THE SELF-INSTALLED SMART HOME REPORT: Why current smart home device owners are appealing to tech companies

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

Not that long ago, many home-appliance and consumer-electronics makers were gearing up for what they thought would soon be a rapidly growing market for smart home devices.

The instant popularity of the Nest thermostat, introduced in 2011, seemed to confirm their hopes. But those expectations were dashed in the coming years as the market for connected home devices later stagnated. 

Even with these challenges, many of the biggest consumer technology companies are now moving into the smart home market. For example, Apple, which recently released its self-installed smart home ecosystem, called the Apple Home, traditionally doesn’t move into a market until it’s very mature and only when it can release a perfected product. Further, Google this fall launched the Google Home and its companion ecosystem, hoping to jump into the voice-activated smart home speaker market, which Amazon currently dominates with its Echo product line. 

In a new report, BI Intelligence examines the demographics of the average smart home device owner and discuss why current smart home device owners are appealing to tech companies. The report also examines the plans of various tech giants in the smart home market and discuss their monetization strategies, and makes suggestions for how these companies can position themselves to make their products and devices more appealing to the mass market.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Tech companies primarily enter the market to enhance a core revenue stream or service, while device makers desire to collect data to improve their products and prevent costly recalls.
  • We forecast there will be $4.8 trillion in aggregate IoT investment between 2016 and 2021.
  • These companies are also seeking to create an early-mover advantage for themselves, where they gain an advantage by this head start on adoption.
  • Major barriers to mass market adoption that still must overcome include technological fragmentation and persistently high device prices.

In full, the report:

  • Details the market strategy of prominent tech companies and device makers, and analyzes why which ones are best poised to succeed once adoption ticks up.
  • Offers insight into current ownership through an exclusive survey from BI Intelligence and analyzes what demographics will drive adoption moving forward.
  • Explains in detail which companies are poised to succeed in the market in the coming years as adoption increases and mass market consumers begin to purchase smart home devices.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of smart homes.

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Monster gaming laptop deal: MSI will save you $450 before Black Friday

For PC gamers already in the holiday shopping spirit, MSI and NewEgg have a sick deal for you way ahead of Black Friday

What you're about to see is a VR-ready, ultra-portable gaming laptop for what most budget mobile gaming rigs cost.

For a limited time, MSI is selling its GS63VR Stealth Pro gaming laptop for just $1,149. That is, specifically, a $1,599 product for $300 off – with another $150 off through a rebate mail-in card.

Inside, this laptop is sporting a 15.6-inch, Full HD 1,920 x 1,080 display powered by a 6th generation Intel Core i7 CPU and Nvidia GTX 1060 graphics with 6GB of GDDR5 memory. Backing those processors are 16GB of RAM and a 128GB SSD + 1TB hard drive combo for storage.

This is but a taste of what you're bound to see in the coming days and week leading up to Black Friday weekend. Keep it locked to TechRadar for all of the latest in Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news

No, el “primer trasplante de cabeza humano” no ha sido un éxito, aunque nos lo quieran vender como tal

Trasplante De Cabeza

Desde la mañana de este viernes, varios medios internacionales han hecho eco al anuncio del neurocientífico italiano Sergio Canavero, quien salió a confirmar a los cuatro vientos que había logrado con éxito la primera operación del mundo para trasplantar una cabeza de un cuerpo humano a otro. El detalle es que ambos cuerpos ya eran cadáveres.

Sergio Canavero es a día de hoy una de esas personalidades que han saltado a la fama gracias a sus polémicas declaraciones. Tan sólo basta irnos a febrero de 2015 para retomar sus palabras donde afirmaba rotundamente que el primer trasplante de cabeza en humanos llegaría en 2017. En abril de este 2017 Canavero volvió a escena asegurando que ya tenía todo listo para llevar a cabo el procedimiento, el cual llegaría antes de que terminara el año. Hoy el trasplante se ha realizado, pero no como esperábamos. (more…)

Former GM CEO calls Tesla a ‘losing enterprise,’ and says it’s ‘going out of business’ (TSLA)

tesla trucks semi

  • Former General Motors executive Bob Lutz panned Tesla less than 24 hours after the electric-car company revealed its first big rig truck and a new roadster. 
  • Lutz called Tesla a “losing enterprise” and said it’s “going out of business.”
  • Tesla has had problems of late, both on its assembly lines and in the front office.

Bob Lutz, the former chief executive of General Motors, scoffed at Tesla on Friday, calling the electric-car company a “losing enterprise” that’s “going out of business.”

In a terse interview on CNBC, Lutz panned the electric-car maker less than 24 hours after CEO Elon Musk unveiled the Tesla Semi — its first entry into the electric heavy-duty trucking market — and the new Tesla Roadster.

Both vehicles are expected to be equipped with Tesla’s most powerful batteries to date. The Semi boasts 500 miles of range on one charge and can recharge up to 400 miles in 30 minutes, according to Tesla. Musk on Thursday night said the new Tesla Roadster would have a 200 kWh battery with a 620-mile range.

Lutz was unimpressed: “There’s no secret sauce in Tesla,” Lutz told CNBC. “They use the same lithium-ion batteries as everyone else.”

The former GM chief is a longtime Tesla critic who has, like many other Tesla skeptics, questioned whether the company can stop its cash burn, stabilize its manufacturing business, and turn a profit.

And, lately, the bad news just keeps coming.

It’s no secret Tesla is in production hell with the Model 3, its first mass-market offering. Tesla has also struggled to get its Gigafactory running at full speed. In the front office, the company is dealing with multiple workplace controversies that have cast an unflattering light on its corporate culture.

Tesla stock reacted positively to the slew of new shiny things unveiled Thursday night but shaved off those gains slightly by market close on Friday.

