Tag Archives: space

Apple Just Put Another Nail In Snapchat’s Proverbial Coffin

Apple announced it will launch Clips in April, a video-making app that allows users to capture photos and videos, combine multiple videos and include a variety of features like Filters, Overlays, Posters and Live Titles.

We can draw many similarities between Clips and the already existing features of Snapchat, Instagram and Messenger. However, the key difference is that Clips is not attempting to build a stand-alone network. Instead, it acts as a production tool and encourages sharing across all existing platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and even Snapchat. Although the main emphasis is to encourage sharing via iMessage, the option of social network freedom is nevertheless there.

Until now, the mass-market video messaging features have been largely tied to the boundaries of their parent platforms. Users post Snaps on Snapchat, Stories on Instagram and Days on Messenger. To take part in advanced video messaging, users had to use at least one of these social networks, often multiple ones, as different social circles use different platforms. Users often tend to post content only on the one channel they find most relevant. With Clips, users can now make one Clip and share with their peers on Snapchat, their mother on Instagram and their grandfather on Facebook in one seamless session – or use iMessage to share it with their phone contacts. Apple encourages users to engage with the latter by deploying its face recognition technology that automatically suggests to share the clips with the people featured in the video.

Why Is Apple Doing This?

Apple rightly recognized that advanced video messaging features have grown so popular,that they have become a major product differentiator in the war of social networks. Apple has always been all about making consumers’ lives easier with user-friendly products. If mobile users have now evolved to expect a great photo/video messaging production experience as a standard, it is in Apple’s utmost interest to deliver it better than any non-Apple product can. Because of this, it is highly unlikely that we are going to see an Android version anytime soon (unless the uptake on iOS exceeds all expectations and a scalable opportunity emerges to drive potential new Apple users into the pipeline).

Apple is joining the trend of making video messaging features a part of its own product differentiation, but it does it in a completely different, competitive landscape. While most companies use video messaging features to differentiate their social media platforms, no other smartphone manufacturers do so at scale.

Implications

Besides creating a new product differentiator for iOS that will help drive further brand loyalty, Clips may disrupt both Snap Inc. and Facebook Inc.. If consumers start using Clips to produce photo and video messages at scale, all social networks risk a decrease in their average session lengths as a result. Even worse however, is their risk of loosing a portion of the high-value Apple users, who may simply choose to start sharing via the iMessage app. This in turn could threaten the value for advertisers and subsequently drive ad-inventory prices down.

This is much more of an existential threat for Snapchat than Facebook, because the former is amidst figuring out its business model and it does not have a solid foothold globally. After losing its product differentiation in the social messaging space, it will now face additional competitive pressures from the most valuable company in the world.
Karol Severin Karol Severin
Analyst • MIDiA Research

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NASA astronauts may soon be able to 3D-print pizzas in space

NASA astronauts may soon be able to 3D-print pizzas in space, thanks to technology built by Columbus and Silicon Valley-based startup BeeHex. American startup BeeHex, born from a NASA project, is set to soft launch its flagship 3D Chef robot, which can print pizzas in less than five minutes.
 Tas Bindi
By Tas Bindi | March 9, 2017 — 01:08 GMT (01:08 GMT) | Topic: Innovation

 

BeeHex's flagship Chef 3D robot — which can print 12-inch pizzas in less than five minutes — could mean that space travellers will have a more terrestrial alternative to freeze-dried, prepackaged meals that are designed for nutrition and ease of consumption in microgravity.

In addition to producing a range of toppings from fresh ingredients, Chef 3D can fabricate gluten-free and custom-shaped pizzas, according to BeeHex. Like other 3D printers, Chef 3D connects to a computer that tells it which dough, sauce, and cheese to use.

The cartridges are filled with all the necessary ingredients, and the robot's nozzle starts layering liquefied dough, followed by sauce, toppings, and melted cheese.

The reason pizza was chosen as one of the first foods to be 3D-printed is because it involves layering ingredients, which suits the capabilities of the technology, BeeHex said. Unlike traditional additive manufacturing technologies, Chef 3D relies on pneumatic systems to move ingredients around.

While BeeHex was born out of a NASA project — NASA provided a $125,000 grant to Systems and Materials Research Consultancy to research how 3D printing could be used to make food — the startup is focusing on broader commercial applications in places like theme parks, festivals, shopping malls, and sports arenas.

It recently closed a $1 million seed funding round led by food automation specialist and Donatos Pizza founder Jim Grote to support commercial development and deployment.

BeeHex's pre-production prototypes have been exhibited at various conferences, with a soft launch slated for later in the year. The startup will be working with pilot customers in the food business to test the efficacy of the technology.

The startup's co-founders, Anjan Contractor, Chintan Kanuga, Jordan French, and Ben Feltner, as well as investors, are looking to provide printing solutions to high-volume pizza restaurants like Domino's and Pizza Hut.

BeeHex hopes that in the near future, 3D-printed meals will be ordered via an app, with customers also having the ability to customise meals according to their preferences.

While consumers are yet to fully digest the idea of 3D-printed food, there is interest among food companies to adopt the technology. In July last year, for example, London saw the arrival of a restaurant celebrating 3D printed food, furniture, and cutlery.

For three days and three special meals, pop-up restaurant Food Ink took up temporary residence in a Shoreditch side street to showcase the versatility of 3D printing.

The global market for 3D printed food is anticipated to be driven by a need for mass customisation, as 3D printing saves time, labour, and waste.

http://www.zdnet.com/video/beehex-develops-delivery-app-for-3d-printed-pizza/

 

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