Charge Your Mobile Phone in 30 Seconds

StoreDot Smartphone Charger
StoreDot 30 Second Charger

In a world that has grown increasingly reliant on their mobile devices, easy and quick charging has become imperative. Users no longer wish to simply be able to charge quickly, but for the charge on the battery to hold significantly longer than was previously expected. Often it has been joked that users would find the ideal solution to be a thirty second charge that can get them through a significant amount of usage time. However, according to an article recently completed by the Mirror, that may no longer be an idealistic and unrealistic expectations.

StoreDot, an Israeli technology company, released information that they could possibly have a battery that can be charged in seconds. The battery could be charged in under thirty seconds to give enough power to get through an entire day’s worth of usage. However, it is expected that any such battery would raise the price of a mobile phone quite drastically—approximately one hundred and fifty dollars. It should also be noted that the prototype currently created by StoreDot is simply too large to fit inside any form of a mobile device. However, StoreDot believes they can slim the product down to fit in a standard device by 2016, indicating that, in possibly as short as a little over a year, mobile devices could be able to be charged in seconds for an entire day’s worth of power.

Specifically, Doron Myersdorf, founder and chief executive of StoreDot, indicated that he has high hopes for the battery, declaring that it has the capabilities to ultimately be charged approximately one thousand five hundred times over the course of the device’s life. This would result in over three years of a life span for the device. The company has found many investors interested in the product, receiving over forty eight million dollars in investments over the course of two fundraising rounds. One such investor includes Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, who has put $10million into the project.

As another side project, Myersdorf also indicated that he hopes to revolutionize the production of car batteries. He hopes to create a product that can recharge in two to three minutes, serving as a significant improvement on the existing battery, which requires an entire night to recharge.

YouTube Discusses Paid Subscriptions

After an on-stage interview at the United States Code/Mobile Conference with Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s chief executive, an article was completed by The Guardian, to summarize her statements and to theorize as to future moves for the company. Wojcicki provided statistics at the conference that indicated that half of YouTube’s views now come from mobile devices, not from desktops. Previously, the company has declared that this statistic fell to almost forty percent, indicating a major upturn in mobile viewings. In addition to this, Wojcicki also stated that YouTube’s overall viewership and watch time continues to grow at an annual rate of fifty percent.

YouTube Paid Subscription, UFC

Seeing the patterns of the major increases, YouTube officials are considering some alternatives to their current business model. Currently, the organization earns most of its revenue through advertisements seen between videos. This model has been very beneficial to the company; according to Wojcicki, the fact that the service is free has allowed YouTube to accumulate millions of viewers. However, Wojcicki believes there will come a time when some viewers simply grow tired of seeing advertisements between their videos. Therefore, as an alternative, Wojcicki has pondered the idea of subscriptions, which would allow viewers to pay for an ad-free service.

Subscriptions are not a new concept for YouTube. In May of 2013, the company offered an opportunity to certain channel owners. The deal allowed the channel runners to charge their viewers to see videos, sans ads. The channel runner could then keep fifty five percent of the proceeds earned from the deal. Among those involved in this initial trial were Sesame Street, National Geographic and UFC. However, as early as July, National Geographic was publically declaring that the system wasn’t as revolutionary for their views as they had hoped it would be, claiming that they had planned to be setting the world on fire, but that they were doing anything but.

In addition to offering subscriptions to certain channels in the past, YouTube has announced a plan to offer a music subscription program. However, Wojcicki refused to release any details on the program or its launch date; she merely said she was optimistic it would be seen soon.

Struggling Mobile Ad Company Purchases New Platform

Many online advertising companies have struggled in recent history to turn a profit. Even as marketers increase spending on popular consumer-based Internet campaigns, companies continue to struggle to turn profit in the constantly changing environment. Millennial Media, Incorporated is no exception to this rule, as the firm continues to report higher revenue, but wider losses; this is due, in large part, to continued relatively fruitless investments in research and development in an ever-changing terrain of Internet campaigns. As a result, last month the company reported their unsatisfactory second quarter revenue. The reports findings fell below expectations, as loss widened to just over fifteen million dollars. This same figure was at just over three million dollars a year earlier. In addition to this, shares for Millennial Media, Incorporated have fallen seventy six percent thus far this year; recently, the stock closed at one dollar and seventy-seven cents.

