Snapchat’s Exclusive iPhone X AR Lenses Is Now Available

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Back in September, when Apple unveiled the iPhone X, Snapchat showed off some AR lenses exclusively for the handset. The lenses made use of the TrueDepth camera system located on the front of the iPhone X and thereby were of higher quality than what is usually found in the app. Now, six months later, Snapchat is finally releasing these lenses for iPhone X users. Continue reading
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How to succeed in IIoT deployments | Exclusive Q&A with Jon Hill of InVMA

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InVMA started working in the industrial IoT (IIoT) space in 2012, and today builds software and hardware that link connected things to a company’s systems and processes. InVMA says that it aims to do three things for its clients: create new revenue streams; enhance customer satisfaction; and improve operational efficiency.

Internet of Business spoke to Jon Hill, the company’s business development director, about why some IoT projects succeed and others fail, about monetising deployments, and about whether the IoT could lead to job losses in manufacturing.

Internet of Business: In your line of work you must see a lot of good ideas that need strategic help to succeed. In your view, what are the three main reasons that some IoT projects fail – and what can organisations do to make sure that doesn’t happen?

Jon Hill, InVMA

Jon Hill: “One: they focus on the ‘how’, and not the ‘why’. Before any IoT project begins there are key questions that should be – but often aren’t – asked. Such as, what is the problem we are trying to solve? How does this help our customers or help us service our customers better? Where is the value?

“Most people do a proof of concept to test the technology, but very few do a proof of value to test the business model.

“Two: they try a DIY project and can’t scale it. It’s amazing how many people think that IoT is just another application development. Wrong. It’s the bringing together of IT and operational technology (OT). Hardware, firmware, communications, certifications, security, rules, data, and then the application.

“We have been building IoT applications for six years now on the most complete platform on the market, ThingWorx, and we are still learning.

If your team is launching a DIY IoT project, especially if they are not using a recognised platform, then you are just spending money to solve problems that have already been solved and to create a solution that may not scale. Focus on what makes you different rather than becoming an expert in IoT.

“Three: they target a low launch cost. Working to a budget is sensible, but skimping and trying to save a few dollars per device at launch really isn’t. Cheap devices are unlikely to give you much room for adding features later and can often lead to technical challenges.

“If you can, use tried, tested, and ‘off the shelf’ equipment and an IoT platform in your first iteration, with plenty of headroom to add new features. This will give you the flexibility to pivot your product and provide your customers with an upgrade path in the future.”

Monetising the IoT

One of the key areas of IoT failure is being unable to monetise a project successfully. Why do you think this is?

“There are two mains reasons for that failure. The first is that they haven’t looked at the customer’s value. Often the focus is on what it means to their business and not to their customer.

“Or they focus on the technology and don’t think about, or even understand, that this new approach will mean that they need to change their service teams, their partner relationships, and so on. This means that the promise of the service does not match the outcome from the service.

“The second reason is usually to do with pricing and a lack of understanding of how to price for the IoT project. The costs associated with an IoT deployment are normally capex for the hardware and opex for the communications, hosting, and an application enablement platform.

“So, should the pricing include all of the costs in a simple capex model, where the customer pays up front for a set period? Or should it be a service-type opex contract, which requires financing – and potentially new billing engines? Not considering and testing this prior to launch is where most companies and projects fail.”

The IoT is creating huge changes in manufacturing, as companies realise the value of harnessing data and using it to improve processes. Does this inevitably mean job losses in the sector?

“The recent OECD report said that there is a significant risk to manufacturing jobs from automation, of which IoT forms a part.

I agree with the assessment that some jobs will be lost to automation. However, successful IoT projects will make companies more successful – and, hopefully, able to employ more people in other roles.”

“They will also realise improvements in the form of reduced energy and material usage, further increasing their competitive positions.

“And as with any technology development, other jobs will be created too. For example, companies like InVMA did not exist 10 years ago. The speed of change that the addition of Industrial IoT, additive manufacturing, and similar innovations brings will see new employment opportunities being created.”

