Jon’s background as a public radio reporter and commercial copywriter allow him to bring a distinct voice to Zco. As a journalist, he’s written articles for a wide range of outlets, including New Hampshire Public Radio, Edge, Kotaku, and Kill Screen. As a copywriter, he’s produced content for clients ranging from aeronautical engineers to precast concrete manufacturers. Jon’s interests include programming in C, obscure Linux distros, and 90s first-person-shooters.
There was a time in the not-so-distant past that showcasing powerful AI was all about chess. Showing a computer beating the world’s greatest Grandmasters played well in the media and was easy to understand for even the least tech-savvy among us. This was taken to the next logical level when IBM’s Watson bested human challengers at Jeopardy! in 2011. While these man-versus-machine battles made for great TV spectacles, can mobile software benefit from these developments in AI?
The answer is a resounding “Yes.”
SalesForce CEO Marc Benioff said recently in an interview: “I think a lot of people don’t understand how deep AI already is in so many things.” This includes the backends of some of tech’s biggest services, like Facebook, Google Maps, and Amazon Web Services. And judging by the way large tech companies are acquiring deep learning startups, the number of services utilizing AI are only going to increase. So at this point, the question isn’t “Will mobile apps utilize deep learning AI,” but “How will your app use deep learning AI?”
In a 2016 research paper co-authored by Microsoft Research and the University of Cambridge, researchers make the point that smart devices are effective at tracking a wide variety of personal data. The way you commute to work, the stores you frequent, and even your vital signs can all be tracked through your phone. The real opportunity for developers is how to interpret this data quickly and effectively to provide value to their users. This is the arena where deep learning AI has proven itself.
What sets deep learning AI apart from its chess-playing cousins is that it can learn and adapt to changing circumstances. Deep learning systems utilize arrays of neural networks that work in parallel to analyze and react to assigned inputs. Inputs can be anything from GPS locational data to the screens of a video game, with outputs being turn-by-turn directions or button presses on a game controller. Neural networks that provide successful outputs are kept, while unsuccessful ones are pruned. Over time, the network gets better at reacting correctly to data, in turn providing better results. In other words, digital natural selection.
Imagine being able to offer your users the best deals in the specific aisle of a store they’re browsing based on their needs. Or guiding tourists and travelers through cities across the globe tailored to their personal preferences. Through deep learning AIs, developers can finally create software that anticipates user behavior instead of merely reacting to user input. While smart devices have always been effective at recording data, deep learning AI finally offers us a way of making sense of it all.
No matter what the future of mobile software holds, Zco is ready to adopt the latest technology for use in your project. Our team of expert developers and designers have a proven record of harnessing the latest technology to power our clients’ solutions. Zco can make your idea into a high-quality software solution.
For mobile hardware manufacturers, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 chip was the gold standard for performance last year. From Google’s Pixel to Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, companies looking to court power users were utilizing the 821 in their flagship devices. With technology again moving forward, Qualcomm is touting their successor to the 821, the Snapdragon 835 which was recently unveiled at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Image provided courtsey of Qualcomm)
The company is claiming around 25% in power savings with the new chip, all while bumping up its CPU and GPU capabilities. That translates into about 2.5-3 hours more of battery life. The new SoC is tiny. It’s being produced on the 10nm scale, making it 35% smaller than the 821 and about 3/4ths the size of a penny.
First and foremost, developers are going to have a lot more power on tap for both 3D games and processor-intensive tasks. More interestingly, the 835 complies with Google’s Daydream guidelines, meaning that the new chip was in part designed to cater to developers pushing into the VR space.
We’re only a few days into 2017, but you can count on this year’s flagship phones shipping with this chip under the hood.
Last week, Nintendo’s iconic mascot and sometimes-plumber, Mario, leapt confidently onto iOS devices around the world. Nintendo has flirted with iOS development before by licensing their properties to other developers. But ‘Super Mario Run’ marks the first time the game company has released a first-party title on mobile. While the announcement is exciting for gamers and bored commuters, what does Nintendo’s move mean for other iOS developers?
(Image provided courtesy of Nintendo: https://supermariorun.com/en/about.html)
The financial model for app development over the past five years has moved away from higher upfront prices, and towards revenue generated from in-app purchases. Nintendo is looking to buck this trend entirely. ‘Super Mario Run’ is hitting the market with a 9.99 USD price tag, along with a free trial version. For any other iOS developer without Nintendo’s name recognition, this would be impossible. The higher price point might mean the company is eager to recoup their development costs. If they succeed, it could mean a new age of higher-priced, premium iOS games and apps.
Apple’s walled-garden philosophy makes iOS applications difficult to illegally copy and distribute. Fear of piracy was likely one of the factors driving Nintendo to release their title on the App Store first. Apple’s ability to update their devices quickly ensures that “jail broken” phones and tablets can’t load pirated or fraudulent apps. This is a philosophy Nintendo also embraces for its own hardware. For developers looking to protect their intellectual property, iOS is a strong choice.
This is the key takeaway. For three decades, Nintendo has made their money by not only developing software titles, but also selling the hardware those titles play on. The fact that Nintendo has finally entered the mobile space confirms that mobile development is replacing traditional game software. Of course, for our developers here at Zco, it’s just reinforcing what they already knew: mobile app development is the future of the software industry.
You don’t have to be a professional iOS engineer to create a successful mobile game. With over two decades of experience, Zco Corporation is a proven software development expert and technology leader. Our unmatched experience ensures comprehensive and reliable software solutions for our clients.
It's hard to go even a few hours without seeing an item in your newsfeed mentioning a new app taking advantage of virtual reality. From 360-degree video content, to the more experimental experiences of Google Cardboard, virtual reality apps of all kinds are finding success in the market. Should yours be one of them? Here's a short guide to help you decide how virtual reality (VR) can play a role in your next project.
Don't be discouraged by the fact that VR games and cinematic experiences dominate tech news. The technology has practical applications too. Everything from piloting drones from a first-person perspective to exploring open-concept blueprints are made possible by this revolutionary technology. Immersive virtual reality applications are redefining the way fields like medicine and security operate. Companies of all kinds are adopting and developing virtual reality apps to:
VR integration brings unlimited potential to the table.
A common misconception about VR is that it requires expensive hardware to run on, which limits the people who can experience your app. This couldn't be further from the truth. The dawn of powerful smartphones allows even older devices to run basic VR applications with affordable headsets. The result is that the audience for your idea is much bigger than just niche enthusiasts with expensive hardware.
Developing for VR isn't difficult when you're working with the right developers. Industry standard tools like Unity allow for prototypes to be created much quicker. This allows you to tweak your VR app according to your specifications and feedback. The bottom line is that it's never been easier to integrate VR in a meaningful way into your project.
When Facebook bought VR startup Oculus Rift for $2bn in 2014, concerns were voiced that VR ventures were overvalued. Since then, both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive have launched and delivered on their promises. Sony followed suit, and both Samsung and Google are experimenting with VR hardware and content. A recent report from international financial consulting firm Deloitte shows the VR industry will reach $1bn in value by the end of 2016. The market is ripe for opportunity.
If you think your project could benefit from virtual reality implementation, compare what solutions suit you best by talking with an expert. Zco offers access to industry-leading developers and has over 25 years of experience providing solutions for its clients.
Zco Corporation is a custom software company with headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA specializing in mobile app development, enterprise software, and 3D animation.
NEW HAMPSHIRE, HQ
58 Technology Way, Suite 2W10,
Nashua, NH 03060, USA
Phone: (603) 881-9200
745 Atlantic Ave,
Phone: (855) 926-2777