People & Dreams

Autor -Christian Johannesen

Google I/O 2015



Woohoo! Google I/O is just the best. We just got a view of Google’s plans for the your future. Here’s all the most interesting stuff you might have missed.

Android M Is Here, and So Is Google’s Smartphone Future

The future of Android is here. Android M (I’m still hoping for Muffin) is the software that will power Android smartphones starting this fall. Aesthetically, everything looks familiar, but there’s a lot buried under that Material Design exterior. Let’s take a look. [More]

Hands On With Google Now on Tap: Contextual Awesomeness

One of the most exciting features in the (distant future) release of Android M is the upgraded version of Google Now. It’s built to understand context better than before. I just got a quick look at it on a Googler’s Nexus 5, and while this was obviously a demo, I’m cautiously optimistic about it. [More]

Google Now Just Became the Most Compelling Reason to Use Android

In the early years (like 5 years ago tbh), iPhone and Android were at odds. Closed vs. open; Design vs. customization. Now, those lines are more blurred than ever. But Android has always had one absolute ace, and Google I/O 2015 just proved it: Google Now. [More]

Google Photos Hands-On: So Good, I’m Creeped Out

I have taken 1235 photos and videos with my phone since May 28th, 2014, most of which I will never look at. Even if there are good photos, I’ll probably miss them. It’s just too much shit to crunch with my puny human brain. Can the new Google Photos help? [More]

Google’s New Cardboard Hands-On: A Little Bigger, A Little Better

Google Cardboard is still made of cardboard. Sorry about that. But the crazy cheap virtual reality viewer does have a new version that’s bigger and better than ever. [More]

Android Pay vs. Google Wallet: What’s the Difference?

This week, Google announced Android Pay—a way to pay from your phone. No need for credit cards; just tap your handset against any supported card terminal. Sounds great—but also kind of familiar. Didn’t Google Wallet already do that? I just tried Android Pay, and here’s the deal. [More]

The New Moonshots: These Are The Most Futuristic Ideas From Google I/O

The most futuristic projects at Google come out of their advanced technologies and projects group, or ATAP. And today at Google I/O, the ATAP team unveiled their vision of tomorrow, where your body, behavior and clothing will be the new interfaces that control your gadgets — and keep them secure, too. [More]

Google’s Brillo and Weave Hope to Make Your Smart Home Actually Smart

Google just announced that a hyper-efficient operating system for the internet of things: Brillo. Developed with the engineers from Nest, the new Android-based OS is designed to be very streamlined, so that any connected object can communicate with another. The common standard that makes it all possible is called Weave. [More]



What a year it has been, with so many advances in technology, rapid change in mobile, exciting developments for wearables and poignant events for the travel industry. 2014 saw some incredible developments, twitter records were smashed during the 2014 World Cup, rapid change in the mobile payment industry, with Asian consumers driving change at an astonishing pace and the prominence of mobile only social networks such as WeChat and Snapchat.

It has also been a year of tragedy for the aviation industry, with the loss of three Malaysian aircraft just months apart. Digital communities showed an outpouring of both shared grief and technical ingenuity in the search for answers, yet sadly with no success.

2014 has been a busy year for the Digital Tourism Think Tank. Our #OnTheRoad tour has been an overwhelming success, taking us to far flung places such as South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. We have been overwhelmed by the support of the hundreds of destinations who follow us around the world, our brilliant speakers and experts who are driven by their passion for the industry and our amazing sponsors and partners who have supported us every step of the way.

To say thank you for coming with us on such an amazing journey, we’ve prepared a little video highlighting the most notable developments that have impacted our industry over the past 12 months.

Thank you for your support, the #DTTT team look forward to seeing you in 2015!


The long-awaited day, «Mobilegeddon,» arrived yesterday, when Google updated its search engine so thatmobile-friendly web pages would rank higher on mobile search results (Google also published an FAQ on the update for webmasters). The algorithm update might have a big impact on major brands. Nearly one-half of Fortune 500 companies, and one-quarter of major retailers do not have mobile-friendly websites, according to RKG data cited by The Wall Street Journal. It’s a good opportunity to review some basic facts around the update, selected from Google‘s FAQ:

  • The update only affects search rankings on mobile devices. Search results on PCs won’t be influenced by mobile-friendliness.
  • The update affects the ranking of individual webpages. Entire websites won’t be penalized if they contain pages that aren’t mobile-friendly.
  • Specific mobile-design strategies aren’t privileged over others. A website can bemobile friendly if it uses responsive design, a separate mobile site, etc.
  • The update is global. It won’t be restricted to certain markets or languages.
  • Again, the update will take a while, up to a week, before all pages in Google‘s index are re-ranked according to the new criteria. 
  • Also, mobile sites linking to mobile-unfriendly sites won’t be penalized. 