InVMA are among the companies that offer an end-to-end IoT service. What particular benefits does this give organisations that want to explore IoT programmes?

“Any full-service offering enables companies to lower the risk of innovation and prove the value from applying the technology without the need to invest heavily.

“The main advantages are: direction – access to experienced advice from, in our case, ex-Big-Four consultants about the business models that work and the potential impact on a company, its market, people, and processes.

“Quality – using proven technology and platforms enables a company to innovate on what a customer finds important, knowing that the hygiene factors of security, scalability, and ongoing development are being provided as standard.

“Cost – using proven approaches and lessons learned from other implementations reduces the risk and cost of the deployment for customers. And finally, speed – avoiding re-inventing the wheel and the IoT platform reduces the time to market.”

Internet of Business says

Putting IoT and IIoT programmes under the general heading of ‘automation’ is an interesting argument, especially when it comes to jobs.

In the manufacturing sector, the metric appears to be 2.5 new, skilled jobs created within organisations for every 10 routine jobs automated (approximately). For example, the US automative sector acquired 60,000 robots in 2015-16. If each robot is capable of doing the jobs of 15 full-time workers – as some robotics companies claim – then that is the equivalent of automating 900,000 jobs. However, during that timescale the industry created 230,000 new roles.

Likewise, Amazon has probably automated faster than any company on the planet, and yet has created roughly 100,000 new human jobs in recent years as the company expands and tries new markets.

And of course, this does not include the many new companies that will appear and create new human employment opportunities as the IoT grows – as has happened with ecommerce and mobile applications. This is why some automation reports have suggested that the long-term employment impact will be neutral.

Read more: South Korea most automated nation on earth, says report. The UK? Going nowhere

Read more: Hitachi Vantara: Bridge the IT/OT divide for IIoT success

Read more: IIoT security: How to secure the ‘Internet of Threats’, by IBM

The post How to succeed in IIoT deployments | Exclusive Q&A with Jon Hill of InVMA appeared first on Internet of Business.

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[Deal Alert] Refurbished Moto Z Play ($140), Z Droid ($150), and Z Force Droid ($150) from Daily Steals with our exclusive codes

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Smartphones are getting more and more expensive, but flagships from a year or two ago are still good devices – I should know, my main phone is still a 2016 Google Pixel. If you’ve been looking for an inexpensive phone, or even a secondary/backup device, today might be your lucky day. Daily Steals currently has several refurbished Motorola phones on sale at steep discounts, when you use our exclusive coupon codes.

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[Deal Alert] Refurbished Moto Z Play ($ 140), Z Droid ($ 150), and Z Force Droid ($ 150) from Daily Steals with our exclusive codes was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Exclusive: The Truth Behind the Bitcoin “Cult” Trying to Buy a Church in Brooklyn

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Word has it that a cryptocurrency “cult” is trying to buy a church in Brooklyn. Here’s what we know.

Last week, these fliers started popping up around Williamsburg, Brooklyn:

The Facebook page for the protest, run by a Judy Gunderson, linked to an actual Facebook page:

And the “cult” that Ms. Gunderson was linking to was, yes, The First Church of Crypto:

People on Twitter, of course, went nuts (look for yourself).

There was a (very excited) Reddit thread on it:

And some people started a Telegram group to talk about it:

Yes, there was even an Overheard In New York post about it:

Before this goes any further, and any reporters sink their teeth into it, let’s take a glimpse at the source code of the First Church of Crypto site:

 

Yeah. April Fool’s, dummies. That was us.

With good reason.

But before we get there! A brief making-of:

  1. Yes, we actually hung flyers last week around Williamsburg.
  2. We spun up the “Church” site. Which, true story, at one point included a rewritten version of the Serenity Prayer (“Satoshi, grant me the wisdom…“).
  3. We took out a bunch of targeted Facebook ads.
  4. The entire thing took a few hours.
  5. And over the weekend, a bunch of people not only bought the idea hook, line, and sinker, but to our surprise, propagated it and actually wanted it to happen.

