Technology and Business Review: May 6, 2017

In Technology by Shelly KramerLeave a Comment

Technology and Business News

There’s much happening, as always, in the worlds of tech and business, this week. From the clever Google Docs phishing scam, to smartwatches getting renewed interest from consumers, to the launch of Echo Look from Amazon, and the journey of early adopters of the Internet of Things. Let’s dive in.

What’s So Dastardly Clever About the Google Docs Phishing Scam. Hopefully by now you know that if you received an email requesting access to a Google document, you didn’t click on it. That’s a good rule to follow in all instances—even if you get an email from someone you know, if they’ve attached something that invites you to click on it, and that seems unusual in any way, never clock. In the case of this most recent scenario, this is a sophisticated phishing scheme which aims to steal personal information from your Google account. What’s worse is that the link  has been clicked, the scam asks for permission to access your account, which provides immediate access to your email and contact list. The next step once in is that the hack automatically sends this same phishing email to your friends and contacts.

To find out more about this destructive scheme, check out this article from Popular Mechanics.

What do you do if you happen to open the Google doc? Maybe you were just getting up and you still hadn’t had your first cup of coffee before checking your email and you fell for the Google Doc phishing scheme, no need to fret. According to Google, the company has already disabled the offending accounts. If you want to review what third party apps have access to your account, you can check out the Google Security Checkup. Head over to this  CNBC.com article to find out what you can do to keep yourself safe and how to access Google Security Checkup.

Are Consumers Signaling Renewed Interest in Smart Watches? Wearables are now a big part of our everyday lives. Wearables come in many different forms, including smart watches. No longer just for telling time, these new smartwatches can now help you track everything from how many steps you take, to reminding you to stand up when you have been sitting too long. Another benefit of a smartwatch is notifications including incoming emails and text messages so you don’t need to be constantly looking at your phone every minute. During Apple’s recent quarterly earnings call, Tim Cook was happy to announce that sales of the Apple Watch has grown significantly year over year.

According to data from PlumChoice and Z-Wave Alliance, smartwatch ownership grew nine percent from 2015 to 2016, from three to 12 percent. The report looks promising for Apple, but also for smartwatch manufacturers in general.  To find out more about this trend, check out this article shared by my friend Marsha Collier.

IoT early adopters: Imagining success on the journey into the unknown. You’re probably aware by now that the Internet of Things (IoT) has already been making waves in the world of personal and business technology for many years now. Gartner recently reported that by 2020, there will be about 12 billion smart consumer devices installed and connected to the Internet. Add in business-focused devices and you can see where this is headed.

In business, adoption of new technologies is important and those who make the first moves benefit the most and gain the best competitive advantage. Here is an interesting interview by CBR.com with Colin I‘Anson, HPE’s EMEA Chief Technologist, which was shared by Chris Richards. It’s a good read about how the company is navigating the IoT space and the many challenges they have encountered. Interesting insights here, and certainly worth your time to read.

 

How the Echo Look could feed Amazon’s big data fueled fashion ambitions. Shopping is no longer restricted to buying in brick and mortar stores with an ever-increasing number of consumers shopping online. Convenience and the allure of free shipping maybe the biggest lures fueling this trend. Last week, Amazon added the Echo Look to its growing line of voice assisted devices and may be prove quite popular with the fashion-conscious crowd.

Amazon is positioning this device as a digital fashion assistant. How does it work? When you try on an outfit, you can ask the Echo Look to take a picture or take a video via voice and the Look will take a full-length video or picture. You can then easily compare outfits to see what looks best. The device will also offer you fashion recommendations using Alexa’s AI functionality. Another feature of the Look is a fashion feedback service called “Style Check” which, according to Amazon, will utilize machine learning to rate your fashion choices and help you pair outfits. It’s being marketed to appeal to those who are looking for their own robotic personal fashion assistant.  Dean Gratton shared a great article on this new device over on Twitter if you’d like to know more.

I will note, for those of you thinking about the Amazon Echo Look product, that there’s a certain creepiness factor once we let devices start taking photos and videos of us, and those devices are connected to the Internet, which means they are inherently hackable. I have had an Amazon Alexa Robot since the devices were first released, and use it often. But you can count me out of the Look device, because that’s a little too much information, and a lot too personal, for me to trust an IoT enabled device with.

Photo Credit: 宏☆ 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.”