Tag Archives: programme

From heart attacks to fainting, this watch flags up health threats before they strike

Along with a range of health sensors, ContinYou's new Contact watch can send alerts about changes to its wearer's vital signs.
 Stig Øyvann
By Stig Øyvann for Norse Code | April 7, 2017 — 
The Contact watch has built-in sensors to measure pulse, blood oxygen level, temperature, and barometric pressure.

Norwegian entrepreneur Terje Tobiassen survived a heart attack while driving in 2014. The experience inspired him to find a way to help himself and others get warnings of imminent health threats, such as falls and fainting.

Tobiassen established the company ContinYou to develop health technology, and this month its first product, the health-monitor watch Contact, will be available in Norwegian stores.

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The Contact watch has several built-in sensors to monitor its wearer's pulse, blood oxygen level, temperature, and barometric pressure. By combining data from these sensors, the device can predict dangerous situations before they occur, according to ContinYou.

"Based on increasing pulse and lowered oxygen saturation levels, we can estimate if the wearer is about to faint, or if there is a risk it can happen. Through mobile technology the watch can communicate with heath personnel or the wearer's relatives," Tobiassen said in a statement.

The barometric pressure sensor is used to detect if the wearer falls.

The Contact watch is equipped with a built-in GSM SIM card from mobile operator Telia. Using this communication channel, the watch can alert others when it detects changes in vital signs that give cause for concern, or if the wearer presses its large button.

The cooperation with Telia goes further than just a communication vehicle. Telia will use its marketing muscle to promote the product when it is ready for sale. The Contact watch will also retail through Telia's own stores throughout Norway.

The target users for the device are people aged over 60 years. The company states that it shall be "relevant first and foremost for family and relatives".

Tobiassen's thinking is that welfare technology is not important just for the elderly, but also for their families.

"What happened to me in 2014 was a big strain for my family. This watch will provide safety both for the wearers and their families," he said

 

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The 10 best smartphones of 2017 so far

Samsung just revealed the new Galaxy S8 while all the rest of the major announcements have been completed over the past two months. By Matthew Miller for Smartphones and Cell Phones | April 4, 2017 — 13:14 GMT (14:14 BST) | Topic: Mobility

The Apple iPhone tends to take the top spot in most of my biannual lists, with Samsung making an appearance every once in a while. With continued innovation in the Android space and much of the same from Apple, the advancements in technology outweighed simplicity this time.

It is not easy to pick the top phone when so many great options exist. While you may not agree with my particular order, it's likely you have most of these in your top 10. I was fairly certain of my top pick this year, especially after attending the launch event in NYC last week, but I still posted a Twitter poll that confirmed my top two phones.

1. SAMSUNG GALAXY S8/S8 PLUS
samsung-galaxy-s8-gear-vr-gear-360-dex-bixby-11.jpg
I actually had the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 at the top of my last list in December 2016, but after two recalls it was removed from consideration. The Samsung Galaxy S8/S8 Plus takes first place this time for many reasons.

Samsung's Infinity Display looks fantastic and minimizes the top and bottom bezel while removing anything on the sides which roll down from the front to the back. We see ample RAM and internal storage with the ability to add inexpensive microSD cards, new Bixby assitant and a hardware button dedicated to its use, improved front facing camera, Samsung Pay payment technology, wireless and fast charging, IP68 dust and water resistance, a USB Type-C standard port, and traditional 3.5mm headset jack. There is nothing missing from the Galaxy S8 and it deserves the top spot.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 can be pre-ordered now and will ship in the next couple of weeks. The S8 is priced at $750 and the S8 Plus at $850. Pre-orders include a free Samsung Gear VR and controller too.

My Galaxy S8 Plus review will be posted in a couple of weeks. I'm picking this as the top device based on my limited time with the S8 at the launch event and my extended time with the S7 and S7 Edge.

2. APPLE IPHONE 7/7 PLUS
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Whenever I need to make sure I have a phone that does it all and gets me through a long day, I regularly pop my SIM into the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. The water resistance, improved cameras, more RAM, a larger capacity battery, a faster processor, and stereo speakers are all compelling features.

