Wearables Market Headed for a Shakeup as Google Seeks to Acquire Fitbit

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Wearables Market Headed for a Shakeup as Google Seeks to Acquire Fitbit | #TpromoCom  #Parks #Google #Wearables | According to Reuters and CNBC, Google (aka Alphabet) has made an offer to acquire Fitbit. This stands to considerably shake up the wearables space.

Fitbit is the number one wearables company in the US—Parks Associates consumer surveys find that among the 19% of heads of US broadband households that own and use wearables, Fitbit has nearly 60% penetration—twice that of its nearest competitor, Apple.

Looking specifically at smart watch models, Parks Associates finds that Fitbit smart watches and the Apple Watch are nearly neck and neck in terms of consumer adoption. Fitbit has been largely successful in getting its users to move from its lower-cost (and lower profit) fitness trackers, with Parks Associates consumer survey data finding that 40% of Fitbit users in US broadband households use one of its smart watch models.

A Google acquisition of Fitbit would make Google the number one name in the US wearables market overnight, and give it a highly useful entry point into the healthcare market. While there’s been some speculation that Google may be seeking to acquire Fitbit for its IP, it seems more likely that Fitbit’s strong brand and popularity among consumers would make it an acquisition a la Nest rather than the next Motorola.

However, Google also has its own smart watch platform—Wear OS—which is used to power smart watches from companies such as the Fossil Group, LG, Misfit, Casio, and Mobvoi.

What will an acquisition of Fitbit do to Google’s existing smart watch platform? While Google may seek to keep both alive for a while, it seems likely that Fitbit—the stronger, more popular brand—would receive the bulk of Google’s time, attention, and resources, leaving Wear OS to the fate of Google Inbox, Hangouts, and Google Reader. It’s too soon to tell for sure, but history isn’t exactly on Wear OS’s side.

Interested in learning more about the US wearables market? We recently published research looking at this space. Go check out our new 360 Deep Dive: Consumer Demand for Connected Wearableswhich answers the following questions:

  • What is the current state of the connected wearables market?
  • How are leading device makers managing the growing blending of the wrist wearables categories?
  • What are the major barriers to connected wearable adoption?
  • What types of functionality are most in-demand by consumers?
  • How do the customers of big four wearables players – Fitbit, Apple, Samsung, and Garmin – differ in terms of their priorities and use of devices?

To read the remainder of this news release, click here.

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VoiceBase Expands Beyond Voice, Offering Text Analytics, Introduces VoiceBase Online and Enterprise Accelerator

VoiceBase Expands Beyond Voice, Offering Text Analytics, Introduces VoiceBase Online and Enterprise Accelerator | #TpromoCom #Voice #AI | Latest VoiceBase release provides organizations omni-channel views of their customers and unparalleled flexibility and speed in deployments

San Francisco, CA, USA, Nov. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — VoiceBase, the leading AI-driven voice analytics company, today announced Text Analytics. This new capability empowers organizations to analyze text data in parallel with voice data. Customers can now ingest text data from chat, messaging, email, social platforms, forums and help platforms such as Zendesk, ServiceNow and Salesforce.

“Combining text data with our award winning AI-powered voice analytics platform allows for organizations to truly listen to the omni-voice of the customer,” said Mark Langsfeld, VP of Product, VoiceBase.Enterprises will now be able to leverage consistent categorization and analysis using a unified platform, rather than siloed channel views of critical customer information.Introducing VoiceBase Online

With the competitive landscape changing many industries, customer experience is at the core of digital transformation.  To enable customers to optimize the time to market for speech and text analytics, VoiceBase is also introducing VoiceBase Online. VoiceBase Online is a fully hosted SaaS application that hosts the analytics databases with optimized query schemas, data transformations, and front-end visual analytics, powered by Tableau.

“In a changing analytics world, many customers ask for self-service, but a segment of customers also desire full-service analytics.  VoiceBase Online is a fully hosted, highly scalable, and affordable option for organizations that value speed to market with their voice of the customer analytics,” said Langsfeld.

General availability for VoiceBase Online is January 2020.

Introducing VoiceBase Enterprise Accelerator

To help organizations rapidly deploy speech and text analytics at scale, VoiceBase is also announcing Enterprise Accelerator. 

Enterprise Accelerator is a tightly integrated, turn-key analytics platform.  Through simple online configuration, Enterprise Accelerator creates and continually maintains a performant and easy-to-query warehouse in your own Snowflake, Redshift, or Azure SQL instance.  Enterprise Accelerator also provisions a companion Tableau server site with a suite of ready-to-customize dashboards.

