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TechFirst with John Koetsier

TechFirst with John Koetsier

By John Koetsier
Tech that is changing the world. Innovators who are shaping the future.

Deep discussions with diverse leaders from Silicon Valley giants and scrappy global startups. Plus some short monologues based on my Forbes columns.
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COVID-19 'accelerated digital transformation by an average of 6 years,' with Twilio's chief customer officer

TechFirst with John Koetsier

Can Unity make metaverse glue connecting millions of games?
Unity might be better positioned than any other company to usher in the Oasis ... AKA the metaverse. 71% of the top thousand mobile games are made with the technology. Half of all mobile PC and console games are also made with Unity. Unity is inherently open, running on over 20 different platforms. The world's already there: 2.5 billion people are playing games built with Unity. So I'm wondering ... Unity has the planets, the rooms, the solar systems ... when is it going to build the galaxy, the corridors, the connections? In this episode of TechFirst I chat with Julie Shumaker, who leads growth at Unity. Links: Unity: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:
November 24, 2021
New titans of adtech: challenging Google & Facebook?
Adtech is in upheaval. We've seen 7 billion-dollar acquisitions so far this year and we've seen massive change: Uber Eats has an ad network. Doordash has an ad network. Gaming company Zynga owns an ad network. CVS and Walgreens recently launched ad networks too. So what is an ad network these days? And are emerging titans like Unity, ironSource, Applovin, and Liftoff+Vungle going to be able to challenging the reigning heavyweights: Google & Facebook? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I'm chatting with Mark Ellis, the CEO of Liftoff or … Liftoff + Vungle or … name-to-be-revealed-at-some-point-in-the-future ... Links: Liftoff: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:
November 22, 2021
Brave adds crypto wallet, NFTs, and DApps natively in browser
Crypto is hard. Wallets are hard. NFTs are hard. Connecting to DApps, distributed apps, is hard. Brave is trying to make that simpler by building all of this functionality right into its privacy-safe browser. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I chat with Brendan Eich, CEO and co-founder of Brave. We chat about the new functionality in the Brave browser, why building a wallet natively into a browser is safer than doing it via an extension, and his vision of the future. Links: Brave: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch: Photo by Executium on Unsplash
November 16, 2021
Making homes smart from the start: can we build smart homes instead of renovating them?
Most smart homes are aftermarket affairs: cobbled together bits and pieces of Alexa and Google and Apple HomeKit to make our lights go on, our music play, our security systems work, and our blinds to go up and down. What about building it in from the start? KB Home has built over 650,000 homes in the US. The company was the first builder to make every home ENERGY STAR® certified, and is now making a concerted effort to make every home smart. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier I chat with Dan Bridleman, the company’s SVP of technology. Links: KB Home: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:
November 12, 2021
Why smart buildings are stupid hard
There are perhaps a billion buildings on the planet. Maybe a million of those are of significant size, and all of them are going to be smart at some point in the future. The problem? Every smart building is a one-off. Every building is unique. There's no way to make them -- or 10s of millions of warehouses or factories -- smart in the same way, at the same time, quickly, cheaply, easily. That's a problem Mapped is trying to solve. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I chat with CEO and founder Shaun Cooley (and his dog) about scaling the smartification of the world's buildings. Links: Mapped: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch: 
November 5, 2021
Real-world cybersecurity: HP & Siemens CISOs on WFH, hacking, and sleeping at night
How do CISOs sleep at night? By failing fast, apparently. In this episode of TechFirst we chat with HP chief information security officer Joanna Burkey and Siemens USA CISO Kurt John on hacking, cracking, and yes ... even sleeping at night. You are going to get hacked, says John. And yet, he can sleep at night because the point of his cybersecurity is to fail fast but fail noisily and recover quickly.  45% of workers are buying their own computers 68% say security wasn't a factor 74% of IT teams are seeing jumps in phishing 49% of us click on suspicious emails 70% of those don't report it to IT It's tough out there. These two CISOs share their strategies for living and working in an era of increased hacking and security breaches. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:
October 28, 2021
Farms as robots: Can an entire farm be a complex multi-component robot?
Can an entire farm be a complex multi-component robot? According to AppHarvest CTO Josh Lessing ... sure. Kind of. AppHarvest builds greenhouses that know what's happening. Can control light. Control fertilizer and irrigation. Even control pollination, and when is the right time to harvest the crop. Plus, of course, actually harvest the crop by robot. In this episode of TechFirst, we chat about the future of farming ... and there's a lot of technology involved. Achieving 20-100X better productivity with 70% less water and far less CO2 emission is key. So is the development of Virgo, a universal picking robot that is designed to emulate the flexibility and control of a human hand for soft crops like tomatoes, strawberries, and cucumbers. Links: AppHarvest: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coin: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Subscribe to the podcast: Full videos: Keep in touch:
October 26, 2021
China shows us why Apple needs sideloading
Apple is complicit in Chinese censorship. There’s simply no other way to put it. Thousands of apps have been deleted from the Chinese Apple App Store, including recently a Quran app and a Bible app. Plus hundreds of games, social apps, and more. Apple has to do business in China. That's just realistic. And it has to obey the laws of countries it does business in. That's also just realistic.  Sideloading could enable both. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:
October 16, 2021
Self-driving farmbot kills 100,000 weeds/hour by laser: no herbicide!
The Carbon Robotics self-driving farm bot kills weeds with lasers: 8 150-watt lasers, to be precise. That’s pretty cool, but much cooler is that no toxic herbicides are required. That’s safer for the farmer, better for the soil, and produces better crops. In this episode of TechFirst, we check out the robot, talk to the CEO of Carbon Robotics Paul Mikesell, and see the results on the fields. Links: Carbon Robotics: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:  0:00 Laser-powered weed killer 0:47 AI, computer vision, robotics 1:48 Herbicides and weeds 3:50 Health impact and food quality 5:42 Robots with lasers 8:18 How it works 12:13 Autonomous driving 13:08 Speed and ROI 15:11 Solar powered? 17:31 Lighting and computer vision  21:21 Future of farm robots
October 14, 2021
Google’s drone delivery service Wing starts mall-to-home deliveries
Do you want sushi by drone? Ice cream or coffee in 2 minutes? Wing is Google's drone division (OK, Alphabet's!) and is doing just that right now in three locations around the world. They're planning to scale globally and in the U.S., but are working out all the kinks and regulatory permissions. And they just announced some exciting news: first of its kind rooftop drone stations at a mall. You order on an app, a retailer preps your item, attaches it to a drone, and it flies to you at 110 km/hour. In this edition of TechFirst, we're chatting with Jonathan Bass, Wing’s head of marketing and communications. Links: Wing: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:  0:00 50X more efficient 1:12 Rooftop delivery service 2:54 How long does drone delivery take? 3:59 How Wing's drone delivery works 6:34 What customers say 7:00 Retailers and drone delivery 9:01 Where's Amazon? 11:00 When will Wing scale?
October 6, 2021
What is the metaverse?
Avi Bar-Zeev has been working on the metaverse for 30 years. He’s one of the key people behind Microsoft’s Hololens, co-founded Keyhole which became Google Earth, helped define Second Life’s technology, and has worked with Apple on, presumably, its rumored smartglasses. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I chat with Ari about the metaverse, what it is, what it isn’t, and how AR and VR connect (if they do). We also talk about what AR should be, about how it could fail, and the very real dangers it could represent.  We discuss the one absolute necessity of the metaverse: interoperability. We ask whether a visual metaphor for the presentation of information is just unnecessary most of the time. We also we explore the future of life in an augmented reality rich environment, and the privacy implications of the metaverse. 0:00 Virtual enslavement 0:25 What is the metaverse? 4:52 Lessons of Hololens 7:05 Dangers of augmented reality 11:26 VR, the metaverse, and interoperability 14:22 Visual metaphors and metaverse 17:21 AR vs VR: convergence? 22:13 Life in the metaverse 26:10 Admin privs to your reality 28:07 Building the future Links: RealityPrime: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Subscribe to the podcast: Full videos: Keep in touch:
October 6, 2021
Amazon is killing Google and Apple in smart home tech
Here's (almost) everything Amazon announced for smart home just two days ago, including Amazon Astro, Ring Always Home Cam, Ring Alarm Pro, Ring Video Doorbell, and more Ring, Ring, Ring everything. There's also the Echo Show 15 and the Amazon Glow. But the big picture is how Amazon is competing with Google and Apple in smart home ... and it's not even close. Apple has almost nothing for smart home beyond HomeKit. Google has a few Nest products, but has been very slow to release more ... Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:
September 30, 2021
Metaverse in your pocket? The tech behind world's largest virtual event
Can I only experience a Facebook metaverse in Oculus Quest? Can I only enter your virtual event with an HTC Vive Pro? Or can we build connections, doors, windows, and pathways through all digital realities that anyone can access with smartphone, laptop, or -- yes -- a VR headset? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I chat with Hans Elstner, the CEO of Rooom. Rooom offers the "first all-in-one platform for content in 2D, 3D, AR and VR." In other words: digital realities that anyone can access.  This is super-important in a era of silos and platforms and barriers. And if you want literally hundreds of thousands of people to attend your virtual event ... as Rooom did with IFA 2020. Links: Rooom: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:
September 25, 2021
60X strong than steel: world first high-speed carbon fiber 3D printing
We know carbon fiber is strong: 60X stronger than steel. The problem has always been finding ways to 3D print it at speed, and for large objects. Arevo says it's found the solution: "'the world's first high speed additive manufacturing system for continuous carbon fiber composite structures." It's literally the size of a shipping container, and it can print a volume about a meter cubed. Companies pay hundreds to thousands of dollars per kilogram for carbon fiber products, and Arevo says it has the fastest and best way to make them on the fly. Stronger and better because it's true 3D printing, not 2.5D, and faster: a monocoque carbon fiber bike frame in about a day. Links: Arevo: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:  0:00 60X stronger than steel 1:23 3D printing carbon fiber 3:40 Shipping container-sized 3D printer 5:11 Monocoque thermoplastic printing 8:55 $SMRT coin 9:25 3D printing speed 13:23 2000 3D printed bikes per month 15:40 3D printing vertically AND horizontally 17:01 Future of 3D printing 19:34 National security and manufacturing 21:55 3D printing ... 1 order of magnitude away
September 17, 2021
Epic v Apple: the 36 most interesting findings in the Fortnite lawsuit freeing the App Store
Epic sued Apple for the right to sell in-app purchases in Fortnite itself and not pay Apple a 30% cut. And it won ... but also lost, as the judge ruled in favor of Apple on nine of the ten claims Epic made. But the big deal is payments in apps. And that changes everything. Here are the most interesting rulings, findings, and facts unearthed in U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers' 185-page report. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Subscribe to the podcast: Full videos: Keep in touch:
September 14, 2021
Cyborg or avatar: will you wear a robot, or operate it?
