Yahoo’s Bold Push Into The Mobile Ad Space


All signs are pointing to mobile as the nascent-enough industry where online advertising market share can be taken from Google. Marissa Meyer of Yahoo has decided to take a stab at it. Google and Facebook have been battling for this space for a while now. Yahoo will release a self-service platform like Google and Facebook that will place companies’ ads across their mobile app network, Flurry. This includes both publishers and game apps.

Yahoo acquired Flurry last July for $200 million dollars and has mostly been focusing on developing a base of app developers but will reportedly be combined with Yahoo’s advertisement platform Gemini in the coming months. Previously, Gemini’s ad network consisted of only the properties Yahoo owned.

Google’s and Facebook’s mobile ad buying platforms are formidable foes. The Facebook Audience Network allows advertisers to personalize their messaging to each person because of their trove of personal information and affinity data. And Google’s mobile ad platform, AdMob, has an extensive network after years of working with publishers using AdSense. It is projected that in 2015 Google will have 35% mobile ad share and Facebook will have around 17%.

Yahoo has come under fire recently for not keeping up with the times. Their controversial purchase of Tumblr might prove useful in endearing them to a new generation and this move seems like a bold yet necessary move into the growing mobile space. Yahoo has been making inroads into the mobile space with ad revenue from mobile accounting for 17% of its revenue in last quarter.

This all comes at a time where Twitter’s growth has slowed, and many believe that even before this move they would surpass them in market share this year. However, even this feat would not put them close to even Facebook’s projected 17% market share.

Another recent acquisition points to a move into video advertising. With online video growing one can expect to see all of these coming together in the near future. Yahoo will have a formidable stack of offerings for publishers and app developers.

Mobile Tech in Medicine

Medical App Icon DesignA study was recently led by Doctor James Churchill to observe the use of mobile technology by orthopedic surgeons. The study, recently published in the Journal of Mobile Technologies in Medicine and summarized for an article completed by iMedical Apps, showed some promising hints at what the future could hold for orthopedics. The study observed orthopedic surgeons residing in Australia; Churchill and his team sent surveys to orthopedic surgeons across the nation, all of varying levels of training and practice. The survey was sent via email and is susceptible to selection biases, according to the article.

Ninety-two orthopedic surgeons took the time to respond to the survey. Of those who responded, most were between the ages of twenty-eight and forty years old; this indicates an inherent bias as well, as those of a younger age tend to be more inclined towards using mobile technology. The data provided by their responses indicates that, generally speaking, those serving in the orthopedic industry tend to use mobile technology most often to communicate with their colleagues. The second most common use of this technology is to review and communicate with patients and colleagues on the results of imaging studies from within mobile apps. Beyond this existing use of technologies, eighty six percent of those who responded that they hope to find further uses for mobile technologies in the future of their practice. This is the direct result of a strong sense of increased productivity with the use of mobile apps and technology.

No such similar studies have been conducted on orthopedic surgeons who reside and practice in the United States. However, the article believes that the same conclusions can be drawn on those in orthopedics in the U.S. The study could incline app developers based in the United States to develop even more orthopedics-based technologies, particularly those that facilitate communication between physicians and incorporate imaging viewing features. However, to truly see the implications for the United States and other countries throughout the world, future studies would be necessary.

Debate Over Appeal of Apple Pay

apple payApple Pay is the new service provided by the tech titan, which allows consumers to use either a card attached to their iTunes account or upload a new credit card number. From there, the consumer merely needs to hold their iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus up to a unique scanner at the check-out line, deploying their fingerprint as confirmation of the transaction; the program is also available on the recently announced iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3. The transaction will be complete within moments; no credit, debit or cash necessary. Each transaction creates a unique sixteen-digit security code. If this number is interrupted, the fact that it is a one-time only code prohibits the purchase, card or device from being hacked; no other device or person can use the code again, as a means of hacking valuable information.

As interesting as the process sounds to be, a debate has begun as to how popular the program will be, according to an article recently completed by NBC News. Eddy Cue, apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, is very optimistic that many consumers and merchants will want to employ the program. It allows consumers to not have to carry cards or cash with them. In addition, it has several extra layers of security added that are not provided through use of cards, namely the sixteen digit security code and the fingerprint confirmation. However, those who oppose the idea disclaimed a concern of their purchases being tracked, ending in an invasion of privacy. Cue declared that that would certainly not be the case; he stated that Apple would not be collecting data on purchases.

But there are other challenges posed to the program. For a merchant to allow consumers to use Apple Pay, the organization must install a special scanner, entitled the NFC reader. This allows the device to be read and for the transaction to commence. Currently, less than ten percent of merchants have installed the necessary reader. In general, analysts believe that tech-savvy consumers will jump on the program, but the everyday consumer will remain hesitant. It is simply ingrained in individuals to use credit and debit cards. As this program is already very simple, it may be difficult to convince the public to switch.

Cue, on the other hand, remains unworried. Apple Pay, to him, is far faster and safer than the current methods of mobile payment. This indicates to him that it will be more popular than analysts currently predict, amongst both consumers and merchants.

Wembley Soccer Stadium a Mothership of Mobile and Tech

Recently, Old Trafford, home to the Manchester United English football team, banned the use of iPads in their stadium; the item of technology isn’t even allowed into the arena. This choice was made, based in apparent suspicions of violating rights of privacy of millionaires on the field and in the boxes of the stadium. Coincidentally, another United Kingdom stadium has chosen to go in the very opposite direction, according to an article recently completed by Tech Radar.

