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Ted Murphy

The Pro Display XDR Wasn’t Made for You (or Me)

Yesterday Apple unveiled the Pro Display XDR. The new 32-inch LCD panel delivers a 6016 x 3384 Retina 6K resolution with more than 20 million pixels – that is nearly 40 percent more pixels than a Retina 5k display. It is a true 10-bit monitor with over 1 billion colors and high dynamic range. The Pro Display XDR uses a large array of LEDs for the direct backlighting system producing 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and 1,600 nits of peak brightness. That is way brighter than the average display on your desktop, and it also has a pretty amazing 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio to boot.

When I first saw this beast I thought to myself “there is my new monitor / cheese grater”… until they unveiled the price. In addition to some amazing specs this monitor packs and amazing price tag – $4,999 for the base model. Add another $1,000 for the higher quality screen and $1,000 for the base stand (I find this the most offensive). After I picked my jaw off the floor I had to step back and rewind to an earlier part of the WWDC presentation. This monitor, much like the new Mac Pro isn’t made for users like me. While I would love to have an $11,000 rig sitting on my desk the reality is that I personally don’t need that much horsepower for my day to day, nor do I need a precision tuned monitor that has been calibrated to act as reference monitor. I am not throwing around multiple 4k video streams or doing work that is super compute intensive in general. Sometimes it chokes a bit, but for the most part my laptop can keep up with me.

With this new computer and display Apple is squarely targeting the high end media professionals that can put it to work and easily justify the investment with their time savings. While I am bummed that I just can’t justify buying one myself it doesn’t mean that this monitor isn’t going to be awesome for the people they are targeting.

A 25″ 4K SONY reference display for filmmakers is $23,400 at B&H. If you compare that to the new Apple monitor that is 28% larger and has 50% more pixel density – at 25% of the cost – it is actually one hell of a good deal. While the market may be smaller for those that need this type of hardware I think Apple is going to hit a home run with high end professional videographers and photographers alike.

Livekick is like Facetime on Steroids for Personal Fitness

A Trainer in Your Pocket

Livekick is a fitness-on-the-go platform that allows its members to exercise with an online personal trainer in the privacy of their home, office, etc. I have not signed up for this service, but find it interesting. Often described as being similar to “training over FaceTime”, Livekick allows members to book their trainer and private session times by selecting when they want to exercise and selecting their trainer based on their desired specialties. All of Livekick’s trainers are top-level certified from various accredited organizations, with the yoga teachers all certified by the Yoga Alliance. Each Livekick session is just 30 minutes, and members have the option to set that time as weekly or one-time appointments. Livekick’s base membership allows 1 weekly appointment, however there are other membership options that allow up to 3 appointments per week. In the days members do not have appointments, the trainers will work with the members to create exercise plans that keep them active until their next meeting.

Livekick was founded in New York, New York by entrepreneur Yarden Tadmor and health and wellness expert Shayna Schmidt, who began their partnership when Tadmor hired Schmidt to train him over FaceTime because he often did not have time to find a gym while traveling. Once they realized the potential this platform could have for others who do not always have the time to leave their home, office, or hotel room to go to a gym, Tadmor and Schmidt decided to turn their solution into a platform.

Before founding Livekick, Yarden Tadmor was the Chief Revenue Officer at CovertMedia before moving to senior development positions at Quigo, AOL, and Dapper, and then served as the Chief Revenue Officer at Taboola. In 2014, Tadmor founded Switch, a “swipe-to-apply, addictively simple job matching app” which he would later use to co-found Livekick in 2018 with personal trainer Shayna Schmidt. Schmidt was a professional actor and singer in New York City who later found her passion in health and wellness, becoming certified most notably by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and Precision Nutrition Level 1 (Pn1). Using these certifications, she worked as a personal trainer until co-founding personal training and meal preparation company Weighted Plate in 2016.

They recently closed a seed round and have raised $3 million to date, with primary investors Frontier Venture Capital in Santa Monica, California, and Israel-based Firstime Venture Capital (Lead Investor) and Rhodium in Tel Aviv and Herzliya, respectively.

Livekick’s top competitors are job search engines such as Jobbio, Snag, and Poachable, and fitness equipment and class-based platforms like Peloton and Mirror. However, what sets Livekick apart is their focus on providing their members private exercise sessions at their leisure. While private trainers for hire could be found on other job search engines, all of the Livekick trainers are private, with their experience, expertise, and availability all provided to their members to choose from. Peloton and Mirror both require users to purchase their (rather expensive) equipment because they are “home gym” platforms, however Livekick’s “on-the-go” platform allows users to train anywhere at any time as long as they have an electronic device such as an iPhone or iPad and an internet connection.  Additionally, Livekick members experience 1-on-1 private training as opposed to the class training of both Peloton and Mirror.


