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The latest news from Business Insider

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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    FORECAST Global Remittance VolumeRemittances, or cross-border peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfers, hit a record high of $613 billion globally in 2017, following a two-year decline.  And the remittance industry will continue to grow, driven largely by digital services.

    Several factors will fuel digital growth globally, such as increased smartphone penetration, greater demand for digital transactions, and an overall need for faster cross-border transfers. And with the shift to digital comes an audience of younger, digital-savvy customers using remittances — a segment that companies are looking to target.

    As a result, the global remittance industry is becoming increasingly competitive for firms to navigate, with incumbents like Western Union and MoneyGram competing for the same pool of customers as digital upstarts like WorldRemit and Remitly. And in order to win, companies across the board will need to prioritize the four areas consumers value most in remittances: cost, convenience, speed, and safety.  

    In The Digital Remittances Report, Business Insider Intelligence will identify what young, digitally savvy users value in remittances. We will also detail the concrete steps that legacy and digital providers can take to effectively capture this opportunity and monetize digital offerings — the primary growth driver — to emerge at or maintain their presence at the forefront of the space. 

    The companies mentioned in the report are: MoneyGram, Remitly, Ria, Western Union, WorldRemit, TransferWise, and Xoom, among others.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • The global remittance industry recovered from a two-year decline in 2017 to reach a record $613 billion in transfer volume. That growth will continue and will be fueled by digital remittances, which Business Insider Intelligence expects to grow at a 23% CAGR from $225 billion in 2018 to $387 billion in 2023.
    • There’s a new segment of customers that both legacy and digital firms are competing to grab share of. Young, digital-savvy consumers are the customer segment that all firms are vying to reach, which is creating a highly competitive dynamic. The needs of those consumers will precipitate transformational change in the industry.
    • We’ve identified several tangible steps firms can take to improve in four key areas — cost, convenience, speed, and security — to not only attract but also maintain this customer segment to align with their preferences and ultimately win in the space.

     In full, the report:

    • Outlines the global remittance landscape and sizes the opportunity that the industry presents. 
    • Identifies the new audience for remittances and future drivers of the remittance space going forward. 
    • Discusses four key areas that providers can focus on — cost, convenience, speed, and security — to improve offerings and ultimately capture that shifting audience. 

    To get this report, subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 275 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Or, purchase & download The Digital Remittances Report directly from our research store

    SEE ALSO: These were the biggest developments in the global fintech ecosystem over the last 12 months

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    donald trump

    • President Donald Trump responded to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Monday announcement that she was forming an exploratory committee for a potential 2020 presidential run.
    • During a phone interview with Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth whether or not Warren can win.
    • "Well, that I don't know," Trump responded. "You’d have to ask her psychiatrist."
    • The president also mocked the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, who he has repeatedly called "Pocahontas," because of her claim that she is part-Native American.

    President Donald Trump responded to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's Monday announcement that she is forming an exploratory committee for a potential 2020 presidential run.

    During a phone interview with Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth asked Trump whether or not Warren can win.

    "Well, that I don't know," Trump responded. "You’d have to ask her psychiatrist."

    Trump made this comment during an interview for Fox News' "All-American New Year" special that airs on New Year's Eve.

    The president also mocked the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, who he has repeatedly called "Pocahontas," because of her claim that she is part-Native American.

    "Elizabeth Warren will be the first," Trump said, referring to Warren being the first major Democrat to throw her hat into the ring. "She did very badly in proving that she was of Indian heritage. That didn't work out too well."

    In an apparent attempt to get ahead of attacks related to her claim, Warren released a video discussing a DNA test that she took, the results of which she said "strongly support" her claim of Native American ancestry. The response to the October video was mixed — and even elicited a negative response from Native American leaders.

    Read more:Meet the 2020 presidential contenders who are poised to start campaigning right away in 2019

    In a video emailed to supporters on New Year's Eve day, Warren announced she was launching an exploratory committee for a presidential run.

    Warren is the first well-known Democrat to announce a potential run in what is expected to be a crowded field for the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee.

    SEE ALSO: Sen. Elizabeth Warren just took a huge step toward a 2020 presidential bid

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Anthony Scaramucci claims Trump isn't a nationalist: 'He likes saying that because it irks these intellectual elitists'


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    global fintech funding

    Digital disruption is affecting every aspect of the fintech industry.

    Over the past five years, fintech has established itself as a fundamental part of the global financial services ecosystem.

    Fintech startups have raised, and continue to raise, billions of dollars annually, pushing incumbent financial institutions to get in on the action. Legacy players have begun using fintech to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving financial services landscape.

    So what's next?

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, explores recent innovations in the fintech space as well as what might be coming in the future in our brand new exclusive slide deck, The Future of Fintech: How Fintech Is Taking Over The World and What Comes Next.

    To get your copy of this free slide deck, click here.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    Fireworks explode over the Lagoon Beach Ancol during New Year's Eve celebrations in Jakarta

    • People are celebrating the arrival of 2019 around the world.
    • See images of New Year's Eve celebrations from the Philippines to Russia.
    • Fireworks lit up the skies of Paris, London, Hong Kong, and more.

    People around the world are saying goodbye to 2018 and ushering in 2019 in spectacular fashion. Fireworks lit up the skies of many cities across the globe. Here are stunning images of New Year's Eve celebrations around the world.

    Manila, Philippines

    A New Year's Eve party in Manila in the Philippines.



    Jakarta, Indonesia

    In Jakarta, Indonesia, fireworks went off over the Lagoon Beach Ancol.



    Vienna, Austria

    People wait for fireworks at city hall in Vienna, Austria.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Global VR Headset

    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here.

    The virtual reality (VR) market is expected to rally in 2018 after seeing slow growth from 2016 to 2017. The uptick will be largely catalyzed by the emergence of the newest headset form factor, stand-alone VR headsets, which address some of the biggest pain points that have prohibited mainstream consumers from adopting VR.

    This new form factor is more affordable than cost-prohibitive high-end headsets and more capable than its smartphone-powered counterparts. Additionally, it features in-unit processing that frees the VR headset from wires. The first major stand-alone headset, the Vive Focus from HTC, was launched in January of this year, and more from other major companies like Oculus and Google are expected to follow over the next six months. 

    In a new report, Business Insider Intelligence lays out where the VR market is and forecasts how it will grow over the next five years. We dissect the various hardware categories and the unique strengths and opportunities of each, and identify how they will gain traction at different points of the market’s evolution. Finally, we examine various components impacting consumer adoption.

    Here are some of the key takeaways:

    • Business Insider Intelligence forecasts shipments of all VR headsets to grow 69% year-over-year (YoY) to reach 13.5 million in 2018. Powering that growth is the stand-alone VR headset category, which is expected to account for 30% of total headsets shipped in the year ahead. 
    • The VR hardware market is volatile because getting a device right is a balancing act. On one hand, the price point needs to be affordable for most consumers, and on the other, the experience has to be distinctive and immersive enough to convince a consumer to strap a visor to their face on a regular basis. 
    • While only a handful of stand-alone VR headsets will hit the market in 2018, they mark the biggest step toward mainstream adoption of consumer-oriented VR headsets by making the technology more accessible for the average consumer. 
    • Declining price points, coupled with high-quality headsets and the introduction of a game-changing app, are crucial for the VR industry to achieve before VR can really gain traction on a global scale.

    In full, the report:

    • Forecasts the growth projections and shipment expectations of the global VR headset market, and breaks it up by the major headset categories.
    • Explores the four major segments in the current VR hardware market, defined by the hardware needed to power the experience — stand-alone, smartphone-powered, PC-powered, and game console-powered VR.
    • Identifies the key players shaping the burgeoning stand-alone VR headset segment.
    • Discusses the biggest challenges to VR development and adoption.