However, the iPhone 7 ends up in second because it has no fast charging technology, internal storage is locked to whatever capacity you purchase, there is no standard headphone jack, there is no wireless charging, Apple Pay has limitations, and the phones are quite large for the display sizes.

The Apple iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are also the most expensive smartphones available today, when compared to similar flagships.

Check out the my full review of the iPhone 7 Plus (9.3 rating) and Jason's iPhone 7 review (9.0 rating). CNET also has reviews of the iPhone 7 Plus (8.8 rating) and iPhone 7 (8.7 rating).

3. LG G6
lg-g6-hardware-8.jpg
LG was the first to get its flagship out to customers with the new 18:9 aspect ratio and after using one for more than a month I considered it as a possible number one contender. It is priced the lowest of these top three at just $650 with a microSD card slot, incredible performing dual rear cameras, shock resistance, minimal bezels and a pocketable form factor, wireless charging, and dust and water resistance.

The LG G6 has a rather thick uniform body and doesn't have anything that particularly makes it stand out from the crowd. The LG UX is OK and is not too intrusive, but LG doesn't have a great track record with regular software updates and there is still something for LG to prove in 2017. But the LG G6 is a wonderful device to show that LG is able to compete with Samsung and Apple.

Check out my full review (9.5 rating) of the LG G6.

4. GOOGLE'S PIXEL AND PIXEL XL
It's hard for me to pick a phone for the top three that six months after release still has a back order from four to five weeks. The Google Pixel and Pixel XL are outstanding devices and for about a month I owned a Google Pixel XL.

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Image: CNET
The Pixel has a 5 inch display while the Pixel XL has a 5.5 inch display. Both are powered by a Qualcomm 821 processor. Other key specs include 4GB of RAM, 32 or 128GB of internal storage, 12.3 megapixel camera and 8 megapixel front facing camera, and Android 7.1 Nougat.

There is no water resistance or wireless charging capability, internal storage is locked to either 32GB or 128GB, and the bezels of the phone are quite large when you compare it to the new LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8.

Just like the iPhone, you will get updates to the Android software first on a Google Pixel or Pixel XL so if having the latest version of the software is important to you then you can't beat a Pixel.

The camera helps you take wonderful photos and that was the one reason I almost kept mine. However, there are too many other compromises with the hardware that I was not willing to make. The Google Pixel is priced at $649 and $749. The Google Pixel XL is priced at $769 and $869.

Check out the Jason Cipriani's full review of the Google Pixel XL (8.0 rating). CNET also has a review of the Google Pixel (8.8 rating).

5. MOTO Z/Z FORCE DROID
It's been a while since I've been impressed by a Motorola phone, but the Moto Z and Moto Z Force Droid look great, feel great, and perform well. These phones incorporate a modular design that actually makes sense and works well.

moto-z-force-droid-7.jpg
The Moto Z is available as a GSM unlocked phone for $699 with the Moto Z Force Droid a Verizon exclusive, available for $720 (32GB) and $770 (64GB).

The Z Force Droid edition adds a shatterproof display, which is something we don't see often today. Both phones have high resolution displays, leading internal specifications, a water repellent nano-coating, and battery life that lasts longer than an iPhone 7 Plus.

Motorola has done a good job updating these latest Moto Z phones with the operating system and monthly Android security updates. You can also use the Moto Z Force Droid in a Google Daydream headset for a VR experience.

The Moto Mods snap on and off easily and are very functional. Motorola has spent time and money fostering the Moto Mods development and we are starting to see projects on Indiegogo and elsewhere.

6. HUAWEI MATE 9
huawei-mate-9-launch-11.jpg
CNET/CBS Interactive
While I enjoy testing out Huawei phones as part of my ZDNet experience, I don't usually include Huawei phones on this list since they are rarely sold in the US. However, the Huawei Mate 9 is available for GSM phone users on Amazon and other US retailers for just $599.

If long battery life, high quality photos, and a big 5.9 inch screen are important to you then you may want to consider the Huawei Mate 9. You can now install the Amazon Alexa app and have another assistant to work with Google Assistant.

The Huawei Mate 9 has a powerful Kirin 960 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB internal storage with microSD card slot, dual rear cameras with Leica branding, and a massive 4,000 mAh battery to get you through two days of work.

