DMA Tech Watch: New ‘Star Trek’ TV Show, UCI’s Tech Cove & Smarter Drones

By Phill Powell

Welcome to DMA Tech Watch, where we review the biggest news events and tech trends now on the radar. Here’s what we’re watching as of November 2, 2015:

NEW ‘Star Trek’ Series Only to Air on CBS Streaming Service

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In January 2017, you’ll be able to see another “Trek” series on CBS All Access…and nowhere else.

Here’s hot news for Trekkers everywhere. There will be a new TV show from the franchise in January 2017, but the only way to see it will be by subscribing to CBS’s streaming video service, called “CBS All Access.” (The first episode will be previewed to the network’s regular audience, as a teaser.) This will be the fifth show from the franchise since the original TV classic. CBS All Access is CBS’s offering to consumers who are hoping to “cut the cord” and quit paying for regular cable TV service.

Apple Still Strong Everywhere, Really Huge in China

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A second Apple Store was recently opened in China, where Apple products are selling like hotcakes.

Last week, the world’s most profitable company reported strong quarterly earnings, driven by iPhone sales, and a very enthusiastic Chinese market. Bottom line? A 30-percent increase in quarterly profit. During the same quarter a year ago, Apple reported revenues of $42.1 billion. This year, that same quarter yielded revenues of $51.5. Although not all iDevices are moving (i.e., iPad sales are down), those disappointments are more than erased by sales of the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.

UCI Builds a Welcoming “Cove” for Tech Investors

UCI_Cove
The set of a Corona commercial? Nope, a place where Orange County investors can talk tech.

In a move sponsored by the University of California at Irvine (UCI), local business leaders in Orange County are working to establish a new Silicon Valley around UCI. It’s called “The Cove,” and it provides a low-key way for entrepreneurs and potential investors to come together in a relaxed setting and talk big deals. We’re not surprised that this is happening at UCI, given the school’s progressive reputation as a tech think tank. (That’s why DMA established summer tech camps at UCI.)

Is Twitter Losing its Steam?

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The bluebird is flying high now, but if it doesn’t attract more users, will Twitter stay aloft?

That’s the question on investors’ minds as they tried to decode what Twitter’s recent quarterly report means. Right now, the company’s generating revenues and profits healthier than even what analysts had predicted. So what’s the problem? The future may be less than rosy. User growth has increased 11 percent annually, but industry analysts say more growth will be necessary for Twitter to remain vital. Ironically, Twitter shares dropped 11 percent last week on news of the poor growth.

HEAD FOR THE HILLS! DEPARTMENT: DRONES GETTING SMARTER

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The white box on top is a sophisticated processor that can turn a drone into a flying laboratory.

While the usual drone has so far been limited to two functions – flying and transmitting a video signal – that’s starting to change, thanks to drone maker DJI. It’s created a small computer called the Manifold that attaches to the DJI Matrice 100 drone. What can it do? Perform AI apps like computer vision and deep learning, carry atmospheric research equipment, execute higher-level surveying functions. The Matrice 100 costs $3,300, which would make it a steal for surveying companies.

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