Some robots won't replace us. Some will augment us: make us faster, stronger, bigger, more capable. Sarcos Robotics has built both robots that you can wear and robots you can operate, and just recently unveiled the Guardian XT to complement the Guardian XO. One you wear, and it helps you lift 200 pounds with minimal effort. The other you teleoperate in VRwhile wearing motion-capturing clothing. Weld, cut, lift, bolt ... you can do it all in dangerous situations from the safety of the ground, or your home. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat with Ben Wolff from Sarcos about the Guardians, how they work, and what they mean about the future of work. Links: Sarcos Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch: Contents: 0:00 Fleet of thousands 1:06 Robot avatars 2:11 Wearable robots 4:43 Merging human and machine 5:08 Where these robots work 8:41 Fine motor control 10:03 Power supply 10:58 Range of motion 13:30 Robots & work in 5 years
September 8, 2021
Photonic computing questions answered: Lightmatter CEO
Four months ago I interviewed Lightmatter CEO Nick Harris on his photonic supercomputer. There are now almost 400K view and 2,600 comments ... with lots of questions. In this episode, Harris answers the biggest ones.  - is this real?  - does the chip do what Lightmatter says it will do?  - RGB vs CMYK?  - how do you do linear algebra with light?  - where can I get this?  - capacitance issues  - can it run DOOM?  - can it run Crysis?  - why hasn't NVIDIA done this already?  - how does this interface with quantum computing?  ... and much more. Links: Lightmatter: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:
August 30, 2021
We’re at 2% EVs. Biggest threat to 100%?
US President Biden said his goal is that 50% of cars sold in 2030 will be zero-emission vehicles: less than 9 years away. So … is that doable? Maybe, but the US needs 10X more rare earths for magnets. Currently, less than 2% of cars on American roads are electric. About 17-19M cars are sold in the US annually, and a little over 300,000 are EVs. So we’re at about 2%. One of the things you need is batteries. The other is electric drivetrains, and for that you need rare earths for magnets: neodymium,  praseodymium, dysprosium, and terbium. Plus, of course, lithium for batteries. It't not just electric cars ... the F-35 fighter jet needs a ton of rare earths. Wind power requires it, and so do batteries that power energy storage for green economy plans. In fact, according to Pini Althaus, CEO of USA Rare Earth, the U.S. needs 10X more by 2030, and maybe 25X more by 2050. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Buy $SMRT to join a community focused on tech for good: the emerging world of smart matter. Access my private Slack, get your name in my book, suggest speakers for TechFirst ... and support my work. TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Subscribe to the podcast: Full videos: Keep in touch: 0:00 USA electric vehicle goals 2:00 Rare earths 5:06 China and rare earths 6:59 How much do we need? 10:50 Increasing production of rare earths 12:28 Environmental concerns 14:08 How China secures resources 15:24 Is there enough in the US? 17:41 National security implications
August 27, 2021
Tesla Bot: Elon Musk reveals humanoid Tesla robot which is apparently not a joke
Presumably Tesla isn’t busy enough building “full self driving” or cars that have half-year waitlists for new buyers. (Or worse: anyone wondering where Cybertruck is?) Now CEO Elon Musk has revealed a new project: Tesla Bot. Tesla Bot is a 125 pound 5’8” humanoid robot. Launch goal: some time next year. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Subscribe to the podcast: Full videos: Keep in touch:
August 20, 2021
New AI supercomputer + 100 new AI faculty at University of Florida
What could an AI-focused 22nd most powerful supercomputer in the world and 100 new AI faculty do for the University of Florida? I chat with UF provost Dr. Joseph Glover and NVIDIA's Cheryl Martin about what they're planning. Short version: massive impact. We're talking AI-driven climate change research, medical research and infusing artificial intelligence throughout the entire curriculum of a massive university that graduates 10,000 students annually. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Subscribe to the podcast: Full videos: Keep in touch:
August 18, 2021
How big is gaming now? 7 mobile games now make over $100 Million every month
There are now seven mobile games that pull in over $100 million in an average month, according to a new App Annie report. And 810 scoop up more than $1 million every month. In 2019? Only two made over $100 million/month. In other words, mobile gaming is huge and massive and still growing fast ... 16X faster revenue growth than PC/Mac gaming and home console gaming. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: App Annie's report: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Subscribe to the podcast: Full videos: Keep in touch:
August 11, 2021
Are holographic displays the future of the metaverse?
If I had a dollar for every 3D startup that has failed, I'd probably have ... a few hundred bucks. Getting no-glasses no-headset 3D right is insanely difficult. But Look Glass Factory CEO Shawn Frayne says he's done it. It's shipping now, and I have friends who say it's the best thing they've ever seen. He's been working on it for literally half his life ... and it has the potential to revolutionize photography, memories, and maybe more. Think collaborative work in 3D. Think your everyday monitor being 3D capable.  Or stop thinking. Just watch. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:  0:00 Road to hell 1:32 Marty McFly and holograms 2:48 Why does holography matter? 4:35 Sponsored by $SMRT coin 5:31 3D is the next major paradigm shift 8:15 4K and 8K holographic displays 10:36 Interactivity 11:45 How the 3D tech works 14:49 Getting your photos into Looking Glass 15:55 Future of holography
August 11, 2021
Retail got Amazoned. Is that GOOD news for microbrands?
Amazon is the beast, the bear, the devil that controls over half of digital retail in America. And they've copied successful products for Amazon Essentials ... because they see all the data. But could that be a great thing for brands? Perch has raised over $900 million to buy, build, and grow microbrands, mostly on Amazon. And executive Mike Frekey is pretty pumped about it, calling Amazon the largest platform brands have at their disposal for growth. We chat about the future of retail, e-commerce, direct-to-consumer (DTC), and what Amazon is becoming. Also about shadow ratings on Amazon, advertising on Amazon and if that's pay-to-play, microbrands and their future, and much, much more. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Guest: Perch Sponsor: Serial Marketers  TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Full videos: Keep in touch: 0:00 Largest platform for growth 1:31 Microbrands at scale 3:57 Sponsored by Serial Marketers 4:30 Future of retail 6:10 Retail employees = engineers 8:15 Invisible Amazon product ratings 9:38 What is Amazon for brands? 13:50 Amazon Ads: Pay to play? 18:44 The future of brands
August 2, 2021
Is AI a bionic arm for the work we hate?
Will AI replace us, or make us better? According to AI expert Slater Victoroff, AI is a bionic arm that's going to make us better and faster, whether we're a doctor, lawyer, data scientist, builder, carpenter, or care aide. I also chat the Victoroff, the CTO and co-founder of Indico, about what work will look like in the future, how much white collar and blue collar work will get taken over by AI and robotics, and how we're using AI now for work ... and will be in the future. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Indico: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Subscribe to the podcast:  Keep in touch:  Contents: 0:00 Work in a decade 1:00 AI in work today 3:50 GPT-3 and general AI 5:10 The human work "black box" 8:30 General AI and a personal Jarvis 13:11 An "AI lawyer" is not an AI lawyer 16:22 Enterprise AI adoption 19:24 AI and job loss
July 23, 2021
eSports stars are now using AI-designed physical fitness workouts to be better, faster, smarter
Mashing those buttons may not take massive muscles. But long-term success in eSports takes physical and mental fitness. At least according to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive star JW, a member of the Fnatic esports team. With other eSports stars he's been working out with Freeletics, an AI-powered fitness program. The biggest benefit? Faster, clearer thinking, JW says. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Full videos: Keep in touch:
July 17, 2021
Manipulating the sine wave of electricity with software
Smart electricity startup Amber just signed a significant agreement with German giant Infineon to bring its technology closer to market. Amber's tech is a solid state solution for managing and controlling electricity, including transforming AC to DC. That makes electricity software controllable: a 100-year leap in technology. "By controlling the sine wave electricity and you can chop it and dice it and slice it and you can manipulate it and you can even turn it to a straight line DC by with the elimination of electrolytics, magnetics, transformers, relays, rectifiers ... that's mind-boggling to a lot of electrical engineers," says founder and CEO Thar Casey. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Amber: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Full videos: Keep in touch:
July 14, 2021
Million Doge Disco = Pokemon Go + blockchain + NFTs + partying + augmented reality + fun
Throw everything cool and techy in a blender and what do you get? Million Doge Disco. It's an augmented reality game similar to Pokemon Go with NFTs ✅ and blockchain ✅ and augmented reality  ✅  and partying  ✅  and Tamagotchi  ✅  and Dogecoin  ✅  and ... free money. Or free Dogecoin, at least. One million free Dogecoin.  Which you have to capture, then dance with, and babysit while they increase in value. Yes, it's insane. And so is (in a good way!) its founder and CEO Gary Lachance, who co-created the Distributed Dance Party and sees gaming as a way to bring about world peace. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Million Doge Disco: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Full videos: Keep in touch:
July 8, 2021
Wearable tech ... isn't really wearable. This smart fabric startup aims to change that
There's a dirty little secret of most wearable tech, and the dirty little secret is ... it's not actually wearable. It's strappable, it's mountable.  It's not actually something that you wear in any traditional meaning of that word. One startup in New York, however, is trying to change that. Imagine smart thread woven right into all of your clothing -- no straps, no attachments, just clothing and data. To chat more and learn more, I'm talking to the CEO and founder of Nextiles, George Sun. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Nextiles: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Full videos: Keep in touch:
June 30, 2021
Building autonomous robots 10X faster with 3D printing and a modular robotics platform
What if building a robot was like picking options on a car? I'll have the vision module, the speech module ... better give me a wheeled transportation package for this one, a flying navigation module for that one ... I'll take LIDAR and a natural vision module ... and so on ... Ohmnilabs offers an modular robotics platform that lets companies configure autonomous robots. They have customers like Google, Amazon, Apple, and Toyota, and they 3D print components so you can test new versions quickly. The idea: pick your hardware, pick your software, build your robot. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I chat with Ohmnilabs' CEO Thuc Vu about how it works, what's possible, and how much faster/better/cheaper this model is ...  Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Ohmnilabs: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:
June 23, 2021
Wristcam is the only camera available for Apple Watch (and yes, it works just like Dick Tracy's communicator)
Whether you want to be Dick Tracy or you want to just not take your phone on a hike, there is now a solution: Wristcam. It's the only camera available globally for Apple Watch, and I got a sample to test. I also spent some time with the CEO and CMO of Wristcam chatting about what it does, how it works, what quality people can expect, and whether it's a boat anchor on your wrist. You can take pictures, video, and yes ... even video chat live with Wristcam. Links: Wristcam: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Full videos: Keep in touch:  0:00 What is Wristcam? 2:02 Sample video and pics 4:33 Live demo 6:58 The technology 11:02 Feature - live video 12:53 Future of wearable video
June 17, 2021
Drone delivery is here. Right now. For real. And it's awesome.
Next-day delivery? Same-day delivery? Super-lame. What about 5-minute delivery? That's Manna from heaven ... or manna from drones. Manna is running autonomous drone delivery right now in Galway, Ireland, and has the licenses in place to take the service across Europe and maybe Canada. This tiny startup is beating Amazon to the immediate delivery punch in Europe. And the US? That's a problem: regulation is way, way, way behind. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I chat with Bobby Healy, CEO of Manna, about drone delivery, how it works, what it's accomplishing right now, and how soon you might see it in your backyard. Plus, what drone delivery as a service means for the future of commerce. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Manna: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Full videos: Keep in touch:
June 12, 2021
iOS 15 at WWDC: the future of health unveiled in beta
Medical AI has a bright future. Apple’s focus on health data collected by wearable technology and new capabilities for streaming that data to doctors just guaranteed it. I just posted to my Forbes column, and here's a few expanded thoughts on what we just saw at Apple's World Wide Developer Conference. Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Full videos: Keep in touch:
June 7, 2021
They made the first-ever NBA championship ring NFT. Cool enough to go all Beeple on the world?
If we thought crypto was polarizing, NFTs are 10X worse. Are they cool? Are they awesome? Are they nonsense? Are they a cash grab? Are they even anything real at all?  Well, even the Olympics have NFTs. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I chat with Harrison Schulman and Francisco Lopez, both co-founders of one of the newest NFT marketplaces, New Renaissance. New Renaissance is the first to create an NFT out of a major sports championship icon ... in this case, Danny Green's NBA championship ring. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Coin holders get exclusive access to $SMRT Space TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Full videos:  Keep in touch:
June 4, 2021
Would you pay $60/month to be 20% smarter?
