IITian Major’s jetpack to give wings to Army

The jetpack can fly for over a minute at a speed of about 50km per hour and reach an altitude of 800 metres, features that can come handy for emergency purposes or for special military operations.
In the frozen heights of Siachen, the world’s toughest and highest battle field, weather takes more lives than bullets. The count of casualties at Siachen was more than 860 due to hostile weather conditions till last year. Not to forget the ten soldiers from Madras Regiment who were buried under mounds of snow in an avalanche recently, soldiers do not have choice but to traverse these hilly terrains by foot.

Now, an Indian Army engineer, who was once posted in Siachen has come up with a technology that would perhaps save many lives guarding inhospitable terrains. Major Lakshyajeet Singh Chauhan, who completed his MTech in IIT-Madras, has designed a jetpack, a device with a backpack rocket, allowing an individual to fly by means of propulsion produced by rapidly expelled gases.

Chauhan says the jetpack could fly for over a minute at a speed of about 50km per hour and reach an altitude of 800 metres, features that can come handy for emergency purposes or for special military operations.

The project has been proposed to be considered under the ‘Imprint India’ initiative of the ministry of human resource development (MHRD), which can fund for the development of a prototype. The propulsion system, which is vital to the functioning of the jetpack, has already been developed and tested at IIT-M.

“In Siachen, there are earmarked avalanche areas. As of now, soldiers cross these areas by foot. So, while crossing these areas, if an avalanche is triggered, soldiers can fly using these jetpacks,” said Chauhan, who is posted at the Military College of Electronics and Mechanical Engineering, Secunderabad.

The concept of jetpack is not new. USA attempted at developing a jetpack as early as in the 1950s for its Army. Dubai recently signed a deal to supply jetpacks for its firefighters.

Aerospace engineering department professor PA Ramakrishna says that the jetpack they have designed varies on several parameters that makes it highly safe. It has a hybrid rocket, which is considered safe and cost-effective, that operates on solid fuel and liquid oxidizer. The solid fuel here is a powdered form of aluminium, which is cast as per design requirements. Water, which is used as an oxidizer, is injected for the fuel to burn.

“To suit the requirements of the Army, we needed a thrust that is greater than the weight of the individual. With aluminized fuel we have developed in-house, we were able to achieve better thrust at 1800 Newtons. It can lift a soldier weighing up to 60 kg and an additional 20kg, which can be arms or fuel to travel long distances,” the professor said.

He said though US had the concept in 1950s, they had several limitations in terms of fuel, weight and flight time. “They used hydrogen peroxide as fuel. It is dangerous as it is highly reactive that can cause immediate fire,” he said. “They also used fine particles of platinum as a catalyst, which made the jetpack expensive.”

NexGTv’s new feature to save 5X data while streaming videos

The feature can help a user save data by as much as five times even as they continue streaming videos, NexGTv said in a statement.
NexGTv — India’s largest subscription-driven video entertainment app — on Thursday introduced a unique feature that allows users to manage their data flow at will as they stream a video on smartphones or other devices.

The feature can help a user save data by as much as five times even as they continue streaming videos, the company said in a statement.

The new “data saving” feature also minimizes data usage and substantially extends the validity of their data plans, providing immense savings for end-users across both mobile and Wi-Fi networks.

“The ‘Save Data’ feature will enable viewers to regulate their viewing experience, allowing them to not just continue streaming video but also conserve data simultaneously,” said Abhesh Verma, chief operating officer, NexGTv.

Positioned on the top right corner of the streaming screen as a toggle button with easy ‘switch on-switch off’ functionality, the feature alternates between data saving and performance modes.
Activating the ‘Save Data’ mode does not affect the quality of audio streaming at all.

NexGTV mobile app has been downloaded over 25 million times. The new feature is now available for download at Google Play Store.

Microsoft’s Quantum Break to run at 720p on Xbox One?

Quantum Break will be released on April 5 across Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.
Microsoft Studios’ upcoming exclusive gaming title Quantum Break will reportedly run at 720p resolution on Xbox One. The third-person shooter game will be released on April 5 across Xbox One and Windows PC.

Developed by the makers of popular games like Max Payne and Alan Wake—Remedy seems to have downgraded the resolution to 720p from 1080p for it to run smoothly on Xbox One, according to Digital Foundry, who claim to have played two chapters of the upcoming title.

