PwC Entertainment & Media Outlook in Italy 2013-2017

Nel 2017 l’industria dei media e dell’intrattenimento in Italia raggiungerà 56,2 miliardi di euro, rispetto ai 48,4 miliardi di euro del 2013, derivanti per circa 7,1 miliardi dall’advertising e per 49,1 miliardi dalla spesa dei consumatori finali, trainata dalla crescita della spesa per l’accesso ai servizi internet e ai servizi in mobilità.

Sono questi i principali driver sintetici evidenziati dal rapporto di PwC “E&M Outlook in Italy 2013-2017” che per il 5° anno descrive i trend relativi a 12 segmenti del mercato:

    • Film Entertainment
    • Television
    • Recorded Music
    • Radio
    • Out-of-Home
    • Internet
    • Newspaper Publishing
    • Consumer Magazine
    • Business to Business
    • Consumer and Educational Book
    • Video Games
    • Gaming

PwC Entertainment&Media Outlook 2013

[Source: PwC | Entertainment & Media Outlook in Italy 2013-2017]

Is iBeacon the real crack of iOS7 and NFC-killer?

At WWDC in June, Apple quietly announced iBeacon, one of the more prominent features of iOS 7. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, mentioned nothing about about it in the keynote, and Apple hasn’t provided any details about it; it was only seen on one slide in the WWDC keynote.

iBeacon Apple WWDC 2013 iOS 7

Nor did Apple say anything about it during the iPhone event Tuesday. But I’m sure this is going to be a big deal, and startup companies like Estimote agree, announcing its support for Apple’s technology Tuesday and releasing this demonstration video.

Why is that so? For a couple of reasons: it opens a door to new set of applications such as indoor maps and in-store marketing, it makes the internet of things a realty and it might kill NFC (near-field communications), the wireless technology most linked with mobile payments.

What is iBeacon?

Using Bluetooth Low Energy(BLE), iBeacon opens up a new whole dimension by creating a beacon around regions so your app can be alerted when users enter them. Beacons are a small wireless sensors placed inside any physical space that transmit data to your iPhone using Bluetooth Low Energy (also known as Bluetooth 4.0 and Bluetooth Smart).

For example, imagine you walk into a mall with an iPhone 5s (comes with iOS 7 and iBeacon). You are approaching a Macy’s store, which means your iPhone is entering into Macy’s iBeacon region. Essentially iBeacon can transmit customized coupons or even walking directions to the aisle where a particular item is located. It can prompt a customer with special promotions or a personalized messages and recommendations based on their current location or past history with the company. Smartphones that are in an iBeacon zone will benefit from personalized microlocation-based notification and actions.

iBeacon demonstration example mobile shopping

In the age of context, iBeacon can provide the information you needed when it is needed. Just like NFC, iBeacons even allow you to pay the bill using your smart phone. The best part? iBeacon can run for up to two years on a single coin battery and it comes with accelerometer, flash memory, a powerful ARM processor and Bluetooth connectivity. Also, you can add more sensors to iBeacon to provide better context.

What is BLE?

As the name implies, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is built specifically to consume small amounts of energy and make phone batteries last longer. But there are limitations with BLE when it comes to transferring data. BLE only supports very low data rates and you cannot stream audio using BLE. You can send small files using BLE and it is a good candidate for small data packets sent from wearable computing such as smart watches and fitness trackers. Built-in platform support for BLE was only added in Android 4.3 (some Android OEMs like Samsung and HTC did develop their own SDKs for BLE prior to Google releasing native support), which is why fitness tracker apps won’t work on some old Android phones.

Why it might be a NFC killer?

iBeacon could be a NFC killer because of its range. NFC tags are pretty cheap compared to NFC chips, but NFC tags are required on each product because NFC works only in very close proximity. In theory, NFC range is up to 20cm (7.87 inches), but the actual optimal range is less than 4cm (1.57 inches). Also, mobile devices need to contain a NFC chip that can handle any NFC communications. On the other hand, iBeacons are a little expensive compared to NFC chips, but iBeacons range is up to 50 meters. Not all phones have NFC chips, but almost all have Bluetooth capability.

