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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

COSMIQ maker Deepblu launches a booking platform it calls the “Airbnb of diving”

After it took James Tsuei a month of research and emails to plan a dive in Indonesia, he decided it was time for his startup, Deepblu, to launch a booking platform for divers. Planet Deepblu bills itself as “the Airbnb for diving” and is the latest piece of the diving ecosystem the Taipei-based startup is building.

Based in Taipei and backed by Silverlink Capital, Deepblu was founded in 2015 to bring resources for divers into the mobile, cloud-based era. Its products included a Bluetooth-enabled dive computer called COSMIQ and a social network where users share dive logs. Dive computers are small devices, often worn like wristwatches, that let divers track and calculate important information, such as when they need to take a decompression stop. COSMIQ automates a lot of the process and enables divers to wirelessly sync dive logs to Deepblu’s social network, which the startup claims now has more than 40,000 members, 500 dive shops and 300,000 dive logs.

Deepblu drew on its community for Planet Deepblu, integrating their dive logs, reviews, videos and photos to help users plan diving trips. There are already several dive booking sites out there, but Tsuei, Deepblu’s co-founder and chief executive officer, says they operate more like Agoda or Booking.com, while Planet Deepblu’s Airbnb-like approach means divers can use it to communicate directly with dive operators instead of relying on agencies.

Tsuei claims this can save them up to 25% on the total cost of a trip. By serving as a centralized database for dive planning, Planet Deepblu also wants to save its users time.

Part of Deepblu’s mission is to give scuba diving the same visibility and cultural prominence as golfing by making it more accessible to beginners as well as advanced divers. Though it’s a niche market, diving has a lot of financial potential. Tsuei says there are currently about 6 to 8 million active divers, or people who make three or more diving sessions each year, and dive trips are big investments. Divers spend an average of $1,000 on equipment and certification, and then even more money on dive shops (businesses run by expert divers who provide training and tours), flights and accommodation. For passionate divers, it’s more than just a hobby.

Deepblu CEO James Tsuei

“It’s like golfing,” says Tsuei. “There’s a higher barrier to entry because it takes time and money, but it also becomes part of your lifestyle.” Out of the 40,000 members of Deepblu’s social network, the company says about 40% have uploaded their own dive logs, which is a very high level of engagement for any online community (Deepblu also syncs with Bluetooth-enabled dive computers from major diving gear brands like Scubapro and Tusa or lets members enter data manually).

For service providers, one of Planet Deepblu’s value propositions is reaching younger divers. Although scuba divers are passionate about what they do, Tsuei says that in many key markets, including the Caribbean, divers are aging into their sixties, but their kids aren’t following them into the sport. Instead, younger people are turning to surfing and extreme sports. Emerging markets like China and Southeast Asia, however, are seeing an increase in young divers.

Planet Deepblu can help dive shops around the world reach them (about 60% of its users come from in the United States or Taiwan, but 20% are based in China and the rest are mainly in Korea, Southeast Asia and Europe). Part of Deepblu’s future plans include creating a “LinkedIn for Divers,” with features like verified profiles for people who upload a copy of their license, which can help freelance professional divers find more clients.


Source: TechCrunch

Alibaba to buy all remaining outstanding shares of local delivery service Ele.me

As expected since February, Alibaba will buy all outstanding shares of Ele.me that it doesn’t already own. Best-known for food deliveries, Ele.me claims to be China’s biggest online delivery and local services platform. In an announcement, Alibaba said the deal values Ele.me at $9.5 billion. Alibaba, which first invested in Ele.me two years ago, and its affiliate Ant Small and Micro Financial Services Group currently hold about 43% of the company’s outstanding voting shares.

This is the latest in a string of investments and acquisitions by Alibaba to expand its physical retail presence as part of its so-called “new retail” strategy to combine e-commerce and offline retail. The company’s goal is to make it easier for users to move (and spend money) between brick-and-mortar stores and Alibaba businesses like Tmall and Taobao. For example, they may view products at pop-up stores and then order them on their smartphones for almost-immediate home delivery.