Google’s Camera Embeded Contact Lenses

A Fix For Glassholes

The concept behind Google Glass is cool… just like the concept behind a bluetooth headset is cool. Unfortunately, both of these technologies make you look, well… uncool (sorry my Google Glass wearing friends – I love ya!). Do I want the utility of these devices? Hell yes. I would also like the utility of a fanny pack. However, you will never catch me wearing a fanny pack, bluetooth headset or Google Glass (unless I am wearing all 3 for a costume party).

In order for Google Glass to catch on the form factor needs to dramatically change and it appears that Google is working on the initial stages of just that. Google made a patent application for a new invention it is developing that enables a pair of contact lenses to be embedded with a camera component, control circuit and sensor. When paired with another device such as a smart phone, or a streamlined version of Google Glass, the implications of smart contacts could be huge. Not only could the device be something the general public would wear, but it could be the first step towards a borg-like future.

terminator_vision-550x235A Huge Step Forward

Smart contacts could enable the user to be able to see the detail in objects located at a distance without the use of binoculars or other ocular devices. It is also possible that the lenses’ sensor capabilities could be expanded to include other measurements, such as temperature or pressure. The lenses could also enhance our visible spectrum and display streaming information in realtime.

It is likely that at some point in the not too distant future smart contacts will  become standard medical devices designed to enhance a person’s quality of life, such as cochlear implants and hearing aids. Google has previously revealed a functional prototype of the smart contacts designed to monitor glucose levels for diabetes patients. In the future people with eye health issues and deteriorating vision could use these contacts to help augment vision that is currently failing or restricted.

Yes, there are all sorts of privacy and ethical concerns. But like it or not man and machine are starting to merge.

Phase one is wearable tech.
Phase two is implantable tech.
Phase three is voluntary, proactive functional replacement of perfectly good organs and limbs.

Intel Edison : The SD Card-Sized Computer

CES 2014 was interesting as always…. but apparently it was too interesting because I forgot to actually post this way back.

A fully functioning computer

One of the most intriguing pieces of new tech I saw at CES this year was the Intel Edison. It is a tiny, SD card sized processor aimed at wearable computing. The Intel Edison runs on a dual-core Quark SoC with a Pentium instruction set, operates on the Linux operating system and includes built in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. It is essentially the smallest fully-functioning computer I have ever seen. There is an app store for the Edison and a version of Wolfram Alpha’s Mathematica built in that is specifically for the device.

The Intel Edison will be made available sometime during the middle of 2014.  The business of wearable technology is still in its development phase, but with more and more people buying smart watches and glasses, I believe that components like the Edison will propel more companies to enter the space. It lowers the bar for hardware developers and lets them build off of an existing framework.

Will it take off? Only time will tell.

Update : It looks like this product has been discontinued. It turns out that technology is hard, even for the big boys.

What to Expect at CES 2014

ted_murphy_cesEvery year technology and marketing professionals from around the world meet in Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). CES was originally a trade show exclusively for consumer electronics professionals, but has since grown to a much larger event that encompasses all things social, internet, marketing, electronics and everything in between. While the show technically isn’t open to the public, the reality is that it isn’t too difficult to get a pass if you really want to go.

I have been attending for the past four years and providing television commentary for FOX. I have the pleasure of roaming the show floor to find the next big thing and I will be out there again this week. Here is what I am looking forward to seeing so far, but I am sure there will be more product announcements as the week goes on.

Audi Goes Android

Google and Audi have leaked plans to announce a new car entertainment system at the show. It is speculated that this new system will use Google’s Android OS and will be available in the new Audi’s in 2014. The Audi/Google system is still in development stages, and details are expected to emerge this week. This is exciting news for app developers and will create an entire new economy around in-vehicle infotainment. Now…. when will we see iOS running in vehicles?


4K Displays

Sony is focusing on 4K technology, hinting that they will announce Ultra HD enhancements in smart phones, laptops and camcorders. Samsung’s will be showcasing their 105” curved 4K televisions with an 11,000,000 pixel resolution. Other oversized televisions will also be on display from LG and Samsung. 4K streaming technology will be presented for both Netflix and YouTube. Netflix has plans to include 4K capability into smart TVs. YouTube plans to have Ultra HD videos on display at several television booths to demonstrate what can be done with a home system.

Technology You Can Wear

Wearable gadgets hit the scene big at the 2013 CES, and the 2014 show is expected to expand this technology into sunglasses, glasses and ski goggles. Will someone create a Google Glass killer before the technology really gets off the ground? We will have to see. Sweaters, handbags and smart clothing are also expected to be a big focus of the show. Smart watches and smart phone apps intended to encourage a healthier lifestyle will be displayed in their most recent incarnation.

