Google Glass has returned to keep looking like a really lame version of the future, according to reports. The company is rolling out a new, office-ready version of its augmented-reality wearable to businesses that aims to correct some of the problems of the earlier model.
The new hardware features a smaller form factor, prolonged battery life, and a faster processor.
Google may have poured billions into buying smart thermostat maker Nest Labs, but according to a new piece of consumer research, Apple’s the company most people think of when it comes to Internet of Things devices.
Conducted by ThroughTek, a leading Machine-to-Machine (M2M) solutions provider, almost half of consumers (48 percent) aware of IoT devices on the market are said to be familiar with Apple’s devices in the category, while just 22 percent know Samsung’s, 15 percent know Amazon’s, and 13 percent know Google’s.
Despite, you know, the fact that Apple’s not really an Internet of Things company at all!
The apple does not fall from the tree when it comes to former employees of the Cupertino company. A bunch of smart, creative types formerly in Apple’s employ have branched out into smart, successful ventures. You might say they had Steve Jobs, who during his Apple hiatus founded NeXT and Pixar, as a role model.
Here are our favorites, from Nest to up-and-comers like a smart scale, 360 camera and a new, iBeacon-based biz.
Let us know what you think of our picks (and who you would add) in the comments.
The Stir Kinetic desk
You know how we wish Apple made *everything?* Well, we’d love to live in a world designed by Jony Ive, but honestly, our aching backs and craning necks would settle for just a lovely desk to place our MacBook Pros on. JP Labrosse, an early member of the iPod Engineering team, heard our cries and founded Stir Works. His sleek motorized desk is controlled by a touch screen for optimal height with a built-in dock for your fitness gadgets, and was meant to “reimagine the desk as something that is powerful, life-changing and even lovable.” We’d say he succeeded, but at $3,890.00 it’s a smidge out of our price range for a trial run.
SITU is an attractive Bluetooth food scale that talks to your iPad. Apple employee Michael Grothaus, who has battled his weight since adolescence, got the idea his lunch hour at Caffè Macs. The scale tells you the exact nutritional content of any food you place on it, providing a breakdown of fat, calories, etc. The sleek lines won't clutter up your minimalist countertop; preorders for the SITU after a successful Kickstarter campaign are coming right up.
The road to success has been paved with good intentions and studded with a few bumps for this social network app. Founded by Dave Morin, who got his start in Apple’s marketing department, this photo sharing and messaging app first launched with great fanfare on the iPhone before hitting controversy (and an $800,000 FTC fine) by hovering up users’s address books. Path is well-designed and the options to only import 150 contacts and silo the sharing from other social networks made it a winner. Also, the mothership still hasn’t succeeded in launching a decent social network, we think they should try again. With something similar to Path.
What say you to a tiny interactive panoramic video camera that looks like a slide carousel of yore and fits in the palm of your hand — yes, we want one, too. San Francisco-based CENTR is the brainchild of Paul Alioshin, who lead camera engineering at Apple and Bill Banta who worked in program management, operations and supply chain at the Cupertino company. It fell shy of the $900,000 it was stumping for on Kickstarter, but the project continues: “Fundraising is not a quick process, but we promise to update you when we have public information to share!”
While working at Apple, Matt MacInnis kept hearing about a new device in the works, shrouded in the usual CIA-level security. In 2009, before the iPad launched, he left with the idea to “revolutionize the textbook.” It turns out his water cooler smarts paid off: Inkling raised $48 million in venture capital funding then branched out into non-fiction, video plus interactive animations. Named one of the most innovative companies in 2014, Inkling crossed over to the other side launching Android versions of its wares in April 2014.
Sorry Tony Fadell. Better turn up the temperature if you want to win customers!
This glorious app was among the first to pair digital aggregation with slick magazine looks back in 2010, with former Apple iPhone engineer Evan Doll at the helm. 2014 has been a banner year for the San Francisco-based company: it partnered with CNN and swallowed up frenemy Zite. Not content to remain static on the shelf, the company, which already features content in 19 regional editions, recently launched a U.S. Latino Content Guide. Another thing it’s got going for it? It’s a great way to peruse the news from Cult of Mac.
This mobile app with an Apple-centric design lets you browse, share, and view photos and friends' photos from multiple sources. Austin Shoemaker, who did a seven-year tour of duty in Cupertino, including a stint as an engineer on the team that created iPhoto is its CTO. As our own Charlie Sorrel put it, “Cooliris’ gimmick is its endless wall of photos which you can almost throw around the screen, but recent versions have added so many sources that it might well become your iOS photobrowser of choice.”
The 10 coolest companies founded by ex-Apple employees
ClioneLabs was founded by Thomas Pun, who spent six years at Apple and also headed up an Apple TV killer, this company also rotates around the Applesphere. Its first product called Loop Pulse aims to harness the power of iBeacons for brick-and-mortar retailers, collecting and analyzing the behavior of punters in an easy-to-use dashboard. With offices in tech obsessed San Francisco and shopping obsessed Hong Kong, this one looks like a winner.
This members-only luxe resort company Inspirato offers you a place to crash in Grand Cayman, stylish residences overlooking the mountain in Vail and cliffside villas with private infinity pools in Costa Rica.
You can bet all the details will be impeccable: co-founder Brad Handler was once an Apple technical review specialist.
Imagine getting home after a hard day’s work in the year 2016: There’s no need for keys as you approach your house, since proximity sensors in the lock mean a simple iPhone voice authorization will open the door for you.
The house has been alerted to your arrival, so your Nest thermostat has adjusted the temperature to suit you, while your Philips Hue connected light bulbs change the lighting to fit your mood — predicted by analyzing your heart rate and schedule for that day. The iWatch on your wrist runs Jawbone app, letting you know your caffeine levels are a little high and that you should wait until 7:30 p.m. before going for a jog to ensure maximum sleep quality that night.
Five minutes after putting your car keys down, dinner’s ready. You’re running late, but your smart immersion cooker — which has been monitoring your location all day — has delayed cooking until the optimal start time.
A lot of the speculation is paranoid: Google wants to track everyone offline as well as online, and Nest’s thermostat and smoke alarms give the Googleplex motion sensors right in peoples’ homes.
But wouldn’t Apple be a more natural fit for the home-automation startup? Nest was co-founded by two former Apple staffers, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers. Fadell was one the fathers of the iPod — a key hardware engineer who led the music player’s development over 17 generations. Rogers was one of Fadell’s top lieutenants.
With great design and easy interfaces, Nest’s combination of hardware and internet software services makes its products very Apple-like. And as home automation is poised to take off (thanks largely to the iPhone and iPad), Apple is surely interested in this potentially huge market.
So why didn’t Apple didn’t pick up the company? Maybe it’s because Jony Ive, Apple’s head designer, was responsible for getting Tony Fadell pushed out of Cupertino.
Nest Labs, the company that was founded by “father of the iPod” Tony Fadell, is famous for reinventing the home thermostat with the pretty little Nest device launched in 2011. But now the company is hoping to expand its presence in your home with a new, $130 smoke and carbon monoxide detector called Nest Protect.
Instead of just beeping at you, Nest Protect provides vocal alerts that will inform you just how dangerous the conditions in your home may be. And if it goes off accidentally — as ours often does when my wife is cooking — you can silence it just by waving at it.