7. GALAXY S7/S7 EDGE
galaxy-s7-9.jpg
While the Samsung Galaxy S8 may be the ultimate Samsung flagship, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge are still fantastic smartphones that can be found at reduced pricing with the S8 soon hitting store shelves. These smartphones have industry leading specifications, refined design, and capabilities that had me almost awarding it a perfect 10 in my review. The only con I could come up with for the S7 was that it is a fingerprint magnet and for the S7 Edge that the edge screen sometimes facilitated inadvertent screen presses.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge have extremely fast cameras that take excellent photos and video, responsive fingerprint scanners and advanced Samsung Pay support, water resistance without the fuss of ports, elegant refined design with the use of metal and glass, and also launched with sweet offers from US carriers and Samsung.

The S7 and S7 Edge still use microUSB and have a front physical home button, both of which may still appeal to some people.

CNET also awarded the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge an Editor's Choice award so there's little doubt that Samsung's year old smartphones are still some of the best smartphones available today.

8. BLACKBERRY KEYONE
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BlackBerry KEYone (Image: TCL)
The BlackBerry DTEK60 is a solid device, available at a great price, that offers a high level of security in an elegant design. However, I decided to award the spot on this list to the upcoming BlackBerry KEYone that brings a physical QWERTY back to BlackBerry customers.

The BlackBerry KEYone doesn't have all of the highest flagship specs found in the DTEK60, but it is a very capable device with an excellent camera. The KEYone has a 4.5 inch display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor, massive 3505 mAh battery, 12 megapixel rear camera, and fingerprint sensor built into the keyboard spacebar.

TCL is now making BlackBerry hardware and as I saw on the DTEK60 it is doing a fantastic job at providing monthly Android security updates, which is not something many Android manufacturers can say.

The BlackBerry KEYone was scheduled for an April release but with the latest news it may be delayed until May. It is priced at $549, which is reasonable for this unique BlackBerry device.

9. ONEPLUS 3T
There are a number of excellent Android smartphones available today in the $400 range and one of the best is the OnePlus 3T. OnePlus has recently sold some special color options, including midnight black, in order to satisfy customers looking for a unique device.

oneplus-3t.jpg
Image: OnePlus
The OnePlus 3T feels much like an HTC 10, but the customization, more RAM, and longer battery life make it compelling. It does have a 1080p display so the resolution is not as high as an HTC 10, but it is priced significantly lower.

The OnePlus 3T has a Snapdragon 821 processor, 6GB RAM, and 64GB/128GB of internal storage. There is a 3,400 mAh battery to keep you going, along with Dash Charge for quick top off when you need it.

OnePlus has shown it can update the phone regularly as well with a few updates already made since its release. It has some awesome customization options and is one of my favorite low price smartphones.

Sandra Vogel gave it a 9/10 rating in her ZDNet review. CNET awarded the OnePlus 3T 9.0/10 in its review.

10. HTC U ULTRA
For many years I was an HTC fan and purchased most of the One series. The HTC U Ultra was released over a month ago and while it looks gorgeous it is a bit of step back from the HTC 10 and doesn't compete well with the current flagships.

first-look-htc-u-ultra-3.jpg
Like the HTC 10, the HTC U Ultra provides a fantastic audio experience with dual stereo speakers and an included USonic headset that maps the specifics of each of your ears.

The U Ultra has a 5.7 inch high resolution LCD display in a 162.41 x 79.79 mm form factor. Despite the size of the phone, you will only find a 3000 mAh battery inside that didn't even let me make it through a full day of work.

The price is a bit high at $749, especially when you compare the HTC U Ultra to other flagships. The back glass, an unusual move for a company that set the bar with aluminum unibody designs, is stunning. However, it is also a major fingerprint magnet.

There is no level of water resistance, wireless charging is not present even though the back is glass, and there is no headphone jack.

I awarded the HTC U Ultra a a 7.0/10 in my review, while CNET awarded the HTC U Ultra a comparable 6.8/10.

While it's always fairly clear which devices are in the top five, the second five are a bit tougher and some devices get left off the list. I didn't expect a BlackBerry and an HTC device to be on the list this year, but could also add in some more affordable Motorola and other devices. What other devices would you recommend for this top ten list?

