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Bruce Krulwich  

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  • Asus And OnePlus: Unlikely Runners In The Flagship Phone Race [View article]
    First of all, I referred to what Asus was known for. Yes, they've had innovations. Many companies have. But if you ask anyone on the street what one company's top phone has more memory than the others, I bet not even 1% will guess Asus. That's why I wrote an article that's complementary of them. It's a great move.

    As for whether RAM is important, everyone can disagree, and it clearly depends on everyone's use case. But most top models I've bought slowed down noticeably in less than a year. Apps are getting heavier, and we're using more of them. I'm not a heavy gamer, and they are the heaviest apps out there. But I have 3-4 VoIP apps (and will have more if my local cell networks get faster), 4-5 messaging apps, 4 social net apps, a video streaming app, 3-4 email apps, and they all run all the time, and their performance has also slowed down over time, on each phone I get. I just want a top-of-the-line phone to last a year at top speeds. I'm convinced that 4gb RAM (or more) is the key to doing that.

    Remember when Microsoft thought 640K RAM was more than anyone would ever need? We see in computers that the app resource requirements, mostly Office and the like, are driving up RAM requirements. Why is it a surprise for the same to happen in phones?
    Jul 28, 2015. 02:33 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Acuity Acquires Bytelight: Why Mainstream Is Going Cutting Edge [View article]
    To see a demo of Acuity Brands' newest indoor location solution, see http://bit.ly/1KTxDvs
    Jun 15, 2015. 04:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Joins The Indoor Location Chip Revolution [View article]
    @Arpad Somlyody: I've written about INVN's technology, including two related acquisitions, here: http://seekingalpha.co...

    One catch is that motion sensing technology of this sort, called "sensor fusion" since it integrates data from many sensors, always has a small degree of error, around 1%, which adds up over time. Because of this, mobile device based motion sensing is only accurate for the first few minutes indoors.

    That said, it's fantastic when combined with radio approaches like Intel's. The motion sensing handles the short movements, and the errors in motion sensing is corrected by the radio approach in the long term. Many companies are taking this sort of integrated approach, but not yet in chips, since sensor processors and radio processors tend to be different chips.

    All of these approaches, and their tradeoffs, are discussed in this report: http://goo.gl/6qIdWX

    Great question!
    Mar 23, 2015. 10:48 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Joins The Indoor Location Chip Revolution [View article]
    @Michael from Redmond: There certainly is a lot of work in the indoor location area for industrial applications. Early on this was done with dedicated devices, but more and more on smartphones. Various companies are working on apps for warehouses, workforce management, and the like. That said, after all the success of social networking and media sharing and the like, it's hard not to see appeal for indoor location sharing, geotagging, friend finding, etc, not to mention shopping list navigation. The key here is that chips like Intel's (and Qualcomm's and Broadcom's) can make the ubiquitous, and leave it up to app developers to decide what to do with it, rather than requiring app developers to handle the location part as well.
    Mar 22, 2015. 07:02 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oculus Rift Is Not A Game Changer For Facebook... Yet [View article]
    The head of Oculus clearly believes that the future of social networking and on-line activity is along the lines of the cult classic Snowcrash http://goo.gl/0cD469 . I find this both hard to believe and troubling, but the side of the road is littered with people who tried to predict how users will use on-line social media.....
    Jan 22, 2015. 07:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Oculus Rift Is Not A Game Changer For Facebook... Yet [View article]
    It's interesting to compare FB's acquisitions to Google's "developing new technology completely unrelated to search." Most people say that regarding Google's work on Google Docs, a divergence that's fast becoming profitable, or Android. But Google is also plowing money into self-driving cars and private spacecraft, both of which are years away from any profitability or any convergence with Google's current interests. At the very least, there is logic behind FB hedging their bets with some far-out stuff.
    Jan 22, 2015. 03:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Might Facebook's Oculus Be Going After Google Glass? [View article]
    Yes, you're right, and I made it clear in the article that I'm speculating regarding Oculus's moving towards non-VR use. The founder of Oculus has said very clearly that he believes in a SnowCrash-like future of VR-based on-line experiences, and that he believes that this would be a much more "social" on-line experience than currently. But again, I'm speculating that they may be planning to shift some of their work in the AR or HUD direction.
    Dec 30, 2014. 08:11 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Might Facebook's Oculus Be Going After Google Glass? [View article]
    You write "Already we can locate ourselves in space via GPS and display images of our environment." But that's just the point. GPS doesn't work indoors, and you can't locate using display images of the environment until AFTER you've collected a huge set of display images of the environment. But what if you want to move around an indoor site which has not been prepared by collecting display images (or radio signal fingerprints)? Enter SLAM. SLAM gives a camera-based device (eyeglasses, drone, phone, ...) the ability to move through a NEW site, tracking location while moving, and learn along the way enough new information to track location better the next time.

