Iconic Peek Vision Agogo

Peek Vision are going from strength to strength.  This clever group, lead by ophthalmologists, have developed the portable eye examination kit (Peek) which, with the use of an adapter that can convert a smartphone into a piece of equipment that gives high quality images of the back of the eye and the retina. This can help to diagnose cataracts, glaucoma and many other eye diseases, which are ready for treatment.

Not only have they just won the 2014 Icon Award in the Socially Responsible Design of the Year category  but it looks as if they are on their way to raising their target of £70,000 over at the crowd funding Indiegogo platform  where, as we post, they stand at nearly £53,000.

“This campaign will help us to set up the industrial design and manufacturing process so that we can produce Peek Retina at scale. To create precision tooling will cost in the region of £40,000. The overall cost of set up will be around £150,000. Costs will be finalised once the initial industrial design phase is complete. There will then be a unit cost for each individual adapter produced.We are working with Wideblue  a leading manufacturing consultancy, and specialists in innovative optical engineering who will design and build Peek Retina with us.Peek received an award from TED.com and Mazda and we are putting this towards the set up costs.”

The “perks” you can receive in return for your funding include:

    • Digital Wallpaper for you desktop, phone tablet or whatever for £10
    • One of their adapters (which should fit most smartphones they reckon) for £60 (Eu only). Estimated availability October 2015.
    • A large distributor pack (this includes 100 adapters) which will help you get your distribution chain up & running for £5,000.

We’ll leave you with their video

Watch all the prepping for the iPhone6

Apple have now confirmed their 9/9 media event sending out a large number of invitations yesterday.

Click to enlarge

The venue is the Flint Center for the Performing Arts in Cupertino which we reckon can accommodate over 2,500 which is a much larger capacity than has been catered for recently at such events. Incidentally this was the venue where Steve Jobs launched the original Macintosh back on 24 January 1984 at their Apple Shareholder Event (see the rather dated and partially redacted video below).

The Flint Center

There is quite a lot of prepping already going on at the location with a “structure” out the back which houses who knows what! Security is significant apparently. Picture from MacRumors.

"The Structure" as at August 20

To catch up with the possible features of the iPhone6 Macrumors has most of them!

Conjecture on the iWatch is also available

Other views exist on both the iPhone6 and iWatch front. We’rew not even 100% confident of the wearables name!

We’ll leave you with the 1984 video – if you go in about 39 minutes you’ll catch the 1984 famous ad and the Macintosh unveil from a bag. Vintage and a very well dressed Steve Jobs!

firePHONE, firefly – Mayday Mayday Mayday

The overall reaction is remarkable we think for the paucity of comment on the call element of what is, after all is said and done, a mobile phone!

Having said that we think it is certainly smart in terms of features, some gimmicky, some not. Showrooming has just reached a new level  with firefly’s ability too scan over 100 million items of which, we guess, the majority can be acquired on Amazon.com.

General comment seems to be some surprise at the pricing being somewhat more expensive than envisaged (starting at $199 for a 2 year contract) but the “free Prime for a year” offer saving $99 is quite an incentive.

In hands-on terms some of the features including gesture control are possibly not as smart as they could be. Apps are a significant concern as with the specially “forked” android system being used many of the standard ones are not at this stage available and email systems must be a consideration. At 4.7” the screen size is unsurprisingly larger than Apple’s 5S at 4”.

There’s a useful competitive comparison over at the WSJ detailing iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy S%. HTC One and Motorola‘s MotoX

We guess the firePHONE will ship, like Kindle Fire tablets a smallish % of the overall market (over 1 billion globally)  but where it is present it will achieve up to perhaps 5% points share and globally will ship several million units a quarter peaking over the holiday season. There will of course be an intial surge with maybe between 7 & 10 million max sales in Q3 this year in the US

As far as any UK availability is concerned (US from July 25) the only comment TechRadar got from an Amazon employee was “Stay tuned” which if previous tablet precedents are used as a guide could take us  into at least Q3 of 2015.

In terms of the media event itself which you can watch in full (just under an hour and a half in total)  Jeff Bezos, as usual, was impressive and we particularly liked the use in the opening video sequences of customer application videos to attend the announcement. Amazon had 60,038 requests and had  300 invitations so that’s a 200/1 shot!

We can’t yet see the official Amazon “See what customers have to say” promotional video on YouTube so pending its appearance here’s a third party upload.
You can of course see the two videos on Amazon.coms site

Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with Amazon

A FirePhone for All

Click to view Amazon.com videos

UPDATE 8.15pm BST:

It’s here (or rather there from 25 July) – No UK mention yet. Some features:

  • Mayday button
  • Firefly scanning ability for over 100 million items & growing
  • Dynamic perspective (sort of 3D simulation)
  • Tilt scrolling
  • Much more

Pricing in US is $199 via AT&T for 32gb for 2 year contract we think (unlocked $649)

We will add much more tomorrow. Initially impressed.

