- It looks like UI / UX design as we know it is heading into a period of sea change - from a focus on the visuals, graphics, and animations of apps to natural language processing through voice (Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, Microsoft's Cortana) and texting/chatbot interfacing. There is some good overview on the topic fromThe Verge and Fast Company this week. We're most interested in how the tech industry's wars for talent will be affected - tech companies were already luring writers from ad agencies to work on "content creation" aspects of their business models, but a strong pivot from the visual app to the language focused chatbot or digital assistant may mean that writers are the next must-have creatives for tech companies.
- The market has been ditching big local processing power in favor of mobile and cloud, but the high computational demands of virtual reality might be putting a bend in that adoption curve. If the speed isn't spot on, many users find themselves feeling sick.
- Lenovo and Google are getting together to put the augmented reality/3D mapping Tango technology into sub $500 smartphones, possibly as soon as this summer. Expect to see lots of startups figuring out business models leveraging the idea of consumers having AR tech in their pockets by default.
Feeding the Future:
- As profit margins on farm products decline, equipment sharing is starting to look like a good way to defray big equipment costs. A cursory search of the website for imaging drones came up empty, maybe because many imaging drone companies targeting agriculture are trying to develop it as a service themselves, rather than sell the hardware to the end user.
- Rethinking the dating app to combat harassment and preserve privacy.
- The rise of consumable goods subscriptions can be seen as a side-effect of having a whole world of shopping available online, 24/7. So far, startups are winning the e-commerce turned curated subscription model.
More next week.