Langsfeld added “Speed and flexibility are at the heart of Enterprise Accelerator, and our alpha customers and partners are really excited by how fast we can go from a call recording to enterprise scale analytics within hours.”

“At Delta Dental of Washington, Enterprise Accelerator allowed us to spend time on analysis, without having to build out an internal analytics environment.  Deploying through Enterprise Accelerator easily saved us months of project time,” said Becky Masters, Director of Digital Experience.

General availability for VoiceBase Enterprise Accelerator is January 2020.

To learn more about Text Analytics, VoiceBase Online, and Enterprise Accelerator, stop by the Tableau Conference 2019 in Las Vegas from November 12th through 15th.  VoiceBase will be in the expo hall at Mandalay Bay, booth 639.

About VoiceBase

VoiceBase helps people bring vision to voice.  VoiceBase’s AI-driven platform allows people to quickly process speech and text data to create actionable insight.

To learn more about VoiceBase, please visit https://www.VoiceBase.com.

To talk to VoiceBase’s sales team, please visit https://www.voicebase.com/contact-us/contact-sales/.

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EllaLink receives Global Carrier Award for Best Subsea Project of the Year

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EllaLink receives Global Carrier Award for Best Subsea Project of the Year | #TpromoCom #Connectivity #Communications #Award | DUBLIN, Ireland, Nov. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — EllaLink has received a Global Carrier Award in the illustrious category “Best Subsea Project of the Year” during a ceremony held in London and taking place as part of the Capacity Europe 2019 conference. This much coveted award demonstrates true recognition of the project’s success from industry leaders, peers and the market at large.

The key factors that led the jury of industry experts to select EllaLink are:

Creation of a new diverse route connecting Latin America and Europe; Provision of the first low latency coherent network between these two continents; New secured landing in Sines, avoiding other congested areas in Portugal and creating a new cable landing station in a site ideal for data center expansion; Openness and neutrality working in close partnerships with clients; Openness to onward connectivity between Asia and Latin America thanks to the choice of providing secure and diverse routes to Marseille.

Alfonso Gajate, Member of the EllaLink Board and project founder, exclaimed: “I am proud of this award that is a recognition of the commitment and perseverance that has gone into the project since it was first conceived back in 2012. Ross Mullins and I have been joined along the way by key anchor tenants, our investor Marguerite, team members, partners and a lot of external supporters all sharing the belief that a direct link between Europe and Latin America was strongly needed.”

Philippe Dumont, CEO of EllaLink, added: “EllaLink is honored to have received this award which is a testament to the forward-looking view that has driven the development and implementation of this project. I would like to thank our anchor customers CVT, EMACOM, RedClara and GEANT, as well as Telebras, for their trust. We are working closely within our eco-system to bring to the market an alternative choice for those wishing to cross the Atlantic. Operations are progressing on schedule for achieving a ready for service date in 2020.”

Michael Dedieu, Managing Partner of Marguerite and Chairman of the board of EllaLink, declared: “Marguerite II joined EllaLink as financial sponsor back in May 2018 to finalize the development of this landmark project and to fund its construction. This accolade recognizes this asset’s quality as well as the tremendous amount of work accomplished by the management team over the last 18 months.”

The Global Carrier Awards are the wholesale telecom’s largest global industry celebration uniting industry leaders from across the international carrier community.

About EllaLink
EllaLink is an advanced optical platform offering secure high capacity connectivity on a unique low latency transatlantic route serving the growing needs of the Latin American and European markets. The EllaLink network directly connects Brazil and Europe, linking the major hubs of São Paulo and Fortaleza with Lisbon, Madrid and Marseille.

The EllaLink System is being built with state-of-the-art coherent technology initially offering 72Tbps of capacity over four direct fiber pairs between Europe and Brazil. The landing sites in Fortaleza (Brazil) and Sines (Portugal) have been secured and EllaLink is scheduled to be Ready for Service in 2020. EllaLink is a privately funded and independent company committed to providing products and services on a Carrier Neutral and Open Access basis.

To learn more visit ella.link.

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VIDEO: Student robbed at Florida school parking garage

VIDEO: Student robbed at Florida school parking garage | #TpromoCom #Robbery #Student #School #Parkinglot | Security video from inside Florida International University’s parking deck shows a black car parked in front of a white vehicle.