Humm is a small grey patch you wear on your forehead that boosts the normal electrical signals in your prefrontal cortex, making you learn faster, retain memories longer, and assimilate complex data quicker.  In research studies, subjects had a 20% boost in cognitive abilities. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I interview Humm CEO Iain McIntyre. We talk about what Humm is, how it works, the benefits it provides, how he's planning to take it to market ... and why McIntyre (a dual law and physics major) is in this business at all. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Humm: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Full videos: Keep in touch:
May 26, 2021
No pilot, no problem: This startup just announced level 4 drone autonomy
Pilot free level 4 drone autonomy? Exyn Technologies says they've achieved it, and in this episode we chat with CEO Nader Elm. Topics: what drone autonomy means, what level 4 looks like, and, crucially, what this unlocks for search, rescue, research, security, surveillance, inspection, delivery, and many more drone operations. According to Exyn, this is no longer point-to-point flight, but open exploration flight at double the speed with a smoother flight path and higher quality data accuracy. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Exyn: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Full videos:  Keep in touch: 
May 20, 2021
App Annie CEO Ted Krantz on iOS 14.5, super apps, mobile ecosystem consolidation, and more
iOS 14.5 is perhaps the biggest change in the mobile ecosystem in a decade.  While most iPhone owners might not see that much change, for the first time they are getting a choice about whether they allow adtech companies and brands to track them around the internet. For the first five years of mobile, anyone who wanted it got our hard-coded UDID, or universal device identifiers. After about 2010, anyone who wanted got our IDFAs, or identifiers for advertisers. There was an opt-out, but few saw it. Now, we'll all be asked for permission to track, like GDPR cookie notifications on the web.. App Annie CEO Ted Krantz and I chat about what that means for apps, companies, and people. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: App Annie: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Full videos: Keep in touch:
May 10, 2021
1 million creator coins are coming. Here's how they work
Imagine the ability to have a say in who I interview next. Imagine owning a token from your favorite creator or artist that gives you special access or a closer connection. Now imagine it’s a currency that can grow as the community does. And can be used to purchase goods and services ... or even exchanged for US dollars That’s a creator coin. Recently raised $57M to make literally a million of them. Including #SMRT​ coin, which is my creator coin. In this episode of TechFirst I interview Bremner Morris, former Patreon executive and now chief marketing officer of Links: #SMRT coin: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Full videos: Keep in touch:
May 3, 2021
New AirPod earbuds ... or hearing aids? Signia Active is hearing aids without shame
Would you feel awkward wearing hearing aids? About 20% of people have hearing loss. But only a third of them will actually wear hearing aids. Too many people just don't want the stigma of hearing aids. (Or all those finicky wires!) But what if they looked just like regular earbuds? Like for example, Signia Actives. They look just like regular earbuds, and they adapt to different listening needs on the fly via an app. Noisy room? There's a setting for that. Music? No problem. Need to hear what’s in front or behind? Just change a setting. Need to hear what someone’s saying through a mask? There's a mode for that. Need more volume? Less? Just turn a dial via the provided app. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Signia Active: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Full videos: Keep in touch:
April 27, 2021
Blue Ocean Robotics: the world's only robotics venture factory?
Do you have to reinvent the wheel every time you build a robot? Or can you reuse significant components of functionality like vision, navigation, manual dexterity, and control software? It turns out that the answer is that you don't have to continually reinvent the wheel. And the result of asking that question was the creation of what might be the world’s first robot venture factory In, of course, Odense, Denmark, an island with perhaps the world’s greatest density of robotic startups and creators. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: Blue Ocean Robotics: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Full videos: Keep in touch:
April 21, 2021
The X Shore electric boat is the Tesla of the sea
The X Shore Eelex 8000 cruises 20 hours on battery power. It knows when you fall overboard, it won't go beyond geo-fences that you set up. It offers autopilot and it goes 35 knots or 65 kilometers an hour flat out.  It has a modular design and will save you about $800 every time you "fuel up" In this episode of tech first, we're chatting with Jenny Keisu, the CEO of X Shore, which has just released the ELX 8,000 electric boat and raised $17 million to bring it to a harbor near you. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: X Shore: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns:  Full videos:  Keep in touch: 
April 16, 2021
Twitter spaces versus Clubhouse: access vs ego?
Clubhouse is the hot new social audio star. But Twitter Spaces is available to 30X the audience out of the box … and draws on a social graph you already own. Does that mean it’s the new winner just waiting to be crowned? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I chat with Paul Armstrong, CEO and founder of Here/Forth … and owner of the very first sponsored show on Twitter Spaces … sponsored by a Fortune 500 global brand, too yet. At least, as far as Armstrong knows. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Full videos: Keep in touch:
April 13, 2021
Fight Camp: chatting with former US national boxing team member Tommy Duquette about boxing and his smart gloves
Punching something is probably a good way of blowing off steam, as long as it's an inanimate object and you're not hurting anyone. It's also a surprisingly good workout. In this episode I try out Fight Camp's smart boxing fitness program and chat with the founder, former US National Team member Tommy Duquette ... now founder and CEO of Fight Camp. Links: Support TechFirst with $SMRT coins: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Full videos: Keep in touch:
April 8, 2021
Beating Moore's Law: This photonic computer is 10X faster than NVIDIA GPUs using 90% less energy
Moore's Law is dead, right? Not if we can get working photonic computers. Lightmatter is building a photonic computer for the biggest growth area in computing right now, and according to CEO Nick Harris, it can be ordered now and will ship at the end of this year. It's already much faster than traditional electronic computers a neural nets, machine learning for language processing, and AI for self-driving cars. It's the world's first general purpose photonic AI accelerator, and with light multiplexing -- using up to 64 different colors of light simultaneously -- there's long path of speed improvements ahead. Links: TechFirst transcripts: Forbes columns: Full videos: Keep in touch:
April 5, 2021
Are shared virtual experiences the future of meetings and work?
I take a virtual tour of a virtual learning environment from The Leadership Network based on a collaboration they're doing with Toyota. Is this the future, or is it more like Microsoft Mesh's rich, textured, augmented reality? There's probably multiple modalities for the future of meetings and collaborative remote work. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I get a tour of TLN's Gemba VR learning and training environment, and compare it to Microsoft Mesh. Episode links: The Leadership Network:  TechFirst transcripts: Keep in touch: Forbes columns: Full videos:
March 30, 2021
Synthetic humans: is the future of fashion fake?
We have synthetic humans earning millions as influencers and models who are created by a computer. What’s driving this … and where’s it all going? To dig in, we’re chatting with Tyler Lastovich, who leads strategy at Generated Photos. Generated Photos makes realistic faces via AI: generative adversarial networks. They're growing incredibly fast, count most major gaming companies as their customers, and are talking to major social media outlets as well. The market right now is for synthetic models and characters, but in the future is probably as large as the world: avatars for all of us in an augmented reality and virtual reality world. We chat about the growth, the implications, the ethical considerations, and much, much more. Episode links: TechFirst transcripts: Keep in touch: Forbes columns: Full videos:
March 29, 2021
A computer for your brain? Neurosity releases the Crown to boost productivity
Would you wear a computer on your head? In public? What if it made you more productive? Today on TechFirst with John Koetsier we’re chatting with Alex Castillo of  Neurosity, which just released the Crown. It's a brain-sensing computer you wear like a hat, and which … one day … may be a hat. Or … inserted under your skull like Elon Musk's Neuralink. Episode links: Neurosity: TechFirst transcripts: Keep in touch:  Forbes columns:
March 25, 2021
Imagine 80 million self-driving trucks. Nuport Robotics wants to make every truck autonomous
Nuport Robotics just landed a deal with Canada's largest retailer, Canadian Tire, and the Canadian government to test its self-driving truck capability. The technology uses lidar, cameras, and radar to guide trucks. And the company has a vision to make every truck self-driving ... not just brand-new ones coming right out of the factory. That's a big deal, because there's about 80 million trucks on the planet right now that don't have self-driving capability. And transport companies aren't going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for new trucks just for some new tech. Not, at least, if they can get it aftermarket. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I chat with the CEO of Nuport, Raghavender Sahdev, about how his solution works, and what their new project with Canadian Tire means. Episode links: TechFirst transcripts: Nuport: Keep in touch:  Forbes columns:
March 23, 2021
Why Clubhouse is winning … and can Facebook and Twitter catch up, with Josh Constine
Clubhouse is the media darling of the social audio world ... the hot date. Why? And … can Facebook and Twitter catch up? To get some answers, we’re chatting with Josh Constine. He's a former TechCrunch writer and editor-at-large who is now a venture capitalist at SignalFire. And ... Josh Constine is a Clubhouse influencer with 3.5M+ followers. Episode links: TechFirst transcripts (in about a week): Keep in touch: Forbes columns: Full videos:
March 19, 2021
Google’s new Nest Hub is the sleep tracker I want
Can you think a sleep tracker you haven't even tried might just be the best sleep tracker ever? Apparently yes. But hear me out ... there's reasons :-) Episode links: TechFirst transcripts (in about a week): Keep in touch: Forbes columns: Full videos: Forbes story:
March 17, 2021
'The Future Starts Now' book: 18 futurists collaborate on visions of tomorrow
Late in 2019 two Theo Priestly and Bronwyn Williams brought together 18 futurists to share visions of tomorrow. I'm super-pumped to have a chapter in the book on our need for an AR cloud commons, and it's coming out in about a month. (Can't wait!) Now that book is available for pre-order. In this episode of TechFirst we chat with a number of those futurists and get some sneak peeks at what's coming. Plus, of course, chat with the editors: Theo and Bronwyn. In this podcast, beside those editors and me:  - Kristina Libby  - Nikolas Badminton  - Andrew Vorster  - Doug Vining  - Duena Blomstrom Note: I don't make any money if you buy the book :-) Episode links: The book: TechFirst transcripts (in about a week): Keep in touch: Forbes columns: Full videos:
March 13, 2021
This smart contact lens packs 14,000 pixels per inch into its micro-LED display
What is the future of technology? Mobile is the thing right now, but augmented/mixed/virtual reality via headsets and smartglasses is coming But what about moving the tech right onto our body ... on our eyes ... with a smart contact lens. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier we’re chatting with former Google and Apple exec, now SVP for Mojo Vision, Steve Sinclair about smart contact lenses. Episode links: TechFirst transcripts (in about a week): Keep in touch: Forbes columns: Full videos:
March 11, 2021
Clubhouse. Twitter Spaces. Facebook. What is happening in social audio right now, with Jeremiah Owyang
Social audio is having a moment. We're seeing an explosion of players in the space: up to 30 at analyst and thought leader Jeremiah Owyang's last count. And that's just the beginning. We'll see an explosion of hundreds of apps in social audio shortly, says Owyang. I caught up with Jeremiah recently to chat about social audio: why it's hot, what's happening, what's driving this trend, who the key players are, why it's here to stay, and what innovation this new sector will give birth to. Episode links: TechFirst transcripts (in about a week): Keep in touch: Forbes columns: Full videos: Jeremiah Owyang:
March 3, 2021
Is Elon Musk wrong about LIDAR in self-driving cars? This autonomous driving exec says yes ...
