Each week our intranet news channel editors provide a round up for Capgemini colleagues of the business IT news that drives and inspires us. We publish some of the highlights here:
Last week, it was the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas that will have a major impact on the world of technology during the course of the year. This week, it is Google’s acquisition of Nest that the Internet is abuzz with. We tell you why it is so crucial, and also what’s up with texting and other current tech trivia.
Why Google is acquiring Nest
Internet giant Google is acquiring Nest, a company that makes smart thermostats and smoke alarms, for US$32 billion (€2.35 billion) in cash. Clearly, this is not just another acquisition – Nest is Google’s first major acquisition in what will some day be a trillion-dollar market: The “internet of Things.”
It is being speculated that this buy could be bigger for Google than Android, and could bring it one step closer to being 'Big Brother.' How is that? At least one Google executive has already made it clear that the company’s goal is to “put computing everywhere.” Plus, Google has the opportunity to make big money from its entry into the Internet of Things. With Android, Google was playing catch-up, so Google's only real chance at beating Apple was to make it free, but Google need not do the same with the Internet of Things.
Who texts anymore?
In discussing major developments like acquisitions, we tend to miss out on relatively ordinary developments. For example, have you noticed that first it was email and now it’s not cool to send text messages anymore? New and cheaper internet-based instant message such as Snapchat and WhatsApp are taking over. Snapchat, which is estimated to be used by up to half of all schoolchildren in the UK, allows users to send images, videos or text – known as Snaps – that disappear from the recipient’s phone after a maximum of ten seconds. Add to that diversions like tweets, Facebook updates, instagrams, Foursquare checkins, and a plethora of emerging social network sites, and your screen time is really divided.
Not surprising then, that the number of text messages sent in the UK has fallen for the first time in two decades, and with smartphones getting cheaper, this trend is likely only to increase.
While on Snapchat, the two-year-company has achieved a multibillion-dollar valuation by creating a technology for disappearing selfies aimed at teenage users. Now companies are pitching similar apps that they say provide untraceable message delivery, except they’re designed for corporate users that want a higher level of security than Snapchat can offer. The latest is Confide, a text-based iOS app. Such startups are betting that corporate audiences will be hungry for a secure mobile messaging app suited to their needs. Confide’s founders say their service is aimed at professionals who want to speak candidly about delicate personnel or legal matters without leaving a trail that exposes proprietary information.
Bing reads out translation
Microsoft's search service Bing is announcing new features to its translation engine. "Simply speak into your device by using the microphone feature to place orders or ask for directions and hear the translated words in a native speaker's accent," says Microsoft. Bing Translator has also introduced a camera feature, letting users point the lens at foreign text, snap a shot and then view the translated words in the image.
Apple and Google are both expected to bring their mobile operating systems to cars before the end of the year. Google has already partnered with four major manufacturers to bring Android to vehicles in 2014. It's thought that the in-car system will hook up to the user's Android phone, so they can locate their car, check if you've locked the doors or even start the car remotely and turn on the heating – a huge bonus on frosty mornings. There's also a suggestion that two-way communication between the search giant and in-car devices will vastly improve traffic prediction on Google Maps.
A small technology company has beaten Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota in the race to be first to put a driverless car on sale. Induct Technology, a company based just outside Paris, launched an all-electric self-driving shuttle called Navia at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. It is being billed as a 'first-mile, last-mile' solution for use around college campuses, hospitals, industrial sites or shopping malls where conventional cars are impractical
The highlights from our Weekly Techno Briefs above do not necessarily represent the view of Capgemini Group.