“Based on Remedy’s own Siggraph 2015 white paper, we understand screen-space lighting, ambient occlusion, and global illumination pipelines are all handled at 1280×720 on Xbox One in order to budget for a 33.3ms render-time,” said the report.

Remedy claims that the output of Xbox One is 1080p in the same whitepaper.

“That’s where there is some confusion – as we’ve yet to see evidence of full HD 1080p gameplay in close analysis – barring the title’s HUD elements and menus,” the Digital Foundry report questioned.

Explaining the graphics experience, the report stated, “In every scene tested so far, a native resolution of 720p is the consistent result found in each pixel count test – so while there’s every possibility of individual render targets operating at higher resolutions, basic geometry that we’re able to measure hands in a 720p result as things stand.”

The Windows 10 PC version will allow gameplay at 1080p at 30fps. “The developer is promising a maximum 4K experience at 60fps, but it remains to be seen exactly how this will pan out, or exactly what kind of hardware will be required to make this happen,” added Digital Foundry.

Artificial intelligence won’t overtake humans as of now

DeepMind, which is the company's AI research firm, falls under Google as a traditional product.  Google has made massive strides with refining its AI. In January, Google's AI beat a human at the complex game of Go for the very first time.  Google's AI was also capable of learning to play and win Atari 2600 games without any prior instructions in 2015. More recently, the company's AI system was able to successfully navigate a maze on a computer game the same way a human would.
Self-aware and self improving computers will not overtake the human race in our lifetimes, according to IBM research director Arvind Krishna. Krishna heads the organization that gave the world Watson, the Jeopardy-winning cognitive computing system which is now being used by doctors to help diagnose cancer.

“To get to this singularity, as they call it, you need a machine that knows everything. I know how to make an AI (artificial intelligence) machine that knows what we teach it. I can’t even conceive of an AI machine that goes beyond what it’s been taught.

I would predict to you that in ‘our living lifetimes’ that will not happen,” Krishna told ET. Engineer-entrepreneur Elon Musk and scientist Stephen Hawking, among others, have called for greater caution in using artificial intelligence. Musk said with artificial intelligence “we are summoning a demon” and called it humanity’s greatest existential threat. Krishna said the world is years away from developing a computer that can beat the Turing test, the Holy Grail for artificial intelligence programmers.

The IIT-Kanpur graduate is the first Indian to head the research division in its 70-year history and the 11th to hold the position. IBM has a dozen research labs across the world, including one in Bengaluru. Some of the inventions from the 3,000-people strong research division include the automated teller machine, the floppy disk, the hard drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database and the Fortran programming language.

IBM needs to balance two requirements while picking projects — the potential strategic focus of the company in ten years and a need to give its “really smart people” a bit of leeway. “I want a third of our ideas to become really impactful on IBM as a company, from another third I would like to get some impact. And I would expect that a fraction won’t be useful because we chose too hard a problem,” Krishna said.

IBM chooses hard problems because “everyone could solve the easy ones”. IBM expects its research organisation to open newer business lines. The total size of the IT market, its traditional stomping ground, is about $1.2 trillion and the company expects developments such as Watson to open an additional $2 trillion of potential business.

The size of the market means Krishna does not worry about missed bets but about the speed of his investments in potentially market-changing technologies and that investments in some cutting-edge projects may not pay off Krishna said he wished the company had begun to invest sooner in cloud-computing technology. “It’s not just about missing things, or not investing. It’s also about speculative investments.

The ones you do that people look at you and think, ‘Are you crazy’?” Krishna named IBM’s investment in quantum and neuromorphic computing as its speculative investments.

The company has one of the largest quantum computing programs in the world. Quantum computing is focused on developing computers based on principles of quantum theory, which explains the nature and behaviour of subatomic particles. Krishna said the research heads in the company work closely with its business heads to understand the needs of customers.

How education startups are making learning more fun

Let’s say after a game on his mobile phone a 12-year-old boy has been able to master a little more of Calculus, or an impatient girl in fourth standard plugs into a tablet to know more about the ‘bite marks’ on Pluto, they wouldn’t necessarily be representative of a distant future.

Education-technology startups over the past decade have been transforming how youngsters learn, mainly via visual or interactive online modules that make learning instant and complex concepts more palatable. Several of these firms, though, are tethered to the formal model of education in India that is rooted in rote-learning and focused on test scores, which has largely meant linking students to tutors online or helping them improve test scores by generating multiple practice papers.

