20070126

"Green Taxi" - follow this cab

London invented pink cabs for the ladies by the ladies ? Seoul replies with its Green Taxis. Don't expect any environmental friendly gimmick : GTs are about removing the fear factor from the cab experience.
It's late and you're alone in the dark. Enter Travis Bickle with his mohawk (a.k.a. Robert de Niro in Scorcese's Taxi Driver). Friend or foe ? You decide to take the chance, but to play it safe you RFIDly download his ID (license plate) on your cell phone. Tadaa : your family knows who's taking care of you and where you are.
And Travis knows he's being watched. He also knows you don't trust him.

The Green Taxi concept ? A frustrated psycho killer driving a paranoid customer.

I prefer another killer application : 3,500 to 5,000 Korean cabs will accept credit cards, including seamless payments with your mobile phone.



20070110

iPhone, you Zune - soon on Apple TV

Apple reached an agreement with Cisco on iPhone trademark issues on time for MacWorld and the CES.
Apple reached an agreement with Yahoo! on mobile searches and Google on mobile mapping.
Apple reached an agreement with Microsoft on the compatibility between iPhones and Mac / Windows.
Microsoft warned Apple : phones are a tricky business and even Redmond eggheads are struggling. Adding a keypad to your iPod won't solve everything. If it were the case, we would be launching our own Zune phone. And if we knew how to solve anything, we would even have launched a good Zune in the first place !
Apple TV is not so HD (720p instead of 1080p), not so high storage either (only 40G), not so multimedia (games ?), and definitely not so innovative... but anyway, the iPod itself is far from being the best Portable Multimedia Player around. And Apple is Apple.
Is it ?
Apple is no more about innovation but about hype. Apple is no more "Apple Computer" but "Apple Inc". Apple doesn't make computers anymore ; Apple sells Apple.
Sony also used to enjoy the sometimes too comfortable position of the "cool" brand.
Actually, Sony should be leading the multimedia convergence, being into computers, TVs, handsets, game consoles, and even entertainment. It unfortunately tackled convergence with hardware solutions (Memory Stick) while Apple focused on software (iTunes, iPhoto...).
Neither will dominate because either way, the industry doesn't like standards owned by only one of them.
Apple TV will certainly contribute to the democratization of enhanced home entertainment. And iPhones will sell, even at such a high price. But the more they do, the sooner iTunes will be forced to open up, and Apple itself to change business models.







20070108

CES 2007 - a cup of T before China-To-The-Home

Another year, another light bulb show on The Strip. The 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show shouldn't bring major disruptions, only display the ability of some players to deliver more goods after Christmas.
Sin City ? Forget the booze and take a cup of T : the time has come for the mass market to hear about terabytes more often. Massive hard drives on one end, heavy entertainment on the other, and FTTH in between, the dice are rolling.
Spin City ? From "Let It Snow" to "Get It Now®", Verizon Wireless adds V CAST Mobile TV to V CAST Music, V CAST Video (YouTube ? YouBet !), Mobile Web 2.0(SM) and co. Yet, VZW won't be the star this year. Qualcomm ? He'll try to fool the paparazzis with his former Korean proteges (Samsung SCH-u620, LG VX9400), but Samsung and LG already displayed MediaFLO handset last CES 2006 and both are openly courting DMB and DVB*. Besides, Qualcomm is still being sued in Korea, where Microsoft is strictly monitored and Intel just decided to cancel a promising R&D center.
Sim City ? Is K-Pop still ruling the show ? LG's Points Of Presence also include dual format Blu-Ray / HD-DVD players and drives, and as far as content (with himself) is concerned, Bae Yong-jun just listed part of his company in Japan, where Yonsama on mobile keeps selling (there, this utterly corny hallyuwood fake is still considered a great actor)... put Helio On Top of it and you may think Korea holds a full house.
Except China's massive investments in R&D and entertainment start showing. If not this year, on time for CES 2008.


* speaking of T, DVB-H and Las Vegas : I didn't hear any bird sing on the Hiwire / T-mobile trial.



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