Do self-driving cars need LIDAR? Elon Musk says no, but most other experts say yes. And we’re going to talk to one of them today Omer Keilaf, founder and CEO, Innoviz, who supplies lidar for BMW and other manufacturers, says LIDAR is essential, because water or mud or dust can disrupt visual sensors. And, of course, all this is happening in an era when LIDAR is getting so cheap we can have it in our phones. Right now it's at $1000 for automotive uses; that's coming down to $100 or even less. Episode links: TechFirst transcripts (in about a week): Keep in touch: Forbes columns: Full videos:
February 26, 2021
Robot spas, here we come: the LUUM lash extension robot in action
Would you let a robot make you prettier? The LUUM lash extension robot could soon do all kind of spa treatments ... and even do hair transplants. We have robot surgery, robot manufacturing … so why not robot aestheticians? Or … lash artists? I wouldn’t know from personal experience, but getting fake lashes takes 2-3 hours. A new robot can do it in just 30 minutes ... snd could eventually do everything from makeup to hair transplants. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat with Philippe Sanchez, CEO of LUUM, and we watch his robot apply fake lashes to a client. Episode links: TechFirst transcripts (in about a week): Keep in touch: Forbes columns: Full videos:
February 18, 2021
How Google is making the entire world smart, one jacket, t-shirt, and shoe at a time ...
In this episode of TechFirst we chat with Google director of engineering Ivan Poupyrev. He's making the world smart, starting with clothing (we buy 150 billion items of clothing a year, according to one estimate) released with Google's Jacquard technology. That's going to help us all move beyond screens and make technology ambient in our lives, not central, he believes. But the vision extends beyond clothing to every object in our worlds. Join this chat to see what Poupyrev is working on, and how he sees the world in 10 years. Episode links: TechFirst transcripts (in about a week): Keep in touch:  Forbes columns:  Google Jacquard:
February 14, 2021
$100 trillion of annual commerce is at risk. Can quantum computing save us?
Digital security sucks, and it’s about to get much worse. The question is: can quantum computing save us? In this episode of TechFirst I chat with Quantropi CEO James Nguyen, who has built the world's first non-photonic quantum key distribution over the Internet. He says that quantum computing is the next foundation of computing, period. And functioning, fast cryptography will open up our ability to use it, just like the internet unlocked PCs in the 90s. At stake? $100 trillion in annual commerce. Global national security. Safety in internet of things devices. Medical privacy. And much, much, more. Episode links: TechFirst transcripts (in about a week): Keep in touch: Forbes columns:
February 10, 2021
This startup prints camera lenses like computer chips, 5000 at a time, with full EM spectrum sensing
A new startup out of Harvard Labs has invented a way to print camera lenses 5,000 at a time just like computer chips, and in the same semiconductor foundries that make our computer’s CPUs. They’re 100X thinner than standard smartphone camera lenses, are simpler and cheaper to make, sense the full electromagnetic spectrum — not just visible light — and have excellent 3D-sensing capabilities that could bring Lidar-based dimensional sensing functionality that’s currently only on high-end phones like the iPhone 12 to smartphones across the price spectrum. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I interview Metalenz co-founder Rob Devlin.
February 4, 2021
Veteran to janitor to physicist: how Josh Carroll changed his life with YouTube
Could you learn trigonometry in 3 weeks if your life depended on it? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier we chat with Josh Carroll, who volunteered with the US Army after 9/11 before he finished high school,  did 3 tours of duty in Afghanistan, then came back and worked, among other jobs, as a high school janitor. In the library of the high school he was cleaning he found A Brief History of Time, by Dr. Stephen Hawking, and rediscovered his love of science. Then he taught himself advanced math via YouTube on his path to becoming a physicist ... Want more? Full transcript will be here: Follow on Twitter: Watch the video on YouTube:
February 3, 2021
Biden’s Peloton vs national security: the danger of smart products to all of us (and our leaders)
Biden’s Peloton vs national security: what’s risky about the president of the US using a Peloton or a Fitbit? And ... what does that mean for the rest of us? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat with ex-googler Ben Barokas, founder and CEO of Sourcepoint, who is now running a privacy-focused company for, as he puts it "the sins" of his prior jobs in adtech.
January 29, 2021
The bank of nature? A stock exchange for trees, swamps, and biodiversity is tokenizing the planet
Can forests be banks?  A new venture capital group is buying forests and wetlands. But they’re not cutting down the trees or starting farms ... they’re monetizing nature by selling carbon offsets, and looking to see increased value in the underlying assets. The goal for land owners? The ability to do nothing while making money. In other words, NOT cutting down the trees, NOT putting in a mine, NOT draining the wetlands. The goal for businesses and people? The ability to buy carbon offsets ... and invest in the bank of nature. Full transcript coming at:
January 25, 2021
Interstellar travel via propellant-less propulsion: The Mach Drive that NASA is funding
Imagine a "rocket" that only uses electricity. Have a ragtag group of physicists and engineers exploited a little-known feature of Einstein's equations to built a true propellant-less space drive that doesn't require reaction mass ... just electricity? James Woodward, physics professor emeritus at Fullerton, thinks so. NASA has funded new research into it, and the result if successful would be the ultimate EV ... an electric vehicle that not only can propel a space ship to the planets and the stars, but also lift off out of gravity wells like Earth's.
January 18, 2021
YouTube #1 creator PewDiePie is coming to Facebook
PewDiePie is the top creator on YouTube, with over 107M subscribers and 26B views. Now he’s coming to Facebook, and we’re chatting with the cofounder of the company making it happen. Jellysmack is an influencer platform whose creators have a combined 10 billion monthly video views and reaches 125M unique viewers just in the United States. Co-founder Michael Philippe chats with us about bringing PewDiePie to the platform: why, how, what content, what's changing, what's not, and who he thinks PewDiePie's fans will be on Facebook. We also chat about the changing media/creator/influencer landscape, and what this is growing into.
January 12, 2021
Infosec is the new war. Big tech is ground zero. Chatting with Twitter's chief information security officer and Info-Tech Research Group
We’re in a crazy, complex, almost alternate reality now. We see hacking from nation-states, hacking from criminals, hacking for fun, hacking for profit ... and there's probably worse that we don't see. In that context, how does a Chief Information Security Officer function? We chat with Twitter's CISO Rinki Sethi and Info-Tech Research Group analyst Frank Sargent about information security in 2021. Topics:  - Russia  - SolarWinds Orion and Supernova hacks  - Big tech  - Social engineering  - US elections Most importantly, we talk about the stakes if we don't get this right ... to our power systems, to our government processes, to our military secrets, and to the companies that run the infrastructure that our lives depend on.
January 4, 2021
How do we make drones as smart as birds or bats? How Intel’s Loihi chip is 100Xing drone capability
Intel's Loihi chip is a neuromorphic chip which tries to emulate the human brain. As far as we've come with convention computing, we are still way behind tiny organisms like insects and birds at understanding the world and adapting to it. Now Intel is applying neuromorphic computing to autonomous drones: drones that can fly themselves at high speed in challenging, obstacle-filled environments. To do, essentially, what birds and bats and even tiny-brained insects can already do with ease. How? Partially, thanks to the Loihi chip,  which implements probabilistic computing to deal with uncertainty and ambiguity in in the natural world.  We chat with Mike Davies, who leads Intel's neuromorphic computing lab about how it all works ... Full transcript will be here: My guest works at Intel: And you can watch the full video on my YouTube channel here: 
December 22, 2020
Battery-free IoT: this bluetooth-based tag harvests energy from radio waves
The internet of things sounds great, but has huge issues. Ubiquity is one. Battery power is another. Cost of sensors -- and sensing tech to sense the sensors -- is another. But perhaps ... we're about to solve all the problems. Wiliot makes a super-smart ARM-based chip with onboard sensors that harvests energy from environmental radio waves to enable battery-free IoT. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, I interview Stephen Statler, a senior VP at Wiliot. The chip uses a custom-built operating system operating on nanowatt power and communicates to the cloud via standard Bluetooth. Cost looks to be an order of magnitude cheaper than RFiD. We chat about what it can sense, how it works, what the use cases are, and much more. Links:  - transcript:  - Wiliot:  - Stephen Statler's podcast, Mr Beacon:
December 17, 2020
Deus ex machina: how AI is reshaping us and our world
Think about it: AI chooses your next song in Spotify, your next video in YouTube, your next news item in Flipboard, which updates from friends and family you see on Facebook, and more. Recently I had the opportunity to moderate a discussion between three AI experts: Danny Lange, who led AI at Uber and Amazon before jumping to Unity; Beena Ammanath, Executive Director of Deloitte AI Institute and Founder of Humans for AI; Cindy Gordon, CEO of SalesChoice and a writer at Forbes. We chatted about: How much impact AI has today Surveillance capitalism Reality bubbles Inclusion and normalization of bias Deepfakes and identifying what is real Building responsible AI Please enjoy … along with a new intro style and new intro music!
December 15, 2020
Quantum computing, quantum supremacy, and a new Quantum Moore's Law with D-Wave CEO Alan Baratz
What changes when quantum computing is mainstream? Quantum computing is on the far reaches of science, using technology that accesses aspects of matter at quantum scales where physics almost overlaps with magic.  Classical computing is simple: deterministic. You have something, or you have nothing. Quantum computing is complex: you can have something, or nothing, or both something and nothing at the same time. If that’s hard to wrap your head around, you’re in good company. Even Richard Feyman, 1965 Nobel Laureate in Physics and one of the founders of quantum computing famously said, “I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics.” But we’re seeing major advancements in quantum computing today. You can now write a program and deploy it on quantum computers from anywhere. And D-Wave says that it's doubling qubits every 2 years. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier we’re chatting with Alan Baratz, president and CEO of D-Wave.
December 10, 2020
iPhone 12 Pro's lidar enables 100X faster 3D scanning than conventional photogrammetry
There’s a brand-new sensor in the iPhone 12 Pro, and it’s a big clue about the future of technology.  Already just 1 month after iPhone 12 launch, the phone accounts for 5% of new uploads to Sketchfab, the largest global platform for immersive and interactive 3D models. It's much faster, high-quality especially at room-scale, but not the best at small-scale objects. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat with Alban Denoyal, the CEO of Sketchfab about why. And about the implications of 3D scanning: where it's used, what it can do, and what it's changing in augmented reality, mixed reality, VR, and more.
December 7, 2020
From phone to Star Trek tricorder: This company is working with Qualcomm to put a spectrometer in your phone
I've always wanted a Star Trek tricorder ... a mobile sensor unit that tells you all about the world around you. (Who doesn't?) Now a company in Germany, Trinamix, has partnered with Qualcomm to deliver mobile spectroscopy in mobile phones. No attachments required. All onboard your smartphone. The first applications are in skin care and cosmetics, but the tech can also sense what is on your plate to help you record your diet, or tell you the composition of just about anything around you. In this edition of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat with Dr. Wilfried Hermes, the director of IR sensing for Trinamix.
December 3, 2020
Deepfakes, synthetic humans, and the future of stardom with cofounder Dima Shvets
Do deepfakes foreshadow the fall of civilization and the end of all truth? Or are they just good fun?  Or is there a third possibility: that they're the foundation of a massive new opportunity to experience what could never be real (for most of us) and a massive new opportunity (for influencers and stars) to essentially become a merger of real person and synthetic being in millions of ways in dozens of languages for billions of people ... simultaneously. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier we chat with Dima Shvets, one of the cofounders of, the viral app with almost 70 million installs. We kick off with the app growth story. We move into the deepfake controversy. And we end with Dima's vision of the future: a merge of real and synthetic beings for brands, stars, and influencers. Video: Transcript:
November 30, 2020
Are robot chefs the future of food? From Flippy, the burger-making robot, to home cooking, robo-style
Are robot chefs the future of food? We chat with Buck Jordan, the cofounder of Miso Robotics, which makes Flippy … the robot that cooks. We talk about the future of robots in restaurant kitchens, whether this is killing jobs or not, what's available now and what's coming next. We also chat about home kitchens: whether we'll get robots to cook all our food in our homes ... and when that might be affordable. Buck's project: that's about 10 years away.