    Subscribe to an All-Access pass to Business Insider Intelligence and gain immediate access to:

    This report and more than 250 other expertly researched reports
    Access to all future reports and daily newsletters
    Forecasts of new and emerging technologies in your industry
    And more!
    Learn More

    Purchase & download the full report from our research store

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    tv usage decline

    As streaming becomes an increasingly mainstream behavior among consumers, the video industry has produced new combinations of streaming video programming services to prepare for the progressive overhaul in how media is distributed.

    These streaming bundles have emerged in response to the problems of media fragmentation, cord-cutting, and high consumer costs. Declining usage of traditional TV across every demographic, particularly among young viewers, has also demanded new solutions to the traditional distribution model that is pay-TV.

    Although streaming media bundles are still evolving, four distinct models have emerged:

    • Skinny bundles — Cheaper, streaming versions of the traditional pay-TV bundle, but with fewer channels.
    • SVOD aggregators — Facilitate a la carte sign-ups to third-party streaming services through a central user portal. The primary example so far is Amazon Channels, Amazon's SVOD partner program. 
    • SVOD integrations — SVOD services like Netflix that bring their offerings to a traditional operator's service.
    • Streaming service partnerships — Combine one or more streaming services under a single offering, at a lower cost than the total price separately.

    In the SVOD Bundling Report, Business Insider Intelligence examines the state of the US video ecosystem and how media companies are refining their distribution strategies to meet the changing needs of consumers. The report situates each of the four bundle model types within the overall SVOD market, and investigates the overarching advantages and challenges each faces. Finally, we predict how player dynamics might transform and adapt, outlining best practices for providers to succeed within the new TV landscape.

    Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:

    • SVOD bundles partake in a growing SVOD market in the US. Business Insider Intelligence estimates that the SVOD market totals $13.6 billion in 2018, primarily driven by uptake on services from SVOD giants Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. 
    • Streaming video accessed on over-the-top (OTT) platforms is going mainstream, while consumers — particularly younger viewers — are reducing usage on live, linear TV. Traditional TV usage among viewers ages 18-24 has dropped 48% since 2011, 35% among 25-34 year olds, and 18% in the 35-49 demographic. 
    • Skinny bundle services are growing in popularity, with 7.2 million subscribers in the US, but they suffer fundamental financial sustainability problems. 
    • Distributors with at-scale platforms and powerful back-end tech can capitalize on the growing consumer demand for content consolidation among consumers. Faced with a fragmented and expanding universe of content options, more than two-thirds of consumers say they would prefer to get all their services from a single source, per Hub Entertainment Research. 
    • Winners in the bundling shakeout will have prioritized internet-connected tech, an effective user experience, reasonable pricing, and content diversity. 

    In full, the report:

    • Identifies the four SVOD model types that have emerged as alternatives or supplements to traditional distribution.
    • Investigates the top advantages and challenges of each model type.
    • Outlines strategies that players across media and distribution companies can use to address business or market challenges.
    • Explores how the dynamics of each model type will evolve as services converge under new bundled offerings.

     

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    Tokyo crash

    • A car plowed through a crowd of pedestrians celebrating New Year's Eve in Tokyo, Japan.
    • At least nine people were injured, one critically, CNN reported.
    • Police said the car barreled down a crowded street roughly 10 minutes after midnight.

    A car plowed through a crowd of pedestrians celebrating New Year's Eve in Tokyo, Japan, in the early morning of January 1. At least nine people were injured, one critically, CNN reported.

    The incident happened in the tourist and shopping destination of Harajuku on Takeshita Street, which is close to the Meiji Shrine. The shrine is a popular New Year's Eve destination.

    Police said the car barreled down a crowded street roughly 10 minutes after midnight.

    According to CNN, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police have detained a suspect, 21-year-old Kazuhiro Kusakabe. Initially, a police spokesperson characterized the crash as an "act of terror," Reuters reported. However, according to CNN the suspect later said he was allegedly protesting the death penalty.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why Harvard scientists think this interstellar object might be an alien spacecraft


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    Carlos Ghosn attends the company's annual shareholder meeting in Paris April 30, 2013.   REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

    • The former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn is expected to spend New Year's Day in a Tokyo jail, after a court chose to extend his stay until January 11, in the wake of new allegations of financial misconduct, The Asian Nikkei Review reports.
    • Ghosn has been behind bars since November and was served a fresh arrest warrant on Dec. 21 for allegedly transferring personal investment losses to Nissan ten years ago in 2008, the publication said.
    • Ghosn has denied the allegations.

    A Tokyo court on Monday backed Japanese prosecutors' request to keep the disgraced former Nissan Motor Company chairman Carlos Ghosn behind bars until January 11, due to the latest allegation of financial misconduct.

    His previous release date had been set for January 1.

    Ghosn, initially charged over underreporting his income, has been under lock and key since November.

    His stay in detention has been extended once again, after another arrest warrant served last week, alleged that Ghosn transferred massive personal investment losses of up to 1.85 billion yen ($17 million) to the Japanese automaker in 2008, The Asian Nikkei Review reported, on Monday.

    Ghosn has denied all the allegations.

    Ghosn, a legend in his field, was arrested in Japan last month on allegations of massive financial misconduct when his private jet landed at Tokyo's Haneda Airport. The former chairman of Nissan was detained alongside a Nissan director, American Greg Kelly, who is accused of having enabled Ghosn.

    Ghosn was long credited for helping to save Nissan from the brink of bankruptcy in the late 1990s, and as the architect of an alliance between Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi. The alliance became the world's largest automotive conglomerate by sales volume last year.

    Now he has been rearrested three times as Japanese prosecutors search for what they allege might be hidden millions in compensation and perhaps even financial engineering to conceal more personal losses.

    Kelly was released on bail on Tuesday, but Ghosn's fall from grace to a cell in Tokyo has been extended again after further suspicion of aggravated breach of trust against Nissan was cast on December 21.

    SEE ALSO: 'We hope the board will listen to our explanation': Nissan's CEO calls on Renault to heed the allegations against Carlos Ghosn

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The legendary economist who predicted the housing crisis says the US will win the trade war


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    The transportation and logistics industry is undergoing a massive shift as a result of surging deliveries. Daily parcel volumes are higher than ever before — but so are customers’ expectations for cheap and fast fulfillment. 

    UPS Leads the Pack with the Best Tracking Features

    To keep up with mounting demand, retailers and their logistics partners have been racing to develop more efficient processes with experimental supply chain models like crowdsourced delivery — the Uber model in which customers use mobile apps to connect directly with local couriers for on-demand or same-day fulfillment.

    And it’s not just startups like Deliv and Postmates getting in on the action. This year Amazon not only launched its own shipping service to deliver packages for other businesses (“Shipping with Amazon”) but also announced its “Delivery Service Partner” program, which provides capital incentives for people to launch their own delivery companies fulfilling orders on behalf of Amazon itself.

    With emerging delivery models like these aggressively stealing away customers, the pressure is on for legacy players like FedEx, UPS, the USPS, and the thousands of businesses who depend on them every day, to respond. But it will take more than just material resources or a large fleet of vehicles to truly compete. These companies need to earn the trust of consumers.

    Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has obtained exclusive survey data to paint the 2018 delivery landscape and the trends of its major players. The findings comprise the team’s latest Enterprise Edge Report, The 2018 Delivery Trust Report, and give transportation, supply chain, and logistics companies the tools they’ll need to win back customers.

