it has happened before with exclusion of Tune from its tracking partners.

 

VB reports that “the Collective has access to a massive network of ad networks and publishers — 1,400 of them — that Kochava has already integrated into its platform. This means there should be plenty of supply and a lot of demand”. So joining this network independent players receive a chance to target and acquire mobile users at scale and with a level of precision they’ve only dreamed of. 

 

But the question of price is still open and requires seeing the Mobile Graph™ in action to measure its effectiveness and understand the correlation between cost of acquisition and ad campaign scaling.   


ComboApp professionals will continue monitoring the mobile advertising market in order to keep abreast of this issue to recommend the best decisions for our clients. Stay tuned!

Anna Grabovska, Content Manager

Wearables Change Our Lives

 

Wearables Change Our Lives

Wearables – a buzz word that has become a part of our everyday jargon but what difference does it really make in people’s lives?

 

The overarching function of all wearables is to capture, transmit and display information. Wearables are a part of the Internet of Things, the technological platform that embeds electronics into our houses, clothing and in places we can’t even image yet. Think of it as the next evolutional step following personal computers and smartphones.

 

 

 

According to the IDC, the total number of wearable devices in Q1, 2015 reached 11,4 million. The majority of these devices include activity tracking bands and smartwatches while smart clothing will soon become mainstream.

 

Fitness Bands

IDC reports that of all of the fitness band companies, FitBit and Xiaomi hold the crowns. FitBit has shipped 3.9 million devices and Xiaomi has shipped 2.8 million Mi Band units in Q1, 2015. It’s no accident that fitness bands dominate the wearable market. The demand for capturing and storing data related to health is outrageous. You can open any recent World Health Organization report to see the magnitude of health problems that exist today and the level of demand for health trackers will then make sense. Activity trackers give people a way to measure their efforts of becoming or staying healthy.

 

These devices alone cannot make major health changes overnight but they do work for people who are interested in living a healthier lifestyle and need more gear to support it. I’m not expecting fitness bands to become as mainstream as smartphones because being healthy is a personal choice that not everyone is interested in pursuing.

 

The total number of companies that produce activity trackers is more than 20 and that number keeps growing. In order for companies to join the activity tracker market, they have to work with medical institution(s) on a regional level. Major players in this market have too much head time for small companies to be able to get their share of the global market.

 

In 2012, the Fitbit One model set the standard for activity trackers. It was a unique duo of hardware to capture data and a mobile app (iOS, Android or both) to store, proceed and display data. Fitbit is getting ready to go public, which shows the company’s confidence in its future. This trend triggered the development of many iOS and Android apps to utilize smartphone tracking capabilities to capture health related data.

 

Smartwatches

The idea of a smartwatch isn’t really new, the first digital watch was designed back in 1972. Though it took 40 years for Pebble to bring the smartwatch on the market. In order for the smartwatch to be recognized by large amounts of people, e-ink technology brought both ability to expand electronic watch capabilities and guaranteed a long battery life.

 

Last year 6.8M smartwatches were sold at an average price of $189. The total revenue generated by all companies that sold these smartwatch units was $1.29 million, which is up from $711k back in 2013. Samsung was at the top of the charts with 1.2 million units shipped (we don’t know how many units were sold, which is different from being shipped). Pebble came in second with 700k smartwatches sold last year. Motorola, LG and smaller companies then followed but didn’t sell a significant number of units.

 

The overall trend I can see is that apart from Apple, Samsung, Motorola and LG, Pebble is the only big player that is focused entirely on a smartwatch. This goes to show that companies see these new devices as an extension of their smartphone businesses. This is a cautious approach because companies simply don’t know the real demand for smartwatches.

 

How does a smartwatch change lives? The jury is still out. A smartwatch was brought to the market at a time when the young generation of consumers simply didn’t wear watches. All companies that have brought smartwatches on the market, including Apple, have to solve the major issue of how to make a smartwatch relevant for the young generation. Among other companies that sell smartwatches, Apple has the biggest and most loyal consumer base and that is something a company can’t build overnight in order to compete.

 

Smart Clothing

Though this type of wearable is in its inception stage, it’s one way for clothing companies to distance themselves from their competitors and bring new features to clothing. We see projects like Project Jacquard which is essentially about making a fabric conductive and to become a tablet computer touchscreen analog. Google has already teamed up with San Francisco-based denim label Levi to create a pair of jeans that can actually warn you when you’ve gained some weight. This is only the first application. Smart clothing can be a remote control to various devices in your home as well as in public places.

 

Smart Glasses

The following quote from Wikipedia sums up the current state of the smart glasses market pretty well:

On January 15, 2015, Google announced that it would stop producing the Google Glass prototype but remained committed to the development of the product. According to Google, Project Glass was ready to “graduate” from Google Labs, the experimental phase of the project

The story of Google Glass, one the most ambitious wearable projects, is a perfect example of what may go wrong with wearables and/or technology. With Google Glass there were two factors stopping it from taking off. People weren’t comfortable (safety wise) and the high price point. We don’t see smart glasses yet from other companies on the market because of the Google Glass failure. Until technology allows us to make smart glasses undistinguishable from regular glasses, this technology most likely won’t take off.

 

Privacy Concerns

Data collection can be hacked and used by criminals. Since data can be collected via wearables, it will raise a certain level of fear on the consumer side. Companies that will consider privacy concerns and put a proper strategy in place will have an advantage over their competitors.

 

Bottom Line

The IDC forecast for wearables growth promises to reach 45.7 million units shipped by the end of 2015 and 126.1 million units by 2019. Personal electronics, healthcare appliances and apparel have already taken off. Given how different verticals are connected, it’s too early to predict what other verticals will join the list but there will be more.

 

Art Dogtiev,
Head of Branded Content

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