Push notifications are a significant driver of user engagement for most apps, and just 42% of an iOS app’s user base opts in to receive push notifications, according to data from Urban Airship. Performance does differ between various app categories, however.

  • Across all categories the best-performing apps in terms of push notification rates tend to track above 50%.

  • Apps that fall into the median group (50th percentile) performed significantly worse. The average difference in opt-in rates across all categories between the high and median groups was about 20%, but ranged from as high as a 31% difference to a 15% difference in opt-in rates.

  • Only three app categories in the high group reached opt-in rates higher than 70%: business, charities, and travel. Meanwhile high-performing apps in gaming, media, and health & fitness had opt-in rates in just the 50-60% range.

The data did not include Android apps because apps downloaded from Google Play use an opt-out instead of an opt-in system, meaning that when an app is downloaded on the Android platform a user will receive push notifications unless he takes specific action to opt-out of notifications.

Content Next Wave of Growth



Mobile ContentExecutive summary

1. As mobile expands into new regions and new population segments in emerging markets, digital inclusion — the adoption of the mobile internet and the wider socio-economic benefits associated with this — will grow. However, the pace at which this happens will be dependent on overcoming a number of barriers. Infrastructure and affordability of devices and tariffs are well recognised. Less widely apparent — but of crucial importance — is the availability of locally relevant content. It is this factor and the dynamics driving it that we focus on in this report.

Despite a nearly 20-fold increase in mobile data traffic since 2009, many individuals in emerging markets are yet to fully embrace the mobile and digital revolution because they lack sufficient ‘local content’ that is accessible, useful and relevant to their livelihoods, wants and needs. The availability of locally relevant content, defined for the purpose of this report as content or information that has a direct impact on the everyday lives of people throughout the developing world, is key to bringing the benefits of the internet to a wider user base (particularly mid and low income individuals). Content can be localised — or made locally relevant — in different ways, such as translating international content into local languages, customising it for local relevance, or by the local population contributing directly to content creation. In the end though, the most important criterion that defines localisation is its relevance for local consumers. The local population will best understand what is relevant, and giving the power of content creation into their hands – both individuals as well as developers – will help grow the local content industry.

In emerging markets, customer engagement in the mobile content ecosystem has been dominated by social media services, which rely heavily on user input and user-generated content. These services are an important way to increase communication, engagement and ultimately digital inclusion, acting as another layer to traditional mobile voice and SMS. But making the content and services relevant, accessible, and available to the users in their own language is essential in bringing the full benefits of the mobile internet to the next billion users.

2. There is much more to making content relevant to local people than simply translating it. For one, there are infrastructure challenges including network coverage, content hosting availability and device compatibility. But there are also more nuanced challenges around payment limitations, cultural factors and government or third party support.

Unlike in the developed world, mobile internet penetration has a long way to go in most emerging countries. While 2G coverage extends to about 85% of the population on average, 3G networks currently cover between 50% and 70% compared to over 80% in the developed world. Moreover, the majority of people in emerging markets currently own feature phones, not smartphones. Smartphone penetration will rise (driven by falling handset prices, rising incomes and improved literacy), but we believe it will be another 3-4 years before actual human users surpass the number of people on the ground using feature phones. This makes it essential to balance the focus of local content generation for both smartphone and feature phone users. Language and literacy barriers, as well as other barriers such as lack of local hosting and payment limitations (a high proportion of the population do not have access to formal financial services), make achieving scale with and GSMA Intelligence Local world — content for the next wave of growth 4 monetising content difficult. In addition, challenges such as a lack of understanding of the target market, and government interference in information flow also need to be overcome to drive creation and consumption of local content. It is important to be mindful of these challenges while developing content for emerging market users.

3. Ultimately, these challenges (and the opportunity cost of not addressing them) merit a collection of efforts from key players across the mobile ecosystem. For emerging markets in particular, mobile operators are well placed to effect change given their network assets, local presence and increasing involvement with entrepreneurial hubs, and trusted relationship with consumers. However, there is no one stakeholder at the nexus, with handset makers, content developers, internet players and NGOs also key.

Relevant content gives people added impetus for mobile internet and value added services (VAS) use, and increases digital empowerment of users on all rungs of the socioeconomic ladder — a key objective for industry and government alike. As for the wider mobile ecosystem, we believe an increase in the amount of relevant local content would unfurl a virtuous circle of raised awareness, attracting developers, increasing innovation, and increasing interest in generating more relevant content. Additionally, operators can benefit from an increase in subscriptions, customer loyalty, and revenue through data services.