    Enterprise Edge Reports are the very best research Business Insider Intelligence has to offer in terms of actionable recommendations and proprietary data, and they are only available to Enterprise clients.

    In full, the study:

    • Uses proprietary consumer survey data to evaluate how the largest delivery companies in the US stack up on customer service, package tracking, package protection, and timeliness of delivery.
    • Assesses how at risk these providers are to new challengers entering the space.
    • Shares strategies on how delivery companies can achieve feature parity and, ideally, differentiation, in customer experience.

    So, which delivery features do consumers care about?

    First and foremost, speed. It makes sense that consumers value fast delivery, but did you know just how many of them prioritize this feature? According to a recent survey from Dropoff, it’s 99%. And with millions of packages delivered nationwide every single day, that’s a lot customers with high expectations.

    But customers don’t just want their packages delivered quickly; they want to follow the journey from store to doorstep. Another one of the most important offerings delivery companies boast is real-time tracking, with nearly 90% of consumers noting it in the Dropoff survey.

    Amazon package

    If they can get it right, tracking is a twofold advantage for delivery companies; it entices consumers who want to know when their packages are coming, and it appeals to merchant partners who might be willing to switch delivery service providers for the added visibility and customer benefit.

    And the field is still wide open for companies to differentiate on this feature. Among those who had a package delivered from UPS, FedEx, USPS, or DHL in the last year, nearly 30% of Business Insider Intelligence survey respondents couldn't actually say which company offered the best tracking features. Whether it means using mobile apps, SMS texting, or chatbots to communicate with customers, there’s plenty of opportunity for logistics companies to hone and become known for this feature.

    Want to learn more?

    This is just a snapshot of the Business Insider Intelligence 2018 Delivery Trust Report, which compiles the complete survey findings to dive deeper into the opportunities delivery companies have to engage and delight customers.

    The multi-part report also presents actionable insights that transportation and logistics companies can use to fight back against Amazon’s continuous push into deliveries.

     

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    This is a preview of a detailed slide deck from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service.Click here to learn more. Current subscribers can view the deck here.

    Rising smartphone penetration, regulations pushing users away from cash, and globalization demanding faster and new ways to transact are leading to a swell in noncash payments, which Business Insider Intelligence expects to grow to 841 billion transactions by 2023.

    The Future of Payments 2018

    This shift has created a greenfield opportunity in the space. Legacy providers are working to leverage their scale as they update their infrastructure and adapt their business models. But at the same time, upstarts are using their strengths in user experience to try to disintermediate or beat out those at the forefront of the space — a dichotomy that’s creating crowding and competition.

    Digitization and crowding in the payments space will force companies that want to emerge atop the ecosystem to undergo four critical digital transformations: diversification, consolidation and collaboration, data protection, and automation. Those that do this effectively, and use these shifts as a means of achieving scale without eroding the user experience, will be in the best position to use ongoing digitization in their payments space to their advantage.

    In The Future Of Payments 2018, Business Insider Intelligence takes a look at some of the biggest problems digitization and crowding are causing for payments firms, outlines the key transformations players can make going forward to resolve them, and explores areas where firms have already begun to use these transformations to their advantage.

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    • After a shaky start, wearables like smartwatches and fitness trackers have gained traction in healthcare, with US consumer use jumping from 9% in 2014 to 33% in 2018.
    • More than 80% of consumers are willing to wear tech that measures health data — and penetration should continue to climb.
    • The maturation of the wearable market will put more wearables in the hands of consumers and US businesses.

    The US healthcare industry as it exists today is not sustainable. An aging patient population and rising burden of chronic disease have caused healthcare costs to skyrocket and left providers struggling to keep up with demand for care. 

    FORECAST: Fitness Tracker and Health-Based Wearable Installed Base

    Meanwhile, digital technologies in nearly every consumer experience outside of healthcare have raised patients’ expectations for good service to be higher than ever.

    One of the key mechanisms through which healthcare providers can finally evolve their outdated practices and exceed these expectations is wearable technology.

    Presently, 33% of US consumers have adopted wearables, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, to play a more active role in managing their health. In turn, insurers, providers, and employers are poised to become just as active leveraging these devices – and the data they capture – to abandon the traditional reimbursement model and improve patient outcomes with personalized, value-based care.

    Adoption is going to keep climbing, as more than 80% of consumers are willing to wear tech that measures health data, according to Accenture — though they have reservations about who exactly should access it.

    A new report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, follows the growing adoption of wearables and breadth of functions they offer to outline how healthcare organizations and stakeholders can overcome this challenge and add greater value with wearable technology.

    For insurers, providers, and employers, wearables present three distinct opportunities:

    • Insurers can use wearable data to enhance risk assessments and drive customer lifetime value. One study shows that wearables can incentivize healthier behavior associated with a 30% reduction in risk of cardiovascular events and death.
    • Providers can use the remote patient monitoring capabilities of wearable technology to improve chronic disease management, lessen the burden of staff shortages, and navigate a changing reimbursement model. And since 90% of patients no longer feel obligated to stay with providers that don't deliver a satisfactory digital experience, wearables could help to attract and retain them.
    • Employers can combine wearables with cash incentives to lower insurance costs and improve employee productivity. For example, The Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority yielded $5 million in healthcare cost savings through a wearable-based employee wellness program.

    Want to Learn More?

    The Wearables in US Healthcare Report details the current and future market landscape of wearables in the US healthcare sector. It explores the key drivers behind wearable usage by insurers, healthcare providers, and employers, and the opportunities wearables afford to each of these stakeholders. 

    By outlining a successful case study from each stakeholder, the report highlights best practices in implementing wearables to reduce healthcare claims, improve patient outcomes, and drive insurance cost savings, as well as how the evolution of the market will create new, untapped opportunities for businesses.

     

     

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    This is a preview of a research report from Business Insider Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service. To learn more about Business Insider Intelligence, click here. Current subscribers can read the report here.

    trust smart speaker makersSmart speakers comprise one of the fastest-growing device segments in the consumer technology market today. Ownership levels have nearly doubled from early 2017 to summer 2018. 

    With this rapid growth, there are a few pivotal questions that both companies looking to develop and sell smart speakers as well as those looking to sell products, deliver media, and offer access to services like banking over these devices need answers to in order to craft successful strategies. In particular, they need to know who is and isn’t buying smart speakers, and what consumers who own smart speakers are actually doing with them. 

    To offer these stakeholders insight, Business Insider Intelligence asked more than 500 US consumers about their knowledge of smart speakers, the devices they do or don’t own and what led them to their purchase decisions, as well as the tasks they’re using their smart speakers for.

    In this report, Business Insider Intelligence will look at the state of the smart speaker market and outline how each of the major device providers approaches the space. We will then focus on the key factors that affect whether or not someone owns one of these devices. Next, we will use our survey data to outline the reasons why people don’t own devices in order to offer guidance for who to target and how. Finally, we will discuss what consumers are actually doing with their smart speakers — specifically looking at how the devices are used and perceived in e-commerce, digital media, and banking — which can help companies determine how well they’re publicizing their smart speaker services and capabilities.

    The companies mentioned in this report are: Amazon, Google, Apple, Samsung, Facebook, Sonos, LG, Anker, Spotify, Pandora, Grubhub, Netflix, Hulu, Instagram, Snap.

    Here are some key takeaways from the report:

    • Despite their growing popularity, nearly half of respondents still don't own a device — which presents a long runway for adoption. Our survey data reveals a number of key factors that impact whether or not someone owns one of these devices, including income, gender, and age.
    • Smart speakers are establishing themselves as a key platform for e-commerce, media, and the smart home.
    • The introduction of a screen to some smart speakers will expand the possibilities for companies developing for the device — but developers will need to resist the compulsion to use speakers to accomplish too much.