Related ZDNet top 10 smartphones articles

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The 2 Biggest Cybersecurity Fears of NASDAQ’s Chief Information Security Officer

NASDAQ CISO, Lou Modano, shares the big picture fears that businesses need to think about — even if they already have a great information-security program in place.
  
By Joseph Steinberg CEO, SecureMySocial   @JosephSteinberg

I recently spoke with Lou Modano, Chief Information Security Officer of NASDAQ, and asked him what his greatest fears are right now when it comes to keeping NASDAQ cyber-safe. Of course, there are many threats facing NASDAQ – from criminals to hacktivists to nation states – and the stock exchange obviously has an army of highly skilled information-security professionals, intensive information-security-related training, and a robust information-security technological infrastructure, so my question went beyond the usual technological and human issues, and, instead focused on what risks are hardest to correct even with significant cybersecurity resources. As such, CISO Modano's observations provide insight into the big-picture problems that businesses, cybersecurity professionals, and policymakers should be thinking about.

Modano told me that his two greatest concerns are:

1. The speed at which vulnerabilities are exploited to create cyber-weapons.
It is no secret that, in recent years, hackers have become much more adept at creating cyberweapons to exploit vulnerabilities, and that the time between the disclosure of a particular vulnerability and the creation of a weapon that exploits it has dramatically decreased. When vulnerabilities are found in software, the software makers typically issue patches – that is, fixes that can be downloaded and installed either automatically or manually. Modano pointed out, however, that the because the time between the issuance of a patch and the discovery of weapons that exploit the associated vulnerability in unpatched systems is going down, organizations wishing to stay secure often have a lot less time to deploy patches than they used to have in the past. Because a formal change management process including the testing of patches is needed in order to ensure that patches do not interfere with system functions or otherwise have adverse side effects, organizations face a growing risk of being unable to fully deploy patches before hackers start attacking unpatched systems or of deploying inadequately tested patches. While businesses can work to make their patching and change management process extremely efficient, even doing so does not fully solve the problem – especially in situations in which vulnerabilities are announced before patches are available, in which cases criminals often create cyber-weapons that exploit the vulnerabilities even before the associated patches are released by vendors. We may see an example of this in the near term if Wikileaks decides to publish details of CIA cyberweapons before the associated vulnerabilities are fixed by vendors, and folks have had adequate time to test and install the fixes; such an occurrence could force security-conscious organizations to temporarily disable various online services.

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Lesson: Make sure you have an efficient process for obtaining, testing, and deploying security fixes, and be aware of when you may be at risk even with such a process in place.

2. How does the information-security team know what it does not know?
As Sun Tzu pointed our thousands of years ago, it is much easier to defend against attacks when you know your enemy and its tactics. While security professionals do attempt to monitor hacker communication channels for indications of brewing attacks and exploits, one of the greatest problems that defenders face is that hackers are, by definition, one step ahead. Security pros face challenges in getting as much intelligence about what threats are coming – sometimes there are warnings from chatter or from information shared on social media, but sometimes defenders know nothing about a powerful attack before it is launched. Modano pointed out that industry groups and other methods of exchanging information do help – as one organization that detects something anomalous or hostile can share its findings with others both to warn them and to see if others have observed similar potential threats. Even firms that compete for business often recognize that when it comes to information security it is in their common interest to share information about threats that they discover – after all, if a criminal or nation state breaches one of the firms, he/she/it is likely to launch similar attacks against the others. At the same time, however, as Modano noted to me, there is a lack of standardization across federal and state regulators on matters related to privacy, information sharing, breach notification, and other areas of security; a lack of uniformity complicates matters related to knowledge sharing, as not all businesses are subject to same rules and requirements.

Lesson for us all: Make sure you obtain as much relevant intelligence as you can about threats to your business and personal information systems. Industry groups and information-security venues can be one good source of such knowledge.

For insights from other experts who attended the recent NASDAQ – National Cybersecurity Alliance Summit in New York, please see my article 6 Insights From Experts At The NASDAQ-NCSA CyberSecurity Summit.

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Is Your Current JOB Replaceable by a ROBOT in the Next 5 Years?