Let’s linger on that last point for a moment:

A bunch of crypto bulls thought it’d be a good idea to spin up a church in praise of cryptocurrency to replace a real church in Brooklyn.

Out of the hundreds of people who bought this reality sight-unseen, there was just one, dumb, random Pepe on Twitter who had our number. That’s it.

And that, right there, might explain much of the cultural problem around cryptocurrency:

The fervor around crypto, perpetrated by its loudest, most absurd, unilateral boosters is comically, blindingly obtuse to its own dumbassery.

The ideas behind decentralized currencies and blockchain are fascinating, and hold tremendous amounts of potential, blah blah whatever. Look: If you’re reading this, you already know how important and great blockchain could be. And if you’re a cogent, thinking, sentient human being who hasn’t caught the crypto vapors past the point of common sense, you also know it could be even greater if the, uh, culture and literacy around it weren’t such an absolute, utter shitshow (to say nothing of the bad actors, charlatans, and snake-oil slingers exploiting this uncharted territory).

It’s really too bad that there’s not a single must-read publication for breaking news, gossip, commentary, and analysis about cryptocurrency and its culture — its highs and lows, the most brilliant iterations and the most idiotic pratfalls, the big-time titans, the low-grade conmen, the shitcoins, the Lambos, the fortunes, the face-falls — that isn’t just a mash note, or a dumping ground for press releases, or yet another site for hot takes and explainers where someone tries to craft a shitty blockchain metaphor around a deck of cards for the umpteenth time. A site where no token is sacred, no moon hangs too high, and no bag is too rekt.

Which is why we’re launching one. Hodl on to your bags, coins, and asses:

Blocknik, a new site about cryptocurrency from Futurism Media, is coming. Summer 2018.

Sign up here to be first in the door.

*Oh, and if you know anyone: We’re putting a premium on talent, and looking for funny, sharp, brilliant writers who can rise above the current Rainman-esque standard of dialogue about crypto, and who would like to do it for what’s gonna be the most fun, hysterical gig in the space. It’ll also pay well, and in fiat currencies. If you’re interested — or know anyone who is — give us a shout.

The post Exclusive: The Truth Behind the Bitcoin “Cult” Trying to Buy a Church in Brooklyn appeared first on Futurism.

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Deals: MacRumors Exclusive Twelve South Sale Ending, Anker Discounts on Amazon, and More

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A few weeks ago MacRumors announced a partnership with accessory maker Twelve South, offering spring break travelers the chance to get five vacation-friendly items discounted by 15 percent. That sale will end tomorrow, March 30, so be sure to head over to TwelveSouth.com and use the promo code MacRumorsSpringBreak on any of the items listed below before the code expires.

Customers browsing Twelve South this week should also note that the company has discounted its BookBook case for iPad and iPad Pro by $20 following the launch of the sixth-generation iPad on Tuesday. The case fits the new 2018 iPad as well as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro first released in 2016, and comes in Brown ($59.99, down from $79.99) and Rutledge ($79.99, down from $99.99).

RAVPower also has a sale ending tomorrow, this one on a pair of wireless chargers at Amazon, with savings of 20 percent hitting both the HyperAir stand and HyperAir pad. We reviewed both stands recently and came away impressed with each device, although the HyperAir stand just beat out the HyperAir pad in our charging time tests.


If you’re still on the lookout for a new charging mat for an iPhone 8, 8 Plus, or X, head over to Amazon and use promo code MACRPC69 to bring the stand down to $39.99, from $49.99, and use promo code MACRPC66 to bring the pad down to $30.59, from $39.99.

Anker typically has numerous sales on Apple-related accessories happening at Amazon, and this week the company is offering 30 percent off USB-C charging and power accessories that should make nice companions with Apple’s recent line of MacBooks. There’s also a collection of portable chargers, power strips, and iPhone cases up for sale.