Student Robbery (video)

FIU police say a man got out the vehicle and robbed a male student at gunpoint.

To read the remainder of this news story, click here.

Editor’s Note: When I was on an SDM assignment in the heart of Cleveland, I witnessed a drug deal in the basement parking area in the bowels of a high school. The security director was with myself along with the photographer when we saw it.

The security director said, “I think it’s best we leave now before they notice us.”

The basement was mostly clear of vehicles when, at the other end of the parking area, we saw two motor vehicles sitting together with men standing out and about them.

In addition, I saw bullet holes in windows, and the indentation of bullets in door frames and a light pole along the road. Unless you’ve seen something like this before you cannot possibly imagine the scene I saw before me at every turn.

The young man in this video is lucky to still be alive. –Allan Colombo

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ADT launches new home automation system nationwide

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ADT launches new home automation system nationwide | #TpromoCom #ADT #Security #HomeAutomation | ADT, a provider of monitored security and interactive home and business automation solutions in the U.S. and Canada, is rolling out the ADT Command panel and control platform nationwide.

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Building on the ADT Pulse platform, which was introduced in 2010, ADT Command offers a rich feature set customized to address customers’ lifestyle and needs, while increasing operational efficiencies.

“At ADT we are dedicated to security and leveraging technology to meet the needs of the evolving smart home industry while bringing the best in-home protection to our customers,” Jim DeVries, Chief Executive Officer of ADT, said in the announcement.

To read the remainder of this news story, click here.

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23% of US broadband households reporting intentions to purchase a smart thermostat in 2019

23% of US broadband households reporting intentions to purchase a smart thermostat in 2019 | #TpromoCom #IoT #HomeAutomation #Home | Smart Energy Summit addresses growth in energy management, crossover with smart home solutions, and impact on grid.

Smart Energy Summit Press Release  |  View Online  |  Share Press Release

 

Media Contacts
Sherrelle Lewis
Marketing Associate
Sherrelle.Lewis@parksassociates.com

972-996-0214
Mindi Sue Sternblitz-Rubenstein
Senior Director of Marketing
mindi.sue@parksassociates.com
972.996.0212

23% of US broadband households reporting intentions to purchase a smart thermostat in 2019

Smart Energy Summit addresses growth in energy management, crossover with smart home solutions, and impact on grid

October 22, 2019

Parks Associates research shows 23% of US broadband households are likely to buy a smart thermostat in 2019, which shows purchase intentions remain strong although many households still consider this product too expensive. The firm will host the eleventh annual Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer, February 17-19, 2020, at the Omni Austin Downtown in Austin, Texas, to examine opportunities for energy providers to convert intentions to actual purchases, the role of DIY, and innovations that could drive broader consumer adoption of energy management.

At Smart Energy Summit, more than 300 industry leaders from utilities, service providers, manufacturers, and technology companies will participate in panel discussions about the impact of direct consumer participation in energy markets and strategies to increase consumer engagement. Early event sponsors are FLO, Rapid Response Monitoring, Trusource Labs, Alarm.com, Austin Energy, Inspire, and Sprosty Network.

“The enthusiasm for this product comes despite most households believing that smart thermostats are not affordable, so the industry has a challenge in driving actual adoption past 11-13% of US broadband households,” said Elizabeth Parks, President, Parks Associates. “Utilities and other energy players are experimenting with subsidized offers and product-as-a-service options to expand adoption. At Smart Energy Summit, we will analyze different strategies, highlight factors for success, and discuss the features that can drive greater consumer engagement.”

Parks Associates research finds consumers bought roughly 5.8 million smart thermostats in 2018, generating $843 million in revenues. For future purchases, voice control and compatibility with smart speakers are important selling factors. Among households planning to buy a smart thermostat that also own a smart speaker, more than 70% consider it important that the smart thermostat they buy is compatible with their smart speaker.