    In full, the report:

    • Provides an overview of the key players and products in the smart speaker market.
    • Highlights critical adoption rates broken out by key factors that define the segment.
    • Identifies how consumers are using devices in important areas where companies in various industries are trying foster greater use of the voice interface.

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    Counter terror police investigate Manchester stabbing incident

    • Counter-terrorism police are leading an inquiry into a New Year's Eve attack on three people, including a British police officer.
    • A male assailant reportedly stabbed three people, who have been treated for "serious" but not life-threatening injuries.
    • An eye-witness said the man brandished a "kitchen knife" with a "12 inch blade" just a few feet away from him.
    • The eye-witness added that the man shouted "Allah" during the attack and criticized western goverments, according to the BBC.

    LONDON — Counter-terror police are investigating a New Year's Eve attack after a man stabbed three people, including a British Transport police officer in his 30s, at Victoria Station in Manchester, according to the BBC.

    The injuries sustained by the victims, that included a man and a woman in their 50s, are "serious" but not life-threatening. The police officer was stabbed in the shoulder, but released from hospital on Tuesday, January 1.

    Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts told the BBC: "A man is in custody and there is currently no intelligence to suggest that there is any wider threat at this time. While we don't yet know the full circumstances and are keeping an open mind, officers from Counter Terrorism Policing North West are leading on the investigation."

    The incident occurred at approximately 20:50 local time on December 31, 2018 and an eyewitness tweeted shortly after that the attack happened just a few feet away from him, and that the alleged assailant brandished a "long kitchen knife."

    "Just been very close to the most terrifying thing,"Sam Clack, a producer for the BBC, said on Twitter. "Man stabbed in Manchester Victoria station on tram platform. Feet from me, I was close to jumping on the tracks as attacker had long kitchen knife. Totally shaken. This is seriously messed up."

    A BBC report of the incident claims Clack heard the attacker shout "Allah."

    Elaborating on the incident in the Manchester Evening News, Clack said: "I just heard this most blood curdling scream and looked down the platform. What it looked like was a guy in his 60s with a woman of similar age and another guy all dressed in black.

    "It looked like they were having a fight but she was screaming in this blood curdling way. I saw police in high-viz come towards him. He came towards me. I looked down and saw he had a kitchen knife with a black handle with a good, 12 inch blade. It was just fear, pure fear."

    Police reportedly tasered the man and used pepper spray as he was "resisting arrest," according to Clack.

    Clack said that while the attacker was held down, he said: "As long as you keep bombing other countries this sort of s--- is going to keep happening."

    Victoria station has since reopened.

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    NOW WATCH: 6 airline industry secrets that will help you fly like a pro this holiday season


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    super smash bros ultimate

    • Nintendo's biggest game of 2018 is available now: "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is the latest entry in the long-running fighting game series, and the first on Nintendo's Switch.
    • The new game is already being heralded as the best in the series, and it's deserved; the game is excellent.
    • "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is the first major game release with online multiplayer since Nintendo launched its paid service, Nintendo Switch Online, in September. It costs $20 per year and is required for online play.

    The biggest Nintendo game of 2018 is, unsurprisingly, an overwhelmingly good game. 

    "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is  a massive, sprawling encyclopedia of gaming history. At its heart, the "Smash Bros." series is about Nintendo characters fighting to the death.

    "Ultimate" is essentially a fighting game, but it contains so, so much more than that: A 700-plus list of songs spanning three decades of games; a surprisingly deep and expansive single-player campaign; a traditional fighting game "story" mode for each of its 70-plus characters; and, notably for this piece, an expanded online multiplayer section.

    Nintendo launched a paid online service in September, dubbed Nintendo Switch Online, which is required for online play. "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" is the first major Nintendo release since that service launched, and it has a major online component.

    Speaking generously, that online component experienced major hiccups around launch. But in the weeks since — and a handful of updates later — the online portion of "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" has become a sterling example of what Nintendo's online experience can be.

    Here's what I mean:

    SEE ALSO: 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate' brings more than 70 characters to the Nintendo Switch — here they all are

    Things did not start out well for "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" online.

    When "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" arrived on December 7, and for the following week, it was plagued with online connectivity issues. 

    Matches suffered from game-breaking lag, where gameplay paused for seconds at a time as the game struggled to smoothly connect as few as two players.

    Here's what I wrote at the time:

    Of the dozens of matches I've played online, a shockingly small percentage could be described as "smooth." At some point in every match, and often throughout every match, I've hit crushing lag. 

    What do I mean by "lag"? Even if you don't know the term, you've no doubt experienced it: A video buffering in YouTube/Netflix/etc.? That's lag.

    In the case of "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate," that disconnect is far more detrimental.

    Sometimes it's a stutter in gameplay here or there. Sometimes it's a several-second stop in the action. It's unpredictable, frustrating, and — worst of all — it makes the game nearly unplayable.



    The issues were compounded by the fact that Nintendo now charges a fee — albeit a comparatively low fee of $20/year — for online gameplay.

    Starting in late September 2018, Nintendo's Switch console now requires a paid subscription to Nintendo Switch Online in order to play most online multiplayer games. 

    There are exceptions, like "Fortnite," but the vast majority of Nintendo Switch games with online components — like "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,""Splatoon 2," and "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate"— require the paid service for online play. 

    More simply: You can't play any of those games over the internet without paying $20/year for Nintendo Switch Online. 

    The service comes with other features, like access to a growing library of classic NES games and the ability to put save games in the cloud. And, at $20/year, the cost is significantly lower than competing services on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 

    But considering that "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" was the biggest Nintendo game of the year, and the fact that it has a major online component, and the fact that Nintendo started charging for online gameplay in September, having major connectivity issues at launch wasn't a good sign.



    But in the weeks since launch, things are looking up.

    Starting soon after launch and continuing through the end of December, "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" has been updated three times (including the "day one" patch). 

    Nintendo's patch notes are vague, containing broad statements like, "Several issues have been fixed to improve gameplay experience."

    But the proof is in the playing: The game's online stability has increased dramatically since launch.

    I can attest to this personally, as I've played hundreds of matches online in the last three weeks, and anecdotal evidence from other players I've spoken with indicates the impact has been widespread.

    In a complete flip, the majority of games I encounter are smooth. I rarely encounter lag, and even more rarely encounter lag on the magnitude of what it once was. For the first time ever, Nintendo has an online experience befitting its best multiplayer game.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    5AM club susie moore 1

    • Susie Moore is an entrepreneur and life coach who runs her own business. For years, she's woken up between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.
    • After reading Robin Sharma's book, "The 5 a.m. Club," she challenged herself to start waking up at 5 a.m. and following Sharma's best practices.
    • In two weeks of sticking to the plan, she found she was getting enough sleep, accomplishing more than ever, and building healthier habits throughout the day.

    “The early morning has gold in its mouth” ~ Benjamin Franklin

    A couple of weeks ago I got my hands on "The 5 a.m. Club" by Robin Sharma. A fan of his work (bestseller "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari" is my go-to gift for friends), I was enthusiastic to read despite thinking a 5 a.m. start could never apply to me.

    My typical wake-up time has been 8:00 to 8:30 a.m since I started working for myself full-time in 2014. As a pretty productive person, I never thought there was anything I needed to change and had only ever woken at 5 a.m. to catch a flight (feeling crabby as heck).

    Until now.

    Hearing all of the benefits early risers receive, plus that fact leaders like Richard Branson, Tim Cook and Michelle Obama rave about early wake ups, my husband and I challenged ourselves to do it. We’re now on week two of waking up to a 5 a.m. alarm clock — and we’ve noticed some rapid shifts already.