Ele.me, which will continue to operate under its own brand, is at its heart a logistics technology company. Founded in 2008, it utilizes its logistics system to provide services like Fengniao, an express courier for local deliveries. After the deal is finalized, Alibaba said that founder and chief executive officer Zhang Zhuhao (also known as Mark Zhang) will become chairman of Ele.me and special advisor to Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang on its new retail strategy. Wang Lei, currently vice president of Alibaba Group, will take over as Ele.me’s CEO.

In a press release, Zhang said “Under the leadership of its founder and management team, Ele.me has achieved leading market share in China’s online food delivery and local services sector. Our shared belief that New Retail will create more value for customers and merchants has brought us together. Looking forward, Ele.me can leverage Alibaba’s infrastructure in commerce and
find new synergies with Alibaba’s diverse businesses to add further momentum to the New Retail initiative.”

Bloomberg reported at the end of February that Alibaba planned to buy the rest of Ele.me’s shares from its other investors, including Baidu.

The deal deepens Alibaba’s competition with Tencent, in particular its own local services and delivery platform, Meituan Dianping, which was formed by a merger in 2015. Alibaba previously owned shares in Meituan Dianping, thanks to its investment in Meituan, but began offloading them soon after the merger with Dianping.

In a statement, Alibaba said Ele.me complements its affiliate Koubei, a platform that gives restaurants and stores a way to go online and reach more local customers.

“By combining Ele.me’s online home delivery services with Koubei’s consumer acquisition and engagement capability for a range of restaurants and service establishments, Alibaba will be able to offer an integrated experiences to customers both online and offline,” said the company.


Source: TechCrunch

Crashing Tiangong-1 space station just misses space graveyard – CNET

China’s so-called Heavenly Palace has finally fallen from the heavens, but it isn’t clear anyone saw it.
Source: CNET

The XPS 15 2-in-1 is Dell’s version of a concept car. Here’s how it was built

The XPS 13 and XPS 15 are Dell’s bread and butter. With the XPS 15 2-in-1, Dell has taken risks on technology that put the device thoroughly into the camp of an “experimental” platform. Here’s the story behind how it was made.

The post The XPS 15 2-in-1 is Dell’s version of a concept car. Here’s how it was built appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Telsa goes bankrupt in Elon Musk April Fools' Day gag – CNET

Elon Musk pokes fun at Tesla bankruptcy speculation with a series of tweets and a comical photo of himself passed out against a Model 3.
Source: CNET

Facebook is building a tool to fight advertising without consent – CNET

The social network plans to require advertisers to certify that users agreed to have their data used for marketing campaigns on the social network.
Source: CNET

This weird-looking plane isn't a joke – CNET

Commentary: When GE tests a new engine, it mounts it on an old plane. The GE9X is a lot bigger than a 747’s existing engines.
Source: CNET

La protección de los sistemas de IA pasa por enseñarles datos falsos

Hacer creer a una inteligencia artificial algo que no es cierto puede ser muy peligroso. Según el investigador de Google Brain Ian Goodfellow las redes generativas antagónicas pueden entrenar su defensa con ejemplos contradictorios


Source: MIT

Tecnologías para impulsar el turismo sin perjudicar a los ciudadanos

Los destinos turísticos inteligentes exprimen las innovaciones tecnológicas para mejorar la experiencia del turista, pero también la de los habitantes que les reciben. Planificación y sostenibilidad son los pilares claves del turismo 2.0 para evitar la gentrificación y la turismofobia


Source: MIT

¿El mayor desafío de un robot? Los gamberros adolescentes

Los revisores robóticos de estanterías y productos Bossa Nova y el repartidor autónomo Robby 2.0 son algunos ejemplos de máquinas que trabajan codo con codo con los empleados humanos. Cada vez son más y, en esa adaptación mutua, los que peor se comportan son los clientes más jóvenes


Source: MIT

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