Realising the benefits of local content, though, is largely dependent on a commitment from the industry as a whole. While operators are best placed to use their own assets such as tools, platforms and hosting technology to help content developers achieve scale without having to reinvent the wheel, developers can improve the local relevance of services by creating specific content where required, adapting existing content where necessary, and ensuring their content is accessible for users across the mobile spectrum by optimising certain content to work on feature phones via slower data connections. Device manufacturers can similarly contribute by ensuring that devices offer the best and most intuitive user experience possible for mobile owners in emerging markets, facilitating the consumption as well as generation of local content. Internet players can build on their existing services and expand into new markets, creating a platform for local content to reach the widest audience possible. The wider ICT industry can look to establish local internet exchange points (IXPs) within the country to cut costs, and expand local hosting to improve visibility for content developers. Finally, regulatory, financial and operational support from government and non-government organisations (NGOs) can help target content towards consumer use cases that market-based approaches would perhaps not — particularly in the areas of financial services, health, agriculture, education and employment.





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Whilst Latin America is in the midst of an ongoing slowdown in both unique subscriber and revenue growth rates, the region is now seeing an accelerating migration to higher speed networks and smartphone adoption. This is driving strong data traffic growth and incremental revenues for operators, which in turn will help fund the major investments required to further build out both 3G and 4G networks.


What is the Internet of Things?



The Internet of Things (IoT) is a vision. It is being built today. The stakeholders are known, the debate has yet to start. In hundreds of years our real needs have not changed. We want to be loved, feel safe, have fun, be relevant in work and friendship, be able to support our families and somehow play a role – however small – in the larger scheme of things. So what will really happen when things, homes and cities become smart? The result will probably be an tsunami of what at first looks like very small steps, small changes. The purpose of Council is to follow and  forecast what will happen when smart objects surround us in smart homes, offices, streets, and cities.

The Only 10 Slides Needed fopr Pitching



Once you’ve come up with a business idea that you believe in, the next step is getting investors to believe in it, too. You need to pitch your idea in a way that’s interesting and informative — and quick.

Renowned entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki should know a thing or two about what it takes to successfully pitch investors. He’s been an evangelist for Apple and an advisor for Google’s Motorola division, he’s founded multiple companies, including Garage Technology Ventures — the a venture capital firm that invested in Pandora and Tripwire. Now, he wants to teach you how to pitch an idea that gets results.

He says a pitch only needs 10 slides and should have 15 at the absolute max. Beyond the Title slide — the one with your company name, title and contact information — you’ll need a value proposition, a go-to market plan and an analysis of your competition. Of course, your potential investors will also want to know what your timeline is and how their funds will be used, among other vital information.

Pitch your Startup

Check out the infographic below that originally ran on Kawasaki’s website to see what slides you need, and the order that you need to show them. A little of his expert advice could go a long way.

Keep Reading at …


Happy accident: Sphero makes the move from toy to teaching

Orbotix, now simply known as Sphero, had the world in awe when it introduced itssmartphone-controlled, ball-shaped toy back in 2010. Back then, we were still getting used to the concept of «connected» things. Today, nearly four years after making its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show, Sphero is one of the most popular peripherals around, on iOS and Android alike. But while the robotic ball may have started off as a knickknack for kids, or adults, to play with, it has recently started to break into another, more serious field: education. In an effort to boost that, Sphero launched an initiative called SPRK about five months ago, with the goal of letting schools adopt its product into education curriculum. Simply put, kids could not only learn about programming, but also have fun doing so.

The SPRK program, short for Schools Parents Robots Kids, is divided into two main segments: Core and Stem. Core is a series of lessons designed to help kids build their coding skills, both visual- and text-based. Stem, on the other hand, is the next step up for those who have mastered Core, offering a number of different challenges that let students experiment and build contraptions for Sphero. To assist with this, Sphero has two programming applications, available for iOS and <a#3399cc;» href=»» target=»_blank»>Android; MacroLab uses visuals to get kids started with the learning process, while orbBasic is a more advanced, text-based language tool. By using <ahref=»» target=»_blank»>MacroLab and orbBasic, students can, for example, program the Sphero ball to follow a number of custom commands, among other things.

Naturally, SPRK isn’t only about the young ones, as parents and teachers also play a big role in the program. «Any teacher can teach this, even if they don’t know robotics,» Ross Ingram, Sphero’s community manager, told Engadget. «It’s easy for teachers to adopt it into a curriculum. It’s instant gratification for kids — they are able to see their progress instantly.» And although SPRK is geared for third, fourth and fifth graders currently, Sphero’s idea is to expand beyond those levels, all the way up to high school and college. As Ingram puts it, «Sphero can grow up with them. There’s an SDK for iOS, Python, Ruby, so they can keep coding as they grow up.»