Nexage Mobile Advertising Logo

In an attempt to turn around their losses, Millennial Media, Incorporated announced that it is acquiring privately owned advertising technology firm Nexage, according to an article recently completed by The Wall Street Journal. Millennial Media, Incorporated is purchasing Nexage for the platform on which they operate; the platform helps automate sales and purchase of mobile advertisements. The hope is that this will allow Millennial Media, Incorporated to improve its capabilities with real time advertisements, allowing it to better reach target potential audiences across several mobile devices. In addition to this, the company believes Nexage’s platform will work well with Millennial’s existing legacy business and associations with advertising agencies.

The deal totals Millennial Media, Incorporated shelling out one hundred and seven and a half million dollars to Nexage. Twenty-two and a half million dollars of the deal will be in cash; approximately eighty five million will be offered in stocks, and Nexage shareholders will be given approximately thirty seven million newly issued shares of Millennial Media, Incorporated shares.

New Messenger App for Businesses

Paul Adams of FacebookWhen Paul Adams left Facebook to join Intercom, a customer communications firm, his goal was to help businesses become more personalized and intimate communication methods with customers. The release of the newest version of Intercoms in-app messaging service seemed to be a step in the direction of achieving that goal. Some critics were wary upon the first release of details of the new version of the app, claiming that it wasn’t that different from Series B, the version of the app released earlier in the year.

However, Adams disclaimed this belief by declaring that the new version chose to focus on five areas that companies tended to struggle through in communications with customers. First, Adams sought to do something about the impersonal nature of customer messages. Associated with that was his opinion on the poor targeting and timing of these messages. Often, he found that these messages lacked for context and were often seen as cold and remained unanswered as a result. Contributing to this was the fact that the existing messages weren’t very conversational, and didn’t prompt much productive feedback. In general, Adams found that many of the existing tools in completing the task sought to treat web and mobile communications as two separate things.

To demonstrate the success of his addressing of these five problems, Adams engaged in a demonstration of the new app recently. He used Intercom’s own website as a platform to show how the new app could help communicate with clients and retrieve feedback from customers. The app allows the message sent to appear as if it is from a specific team member; those sending the messages are also provided with information specific about the client, through data collected from the website. The message can be formatted to meet the sender’s preferences, including through the use of photos, videos and emoticons.

From Intercom’s point of view, the app allows for a collection of plenty of data through responses received from customers, which is then provided to their clients. Messages can also be sent through the web or from a mobile device. Through this, businesses who use Intercom’s app will be able to start supporting more sophisticated work forces. Testing for the app was offered to a limited number of businesses, but has recently been released to all of Intercom’s clients.

Amazon Fire Phone

Amazon recently released their own smartphone: the Fire Phone.  According to an article completed by the L.A. Times, the phone is enticing, but not nearly enticing enough to inspire Apple and Android customers to jump ship.

Fundamentally, Amazon’s phone has top of the line components and is also priced to compete in the competitive smartphone market; In that sense, the phone does stand decently against other high-end devices. However, the LA Times and a few other major news sources denounce the phone as merely a capable gadget—not impressive enough to pull on consumers already dedicated to another device.

Itai Kathein, Amazon Fire Phone

There are some unique features to the phone. There are infrared LED sensors located at each corner of the front panel of the phone.  These form ultra low power cameras that are able to detect the user’s head.  Through this, the owner can direct the phones actions through a motion of the head—instead of using a finger to swipe through pictures, the owner need only angle their head.  While several apps are producing separate versions to adapt this function, the article argues that there are not enough on the market to make his feature truly useful.

Another quirk of the product is a function entitled Firefly.  Through the use of the camera and microphone, Firefly allows the phone to automatically detect information, text, products, movies, television shows and music.  For example, business cards or email addresses can be scanned through Firefly and automatically entered into contacts; this is possible with the mere touch of one camera button.  In addition, if the owner catches a glimpse of a movie but does not know the title, this feature allows the microphone to detect the dialogue; from there, the phone will automatically take the user to and Amazon, where details of the movie will be available and purchasing the film is one mere click away.

However, this brings the author of the article to the biggest criticism of the phone. It is essentially one big advertisement for all things Amazon.  The product does come with a year of Amazon Prime, which includes free viewing of their Prime Instant Videos.  However, during viewings, advertisements for similar shows and movies to be purchased will arise.  Every product scanned immediately takes the consumer to Amazon, where it can be purchased.  While using an app, the consumer will see recommended similar apps available for purchase.  While listening to music, the owner will be offered song suggestions to buy.  While these advertisements can be turned off, they are set as the default setting and are quite irritating.

In essence, the Fire Phone may be a good option if the consumer regularly buys from Amazon. If potential buyer is interested in other means of purchasing, they should consider sticking to their current phone.