Apple building closed-loop supply chain

 

Apple (AAPL:US) is building a closed-loop supply chain in order to minimize the impact in environment. According to the company Environmental Report 2017 ” we’re going deeper to pioneer a closed-loop supply chain, where products are made using only renewable resources or recycled material to reduce the need to mine materials from the earth. ”

This statement also highlights the need to decrease the use of conflict minerals in the mobile phones & devices production. Apple´s total greenhouse gas emissions last year were 29,5 millions, 77 % was from manufacturing, and the carbon emission per product has decreased to 97 kg versus 137 kg in 2011.

Apple is investing in green data centers and the company can say that all iMessages, Facetime and Siri are run by renewable energy. And the same target is with the real estate investments & projects.

Accordign to the Report, Apple Park, the new corporate headquarter, is on track to be the largest LEED Platinum–certified building in North America. Over 80 percent of the new campus is open space with more than 9000 drought-tolerant trees and it is operated by renewable energy.

– We’re pushing our manufacturing partners to join us in the fight against climate change. Seven major suppliers have now pledged to power their Apple production entirely with renewable energy by the end of next year, the company reported.

Partners committed to 100 percent renewable energy for Apple production by 2018  are: Biel Crystal Manufactory Ltd. • Catcher Technology • Compal Electronics • Ibiden • Lens Technology • Solvay Specialty Polymers • Sunwoda Electronics

 

 

 

Business Tech

The US Smartwatch markets to get new devices

The smartwatch industry seems to be growing in the US. Two companies have launched new devices to consumers in recent weeks. And for example Apple ((AAPL:US) and Nike (NKE:US) have announced their new model called NikeLab, which sales will start next week in the Nike´s webstore.

The Chinese ZTE smartwatch Quartz is available from the third largest operator, T-Mobile in the US. The smartwatch is powered by Android Wear 2 & Qualcomm Wear 2100 platform. According to the company release, consumers can connect virtually when they like and where they like, while the smartwatch is operating all time in the T-Mobile network. This smartwatch is available from the T-Mobile stores from tomorrow on and the pricing is just under 200 dollars.

Verizon (VZ:US), the US telecom company, has launched an exclusive smartwatch called Wear 24. And it can be used apart from the smartphone like the ZTE´s rival. This smartwatch costs 299 dollars and 349,99 dollars without the contract. The Verizon Wear has different colors ranging from stainless steel to rose gold. This model also includes Android Pay.

Verizon released also its first quarter results today.  – Our first-quarter results again demonstrated that customers value a high-quality network experience,” said Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam.

– To build on our loyal customer base and the third-party recognition we have received for network leadership, we extended our wireless and fiber network capabilities, began offering an unlimited pricing option and expanded our opportunities in new markets. We’re executing on strategies to capture future growth and create long-term shareholder value, he said in the statement.

In the financial markets analysts are expecting some kind of M&A deal with for example Comcast, Disney or CBS. Verizon has said it is open to talks with them according to Bloomberg News. If there would be some kind of a merger, it would change the landscape of media and telecom companies in the US totally. The market value of Verizon is about 197 billion dollars.

Business Tech

Porsche Design: Developing a car-integrated luxury watch for 2020?

 

The German Porsche Design, a company in the Volkswagen Group ((VOW:GR) is on the road to develop something new,  a car-integrated luxury watch? According to people familiar with the matter, this integrated watch would be part of the company´s innovative thinking and design.

The technology transfer will take its time and this would mean that the company might be launching this connected watch at the same time as the parent company Porsche, is starting the deliveries of its first electric cars, Mission Es. This car would be totally electric and new innovation from Porsche.

According to sources, Porsche Design is  not developing a smartwatch, but they are developing a watch that can be integrated to cars., “Porsche Design is transferring car´s technology into watches and that is why they do not speak about smartwatches”, the sources said to pubplus.club.

Porsche company has been developing its Digital Lab with thousands new employees during the last years and the company says that they will invest in the digital transformation with double-digit sums of their annual revenues. Last year Porsche´s turnover was 22,3 billion euros and the result before taxes 3,7 billion euros.

For example Apple (AAPL:US) is developing its own electric car with different functions that can be integrated. The main idea with Apple is that they would like to have a car, which could be operated with Apple phone. The functionality and usability of the iPhone for driving would be integration of future-looking car technology and autonomous cars.

Porsche Design is not doing the same, but vice versa while they want a smartwatch or connected watch with a car integration.  They know that Porsche drivers like to drive the car and feel the movement but on the other hand in long distance driving some autonomous functions might be good.

The parent company, Porsche, based in Germany, near Stuttgart, has over 8000 R&D employees. According to the company strategy “The sportscar of the future will blend the history and values of the Porsche brand with innovative technologies, while at the same time ensuring sustainability. In achieving this, topics such as electromobility, digitalisation and connectivity will play an important role.”