It’s a vital question. Take a moment and think over it!!! As per a report by the University of Oxford, 47% of Jobs in US, 35% in UK and a whopping 77% in China are estimated to get automated. A quest arises, are we moving towards a ‘workerless’ world? The World is headed towards a more precision and error free operations whilst slipping into chaos day by day. Making sense of the world we live in is a tough task but the most we can do is safeguard our futures individually. We are seeing a rise in Self-Employment, Free Lancers and Entrepreneurship over the last decade. But how competent and sustainable will it be when the world gets even more fierce in terms of competition? A Small piece of pie will be chased by many. We need to brace ourselves for this coming time.

People in their 20s and 30s will be the most affected because of Automation. It is set to have a cascading effect on multiple industries and support functions displacing millions from jobs. Though Computers and Robots will make work processes more accurate and easy they will need highly skilled workforce to manage them. Constant skill upgradation embracing new systems and technologies will be needed by the future workforce. The element of ‘Human’ factor will slowly minimize making humans go crazy over machines and technology. It’s an uncertain world we are headed for which will have no place for low-skilled and semi-skilled workforce which make up a substantial chunk of the economy. Many say that Computers will enhance the existing work operations thereby assisting or complimenting the human ‘Brain’ and thought processes and therefore Automation should not be painted with a grey picture.

 

But have we thought of the millions of low-skilled and semi-skilled workforces which anyway will get displaced and the effect on the subsequent families associated with them. China, the world’s manufacturing hub is headed towards rising joblessness index as automation is slowly setting in. Foxconn, the manufacturer of iPhones recently replaced 60000 of its workforce with Automation Robots. Just as the world saw a gradual phase out of Tellers at Banks because of ATM’s, aggregations and app based functions will bring disruptions in industries. How do we govern and regulate all this? We are soon approaching a stage where development is crossing that threshold of sustainable development to destructive automation which has no place for Human Emotions and Human Factor. We who have created it are becoming victims of our own creation.  Transportation and Commutation is witnessing a revolution through 'Driver-Less Cars and Drones'. Uber, the world's leading Cab aggregator is set to test Driver-less cars in its network.

Populous countries like India and China are seeing mass displacement of people caused due to the sudden spurt in technology. Demographics of such nations are seeing a dramatic change and shift in lifestyles. India carried out a Demonetisation drive in the last quarter of 2016 wiping out 85% of Cash from the system's economy thereby encouraging the population to adopt Digital Payment Systems and Banking Channels. It was alarming to see the chaos and unrest across the length and breadth of the country throwing most of the people into a frenzy. The picture is slowly transforming now. People have realised the need to adapt Digital payments and Banking channels. 

We cannot stop automation from invading our daily lives but we surely must take steps to make the current and next generation adaptable to the new world. Millennials who are currently working in the Telemarketing, Insurance, Banking, Manufacturing, Transportation, Retail and Construction profiles need to start preparing themselves actively for the automated world which will soon knock on their doors. The question will surely arise as to what exactly can be done when the future seems so grim? In the words of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, the future world will be more of individualistic profiles competing against each other. Physical presence will matter no more but a virtual presence and virtual image on the 15-inch mobile device we carry will bear immense importance.

At Asterizk, we interact on a regular basis with Technology, Government and Industry Leaders through our think tank sessions which has really enabled us to bridge that gap and create programs and services customized to help working professionals brace for the Automated world. Interacting with individuals, youngsters, free lancers, self-employed professionals, college graduates to Senior Management officials has really made us realize and wonder over the power of human potential. There will be a need for human touch and human interference even in the automated world. We just need to strike the right balance to make sense of the world of automation.

At Asterizk, we are taking steps to amalgamate the smallest factor of working force with the automated world to make Automation more meaningful for all the sections of the society. We are taking steps to make every low skilled and semi-skilled individual realize his value, build upon his value and make him ready for the automated world. It’s an uphill task but when we have a collective desire to make a difference and bring about a change even the impossible seems possible.

To know more, You may follow Asterizk on Linkedin and Twitter

Harshal Bhalerao – Follow the Author on Twitter and Linkedin for more updates

Co-Founder and Director

ASTERIZK is a leading Business Intelligence and Resource Development Company Conceptualised, Strategized and Incorporated to service the Corporate Learning, Knowledge Management, Business Intelligence, Personal Branding and Networking Work Space. 