    Get it now?
    Dec 29, 2014. 01:17 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Might Facebook's Oculus Be Going After Google Glass? [View article]
    Great points. Regarding SLAM:

    1. The "L" in SLAM relates to SLAM's tracking the location of the device/user while moving around, even in places where GPS is not available. Indoor location is a huge challenge in mobile these days, and while there are a lot of solutions (I've seen over 170 start-ups in the area, and all the major co's are working on it http://goo.gl/IAuCho) there's no solution out there for the mass market. Visual SLAM is often more accurate than the radio approaches running on today's mobile devices (although next-gen radio like UWB shows a lot of promise http://goo.gl/i0CmCv)

    2. Visual SLAM often includes more interpretation of the objects in the image than is typically done by HUD eyeglasses like Google Glass. This is what they mean by "building a 3D model of the environment." If the system knows not only what the image of the front of a building looks like, but that it's a building of certain dimensions and certain characteristics, apps should be able to use that information to do new things. Hopefully.
    Dec 26, 2014. 02:25 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Might Facebook's Oculus Be Going After Google Glass? [View article]
    This is a great point - Google has a lot of visual technology in a lot of different projects. I mentioned Tango, but their car has a lot, and they also have projects analyzing Street View images, and image search, and more. Most of all, they seem to have a way of migrating technologies from one use to another.
    Dec 25, 2014. 07:52 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Ready To SLAM The World? [View article]
    The following report was just released that gives a lot of information on R&D related to SLAM technology - http://goo.gl/SYl9Ca - from Apple and ten other companies.
    Nov 4, 2014. 09:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Gemalto And A Wearable Future For Mobile Payments [View article]
    I understand that they are, but my understanding may not be accurate or current. Things like this change all the time. In any case, it's great to see companies like Gemalto that push into next-generation initiatives.
    Sep 8, 2014. 10:04 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Ready To SLAM The World? [View article]
    MORE EVIDENCE: Apple's updated schedule for the WWDC conference next week now includes the following: Your phone always knows where it is. Using information about a device's location can help personalize your app and make it more engaging and memorable. (http://bit.ly/1tEw0HU)

    Is this hinting to a new works-anywhere indoor location capability, as predicted above? We'll know next week.....
    May 26, 2014. 04:21 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Ready To SLAM The World? [View article]
    I'd like to elaborate on one point: Apple is not Google. And Google is not Apple.

    Google gives away software and services, including on devices, to make money on the indirect income of data aka ads. They are increasingly making money on software as well, such as Google Docs, but their general business model is to give it away and make money on the data.

    Apple, on the other hand, makes its money on devices. Virtually all the services that they offer, even including iTunes and App Store, is making a tiny percentage of their overall income which comes from device sales.

    While I'm contrasting, Amazon makes its money on book/media/etc sales, not so much on devices (Kindles) and not as much on data/ads (except for driving their own book/media sales).

    THE POINT IS that if Google offers a location-based service, there's no hiding the fact that they're trying to gather data for ads and other targeting. Yes, they'll give the ability to turn off the data gathering, but their aim is the data.

    BUT if Apple offers a location-based service, the best bet is that they're doing so to differentiate their devices. This includes enabling more powerful 3rd-party apps, to bring app developers back to iOS and away from Android.

    My conclusion from this is that while we always need to worry about what out location data is being used for, this is inherently less of a problem when it's Apple. Whatever they do, they'll do to maximize device sales, not secondary income, and they won't risk their device sales.

    Or do you all think I'm overly optimistic, or naïve?
    May 18, 2014. 04:23 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Apple Ready To SLAM The World? [View article]
    ITSRAININGINSIDE, I'm certainly sorry that you feel badly about what I've written, but I think the bulk of your comment is, with all due respect, off the mark.

    Yes, I'm an analyst who sells reports. The report I link to is 3 months old (not 36), and is the latest in a series of reports that is known and has been bought throughout the industry, primarily by R&D teams but also by BizDev teams.

    Out of the more than 100 start-up companies whose technology I've analyzed, I've spoken to the vast majority directly. (I've also spoken directly with R&D teams at most major mobile companies, who tend to be my customers.) One year or so SLAM was a far-out dream that nobody was close to, and in the past few months there are several (5-6) companies that have gotten very close. Some are intending it for standalone use, while others are using it to make fingerprint collection easier. But these start-ups are succeeding in getting SLAM working better than it has worked in the past. Several are planning to bring it to market soon. Based on these details from the industry, I took it upon myself to educate readers about this newly-close-to-market area.

    I write very clearly throughout the article that I am speculating about Apple's intentions. I'm speculating no more than dozens of articles do on a daily basis, in looking at Apple's actions and trying to guess what they're going to do. My speculation may be right and it may be wrong - time will tell. But speculations drive thinking.

    As a minor nitpick, in your commenting about the uselessness of SLAM mapping hallways, you're missing the value. If you don't know anything about a site, learning where the hallways are is useful. More importantly, if you also learn the Wi-Fi and cellular signals throughout the site, you can do a better and faster job of location positioning in the future, even without running SLAM.

    Bottom line, I don't think there's anything wrong with an educational article by an expert analyst that speculates about what companies will do. 12,000 readers know more now than they did a day ago about indoor location technologies, and will recognize SLAM if they come across references to it.

    For anybody who wants to know more about this area, you can click through to my past articles on Seeking Alpha, or alternatively to my own blog which contains numerous videos and explanations of a variety of technologies.
    May 16, 2014. 06:43 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
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