November 26, 2020
Apple GateKeeper: Macs phone home whenever they open an app ... but one hacker's blog post forced the world's largest corporate to change course
Did you know your computer transmits a log of every single app you open? Apple has made privacy a core part of the brand -- including entire TV commercials dedicated to it -- but as a self-described hacker and security researcher recently found, every Mac sends a stream of data about every app you open (and more) to Apple. And ... sends it unencrypted. And … bypasses any local VPN software you’ve installed. In this edition of TechFirst with John Koetsier we're chatting with Jeffrey Paul, the hacker who found and wrote about the problem. We chat with him about why Apple did this, who else could see the data, what Apple's changing, and what this means for the future of computers. (Hint: it's not great.)
November 24, 2020
Former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold on taking the world's highest-res snowflake photographs and more ...
Former Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold spent 18 months building a custom 100MP camera to take pictures of snowflakes. We chat with him about why :-) and how, which includes equipment from Japan and Canada and trips to Alaska and Yellowknife and Timmons, Ontario. Myhrvold also chats about what drives him to continue inventing and learning. He's a polymath, and while best known for being the CTO of Microsoft, he's the founder of Intellectual Ventures, has more than 850 patents to his name, and has written 1000s of pages of recipes for his cookbook series … published peer-reviewed research on planetary science plus written about paleontology … climate science … and worked with Stephen Hawking on quantum theories of gravitation. We also learn about Nathan Myrvold's latest project: a massive high-resolution picture of the Milky Way galaxy.
November 21, 2020
Robots and AI can 10X e-commerce shipping productivity. But are they also better for workers?
In the future, most work might be done by robots, but right now, most is done by humans. How do we manage the transition? And, what does a humans + robots economy look like? In this episode of TechFirst I chat with Lior Elazary, CEO of inVia Robotics.  Questions we discuss: - What is robotics as a service (RaaS)? - How can you ultimately get the best contributions out of what humans can do and what robots can provide? - What kinds of productivity gains are you seeing from robots? - What size of warehouse works best? - Does this change how big warehouses need to be? - What are we learning now about the future of automation? - How do you see the world of work in 10-20 years?
November 17, 2020
The future of farms is vertical: 400X more yield, 95% less water, 99% less space
Is AI, robotics, and … verticality … about to change farming as we know it? In this episode of TechFirst we chat with Nate Storey, the cofounder and chief science officer of Plenty. Plenty grows food vertically, indoors, anywhere on the planet. A 2-acre Plenty farm produces as much food as a 750-acre traditional "flat farm." We chat about how Plenty uses AI and robotics to increase yield, what crops Plenty offers and will offer, and the company's plans for expansion.
November 13, 2020
From Bali with love: this meditation app with 17M users has a unique approach to making money
In an era of massive budgets, invasive ads, buy now subscription models, and incessant noise, can the good guys still win? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat about Insight Timer. You’ve never heard of Insight Timer, but it’s ranked higher than TikTok, Facebook, Netflix, and Twitter for session durations, it has 5X the retention of better-known competitors like Calm, and it has 17M users. All of which it achieve while spending $0 on marketing. And abiding by a "no selling" policy. To learn how Insight Timer is changing the world one stressed person at a time, we’re chatting with CEO and cofounder Christopher Plowman.
November 13, 2020
Is Google cheating YouTube creators?
An alleged YouTube bug has retroactively taken thousands of dollars in revenue away from YouTube creators. YouTube, however, has neither acknowledged the problem nor provide details to YouTubers who rely on the platform for income. “There are people who can’t feed their families and pay their bills ... one girl I have been talking to ... had a breakdown,” Randy Lynch, who runs the Mid-South Slots YouTube channel, told me via Messenger. “[YouTube] admitted it was a bug, then backtracked, blamed us, and shut down all communication with us eight days ago.”
November 10, 2020
Fixing US elections: Can digital voting and blockchain save us?
The 2020 US presidential election is insane and, frankly, proves that current election “tech” is trash. Days later we still don’t know who won for sure, and there’s plenty of allegations of fraud or miscounts, plus plenty of legal challenges already. Can digital voting fix that? Can blockchain help? To dig in we’re chatting with Tim Goggin, CEO of Horizon State. Horizon says they offer “fair, transparently verifiable, and ultra-secure voting” via blockchain technologies.
November 6, 2020
Connecting rhinos to the internet of things via space ...
Is space the future of IoT? Australia-based Myriota has the world’s first low power, ultra-low cost global internet of things solution from space.  In this episode of TechFirst, we're chatting with VP of Engineering Steve Winnall about the company's 20-pound suitcase-sized satellites and its ground-based IoT modules, which cost on the order of hundreds of dollars. The company's modules are used for wind farms, good-old-fashioned food farms, ships in the ocean ... and even rhinos in Africa.
November 4, 2020
Fraud in this Russian-owned app targets US election swing states ...
A ad fraud scheme dubbed Matryoshka is preferentially targeting U.S. swing states in a reportedly Russian-owned mobile app that has historically been linked with white supremacism content, according to an ad fraud vendor. Matryoshka, of course, are nesting Russian dolls. The theft is of both advertisers’ dollars and users’ private data, mostly in the United States. Data that the Matryoshka fraud scheme targets is location data including longitude and latitude, device identifier data, and IP address, which can connect you to a specific neighborhood or even exact location. And while key U.S. swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin account for less than 10% of the activity in the affected app, they make up 35% of the attacks.
November 3, 2020
Starlink's internet from space is faster than 95% of US internet connection speeds
Could rural Montana be the next Silicon Valley? Check internet speed off your list of reasons why not. Even though Elon Musk’s SpaceX says its expanded “Better Than Nothing” test is still a beta version of Starlink’s eventual capabilities, at least one early Starlink internet service customer says he is getting better than expected speed. Starlink says it should give you between “50 and 150 MB/s with 20-40 milliseconds of latency.” Starlink customer “FourthEchelon19” is getting 161 megabits/second download and 23 megabits/second upload speed. In rural Montana.
November 2, 2020
Smartphones Q3 2020: Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi
Smartphone shipments dropped just 1.3% in Q3 according to a report from IDC, hitting 353.6 million: more than expected given the Covid-19 pandemic. Samsung was the largest smartphone manufacturer with shipment of 80.4 million phones. The biggest winner, however, was Xiaomi with a massive 42% growth. But its quick acceleration might be at risk.
October 30, 2020
Apple's beta software program is ... very beta right now
Apple’s beta software program provides pre-release software for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV before broad public releases to everyone. It’s for greedy, impatient people like me who want new functionality before anyone else, and and are willing to put up with a few bugs here and there. Right now there’s a lot of “here and there” going on. For the last few days, Apple’s beta software program has been notifying my iPhone that there’s a new update for iOS 14. But there actually is no such update ...
October 30, 2020
TikTok owner ByteDance is selling a smart desk lamp with a camera for kids
File this one in the didn’t-expect-that department. TikTok parent company ByteDance has launched a smart desk lamp for school kids in China. The Dali Smart Work Lamp is intended to provide a “better experience for children” doing homework with better illumination ... and constant surveillance.  (The “constant surveillance” part is not in the press release.) The Forbes story for this episode is here:
October 29, 2020
How do you digitally transform an entire government? Chatting with Oklahoma's lieutenant governor Matt Pinnell
Imagine being able to get a driver's license, pay your taxes, get a fishing license all online. And: anything you want to do with your government, you can do online. That's what the state of Oklahoma is currently doing. I chat with Matt Pinnell, OK's lieutenant governor, about how.
October 28, 2020
This AI creates movies from hundreds of smartphones automagically
Can AI combine data from hundreds or thousands of smartphones simultaneously to make great videos? IMINT algorithms are in 100s of millions of devices globally from smartphone manufacturers like Huawei, Vivo, Opportunity, Sharp, Motorola, Asus, and more.  Now the company is working on a collaborative video system that will auto-create movies from the best clips of hundreds or even thousands of people. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier we're chatting with Johan Svensson, CTO of IMINT
October 28, 2020
Starlink’s internet anywhere via SpaceX satellite: $99/month
It’s the ultimate Covid product: fast, low-latency internet anywhere on the planet for just $99 per month, plus a $500 up-front payment to get the connection kit.  As long as you’re OK with occasional blackouts. Elon Musk's Starlink is finally soft-launching in an extended public beta. See the story on Forbes here:
October 27, 2020
Facebook Gaming head talks cloud gaming: Facebook launches free cloud gaming service
Facebook is launching a cloud gaming service to compete with Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Nvidia, Stream, and all the other cloud gaming services.  In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat with head of Facebook Gaming Vivek Sharma about what makes Facebook's cloud gaming service unique and, in his opinion, better than other options.
October 26, 2020
Apple's privacy-safe tech has bugs, suggesting that iOS 14's privacy delays were for internal reasons, not ecosystem health
Apple’s iOS 14 is probably the most privacy-safe mobile operating system on the planet. But a major part of the planned functionality was delayed until 2021. At the time, Apple said the reason was that mobile developers weren’t ready yet. As it turns out, that might not be true. And Apple has now admitted that its own advertising attribution software has two major bugs. The Forbes story for this episode is here:
October 24, 2020
Apple TV+ ... actually interesting now? (And, Apple gives you 3 more free months)
Apple has extended Apple TV+ for free for three more months for customers who bought an Apple product and received their first year free. The good thing is: now there’s actually content worth watching on the service. “We’re giving you extra time to discover the latest Apple Originals and catch up on shows returning for a second season,” my email from Apple says. “You don’t have to do anything — just keep watching for free until February 2021.” I watched almost nothing on Apple TV in the first few months of free service. But that changed recently ... The Forbes story for this is here:
October 24, 2020
USA vs Google antitrust: too late, too soon, just political, or just missing the point?
This week the U.S. government filed suit against Google. Smart move, or just politics? And, which member of big tech -- Amazon, Facebook, Apple -- is next? Google is a behemoth. It owns search in English and many other languages and, with Facebook, dominates digital advertising. But is it a monopoly? And should the government have filed antitrust charges? To dive into the story, we’re chatting with Greg Sterling, VP of insights at Uberall. He's a former lawyer and journalist.
October 23, 2020
Quibi spent $63 million on ads in its short six-month life
Raising $1.75 billion wasn’t enough to make Quibi a success. Nor was a massive spend on advertising. The short-form video startup had a short six-month lifespan during which it spent at least $63 million on TV, web, and print ads, according to ad intelligence firm MediaRadar. While that’s a significant amount of money on marketing, it’s only good for fifth place in the streaming video category behind four other players: Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, and Peacock. So what did cause its ultimate failure?
October 22, 2020
44% of global eCommerce is owned by 4 Chinese companies
58% of global e-commerce is concentrated in just six companies. And just four Chinese companies account for almost half of global digital sales. Global e-commerce reached $3.4 trillion last year, according to a new report from Activate Consulting. Thousands of brands and retailers divvy up just 37% share of that, while six giants who are mostly Chinese companies vacuum up more than half of the pie.  The Forbes story for this episode is here:
October 22, 2020
97% of creators don't get paid. Cinnamon video is trying to change that ...
Cinnamon is a new video platform with a couple of unique features. First, you get paid for videos you upload. Second, it happens without ads. And third, it plans to bridge the gap between creators and viewers with a technology called Shorts that makes creators out of consumers. To get the scoop, we’re chatting with the CEO, Róbert Tarabčák.