Looks like in fact the Amazon / Jeff Bezos announcement today may in fact initially have only US availability as the rumour mill has AT&T as the sole US carrier and … discussions taking place with O2 and Vodafone over here.

Predictably much comment concerns the likelihood of low pricing including possibly free (or subsidised) carrier elements with Mashable saying “But Amazon doesn’t care about helping you keep in touch with friends; it cares about putting its industry-leading online retail store and services in your pocket and your hands almost 24/7.”

We don’t disagree but we think we can rely on Amazon to come up with some eye catching facilities apps or whatever like eg the Mayday button on their Kindle Fires which they recently told us “… the Mayday button is now the most popular way for Fire HDX customers to contact customer service, and the average response time is just 9.75 seconds.“ The button also is used for 75% of all customer contacts on the HDX.

So far we can’t find any details of any live streaming of the Seattle media event due at 10.30am PT which is 6.30pm BST.

There are of course numerous live bloggers prepping for the reveal and we noticed the following:

Pending our update shortly after the event we’ll leave you with the teaser video “ it’s a …, it’s a … it’s a…” We continue to hope it’s a FirePhone!


Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with Amazon.

Lift off for the FirePhone on June 18?

Amazon have announced a “ launch event” by its CEO and founder Jeff Bezos to be held in its home town of Seattle on June 18.

The announcement on its site has some hints in the questions asked of developers to get an invite such as:

  • Which app(s) have you developed?
  • Describe an innovative way in which you have used gyroscopes, accelerometers, or other device sensors in your app development.
  • Are you interested in developing apps utilizing a new type of sensor?
  • Do you have machine learning experience? Please describe.

Also the launch picture looks like the back of a …

Most commentators think it will be a smartphone with added features including a 3D interface involving  multiple cameras.

We rather like the FirePhone name we have just penned & trust it will be adopted by Mr Bezos.

Hopefully the event will be live streamed and we will return to comment come June 18/19 or if you are in Seattle or nearby you can apply for an invitation here

The teaser video has comments like “That is awesome” “It moved with me” “How does it do that?” and “WOW”

See or rather listen for yourself!

Disclosure: We have marketing affiliate arrangements with Amazon

Peek at TED

A little under a year ago we did a post on Peek Vision entitled Peek’s Vision!

A co-founder Andrew Bastawrous now a “.. TED Fellow, showcased the potential of Peek in an inspirational talk at this year’s official TED conference in Vancouver” in March.

The cost of the hardware now looks to be around $500 and the add on clip/adaptor for the smartphone to enable examination of the retina looks to be remarkably cheap (helped by a 3D printer) with a cost of $5.

He says “… smartphone apps and hardware … make it possible to test anyone in any language at any age” and we would add virtually anywhere.

It’s “… extremely important to share data in non medical jargon that people understand … to show carers and teachers what the visual world is like.”

The man on the bike does catch the smartphone incidentally which you can view in the most impressive video of the TED talk.

UK Device Usage Reminder for Traditional Broadcasters

Ofcom produced the latest in their line of rather colourful reports yesterday. It’s the Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report 2014 (pdf). For adults read 16 & over and for 2014 read late 2013!

Their headlines/press releases, which were picked up by the media, highlighted the increased usage of devices by the silver surfers as they are affectionately known by the Mail Online amongst many others,  BUT what caught our attention was the demographics in particular of the Most Missed Media responses.

The overall top 3 devices being chosen as being those most missed at 79% being the TV Smartphone and Online devices (computer, laptop, netbook tablet etc). Across all demographics this total varies between 72% and 83%.

BUT and it’s a big one the TV constituent v’s the online devices including smartphones which overall is about 50/50 (42%/37%) starts with the 16-24 year old group at 13%/65% only going above half with the 45-54 year olds.

This group also figured as  the most increased users of tablets compared to last year increasing from 19% to 44% and on the smartphone front the next group 45-54 year olds were found to be the top increased usage going up from 46% to 66%. As they adopt surely they will increasingly, more likely, be able to do without their TV’s for content!

Smart TV’s have been added to the list of devices added to online access this year and make a pretty impressive start at 9%. We wonder if they include all streaming devices which are another online content source

Undoubtedly much more in the 95 pages of the report

The arrows in the charts relate to any significance testing between 2012 and 2013.    

Brits online 2014

IPATouchPoints5  have just published data from their latest survey concerning the UK consumer technology environment.

Click to ...

They discover that nearly half of us own smartphones and a quarter tablets which moves up to nearly 40% availability on a household basis.

On average we now spend 2 ½  hours a week online a week v’s 2 hours in 2012. In terms of devices, desktops/laptops still take up the majority of this time (54%) followed by smartphones (32%) and tablets (11%).

The activities we undertake online are led by emailing (80% of all adults do this weekly), browsing and looking for services and products (70%) with social networking on the increase (54%).

97% of us still watch television on a television set each week with 13% watching on our desktop/laptop, 8% on a connected TV (presumably both  smart and via set top boxes and other streaming devices), 5% on a tablet and 4% on a smartphone.