With technology rapidly evolving and students wanting to reach beyond structured boundaries, entrepreneurs and educationalists are pushing the limits trying to engage better with them. They are creating mobile-first, cloud-headquartered, analytics-based products, with emphasis on simplification and ease of use.

The four-people team at Oust Labs wants to make preparing for exams fun by putting friends and classmates through game-like competitions on its mobile application. The startup, founded last year, encourages students to hang out with friends on Oust as they bust challenges designed for 9th-12th standard students in science, math and social science.

A leaderboard features the top scorers, just as in gaming apps.

“Unlike regular test-prep solutions we are using mobile gaming as a mechanism to drive engagement with users,” said CEO Shrikant Latkar, former chief marketing officer at mobile advertising firm InMobi. This latest crop of startups are emblematic of a big change over the initial era of ed-tech companies, and their ingenuity is helping draw investors. From $13.06 million invested in ed-tech startups in 2014 across 13 deals, investors pumped in $107.5 million across 22 deals last year, show data from financial research firm VCCEdge.

“Mobile-first solutions and gamification technologies are the future of education, since they can scale very rapidly at low cost,” said TV Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education and an investor in ed-tech startups including Oust Labs, Magic Crate and OnlineTyari, which, too, is a test-prep firm. Magic Crate provides skill-enhancing activities for children in ages 4 to 8 in a subscription-based service starting at Rs 549 a month.

CarveNiche Technologies mines and analyses data to teach maths. Its automated learning platform, beGalileo, works like a multiple level storyboard through which a student has to progress step by step. In the background, the platform analyzes the user’s learning minutely. “It will go as minute as… this child is struggling with decimals, he doesn’t know fractions, etc. The system will place the child on a learning path on a knowledge graph. This is the path you need to cross to reach your goal,” said CEO Avneet Makkar.

Avneet said she got feedback from students that they tend to get bored studying alone. So beGalileo, which already has an option for an online tutor, will shortly introduce social learning through ‘Speed Math’ for students to be able to challenge friends and other users online.

Impartus Innovations is a video-based learning platform. It captures classroom lectures that are made available to students for anytime re-learning. Amit Mahensaria, chief strategy officer, wants to take this further.

“The new thing is connected classrooms… Students are not learning in a located period, they are doing it in their own pace and at their own time. In this, videos play a deep role.” The platform allows students to watch lectures on an app, talk to teachers and other students, find related study material, create bookmarks and make notes.

Impartus is also for teachers. It allows teachers to make short videos on the basics of a topic that have to be viewed before a class. The teachers can then go deeper into the subject during class, which will also be videographed.

“We are also coming out with tools for teacher improvement,” said Mahensaria. “We can say when you were teaching these portions you were off the topic… or maybe x students were disinterested. In the classroom, we have cameras recording the students as well. This involves behavioral psychology that will read the students through machine learning and say if they are confused, bored, etc.” Of course, some teachers initially resisted being video-graphed but now Impartus’s platform is now in use at premier schools including the Indian Institute of Management and PES Institute of Technology, both in Bengaluru.

“The thinking with the latest breed of ed-tech startups is totally new and their development cycles are much faster, which is anyway the nature of cloud and mobile. Also, these solutions are a lot more user-friendly,” said Anand Sudarshan, director at Sylvant Advisors, which has 19 ed-tech startups in its portfolio.

The big challenge, however, is to be able to convince institutes to buy or subscribe. “Sales cycles are too long and complicated with schools and direct selling to parents or students has its own complications,” Sudarshan said.

This is also because, as Mohandas Pai said, “Talking of education as a large market in this country is a joke since the addressable market is very small… Total funding on education from the government as well as private players combined makes for less than 6% of GDP.”

Now, watch Street View imagery of Sri Lanka on Google Maps

The new street view allows people around the world to view and experience the infamous bustle of downtown Colombo, the cool tea plantation hills, the rich history and beautiful and diverse landscapes of Sri Lanka in 360-degree panoramic imagery from their phone, tablet or computer.
Internet giant Google on Tuesday announced that its popular street view feature for Sri Lanka is active and available on Google Maps.

The launch brings the total number of countries where street view is available to 76.