    Self-control skyrockets

    For me, this is the biggest one. As a coach I know how self-discipline impacts self-respect. Sharma says, “Getting up at dawn is perfect self-control training … increasing self-control in one area of your life elevates self-control on all areas of your life.”

    Some nights when I’d sleep restlessly, I’d sometimes snooze till 9 a.m. (or even later) and was behind on my day the moment my feet hit the floor. I’d switch stuff around, delay items on my to-do list for another time, even incur ClassPass cancellation fees for my workouts.

    Read More:I'm on my second marriage, third career, and fifth country of residence — here's why I'm never afraid of change

    Now I look at my to-dos and feel relaxed because, hey, I’m up at 5 a.m. each morning — there’s tons of time! Trusting yourself to do something hard, like obeying an alarm clock that goes off when it’s pitch-black and cold outside, is making my life easier (so many hours in the day)! I’m proud of myself every time I fire up the Nespresso machine at 5.05 a.m.

    Healthier habits (no third glass of wine!)

    This is a happy and unexpected side effect. Because my goal is a 9:30 p.m. bedtime (Sharma preaches that sleep is essential), I don’t stay out late or overindulge because I don’t want to be tired the next day. It took two or three nights to adjust to this sleep time and I’m really liking it. I’m switching dinners with friends to brunches wherever possible! Seven and a half hours sleep seems enough for me, too — even though I’m used to more than that.

    Capacity to create expands

    Producing has never been a problem for me. But the additional hours and focus an early start gives you is like adding gasoline to your day. Applying Sharma’s 60/10 method — working for 60 minutes straight without interruption followed by a 10-minute refuel in the form of a quick walk or just making tea and sitting on the sofa - has helped me complete projects faster.

    5AM Club susie moore 2.JPGI found myself adding stuff to my to-do list that doesn’t have to be completed for weeks. I sent over 50 holiday cards this year.

    And I find myself grocery shopping and cooking at night (typically we eat out or order in). So it’s saving me money, too!

    Read More:I quit a job where I was earning $500,000 a year — here are 7 clear signs you, too, should be working for yourself

    Clarity and calm ensue

    Sharma says, “digital interruption is costing you your fortune” and I’m familiar with the depleted feeling of checking social media frequently throughout the day and constantly being reachable via email and text.

    Fully waking up first and applying the 20/20/20 Formula — 20 minutes of moving, 20 minutes of reflecting and 20 minutes for personal growth ensures you start the day device-free while setting self-directed intentions for the day ahead (not living from the inbox out).

    I’ve been spending the 5:00 to 6:00 a.m. “victory hour” journaling, tapping (EFT), goal setting (another suggestion from the book — writing down five things you’d like to achieve that day), reviewing my longer-term goals, and reading a few pages of a personal development book.

    As Sharma says, “Tranquility is the new luxury of our society.” In the tranquil early moments, you’re not rushing. You’re not reactive. You’re able to think clearly, instead of having a rushed/stressed mind first thing in the morning.

    There’s just something, too, about dawn that makes you feel a deeper connection to yourself — no one is calling you at that time. Most of the world still sleeping. It’s clear thinking time just for you.

    While I’m celebrating this challenge, I know that life as an entrepreneur without kids lends itself well to this 5 a.m. formula. I asked Sharma what he’d tell new parents, side hustlers and employees with non-traditional 9-5 schedules and he said:

    “Customize the 20/20/20 formula and 5 a.m. club to suit your lifestyle and read the chapter on the essentialness of sleep! Maybe you don’t do it nights you’re up at 3 a.m. nursing the baby — give yourself a break. Doing the 5 a.m. club only three days a week is better than not at all.”

    Thirteenth-century poet Rumi said, “The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you, do not go back to sleep.” Understanding the magic of the dawn is ancient. And like so many of the thriving early birds out there, I like being in on the secret.

    Susie Moore is a life coach and author based in New York City who has been featured on the Today show and Forbes. Sign up for her free weekly confidence tips via her website.

    SEE ALSO: 6 bad mental habits everyone should unlearn, according to a life coach who teaches people to be happier

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A Harvard psychologist says this is the first thing you should do when you wake up


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    Dara

    • Uber asks employees to take a survey to gauge job satisfaction every six months.
    • Business Insider recently viewed the results of the latest survey, conducted in October.
    • The ride-sharing company, slated to hold a massive IPO in 2019, asked employees some tough questions and received interesting feedback.

    There's no doubt that ride-sharing service Uber has changed lives. Thanks to Uber and other companies like it, it's never been easier to catch a ride or to earn a few bucks from owning a car.

    But the company has also been embroiled in drama from accusations of sexual hassment and unsavory business practices under its last CEO Travis Kalanick, resulting in his ouster in 2017, to Uber's self-driving car killing a pedestrian in 2018, under current CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.

    Khosrowshahi has been working to overhaul the company culture since he took the job in 2017, and he's been open about owning up to the company's mistakes, if not always in public than at least to employees in all-hands meetings.

    So how Uber doing as a culture in the eyes of employees?

    Business Insider has seen a copy of the company's latest employee survey (Uber conducts the survey every six months). And one good sign is that Uber is asking its employees difficult questions, including things like if they feel like they can speak up about ethical violations witout fear of retailation (71% say yes, they feel they can).

    In many areas, Uber is showing improvement over the way employees felt in the last six months.

    Employees are most optomistic about the company's future, which isn't surprising given that Khosrowshahi is attempting to lead the company to a massive IPO, expected to be as high as $120 billion.

    But most employees also believe they are poorly paid compared to the Valley peers, and many aren't convinced Uber offers them career opportunties that would keep them around.

    Uber has a three-way scale for its employee survey results favorable/positive, neutral (neither positive nor negative) and negative. It recently shared the % of positive responses with employees. A low positive score doesn't automatically mean that employees feel actively negative. It means that many of them feel a range from 'meh" to negative.

    So here's a look at how Uber employees really feel about working there, based on survey scores as seen by Business Insider. The percentage number shown represents the portion of survey takers who gave a "favorable/positive" response to the question:

    Uber feedback 1

    The following questions relate to how employees feel about Uber as a company:

    Uber feedback 2

    The final section seeks to gather general impressions about what it's like to work at Uber:

    Uber feedback 3

    SEE ALSO: THE TAKEDOWN OF TRAVIS KALANICK — The untold story of Uber's infighting, backstabbing, and multimillion-dollar exit packages

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: I tried cooking an entire Thanksgiving dinner using Google Home Hub and found there are two major flaws with it


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    • Digital trust is the confidence people have in a platform to protect their information and provide a safe environment for them to create and engage with content.
    • Business Insider Intelligence surveyed over 1,300 global consumers to evaluate their perception of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
    • Consumers’ Digital Trust rankings differ across security, legitimacy, community, user experience, shareability, and relevance for the six major social networks.

    If you feel like “fake news” and spammy social media feeds dominate your Internet experience, you’re not alone. Digital trust, the confidence people have in platforms to protect their information and provide a safe environment to create and engage with content, is in jeopardy.

    Digital Trust Rankings 2018

    In fact, in a new Business Insider Intelligence survey of more than 1,300 global consumers, over half (54%) said that fake news and scams were "extremely impactful” or “very impactful” on their decision to engage with ads and sponsored content.

    For businesses, this distrust has financial ramifications. It’s no longer enough to craft a strong message; brands, marketers, and social platforms need to focus their energy on getting it to consumers in an environment where they are most receptive. When brands reach consumers on platforms that they trust, they enhance their credibility and increase the likelihood of receiving positive audience engagement.

