Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 127 GM certainly appears to be planning for the future it describes, having recently strategically aligned with ride-sharing provider Lyft and purchased self-driving car start-up Cruise Automation, a San Francisco-based developer of autonomous vehicle technology. They’re also working with Mobileye, a company that develops advanced driver assistance systems, to develop maps using data gathered through OnStar. While GM understands how it needs to continually adapt to remain competitive within the automotive sector, other industries have had to adjust their platform simply to stay relevant. Carleton engineering physics (BEng/03) and electrical engineering (MASc/06) graduate Adam Froimovitch joined Texture in October 2013 as a senior software engineer. First launched in 2012 under the name Next Issue, the all-you-can-read magazine subscription service offers consumers an alternative to print by providing a diverse digital library through its smartphone and tablet app. “What we produce is sort of a Netflix-like service for magazines,” he explains, “All of the content you’re interested in reading is available through a single app.” The overwhelming shift from print to digital media is a phenomenon that has been sweeping through the industry for the better part of a decade. Having seen a rapid decline in traditional readership and advertising revenue, many of today’s leading magazines have reduced or replaced their print issues in favour of offering more robust online content. While many prefer leafing through the pages of their favourite magazine, printing remains prohibitively expensive compared to its online counterpart. When it comes to reducing production costs and expanding market distribution, it’s hard to question publisher decisions to shift towards digital services such as Texture. “In a world where people are constantly on the go, it only makes sense to have access to your content on as many devices as possible,” says Froimovitch. “Having access to a wide array of content at your fingertips and being able to binge-read is definitely a selling point for readers.” An increase in digital subscriptions may have stabilized the industry, but there are also added benefits in transitioning to the online marketplace. Froimovitch notes how pushing out content electronically allows businesses to take advantage of new tools like machine learning, a mixture of software and math that provides computer programs with the ability to learn and adapt when exposed to new data. “We’re looking to write programs that can, in a way, teach themselves,” he explains. “Software that can make inferences and recognize patterns can make its own decisions, such as recommending content to the reader.” Froimovitch primarily works on developing the code that runs the Texture app on mobile devices such as iPads or iPhones – building out new features and working with the back-end and data teams. While not having studied software engineering at Carleton, his undergraduate and master’s programs included courses in software, helping to lay the groundwork in a subject he feels has become essential to every business. “Every company now needs software experts,” he explains. “It’s become a door to virtually any industry and it’s something that everyone should be familiar with in today’s landscape.” In the end, Froimovitch believes the future of business is directly connected to the user experience and that it should be dynamic enough to shift alongside consumer interests. “It’s important for a product to be flexible,” he says. “That’s why we design things in a manner that’s scalable and that we can change easily in the future if needed.” As you might expect, Texture is not the only player involved in rethinking entertainment distribution. Systems and computer engineering graduate Chris Coughtrey (BEng/01) works as a Software Development Team Lead at You.i TV, whose flagship product, You.i Engine, enables companies to create custom branded experiences across devices such as televisions, game consoles, smartphones and tablets. “We’re using our engine to help solve the problem of the fragmented living room,” he explains. “By using a single code base to power a variety of video streaming applications, we’re helping media and entertainment companies find new ways to deliver content to customers.” With a growing number of consumers choosing to make the switch from traditional cable to streaming services every year, Coughtrey admits the industry has come a long way since his time at Carleton. “When I was at school, cable television used to fill all of my entertainment needs,” he says. “There weren’t a lot of other options available.” Fast-forwarding to today, Coughtrey has a five year old son who rarely watches anything through the cable box, instead opting to stream content through his dad’s PlayStation or iPad. This kind of shift in viewing habits has become a significant issue for traditional broadcast entertainment companies, whose core infrastructure is no longer reaching a growing sector of the market. Chris Coughtrey (BEng/01) works as a Software Development Team Lead at You.i TV. The company’s flagship product, You.i Engine, enables clients to create custom branded experiences across numerous devices.