New setback for Uber
Uber is currently testing its driverless car program in Arizona and California in the US, but the performance of its cars recently has been lower than expected. Uber driverless cars on test drives have required a human intervention for every mile of their journeys! This places them currently behind several of their competitors in the driverless car market, so they have some work to do before they launch…
Amazon’s voice service, Alexa, is now available for use on iPhone. This is bad news for Apple, since Alexa is currently more sophisticated than Siri, Apple’s own voice service. Apple will have to work hard to ensure that their iPhone users don’t all adopt Alexa instead.
YouTube in trouble…
YouTube in the UK is experiencing high numbers of advertiser drop-outs. Advertisers are unhappy with YouTube’s content/advert placement, which is not good enough and can result in their adverts being run online alongside negative or violent content. YouTube will need to optimize their advertising model to avoid this drain on their revenues.
Amazon becomes personal
Amazon is launching personal clothing services in a bid to offer customers an offline experience while shopping online. Online shoppers will be able to add two or more items of clothing to their basket to form ‘outfits’, and then request personalized – and human – feedback in real time from an Amazon clothing adviser, who will recommend which outfit choices are likely to work best for the customer.
Walmart droning on
US supermarket giant Walmart is piloting the use of drones in their stores. The drones will not be used down at aisle level, but will hover over the aisles and buzz about delivering products from end to end of the store, to customers who’ve been unable to find what they were looking for.
Trigger happy missile
A country allied with the US has used a Patriot Missile (worth $3 million) to shoot down a drone worth $200. A Patriot Missile is a ground-to-air defence missile designed to defend a country against aggressive rocket attack. Yet this one has been deployed at great expense to protect the country against a tiny drone…it’s a strange world.
Custom Adidas for everyone
A pop-up Adidas store in Berlin is offering customers the chance to design and create their own sweaters. The customization process introduced by the sportswear giant includes a laser body scan to establish the customer’s size and shape, and an onscreen design system where people can choose and tweak designs to their liking. The final design is then custom-made by industrial knitting machines and is available to buy in store within hours.
Instagram reaches milestone
The world’s favourite mobile photo-sharing application has reached 1 million active advertisers.
Voice control your hotel room
The hotel industry is shaping up to be the next major market for voice control technology. The Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas already uses Amazon Echoes in its rooms; now the Marriott chain (one of the biggest hotel chains in the world) is exploring whether voice control applications Amazon Alexa or Google Home are suitable for use in its hotel rooms. If they decide to go ahead, this would be a huge new mainstream market for voice assistance apps.
Prof. Steven Van Belleghem is an expert in customer focus in the digital world. He’s the author of the award-winning book When Digital Becomes Human, published by Kogan Page, priced £19.99. Follow him on Twitter @StevenVBe, subscribe to his videos at www.youtube.com/stevenvanbelleghem or visit www.stevenvanbelleghem.com.
— Steven Van Belleghem (@StevenVBe) March 31, 2017