MEDIAWATCH #11: UAE

At the end of Jan 2017, I just completed a world tour, with a stop in Dubai.
Traveling to Dubai, is like traveling to the future: everything is new and modern.
So what about the media industry? Here is my 11th Mediawatch for the United Arab Emirates.

Mediawatch #11 UEA

Mediawatch #11 UEA

 

Do you believe in magic?

Do you believe in magic?

I do. Actually, I believe in the magical power of technology.

Something quite extraordinary happened to me today.
As I was getting on the NYC subway, I hear this guy playing the saxophone. His music was really good. I mean real good!
Listen to him here:

Isn’t he great?

Since the launch of the Periscope app, I have been playing with it, looking for interesting stuff to broadcast (like my #travelroulette experiment).
So as I hear this guy’s tunes, I get my Iphone out and start Periscoping him.
I thought that good live music from NYC subway would surely get some some attention.

In a few seconds, over 150 people joined in from UAE, London, Belgium, Italy, Scotland, etc… They were complementing his music, requesting songs, and begging me to tip him (which I did, twice!).

Over150 people joined on Periscope

Over150 people joined on Periscope

I told him that he was playing for an audience an international through my Iphone. He couldn’t believe it. I showed him the app and explained how it worked.

In 4.50 min of footage attracted over 2,000 hearts (equivalent to favorites or likes) and generated apprx 2h30min viewing time!

What was supposed to be a simple subway ride magically turned into a wonderful shared experience.

I carried on with my commute with a smile on my face and an unexpected sense of lightness and gratitude.

If, you feel like creating some magic into your life, download the Periscope IOS app and share your best moments with the world!

Live music from NYC Subway on Periscope

Live music from NYC Subway on Periscope

Marie Sornin

Consumer insights on steroids

Imagine if you could record your life… that is the idea behind a lot of new technologies and wearable devices. Every parent who has used Google Glass love that they can take pictures of their kids every moment, creating price less memories.

With a much more complicated toolkit, that is what Deb Roy and his family have done over several years. This gave birth to an incredible set of data and later to BlueFin, the technology behind the new Twitter TV Ad Targeting solutions.

WELL WORTH watching!

Marie Sornin

Google Goodness?

It’s day 2 at Google I/O so by now you would have seen most of the major announcements made by the lead Googlers during I/O13 keynote opening session.
The presentation went on for a solid 3 hours, you can view it here .
For me, the product highlights were: of course the all access music service, the new and awesomely enhanced maps (with content discovery, 3D imagery inside buildings, offers, geo fencing, activity recognition and live traffic event), as well as the Star Trek computer project, which is the future of search (awesome and related to one of my previous post) and the new user features for Google+ (photo sharing & editing, content recommendation # and multiplatform sign on- a real plus on Facebook).

A multitude of journalists and bloggers have covered the event and you can learn the details of all these features elsewhere (Google: I/O13).

google I/O 2103

google I/O 2103

The two things I will focus on this live post are: My personal experience being part of the crowd at Google I/O and how Google is building the future of the Internet.

This year the event gathered over 6,000 attendees. The highlight of I/O is always the opening keynote, where the big announcements are made. The line in front of Mascone West 2hrs before kick off looked like the usual queue for the Sistine chapel. Funny analogy, but later that morning Sundar Pichai (SVP of Chrome and Android) actually referred to funeral of Pope J.P II and the nomination of Pope Francis to illustrate how mobile devices have changed our behaviour. The parallel between Google and a new kind of religion is too obvious here #justsaying…

French style… I might have slightly jumped the queue at the entrance and then waited for another 1h30min, I finally made it to the main theatre. It filled up quick, every single sit taken, lots of people standing in the aisles. Dimmed light, smooth electronic tunes playing in the background. Countdown clocks on the big screens and a tangible build of excitement as the clocks got closer to 0! The last 10 seconds were literally like NYE. Google brought us NYE at 9am, at that point in time we didn’t know that Google was also going to bring us Christmas at 2pm by giving away free Chorme books to everyone!

The first speaker to get on stage was Vic Gundotra (Vice President). All his followers were just as polished and impressive. Naturally at ease in front of 6,000 demoing live technologies. Very inspiring presentations, mixed with animations and live demos… and Larry Page came on stage to clos off the keynote! He gave a casual chat about where Google is now opportunities ahead. He even opened to the floor for questions…. and they were as diverse as: how does Google protects freedom of speech to how to help youngsters be positive about technology or how to get more women in tech carrers… which brings me to my second point: How Google is building the future of the Internet.