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Your internet speeds will be insanely fast when 5G arrives

When the 5G wireless standard hits the mainstream, our home internet speeds have the potential to be so fast that we'll be downloading 4K movies, games, software, and any other large form of content at a fraction of the time we're used to.

5G is the upcoming evolution of wireless 4G LTE, which is mostly used today for wireless mobile networks. It'll offer incredibly fast wireless communication that can be used for a number of applications outside of mobile networks, one of which is home internet.

At Mobile World Congress this year, Samsung showcased its 5G Home Routers, which achieved speeds of up to 4 gigabits-per-second (Gbps), according to PCMag. That's 500 megabytes-per-second, which could let you download a 50GB game in under two minutes, or a 100GB 4K movie in under four minutes.

To give you an idea of how fast that is, the average internet speed in the US as of 2016 is 55 megabits-per-second, which translates to a woeful 6.5 megabytes-per-second.

As PCMag's Sascha Segan points out, however, Samsung's router was right next to the transmitting 5G cell at the time of the demonstration. That means those speeds are probably only possible in a perfect scenario, where the 5G router is extremely close to the 5G radio cell without any interference, obstacles, or network congestion.

Still, even with 50% of that performance, we could be experiencing 2Gbps speeds at home. And even 1Gbps — 25% of the perfect scenario — would be great compared the US internet speed average.

Gigabit internet speeds aren't new, but they're extremely rare to come by. There are just a handful of ISPs that offer Gigabit Internet in just a few parts of the US, largely because it's incredibly expensive to lay down infrastructure. It involves digging up roads to install miles of fiber optic cables and connecting them to your specific address.

The best part about wireless 5G millimeter waves is that ISPs don't have to build costly infrastructure to deliver those insanely fast speeds. Instead, your internet service will be delivered wirelessly through the air, much like your mobile network for your phone.

How does it work?
Samsung's 5G Home Router will use an antenna installed outside of one of your home's windows, which is connected to a WiFi router inside your home. That antenna will pick up one of 5G's "millimeter wave" wireless signals that are transmitted from millimeter wave cell towers.

We've actually seen this technology before from a startup called Starry, which is currently in the testing phase in Boston. 

Hurry up and wait.
You can't buy it yet, but the technology is here, and now it's a matter of when this 5G millimeter wave technology will become mainstream. 

We're essentially waiting for ISPs to begin rolling out 5G. At the moment, Verizon is testing 5G in a few parts of the US, and the the overall consensus for mainstream 5G is around 2020.

There's no indication of how much these routers and other equipment will cost, nor how much the internet plans will cost, either. You can get a 500Mbps plan from Verizon Fios at the moment, but that costs $275 per month. 

Here's to hoping Gigabit 5G Internet will be cheaper.

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Apple may have more than 1,000 engineers working on augmented reality for the iPhone, UBS says

Investors should buy Apple shares because the company is making a big bet on augmented reality, according to UBS, which reiterated its buy rating.
"According to some industry sources, the company may have over 1,000 engineers working on a project in Israel that could be related to AR [augmented reality]," analyst Steven Milunovich wrote in a note to clients Tuesday. "Our work suggests that AR could be the next major innovation from Apple and that its competencies could make the company a winner … Augmented reality is an area where Apple could leapfrog competition in providing a superior user experience. This could result in sustained iPhone retention rates and more switchers."
Augmented reality is a technology that "overlays digital content on the real world through the device's camera view."
Milunovich raised his Apple price target to $151 from $138, representing 10 percent upside from Monday's close.
The analyst quoted Apple CEO Tim Cook comparing augmented reality innovation to the iPhone, saying, "I think AR is that big, it's huge." 

Milunovich cited how the company bought multiple AR technology companies such as PrimeSense, Metaio and RealFace. Milunovich thinks it's possible an early form of AR may be released with the iPhone 8 later this year.
"Apple appears more interested in AR [augmented reality], which connects people, than VR [virtual reality], which potentially isolates experiences," he wrote. "Apple may be well equipped to lead given its core competencies in hardware design and software/hardware integration as well as its large base of affluent iPhone and iPad owners."

— CNBC's Michael Bloom contributed to this story

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