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Learning Mobile

Siri Co-founder: Speech Recognition Ready for Leap Forward

Speech recognition has been around a lot longer than Siri, but Apple’s dulcet-toned digital assistant helped bring the technology to a mass audience, and inspire futuristic visions like the one voiced by Scarlett Johanssen in “Her.” Adam Cheyer, one of the co-founders of Siri (acquired by Apple in 2010), says speech recognition is poised to become more widely used and more sophisticated.   More

Learning Mobile

Siri Co-founder Cheyer on How Change.org Amplifies Voices

Voice-recognition technology helps users interact with their computing devices. But Siri co-founder Adam Cheyer believes that if you recognize people's voices in another sense—when they advocate for change in society—you can help them do something even more important. Cheyer is a software engineer, artificial intelligence expert, and entrepreneur. He’s also a founding member of the social campaign platform Change.org.   More

Finance Mobile

Kiva’s Julie Hanna on Tech as a Democratizing Force

Is technology the most democratizing force mankind has ever seen? That's how technologist and serial entrepreneur Julie Hanna sees it. We spoke with Hanna at a recent Techonomy dinner salon in San Francisco. She asserted that tech tools have leveled the playing field and "enabled globally fair access on a mass scale." But she says there's a lot more to do about what she calls "the global opportunity crisis we face, where half the planet's population is living on less than $2 a day."   More

Arts & Culture Mobile

Magisto’s A.I. Helps Anyone Produce Polished Video

Magisto wants to do for video what Instagram did for photos—provide intuitive tools to edit and enhance them and make them easy to share. Founded in Israel in 2009 by two experts in computer vision and artificial intelligence, Magisto enables a user to simply select photos and videos on their smartphone, choose a visual theme, and automatically create a sophisticated edited product in minutes. There's a lot of computer science on the back end making that possible. Magisto launched in January 2012 at the Consumer Electronics Show, won an app competition there, and now has 20 million registered users worldwide, up from 3 million last year. With 30 employees, the company has offices in Tel Aviv, New York, and San Francisco. Techonomy sat down with Magisto CEO Oren Boiman for a wide-ranging talk about video, social media, and how people want to express themselves.   More

Learning Mobile

Mobile Panel Looks at How to Engage Students Through Their Devices

When it comes to user engagement, the biggest competitor to any online education platform isn’t a rival one, said Dan Friedman of Thinkful on stage at this week's M1 ("Mobile First") Summit. It's Netflix. So how can Web-based schools keep the attention of students who'd rather be watching Breaking Bad? The answer might come from mobile.   More

Mobile

Nihal Mehta on Next Week’s M1 (“Mobile-First”) Summit

Gearing up for next week's first annual M1 ("Mobile-First") Summit, Techonomy sat down with M1 host and entrepreneur Nihal Mehta to talk about his vision for what he calls the first mobile innovation conference of its kind. Mehta, who is also a founding general partner of Eniac Ventures, says he's launching M1 to fill a gap in the mobile conference world—the need for an advanced-level event that goes beyond the basic ABCs of mobile innovation to explore in depth what boundaries are being pushed and what's expected to happen next. "Disruption is inevitable and it's happening very quickly," Mehta told us. "Instead of pushing it away and inhibiting it you gotta embrace it. If you push it away it's going to potentially destroy your business."   More

E-Commerce Mobile

eBay’s Devin Wenig on Retail in a Post-Mobile Age

With mobile connectivity more and more ubiquitous, could we be entering a post-mobile age? eBay's Devin Wenig thinks so, and says it will increasingly define the global marketplace. "The physical and digital worlds are coming together in incredibly interesting ways," Wenig told us at a recent Techonomy dinner salon in San Francisco. Retail is turning stores into virtual shopping and shipping centers, said Wenig, while platforms like Uber and Airbnb use tech to link data to the physical world. The fear that online retailers like eBay could decimate physical retail is being upended, according to Wenig. Instead, small merchants and service providers are learning to use tech and data to broaden their distribution and become more competitive. "Some call it collaborative consumption, some call it the merger of physical and digital. Whatever you call it," said Wenig, "the change ... has been astounding."   More

Business Mobile

Kirkpatrick: Amazon Smartphone Move “Brilliant”

Come September, the hottest phone on the market might not be the iPhone, Galaxy, or Nexus, but a new 3D-capable smartphone developed by none other than Amazon. The Internet behemoth has been considering making a foray into the smartphone market, according to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, and is likely to publicly announce plans in June and go to market as early as September. Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick spoke on Bloomberg Surveillance on Monday about Amazon's possible push into smartphones, calling the move "brilliant" and noting its potential for connecting customer relations with mobile payments. "If you were trying to keep an ongoing relationship for all kinds of commercial relationships with everybody, you have to have a phone," Kirkpatrick said. And for companies hoping to get a return from consumers, transactions are paramount.   More

Healthcare Mobile

Can Mobile Apps Heal American Healthcare?

What do smartphones have to do with medical care? Ask any doctor who has called in pharmacy prescriptions from a golf course, reviewed brain-imaging results in a taxi, or video-chatted with emergency room physicians in another city. Or ask PointClear Solutions, an Atlanta-headquartered custom healthcare software development company that recently acquired NYC-based app developer, Worry Free Labs (profiled here last summer). We did, when we spoke with PointClear CEO David Karabinos about the acquisition and the future of mobile apps for patient care.   More

Business Mobile

Is Mobile Dead?

Is mobile redundant? No, not the technology. But has word “mobile” become redundant? After all, mobile is so ubiquitous these days that it seems as if everything we talk about in tech—from apps to devices to the networks themselves—is inevitably “mobile.” And who better to ask about the ubiquity of mobile technology than the CEOs of Ericsson and Qualcomm and the SVP of Network Operations at AT&T. I had the great fortune at CES this year to moderate a keynote panel featuring Hans Vestberg of Ericsson, Dr. Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm and John Donovan of AT&T. And this was the first question that I asked this all-star panel.   More

Global Tech Mobile

Xiaomi Joins Mobile OS Field

There’s an interesting report out saying that up-and-coming smartphone maker Xiaomi is developing its own mobile operating system (OS), becoming the latest Chinese player to try to muscle in on a market now dominated by three U.S. companies—Apple, Google, and Microsoft. I’ll admit there have been so many similar initiatives by both Chinese hardware and Internet companies these days that it’s hard to know which of the campaigns are genuinely new systems and which are just variants of Google’s popular and free Android OS.   More

Global Tech Mobile

China Lands on iPhone Global Launch Map

China reached an important milestone this week when it was included for the first time in the global launch for Apple’s newest smartphone, the iPhone 5S. The move reflects the growing importance of China to Apple, which now counts the market as its second largest. China’s inclusion in the global launch also reflects an effort by Apple to try and win back local consumers, many of whom have recently abandoned the U.S. tech giant due to long waits to get the latest iPhones and a series of negative media reports.   More