Why it is so affordable?

Let’s go back to Macy’s. The average area occupied by a Macy’s store is 175,000 square feet, which is 16,258 square meters. iBeacon’s range is 50 meters (typical Bluetooth range), or 2,500 square meters. So a typical Macy’s store would need 7 iBeacons.

Estimote, a company which just launched to sell beacons, is taking pre-orders at the price of $99 for 3 beacons. The range of Estimote’s beacons is 50 meters, but the recommended range is 10 meters. If you go with the recommendation, you need 1 Estimote beacon for every 100 square meters, which would cost you about $5,000. If Macy’s wanted to add NFC tags (each at 10 cents) to all its products to send information to phones, it would cost $1,000 for 10,000 products, $10,000 for 100,000 products and $100,000 for 1 million products. NFC may not be needed on all products, but this will give a rough idea on how much it could cost.

Google’s focus is on NFC; it just added BLE support to Android

Google has been heavily focused on NFC from the beginning and it didn’t add platform support for BLE until the release of version 4.3. Lot of the apps that rely on BLE couldn’t release the apps for Android phones. Some Android OEM vendors recognized the need and rolled out their own implementations. Google finally listened to the demand and made it part of Android 4.3. But Google has continued to push on NFC and rolled out the NFC-based Android Beam in Android 4.0.

Apple’s focus on Bluetooth

iPhone5c20131-3

Apple has avoided NFC, and all the rumors about NFC getting added to iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 are turned out to be false. Instead of NFC, Apple worked on alternatives using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. During the introduction of iOS 7′s AirDrop at WWDC in June, Apple’s mobile development chief Craig Federighi said, “There’s no need to wander around the room, bumping your phone,” referring how NFC phones need to be very close to transfer the data. As stated on Apple’s website:

AirDrop lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, contacts — and anything else from any app with a Share button. Just tap Share, then select the person you want to share with. AirDrop does the rest using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No setup required. And transfers are encrypted, so what you share is highly secure.

New set of applications

With built-in microlocation geofencing features, iBeacon opens a door to new set of applications in indoor mapping. The GPS signals inside malls are very poor as the signals travel by line of sight, meaning they will pass through clouds, glass and plastic but will not go through most solid objects such as buildings and mountains.

This is the biggest problem for indoor navigation. Google has done in-store maps, but it couldn’t implement indoor navigation because of the line of sight issue. This is where iBeacon’s micro-location feature is going to shine.

From your smart phone, you’ll be able to connect to a nearest iBeacon and get its hard coded GPS location to navigate or use the signal to move to closer to iBeacon. iBeacon supports “enter” and “exit” events, so it can send different notifications while entering into the range and exiting out of the range. Imagine having a museum indoor tour with navigation, in-store navigation to the physical products, or navigation to terminals inside airports and subways.

BLE is the answer to internet of things

To make the internet of things a reality, a sensor’s form factor is very crucial. Size, affordability and internet connectivity are the key factors in a sensor. The possibilities are endless if you could control all sensors these remotely; switching on the AC on the way back home, controlling the refrigerator temperature based on the weather, controlling the room lighting from your smart phone, and so on. Estimote is also working on reducing the size of its beacons so that that they will be more affordable.

Apple has found a smart way to wirelessly transmit data over short distances using BLE. So why do you need to bump your phone with another? Why do you need NFC if you could share the data with anyone in the region with the existing bluetooth technology?

BLE can solve these microlocation data challenges in ways that NFC can’t duplicate.

Hari Gottipati is a software professional, distinguished architect, thought leader, consultant, speaker and freelance writer who specializes in Open Systems, Java, internet scale computing/apps, big data, NoSQL, mobile and Web 2.0. He is currently working as a distinguished principal architect at Apollo Group and in the past he worked for many mobile startups, as well as big companies including Yahoo, Travelocity, and Motorola.

[Source: Gigaom]

The Conversation Prism v4.0

What’s different from 3.0?

