Next-gen astronauts, a Clearview AI lawsuit, kickstarting your side project, and more top news | Product Perspectives #11

Product Perspectives 11

Do the New Flip Phones Live Up to the Hype?

The latest trend in mobile devices – the rebooted flip – has continued to take off. But despite the hype and the media coverage, you don’t tend to see people…actually using them.

The latest device that has tongues wagging is the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, which was released last week. 2019’s Galaxy Fold flop seems not to have deterred Samsung, who appears determined to pioneer the foldable phone movement.

At launch, a Galaxy Z Flip costs $1,380 and features a foldable screen that snaps shut, reminiscent of the original mid-2000s flip phones.

Starting with the positives, when the phone is closed it’s incredibly compact, and fits into a pocket more easily than most modern smartphones. It’s also possible to keep it open halfway, with the top half functioning as a display. No more holding your phone in one hand and typing on your laptop with the other.

However the downside – and possibly the reason why so many have yet to make the switch – is apps. At the moment, apps aren’t optimized for the flip functionality, and so you have to use them with the phone fully opened…just like a normal smartphone.

If you’re curious about making the switch to a flip phone, check out the full review from Business Insider.

SpaceX Prepares for Crewed Voyage

SpaceX is getting ready to send NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station.

The Crew Dragon capsule is currently in Florida undergoing the final tests ahead of a reported May launch.

The mission, named Demo-2, will be a landmark for the company, and a vital next step for securing its operational status for NASA.

You might also be interested in: What Product Managers Can Learn from SpaceX

In March 2019, the Dragon spacecraft became ‘the first American spacecraft in history to autonomously dock with the International Space Station’, and now it will be the first to take astronauts on a crewed mission.

Meanwhile, Boeing seems to have fallen behind in this 21st Century space-race, with the Starliner coming up against some serious software malfunctions.

What’s Elon Musk up to in the meantime? Releasing EDM tracks. Of course.

New Lawsuit Launched Against Clearview AI

You’ve probably already heard of Clearview AI, the app used by law enforcement to match suspects faces with an enormous database scraped from social media.

Clearview makes no secret of its methods, stating on its website that it only searches the open web, and “cannot search any private and protected info, including your private social media accounts.”

By using only publicly available images, Clearview AI also states their intentions as ‘Stopping Criminals’ and ‘Protecting the Innocent’.

Unfortunately, its methods are illegal in the state of Illinois, and now the company faces a lawsuit similar to one which previously cost Facebook $550M.

Face scan GIF

More than a simple cease-and-desist, even if Clearview deleted all records it held on citizens of Illinois, it is still culpable for previous actions.

No one knows exactly what the consequences will be for Clearview, but given the success of the lawsuit against Facebook for similar transgressions, things don’t look good.

You might also be interested in: Explained: What’s the Deal with Deepfake?

2020 Mobile World Congress Cancelled

Last week it was announced that restrictions were to be placed on attendees of this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, due to the spread of coronavirus.

Originally, attendees were to be banned if they came from mainland China less than two weeks before the event, and to be banned completely if they were from the Hubei region.

However, the event has now been canceled, after a lot of significant names decided to pull out of the show, including Sony and LG.

Image result for mobile world congress 2020
Image Credit: Mobile World Congress

Organizers GSMA cited health and safety as the primary concern. CEO, John Hoffman, said “With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has canceled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event.”

They also shared their sympathies for those affected in China and around the world.

This may not mean that planned launches aren’t to go ahead. They may be pushed back, to be revealed at a later event, or the companies may find new ways to launch.

You might also be interested in: Product Launches and Risk: A Tough Teacher

Indie Hackers: Everything You Need for That Side Project

A side project can be an incredibly valuable tool for an aspiring PM. It helps to show off your entrepreneurial skills and can set you apart from the crowd.

If you’ve had a side project burning in the back of your mind, you might need Indie Hackers.

The platform caught our attention when it won the coveted position of Product Hunt’s #1 Product of the Month in January. It’s a platform that connects people working on side projects with resources and potential collaborators.

Indie Hacker homescreen
Image Credit: Indie Hacker

It also works as a forum to brainstorm ideas, solve problems, and ask for feedback. Indie Hacker in itself is an awesome success story, created by one Indie Hacker and acquired by Stripe in 2017. If you’re looking to boost your CV with a side project, check it out here.

Got a side project to share with us? Give it a shoutout on Twitter! @ProductSchool

Product phases book

Enjoyed the article? You may like this too: