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ZTE unveils its first cybersecurity lab to demonstrate transparency

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 8:47pm
The Chinese telecommunications, enterprise and consumer technology and equipment provider ZTE Corporation has launched its first domestic ...
Categories: VoIP News

Future launches $150/mo exercise app where real coaches nag you

Startup News - 2019, May 23 - 7:34pm

The only way to beat laziness is with guilt, so that’s what Future sells. It assigns you an actual human trainer who builds personalized workout plans and messages you throughout the day to make sure you’re doing them. It even gives you an Apple Watch to track your activity and ensure you’re not lying. Future actually got me to the gym where my coach kicked my ass remotely with a 30-minute lifting routine I’d never have stuck to by myself.

The catch? It’s probably the most expensive app you’ve ever seen, charging $150 per month.

Future officially launches today. Luckily it comes with a 1-month money-back guarantee that CEO Rishi Mandal says has only been redeemed once. It’s produced some stunning stats from its beta tests. 95% of users stuck with it for 3 months, and 85% kept training for 6 months. That’s unheard of it fitness tech.

Future’s welcome kit includes a water bottle and Apple Watch

The remarkable retention and Future’s potential to become a gateway for your exercise and nutrition spending have roped in some big name investors. Today it’s announcing an $8.5 million Series A led by Kleiner Perkins, building on its $3 million seed. Other backers include Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, Khosla Ventures, Founders Fund, and Caffeinated Capital. Athletes are betting on Future’s promise of democratizing the personal training they get, including Golden State Warrior Sean Livingston, and NFL stars Ndamukong Suh and Kelvin Beachum.

“Future manages to be both deeply personalized (and personable!) while being super convenient” says Krieger of one of his first investments since leaving Instagram. Future’s Mandal built his old startup Sosh while sitting next to Krieger at incubator Dogpatch Labs where Instagram was getting its start. “The always available nature of it means travel or a shifting schedule is no longer an excuse to not work out.”

How Future Works (Out)

Throughout the onboarding, Future flexes the money you spend to offer what feels like a luxury app experience.

Upon signup, you’ll answer some questions about your goals like slimming down or beefing up, and pick from a few expert trainers matched to your needs. You’ll do a 15-minute video chat with your trainer to get friendly, describe your schedule, and hammer out details of your workout plan. After you get your welcome kit with some swag and an Apple Watch, your trainer delivers your week’s worth of personalized daily routines that come with video instructions for each exercise. The Future app provides audio cues (and optional music) to guide you through the workouts while your trainer chimes in with personalized pointers and motivation via pre-recorded voice clips.

Future’s app guides you through workouts with instructional video clips and audio cues

But what’s unique about Future is that your trainer proactively checks in with you throughout your day to make sure you’re actually going to the gym or doing those pushups. Since you don’t switch between trainers with each workout like some apps, and since they have your activity and heart rate data from the Apple Watch, they can spot patterns of procrastination or flaking out. You’re prompted to give feedback after each sweat session that the trainer uses to tweak your plan. That personalization and prodding go a long way to making sure Future always fits your day and actually stays part of it.

For example, I wanted to burn a few pounds without burning too much time by adding a gym day or two plus some warmup strength training before my home Peloton rides. My trainer Renee Zernicke, a former University Of Wisconsin Director of Sports Performance for basketball, designed a 30-minute weight lifting circuit and some 10-minute bodyweight exercise plans for me. When I messaged her that I was doing a more intense spin class today, she remixed my warmup exercises to avoid legs so I wouldn’t be tired during my ride. So far she’s always responded within a few minutes, and been cheerful yet forceful. “I know your days are slammed, just wanted to check in and see if you were able to get to that spin class?” she messaged me at 6:30pm. That’s something even most in-person trainers don’t do.

Future matches you with several trainer options

I found most of the workout instructions to be easy to understand, and the audio cues make it easy to do routines without constantly staring at your phone. But the one thing you really lose with a text message trainer instead of an in-person coach is warnings when you’re doing something wrong. Bad posture or jerky motions could get you injured. It’s all a lot smoother if you know your way around a gym. Future could do more to gauge your familiarity with proper form for riskier exercises, and then either teach you or steer you away from them. I hope I’m so sore today because I’m getting built, not getting hurt.