“We are delighted to bring imagery of Sri Lanka to Street View on Google Maps” said Helena Lersch, manager (Public Policy) at Google in an official statement.

The new street view allows people around the world to view and experience the infamous bustle of downtown Colombo, the cool tea plantation hills, the rich history and beautiful and diverse landscapes of Sri Lanka in 360-degree panoramic imagery from their phone, tablet or computer.

To capture this imagery, Google drove close to 50,000 kilometres across every state and province in Sri Lanka starting from December 2014 and finished in February this year.

By bringing Street View to Sri Lanka, Google hopes to create a new way of showcasing Sri Lanka’s beauty to the world while helping strengthen the country’s already burgeoning tourism trade, the statement said.

Sri Lanka has become a popular tourism destination, with the numbers of tourists heading to the island nation growing by almost 20% each year. In 2015, 1.8 million tourists visited the country.

“Sri Lanka is already a popular tourist destination, and we hope Street View will make the country even more accessible to people interested in exploring and visiting here. Whether you continue your journey in Google Maps or are inspired to visit in person, we invite you to enjoy the Land of Lions” Lersch added.

And they lived virtually ever after

Illustration: Shinod Akkaraparambil
Unanswered questions, unspoken thoughts, and unexpressed feelings.

There’s always some thing unsaid when death comes. But the digital world is slowly changing the perspective of death by piggybacking on the philosophical belief that `one never really dies but just leaves.’ Whether it is an emotional message for your children or a replica of your thoughts, some websites, apps and `thought-copiers’ have made it possible for you to leave behind a part of your `self’ after you die, assuring you a `sense of digital immortality.’

Imagine receiving an emotional message on your wedding day from your grandmother, who died 15 years ago. HDFC Life, for instance, recently launched ‘Memories for Life’, which allows you to either record a short video or make a scrapbook of photographs. After completion, the user can share the content immediately or in future.

Other applications like After note, Remember me and Safe Beyond are helping people ease the path to closure through messages for their loved ones, to be viewed only after their death. “It gives you a chance to be part of your loved ones’ lives forever through digital platforms. It is important as you don’t know if you’ll be there for the big moments of their life,” says Moran Zur, founder & CEO, Safe Beyond.

Established last year, the platform also provides users the opportunity to leave messages tailored for occasions like birthdays and weddings. They could be location-specific notes.

Users are required to assign a trustee(s) who will inform the site of their demise. Once notified, the site will send messages like e-mail passwords, stored for the digital heirs — on the mentioned dates. The idea developed when Zur lost his father to cancer and missed him at his wedding. But work began after his wife was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2012. “The concept is well-received in India which embraces strong family bonds,” says Zur, whose site receives the second biggest traffic from the country , with more than 1,500 users.

Acting as your ’emotional life insurance’, psychologists say these messages can assist in the grieving process. “It is a good way for the family to cope with loss. In grief resolution therapy, we advise patients to see old pictures of the deceased as it is a cathartic process,” says Dr Keerthi Pai, clinical psychologist, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai.

Apart from its emotional purpose, these platforms act as safety vaults for digital assets like data on social media networks, and scanned documents. It can also be used to advice future company heirs. “To me, it’s like a digital capsule with my data and memories, which my loved ones can access without scrambling for it,” says Tekin Roads managing partner Lathika Pai, a Bengaluru-based user of SafeBeyond.

But these tools are a double-edged sword. While security of messages is promised through encryption, legal issues come into the picture. “If the data saved on a cloud is considered a property, it is advisable for users to state this in their will to ensure it doesn’t fall into unscrupulous hands,” says Avinash Wadwani a lawyer at Madras high court. ” Also, the Indian Succession Act hasn’t been amended since 1925 and hence, doesn’t the law doesn’t recognize digitalization of legacies,” says Wadwani. “But it can be amended to incorporate this possibility.”

People are also working towards immortalizing themselves by making a digital copy of their personality. For instance, the 2045 initiative by Russian businessman Dmitry Itskov hopes to develop devices which can transfer an individual’s personality to a robot or computer. The initiative plans to come up with a hologram-like avatar by 2045. Another such concept is ETER9, a social network platform founded by Portuguese Henrique Jorge, which relies on artificial intelligence as its main element. It gives people a chance to create a virtual self which will learn more about them through their interactions on the platform, then post on the network in the person’s absence.

