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Showing posts from May, 2013

Facebook Waze acquisition off - or is it?

AllThingsD is reporting that Facebook's negotiations to acquire Waze have fallen through.

I definitely think that this is too bad.  As I wrote previously, this acquisition seemed like a great one for everyone.

But here's my speculation: I'm not convinced the negotiations are really off.

First, there have been rumors of Waze acquisition talks 3 or 4 times in the past year or so.  Each time the rumors have simply faded away, until the next rumors started.  This time the press is being told that the negotiations have fallen apart.  This, in and of itself, is a change.

Second, I'm guessing, or maybe hoping, that it's a tactic that one side is using in the negotiations, and that they're still working to reach a deal. In other words, it may be brinksmanship.

Third, I still think that Waze would be more strategic, more transformational, for Facebook, than for other potential acquirers.

Fourth, with the claim that the deal fell apart because of differences of opinion as…

Google following Facebook's Waze?

If the Waze acquisition rumors continue, I'm going to run out of punny titles for blog posts.

After the rumors two weeks ago about Facebook's negotiations to acquire Waze, the social mapping and navigation company, now rumors have emerged that Google is also interested in acquiring this Israeli superstar start-up.  (Of course, don't forget that Apple was rumored interested a few months ago.)

While we'll all need to wait and see how this pans out, here are a few things to think about.

First, rumors say that the main sticking point in Facebook's negotiations is whether Waze R&D will remain in Israel or move to California. Google would presumably be easier on this subject, since they have several Israeli R&D centers already.

Second, I stick with what I wrote in a recent article on SeekingAlpha analyzing Facebook's interest in Waze:

Google is starting from the opposite end as Facebook but working towards the same goals - they have the popular mapping and lo…

Google's focus on contextual apps

Almost a month ago I wrote an article about Apple's acquisition of WiFiSLAM, claiming that Apple's focus was "about apps, not maps."  My point was that an increasing number of apps, even without ever showing maps on the screen, need to know the current location in order to carry out their services.  Examples include being notified when a friend is nearby, finding items in nearby stores, being notified in an airport if your flight is boarding when you're in the bookstore, and much more.

Three weeks later, Google made exactly the same point, at the Google I/O conference.  The technical leads of the Google Location team introduced a class of mobile applications that they called "contextual apps," which carry out tasks based on the user's current situation or activity, which is often based on location.
Throughout Grizzly Analytics in-depth analysis of the indoor location area, we see uses of indoor location positioning that are not for maps but rather f…

Aruba acquires indoor location start-up Meridian

The news just broke that Aruba Networks is acquiring indoor location start-up Meridian.

This acquisition is not a surprise.  Based on our in-depth analysis of indoor location R&D by Aruba and over 40 other major companies in the mobile and network areas, and of Meridian and over 50 other indoor location start-ups, we think this acquisition is a match made in heaven.

First, Meridian is the strongest indoor location start-up company in the area of providing location services on top of high-end networks like Aruba's.  As we've explained before, Meridian's systems enable indoor mapping, navigation, location-based content, and other services, specifically within high-end Wi-Fi networks from Cisco, Aruba and others. These high-end networks have the ability to track the locations of devices as they move around the network, but don't (until now) offer services that sites want to offer their visitors. Meridian fits perfects into that gap, offering apps that users run on th…

Understanding Facebook's Waze

Rumors have been flying for the past week that Facebook is in advanced negotiations to acquire Waze, the crowdsourced maps and navigation system...  But why would Facebook want to acquire Waze? Most articles have been giving the simple answers that Facebook wants to "expand its mobile expertise," add maps to Facebook Home, "map out local search and ads," "speed up their mobile ad revenue stream," and so on. While these are all good things, they don't really explain why Waze in particular is worth the rumored price.  I think that there are three big reasons that Waze would be a strategic acquisition for Facebook: Mobile stickiness, social location and commerce support....

Read the rest of this article on the SeekingAlpha site


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Espresso meets Peepee in the Internet of Things

Sometimes it's the silliest or most useless ideas that push new technology to the forefront.  Today it's peepee.

Yes, peepee.

A diaper company in South America is promoting a system they're calling TweetPee, whereby a sensor on a baby's diaper wirelessly "tweets" to a parent that the diaper is wet.


Many questions come to mind. What kind of wireless technology is used?  If it's stronger than Bluetooth Low Energy, is there a radiation concern? More generally, are parents really more attentive to Twitter than to their babies? And is it good for a child's development to change diapers right away, denying them the learning experience of surviving a bit of discomfort and having the parent take care of them when they need? And while the diaper companies want us to change diapers instantly, can people really afford to?

In the end, however, all these questions are irrelevant. TweetPee is one small niche product, but its impact is more than its product itself.…