October 20, 2020
Apple booting third-party browser that enables Google Stadia streaming games
Apple is removing a browser app from the App Store that allows people to play Stadia, Google’s streaming game service, according to the developer. “My app is being removed from the App Store,” Zachary Knox tweeted today about his Stadium Full Screen Browser app. “I was ‘extending WebKit’ by hooking it into the native GameController framework and thus Bluetooth controllers, which they didn’t like.” The full story for this episode is on Forbes here:
October 20, 2020
Dyson Hot+Cool cleaned 70% of smoke particles from my air during the fires in California, Oregon, Washington
Can the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool clean your air from smoke and soot?  That’s what I have been testing for parts of the past few months during the western fires that hit California, Oregon, and Washington State. They’ve been banished from the news cycle thanks to the impending election, but the fires this summer were devastating, horrific, and massive.  When you can’t breathe safely, few other things in life matter. The Forbes story for this podcast episode is here:
October 19, 2020
Social media, censorship, politics: the NY Post, Biden's laptop, and the right path forward
Should social media censor free speech? Something fairly unprecedented happened this past week: Facebook and Twitter both blocked a NY Post story. Now … whatever you think about that story (and I think it’s pretty flimsy) blocking it almost immediately is pretty shocking. How should social media deal with controversial subjects … or false information? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier we chat with Bill Ottman, founder and CEO of the open source social network, about what big tech and big social should do, about algorithms, shadow banning, free speech, virality, and what Ottman is doing with to fix it.
October 17, 2020
Wearable DNA sequencing devices just 4-5 years away: Dr. Roel Wuyts, principal scientist at IMEC
Do we now have near real-time gene sequencing? And if so … what does that unlock? In this edition of TechFirst with John Koetsier we chat with Dr Roel Wuyts, principal scientist at IMEC and a professor at KU Leuven about gene sequencing, which used to take a lot of time. Remember the Human Genome project? It started October 1, 1990 and completed in April 2003. Now there’s a way of sequencing a whole genome in just 10 minutes for some sequences and a few hours for a whole human genome, which should unlock major new capabilities like personalized medicine and smarter treatment of currently deadly diseases. Full transcript will go here: Forbes story will go here:
October 15, 2020
No, the iPhone 12 doesn’t actually cost $799
You might think the iPhone 12 starts at one dollar under $800. You might even have a distinct memory of seeing a price that looked suspiciously like $799 during the Apple special event yesterday. And you’d be right on one of those two beliefs. (The latter.) This story is live on Forbes:
October 15, 2020
YouTube and Facebook destroy Twitch in at least one critical livestreaming category
We watched almost 7.5 billion hours of live streaming content in the last three months, up 92% from last year. Amazingly, just one company owns a massive 91.1% share of all the hours streamed: the Amazon-owned Twitch. So Twitch is definitely the 900-pound gorilla of the live-streaming category. Or it is it? This story is published on Forbes here:
October 13, 2020
Former Apple CEO John Sculley on Apple vs Google: the emerging healthtech battle
Could Apple and Google soon be two of the most important companies in health? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier we chat with former Apple CEO John Sculley, who has invested in multiple health tech companies. Apple owns the most popular healthtech wearable on the planet, and Google bought Fitbit to compete. Both are investing in health, fitness, and wellness technology. Current Apple CEO Tim Cook has even said that Apple’s greatest contribution to history will be in the field of health. Amazon's jumping into health too, with Amazon Halo. We talk about who will win, who are the other players, and what Sculley sees as the future of health care in the U.S. and globally.
October 9, 2020
Developers: Google, Siri, Alexa are an abstraction layer over your apps
In the stone ages of mobile a couple of years ago, you actually had to tap on an app icon and open an app in order to access its functionality. While backwards, onerous, and tedious, this ensured that if I was ordering Air Jordans from Shoe Giant #1 or a Big Mac from Ronald McDonald, I would have at least a couple of interactions with the Nike brand or McDonalds. Now, now so much. This story is live at Forbes here:
October 9, 2020
In-flight wireless drone charging: how GET is making the drone economy real
Drone deliveries won’t be common until we figure out distributed charging. But maybe … we already have ... In this episode of TechFirst, we chat with Leonid Plekhanov from Global Energy Transmission (GET). GET has a last-mile in-air fast charging solution for drones (and another for undersea drones). Amazon’s been touting drone delivery for years. And this summer, Domino’s delivered a pizza to a customer on the beach via drone. But really, no-one's doing this at scale. With the ability to charge your drones wherever they go, the much-needed last-mile solution might now be here. Full transcript will be here: Forbes story will be here:
October 8, 2020
Robots in the cloud: How Amazon’s “fake” robots are making real robots smarter and faster
Is the future of robotics in the cloud? In this episode of TechFirst we're chatting with and Amazon exec, AWS Robotics general manager Roger Barga, about how Amazon’s “fake” robots are making real robots smarter, faster. We’re seeing more and more robots in manufacturing, services, hospitality, and almost every other industry ... but there are still huge gaps in software to run and manage and coordinate all our robots and drones. Amazon's reducing the cost to train, test and deploy robots by a factor of perhaps 1,000 thanks to AWS RoboMaker and WorldForge. We chat about companies like iRobot that are vastly improving their robots, the future of robotics in both the near and far term, and how Amazon 'eats its own dog food' by using AWS RoboMaker to train and deploy robots in its own warehouses.
October 6, 2020
Here's what the top 10 fitness apps of 2020 have in common
Health and fitness apps are winning the Covid-19 era, thanks to closed gyms. But a certain kind of health and fitness app is winning mobile, according to a new report from Apptopia. “Six out of ten of the top Health & Fitness apps are apps that offer video workouts or video-guided exercises,” Apptopia says. “If non-workout apps like Calm, Headspace, and Flo were not included here, the ratio of video to non-video fitness apps would be even greater.” This story is currently live at Forbes here: 
October 6, 2020
This AI makes fake faces for privacy-safe photo sharing
Can you share personal photos online … without sharing your face with the giant global database that is the internet? And, can you share photos of crowds of people, or demonstrations, without subjecting everyone in those photos to AI-driven searches and privacy violations? Brighter AI thinks they have a solution, and in this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat with the CEO, Marian Glaeser. Essentially, his technology replaces every face with an AI-generated substitute to ensure you can share your pictures in a privacy-safe way. What becomes a question, however, is how real your photos are now ...
October 2, 2020
Mapping the creator economy: 50M YouTube, Instagram, Twitch creators, 2M full-time pros ... and growing fast
Are 50 million YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch creators the new founders? And … are they far more numerous and economically important than we think? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier we’re chatting with Yuanling Yuan (AKA YY), a senior associate at SignalFire. She recently did a massive study of the creator economy, finding that of the more than 50 million “creators” in the world on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, and TikTok, two million of them are professionals, earning a full-time living. And that number is growing fast. Full transcript will be here: YY on Twitter: SignalFire:
October 1, 2020
Google Launch Night: Pixel phones, Google TV, Chromecast, and the new Nest Audio
There’s now a Google TV as well as an Apple TV. A new Chromecast. Google Home is now Nest Audio, and there are now new Google Pixel smartphones. Google released not quite a googolplex of new consumer hardware and software services today in its “Launch Night In” event. Here’s a rundown ... My post on Forbes, with pictures:
October 1, 2020
How Apple might reinvent podcasts with its latest acquisition
Imagine the perfect custom talk radio station tailored exactly to your unique likes, with a never-ending flow of great content. That’s exactly what Apple could soon be delivering with its recent podcasting acquisition, Scout FM. Because that’s precisely what Apple has achieved already — in the music sense — with its new personalized music stations in iOS 14. Get the story in my Forbes column here: And, if you'd like to ping me (check the last 30 seconds of the podcast), here I am on Twitter:
September 29, 2020
Apple’s iOS 14 app clips seemed stupid. Actually ... they’re awesome
I was not a fan of App Clips when Apple announced them for iOS 14. And wow ... was I wrong. This story is also available in my Forbes column here: And, usually, transcripts show up on my personal site here:
September 28, 2020
Global online content consumption doubled in 2020
I happened to see my wife’s screen time analytics on her phone recently. She’s spending an average of over seven hours a day on her phone. And she’s not alone. Apparently, I'm not too far behind, when you add in time from other screen, watching sports and a few TV shows. Full story:
September 26, 2020
Will you buy Amazon's new flying home security drone, Always Home Cam?
Amazon's new flying home security drone does not have lasers. Nor can you mount a gun on it, much to the dismay of many, apparently.  But will you buy it? To chat about the Ring Always Home Cam and Amazon’s other announcements we have repeat guest Brian Jackson, who is an analyst, researcher, and consultant with the Info-Tech Research Group.
September 25, 2020
Why Facebook's Ray-Ban smartglasses will fail, with Irena Cronin from Infinite Retina
A week ago Facebook announced it was working with Ray-Ban on a multi-year deal to build and ship smartglasses. Mark Zuckerberg says they’re “the next step on the road to augmented reality glasses.” So why does Irena Cronin say they fail? She is the CEO of Infinite Retina, an xR consultancy, and a co-author of "The Infinite Retina: Spatial Computing, Augmented Reality, and how a collision of new technologies are bringing about the next tech revolution." We chat about Facebook's smartglasses, Project Aria, North (which Google acquired), Snap and its Spectacles, and Apple's coming smartglasses product.
September 25, 2020
The top 40 companies people want to work for in the tech industry
Want to work at Tesla? Apple? Reddit? Netflix? You’re not alone. Most people want to work for a company that is doing amazing work in the forefront of their field. And while we typically think of a brand as something that is relevant to customers and buyers, it’s also critically important to companies that are looking to hire the best available talent. So Hired surveyed 4,100 tech professionals about the companies they most want to work for ... and I chat with two tech execs about the results. In this episode of TechFirst, we'll chat with Vanessa Camones, a brand and communications expert and CEO at AnyContext. and Suzie Weitzman, former comms at Apple, now a senior VP at eBay. Get the full story in my post at Forbes: And ... here's the lists, if you're interested: Here are the top 20 public companies people want to work for in the tech industry, along with their ranking in Hired’s “brand positivity index.” Netflix: 86 GitHub: 85 Google: 84 Slack: 81 Microsoft: 78 Apple: 77 Tesla: 74 Twitter: 73 LinkedIn: 72 Dropbox: 69 Square: 65 Amazon: 64 Shopify: 63 Adobe: 62 Facebook: 60 Lyft: 57 Walt Disney: 57 BBC: 52 Salesforce: 50 New York Times: 48 And here are the top 20 private companies in the tech industry that people want to work for: SpaceX: 75 Gitlab: 72 Airbnb: 69 Stripe: 66 Hulu: 64 Reddit: 62 Kickstarter: 57 Robinhood: 54 Bloomberg: 50 Jet Propulsion Lab: 50 Coinbase: 49 Quora: 48 Instacart: 47 Squarespace: 47 Indeed: 46 Hyperloop One: 42 PBS: 41 Whole Foods: 41 NPR: 40 Sigma: 36
September 23, 2020
Episode 100!!!
