How mixed reality (and Hololens) boosted productivity at Lockheed Martin
Thu, 21 Jan 2021 06:20:00 -0800

Disclosure: Microsoft is a client of the author.

Mixed reality (MR) in the consumer market has been less than exciting, but it’s been a big hit in business — particularly in manufacturing and training. Lockheed Martin was one of the first companies to embrace this technology (along with other aerospace firms like Boeing). In a presentation this week, Lockheed Martin execs explained where the technology — which relies on Hololens — worked and where it could work in the future as it evolves. They also contrasted HoloLens I and II, saying the latter was far more useful over a more extended time.   

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Cisco’s Webex vs. Arthur Digital and the future of collaboration and communication
Wed, 09 Dec 2020 09:00:00 -0800

Editor's note: Cisco and Microsoft are clients of the author.

Cisco Webex and Arthur this week had events focused on each company’s collaboration approach. Cisco made a significant move to finally eliminate phones that can’t do video, attempting to do what AT&T promised to do back in the 1960s: move to video phones. While Cisco is using its dominance in traditional office telephony to drive change, Arthur focuses on mixed reality. Its goal: blend the way we used to meet with how we need to meet in a post-pandemic world. 

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iPhone 12 Pro, Apple and LiDAR in the enterprise
Thu, 26 Nov 2020 08:16:00 -0800

Both the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max possess Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) scanners. Why should it matter to your enterprise?

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR systems are capable of measuring how long it takes light to reflect back from a surface in order to measure the distance traveled and create 3D depth maps of what they see. The technology helps support realistic AR experiences and provides a huge boost to photography in low-light.

LiDAR is not a new technology. It relies on tiny lasers that bounce light pulses against objects around them to figure out spatial information based on the journey it takes to send and return that light. Most people first became aware of it when it was used to help Apollo 15 map the moon’s surface. (NASA is now developing the technology for Mars missions.)

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Dell World: Exploring the school and, by proxy, office of the future
Fri, 23 Oct 2020 03:00:00 -0700

Editor's note: Dell is a client of the author.

Like most tech events this year, Dell Technologies World is virtual. And like most companies, Dell is adjusting to the New Normal where most employees are still — and may remain — working from home. During the opening keynote of this year’s event, Dell CTO, John Roese presented a blended view of the future for several of the vertical markets Dell serves. 

For instance, he implied that medical care in the future would likely, at least in some cases, arrive in some autonomous vehicle/office as a more efficient and safe way to provide services in the post-pandemic world. 

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The financial market is driving monitor development to head-mounted displays
Mon, 05 Oct 2020 04:26:00 -0700

Disclosure: The companies mentioned are clients of the author.

I have two unique monitors in my home office developed for the financial market, a 43-in. square monitor and a 49-in. panoramic monitor — both from Dell. Though they  could also be used in healthcare and call centers, they were designed for the financial industry, which is famous for analysts and traders who run multiple PCs and multiple monitors. (My 42-in. screen was designed to replace four 17-in. monitors placed in a grid, while my 49-in. display replaces two side-by-side 27-in. monitors. 

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VC money flows to collaboration start-ups as remote work booms
Thu, 18 Jun 2020 03:00:00 -0700

Investment in collaboration and productivity software start-ups, which was already on the upswing before this year’s pandemic, is set to grow as businesses seek new ways to connect remote workers

“Even before COVID, some of the trends were pretty positive on that, and I think it will just get better,” said Jean-Francois Marcoux, managing partner at White Star Capital, a venture capital firm that has invested in a number of digital workplace start-ups – including virtual-reality meetings app Spatial.

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Facebook’s Workplace embraces video, touts new users amid pandemic
Fri, 22 May 2020 05:52:00 -0700

Workplace, Facebook’s enterprise collaboration offering, got a variety of new features this week designed to strengthen the platform and help users better collaborate during the ongoing pandemic.