Your Pocket Motivational Speaker

My trainer Renee encouraging me to get to the gym

Future was inspired by some scary facts. “70% of Americans are obsess and overweigh” Mandal tells me. “We spend $3.5 trillion per year on healthcare, yet we have pretty mediocre outcomes.” Mandal had gone through Stanford, worked at NASA, and been at Slide when it was acquired by Google. After selling his local experience app Sosh to Postmates, he became an entrepreneur-in-residence at Khosla Ventures which does many medtech investments. There Mandal realized health is largely determined by how you eat, sleep, deal with stress, take your medicine, and exercise.

Thanks to smart watches, that last one had become the easiest to measure while remaining the toughest to do right on your own. Mandal set out to learn what the fittest people, professional athletes, do for exercise. They all told them they relied on personal trainers to make all the workout plans and force them to do them. Home gyms or apps full of pre-made exercises weren’t enough. They needed someone to keep them accountable.

The trouble is that’s pretty expensive one-on-one. So Mandal teamed up with Justin Santamaria, a 10-year Apple veteran from the first iOS team who’d been working on iMessage and FaceTime. Together they designed Future in 2017 to make personal trainers cheap enough to be more accessible while retaining the personal connection that keeps trainees on track.

If you won’t shell out $150 per month to be nagged, there are plenty of apps like Sweat that let you choose between guided workouts. Hell, if you’ve got that much will power you could get any gym membership or just go running. But the closest thing to Future called Fit.net folded. AI trainers like Freeletics can’t make you feel guilty or inspired the same way. Lose It and MyFitnessPal can get fellow trainees to badger you, but Mandal found people don’t obey peers like a respected trainer.

The constant communication and sense of trust users develop with their coaches could give Future potential beyond subscription fitness. The app becomes a hub for your healthy behavior. Future already offers an in-app Shop where it recommends workout clothes, headphones, and water bottles. It’s easy to imagine it partnering with fitness equipment makers, health food lines, or other brands to score a cut of referred sales. “We become your most important relationship regarding your health. You only talk to your doctor two times to three times per year” says Mandal. But you might tell your trainer you’re looking for ways to eat healthier or sleep better. “Over time, that’s the opportunity.”

Still, the biggest hurdle is convincing people to pay over 10X their Netflix fee for a personal trainer they don’t see in person. Compared to the $1 apps we’re used to, Future can induce sticker shock. But compared to unused gym memberships, pricey private coaching, and potential health problems, Future could look affordable if well-to-do professionals squint right. Humans are sluggish. Most heathy habits lapse. But Future is building the closest thing to “press button, pay money, get fitter” — which in the end looks like getting someone to enthusiastically shame/support us from afar.

Categories: Business News

What are Microsoft Teams PSTN Audio Conferencing pay-per-minute / Pay As You Go (PAYG) Costs

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 7:09pm
Called just Audio Conferencing by Microsoft (which I think is confusing as VoIP/PC audio conferencing is included in the box. PSTN Audio ...
Categories: VoIP News

Global Voice over Internet Protocol Services Market 2019 :: Top Companies Strategy Review ...

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 6:56pm
Segmentation by call type: International long distance VoIP calls, Domestic VoIP calls. Segmentation by configuration: Computer to Computer, ...
Categories: VoIP News

Global Phone Card Market 2019 – UNIVERSAL CALLING INC., SpeedyPin.com, Birch ...

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 6:49pm
Some of the Most Important Key Players Involved in the Study are UNIVERSAL CALLING INC., SpeedyPin.com, Birch Communications, VoIP ...
Categories: VoIP News

Over The Top Content Market is Booming Worldwide | Facebook, Google, Netflix, Nimbuzz, Tencent

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 6:15pm
Global Global Over The Top Content Market Size (Sales) Market Share by Type (Product Category) [, VoIP, Text And Images, Videos & Music ...
Categories: VoIP News

VirtualPBX announces new phone system plans

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 5:51pm
Every plan includes unlimited VoIP minutes between system users, at least one included phone number, use of standard Dash features like Ring ...
Categories: VoIP News

Beautystack raises £4M seed to help beauty professionals become financially independent

Startup News - 2019, May 23 - 5:00pm

Beautystack, the London startup that’s creating a beauty professional booking app with heavy focus on social, has quietly picked up £4 million in seed funding led by Index Ventures.

The company had previously raised pre-seed funding from LocalGlobe (led by Suzanne Ashman) and counts David Rowan (ex-Wired), Julien Codorniou (Facebook Workplace) and Audrey Gelman (The Wing) as angel investors.

Founded by former salon owner and brand consultant Sharmadean Reid in April 2017 before being joined by co-founders Dan Woodbury and Ken Lalobo, Beautystack is part booking platform for independent beauty professionals and part social app. The idea, Reid tells me, is to “close the loop” on seeing the results of a beauty treatment that you like and being able to book it.

“Girls see millions of images of beauty treatments on social media and have no idea about who did it, how much it cost or what it even is,” she says. “We want to close the loop on the journey of seeing what you want, liking it and booking it. With Beautystack we use visual menus so you can search and book what you like.”

Reid says Beautystack’s “see it, like it, book it” approach is also designed to solve a bigger problem that means many beauty services providers are at the bottom of the $450 billion beauty industry and “don’t get the earnings, tech solutions or income or respect they deserve.”

“In my opinion they are the foundation of the industry and with Beautystack our mission is towards gender quality by increasing the earnings of these ‘Beauty Pros.’ I want to turn the beauty professionals into the next beauty influencers and have them earning salaries comparable to beauty bloggers. They always have been influential, but now we want to push them to the forefront.”

She says doing that requires a cultural change as well as a technological one, and that Beautystack, which launched a beta in January, is taking the time to cultivate its supply and promote the beauticians on its app through articles and content, “and nurture their confidence and their careers.” It also provides the tools needed for beauty professionals to work independently and reduce the time spent managing social media, customer support and bookings.

“Our typical supply customer is a millennial or Gen-Z independent beauty professional,” adds Reid, “mainly women, who tend to create a lot of content around their work (images and video), which they then post on social media. After working all day, they then have to respond to Instagram DMs, comments, texts and WhatsApps for their appointment requests, and typically there will be at least 10 exchanges, including screenshots of imagery to close a booking [without payment].”

Beautystack founders

These beauty professionals are typically leaving a salon and either setting up private studios, operating mobile, working from home or renting chairs in a salon as opposed to a commission model. With Beautystack, Reid says the beauty pro’s time is better protected against cancellations, too, with a 50% upfront booking and 50% upon completion. An image of the beauty treatment sought is attached to each booking and the beauty pro can view the client’s profile to gauge their taste before they even walk through the door.

It’s this “networked environment” that in part makes Beautystack stand out from competitors, with the app employing social media mechanics to allow users to see what their friends have booked and to follow and like their posts. “We have a two-sided networked marketplace that has equal functionality. Other beauty scheduling systems operate like a classified directory,” says Reid.

With that said, Beautystack isn’t a walled garden. Initially built as a web app using React, each beauty pro gets their own website accessible through any modern web browser and linked to their profile within the Beautystack mobile app.

“Later down the line I think we will do more with their web profiles and enable partner integrations in finance and accounting to support more experiences for beauty pros,” adds the Beautystack founder.

Categories: Business News

Global Telephony/<b>VOIP</b> Software Market Progress 2019 | Market Strategy, Developed Trend and ...

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 4:38pm
The Global Telephony/VOIP Software Market is characterized by the nearness of probably the best contenders prevailing in the market, including the ...
Categories: VoIP News

Business Cloud <b>VoIP</b> &amp; UC Services Market 2019 | Cisco, Verizon Enterprise, AT&amp;T, EarthLink

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 4:25pm
Continuous adoption of cloud services by the government and business sector is the key factor contributes the growth of global business cloud VoIP ...
Categories: VoIP News

Global <b>VoIP</b> Test Equipment Market Growth Analysis 2019 : N-Able Technologies Inc., Brix ...

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 4:15pm
The Global VoIP Test Equipment Market Forecast 2025 covers definition, classification, industry value, price, cost and gross profit. It also covers types, ...
Categories: VoIP News

BT Wholesale UK Broadband Checker Adds SOGEA FTTC Availability

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 3:56pm
However most people only use their fixed line for broadband (i.e. mobiles and VoIP are preferred for calls) and the old analogue voice services are ...
Categories: VoIP News

Global Voice over Internet Protocol (<b>VoIP</b>) Services Market Analysis 2019 – Dynamics, Trends ...

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 3:40pm
New Study On “2019-2025 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Services Market Global Key Player, Demand, Growth, Opportunities and Analysis ...
Categories: VoIP News

Global Digital Cordless Home Phones Market 2019: DECT, Analog, <b>VoIP</b>, Other Digital Technology

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 3:37pm
The report, titled 'International Digital Cordless Home Phones Market Research Report' points out the key factors affecting the growth of the market.
Categories: VoIP News

<b>VoIP</b> Services Market: Adoption of Innovative Offerings to Boost Returns on Investment

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 3:20pm
Increasing trend of mobile-based VoIP services such as WhatsApp, Line, Viber and Skype, in conjugation with increasing penetration of smartphones ...
Categories: VoIP News

Revolut launches Group Vaults as an alternative to joint accounts

Startup News - 2019, May 23 - 3:01pm

Fintech startup Revolut is making vaults collaborative. You can now create a vault with someone else and use it like a normal vault.

Originally, vaults were an alternative to savings accounts without any interest rate. You could create vault in any currency (including supported cryptocurrencies) and set some money aside. You can round up your expenses and add change to a vault, program regular transfers to your vault or add money whenever you feel like it.

If vaults are like a Word document, group vaults are like a collaborative document in Google Docs. Multiple persons can now interact with a group vault just like a normal vault.

This will be useful for couples who want a sort of joint account without opening a bank account, parents giving some money to their children, roommates creating a common pot to pay for group expenses, friends going on vacation, etc.

Revolut users have created 1 million normal vaults so far. They currently hold the equivalent of $95 million (£75 million).

In other news, Revolut mentioned a new app for younger customers —Revolut Youth. It's not available yet but the company is working on it.

There are now 4.9 million registered users on Revolut. Every day, 12,000 people sign up. Every month, Revolut processes $5.5 billion in transaction volume.

Categories: Business News

Voice Over Internet Protocol (<b>VoIP</b>) Market: Fast-Moving Trends to Watch | Key Players are 8x8 ...

Google News - VoIP - 2019, May 23 - 2:03pm
The rapid influx of advanced technologies has brought another vertical to the forefront of the voice over internet protocol (VoIP) market landscape.
Categories: VoIP News

Documentary series Foundation is back with a season 2

Startup News - 2019, May 23 - 6:04am

Paris startup campus Station F and Le Studio Next have teamed up once again for a second season of Foundation, a documentary series about building a startup. If you liked the first season, you’ll feel right at home.

A video team followed the entrepreneurs working for three startups through their work issues, their personal life and their emotional reactions. You’ll feel like you know them after watching the series.

This year, Foundation focuses on three different startups that try to have a social impact. You’ll meet Jean Guo and Binta Jammeh, co-founders of Konexio, Ruben Hallali, founder of HD Rain and Olivier Jeannel, founder of RogerVoice.

So without further ado, here’s Foundation season 2:

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Categories: Business News

Modsy scores $37M to virtually redesign your home

Startup News - 2019, May 23 - 5:29am

Modsy has raised some new cash as the computer vision startup looks to get physical and build more of the furniture it recommends. The startup announced that they have closed $37 million in Series C funding led by TCV. They’ve now raised north of $70 million to date.

The service combines computer vision tech with human designer know how to let users design the trendy home of their dreams. The process begins with a user snapping pics of their room (or multiple rooms) which Modsy then stitches into a complete 3D model of the room.

Prices range from $69 to $349 depending on what level of finesse you’re looking for.

From there Modsy designers drop in furniture from their partners like Crate&Barrel, Pottery Barn, West Elm and others, if you pay for their $149 single room premium package, you can chat with the designers and swap out pieces or try completely different styles. All-in-all the app gives you a lot of options for the price, although the startup’s main method of monetization isn’t these one-time packages, it’s earning cash when you buy the furniture that they suggest.

