The blog Apple Insider recently uncovered a newly published patent application, giving insight into a feature that may be in the works. The patent application, called “Custom Location Notification,” describes location-sharing services between users, but would send custom email or text alerts based on where you are. Click here to read more.
HarperCollins Publishers’ Harlequin imprint just announced a program for readers that encourages leaving book reviews, engaging on social media, purchasing books and completing in reading challenges. Readers are rewarded with personalized and unique offerings like suggested books, gift baskets and Skype sessions with authors. Click here to read more.
Users on Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app, will now be able to find images in more personal and easy-to-use ways and highlight real-time and nearby uploads. The app will indicate trending places and events that are popular or close to you. “It’s a real-time visual pulse for what is happening in the world,” said Instagram cofounder and CEO Kevin Systrom. Click here to read more.
Authors of a recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute say that the Internet of Things, a term for sensor-laden devices connected through the web, is only scratching the surface of its economic benefits. Outlining trillions of dollars worth of efficiencies in industries like oil drilling and traffic, the report says the challenge will be in synthesizing the wealth of data. Click here to read more.
Three new initiatives will support further development of Alexa, a voice service used by Echo, Amazon’s wireless personal assistant. The $100 million fund and software development kit will help engineers build experiences around human speech. Echo, which is available for purchase, uses Alexa to react to users. Amazon now hopes developers, manufacturers and startups will use Alexa as their vocal platform of choice. Click here to read more.