As for Workplace, Facebook said the app now has more than 5 million paid users – with 2 million added since October 2019. That pace of growth is in line with reports from other collaboration and videoconferencing companies, which have rapidly gained new users this year during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Will Apple's AR glasses revolutionize accessibility tech?
Tue, 19 May 2020 07:47:00 -0700

Heard about the optician who got a job at the Apple Store? Not yet, but it looks like you might hear something along those lines as the latest leak claims the company’s long-expected AR spectacles will support prescription lenses.

A new approach to eye care

One of the bigger problems about the idea of AR glasses has always been that in order to use them, one must be able to look through them safely.

That’s more difficult than it sounds, given that around half the world’s population probably uses some form of vision correction; you don’t want people suffering accidents just because they were wearing their digital specs.

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1. Apple is investing in 6G, but it doesn’t matter (yet)

Apple is investing in next-generation 6G technology development. Why? What for? And should we get excited yet?

What is 6G?

With most iPhone users only now making use of 5G, it seems way too early to make much fuss about the next fast wireless standard — particularly as the standard hasn’t been developed and is far from being finalized.

We can’t really say what 6G is, because it hasn’t been removed from the oven. But we can talk about some of the ingredients Apple and others on the 6G standards development bodies are pouring into their network kitchen bowl.

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2. 6 secret settings for smarter sharing in Chrome on Android

Oh — hello there. So, you like uncovering awesome advanced powers for your Android phone browser, do ya? You've thoroughly explored all the carefully concealed settings for better browsing in the Chrome Android app from the other day, and you're back for even more already? My, you are a tenacious little monkey.

Well, you've come to the right place, my fellow primate, for I also enjoy unearthing exceptionally interesting out-of-sight settings. And I've been doing an awful lot of digging in the Chrome Android browser as of late — so much, in fact, that I've got a whole other set of easily overlooked treasures to go beyond the browsing-centric batch we already brought into our lives.

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3. 6 secret settings for better browsing in Chrome on Android

Hey. You. Yes, you there — the one with your eyes on the screen. What if I were to tell you that that the browser you rely on for all of your web-based activities on your phone had oodles of extra features — top-secret settings that'd add awesome powers into your Android browsing adventures and make wiggling your way around this wacky ol' web meaningfully easier?

Well, provided you're using Google's Chrome browser for Android, that's as true as true can be. And best of all, it doesn't take much to uncover all of Chrome's carefully concealed treasures — if you know where to look.

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4. iCloud passwords are coming to Chrome for Windows

Apple has updated its iCloud for Windows application, a move that hints at the future introduction of support for an extension that enables the use of iCloud passwords via the Chrome browser on Windows.

Everyone is multi-platform nowadays

The updated app — invaluable for any Windows 10 user — also brings improvements in the Folder Sharing user interface, making it much easier to access and share folders across any supported platform.

iCloud for Windows is a must-have tool for anyone who uses iCloud. That could be any of the millions of recent switchers who own an iPad or iPhone but mainly use a Windows PC, or anyone else using multiple platforms.

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5. What's in the latest Firefox upgrade? New defense against supercookies

Mozilla this week upgraded Firefox to version 85, adding to its overarching emphasis on privacy by isolating supercookies that some sites rely on to track users' movements on the web.

Engineers also patched 13 vulnerabilities, five of which were marked "High," Firefox's second-most-serious label.

Firefox 85 can be downloaded for Windows, macOS, and Linux from Mozilla's site. Because Firefox updates in the background, most users can simply relaunch the browser to get the latest version. To manually update on Windows, pull up the menu under the three horizontal bars at the upper right, then click the help icon (the question mark within a circle). Choose "About Firefox." (On macOS, "About Firefox" can be found under the "Firefox" menu.) The resulting page shows that the browser is either up to date or displays the refresh process.

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6. Why smart homes are the future of the smart enterprise

The first HomeKit-compatible Thread accessories are beginning to appear, and while that’s good news for consumers, it should also be good news for enterprise users.

What the Thread?

Originally designed by Nest, Samsung and ARM, Thread is an IP-based connectivity standard for smart devices. It’s a low-power mesh technology protocol that uses existing standards, such as IPv6, BLE, and others. At its simplest, it means devices from different manufacturers should be able to work together, securely, responsively, and with minimal cost to battery life.

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