Well, version 4.0 brings about some of the most significant changes since the beginning. In this round, we moved away from the flower-like motif to simplify and focus the landscape. With all of the changes in social media, it would have been easier to expand the lens. Instead, we narrowed the view to focus on those that are on a path to mainstream understanding or acceptance.

The result was the removal of 122 services while only adding 111.

This introduces an opportunity for a series of industry or vertical-specific Prisms to be introduced so stay tuned.

ConversationPrism_2880x1800

[Source: The Conversation Prism]

How Does a Touch Screen Phone Work?

Ever wonder why some touch screen phones cost more than others? Or why you can’t seem to get the touch screen on your smartphone to work if you’re wearing a glove? Most people don’t know that there are three different types of touch screen technologies available: resistive, capacitive, and infrared. Learn about the different benefits and capabilities to make sure you get the touch screen phone you’re looking for.

[Source: MyCricket]

What’s Next for the iPhone?

With the unveiling of the latest iPhone reportedly slated for September 12, rumors continue to abound as to what the next generation of this iconic device will bring to the mobile industry – particularly as the evolution of the iPhone tends to send ripples through the mobile landscape at large. When the first iPhone was released in 2007, it paved the way for greater adoption of smartphones among mobile users, pioneering the use of touch screens and sleek mobile user interfaces.comScore MobiLens data show that iPhone users now account for a third of the 114 million U.S. smartphone users age 13+ as the iPhone continues to carve out an increasing share of this rapidly expanding market.

iphone-usage.jpg

In tracing the evolution of the iPhone over the past 5 years, we’ve also seen the iPhone popularize the use of mobile apps through the introduction of the App Store and significantly raise the profile of smartphones as devices used more broadly for mobile media consumption. Concurrently, we’ve seen the demographics of iPhone users shift from being predominantly male, affluent, and younger to having an equal split between genders, with the youngest and oldest age segments and users earning between $50-$75K figuring among the fastest growing segments.

With the release of newer iPhone models over the years, the device has grown in adoption not just because of improvements made, but also because of efforts made by Apple to bring the iPhone to a broader mass market. When the iPhone was first released in the U.S., it was made available only through a single carrier – AT&T (then Cingular). Since the release of the iPhone 4 on Verizon, Apple has continually broadened the network of wireless carriers for the iPhone and sold older generations of the phone at discounted prices, making the device more accessible to the average consumer.

Despite the availability of earlier generation iPhone models at significantly more affordable price points, the growth in the iPhone’s user base as of late appears to come primarily from adopters of more recently-released models. Today, nearly 2 in 5 of the 38.2 million Americans using iPhones are on the iPhone 4, which was released just two years ago. More impressive than that is the fact that 35 percent of iPhone users today are on the iPhone 4S, which was released less than a year ago.

iphone-usage2.jpg

With the impending release of the next iteration of the iPhone, all eyes will be focused on the changes that the next generation of this device brings to the market. As we observed prior to the release of the iPhone 4S, any move that Apple makes could have an impact on the mobile industry at large. Among the new features rumored to be included in the new iPhone, the capacity to support LTE network connectivity stands out as perhaps one of the most heavily-anticipated improvements to the device and one that represents a significant upgrade to the mobile web experience.

Although less than 10 percent of smartphone users currently use LTE-enabled devices, we have seen adoption of LTE-enabled phones increase nearly tenfold in the past year. This growth may reflect both that device manufacturers increasingly see the value of supporting LTE and that mobile users have a willingness to pay to support their demand for faster mobile media consumption.

iphone-usage3.jpg

If the new iPhone does support LTE, it could indicate that Apple is betting that faster mobile connectivity will usher in the future of the industry, driving greater mobile media consumption and paving the way for additional shifts in the way people already use their smartphones. What could this mean for the mobile industry at large? Across the board, having the iPhone support LTE could be a boost to LTE adoption. At the moment, wireless networks such as Verizon which already have a robust infrastructure in place to support LTE stand to gain an advantage. But as other carriers continue to build up their own LTE capabilities, such an advantage may be fleeting.

What can be said with certainty is that whatever changes Apple introduces with the next iPhone, it will reshape not just the mobile media landscape but the very complexion of the digital media industry at large.

[Source: comScore]