Below you’ll find a list of Anker’s latest deals, including the dates they expire and the promo codes needed for each sale. Note that prices exclude shipping and handling fees, but Amazon Prime members will get the usual 2-day free shipping.

Expires April 8, use code ANKEBEST

Other Anker Sales

Head over to our full Deals Roundup for more sales information, including a free $25 e-gift card from Best Buy with the purchase of the new 9.7-inch iPad, along with the retailer’s ongoing discounts on MacBook Air, iPad mini 4, and more.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals

Discuss this article in our forums


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Apple Now Offers Its Exclusive Space Gray iMac Pro Accessories

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When Apple unveiled the costly iMac Pro a few months ago, it also showed off a plethora of new space gray accessories adding to the computer’s executive look and feel. Although the accessories received widespread acclaim and interest from tech bods and consumers, the tech firm decided to keep them exclusive to the high-end desktop. […]
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[Deal Alert] RAVPower 27,000mAh battery with 3-prong AC plug and USB-C down to $95.99 ($34 off) with our exclusive code

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All of us have a thirst for more power, which is why so many people have battery packs these days. But not everything we need can be charged via USB. For those scenarios, a battery with a 3-prong AC plug input would be ideal, and that’s exactly what RAVPower’s massive 27,000mAh (up to 100W) battery offers at its lowest-ever price of $ 95.99 with our exclusive coupon code.

This thing has almost everything you could want from a battery.

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[Deal Alert] RAVPower 27,000mAh battery with 3-prong AC plug and USB-C down to $ 95.99 ($ 34 off) with our exclusive code was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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[Update: Last day to enter] Giveaway: Win one of 20 CHOETECH T511-S 10W charging pads, 20 T511 5W charging pads, or buy now with exclusive coupon [Global]

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

If you have a wireless charging-capable phone, chances are you could use another charging base. It’s hard to have too many and if the one(s) you have is a little older, it may not have the power to charge your phone at top speed. Whatever the case, most of you will want to win one of the 40(!) CHOETECH charging pads that we’re giving away.

Here’s what’s up for grabs:

  • 20 CHOETECH T511-S 10W charging pads
  • 20 CHOETECH T511 5W charging pads

The T511-S supports faster charging for devices that support it, like the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+, Note8, and some earlier generation Galaxy S and Note phones.

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[Update: Last day to enter] Giveaway: Win one of 20 CHOETECH T511-S 10W charging pads, 20 T511 5W charging pads, or buy now with exclusive coupon [Global] was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Exclusive: First look at ACTTV+ 4K Android TV box

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ACT Fibernet recently started testing its first ACTTV+ in several cities. We got hold of one, here we bring you exclusive first pictures of the 4K Android TV box with Over-The-Top (OTT) services. Box Contents ACTTV+ box in Black color Remote control 2-pin power connector (12V-1A) HDMI Cable Mini AV cable Ethenet Cable The ACTTV+ is a small box with ACT branding on the top and there is a power button. This is made by ZTE and was introduced as ZXV10 B860H back in 2016. It comes pre-loaded with HOOQ, YuppTV, Hungama Play and ALTBalaji apps and also has YouTube. When you login into these apps, it shows relevant videos from these apps directly on the home screen. You can download more apps and games from the Google Play Store. It can play 4K videos without any issues and also supports H.265 codec. We couldn’t install Netflix or Amazon Prime Video from the Play Store, but we were able to side-load the APK for both. Amazon Video worked fine offering 1080p video out, but there were occasional stutters. Netflix got stuck at 24% loading a video. We will try some work around to make it work, otherwise we will have to wait for official release. …
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Apple will reportedly have 3D face sensing exclusive until 2019

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(Reuters) — Most Android phones will have to wait until 2019 to duplicate the 3D sensing feature behind Apple’s Face ID security, three major parts producers have told Reuters, handicapping Samsung and others on a technology that is set to be worth billions in revenue over the next few years. The development of new features for the esti…Read More
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