The Five Biggest Things In Tech You Missed This Week: 10/31

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(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things that happened in the world of technology this past week and why they’re important for your business (and mine). Did you miss them?

The connected home appliance market in the U.S. is expected to grow at a rate of more than 98% over the next five years.

A research firm reports:

“The report forecasts the connected home appliance market in the U.S. to grow at a CAGR of 98.36% over the period 2014-2019. Due to the growing need for programmable thermostats, the shipment of these devices is rapidly increasing in the U.S. Programmable thermostats and zone-based thermostats provide energy-efficient solutions to overcome energy consumption. According to the report, increasing smartphone data usage is expected to immensely contribute to the effective remote monitoring and controlling of the smart home appliances, and drive the connected home appliance market during the forecast period. Further, the report states that since data is carried over the network, privacy and security remain the critical challenges for the connected home appliances market in U.S.”
Why this is important for your business:

That Internet of Things? It’s happening. There are great opportunities for those of us in the technical industry not only on the factory floor, but in homes across the world. Security will also be a big issue and a lucrative field too. So kids…study hard in school and go to good colleges!

Despite regulatory issues, funding for drones continues to fly high.

From CB Insights, a research firm:

“After reaching an all-time high in each of the past two quarters, drone funding showed no sign of slowing down, reaching $139M on 20 deals in Q3’15. Deal count also reached a third-straight all-time quarterly high.”

Why this is important for your business:

Despite government fears and regulations, the drone industry presses on. Many countries, including India and parts of Europe have more relaxed (and potentially smarter) laws regarding drones. Look for increased debate here in the U.S. and more drones in the air delivering products (perhaps yours?) in the years to come.

Verizon’s new Android phone has a shatter-proof screen…and 48 hours of battery life.

From Time.com:

“Motorola and Verizon unveiled their newest additions to the Droid lineup: The Android-powered Droid Turbo 2 and the Droid Maxx 2. Motorola claims the Droid Turbo 2 is shatterproof, meaning you can drop it face down on the ground without cracking its screen. The Turbo 2 lasts for 48 hours on a single charge, according to Motorola. It supports fast-charging tech that allows users to get 13 hours of battery life after charging the phone for 15 minutes, the company claims. Meanwhile, the Maxx 2’s battery also lasts for 48 hours, but Motorola says users will get eight hours of battery life after re-charging for 15 minutes it versus 13 with the Turbo 2.”

Why this is important for your business:

What, you’ve never had to deal with the frustration of losing use of your smartphone while the screen is out getting fixed? And you’ve never run out of battery life? You’ve never punched a perfectly nice guy in the stomach because he grabbed the last available outlet at the airport? Yeah, you know how important this.

NASA is offering patents to start-ups with no money down.

From IEEE Spectrum:

“This month NASA launched a special patent deal for startups, offering licenses on any of its patents with no money down and no royalty payments for the first three years. The program waives upfront fees and provides a streamlined process for applying for a license. It is an outgrowth of NASA’s compliance with a memorandum issued by President Obama in October 2011 to accelerate and increase the success of transfer of technology from government agencies to the commercial sector.”

Why this is important for your business:

Particularly if you’re a startup, NASA’s got a lot of tech that’s hanging around. Maybe some of this could be the next million dollar opportunity for you? Seems like the price is right.

Facebook at Work signs up its biggest business yet.

From TechCrunch:

“The Royal Bank of Scotland plans to have 30,000 workers on its FB@Work network by March of next year, and its entire workforce of 100,000 using the platform by the end of 2016. It demonstrates Facebook’s ambitions to scale this B2B service just as it has its consumer product (which now has 1.5 billion monthly active users on desktop, 1.3 billion on mobile). And it demonstrates how enterprises are taking Facebook’s effort seriously.”

Why this is important for your business:

Facebook At Work is for real. And big companies are using it. You’ve got a whole generation of workers who grew up on Facebook. Maybe this is a good tool for your business?

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