Earlier this year the company branched out into creating their own furniture line of sofas and chairs which they are injecting into their room designs and recommendations. This could allow the company to transform into more of a smart furniture company as opposed to an AR/ computer vision startup.

“I founded Modsy on the premise that in the future we would all be shopping from a personalized catalog-like experience within a virtual version of our real homes,” CEO Shanna Tellerman said in a statement. “This new round of funding will bring us even closer to this reality.”

Categories: Business News

Gender, race and social change in tech; Moira Weigel on the Internet of Women, Part Two

Startup News - 2019, May 23 - 3:07am

Tech ethics can mean a lot of different things, but surely one of the most critical, unavoidable, and yet somehow still controversial propositions in the emerging field of ethics in technology is that tech should promote gender equality. But does it? And to the extent it does not, what (and who) needs to change?

In this second of a two-part interview “On The Internet of Women,” Harvard fellow and Logic magazine founder and editor Moira Weigel and I discuss the future of capitalism and its relationship to sex and tech; the place of ambivalence in feminist ethics; and Moira’s personal experiences with #MeToo.

Greg E.: There’s a relationship between technology and feminism, and technology and sexism for that matter. Then there’s a relationship between all of those things and capitalism. One of the underlying themes in your essay “The Internet of Women,” that I thought made it such a kind of, I’d call it a seminal essay, but that would be a silly term to use in this case…

Moira W.: I’ll take it.

Greg E.: One of the reasons I thought your essay should be required reading basic reading in tech ethics is that you argue we need to examine the degree to which sexism is a part of capitalism.

Moira W.: Yes.

Greg E.: Talk about that.

Moira W.: This is a big topic! Where to begin?

Capitalism, the social and economic system that emerged in Europe around the sixteenth century and that we still live under, has a profound relationship to histories of sexism and racism. It’s really important to recognize that sexism and racism themselves are historical phenomena.

They don’t exist in the same way in all places. They take on different forms at different times. I find that very hopeful to recognize, because it means they can change.

It’s really important not to get too pulled into the view that men have always hated women there will always be this war of the sexes that, best case scenario, gets temporarily resolved in the depressing truce of conventional heterosexuality.  The conditions we live under are not the only possible conditions—they are not inevitable.

A fundamental Marxist insight is that capitalism necessarily involves exploitation. In order to grow, a company needs to pay people less for their work than that work is worth. Race and gender help make this process of exploitation seem natural.

Image via Getty Images / gremlin

Certain people are naturally inclined to do certain kinds of lower status and lower waged work, and why should anyone be paid much to do what comes naturally? And it just so happens that the kinds of work we value less are seen as more naturally “female.” This isn’t just about caring professions that have been coded female—nursing and teaching and so on, although it does include those.

In fact, the history of computer programming provides one of the best examples. In the early decades, when writing software was seen as rote work and lower status, it was mostly done by women. As Mar Hicks and other historians have shown, as the profession became more prestigious and more lucrative, women were very actively pushed out.

You even see this with specific coding languages. As more women learn, say, Javascript, it becomes seen as feminized—seen as less impressive or valuable than Python, a “softer” skill. This perception, that women have certain natural capacities that should be free or cheap, has a long history that overlaps with the history of capitalism.  At some level, it is a byproduct of the rise of wage labor.

To a medieval farmer it would have made no sense to say that when his wife had their children who worked their farm, gave birth to them in labor, killed the chickens and cooked them, or did work around the house, that that wasn’t “work,” [but when he] took the chickens to the market to sell them, that was. Right?

A long line of feminist thinkers has drawn attention to this in different ways. One slogan from the 70s was, ‘whose work produces the worker?’ Women, but neither companies nor the state, who profit from this process, expect to pay for it.

Why am I saying all this? My point is: race and gender have been very useful historically for getting capitalism things for free—and for justifying that process. Of course, they’re also very useful for dividing exploited people against one another. So that a white male worker hates his black coworker, or his leeching wife, rather than his boss.

Greg E.: I want to ask more about this topic and technology; you are a publisher of Logic magazine which is one of the most interesting publications about technology that has come on the scene in the last few years.

Categories: Business News

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