    The Digital Trust Report 2018, the latest Enterprise Edge Report from Business Insider Intelligence, compiles this exclusive survey data to analyze consumer perceptions of Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

    The survey breaks down consumers’ perceptions of social media across six pillars of trust: security, legitimacy, community, user experience, shareability, and relevance. The results? LinkedIn ran away with it.

    As the most trusted platform for the second year in a row – and an outlier in the overall survey results – LinkedIn took the top spot for nearly every pillar of trust — and there are a few reasons why:

    • LinkedIn continues to benefit from the professional nature of its community — users on the platform tend to be well behaved and have less personal information at risk, which makes for a more trusting environment.
    • LinkedIn users are likely more selective and mindful about engagement when interacting within their professional network, which may increase trust in its content.
    • Content on LinkedIn is typically published by career-minded individuals and organizations seeking to promote professional interests, and is therefore seen as higher quality than other platforms’. This bodes well for advertisers and publishers to be viewed as forthright, honest, persuasive, and trustworthy.

    Want to Learn More?

    Enterprise Edge Reports are the very best research Business Insider Intelligence has to offer in terms of actionable recommendations and proprietary data, and they are only available to Enterprise clients.

    The Digital Trust Report 2018 illustrates how social platforms have been on a roller coaster ride of data, user privacy, and brand safety scandals since our first installment of the report in 2017.

    In full, the report analyzes key changes in rankings from 2017, identifies trends in millennials' behavior on social media, and highlights where these platforms (as well as advertisers) have opportunities to capture their attention.

    Join the conversation about this story »


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    dan brown masterclass

    • Dan Brown is one of the world's top best-selling authors, with 250 million books sold.
    • In 2003, the success of his book "The Da Vinci Code" broke a string of flops for him.
    • He was only able to navigate the noise that came with a sudden increase of attention by learning to trust his instincts and not try to please everyone.
    • "Wait a minute," he finally told himself. "Just write the book you want to read. That's all you've ever been doing."

    Ahead of the release of his fourth novel, "The Da Vinci Code," in 2003, Dan Brown took a galley copy of the book to the park and read the whole thing. If it was another flop, he was going to try something else with his career.

    Not only was the book a success — it was an international phenomenon, and Brown quickly became one of the world's top bestselling authors. Since then, he's written three more thrillers, and in total he's sold 250 million books.

    But the success of "The Da Vinci Code," while welcome, was initially strange for Brown. He had become accustomed to struggling to find an audience for his work, and now he had to learn how to navigate his next moves with all eyes on him.

    He was only able to move forward when he learned he could trust himself, he said in an episode of Business Insider's podcast "This Is Success.

    "You have to trust yourself," he said, noting that, "you have a lot of people whispering in your ear, telling you which way to go, telling you you're good, telling you you're bad. You've got reviewers saying, 'This is the best book ever'; you've got reviewers saying, 'This is the worst book ever.'"

    He remembered sitting down to start his next book, which would become 2009's "The Lost Symbol," and struggling for a couple of weeks. "I would write a paragraph and say, 'Well, now millions of people are going to read this. Is it good enough?' I would delete it." He said it felt like a baseball player in a slump, striking out because he was thinking of the mechanics of his swing rather than going through intuition.

    Of course, Brown did learn lessons that made his writing work — it's why he even has a MasterClass series breaking down his favorite techniques — but if he had taken in every criticism he received, he never could have moved forward. He said that he finds it similar to an executive considering input from others but ultimately being responsible for the final decision, instead of being reactionary.

    He said that at some point in his post-success slump he told himself: "Wait a minute. Just write the book you want to read. That's all you've ever been doing."

    Subscribe to "This Is Success" on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen. You can find the full Dan Brown episode below.

    SEE ALSO: 'The Da Vinci Code' author Dan Brown explains how he overcame self-doubt and became a bestselling writer who's sold 250 million books

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: ADHD could have been the key to Leonardo da Vinci's genius


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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    Sapira

    • With the competitive "bed-in-a-box" market, it has never been a better time for consumers to try out mattresses in the comfort of their own home.
    • Launched in 2014, Leesa quickly made a name for itself with its excellent flagship memory foam mattress and commitment to making a positive social impact.
    • I was impressed with how well Leesa's luxury Sapira mattress balances firm support with cloud-like softness.
    • The Sapira mattress is a hybrid that combines innersprings and memory foam so it carries a heftier price tag than its memory foam counterparts (it's currently $1,595 for a queen size on the Leesa website), but it provides more support while containing motion transfer.
    • As a special, limited-time New Year's deal, you can take $235 off the Sapira Mattress, plus get a free pillow ($75 value). The discount is automatically applied at checkout.

    By some estimates, there are currently more than 100 brands that deliver compressed memory foam beds to your door. Though brick-and-mortar stores are still king, these "bed-in-a-box" companies are taking advantage of consumer dissatisfaction with the high-pressure sales environment offered by traditional mattress showrooms. The new online companies are even offering risk-free trials that allow you to spend several nights on a mattress to see if it's right for you.

    One of the biggest names in the industry is Leesa. They recently sent me their luxury hybrid Sapira mattress, the Leesa Foundation, and two hybrid pillows for free to test. Below, I will examine what you should look for when shopping for a mattress, share my experience with the Sapira mattress and Leesa Foundation, and let you know who this bed is best suited for.

    What to look for in a mattress

    I have experience with several bed-in-a-box brands, and arguably the most important factor to look for when shopping for a mattress is the length of the trial period offered. When you go into a store to shop for a mattress, you can lay down on the actual bed before buying it. Though some online mattress retailers have showrooms in big cities, for the most part, you don't get the same brick-and-mortar experience shopping online.

    To address this, online companies offer significant trial periods where you can return the mattress if you are not completely satisfied. There are some brands that will give you a full year to try their mattress but most offer a risk-free trial of about 100 nights. Check to make sure you get a trial of at least 90 nights with a mattress so you don't get stuck with something that doesn't meet your individual needs. Also, read the fine print to ensure you don't get stuck with a hefty return charge.

    The most popular mattresses continue to be the traditional innerspring mattresses. They feature a steel coil core and a foam comfort layer. Their benefits are strong edge support and excellent bounciness, but they are prone to sagging, producing the classic squeaky bed sound, and they don't contour well to the body.

    Some innerspring mattresses feature individually wrapped pocket coils. This construction helps to minimize motion transfer. Think of the old commercials where a bowling ball is dropped on a mattress. If you share a bed with a partner, you may want to consider individually wrapped coils to ensure they don't wake you up as they move in the night.

    Memory foam mattresses keep growing in popularity. They consist of several layers of foam that conform to your body. Though they last longer than innerspring mattresses, they tend to trap heat.

    Hybrid mattresses combine innersprings and memory foam. They have many layers of foam on top of a core of pocket coils. This combats the heat-trapping problem commonly found with memory foam while contouring to the body. However, hybrid mattresses tend to cost more than memory foam and innerspring.

    Two other less common and more expensive options are latex mattresses and airbeds. Latex offers rounded body support and bounce, but it emits a long-lasting off-gassing odor. Airbeds combine foam comfort layers with air chamber support. An air pump lets you adjust your firmness, and airbeds are surprisingly durable.

    Firmness is another important consideration. Firmness is rated on a scale of 1 – 10, where 10 is as firm as it gets. According to Sleepopolis's guide on firmness, 80% of sleepers prefer mattresses in the 5 to 7 range, regardless of sleep position. Therefore, many mattresses are right around 6. However, preference is incredibly subjective. In general, side sleepers should look for softer mattresses to avoid putting too much pressure on your joints. Back and stomach sleepers will typically benefit from medium-firm mattresses.