Ipads  and tablets built into Wembley Soccer Stadium box seats.

iPads and tablets built into Wembley Soccer Stadium box seats.


Wembley, a new and improved rendition of the Old Wembley, has now been proclaimed as the mothership of technology in the entirety of the United Kingdom. Rob Ray, the Chief Technology Officer and the individual in charge of the implementation of technology into the stadium, has announced several ambitions for the project. Contactless payment is expected; in addition, iBeacons will allow a consumer’s ticket to be readied while the customer waits in line for the turnstiles. To finalize the technology implementations, the newly conceived Wembley app will be released in October for the England San Marino game; the app was created in the hopes of declaring Wembley as being on the cutting edge of technology.

When asked why Wembley decided to favor technology in light of Old Trafford’s choice against the platform, Ray declared that it is simply what the consumer’s want. Technology has become part of the sport experience, in Ray’s opinion; to deprive customers of such wouldn’t be meeting their needs. In addition to this, there is also the factor that Wembley serves as a venue for more than just football events. Concerts and various other events are held at the venue, and Ray feels it would not be fair to allow technology for only some of the events held at Wembley.


Wembley Soccer Stadium, Smartphone Scan

Guests can gain access to the stadium by scanning barcodes on their smartphones.

EE has served as the prominent brand of the stadium, paying an indiscriminate amount of money to fund one of the world’s greatest stadiums. EE sought to make the stadium the hub for the next generation of technology; EE wants customers to come and see how technology is going to be in the future. The biggest challenge in the task has been building massive pipelines and installing intelligence to manage heavy Wi-Fi traffic expectations of consumers.

For more Mobile and Soccer news, visit Eyal Yechezkell’s Facebook page, and follow Eyal on Twitter: @eyalyechezkell.

Apple Attempts Augmented Reality Application to its Apps

Apple Augmented RealityAugmented Reality apps strive to provide a virtual map of the consumer’s surroundings. Layar and several other startups have attempted to make realistic virtual maps in the past, but have often struggled due to the fact that they rely solely on sensor data, which can result in an imperfect match between the virtual depiction and the real environment at hand. However, according to an article recently completed by Tech Crunch, two new patent apps have been released by Apple, which will work to compensate for the imperfection of relying completely on sensor data.

The two patents build on the existing Flyover feature available in iOS maps, which allows users to view a 3-D representation of the satellite image for more interactive directions through a city or street. However, Flyover has never explored the addition of augmented reality previously—something the two patents hope to change, as both patents indicate that Apple has placed a priority on boosting the ability of the navigation programs provided by the iPhone with augmented reality features.

As described by the patent, the iPhone will have a new method of employing and creating the augmented reality, through the use of the camera in combination with on-device software; these two items will work together to generate a virtual map of surroundings for the consumer. The created reality is then overlaid on a real feed, allowing the application to provide a look inside surrounding buildings. The patent claims this is possible through the use of GPS, Wi-Fi and sensor data information, which confirms the user’s position before downloading a 3-D model of surroundings, including local points of interest. The inclusion of the camera in Apple’s patents helps compensate for the imperfect match sometimes found in augmented reality applications. The video feed provided by the camera lets the user’s activity match up virtual elements with the real world equivalents in the image. From there, once a match is locked, users can peel back the outer layers of buildings to reveal the interior.

The software is still in production and is not expected to be on the market in any immediate future. However, the patents do indicate that Apple has made augmented reality a priority in future products.

OpenTable Mobile Payment Program

At a conference in San Francisco in February, OpenTable—an app best known for table reservations—announced that it would be expanding to build a mobile payment program for some restaurants.  The market is full of competitors, all with a variety of means of approaching the task.  Competitors range from small startups to payment giants such as PayPal.  Tableside paying has become popular, mostly for its cut back on paper and complications in turning over tables.  However, methods of completing the task have varied greatly; some rely on an app installed on a smartphone, while others depend on a tablet provided to the restaurant.

OpenTable, Mobile App

According to an article recently completed by Tech Crunch, in the case of OpenTable, the company does have certain advantages to tackling the popular market.  The app is already a household name in its ease of use for reserving tables; therefore, many Americans already have the app on their phone and would not need to seek out additional software or applications just to employ the payment method.  In 2010, OpenTable claimed that it helped seat two million diners per month.  By last summer, the mobile app represented thirty six percent of all diners helped through OpenTable’s services.  Now, that figure has increased to helping a total of fifteen million diners a month.  This seems to imply that many in the nation already employ the app; this fact is confirmed by Google Play data, which shows that the app is on millions of Android phones.  It is also believed that this figure for iPhone users would be even higher.

From there, if the user already has the app, it becomes a simple matter of uploading a credit or debit card to the account.  No scanning is needed and the user need not ‘check in’ to the restaurant to employ the payment component.  The iPhone edition of the app shows a detailed view of the bill, adjustable tip suggestions by percentages, emails the receipt and even includes an opportunity to use payment options the restaurant doesn’t accept.

Dozens of restaurants in New York City already accept OpenTable’s payment component.  Eighteen restaurants have chosen the app in San Francisco.  By the end of the 2014, OpenTable hopes to introduce payment plan to twenty more cities.