Like all other CES shows you never really know what you are going to see until you get there. Let’s hope for some awesome.

Aereo Disrupts Television Broadcasting

Aereo (site no longer live) provides a disruptive alternative to cable and satellite television. The company takes over-the-air broadcast television signals and re-transmits them as an online stream to their own customers. Instead of you having an antenna on your roof, you lease a micro antenna (pictured below right) from Aereo that is located at their network operations facility. This facility pulls down all the local signals in the best quality possibly through your micro antenna, encodes the signal for the interwebs, and allows you to watch anywhere (though you are supposed to only watch in your local market).

I have seen the service in action and the quality is amazing.

aereo_antenna_smallShows can be viewed on any compatible television set (through a Roku box or AppleTV Airplay,) tablet, computer or smartphone. Aereo also allows viewers to record their favorite programs through a remote DVR. They charge very low monthly rates ($8/mo in Atlanta) and intend to keep costs down for their customers.

When it was launched, Aereo was sued for copyright infringement by many of the large television network companies. The plaintiffs argued that Aereo is illegally stealing television signals and broadcasting content that it does not own. Aero states that all they are doing is passing the media on to its customers through their leased antennas, which should not be regarded as theft. The courts continue to allow Aereo to operate, much to the dismay of traditional broadcasters, but the battle is far from over. Earlier this month the four major broadcasters asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case.


Backed by Big Money

Headquartered in New York City, Aereo was founded by Chet Kanojia, who remains the CEO of the company today. Kanojia graduated from Northwestern University with a masters degree in computer systems engineering. The company is backed by Inter Active Corp (IAC), an internet company chaired by Barry Diller. IAC owns a large number of powerful brands and companies, such as and Aereo is also supported by First Mark Capital and First Round Capital. Since its inception Aereo has raised over $60 million.

Aereo’s target market is fairly wide reaching. The technologically savvy who covet the latest devices and gadgets love Aereo, as do the frugal who wish to save money on their television bills. Aereo is available in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Salt Lake City, Houston and Miami. They will be expanding to other cities near term, you can check availability here (no longer live).

What are your thoughts? Should this be legal or not?

Update on Aereo

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Aereo’s services breached copyright laws. The site is no longer live.

Orlando Invests $94.5M in Arts & Entertainment

Yesterday’s decision to approve a venues package of $94.5 million has stirred up quite a buzz in the city beautiful. The vote, announced Tuesday evening, was passed 5-2, to much community acclaim and relief. The funds provided by this package will go towards civic improvements in the downtown area, underscoring Orlando’s commitment to becoming a world-class city for work and play.

The infusion of capital will benefit the Orlando area through three core improvements:

  • $25 million towards a multi-form hall designed to seat 1,700 guests at the Dr. Phillips Center for Performing Arts.
  • $12 million towards the Citrus Bowl, earmarked to be applied as part of a $200 million renovation project that will add 5,000 club seats to the stadium’s capacity, and go towards improving stadium amenities (which are currently terrible).
  • $20 million will go towards the development of a new soccer stadium, eventually intended to be the home base of the city’s very own Major League Soccer team. 

While some might protest the distribution of government funds on these venues, I believe that is a myopic stance to adopt. By backing these city-centered arts and entertainment initiatives, city planners are investing in a rich cultural future for their constituents. These assets will prove invaluable as the city attempts to attract and retain the creative class – the artists, designers, engineers and visionaries who want to live in a progressive city.

In addition to benefitting Central Florida residents directly, it should also stimulate alternate tourist markets, such as those vested in performing arts, professional soccer, and other sporting interests. This, in turn, will help to support ancillary business concerns, such as hospitality, retail and dining. This is a far-reaching investment that will broadly impact the financial futures of the citizens of Orlando. I give the vote a big thumbs up and congratulate Mayor Dyer and his team on their success.

Apple Rumor Roundup

Apple’s October 22 event is almost upon us, and rumors are swirling as to what products will be revealed.

Held at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Apple’s October product reveals have become an annual event in recent years. Previous October events have seen the announcement of the iPad Mini, The iPhone 4S, and the Macbook Air.

apple_oct_inviteThe teaser tagline for Apple’s 2013 event is “We still have a lot to cover.” While this may be a direct reference to a smart cover for a new slim iPad 5, it may also simply refer to the breadth of product announcements that are expected at this year’s event.

