The 2015 “Sleeper Ideas” List: Trends, Stocks, And Private Companies To Watch – Forbes

My choices:

1. Cyanogen. This company should develop a credible path for AOSP (non-Google Android) especially in India. I expect a lot of traction as OEMs who embrace Android reject Google.

2. iPad. Not as a consumer product but for the Enterprise. The iPad grows up into a solid product for business while being replaced by phones in consumer “jobs to be done”.

A few more ideas are listed here: The 2015 “Sleeper Ideas” List: Trends, Stocks, And Private Companies To Watch – Forbes.



  • stefnagel

    I want an Apple Echo. That Jeff Bezos is a smart guy. The concept is great. Home is where the hub is. But it’s Apple’s to do:

    Call it the Newtone, a hand-free, voice-run, monitoring, anticipating, seeing, listening, smelling gizmo that sits on a side table. An assistant to the single, the old, and families, with these features:

    * It lights up or intones if you are near (with phone), signaling a message, alert, or reminder.
    * The Newtone Siri knows you by name. It reads messages, speaks weather as you wash or dress, or reminders, headlines, tweets, or Beats.
    * The Newtone monitors the room, incoming messages, and mail, and sounds and sends alerts to your iPhone: “Package delivered to back porch.” Or it sends an alert to your relative, security company, or police.
    * The Newtone lowers the room temp with a command to a Nest. And it sends your commands to ten other HomeKit gizmos connected to it: washers, garage doors, locks, music, lights, smoke and gas alarms, TV, cars. And it acquires your HealthKit vitals from watch or wristband.
    * The Newtone places calls, sends messages, and sends spoken documents as text to an iPad or iMac.
    * Maybe a deluxe Newtone projects a Facetime connection on a nearby wall.
    * The Newtone doesn’t need an onboard screen or much storage; a standard “Apple price” will still encourage Apple’s soon 1,000,000,000 credit card carrying adult users to buy several units per home. At least one.

    Will Apple do it? I think it will: The Newtone is still a computer and Apple is still the company that it was thirty years ago, making “computers for the rest of us.” Apple this year has introduced the component technologies: HomeKit, HealthKit, Continuity. And Siri’s an old acquaintance. So why not?

    • Walt French

      Not, because it would make too obvious how far tech still is from your even low-fi sci-fi concept.

      • stefnagel


      • Sid

        Apple used to have it.
        Seven years ago.
        iPod HiFi was it called.
        Decided to focus.

      • stefnagel

        Irrelevant. If you’ve seen Sonos at work and add Siri, it’s a whole new thing.

    • People don’t spend all that much time in one room and families typically spend time in separate rooms. The days of “household appliances” are gone. Or, in other words, if it’s not mobile or personal it’s not going far.

      • Walt French

        If you ever tire of the business analytics stuff, you have a good future in Bon Mots as a Service.

      • Walt French

        More seriously, this whole IOT notion, however, is mostly about fixed-location lights, thermostats, dishwashers and garage doors. One-to-one interaction between phone & Thing is neat but insufficient or inefficient. E.g., I may want autonomous interaction between my wifi thermometer/rain gauge and my curtains & lighting, w/o my tending to same. Ditto “smart usage” of HVAC w variable electricity pricing.

        Methinks these interactions beg a centralized computer to mediate individual devices and interfaces. For me, it’s a little Insteon hub in the basement; I suppose it would be trivial to have it on an online server, but there’d still be the need for at least a local firewall/router.

      • stefnagel

        So … you do want a hub, bub?

      • Eric Gen

        I have no idea if anything will ever come of it, but this function has been suggested a lot recently as a role that an updated Apple TV might play. Of course, add a microphone and Siri and you also have Stefnagel’s gadget. Add a camera to that and you’d also have a TV as a home (or business) FaceTime communication system. Since some businesses are already using Apple TV with Airplay as a presentation system, it would seem that there are a lot of possibilities here.

        Sorry, the more I typed, the further I wandered from the original topic. By itself being an inexpensive dedicated computer, it would seem that the Apple TV could be quite suitably used as a HomeKit hub while also functioning in additional roles.

      • stefnagel

        While big race is going to the small and swift, I’ll hang with my handfree hub hankering. Nest and Sonos are compelling examples of home appliances that have legs.

      • consume

        Good, because the watch will primarily compete against non-consumption, and there’s a vast market of watch non-consumption.

      • stefnagel


      • JerryL

        I think you’re taking too limited a view of “mobile” and “personal”. *Today*, to be mobile or personal requires dedicated hardware you carry with you. The necessary networks and generalize hardware aren’t there yet (though we are beginning to see them).

        For interactions with my local physical environment – say, turning faucets on in my bathroom – “local” and “personal” aren’t so about *me* as about *the things around me*. Being able to turn on the faucet in my bathroom while I’m in the car 100 miles away may be a cool trick, but it’s rather pointless. (It may be a pointless trick even if I’m in the bathroom, though when my hands are covered with grease being able to *say* “Hey Siri, wash hands” and have the water come on might be very nice.)

        The need here is personal and local access – where the “personal” is me and the “local” is wherever I happen to be, affecting things (digital or real world, wherever they are) as appropriate. Ultimately, that doesn’t require iPhone-level capabilities in every device, or in every location – or necessarily even *with me*. A “fixed iPhone” in each room makes little sense. On the other hand, a box with a microphone and speakers and perhaps a display can be invisibly small, cheap, and tied to computational resources … somewhere. It would have the same capabilities, but would make sense to install.

        It’s been argued that Apple wants to put intelligence in each workstation/laptop/phone/tablet, while Google wants dumb equivalents of all of these with the intelligence out in the cloud. In fact, today neither can really get what they want – the network technology isn’t there for “all dumb endpoints”, and the computational technology isn’t there for “all in your pocket”. Exactly how things will sort out, we’ll have to wait and see – but a plausible future – probably at least a decade out – is the iWatch form factor as the physical “presence” you carry with you; various sensors and effectors scattered around in your home, car, office; pervasive high-speed networking; and computational and storage resources “somewhere else”: Maybe in a shared data center, maybe in a closet in your home. There might well be a secondary physical object that you carry that’s a very thin, very lightweight, probably flexible touch screen for reading and data entry beyond what you want to do with voice, but less than you need from a dedicated keyboard and mouse (or whatever). If it has significant computational capabilities, they will be for dedicated purposes (voice recognition, maybe recognizing “typing” based on a camera watching your fingers as you hit any handy surface, who knows.)

        — Jerry

    • stefnagel

      I hope this isn’t true: “Each new Wi-Fi device also shares one common trait: an Apple TV is required if you want to control them with Siri while away from home.” See The Verge, First HomeKit devices confirm Apple TV’s limited role in home automation.

    • Christian

      This SiriUs concept is beautiful. I think they should name it Cortana.