Although the general tech world was in a tizzy over Apple’s “new” product line up in the iPhone 7/7 Plus this week, there were several other more interesting events that we will focus on in this week’s Tech Roundup. Intel’s acquisition of Movidius will change the computing landscape. Google continues to make inroads in enterprise, with their acquisition of Apigee.
Apple introduces new iPhones
Cutting through all the hoopla and press coverage about Apple, here’s all you need to know: the new iPhones are a definite upgrade from the iPhone 6 but clearly the company is playing catch up to Samsung, who has had a technology advantage in smart phones for about a year. Samsung has had a lead in camera technology, water resistance, general product elegance, software/OS, among other features. The AirPods are interesting but we would wait and see if people will actually use them. Further, without wires, the possibility of losing them increase dramatically. As the father of 3 teens, I’m not sure I’m looking forward to dishing out $159 every few months as they lose yet another pair of AirPods! On the surface, they don’t look comfortable or stable, although I’m sure there’s some really cool technology built into them. Our conclusion: wait for iPhone 8 to upgrade.
We discussed Movidius in a piece on MIT’s Top Technology Companies here. Intel, who has been making a huge push into AR, VR and other related technologies, decided to acquire Movidius to add to its already impressive line up of technologies in computing. With this acquisition, the company will most likely take a lead in computer vision and perceptual computing. Movidius has a processor they call Myriad 2, which handles vision-based tasks such as head tracking and gesture recognition. These are areas that have been under development for some time now. Up until this point, there was never enough computing power locally embedded in end systems to handle the challenging tasks related to visual computing.
What does this mean: Movidius’ Vision Processing Unit is used in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality headsets, security cameras and drones. Key customers are Google, Lenovo and DJI. Intel plans to combine Movidius’s technology with Combining Movidius’ leading VPU (Vision Processing Unit) platform with its own leading depth sensing solution. The net result would be to allow for autonomous machines that can see in 3D. Longer term, Intel plans to use Movidius’s algorithms to embed into low power SOC’s, and enable deep learning, depth processing, navigation and mapping, and natural interactions. Clearly Intel is now at the forefront of this technology. It will be interesting to see what Google and Nvidia do next but we suspect more deals are coming in this space.
Although not the sexiest topic to talk about, enterprise computing is what drives all of our daily lives, from placing orders on Amazon, to the emails and other collaborative functions we all experience at work. This week, Google took another step in fortifying its enterprise computing solutions, by acquiring Apigee, an API management platform that went public last year, for $625M. The company’s customer list is impressive, and includes giants like Walgreens, AT&T, Bechtel, Burberry, First Data and Live Nation.
Diane Green, Google’s SVP of Enterprise, discussed details in a blog post announcing the deal. Under Ms. Green’s direction, Google has been focused on getting large companies to use Google servers with Google services. The company believes enterprise-cloud business can be a major growth driver over the next several years, although they clearly still trail Amazon.com and Microsoft.
To illustrate the importance of API’s, Ms. Green gave some examples using Walmart. The company uses Apigee to manage APIs that enable an ecosystem of partners and developers building apps for Walmart. One such app is Photo Prints API, which allows users to print pictures at any Walmart. Another is the Prescription API, which allows users to quickly order refills of prescriptions right from their mobile app. There are numerous other applications that impact our daily lives – technologies that we simply don’t see or appreciate, but which clearly have value. Apigee is one of them.
What does this mean: With this acquisition, Google gets an established player in the API management space with a strong customer list to help companies going through the difficult process of becoming more digital. The company is clearly focused on building its enterprise platform and with Apigee, it took a solid step forward. The acquisition also takes away an existing Amazon Web Services customer in the process.
BitNavi is a blog conceived by Karl Motey in the heart of Silicon Valley, dedicated to emerging technologies and strategic business issues challenging the industry.
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