While both these projects are in their preliminary stages, the topic is being widely debated. “One needs to understand what making a replica means –whether it is only the brain and the physical body, or a more abstract entity,” says professor Deepak Khemani, department of computer science & engineering, IIT Madras, who has done extensive research in artificial intelligence. He explains there are two ways a replica can be made. “We have to understand the physical structure of the brain and try to replicate that, hoping that a mind similar to the original will emerge. This makes it difficult as the brain has billions of neurons and their connections cannot be duplicated,” says Khemani. “The second option is to understand what constitutes the mind and then make a replica. But today , we are still grappling with understanding the mind, which makes this implausible too.”

Hate Instagram’s new algorithmic timeline? Why you too are to be blamed

The legions of people who use Instagram will start to see advertising in their photo sharing feed in the next couple of months.
Our social media lives have become a battle for control, although it might not feel like it when we’re scrolling through tweets about Happy Valley or pictures of our friends getting drunk in bars.

We like to think that we’re in charge of all this stuff, that everything appearing on our screens has been chosen by us and that we alone have the power to change it. Any suggestion that the service we’re using might be about to reduce that power seems to make us disproportionately furious.

Instagram’s recent announcement that it plans to follow Facebook and Twitter‘s lead by shifting to an “algorithmic timeline” (in which you’re more likely to see popular posts from your pals rather than everything in strict chronological order) has caused untold fury: The hashtag #boycottinstagram was used by thousands of people (on, er, Instagram) in order to make their feelings clear. “Keep Instagram Chronological!” has been the battle cry, a plea to protect our God-given right to scroll through a load of pictures that are probably a bit dull.

Algorithmic timelines are easily characterized as evil. There’s a strong case for everything that we post online to have the same likelihood of being seen, and algorithms evidently work against that by giving prominence to things that are popular. They force us to up our game: If our pictures, puns and pronouncements are going to reach an audience, then they have to be good, and the idea that an algorithm is doing the judging feels inherently unfair.

Instagram has been quick to reassure users that “when your best friend posts a photo of her new puppy, you won’t miss it” – but this neatly sums up the problem: I couldn’t care less about seeing said puppy, but the algorithm is going to show me the puppy anyway, because other people like the puppy. Before, seeing a puppy in my timeline was all about chance and timing. Now, Instagram will be putting it there.

If you’re in Instagram‘s shoes, however, it makes perfect sense. The more people joining the service and the more people we follow, the more swamped we are with images: CEO Kevin Systrom estimates that users miss about 70% of content, and he just wants the 30% they do see to be better.

It’s that perennial conflict between encouraging us to spend more time using the app and stopping us becoming bored with it. Weighting our feeds towards pictures that we might like to see would seem like a no-brainer – and it also increases revenue for Instagram, as it forces brands to pay for placement in the feed rather than merely relying on posts cropping up chronologically.

The truth is that we’re lazy. As we immerse ourselves deeper into social media, the prospect of trying to personally curate everything becomes a monumental drag. Outsourcing control to an algorithm would seem like a perfect solution, but resistance always runs weirdly high.

Of course, we’ve proved time after time that we hate any kind of change being forced upon us online, even if that change is supposedly for our own good. As the former chief technical officer of Facebook, Bret Taylor, said of its shift to an algorithmic feed: “It was always the thing that people said that they didn’t want, but demonstrated that they did by every conceivable metric.” Perhaps we’ve reached the stage where computers know what we want far better than we do.

We’re more honest with our smartphones than with doctors

We’re more honest with our smartphones than with doctors
In the late 1960s, an undergraduate psychology student at Wellesley College named Martha McClintock noticed something interesting: Women who spent a majority of their time together tended to get their periods around the same time. She suspected that menstruating bodies could influence one another somehow, but it was just a hunch.
So she asked 135 of her fellow students to keep track of their cycles. Three times that year, she quizzed them about their period start and which women they socialised with the most. Initially, it seemed McClintock was right: Close-knit groups of friends tended to start their periods together.

The phenomenon of menstrual synchrony was nicknamed the “McClintock effect,” and her work was lauded as one of the first mainstream studies to demonstrate how one person’s body chemistry can trigger responses in another’s. But McClintock’s results have been difficult to replicate; now, the scientific consensus is that cycles probably don’t sync up — a claim that rings untrue to anyone who menstruates.

