How to Boil the Ocean

LeEco unveiled most of its U.S strategy yesterday, announcing four TVs, two smartphones, a VR headset, a connected bike and the concept car that it previewed at CES earlier this year. The overall hardware strategy is to focus on high-end products with mid-tier pricing - in addition to the $2 billion Vizio acquisition the company announced this summer. But don’t mistake LeEco for a hardware company, as it is much more...

Breaking Through the Rut

Rut: The simple, three letter, somewhat crude word has a pervasive impact. I find myself in a rut each October; it’s a pattern I’ve come to identify, manage and eventually break through. Maybe it’s prompted by the end of the beach season, the back-to-school hustle, a shift from vacationing to business trips, or the shorter days. Indeed, it’s a dull and unproductive pattern that impedes productivity. However, the break through tends to be game changing. Businesses are not immune to this cycle; the TV and mobile industries fall into and, occasionally, pull out of similar doldrums.

In Search of an Un-connected World

Living in an always-moving ever-connected city, it’s easy to expect that connectivity is as accessible as a picking up a pack of smokes at the gas station. But the reality is there remain numerous places across America where the dream of a connected world is merely a vision of the future...

Smartwatch Growth Takes Time

Over the past few years I’ve tried my fair share of smartwatches in various shapes and sizes, but none lasted on my wrist for more than a few days. The use case wasn’t compelling enough to justify the wrist space, particularly as each and every one of the devices felt like a compromise between tech and style. Ugly may be too strong a word, but certainly – for me at least – they did not look elegant or classy.

Hey DJ, keep playing that song …

I’m not sure it’s possible to work in the technology sector without sitting through an industry presentation where the speaker engages the audience by discussing how many steps their fitness tracker recorded that day. We’ve all been around fitness tracker junkies; those that find solace in reaching their daily goal, and those that always seem to be a few steps behind...

Checking the Time, and Other Killer Smartwatch Uses

Back in December 2013, a few brave NPDers ventured out into New York City’s chilly Times Square to find out what people thought about the newly launched smartwatch. Would the men and women of New York have any interest in this new-fangled device, or was it really just the domain of the tech-evangelist? The feedback was interesting with women in particular professing a desire to buy such a device. The people we asked saw the device as a time-saver, since it would save them from pulling their phone out of their bag to check the time. Yes, it’s true; the “killer app” for the smartwatch was tracking time, itself.

Pokémon Go: Sweeping the Nation, but Skipping the Smartwatch

Pokémon Go has swept the nation and beyond to become one of the most downloaded apps within the first week of its launch. Based on the concepts developed for Niantic’s Ingress game, which has a strong cult following, Pokémon Go has brought location-based augmented reality to the mainstream consumer market with a vengeance. In the name of research (ahem), and perhaps because it sounded fun, I was an early adopter. With friends and family signing-up quickly, I knew there was no way I could resist the urge to go Pokémon hunting.

A Brave (Mobile) New World for Retail

The smartphone has fundamentally changed our lives, and how we interact with each other. It allows us to stay in contact while out-and-about through more than just voice calls; and it enables us to ignore the people right in front of us when we choose. Sure, it’s a mixed bag of good and bad behaviors, but with 70 percent of U.S. consumers carrying a smartphone (and some carting more than one) we take for granted many conveniences that caused major headaches before the smartphone.

Ode To The Flip Phone

I remember getting my first cell phone like it was yesterday. It was my 15th birthday and the phone I was thrilled to receive was dumb, heavy and oh so cool all at the same time. Thirteen years later, I’ve had my share of ever-evolving phones from the Motorola Razr, to the very first iPhone, and so on. I have games galore, messaging apps and yes, I can still make the occasional phone call. And yet, has the phone lost its cool factor?