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The Trump administration’s extreme vetting plan is being blasted as a ‘digital Muslim ban’

Trump Muslim ban

  • Tech experts and rights groups are criticizing a plan from the Trump administration to develop software that would automate the vetting process immigrants undergo.
  • In recent months, the Department of Homeland Security has sought contractors to build the software, but it’s unclear what the status of those plans are.
  • Such software would be “inaccurate and biased” and would likely target innocent people, the experts said.

The Trump administration in recent months has solicited technology firms to develop software that would use artificial intelligence to examine prospective immigrants for their risk of committing terrorist acts — a system critics say will likely be riddled with inaccuracies and result in the exclusion or deportation of innocent people who pose no threat.

In two open letters published Thursday, dozens of computer scientists and tech experts, civil liberties groups, and immigration advocates denounced the plan, known as the “Extreme Vetting Initiative,” and urged acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke to drop it.

“Simply put, no computational methods can provide reliable or objective assessments of the traits that” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “seeks to measure,” according to a letter signed by 54 tech experts from prominent universities and tech firms. “In all likelihood, the proposed system would be inaccurate and biased. We urge you to reconsider this program.”

The status of the Trump administration’s plan is unclear, but internal documents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) first published by The Intercept show that ICE solicited contractors as recently as July and August to build a system that could automate the government’s vetting procedures for immigrants and visa applicants.

The plan stems from President Donald Trump’s pledges to use “extreme vetting” of immigrants to weed out potential terrorists, a commitment he repeated after an October attack in New York City killed eight people.

“I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!” Trump tweeted after the attack.

According to the DHS documents, the contractors hired for the initiative would be expected to “exploit” publicly available information, including applicants’ social media profiles, to extract information regarding criminal activity and national security threats.

The software would have to predict both “an applicant’s probability of becoming a positively contributing member of society,” and “whether an applicant intends to commit criminal or terrorist acts after entering the United States.”

These algorithms aren’t likely to accurately predict the terrorist threats

Manhattan attack truckThe problem, tech experts said in their letter, is that such characteristics are neither defined nor quantified, and such algorithms would need to rely on more easily observable “proxies” that may have no relation to a terrorist threat, such as a person’s Facebook post criticizing US foreign policy.

“Algorithms designed to predict these undefined qualities could be used to arbitrarily flag groups of immigrants under a veneer of objectivity,” the experts said.

The letter went on to explain that any such software, even if it were the most accurate possible model, would return a high rate of false positives, or, “innocent individuals falsely identified as presenting a risk of crime or terrorism who would face serious repercussions not connected to their real level of risk.”

“Data mining is a powerful tool … And we recognize that the federal government must enforce immigration laws and maintain national security,” the experts said. “But the approach set forth by ICE is neither appropriate nor feasible.”

Dozens of rights groups and immigration advocates also took to Twitter to decry the initiative, which they dubbed a “digital Muslim ban,” and published a separate open letter urging the DHS to abandon the program.

“This initiative is tailor-made for discrimination,” they said. “It risks hiding politicized, discriminatory decisions behind a veneer of objectivity — at great cost to freedom of speech, civil liberties, civil rights, and human rights. It will hurt real, decent people and tear families apart.”

SEE ALSO: Trump’s death penalty tweets will likely throw a huge wrench in the NYC terror suspect’s case

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The diner who has left waiters thousands of dollars as Tips for Jesus reveals himself to be a millionaire tech exec in the ‘PayPal Mafia’

jack selby

  • Venture capitalist and former PayPal executive Jack Selby finally confirmed he was the man behind “Tips for Jesus.” 
  • For years, Tips for Jesus has anonymously left tips of up to $5,000. 
  • Selby is a member of the so-called “PayPal Mafia” and a hedge fund director. 


The generous tipper behind Tips for Jesus has finally revealed his identity.

Starting in 2013, someone began leaving tips of more than $1,000 — and often up to $5,000. The mysterious tipster would document his generous ways on an Instagram account, and sign the receipt “Tips for Jesus.”

Big up to Christop! #godbless #thumbsup

A post shared by tipsforjesus (@tipsforjesus) on May 22, 2015 at 9:27pm PDT on


Jack Selby, a venture capitalist and former vice president at PayPal, has long been rumored to be the man behind the tips. However, it was only this week that he confirmed his identity.

On Thursday, The New York Post reported that Selby had been spotted leaving a $5,000 tip after buying $100 in drinks at a bar called Guyer’s in New York City. On Friday, the Tips for Jesus Instagram posted a photo of the article — seemingly confirming, finally, that Selby was the man behind the account.

The caption reads: “Thanks to everyone at Guyer’s! And yeah, forgot to take a pic of the receipt, so thanks @nypost! #wereback #godbless #tipsforjesus.”

Selby is a member of the so-called “PayPal Mafia” — early members of the tech company that went on to achieve even greater prominence in the industry. He had been an original employee, and served as senior vice president before PayPal was sold to eBay in 2002.

After leaving PayPal, Selby started macro hedge fund Clarium Capital Management with tech investor (and now Trump supporter) Peter Thiel. Currently, Selby is also the managing director at Thiel Capital.

SEE ALSO: A forgotten Stitch Fix cofounder likely walked away empty-handed after the startup’s $1.6 billion IPO

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The darkest material on Earth will be used in the 2018 Winter Olympics — here’s what makes it so unique

Scientists created a material so dark they couldn’t even measure it. British company Surrey Nanosystems developed the original Vantablack in 2014, which was then the blackest material in the world. But they’ve outdone themselves with the new Vantablack, which absorbs over 99.8% of visible light. Here’s how Vantablack is so black.

Video courtesy of Surrey Nanosystems.

Produced by Brad Streicher. Original reporting by Rebecca Harrington.

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