el producto #53 👉 a weekly round-up of Tech and Product goodness

Google Pay, Facebook home device Telegram’s cryptocurrency, Rapid Innovation Framework, Launching platforms, Smart mirrors & more.

Welcome to the 53rd edition of el producto!

📰 What’s going on

Google announces Google Pay: a consolidation of all Google payment products, including Android Pay and Google Wallet; enables payments in store, online, and across Google products; already available for Airbnb, Instacart, and other sites and services.

Google appears to be displaying unexpected surveys on Android phones; the blog Android Central points out that a customer survey appeared on the settings page of a Pixel 2 XL, as well as in the Android Messages SMS client app on a ZTE Axon 7.

Facebook is testing Today In; uses AI and human curation to surface local news, events, and announcements; Facebook’s News Partnerships team vets and approves local publishers for inclusion; currently live in six cities.

Facebook is set to launch an Echo Show-like device called Portal in 2018; will support video chat, music streaming; the company is set to announce Portal in May, with a full launch expected in the second half of 2018.

Apple will launch the HomePod smart speaker in 4–6 weeks, according to marketing insights company GBH.

Apple releases iOS 11.2.2 and an update to macOS 10.13.2, protecting against the recently disclosed Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities introduced by flawed processor design.

Messaging platform Telegram plans to launch a cryptocurrency as part of a multi-billion dollar ICO.

Acer, HP, and Asus are set to add Alexa support to some of their PCs; starting this spring.

Baidu unveils a smart home speaker, a smart lamp with speaker, and a smart projector with speaker; all connect with the company’s intelligent assistant, Duer; the Little Fish VSI Smart Speaker features a color touch display enabling video calls, etc; the Sengled Smart Lamp Speaker can change colors, sync to music, etc.

Kohler announces the Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror, which will respond to Amazon Alexa voice commands; features include an Alexa speaker, a front-facing mic and a motion-detecting night light.

Garmin launches the $450 Forerunner 645 Music: the company’s first wearable with on-board music storage; features 3.5GB of storage, enough for roughly 500 average songs; supports Bluetooth earbuds; audio file transfer from PC and from streaming services.

Vivo showcases the first phone with an in-display fingerprint sensor; the device makes use of a 0.7 mm thick Synaptics Clear ID, which can read fingerprints through OLED displays.

China-based Didi Chuxing announces plans for its own bike-sharing service; it will initially let customers book Ofo, Mobike, and Bluegogo bikes through its app, before eventually launching its own bike-share service.

Samsung says it will include Bixby with all of its 2018 smart TVs; the service will integrate with the company’s SmartThings hub, allowing users to control a variety of IoT devices via voice.


📚 Stuff to think about

The danger of mistaking customer opinions for facts. Strategyzer shares some practical advice around a common mistake when doing user interviews.

Launching Platforms: Growth Hacking & Network Effects. Simone Cicero puts together a bunch of resources and great advice on Platform Design.

Rapid Innovation Framework by Just Eat. The guys at Just Eat have thoroughly documented their approach to creating awesome products. Inspired by Jobs To Be Done and Outcome Driven Innovation methods, this framework puts customer needs at the center of innovation.


🚀 The week in figures

Smart speakers were the bestselling consumer gadget of 2017; with sales bolstered by the gift-giving appeal of such devices, like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, shipments hit 35M units last year.

37% of US homes will have at least one smart speaker by the end of 2018; 75% of smart speaker owners use embedded voice assistants on a weekly basis; compares with 69% for smartphone assistants.


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el producto is a curated selection of Tech&Product happenings within the last few days from a curious and frequently skeptical Product Owner’s perspective.

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