The future of the Internet will be seamlessly multiplatform, easy to use, frictionless, intuitive and infiltrated in everything we do. After spending 2 days at I/O it is hard to say if the future is organically shaping up that way or if Google is building it that way.

Larry Page says that technology must get out of the way for us to spend more time doing what makes us happy. Did Google’s CEO, really said that. Yes he did!

Very early on, when developing Google, like Steve Jobs, Larry recognised that the power of the Internet is not in super computers but in all the PCs in homes around the world. At the moment all these computers are connected via tiny pipes, which dramatically limits the possibilities. Google wants unleash this opportunity! Since its inception Google has aimed for big audacious goals. As Susan Wojcicki (Senior Vice President) testified, when Larry and Sergei were renting her garage their objective was to organise the world’s information… the same bold philosophy drove projects like maps, street view, Glass, Fibre etc.… and still applies now more than more than ever. That is exactly what makes me think that there is nothing that Google cannot do. It currently dominates the global online advertising market (search and display combined), keeps diversifying its revenue streams; its share just crossed $900…. Even if Larry says that there is no safe place to experiment and to roll out technology, when Google decides to index every street corner or under water spots all around the world and add real 3D images to every single spot, it puts a world class engineers in a room and ask them a way to figure it out, test it and deploy!

He also said that Google has a strong desire for free flow of information and freedom of speech. Protecting personal information, computer security, being as transparent as possible… and empowering individuals. And Google does empower us by giving us technologies: rolling out Fibre in 4 test cities in the USA, giving away 6,000 chrome books, supporting computer literacy in schools… but is it really for us to do the things we love, or is it to increase Google’s Power? Imagine what super high-speed connexion will do to YouTube or a whole generation of kids familiar with Chrome book pixel…

There seems to be only one area, at the moment that Google can’t penetrate and that is healthcare. Larry’s explanation on it is just because too much regulation and that laws are now irrelevant as they were made before the Internet even existed, but he clearly sees user benefits for Google to get into space and has no shame talking about DNA sequencing….

The more time I spend in this environment, or may it’s because I just finished reading “The End of Big” but Google seems to me more and more like an institution that is some respects more influential on societies that governments. Scary or exciting?

Marie Sornin

Summary slides:

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This is what you would have seen if you went on holidays to Las Vegas

I am just wrapping up my holiday and unfortunately I haven’t been to Las Vegas…
Every year in January the Las Vegas Consumer Electronic Show seems to be taking more room on the technology landscape. For those like me who haven’t been able to go, here is a condensed overview of the key trends I have picked up from the 2012 trade show.

Above and beyond being always cheaper, faster and more powerful (eg: D-Link’s Amplifi HD Media Router 3000 DIR-857 router will be the first to supports USB 3.0 and 450Mbps dual-band… compared to my own router which I thought was quite good with its 100 Mbps!!!!), I would say that the words that are mostly influencing technology development are: Anywhere anytime// Android// Green?

– Anywhere anytime:
Cloud computing is now a default feature on most devices and applications which gives a new dimension to mobility.

We have also been talking a lot about multiple screen media consumption, well it looks that a few hardware suppliers believe in the one screen domination.

 Examples:  

Intel’s ‘Nikiski’ Notebook 

 I like it because it combines the activity of a tablet and a PC together and for those (like me) who haven’t found a great benefit in fitting their Ipad experience between a laptop and smartphone, this might be the answer??

 Sharp Aquos Freestyle ConceptTV 

A TV that can be carried around the house… hmmmm, not so sure that this is such a groundbreaking achievement????? However, removing all the wires and redesigning the TV tuner with integrated WIFI, that’s ground breaking. Could it be the start of a merge between TV and tablets?
More gimmicky but useful for those who can’t let go of their mobile phone even in the shower the HzO Waterblocking Technology is the answer!!!

– Greener?: 
On one hand more efficient technology should mean less strain on resources and energy: is the announcement of OLED technology in some LG TVs a good thing? 
But on the other hand some new products such as the LG blast chiller refrigerator (claiming to cool a can of beer in less than 5 min). I know that beer is a very important topic, particularly in Australia but it still makes me wonder how much LG engineers care about the future…

Good to see that some recycling initiatives such as “Uncle Oswald Is Our Hero are also getting traction!

 – Android:
That mobile is the future proof strategy for Google is no surprise to anyone now. What seems to be more surprising is to see Android setting itself up as the cross platform standard… Windows 8 launches, more than 400,000 Android apps will be available through BlueStacks

What’s the most impactful technology progress you have seen this year?

 

Marie Sornin