On the reading front 54% of us still read print versions of newspapers and magazines with 8% reading on our desktop/laptop, 6% on a smartphone and  4% on our tablets.

As regards to listening to the radio 75%  listen to the radio on a radio or TV set each week with 9% listening on desktops/laptops 9% listen on a smartphone and 4% listen on a tablet.

On the shopping front 90% of us still visit and shop in the high street every week with 5% via a PC and 2% each using smartphones and tablets.

“The survey, conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, questioned 5,100 adults aged 15+ through a substantial self-completion questionnaire and an e.diary that collected data every half hour for a week on how they were spending their time, their opinions, and the role of media in their lives.”

Apple catching Samsung in China

A late 2013 study conducted on China’s consumers by AVANTI, TrendForce‘s  research division shows that Apple appears to be catching Samsung on a purchase intentions basis having trailed them during the whole of 2013.

One of China’s leading domestic companies Xiaomi  also looks to be making some ground on the two leaders.

Apple’s China Mobile  deal was finally signed at the end of 2013 after this study was carried out. The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are now available to China Mobile’s 767.2 million customers  for the first time with reported preorders of over 1 million it looks as Apple could overtake Samsung during the year.

Apple’s results due Monday won’t benefit from the China Mobile partnership but should increasingly impact their results later in the year.

We shall see!

AVANTI’s China consumer market survey was conducted in various different Chinese regions from November 27 to December 2, 2013; A sample of 3000 Chinese consumers were studied at a confidence interval of 95% and a margin of error of +/-1.8%.

Many UK Kids are tablet taught and smartphone savvy by the age of 3!

 uSwitch have just released some rather interesting research following an online survey about UK children’s tablet and smartphone usage.

There are inevitably quite a few extrapolations involved, as they explain (and which we have repeated below) but even so, and also allowing for some possible online bias, the figures are still pretty staggering.

Basically our UK kids, that’s the under 16 year olds, start using tablets and smartphones from an exceptionally young age:

  • 11% of 2 year olds or younger
  • 18% of 2-3 year olds
  • So that’s 29%  of  3 year olds or younger (which is circa 3.8 million)

Parents in terms of when kids got their own tablet said 26.7% got them when they were under 8 years old that’s circa 3.5 million.

On the usage front;

  • 16.3% of parents reckoned their kids were addicted to their gadgets
  • 26.3% of them said their kids were “very reliant on their gadgets and would feel lost without them”
  • So that’s 43% just under half who are at least very reliant on their gadgets
  • 71.1% of parents said they limited the number of hours their children used technology

Fascinating stuff:

uSwitch research info:

Research carried out online amongst 1,740 UK adults in December 2013.

  1. According to ONS 2012 Family Size data there were 7.7 million families with dependent children in the UK in 2012, and families had an average of 1.7 children each. 7.7 million x 1.7 = 13,090,000. uSwitch asked parents with kids under 16 when they first got their own tablet. 26.7% said under 8 years old. *26.7% of 13,090,000 kids is 3,495,030
  2. Those with kids under 16 were asked ‘At what age did your child(ren) first learn use a tablet or smartphone?’ – 10.7% were under 2 years, 17.8% were 2-3 years. Therefore, 29% were 3 years old or younger. 29% of 13,090,000 kids is 3,796,099.
  3. 35% of our respondents have kids under 16 – 35% of 44.9 million UK adults (according to ONS figures) is 15,714,999. 68% of 15.7m is 10.6m. 10.6m x 225.20 = £2,406,532,014. Of those who have children under 16, when asked “How much have you already spent this year/ plan to spend at Christmas on gadgets for your children in total?” the average amount parents plan to spend was £242.85. Based on 35% of respondents having kids under 16 – 35% of 44.9 million UK adults is 15,714,999. 84% of 15.7m is 13.2m. 13.2m x 242.85 = £3,205,765,467. And £2,406,532,014 + £3,205,765,467 = £5,612,297,481
  4. Those with kids under 16 were asked ‘Thinking about your children’s relationship with gadgets, which of the following statements do you most agree with? 16.3% said ‘they’re addicted to their gadgets’, 26.3% said ‘they’re very reliant on their gadgets and would feel lost without them’
  5. Those with kids under 16 were asked ‘Have your children ever run up a bill from using paid-for tablet or smartphone apps?’ – 87.7% said no, 12.3% said yes
  6. Those with kids under 16 were asked ‘Thinking about how much you spend on gadgets for your children, which of the following statements do you most agree with?’ 11.2% said ‘I spend too much money on gadgets for my children, and will spend just as much next year’, 14.2% said ‘I spend too much money on gadgets for my children, but will try and cut back next year’,
  7. Those with kids under 16 were asked ‘which of the following gadgets do your children own or will you be buying them for Christmas?’ 90.9% said games console
  8. Those with kids under 16 were asked ‘ Do you limit how many hours your child(ren) spend using technology? 71.1% said yes, 28.9% said no.