Whatever the case may be, the iPad 5 will almost certainly be the centerpiece of the show. Analysts feel the iPad’s camera is overdue for an upgrade, and an improvement from 5MP to 8MP on the rear camera is almost certain. A larger aperture is also expected, with lens ASP to increase 10 to 20%. This would bring the camera comparably in line with the one on the new iPhone 5s.

Apple also has strong impetus to add a retina display to the mini due to competition from the Nexus 7 and similar entry-level tablets, though analysts are conflicted on whether this move is yet possible from a supply standpoint. Both the iPad Mini and iPad 5 should see a boost in processing power, with Apple expected to add an A7 chip to the iPad 5 and a an A6X to the iPad Mini. Both models are also expected to go slimmer as well, though the addition of a retina display could actually force the Mini to become slightly larger and heavier. The iPad 5 is also in line for an infusion of color similar to the range available with the iPhone 5s. Space grey has all but been confirmed thanks to leaked pictures, but silver and gold are still speculative at this point. There is a possibility that the iPad 5 will see a Touch ID fingerprint sensor for one-touch unlocking of the device, but there is an equally strong possibility that Apple will want this to remain an exclusive feature of the iPhone 5s.

The New Mac Pro

Though attention will largely be fixed on the iPad, the Mac will not go without an appearance… something I am personally more excited about than the incremental iPad updates. I have been waiting for the new mac pro to ship since it was previewed earlier this year. There are multiple Mac Pros in our office (including my own) that are in desperate need of an update. I will be purchasing at least three new Mac Pros as soon as they are available.

Improvements to the Macbook Pro are also anticipated – a better Facetime camera, 802.11ac WiFi, and increased battery life.

On the software front, the official release of OS X 10.9 (Maverick) is expected to be announced. It is also possible that a new version of iWork will be revealed. There is an outside possibility that some revamp of Apple TV will also be announced.

3 Cool IoT Devices

A famous New Yorker cartoon said that “On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog.” Soon, however, most Internet users may not even be alive. Don’t worry, I’m not talking about the Zombie Apocalypse. I’m talking about the Internet of Things (IoT), which will make it possible for physical objects to communicate directly with one another–no humans required.

Right now our computers are clueless when it comes to the physical world. But thanks to cheap embedded sensors and ubiquitous low-power Internet connections, machines will soon be able to do much more – from warning patients of an impending heart attack to automatically reordering office supplies when they start to run low.

While these ideas may sound like science fiction, some innovative companies are already helping to build the Internet of Things. Here are three interesting examples:

meet_tod_339tod Smart Beacon
Pronounced “toad,” the tod is a tiny Bluetooth device that notifies you when it enters or leaves a specified area. You could have it send you a text message when your child comes home from school, or trigger an alert if your dog get out of the back yard. Check it out here.

Nest Thermostat
When you think of sexy hardware, your thermostat is probably the last thing that comes to mind. Nest hopes to change that and I have two of them installed at my house. The company is headed by Tony Fadell, who played a lead role in developing the iPod, and the Apple DNA shows in the Nest’s minimalist design. But the Nest is smart as well as beautiful. It saves energy by learning your schedule, and connects to your Wi-Fi network so you can adjust the temperature even when you’re away from home. Nest recently released a smoke and carbon monoxide detector as well.

Scout Alarm
Scout is using technology to shake up the stodgy home security market. The base station connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi, and it also has a 3G cellular modem for back-up protection. Instead of relying on an old-fashioned keypad to disarm your security system, Scout lets you use your smartphone. Naturally, you can also control the system remotely from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

As motion sensors, Bluetooth transceivers and other relevant technologies become continuously smaller and cheaper, the market for Internet-connected devices is set to explode.

The $12.5 Billion Tweet

How much is a tweet worth?

Can a tweet actually impact a business? As CEO of IZEA I get asked these questions everyday. My job is to match companies with influential people and pay them to tweet, post and otherwise endorse their products and services through social media. It is not unusual for a celeb to get tens of thousands of dollars for a single tweet, and that can stretch into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for the A-Listers. Yes, that may sounds like a lot of money – but when you combine the right person with the right brand it can be well worth it.


Today Carl Icahn tweeted about Apple, a company that he has taken a large equity position in. He has a mere 39,957 followers, but those followers are the right followers. They are truly influenced by Icahn, not just by clicking or retweeting, but by buying. Within 100 minutes Apple stock jumped as high as $494.66, to close nearly 5% higher, at $489.57 per share – a six-month high. Icahn’s tweet added nearly $12.5 billion to Apple’s market cap. AMAZING. While the size of his stake has not been disclosed, it is safe to assume that he just made himself tens of millions of dollars.

Screen shot 2013-08-13 at 5.32.41 PM

How much is a tweet worth? You tell me.

Disclosure : I own Apple stock.