    Leesa Sapira Mattress

    Why consider Leesa

    If you regularly listen to podcasts, you have likely heard an ad for Leesa mattresses. They are perhaps best known for their social initiatives. For every 10 mattresses they sell, they donate one mattress to a nonprofit. So far, they have donated over 30,000 mattresses to homeless shelters and other organizations that help at-risk men, women, and children. Additionally, they plant one tree for every mattress sold and volunteer within their community. They have earned B Corp certification for their social and environmental performance.

    Based in Virginia Beach, Leesa was co-founded in 2013 by CEO David Wolfe and Chief Product Officer Jamie Diamonstein. Diamonstein already had decades of experience in the mattress industry when Wolfe contacted him about redesigning the mattress. Their goal was to make simple mattresses that improved the sleep experience, streamlined the buying process, and gave back.

    What Leesa options are available?

    With more than 12,000 5-star buyer reviews, the Leesa Mattress is by far the most popular product offered by Leesa. Their flagship mattress has three layers: a cooling foam top layer, contouring memory foam layer in the middle, and a 6" core support foam base. This is covered by the company's iconic four-stripe cover. Visit the Business Insider review for more info about the Leesa Mattress.

    In 2016, Leesa introduced the Sapira Mattress, which differs from the original in that it's a hybrid featuring individually wrapped coils. The 11-inch-thick Sapira has five layers: the cooling foam top layer, contouring memory foam, and a 6" pocket coil system sandwiched between two layers of core support foam. The Sapira is what I tested. Both Leesa mattresses come in twin, twin XL, full, queen, king, and California king sizes. I tried out a king.

    Leesa also offers four different bed frames: a platform bed, adjustable base bed, a simple metal bed frame, and the Leesa Foundation, which I received. There are also several other accessories, including pillows, sheets, and blankets. Other colleagues reviewed the Leesa Hybrid Pillow and the Leesa Adjustable Base.

    leesa

    Leesa offers a 100-night risk-free trial period. They just ask that buyers try their mattress for at least 30 nights. If you aren't satisfied, they will coordinate pick-up of the mattress or foundation. You don't have to worry about attempting the impossible task of fitting everything back into the box. There is no fee for returns unless you're in Alaska or Hawaii, in which case it will cost $100.

    There is also a 10-year mattress warranty. The warranty is limited to physical flaws in the cover or mattress craftsmanship and mattress deterioration that results in an indentation of more than an inch. The warranty covers full replacement of the mattress, but the buyer has to pay for shipping.

    Leesa offers a "white glove" delivery service in select locations. For an extra $100, a two-person team will deliver your mattress and foundation, unbox it, set it up, and remove the packaging. And, for $50 more, they will remove your old mattress and box spring, which is helpful since most municipalities charge extra for disposing of mattresses. I chose not to go with the white glove service because I wanted to get the full buyer experience.

    My first experiences with the Leesa Foundation

    My king-sized Leesa Foundation arrived in a long skinny box that weighed over 80 pounds. I recommend having a strong friend help you carry the box to where you plan on putting your bed. I advise against setting it up anywhere but where you intend on keeping it.

    Upon opening the box, I was struck by the foundation's simplicity. There are essentially the four sides that fit together using thick plastic pins at each corner and two support rails that slide into place. Within the frame and on top of the support rails, you place two sets of slats. The slats are spaced about four inches apart inside of a fabric cover. Working alone, the whole setup process only took me 15 minutes.

    My first experiences with the Sapira mattress

    download 1

    Once the foundation was in place, it was time to unbox the Sapira mattress. The box is a beast, and I encourage you to tip your delivery person generously. The king-sized mattress weighs 142 pounds, which you may want to have a couple friends help you with. My wife and I were able to carry it up a winding staircase to our second-floor bedroom, but it took at least a few cuss words.

    Once the king-sized mattress is out of the box, do not plan on moving it. In other words, open it where you plan on keeping it. With this in mind, I opened the box alongside my foundation. I like to try to do as much of an assembly/installation as I can on my own so I can give a full report on what needs to be done. So, I did unbox this mattress, put it on the foundation, and removed the plastic without help. I don't recommend anyone do this on their own. The unboxing and positioning of the mattress took me about 15 minutes.

    I was surprised by how odor-free the mattress was right out of the packaging. Since I was in the process of renovating my home when the mattress arrived, it sat in the box for over a month. Longer storage times usually worsen the memory foam odors, commonly called "off-gassing." You should allow the mattress to air out for a couple days before sleeping on it.

    How the Sapira mattress performed

    The feature that stood out to me most was the pocket spring coil system. You can feel the springs along the sides of the Sapira mattress. Why does this matter? When you have springs that go right up to the edge, you can count on excellent edge support, which allows you to make the most of the entire area of your bed without feeling like you're going to fall off. And, in my experience, the Sapira did provide superior edge support.

    Since I could feel the coils, I thought I might as well count them. There were 46 along the width and 50 along the length for an estimated grand total of 2,300. All factors being the same, the more coils there are, the more support and durability you can expect. The better innerspring mattresses have 600 to 1,000 coils.

    The individually wrapped coils also kept motion transfer to a minimum. I'm a light sleeper. Whether it's sounds, odors, or something moving around on the bed, I will wake up. However, movement didn't wake me up with the Sapira. If my wife had to get up early or our four-year-old jumped into bed with us, I would rarely wake up. To put the motion transfer to the test, I dropped a 20-pound weight from 3 feet above the bed approximately 12 inches away from a can of sparkling water. I did this several time, and the can did not move at all.

    download 3

    Before the Sapira, I slept on a medium-firm mattress that would be about a 7 on the firmness scale. It was just a little too firm for my tastes. The Sapira is closer to a 6.5, which provided the balance of comfort and support that I need as a side sleeper. Also, I'm a roller derby player, cyclist, and runner. I basically beat the crap out of my body. Often after roller derby bouts, I can't sleep because of the pain. This was not the case with the Sapira. So far, I have not had any trouble falling asleep. My wife has had a similar experience.

    Speaking of my wife, I should probably touch on the romantic aspect of using the Sapira. Sleepopolis has identified five areas that make a mattress ideal for intimacy: comfort, edge support, minimal noise, bouncing, and ease of movement. I've already touched on the impressive edge support and comfort. When it comes to noise, the Sapira mattress coupled with the Leesa Foundation is completely silent, a must when you have kids sleeping in the next room.

    When applying pressure to the bed, it bounces back into shape, which aids in creating a bouncing motion. And, since the mattress is firm, you don't sink into it, and movement is effortless. Basically, the Sapira checks all the right boxes for romantic intimacy.

    Lastly, I did not find that the Sapira trapped heat, a common problem for memory foam. I'm a hot sleeper, and we were using the mattress during the height of summer heat. Regardless, I did not experience night sweats, which are an occasional problem for me.

    Some concerns about the bed

    The Sapira is outstanding and finding flaws was difficult. Yet, I was somewhat disappointed in the foundation. During assembly, I found that some of the screws used to mount the corner connectors to the ends of the frames were loose. And, the connectors didn't fit together smoothly.

    With other frames I've assembled, the slats are held in place with Velcro, and sometimes, the slats feature sticky strips that loosely adhere to the mattress to prevent sliding. There isn't anything holding the Leesa Foundation's slats in place. That said, I have not experienced any slat-related problems.

    My only other complaints about the foundation are really just a matter of preference. It's nice having some clearance under the bed for storage. The Leesa Foundation doesn't offer that, but they do sell a platform bed. Fortunately, there is no need to clean under the bed since there's little chance for debris to sneak in. 

