Nokia might drop health business

A good Friday morning head scratcher: Nokia is mulling doing something with its health business after it spent $190 million acquiring Withings just two years ago. Here's what they say in their post today: 

"Nokia today announces that it has initiated a review of strategic options for its Digital Health business, which is part of Nokia Technologies. [...] The strategic review of the Digital Health business may or may not result in any transaction or other changes. Any further announcements about the Digital Health business will be made if and when appropriate."

That... doesn't tell us much, but it isn't good. The post is a signal Nokia plans to either dump the health business, or refocus, but it's curious timing given the company was about to ship a new sleep-tracking product, and its new Steel HR has popped up everywhere this year along with its digital weighing scale.

The health business is not easy and the shutdown of Pebble, Jawbone and others haven't been a great sign of there being much room for competition outside of the Apple Watch, which has sold well. 

I've been wearing a Steel HR for a few weeks and love it ‚ÄĒ 30 days of battery life, while getting heart rate data and sleep tracking, is fantastic.¬†

Nokia seemed to be on track, at least in my book, with a well-designed app, great health-based suggestions and technology that didn't look like a nerdy bracelet. For the most part, I like that its products don't scream I AM WEARING A COMPUTER WATCH and are incredibly practical.

I'm hopeful they can stick around, because as far as I can tell, they're one of the few still pushing for new ideas in this space (I also really want their sleep tracker to exist). FitBit is around, but goodness, I doubt it'll last if this is all it can come up with.

The takeaway:

  • Nokia is struggling (again) after writing down its purchase of Withings
  • The health business is a hard space to make money in, particularly due to one-time purchases and no recurring revenue
  • Apple basically owns the health wearables segment

Google hides view image button

Google Images is a wealth of fantastic free images, if you pretend copyright doesn't exist! For years, sites have struggled as Images was a great way to have stuff stolen, and never attributed to them ‚ÄĒ¬†but now they're dialing it back.

After years of making it dead simple to steal images, the View Image button, which circumvented the destination site entirely and loaded the full resolution image, is gone. 

After doing a deal with Getty Images, this is a logical move, particularly because Getty continually took Google to court for lost revenue ‚ÄĒ a dubious claim at best.

It's an interesting hack ‚ÄĒ copyright warnings are also much more visible now ‚ÄĒ to try and force people into the site (and hey, get some ad revenue!) while avoiding the misconception that you can just download said images.

This, as far as I can remember, is one of Google's original features; I used this in school to get images for presentations and so on without much thought for whoever the photo belonged to. If anything, it's a polite move that helps people understand the image belongs to someone even if it won't help solve much.

Tab Dump

Tractor Hacking farmers are leading a revolt
This documentary from Motherboard is worth your time today. It's an amazing story of John Deere, and the company's aggressive DRM tactics that leave farmers unable to fix their own equipment (Even Apple, Microsoft and others are siding against the farmers, because money).

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