This is episode 100! Thank you so much for subscribing to TechFirst. I very much appreciate it. In a year we've taken this podcast to a top-100 podcast in the tech category in the U.S., and much higher in some other countries (#4 in Austria!) :-) That's because of you, and what you've done. Thank you! I've decided to celebrate by doing a 100th-episode giveaway ... check the details in the podcast. And, let's connect wherever you're online: Twitter: LinkedIn: YouTube: Facebook:
September 23, 2020
Keynote chat: How Apple is disrupting mobile as we know it
iOS 14 is a game-changer in more than a few ones. One of them is definitely privacy. I've been writing a lot about privacy, Apple, and what Apple's been doing with the IDFA (identifier for advertisers), so I was invited to speak at the Mobile Growth Summit about it. Here we talk about what's changing, why, what the implications are, and what Google will do as a result. What I chat about: Why Apple made the change What's dangerous about IDFAs What motives might be behind Apple's decision besides privacy Apple's IDFA policy and how it potentially conflicts with GDPR, CCPA (California's privacy law), and other privacy statutes Why Apple delayed full implementation until 2021 How Facebook influence those decisions Where Google might go with GAID And ... what the long-term impact to mobile and advertising is likely to be
September 21, 2020
iOS 14: Google's former iOS app head reveals what apps will win and why
Is iOS 14 fundamentally changing what kinds of apps can be successful? And … with iOS 14 … is Apple building a fundamentally different future for software? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat with Nick Hobbs, the former head of Google’s iOS app. Hobbs says that iOS 14 is fundamentally different and that it will benefit certain kinds of apps while de-prioritizing others. We chat about when Google's traffic from iOS massively dropped, and what will happen this time with games, Facebook, Google, and more. And, of course, we also chat about The Social Dilemma.
September 18, 2020
Apple’s Safari 14 blocked 90 web trackers in just 5 minutes
Literally five minutes ago I updated to the new version of Safari, version 14. Then I browsed Forbes, hit up Techmeme, checked Twitter briefly, went to Fox News (first time, I think), clicked over to Slashdot, and finally read a story on ZDNet. Oh, and I checked for a picture for this story on Unsplash. In that five minutes, Safari prevented 90 trackers from profiling me. Let me repeat that. Five minutes, 90 trackers. Read this story in my Forbes column:
September 17, 2020
Smart contact lens from Ghent University: an artificial iris that can dynamically change your vision
Could smart contact lenses grant millions the gift of sight? In this episode of  TechFirst with John Koetsier with chat with Andrés Vásquez Quintero, a professor at Ghent University in Belgium, where researchers have just presented an artificial iris embedded in a smart contact lens. It has an artificial iris, an all-day battery, an on-board ASIC, or application-specific integrated circuit, and a very small LCD screen. And it can do very basic augmented reality for people with limited vision. PLEASE NOTE: the wifi at Ghent was not great, so Andres' audio and video is pretty sketchy. As always, full transcripts will be available at:
September 17, 2020
Apple Music iOS 14 is the ultimate DJ
I used to think that Apple Music was an enormous treasure chest filled with amazing things that you could never really get out. And I used to think that Spotify’s biggest advantage over Apple Music was not its free tier, but its user experience and playlists. Not any more.
September 16, 2020
4 ways Tesla self-driving ‘falls short’ in Consumer Reports testing
Consumer Report says extensive testing on Tesla’s “full self-driving” capability shows that it falls short of its name, isn’t worth the $8,000 price tag, and actually makes Tesla drivers less safe. “Tesla has repeatedly rolled out crude beta features, some of which can put people’s safety at risk and shouldn’t be used anywhere but on a private test track or proving ground,” says William Wallace, manager of safety policy for Consumer Reports.  Get the full details in this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier ... Also, see my written column at Forbes:
September 14, 2020
How to scam millions with Facebook ads, Shopify stores, and fake products
It’s been a little challenging to get fitness equipment lately, hasn’t it? Scammers have noticed too. That’s why there’s been a proliferation of scammy-looking fitness product ads on Facebook lately. I’ve personally seen literally dozens of ads for fake Bowflex products, often from “stores” with unpronounceable names and obscure but extremely similar websites. So I bought some fake Bowflex weight from a fake store. And here's what happened ...
September 12, 2020
Apple, Epic, and App Store cash: What did Apple give, and what is it keeping?
When you generate economic activity on an iPhone, Apple wants a piece.  That’s not changing in the new App Store review guidelines Apple released this morning. What is changing is that Apple cracked open the door to off-platform purchases. The question will be whether that applies to everyone, or only smaller developers. Apple and Epic, makers of the hit game Fortnite, have been locked in a battle over payments. Epic wants all the revenue when players purchase an upgrade or enhancement in its game; Apple wants a 15-30% cut on purchases and subscriptions. After they could not come to terms, Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store, as did Google from the Android equivalent, Google Play.  While the matter is now before the courts, Apple updated the rules that govern the App Store this morning. 
September 11, 2020
How American Express uses AI to automate 8 billion decisions ... with $1 trillion at stake
How do you automate risk 8 billion times a year? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier we chat with Anjali Dewan, American Express’ VP of Risk Management.  Credit card companies have some serious challenges ... with trillions of dollars in transaction volume, they’re target #1 for fraud. But customers expect everything to work perfectly every time. So American Express started managing every single risk decision on risk using AI in 2015, which makes them much faster. They can now make billions of decisions in nanoseconds, using what might be the largest commercial machine learning system on the planet (probably excluding Google and Facebook)
September 10, 2020
Autonomous robots & drones: working where no humans should
We talk a lot about self-driving cars. But what about autonomous robots, doing work that isn’t safe for people? We’re talking environments like mines a mile deep … nuclear reactors … remote locations.  In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we're chatting with Nader Elm, CEO of Exyn Technologies. Exyn is building robots that have to think for themselves and communicate with each other where they don't have GPS or radio communication. Exyn just signed a deal with a Finnish mining to provide drones for autonomous mapping and exploration.
September 10, 2020
Hyperloop in Canada? 621 MPH ‘TransPod’ in feasibility studies
TransPod, a four-year-old company with roots in Canada and France has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Alberta to study the feasibility of linking the provinces two major cities, Edmonton and Calgary, by a hyperloop-like system. Top speed would be over 1,000 kilometers/hour, or about 620 miles/hour, and the Hyperloop would be an above-ground enclosed tube. Since Edmonton and Calgary are just under 200 miles apart, travel time would be about half an hour.
September 7, 2020
Fitbit VP Larry Yang: Is the Fitbit Sense the complete health smartwatch?
Are smartwatches becoming table stakes for modern health? Chatting with Fitbit's VP of product, Larry Yang, about the new Fitbit Sense. Arguably the first smartwatch was invented in 1927 ... you could buy little map scrolls and find your way around. The first digital watch came out in 1972 … calculator watches in the 1980s … and fitness trackers on your wrist launched in the early 2010s … including Fitbit. Apple Watch launched 2015, and now about 1 in 4 wear a smartwatch and/or a fitness tracker. Now Fitbit is launching the Fitbit Sense … which is widely viewed as a full-on assault on the Apple Watch. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we dive into health and smartwatches and get the story behind the Fitbit Sense ...
September 5, 2020
The 100 safest countries for COVID-19: updated
The safest country in the world for COVID-19 is now Germany, according to a recently released ranking. Germany is followed closely by New Zealand and South Korea. Switzerland, which was first, has dropped back to fourth. Japan is fifth, and Australia and China are sixth and seventh.  The United States now ranks number 55, still behind Hungary, Vietnam, China, Malaysia, and Bulgaria.  The most dangerous nations? Somaliland, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Mali. Get the full ranking in my story at Forbes ...
September 5, 2020
Advertising after identity: IBM on AI, marketing, and privacy
The history of advertising recently has been one of identity ... specifically, knowing identity across sites and apps.  That’s changing: the third-party cookie is dying, Apple’s identifier for advertisers is going opt-in, and Google's GAID might as well. What does that mean for the future of advertising? And … what does it mean for the ad-supported services we’ve all come to enjoy? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat with Sheri Bachstein, Global Head of Watson Advertising and The Weather Company.
September 3, 2020
COVID-19 'accelerated digital transformation by an average of 6 years,' with Twilio's chief customer officer
Covid-19 was the 'digital accelerant of the decade,' pushing brands' digitization strategies up an average of 6 years. In this edition of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we're chatting with Twilio chief customer officer Glenn Weinstein about a major report Twilio put together on digital transformation. COVID-19 is clearly a medical and economic disaster, but it also vastly accelerated technological change and changed how companies think about the tech that drives their business. In this discussion we chat about who's winning and who's losing in the fight to stay relevant as customer behavior changes massively.
September 2, 2020
Apple & the IDFA: privacy power move or cash grab?
In iOS 14, Apple is making the IDFA opt-in. Is this a privacy power move or a cash grab?  The IDFA is a device identifier that advertisers use to know who's engaging with their ads. It also helps ad networks target ads. In previous version of iOS, the IDFA has been default on, but users can turn it off. In iOS 14, keeping the IDFA on now means that each app must ask individually for permission to use the IDFA.  That's probably good for privacy, but it's tough on marketers and advertisers. The question is: is Apple doing this primarily to increase privacy, or because what's bad for advertising might be good for in-app purchases and subscriptions ... which Apple takes a 30% cut from? We chat with Abhay Singhal and Sergio Serra from InMobi, an ad network, about their perspective.
September 2, 2020
Amazon wants your underwear selfies (and beat Apple to a digital health service)
Late last week Amazon announced Halo, an AI-powered health service. In doing so it beat Apple to exactly what Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly told us the company was focusing on over 18 months ago. Oh, and Amazon wants your underwear selfies. Plus, recordings of everything you say.
August 31, 2020
Elon Musk wants to put a ‘Fitbit in your skull’
Today Elon Musk unveiled more about his mysterious brain-to-computer interface company Neuralink, showcasing a pig named Gertrude with a “Link” installed and sharing that Neuralink has received a “Breakthrough Device” designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. One of the abilities he teased was being able to summon your self-driving car — a Tesla, of course — with a thought. But Musk’s ambitions extend much farther. And his Link isn’t intended just for early adopters, niche technophiliacs, or bleeding-edge cyborg wannabes. Rather, Musk intends this device for almost everyone.
August 29, 2020
10X startups with the chief product officer of Asana
How do you build 10X products and 10X startups with the potential for exponential growth? In this special episode of TechFirst, we chat with the chief product officer of Asana, Alex Hood. Asana has over 75,000 customers including customers like Google, Slack, Twitter, Harvard ...  So today we're chatting with Asana's chief product officer Alex Hood about his playbook for building high growth products: How does it work? What's it look like? And frankly, what can we copy for our own startups?
August 26, 2020
Malicious Chinese SDK found in 1,200 iOS apps with billions of installs: Helix Jump, Talking Tom, PicsArt, more ...
iOS is safer than Android, right? Usually ... because getting on the iOS app store is harder than getting on Google Play. There’s more scrutiny of apps, their code, and functionality.  But now, for the first time ever, security researchers have found an ad fraud network on Apple iPhones that uses click injection to steal potentially hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s in over 1200 apps with billions of downloads, and has been since mid 2019, in apps like Talking Tom, Asphalt 9, PicsArt, Gardenscapes, and Helix Jump. It works by spying on your activity on the phone and sending fake clicks on ads it sees you engage with. To learn more, we’re going to chat with the man who found it: Danny Grander, Co-Founder & Chief Security Officer at Snyk, a digital security company. Welcome to TechFirst with John Koetsier.
August 24, 2020
Is Apple blurring the lines between radio, music streaming, and podcasting?
Apple announced this morning that it has launched two new “radio” stations on Apple Music: Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country. Apple is investing significantly in its Radio product, with major stars and shows that are part talk radio, part Casey Kasem, part podcasting. An important question for stars to ask, however, is how broad an audience they can get by focusing on a single platform versus allowing their shows to appear on every platform simultaneously.  Or ... if they’re better off opening up their content on a freely available service.
