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Tech

Tech

Snapchat has quietly acquired an Israeli startup for a reported $30 million to $40 million


Posted yesterday by Connie Loizos (@cookie)
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Snapchat sewed up its first acquisition in Israel this week, according to the outlet Calcalist News. It acquired four-year-old Cimagine, whose augmented reality platform lets consumers instantly visualize products they want to buy in their intended location, paying what Calcalist says was between $30 million and $40 million.

According to its LinkedIn page, Cimagine currently works with brands like Jerome’s, a furniture store franchise in Southern California; the U.K.-based digital retailer Shop Direct; and the global giant Coca-Cola — its cloud-based mobile platform aiming to help these companies augment their sites and mobile apps and boost online conversion rates and in-store sales in the process.

Presumably, Snapchat will use the tech to further enhance campaigns like we’ve seen in the past with, say, Starbucks, which launched a Snapchat chilled summer drinks campaign last summer, giving Starbucks drinkers the ability to superimpose a lens over a picture of their icy Frappuccino beverage and send it to their friends.

2016’s top programming trends

 by Martin Puryear

CRUNCH NETWORK CONTRIBUTOR

But in the software development world, things can change very quickly. It can be difficult to see the high-level trends clearly through all the chatter about shiny new development languages, frameworks and tools.

So, as we near the end of 2016, how accurate were my predictions?

Growth of the latest version of JavaScript

JavaScript/ECMAScript version 6 (commonly known as ECMAScript 2015 or ES6) launched in June of 2015, and I predicted that 2016 would see widespread adoption of its new features as web developers adjusted to the new version of this web standard. I was mostly correct. All the major browsers and Node.js (an open-source JavaScript runtime) are more than 90 percent ES6-compliant. Nowadays, we see significantly more ES6 syntax in production and not just internal utilities and smaller low-stakes systems, but the primary customer-facing systems, as well. Companies not dependent on legacy clients, like Airbnb and Google, are enforcing ES6 syntax in their internal style guides.

However, ES6 has not been universally adopted. Some developers need to support the old version of JavaScript for legacy reasons. Developers who want to use ES6 notation but still need to reach customers using legacy browsers can use tools such as transpilers or polyfills to convert modern ES6 code to the older syntax. Also, some ES6 features have not been fully implemented in every JavaScript environment, such as proper tail-recursion (Safari 10 and iOS 10 are happy exceptions). This table is a great resource to see if your target platform is ES6-compliant. The old version of JavaScript isn’t going to disappear overnight, but we saw significant growth in ES6 usage over 2016, and I expect most redeveloped sites in the new year will use it as well. I’d say this prediction was pretty good!

Backend as a service

Backend as a service, or BaaS, increased in 2016, as predicted. BaaS is the practice of using third-party services to perform certain repetitive tasks for a project — tasks like cloud storage or push notification. By using these services, developers can focus on their specialty while these services do what they do best. Backend API services are thriving because frontend frameworks are changing to more easily interact with these services. Developers are also increasingly using a technique called composition, where an overall system is composed of several smaller applications. In such a system, these small applications are easily provided by third-party services.

I’m intrigued to see how software norms will progress in the coming year.
Note: In my last post I mentioned a popular BaaS named Parse. Shortly after the article ran, Facebook (its owner) announced that Parse would soon be shut down. Those using it will need to create their own Parse servers and migrate before January 28, 2017.


Easy image management and deployment

What's your take on how augmented reality will affect business?

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