Tag Archives: Apple

Is Augmented Reality the future of gaming?

Commentary
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are two of the most exciting things happening in gaming today. According to research firm Digi-Capital, the VR market is expected to be worth $30 billion in 2020 while the AR market is expected to grow to $120 billion that same year. So, not surprisingly, investors and tech companies have taken notice and, as a result, they have been investing serious cash in the space in the past years: Facebook spent $2 billion for Oculus, Google led a $542 million round of funding in Magic Leap, Apple acquired German AR company Metaio, and Microsoft developed its HoloLens. While it is likely that we will eventually see intense competition among these companies, one independent startup is making some headway in the AR space. Niantic Labs, a former Google company, is developing a new AR game called Pokemon GO that will allow players to “see” and “capture” Pokemons in the real world. An app will direct the players to real locations where they can “catch” lurking Pokemons. To help build the game, Niantic Labs has raised $20 million in funding from Nintendo, the Pokemon Company and Google. Although the success of this game remains to be seen, it is a sign that AR could change the way people play games.

Apple Music vs. Spotify

Commentary
Spotify, the current leader in music streaming services, is now under threat. Apple Music will be available later this month and even though the two services look evenly matched in terms of pricing and music library size, Apple clearly has the clout and spending power that will enable it to out-spend and outbid any competitor. For starters, Apple already has a few tricks up its sleeve: Apple will automatically install Apple Music when iPhone users upgrade to the new iOS 8.4 this month. Apple Music has its own global radio station called Beats 1 that will offer the hottest music, plus exclusive interviews and discussions about the latest trends in the music industry; and it has Connect, a social network feature that allows artists to share photos, videos and demo tracks with their fans. Spotify, on the other hand, has been busy building its defences and has raised a massive $526 million funding round that brings its valuation to $8.4 billion. With funds to protect its turf, the question on everyone’s mind is, will Spotify be able to retain its 20 million paid subscribers as well as its more than 50 million free subscribers? We will soon find out when Apple rolls out Apple Music at the end of the month.

Apple’s AR ambitions

Commentary
Augmented Reality (AR) is finally becoming real as tech giants continue to back the technology up. Facebook acquired Oculus, Google invested millions of dollars in Magic Leap and Microsoft has the HoloLens. Now Apple is making the same bet with its recent acquisition of Metaio, a Munich-based startup specialising in AR technology. Although it is still unknown what Apple will do with this latest buy, experts have suggested that Apple may soon add AR technology to its apps or develop AR products that will appeal to mass market consumers. In spite of the fact that Apple is being tight-lipped about future products, one thing is for sure: Apple’s AR plans are starting to come together. The acquisition complements Apple’s purchase of Coherent Navigation, a company specialising in hyper-accurate GPS, and PrimeSense, an Israeli maker of hardware that enables 3D machine vision. The company also recently procured a patent for a head-mounted virtual reality device. All these strongly suggest Apple’s keen interest to foray into the competitive arena of Augmented Reality.

Top 20 Hardware & Infrastructure Deals for December 2014

Deal No. Amount Paid (USD) Company Investor/Buyer Sector Deal Type
1 $9,670,032,000 Ono Vodafone Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
2 $9,247,968,000 Global Village Telecom Telefonica Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
3 $5,300,000,000 MICROS Systems Oracle Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
4 $3,200,000,000 Nest Labs Google Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
5 $3,000,000,000 Beats Electronics Apple Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
6 $2,300,000,000 IBM (x86-based server business) Lenovo Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
7 $2,000,000,000 Oculus VR Facebook Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
8 $1,100,000,000 Xiaomi Consortium Hardware & Infrastructure Investment
9 $1,100,000,000 Fusion-io SanDisk Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
10 $555,000,000 Dropcam Google/Nest Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
11 $475,000,000 Renesas SP Drivers Synaptics Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
12 $328,500,000 ISSC Technologies Corporation Microchip Technology Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
13 $250,000,000 Jawbone Rizvi Traverse Management Hardware & Infrastructure Investment
14 $200,000,000 Midea Xiaomi Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
15 $120,000,000 Proteus Digital Health Undisclosed Hardware & Infrastructure Investment
16 $107,000,000 FX Networks Vocus Communications Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
17 $100,000,000 Basis Science Intel Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
18 $90,000,000 SAVANT KRR Hardware & Infrastructure Investment
19 $75,000,000 Tintri Consortium Hardware & Infrastructure Investment
20 $70,000,000 Sungevity Consortium Hardware & Infrastructure Investment

More information

  1. Vodafone completes €7.2 billion acquisition of Ono (Vodafone)
  2. Vivendi, Telefonica seal 7.2-billion-euro Brazilian broadband deal (Reuters UK)
  3. Oracle buys MICROS Systems for $5.3 billion (ZDNet)
  4. Google buys Nest Labs for $3.2 billion (CNN)
  5. Apple finally confirms its $3B acquisition of Beats Electronics (VentureBeat)
  6. Lenovo agrees to buy IBM’s server business for $US2.3 billion (ARN)
  7. Facebook is buying Oculus for $2B to ‘get ready for the platform of tomorrow’ (VentureBeat)
  8. Xiaomi confirms it raised monster $1.1B round and is now valued at $45B (VentureBeat)
  9. SanDisk to acquire Fusion-io for $1.1BN (FinSMEs)
  10. Google and Nest Acquire Dropcam For $555 Million (TechCrunch)
  11. Synaptics announces acquisition of Japan’s Renesas SP Drivers (The China Post)
  12. Microchip Technology about to acquire Taiwanese tech company for $328.5M (Phoenix Business Journal)
  13. Jawbone raises $250 million, valuing company at $3.3 billion (Reuters)
  14. Xiaomi Furthers Its Smart Home Ambition With $200M Investment In Appliance Maker Midea (TechCrunch)
  15. Proteus Digital Health Raises $120M in Funding (FinSMEs)
  16. Vocus Communications to buy NZ’s FX Networks (The Australian)
  17. Basis Goes To Intel For Around $100M (TechCrunch)
  18. KKR LEADS $90M EQUITY INVESTMENT IN SAVANT (Savant Systems)
  19. Tintri Raises $75M in Series E Funding (FinSMEs)
  20. Sungevity Raises $70M in Equity Financing (FinSMEs)