Forecast: Smart Speakers Will Outsell Wearables This Season

Strategy Analytics predicts the smart speaker market will nearly quadruple in unit volume this year, bringing the total to 24 million. According to eMarketer, smart speakers will likely outsell wearables in the U.S. this holiday season. “We expect smart speakers to be the gift of choice for many tech enthusiasts, because of their lower price points,” said eMarketer analyst Cindy Liu. The research firm anticipates continued growth for devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers in the U.S., but slowed growth in terms of usage. Continue reading Forecast: Smart Speakers Will Outsell Wearables This Season

Disney Plans June Opening for its New Theme Park in China

After a decade of planning and five years construction, The Walt Disney Company is set to open the Shanghai Disney Resort in the spring. The $5.5 billion project is a testament to the growing interest in bringing American entertainment brands to Chinese consumers. The 963-acre theme park, complete with an Enchanted Storybook Castle and a Mandarin version of “The Lion King” musical, is expected to be one of the largest Disney parks in the world. Disney already operates a park in Hong Kong. Continue reading Disney Plans June Opening for its New Theme Park in China

A Twist on Wearables: Two Examples that Use Data Differently

Wearables have mostly been discussed in terms of the data they provide — be it steps walked, calories burned or blood pressure measured. Two examples showcased by The New York Times tech writer Eric Taub at CES do more than simply serve data to the user, differences that help to define this new category. One uses sensory information and a rhythmic feedback to change people’s level of happiness and energy; a second was developed by academics, medical centers and Apple to conduct a global medical study on heart health and exercise. Continue reading A Twist on Wearables: Two Examples that Use Data Differently

FIDO Certification is First Step for a World Without Passwords

Official FIDO certification for 31 products — from physical devices to login services — has been issued to 18 companies, marking the first certification under the new spec that aims to foster alternatives to password authentication and provide new opportunities for interoperating services. Systems compatible with FIDO can accept logins from any certified device, such as a fingerprint reader or voiceprint detector. Google’s all-purpose login service was certified as a universal two-factor server, and Yubico received certification for two USB security keys. Continue reading FIDO Certification is First Step for a World Without Passwords

MagicBand Offers Seamless Experience for Theme Park Guests

Visitors of Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando can now enter the theme park, check in at FastPass entrances, and buy food and merchandise without ever having to reach for their wallets. That is because Disney recently introduced the MagicBand, a tech enabled wristband that transmits signals to various sensors throughout the theme park so that the consumer experience can be completely hassle-free. Each wristband is personalized and designed to anticipate the needs of anyone visiting the park.  Continue reading MagicBand Offers Seamless Experience for Theme Park Guests