On Episode 512 of the Waves of Tech, we are diving into a bit of a Thanksgiving special this week. With the holidays around the corner, we share what technologies we are truly thankful and appreciative of this year. Google has teamed up with a non-profit organization to build an application to assist blind and visually-impaired runners with technology to safely traverse a course. Lime, an e-scooter company, made headlines when they announced being profitable for the first time in company history and showing perhaps a bright future. Black Friday is just around the corner and we offer up some predictions on what items may be the high sellers this season.
Being Thankful for Tech
With Thanksgiving happening in the States this week, it’s a good opportunity to highlight a few technologies that we can be thankful for. Technology can bring families together, bridge the divide between friendship, and connect millions with the flip of a switch (or app). There is so much technology to point to that we can be appreciative and thankful for.
- Video connectivity via Zoom, Skype, Alexa, WhatsApp, or Messenger
- Social media apps to feel connected with friends and family around the world
- GPS for making movement, connection, and traveling a bit easier
- Various communicative systems to allow military families to stay in touch
Google’s Project Guideline
Along with Guiding Eyes for the Blind, a non-for profit organization that provides guide dogs to people with vision loss, has partnered with Google to bring Project Guideline – a system built and based on AI that can help visually-impaired and blind persons run races without any support. Early testing is in full swing with development making solid progress.
- A Google designed waist harness and Android phone app are the two main items
- Features include auditory signals via ear and bone vibrations to alert danger
- The app does not need a functioning internet connection to properly work
- The phone camera and AI will guide the runner around the course and terrain
Lime Turns Profit, Milestone in E-Scooter Business
Year after year, the micro-mobility industry and urban mobility companies have come under considerable critique. Many have been banned from cities due to the lack of storage and major safety issues. However, Lime has turned a corner and finally announced their first profitable quarter. This is a big step in the right direction for investors and micro-unit users.
- Lime scaled back operations in their corporate offices and exited poor markets
- Continued success is being seen by the company in many European markets
- Their new generation of e-scooter is set for release in Paris exclusively
- Lime may have cracked the code on design, maintenance, and markets
Black Friday Predictions
Without going into the mind numbing laundry list of Black Friday deals, we offer up some predictions on what items may be the big sellers for the annual retail extravaganza. Each year, there are some big surprises on what consumers are looking to grab off the physical or digital shelves. Here are some thoughts from the both of us.
- Smart Speakers – music, video calls, in-home assistance, entertainment, ease
- Wireless Earphones – more options in the market, lower costs, growth in demand
- WiFi Home Items – coffee pots, lighting systems, thermostats, cooking tools
- Gaming – new entertainment consoles, digital downloads
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