«Any teacher can teach this, even if they don’t know robotics.»

At the moment, 250 schools have integrated Sphero as part of their education syllabi, both here in the US and around the world. One of the reasons so many schools have decided to do so is because they can buy Spheros in bulk for a low cost — the company says it can sell them «at a cost of goods,» which is likely a lot less than the $80$130 each sphere costs via retail channels, depending on which generation it is. «We’re already making money through our consumer channel, so it’s easy for Sphero to explore,» Adam Wilson, founder and chief software architect, explained. «As a robotics company, we can create other things to integrate them with this educational program. Our main goal is to teach kids stuff. This isn’t our main line of business.»

Sphero told us there were never any plans to make its robot an educational tool, but the approach from many parents paved the way to eventually follow that path. Essentially, the grown-ups thought it would be a great idea to take advantage of Sphero’s fun attributes and, consequently, turn it into a training tool for robotics and programming. With SPRK now underway, Sphero wants to just embrace it, grow it and use it to make a dent in the educational world.

«It was a happy accident. We want to make a difference,» said Wilson.

The Internet Economy in the G 20 ( BCG Perspectives )

Although it is a one year old article (which in digital age, makes it a really old article) here is a BCG perspective on Internet seen as a «world economy».


Since the day the first domain was registered in 1985, the Internet has not stopped growing. It has sailed through multiple recessions and one near-collapse and kept on increasing in use, size, reach, and impact. It has ingrained itself in daily life to the extent that most of us no longer think of it as anything new or special. The Internet has become, quite simply, indispensible.

By 2016, there will be 3 billion Internet users globally—almost half the world’s population. The Internet economy will reach $4.2 trillion in the G-20 economies. If it were a national economy, the Internet economy would rank in the world’s top five, behind only the U.S., China, Japan, and India, and ahead of Germany. Across the G-20, it already amounted to 4.1 percent of GDP, or $2.3 trillion, in 2010—surpassing the economies of Italy and Brazil. The Internet is contributing up to 8 percent of GDP in some economies, powering growth, and creating jobs.

The scale and pace of change is still accelerating, and the nature of the Internet—who uses it, how, and for what—is changing rapidly too. Developing G-20 countries already have 800 million Internet users, more than all the developed G-20 countries combined. Social networks reach about 80 percent of users in developed and developing economies alike. Mobile devices—smartphones and tablets—will account for four out of five broadband connections by 2016.

The speed of these developments is often overlooked. Technology has long been characterized by exponential growth—in processing speed, bandwidth, and data storage, among other things—going back to Gordon Moore’s observation nearly five decades ago. The Intel 80386 microprocessor, introduced in the same year as that first domain name, held 275,000 transistors. Today, Intel’s Core i7 Sandy Bridge-E processor holds 2.27 billion transistors, or nearly 213 times as many. As the growth motors along, it is easy to lose track of just how large the exponential numbers get.

The power of exponential growth is illustrated by an ancient fable, repopularized by Ray Kurzweil in his book, The Age of Spiritual Machines. It tells of a rich ruler who agrees to reward an enterprising subject starting with one grain of rice on the first square of a chessboard, then doubling the number of grains on each of the succeeding 63 squares. The ruler thinks he’s getting off easy, and by the thirty-second square, he owes a mound weighing 100,000 kilograms, a large but manageable amount. It’s in the second half of the chessboard that the real fun starts. Quickly, 100,000 becomes 400,000, then 1.6 million, and keeps growing. By the sixty-fourth square, the ruler owes his subject 461 billion metric tons, more than 4 billion times as much as on the first half of the chessboard, and about 1,000 times global rice production in 2010.

The Internet has moved into the second half of the chessboard. (See Exhibit 1.) It has reached a scale and level of impact that no business, industry, or government can ignore. And like any technological phenomenon with its scale and speed, it presents myriad opportunities, which consumers have been quick and enthusiastic to grasp. Businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs)—the growth engine of most economies—have been uneven in their uptake, but they are moving online in increasing numbers and with an increasingly intense commitment.


There are threats too, some misunderstood, and policymakers and regulators alike are challenged to make the right choices in a fast-moving environment. As is often the case with fast-paced change and complex issues, many governments are still trying to determine what their role should be.

Meanwhile the rice pile on the next square keeps getting bigger.

This report assesses the far-reaching economic impact of the Internet. It shows how the benefits are large and getting larger, identifies the drivers behind them, and examines their clout. It quantifies gains—economic growth, consumer value, and jobs—in the context of the economies of the G-20. It demonstrates that no one—individual, business, or government—can afford to ignore the ability of the Internet to deliver more value and wealth to more consumers and citizens more broadly than any economic development since the Industrial Revolution.