My friends and I joke that we even seem to sync up digitally, thanks to constant contact via iMessage, Snapchat and Twitter. The unresolved nature of McClintock’s investigation, now almost 50 years old, underscores the unnerving amount of opacity that still surrounds women’s health. Even today, it’s difficult for women to get a sense of what’s normal and what isn’t.

When my friends and I talk about our bodies, we compare feedback from physicians, all of which seems to be slightly different; we warn one another about conditions like uterine fibroids and share horror stories about different methods of contraception. There still seems to be a combination of prudishness and ignorance around the unique, and sometimes idiosyncratic, functions of the female body — which is shocking, considering half the world is born with one.

Did you too fall for book ponzi on Facebook?

But in recent years, mobile technology has granted me and countless others the ability to collect an unprecedented amount of information about our habits and well-being. Our phonesdon’t just keep us in touch with the world; they’re also diaries, confessional booths, repositories for our deepest secrets. Which is why researchers are leaping at the chance to work with the oceans of data we are generating, hoping that within them might be the answers to questions medicine has overlooked or ignored.

Behaviour clues

In March, I sat in a conference room with Jasmine McDonald, an assistant professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, and Lauren Houghton, an associate research scientist at the same school. The scientists, who are in their 30s, have been studying puberty patterns in adolescent girls, particularly how various aspects of a girl’s menstrual cycle correlate with the development of certain diseases later in life.

Because McDonald and Houghton often work with girls in their teens or younger, they’ve struggled over the years with data-collection methods. They had, until recently, used paper questionnaires and calendars. But they found that their teenage subjects had hazy recollections of dates. McDonald and Houghton asked a highschool intern they worked with how she kept track of her period.

She said that she used apps, and she eventually led them to one named Clue. First they were stunned, and then delighted. Of course: Asking young people to use a paper calendar was like assigning homework. Invariably, it would be completed at the last minute, sloppily. It made much more sense to use an app, especially one already available.

Here’s how WhatsApp could replace Android

androidpit whatsapp single tick

The wave of interest in ‘messaging as a platform’ has been swelling for a couple of years now. Smartphone software development, and the way services are offered online, is transforming as mobile interfaces do. That change is currently centered around text-based conversations.

In the post-search era, messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat are showing clear signs that they could soon compete with mobile operating systems like Android and iOS. As they become entire ecosystems in their own right, the need for an OS to contain them would become less important.

Messaging apps like WhatsApp could soon compete with mobile operating systems like Android

There is even the argument that messaging platforms could even replace traditional graphical user interfaces, making Android all but obsolete. But what would they replace them with? Speech bubbles and emoji? Not quite. It’d be more like a ‘Conversational User Interface’. Book an Uber, order a pizza, or use any service you use an app for, but do it through a messaging app. Quite a powerful idea.

androidpit facebook messenger hero 16

Benedict Evans wrote last year that, so far, only WeChat has had real success in opening itself up to developers. It’s a messaging app, but also a place where developers can build services. These services can access identity, location, payment and other information to function. It’d be another e-commerce revolution to replace all the activities we normally use apps for, but through a messaging platform.

Think of all the time you spend in messaging apps already. I, for one, spend most of my time in WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. But if developers could plug the apps and services I use into a big messaging platform, I’d drop the apps entirely. Take Uber as an example: I booked one in Budapest the other day. I opened the app, it located me and told me which divers were close. I picked one, it charged my credit card and told me how short the wait would be.

My interaction with Uber was essentially a dialogue of messages and, considering I only use it when I need a ride, is a standalone app that essential? There is huge potential for messaging apps to offer platforms for interactions like this.


But there could be catches to this. Developers could face limitations in how they build and offer their services, without the freedom to design standalone apps, with the restrictions that dialogue-based interfaces could pose. It could, for example, be like running an app in the Android notification shade.

My interaction with Uber was essentially a dialogue of messages

And the other limitation could be that messaging platforms might only really suit marketing and e-commerce businesses, as Facebook’s M platform targets. This could make it difficult for these platforms to become ubiquitous.

But with the huge potential of messaging platforms becoming even more intertwined with the mobile experience, or someday even taking control of it, we’ll have to wait and see how it pans out for big companies like Google, Apple and Facebook – along with developers – in the coming months and years.