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‘Beautiful Eyes’ Or ‘Beautiful Day’: Coders Married To Their Headphones

Don’t even try piping in Muzak to an office full of coders. Computer software engineers have some strong feelings about their background music, according to a study hosted by Qualtrics, a research software company. The firm found that 76 percent of software engineers prefer to listen to music over anything else while coding, with 28 percent preferring pop music, 12 percent preferring electronic, 11 percent preferring classical, and 2 percent preferring reggae. The top five artists the survey respondents listened to were U2, Taylor Swift, The Beatles, Maroon 5, and Katy Perry & Linkin Park (tied). Most of the engineers — 83 percent — streamed music through headphones.

Our Take: Pandora was cited as the most popular streaming platform, which is good news for its new parent, SiriusXM.

GoButtons Want To Bring Amazon’s Dash To New Heights

Visbyl is getting in the push-button market. The company is creating a service that would allow consumers to order their own personalized Amazon Dash buttons, known as GoButtons. Similar to the ways consumers have hacked their Dash buttons to do more than just replenish garbage bags, these GoButtons could potentially be used within nearly any environment outside the home. Hotels could use them to notify housekeeping, for example, while office workers could book conference rooms or alert their support staff that something is broken.

Our Take: This is truly the Staples’ iconic Easy button come to life.

(Smart) Toy Story: To Infinity And Beyond ...

Worldwide smart-toy sales will reach $15.5 billion in hardware and app content revenues by 2022, according to Juniper Research, up from an estimated $4.9 billion in 2017. The increase will primarily be driven by the growing popularity of smartphone-based connected toys and the enduring appeal of toys that connect with gaming consoles (also known as “toys to life”). The U.S. will dominate sales, Juniper predicted, although China is expected to disrupt the market thanks to increasing disposable income and the country’s 2015 lift of its video game console ban.

Our Take: While privacy concerns are a fact of life for all CE manufacturers these days, connected-toy makers need to pay special mind to these concerns lest they suffer a costly misstep. Nothing can knock a toy maker out of the running as the hot holiday item than a privacy black-eye.

Qualcomm’s Latest Bluetooth Boost

Qualcomm has added to its portfolio of audio system-on-chip (SoCs) platforms, hoping to provide new solutions to new market demands. Among the latest offerings is the company’s next-gen single-chip Bluetooth audio flash-programmable platform designed for premium wireless speakers and headphones. It’s said to offer four times the DSP processing power of its predecessor. As with the other new Qualcomm SoCs, this will give OEMs more programming resources and freedom to develop creatively.

Our Take: As both streaming and wireless become the required norm for consumers, Qualcomm’s new advancements will aid manufacturers in developing low-cost, portable audio and wearable devices without sacrificing sound quality or performance.

Coming To A Mall Near You

Centertec, a VR and AR arcade and “social center,” is opening itself up to franchise owners. Franchisees will receive access to the latest VR and e-sports equipment, as well as site selection, layout, training and support. Revenue is expected via hourly VR station rentals, memberships, and holding birthdays and corporate events.

Our Take: VR centers could become the next arcades or indoor trampoline parks (although probably best not to combine the two).

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