August 21, 2020
Upgrading Stephen Hawking's communication system with AI and GPT-2
Lama Nachman is an Intel scientist who built Stephen Hawking's communication system. Now she's helping another scientist and roboticist, Peter Scott Morgan, who has Motor Neuron Disease (like ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), to live and communicate with a more advanced version. It uses gaze control and AI to essentially control a computer that allows him to talk, write, control his environment, and retain some measure of independence. Most of the technology is open source, and the next version, which senses brain waves, only uses a few hundred dollars worth of equipment. Morgan's vision is using AI and technology to essentially cyborg himself (eventually, perhaps with help of a robotic exoskeleton). Nachman is using AI, including GPT-2, word prediction, and more, to help him communicate. Sometimes the result isn't just him or just the system, but a combination of both.
August 18, 2020
70% of Americans want to ban foreign social media apps
Should we ban all foreign apps? President Trump might have a lot of support from Americans who want to do precisely that. In a poll run by TapResearch this week, 30% of American adults said they that the U.S. should ban all foreign social media apps. Another 40% said that the U.S. should ban all apps from countries that have an interest in spying on Americans. “Our findings show that many people support banning apps developed by foreign companies,” TapResearch says.
August 17, 2020
Phone spam is worth a massive $100B/year .... can custom verified caller visuals save old-fashioned phone calls?
Phone calls suck, right? It's always the IRS or your "bank" or some other scam. Well ... can a custom verified caller visual save phone calls? As in a guaranteed way to know who's calling AND WHY before you pick up? There's just way too much voice spam, so most people don't pick up calls from unknown numbers.  In this edition of TechFirst with John Koetsier we chat with First Orion CTO Mark Himelfarb about phone spam, verified visual caller IDs, and more. The question is: will it be good enough to save phone calls?
August 14, 2020
Billion-Dollar battle: Fortnite-maker Epic sues Apple for payments ‘monopoly’
Epic Games, the maker of the hit multi-platform Fortnite game, has sued Apple for anti-competitive behavior, alleging that Apple monopolizes the App Store payments process and gouges developers for 30% of their revenues. At stake is billions of dollars in revenue for Apple. And potentially billions for Google too. “At a market cap of nearly $2 trillion, Apple’s size and reach far exceeds that of any technology monopolist in history,” the lawsuit says. 
August 13, 2020
CTO of Github Jason Warner on how to build 10X products with exponential impact
In a tech-driven economy, you could argue that developers rule the world. If so, you could argue that Github rules developers, 50 million of whom are on the platform. 3 million organizations too, from NASA's Mars Rover team to enterprises to ... yeah ... me. In this episode of TechFirst, we chat with Jason Warner, the CTO of GitHub, as I interview him for Traction Conference. Things we cover: - how he started working for IBM because he could "lift heavy things" - 10X growth (of course) - how sometimes, the most important stuff is what you do NOT build - prioritization - where to start as a non-technical founder? - finding coworkers, cofounders, and employees - managing teams - working remotely - setting goals - achieving organizational alignment - Jason's biggest fear as a leader - getting unfiltered feedback - and SO. MUCH. MORE!
August 13, 2020
If data is the new oil, where’s the refinery?
Where do Google, Microsoft, and IBM go for training data and data enrichment? AI is driving innovation, competitive advantage, and speed to market ... but what if you don’t have enough training data? And what if your data is raw, not enriched, and you have no metadata to help your AI engine make sense of it? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat with Wendy Gonzalez, President and CEO of Samasource, which supplies training data for Google, IBM, Microsoft, and a quarter of the Fortune 50.
August 11, 2020
Apple vs Trump, Russia, and China: Will sideloading save Apple?
Apple’s App Store dominance is under fire like never before, thanks to its own desire for control of its platform, antitrust regulation at home and abroad and the vagaries of an American leader who has signed executive orders faster than any president in history. Two things in particular are major challenges: 1) Donald Trump’s recent executive order on TikTok owner ByteDance and WeChat owner Tencent 2) Russia’s new Federal Antimonopoly Service ruling against Apple Both hit at the heart of one of Apple’s current major competitive advantages: the company’s sole control of the App Store. Each does it in an entirely different way. And Apple can only escape the consequences of these moves by opening up the iPhone to “sideloading” apps. Or, in other words, smashing the single biggest law of the App Store.
August 11, 2020
Apple ad network gets special privileges that Facebook, Google won’t on iOS14
Is Apple playing fair? Apple looks to be giving its own ad network a leg up on competitors with customer data that other ad networks can’t access. In iOS 14, Apple Advertising appears to have a separate settings panel with a default-on setting. Other advertisers and ad networks on iOS, however, need to ask permission every single time. “It’s preferential access to users’ data,” mobile expert Eric Seufert says. “Now they’re best-positioned to gain market share in mobile app install ads.” That’s close to an $80 billion industry that Google and Facebook currently dominate.
August 7, 2020
Remote health revolution: heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, stress rate, all via video
There’s a new app that can tell your heart rate, heart rate variability, oxygen saturation, respiration or breathing rate, and mental stress just by taking a short video. Soon, blood pressure is coming too. Sounds crazy, right? In the episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we're joined by David Maman, CEO and co-founder of, to find out ...
August 7, 2020
Don't tell Trump, but TikTok’s top competitor is also Chinese owned
President Trump wants to ban TikTok in the U.S., but he’ll consider allowing a U.S. company to purchase it. As long as, in a novel twist, the U.S. government gets a cut. Meanwhile, U.S.-owned Triller is positioning itself as the biggest beneficiary to India’s TikTok ban, with 40 million new installs, and by extension, the likely winner of an American ban. But in this latest episode of Meet the Kardashians, White House edition, they’re all potentially being played. Because the fastest-growing non-TikTok short-form video entertainment app is also Chinese-owned. Economic and trade policy, meet Whack-A-Mole.
August 6, 2020
State of the global app economy: growth, diversity, and real-world impact
Two things have grown like crazy in 2020: Coronavirus, and the global app economy. 2020 has been crazy, but there’s been massive growth in some sectors, and mobile is one of them In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier we chat with Lexi Sydow, a senior market insights manager at App Annie, about the state of the global app economy. The good news: some newbies are winning and it’s not all the rich becoming richer. And, mobile isn’t just about what happens on your phone anymore. We talk about:  - downloads and growth  - countries that are growing in time in apps and on devices  - surprises in the data  - time for new apps to get on to top downloads and top grossing lists  - why new apps are getting so big so quick  - new features apps are adding  - the overall economic impact of apps
August 6, 2020
High school student builds AI framework to predict air pollution with 92% accuracy
A high school student at Jericho High School in New York has built an AI framework that can predict air pollution levels with 92% accuracy using neural networks, random forest, and other techniques. That ... could be better accuracy than most weather forecasters. In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat with Richard Ren about his framework, including how he learned to code, why he got into AI and machine learning, what data he's using, what technologies he's implementing, and what data is most predictive of high pollution levels.
August 5, 2020
Will wind one day power your home for free? Checking out IceWind's new home wind-powered generators
Wind power has been around for a long time. For commercial applications, there are massive turbines with wings the size of 747s.  For home, there have been a number of options, but durability has been a concern, as well as bird safety. Solar has seen much wider adoption, but it doesn’t work everywhere ... Now there’s a solution from an Icelandic company that looks safe and affordable. To learn more, we chat with Sam Gerbus from IceWind “extreme energy solutions."
July 31, 2020
Alexa, Siri, Google: The future of smart assistants
Alexa, Siri, Google: which is the smartest? Dumbest? Most useful? Growing the fastest?  And ... what capabilities will AI assistants have in the future? In this episode of TechFirst with John Koetsier we chat with Brian Jackson from Info-Tech Research Group. On the one hand … Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are amazing technology ... on the other, they face-palm on some ridiculously simple tasks. We chat about: - which are leading (and getting smarter faster) - Google Duplex - Alexa and smart home - Privacy - Why Apple's challenged to make Siri truly smart - Smartglasses ... how they'll work with AI assistants
July 30, 2020
Can marketers use AI to predict what you’ll do?
If you’ve been around marketing, you'll have heard the phrase "customer journey." It's what people do when they buy ... or don't buy. Naturally, marketers want to optimize that trip, and Adobe has developed an AI system that finds out where those journeys break. Theoretically, that will help brands sell more. Our guest this episode: Steve Hammond, a director at Adobe Experience Cloud.
July 29, 2020
8 of the top 20 TV shows right now are Netflix originals (!!)
A staggering 40% of the top 20 TV shows and series in the U.S. are produced, owned, and delivered on one network that isn’t available over the air or on standard cable TV and didn’t exist much more than two decades ago. It’s Netflix, of course ....
July 29, 2020
Chinese drone app hid ability to collect data, install apps, 'phone home' to Sina Weibo
The Android DJI Go 4 app lets you fly your drone. It also contains sophisticated hidden functionality that can “phone home” every hour to Sina Weibo, one of the most popular Chinese social media sites, asking for fresh commands. Those new commands could include installing new apps on your phone for almost any purpose. In addition, the app restarts itself automatically when you try to quit it.
July 28, 2020
Don’t laugh: The future of advertising is more exciting than you could possibly imagine
Ads suck and we all know it. They’re invasive, they track us, they create horrible user experiences, and most of the time, they’re incredibly annoying. The future’s not like that ... and here's why. In this edition of TechFirst with John Koetsier, we chat with the creator of Javascript, Brendan Eich (co-founder/CEO of Brave Software) and Carolina Abenante (founder of NYIAX). Using micropayments, permission, edge AI, blockchain, and crypto, they're creating a future in which you only see ads from brands you want to, you don’t sacrifice privacy when you see an ad, and you get paid for your attention. In a lot of ways, that future is now.
July 24, 2020
Apple and the elephant in the App Store room
Apple’s App Store has reasonable commission rates that are roughly comparable to other online services, significantly cheaper than traditional offline retail, and are generally in line with commissions at art auctions, consignment shops, and car dealerships. At least, according to a new report written for Apple by hired competition and antitrust experts. Two things the report doesn’t mention? Only the two biggest elephants in the App Store room.
July 24, 2020
AI, fitness, & home gyms: what COVID is doing to wellness
During COVID-19, we can't really go to the gym. So many of us are working out in our (new?) home gyms. Is that making us fitter? And, can an AI coach motivate us? In this episode of TechFirst, we chat with Freeletics CEO Daniel Sobhani about what we're doing to stay fit during Coronavirus, what's working, and how men and women are reacting differently ... including with regard to mental health. We chat about: - the biggest ways fitness changed during COVID-19 - what are people doing differently - how Sobhani's AI coach for fitness works - how the AI coach compares to a human coach? - how the AI works, at a high level - what’s different about working out at home? - how meditation is up, and how men vs women deal with mental health differently - what people are doing with regard to investment in new equipment
July 23, 2020
How Apple’s recent privacy decision threatens billions in Facebook revenue
Facebook is one of the two most dominant companies in an $80 billion industry that impacts hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions, in consumer spend. But a huge percentage of that revenue is now at risk, thanks to an obscure privacy move by Apple at the company’s World Wide Developer Conference in June. The move? Deprecating a mobile device identifier called the IDFA. That threatens billion in Facebook revenue. And Google could be next ...
July 21, 2020
Disrupting electricity: Is solid state the new hardwired?
The electricity that powers our digital future is very, very analog. Is that about to change? We don’t think a lot about the technology that drives our computers and homes ... we flip a switch and get to work, or turn on the TV. But the actual mechanics of what happens in our walls and wires is very 18th century. One company is working on making it better. In this edition of TechFirst with John Koetsier we’re joined by Thar Casey, founder and CEO of Amber, to dive in and check it out.
July 17, 2020