Converge Tech and Business Review: June 3, 2017

In Technology by Shelly KramerLeave a Comment

Converge Tech and Business Review: June 3, 2017

There’s much afoot in the world of technology affecting business this week—from Mary Meeker’s always highly-anticipated Internet Trends Report, to Intel’s Mobileye billion-dollar investment. There’s Google’s continued push to beef up security against phishing and ransomware, as well as the interesting challenges that Simple Contact is experiencing in 16 states. Let’s dive in.

Intel CEO explains why he spent $15 billion on Mobileye. Security concerns continues to be one of the biggest concerns people have about connected cars or smart cars. Krzanich explains that the company’s recent 15 billion dollar investment will go a long way to help calm fears and offer connected car owners the peace of mind that if their vehicle becomes a victim of ransomware, that Intel will have them covered.

Krzanich said “if you get a ransomware or some kind of virus on one portion of the device,” Intel will not only have backups, but they could “refresh your car on the fly.” While he acknowledged that there are some potential privacy concerns, Krzanich believes that connected cars will be “much safer” as a result.

As someone who drives a connected car, this is definitely something I’ve thought about, what about you? For a deeper read on this topic, check out this article shared by Ken Kaplan from TechCrunch.

Mary Meeker’s latest Internet Trends Report highlights Silicon Valley’s role in the future of healthcare. With Meeker’s anticipated annual Internet Trend Report coming out last week, it’s of particular interest as it relates to healthcare. This is the first year that healthcare was included as a section in the report. This indicates just how much of a tipping point we’re at with regard to healthcare, and what a gigantic impact technology has on our health and well-being—and equally as important, how the vast amount of data that’s being collected from wearables and other healthcare-related devices will play a role moving forward.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Wearable devices have continued to gain momentum
  • Consumers also have more access to commercially available lab tests than ever before.

To find out more about the other interesting data included in this year’s report, check out this article shared by John Ashcroft from Twitter.

Drift Offering ‘Peer-to-Peer’ Power Network in New York Rollout. There is much attention being focused these days on climate change, and alternative energy is a hot topic including, of course, solar energy. Cost, for both consumers and businesses, is most often the thing that in the way of broader solar adoption. Seattle based start-up, Drift Marketplace aims to change that and facilitate the broader consumer adoption of solar by way of embracing the sharing economy.

How? By offering consumers and businesses a way to power their homes with energy from their neighbors’ rooftop solar systems, nearby wind farms, and other sources of clean electricity. The service is currently being rolled out in New York, with plans to expand to other markets later this year. New York as a locale perplexes me a bit—why not a more perpetually sunny location like, say, California? Or even Denver, with some 300+ sunny days a year. I grew up in New York and while it’s great, there are plenty of non-sunny days to slog through. Although population density is probably an attraction. Okay, enough thinking out loud. Time will tell on this front, won’t it?

How does it work? Well, it’s all about the technology. Customers pay a flat fee to have artificial intelligence and machine learning predict how much energy they’ll need. The company then secures the electricity a day ahead from nearby solar plants, wind farms and other resources, and if demand exceeds supply, will use a high-frequency wholesale power-trading system to cover any shortages. This typically translates to savings for the customer compared to their regular utility bills according to the company. I’m sure utilities will love this, but their industry has been ripe for disruption for some time now.

For more on this, check out this Bloomberg article shared by Mark Chediak.

Google beefs up Gmail security to fight phishing attempts. Last month Gmail users, specifically Google docs users were hit with a sophisticated phishing scheme. This week, Google announced the beefing up security in the following ways:

Google has implemented a machine learning system that will keep spam out of your inbox. The system works with Google Safe Browsing that will delay emails to check for phishing scams that will generate URL click-time warnings if the email sent to you with suspicious links.

Google also announced the implementation of improved detection of malicious attachments, which is a tactic used frequently by hackers to gain access to unsuspecting users’ computers or devices. This is a great, and necessary move by Google. If you want to learn more, head over to this article from Engadget shared by David Papp. It’s definitely worth your time to read.

OneLogin admits recent breach is pretty dang serious. Speaking of cybersecurity, last week OneLogin announced it was hacked and sensitive customer data was compromised. For those not familiar with the company, OneLogin is an enterprise level password manager and single sign-on provider.

OneLogin also disclosed that hackers have ‘the ability to decrypt encrypted data’. Not good news for the company’s US-based customers. If you’re a OneLogin customer, you may want to check this page to find out how you can secure your data. Soon. Get more details from this Techcrunch article shared by Kevin Donaldson.

How this contacts startup is fighting optometrists to survive. In this day and age, convenience and speedy service at a reasonable price is the name of the game. Many savvy start-ups are taking advantage of this trend. But one of the challenges these start-ups face is having to fight high-profile regulatory battles with established legacy competitors in cities across the United States. Simple Contacts is experiencing this challenge right now and is facing opposition from optometrists in 16 states. If you are not familiar with the company, Simple Contacts allow customers to renew their contact lens prescriptions through an app. People take a vision test online which is reviewed by doctors. If the prescription has not changed, it is renewed and customers can buy a fresh supply of contacts. Interested to find out more, get the lowdown from this money.com article shared by John Tarnoff. On a side note, Warby Parker is starting to offer a similar service that bypasses eye doctors too. For my eyes and their continued good health, I’ll be visiting my eye doctor once a year. But I definitely see plenty of other consumers being completely happy to go this route. What about you?

Photo Credit: shadowbilgisayar Flickr via Compfight cc

Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”