Smart Energy Summit will feature the following topics:

Technology Driving New Opportunities

  • 5G Implementation: Impact on Utilities and Consumers
  • DERMS: Moving Beyond Legacy Programs
  • Energy Data and the Smart Home: Enhancing the Customer Relationship
  • Data Analytics for Grid Planning and Load Forecasting
  • Clean Energy: Energy Transformation Trends

Shifting Models: Defining the Utility of the Future

  • Engagement: Smart Home, Demand Response, and Behavior
  • Energy Management in the Home: Driving Behavior Changes
  • Solar, EVs, and Storage: Addressing Barriers to Adoption
  • Utility Marketplaces: Building Customer Relationships
  • Consumers and Distributed Energy Resources (DERS): Impact on the Grid
  • Community Solar: Smart Energy and Sustainable Home Development
  • Home Services Revenue Opportunities
  • Effective Approaches to Demand Response: Next Stage of Engagement
  • Energy Management Platforms: Adding Value

Parks Associates is currently accepting submissions to speak at www.ses2020.com. To schedule an interview or to request data, contact Sherrelle Lewis sherrelle.lewis@parksassociates.com, 972.996.0214.

About Smart Energy Summit

Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer examines the changing role of utilities and energy providers in the IoT era and offers research and insights on new opportunities to empower consumers with smart solutions to manage and save energy in the home. The conference identifies new business models and technologies that provide opportunities to change the customer relationship and drive engagement and participation in utility-sponsored programs.

Smart Energy Summit will take place February 17-19, 2020, at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown in Austin, Texas. The summit agenda features leaders from utilities, state and national regulators, telecom and security companies, retailers, and OEMs. Follow the event on Twitter at @SmartEnergySmt and #SmartEnergy20. For information on speaking, sponsoring, or attending Smart Energy Summit, visit www.ses2020.com.

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​Google Boss Says Guests Should Know About Voice-Activated Smart Devices Before They Enter Homes

​Google Boss Says Guests Should Know About Voice-Activated Smart Devices Before They Enter Homes | #TpromoCom #Google #VoiceControl #HomeAutomation | A Google boss has advised people to let guests know if they own a voice-activated smart device – such as Google Nest or Amazon’s Alexa – before they enter the home, saying it’s something he would do.

Boss says to warn guests of voice control gadgets.

In an interview with the BBC marking the launch of Google’s Pixel 4 smartphones, a new Nest smart speaker, and various other products, Google’s senior vice president of devices and services Rick Osterloh was challenged about whether homeowners should tell guests smart devices are in use before they enter the building.

At first, Osterloh seemed a little stumped by the question, saying he hadn’t thought about things ‘in quite this way’ before.

To read the remainder of this news article, click here.

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New study examines consumer preferences related to new UI options

New study examines consumer preferences related to new UI options | #TpromoCom #Study #Report #Broadband | Quality of user interface (UI) more important than content recommendations in video service satisfaction

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New research from Parks Associates finds 70% of US broadband households with a major video service consider its user interface to be good, with 48% rating it “very good,” and these scores impact their willingness to recommend the service to others. Analysis of consumer responses reveals quality of the UI and the ease of finding content are the most likely factors to drive willingness to recommend a video service.

UI Preferences and Content Discovery examines consumer preferences related to new UI options and the ways that consumers find, and want to find, entertainment content. It also explores preferences by owners of various in-home devices and examines interest in new innovations such as smart speakers, personal assistants, and voice interaction.

bar chart (image)

“User interfaces are a key factor driving satisfaction for OTT services, and Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon – the big three in OTT streaming – have largely set the standard for content navigation and ease of use,” said Kristen Hanich, Senior Analyst, Parks Associates. “Other services have had to follow similar structures established by these three, but as new OTT services launch with greater and greater expectations, innovations in UIs could be an even greater differentiator contributing to their success or failure.”

UI Preferences and Content Discovery reports that one-fifth of households cancelling an OTT subscription cited an inability to find something to watch as a factor.

“Consumers are interested in finding particular shows or genres of content and have less interest in browsing by channel,” Hanich said.

Additional data:

70% of CE purchasers said ease of use is a “very important” purchase consideration.

When searching for something to watch, 12% of OTT users consider recommendations from the service as their first step.

Apple TV owners give high marks to the device’s UI.

For more information about this research or to schedule an interview with an analyst, please contact Sherrelle Lewis at sherrelle.lewis@parksassociates.com, 972-996-0214.

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions.

The company’s expertise includes the Internet of Things (IoT), digital media and platforms, entertainment and gaming, home networks, Internet and television services, digital health, mobile applications and services, support services, consumer apps, advanced advertising, consumer electronics, energy management, and home control systems and security.

Each year, Parks Associates hosts industry webcasts, the CONNECTIONS™ Conference Series, Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer, Connected Health Summit: Engaging Consumers, and Future of Video: OTT, Pay TV, and Digital Media. www.parksassociates.com

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