    Though I think it is worth it, the Sapira mattress is more expensive than the vast majority of online mattresses. However, it is a hybrid bed, which tends to run more expensive. And, when you consider that the mattress will last you for more than a decade, the added expense seems trivial.

    Another concern is how incredibly heavy and unwieldy the mattress is. Fortunately, we just bought our first home and hopefully (knock on wood) won't have to move any time soon. But, if you are someone who moves frequently, you may want to enlist the help of professionals when it comes time to move this massive mattress.

    What others are saying about the mattress

    Sleepopolis recommends the Sapira mattress to stomach and back sleepers due to its medium-firm support. The reviewer also noted that it's ideal for couples since it contains motion. This model actually performed well on each of his tests, including providing great edge support. The reviewer at GQ shared a story of sleeping through all of his alarms the first night he slept on the Sapira. He was just that comfortable. He recommends the mattress because the combination of springs and memory foam made the bed soft and supportive.

    There are more than 800 customer reviews of the Sapira on Leesa's website, and over 84% of those are positive. But, though I trust Leesa, it's hard to tell how trustworthy reviews of any company's product are when they are published on the said company's website.

    For a more objective customer experience, I turned to Amazon, where about 69% of the Sapira reviews are positive. The most helpful review shared that the materials felt luxurious and high-grade. He noted it took about 24 to 36 hours for the mattress to decompress, and the off-gassing smell went away in about the same amount of time. He also appreciated that he got the support he needed no matter what sleep position he tried. Other buyers have tried various motion transfer tests that reveal excellent motion containment.

    Other alternatives you may consider

    As I mentioned in the opening sentence, there are over 100 brands to choose from in the online mattress space. However, most of these companies only offer memory foam mattresses. They don't have a hybrid alternative.

    Bear is one company with a hybrid option that is priced about the same as the Sapira. A fellow writer for Business Insider reviewed it and was floored by the comfort. The layering construction is pretty similar to the Sapira, only there is a layer of gel memory foam instead of Leesa's patented LSA200 foam. Also, at 14.5", the Bear hybrid is much thicker. They also offer a 100-night trial.

    Another hybrid option available online is the Allswell mattress backed by Walmart. I had the opportunity to test the Allswell before the Sapira mattress and found it to be slightly firmer. The Sapira fit my personal comfort preferences more closely. Although, at $585 for a queen size (the largest it comes in), the Allswell is much more affordable than the Sapira.

    Bottom line

    Thanks to my job and my living arrangement, I have the opportunity to try several different bed-in-a-box brands. And, I choose the Leesa Sapira as my main bed. The edge support is outstanding. There is very little motion transfer if my wife decides to get up early, which isn't really much of an issue because she rarely wants to leave the comforts of the bed before me. I have not had any trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

    However, if the Leesa Foundation were to break for some reason, I would not replace it. It looks nice and appears to support the mattress well, but I was not impressed with the construction of it, and I think there are better alternatives out there for the price.

    As a special, limited-time New Year's deal, you can take $235 off the Sapira Mattress, plus get a free pillow ($75 value). The discount is automatically applied at checkout.

    Buy the Sapira Mattress from Leesa for $995 (twin), $1,095 (twin XL), $1,205 (full), $1,595 (queen), or $1,795 (king/California king)

    Buy the Leesa Foundation from Leesa for $235 (twin/twin XL), $265 (full), $295 (queen), $360 (king), $395 (California king)

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    • Kathryn Boren is a ballerina with American Ballet Theatre in the midst of her fourth consecutive season at the Met.
    • Boren supplements her ballet training and rehearsals with intense, ballet-centric workouts. She's gained more control of her body, making her a more free dancer. 
    • She works with trainers from celebrity-favorite gym DOGPOUND to create exercises that push her body to its limit.
    • Boren is also a certified personal trainer as of summer 2018.

    Kathryn Boren: My name is Kathryn Boren. I'm a dancer at American Ballet Theatre. I started when I was about three years old, which is really young but probably by around age seven, I decided, "Yeah, I'm doing this seriously."

    You know, when you're young and you're just dancing all the time, everything's - it's very easy for your body to adapt. As I started aging and becoming more aware of my body and the aches and pains and the strengths and weaknesses, I started to experiment with how I could make it easier in the studio, injury prevention, longevity, all that.

    And so I started really getting into cross-training and fitness. I found out about Dogpound through a friend. I've known Nigel Barker, the photographer, for many years and he was one of the OG Dogpounders and he introduced me to Kirk Myers, the creator of Dogpound. And we just, we hit it off.

    He offered to train me. He trained me once and he was like, "Wow, I could learn so much from working with a ballerina, like what kind of things you need, how I can help you, how you can help me." And then from then on, we just really got into it. So it's been about three years.

    The guys would have such great ideas and exercises that nobody else could do, but they're like, "Maybe she can do it." And I would take it and I'd be like, "Yeah, this is great, but let's change it like this or like that," so it could more beneficial for ballet or just incorporating ballet moves. So then once that got started, fire just went off and I was like, "Let's see how crazy, how intense we can get." Of course staying safe and all that.

    I find that a lot of body-weight-bearing exercises are really beneficial for ballerinas. I do a lot of core exercises. That's one of the most important things I feel like in ballet technique. We have to be able to control everything from our center and have that stability. I've always had a very hard time building muscle in my legs so I've tried to really focus on that, keeping them strong, stable, a lot of ankle stability, which I feel was really important for me.

    When I was younger, I had very, very mobile, flexible ankles and it's a dangerous thing when you're doing a lot of pointe work. The training's just made me so much stronger and so much more in control of my body and I know my body so much better now so I know what it's capable of and how I can push it and how far it can go and I know I can still be in complete control of it.

    We work really hard in the studio and we get a lot out of our classes and rehearsals, but there's a lot that we don't target or that we could be adding to our technique and our foundation. So, I think it's so important to add just a little bit extra in there. I mean, it gives you a great edge and I think it's really important. I've definitely built a lot more muscle, which has always been something very hard for me.

    I've always had a very lean physique and it was hard to build muscle no matter what exercises I did or how much I ate. So, I feel like that's just made me a much more grounded, free dancer. I don't usually go too heavy on the upper body or when I do, I use very light weights just to keep the ballet physique. There is a certain way that we have to train in order to maintain the ballet physique and aesthetic. We don't want to bulk up.

    I've come to find people think we don't eat. People think we're just like the movie "Black Swan," which we are not, I promise you. We're fun, normal people. We just have a very serious day job. I think people just think ballerinas can be stiff or rigid, cold, and I wish we could break that stigma and I think that with social media these days, people are being able to see us behind the scenes and in the studio being goofy, being backstage, eating a lot. I see a lot of food posts, but yeah. I'm a mouse, duh. Duh!

    I will rest once a week. I don't like to stay away from class for more than three days at a time. It's just not good for the body or for my sanity. I recover, I get a lot of massages. I think cryotherapy has been really, really beneficial. I spend hours on my roller at home on my living room floor. Ice baths, Epsom salt, all the good things.

    I'm a certified personal trainer now. So, I started training some of the dancers in the company and that's been such a cool experience. I think anything that challenges stabilization, you're gonna get the most out of the exercise.

    My friend Rhys who's a great trainer and a great friend of mine at Dogpound, we've always tried to come up with the most crazy exercises or the most viral videos. And so we took the slide board out in the rain and I got on it and I was like going down into the splits and then coming back up, which is killer for your inner thighs, which is great for dancers. But yeah we shot it within five seconds, and I was totally drenched, but we got a cool video out of it. And yeah my thighs got a great workout.

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