Porsche Design launched its new Monobloc Actuator watch during the BaselWorld. In this model, titanium, which has been used in engine construction for over 50 years, is given an entirely new form. This chronograph has a single rocker switch enabling longer durability and lifetime. They are in shops from May 2017 and prices start at 6000 euros.

Porsche Design was founded in 1972 with the design innovations and inspirations from motorsports. The brand philosophy is characterised by combining design expertise and engineering excellence.

 

Päivi Härkönen

 

Porsche Design MONOBLOC ACTUATOR TitaniumBlue_3DSoldatPorsche Design Timepieces:

1972 – the first entirely matte black wristwatch

1978 – the first watch with an integrated compass

1980 – the first chronograph made entirely from titanium  

2004 – the first watch with mechanical-digital display

2017 – the next innovative watch concept

Business Tech

Car journey in Europe with Tesla

This was my second time with a Tesla Model S after nearly a year and a half , but still something new. This time it was my first drive in Europe and in cities with no driving experience. Yes, I finally decided that now is the time to do something new and try to drive a Tesla in places I have no driving experience at all.

 I started the journey in Zurich City, Switzerland. First my drive almost ended while I was figuring out how to get the car from the parking place. After some try and error I finally found the right button and the journey could start:). Luckily the morning rush hour had passed.

 It is remarkable how driving a car can be similar to cycling. Once you have done it, you can remember it again. And so it was with my driving with the Model S. It was a pleasure to drive in the city with Google Maps, showing the real time traffic information and the navigation was made easy. No worries when to turn left or right, and when to go forward. And now it was time to set the destination.

I decided to visit Northern Switzerland with cities like Winterthur and St. Gallen and crossed the boarder to Germany also in Konstanz. Driving the highway with a luxury car is easy, while safety is one of the key functions in the car. Tech and car companies have done a lot to avoid different kind of traffic accidents, but there is of course a lot to do still. Autonomous cars or driverless cars can be common thing in the coming couple of years.

 The bad thing with highways is that you only see a part of the country, so I decided to look for the local roads. Yes, here you can see the old buildings with jugend style, beautiful gardens, see scenery and take a break.

 During my way back to Zurich I went to a Supercharger place. It was easy to see from the panel that there were only 2 other cars in that station, so there was room for my test car as well. And charging was fast with the Supercharger, with the battery being nearly at full capacity in less than an hour.

 When taking a tour in Europe, it is rather easy with Superchargers, while there are plenty of stations to choose. But for example in the Nordic countries like Northern Sweden and Finland, it is better that you can calculate your route beforehand in the navigation in order to avoid power shortages.

 It is expected that the power station network is going to be the main thing when car companies & utilities are calculating the electric car demand and supply.  What is the standard, what will it cost for the car users and what are the governments doing on this topic?

 Tesla (TSLA:US), as the forerunner in electric cars and charging, has got a new international owner from China, the internet-operator Tencent. With 5 % ownership this investor might be looking for a new platform for their games..? At the moment although all videos and games are not allowed on the Tesla car’s screens due to safety reasons, but maybe during the charging..?

Anyway, my last kilometers to Zurich Airport were fine with Led-lights on and the parking inside the parking house was a piece of cake. Yes, driving should be fun, easy and safe!

Päivi Härkönen

Technical details of the Tesla Model S:
Power: 422 PS
Price: From 89.100 Euro in Finland (Model S 90D 114.100 Euro)
Transmission: 660 NM
Energy: 90kWh
Electric Autonomy: 557 km (NEDC)
Passengers: 5 regular seats + option for 2 rear-facing seats for children
Powertrain warranty: 8 years with unlimited kilometers

Lifestyle Tech

Hublot to launch smartwatch-straps in October

 

The Swiss luxury watchmaker Hublot, part of the global French luxury group LVMH (MC:FR), is planning to enter the smartwatch industry. According to its CEO Ricardo Guadalupe the company is developing the new fusion in Silicon Valley, California with a software company.

 

  • We are planning to launch it in October this year and the main idea is that we will keep the traditional watch as it is, but we will add the smart part of the watch in the strap. We will operate both with Apple and Android systems, Mr Guadalupe said to pubplus.club during the BaselWorld2017 in Basel, Switzerland.

 

Hublot is one of the few luxury watch companies that has survived the industry downturn with growth figures. According to the company information, Hublot´s revenue growth last year was 4 %, while in the industry the fall was nearly 10 percent.

 

  • The luxury watch industry has suffered from the Chinese economy, but for Hublot this has not been the case, while most of our watches has been bought by customers in Japan, US and Middle East. And our customers value our strategy of fusion, for example we use different kind of materials in our watches, he said.

 

Hublot has developed watches with different kind of material fusions like Carbon and Leather, Titanium and Ceramic and Gold with Textiles (like linen, jeans or also vintage fabric).

 

One of the innovations is also Magic Gold, which is a completely new type of gold developed by Hublot.  An expert fusion of ceramic and liquid gold, 18K Magic Gold must, like all other 18K alloys, be composed of 750 ppm pure gold; but the inclusion of ceramic has made it the world’s first scratch-resistant gold, unlike traditional 18K gold.

 

These innovations and the desire to be near customers through sports and arts have resulted for example the long partnership with Ferrari.

 

Ferrari is celebrating its 70 years this year and Hublot is also launching a new Ferrari watch to celebrate the milestone. This Big Bang Ferrari is one of the Ferrari watches Hublot is making every year. Techframe is a new timepieces presented during Baselworld to tribute to this anniversary and will stand alone next to the Big Bang Ferrari collection.

 

Hublot is based in Nyon, Switzerland and it has 70 boutiques globally. Last year the company opened its New York flagship boutique in the Fifth Avenue.

Päivi Härkönen

 

Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe

Ferrari watches by Hublot

Classic Fusion Italia Independent Watch

The Art of Fusion – Magic Gold by Hublot

The final testing of watches

 

Lifestyle Tech

Smart Banking in Cebit 2017

CeBIT Preview 2017Digital transformation is one of the major competitive questions for banking and insurance companies in the near future. The customer expectations and behavior have changed the way bank services are used and shared. One could say one of the major industrial revolution could be summarized in this sentence:  “bring your own device”.

We have seen that large national and international banks have minimized their branch  network and sifted towards online-banking. But this is not enough. According to Digital Banking White Paper from Huawei Technologies and Deloitte, mobility, social channels, data & analytics, customer experience and advanced automation will be game changers.

Leading towards omni-channel services, customers control over channel selection and simplifies the previous fussy process by avoiding repeated information requests.

According to the White Paper, the smart bank strategy profiles customer needs in order to create value for them by applying Big Data technology and cloud computing.  Ultimately, banks will be able to offer superior customer experience with in-depth customer contact and insights.

Fintech, Bitcoin, Blocchain will all have their impact in the financial markets and the latest studies show that large financial institutions are partnering with start-ups in order to make new innovative solutions and gain more customer satisfaction in their service operations.

The Cebit Technology Fairs will be opened during Sunday with Welcome Night with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe.

CeBIT Preview 2017

 

Business Tech

Self-driving cars in 2021 -CES2017 insight

According to Intel and Ford, self-driving cars will be in the markets in 2021. This is about 5 years earlier than expected a year ago by some market researchers.The development of autonomous cars with no steering wheels, brakes or driver is  faster than expected.

According to the CES2017 insights from leading tech companies and consumers, there are several trends that are backing this fast development. First, 5 G networks are being built by large network operators in the US, Europe and Asia. In order to “drive” such self-driving car it requires data and analytics.

For example according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich one self-driving car is generating data which is comparable to 3000 people operating with their smartphones and laptops. So, one can think that one self-driving car must support the data traffic and connectivity of 3000 people at the same time. In order to have major break throught with the cars, faster networks and data speed is indeed needed.

Self-driving car – a second home?

While smart homes and smart cities are also developing at the same time, one could also say that self-driving cars would become second homes for those that are travelling longer journeys. People can listen to their favourite music, see news, read books, eat dinner or sleep. By the way, Sleep Tech- category (totally new) generated several exhibitors during the trade show.

There are several tech companies and car manufacturers working with self-driving cars. For example Google with Android OS, Apple with iOs, Tesla, Ford Motors, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz and Toyota.

Goolge has named its self-driving car project called Waymo and says that the car has been driving nearly 2 million miles in the US. One aspect with the cars is of course the safety. Companies are working hard to make travelling safier and zero target in accidents is the target figure. Google has said that it is expecting the self driving car to be ready to the world soon.

New launches at CES

During the trade show, for example car maker Chrysler announced their all-electric Portal -concept. It is an electric car  and the hub is the mobile phone.

“Recognition and user authentication are the next level of personalization and a primary driving factor for the user experience. Facial recognition and voice biometric technologies work together to provide a seamless personalization experience. As a result, all passengers can set up individual and group settings for an enjoyable, customized experience”, the company says in the press release.

For example, it tells you who is in the vehicle and configure preferred settings, such as music, lighting, vehicle and seat temperatures.

Voice- a megatrend

Voice integration is also becoming more common. CES estimates that there will be new robots and smart home applications integrating voice recognition in their services and products already this year. Voice is making things easier, smoother and faster in certain situations and it is enlargering the digitalisation to new era; in the cars and at home.

Päivi Härkönen

 

Business Tech