You might find these insights by Steven Van Belleghem interesting, have a listen and see for yourself.
Amazon gives Prime Air public demo
Amazon has demonstrated its Prime Air drone service publicly for the first time. It’s a drone delivery system that works really well, with a fully autonomous drone network. To become really mainstream, though, it still needs a better regulation system and management services to define how the drones will operate and to see how and where they can fly. However, the hardware aspect of the system is basically now ready for drone delivery by Amazon.
Flipkart in talks to buy eBay India
Flipkart, the leading ecommerce platform in India, wants to grow its market share, being worried that Amazon and AliBaba will otherwise attract customers away. So they are now bidding on eBay India. It’s interesting to see that a huge Silicon Valley player like eBay can’t make it alone in this territory, and the fact that it now looks as though they’ll be bought by a strong local player is an interesting evolution.
Setbacks this week for Amazon and Uber
Amazon had planned to open Amazon Go in Seattle around now – a physical store where customers can walk in, grab what they want and walk out without scanning or paying for the goods. But the company have had technical issues with the store’s sensors, so the opening has been delayed while they sort that out.
And it’s been found that Uber’s driverless cars need more human involvement in their journeys, as they have suffered from a string of minor accidents.
Google Play store
Google Play have come up with a nice customer-centric idea – they are giving one app that is usually paid for away for free each week in store. This is an initiative to “give something back” to customers.
There’s been a big increase in the use of phablets (the large smartphones that bridge the gap between phones and tablets). Phablets are killing the tablet market at the moment. Companies looking at usage find that people use more apps and use them for longer on a phablet – which shows that the devices are being used more and more by hardcore mobile users, which is an interesting growing target group.
Tencent and Tesla
The Chinese company Tencent has just invested $1.8 billion in Tesla. Tencent already owns WeChat, China’s version of Facebook. The company is now one of the largest shareholders of Tesla – they have bought into the company because they are big fans of the vision of Elon Musk.
Facebook copies Snapchat
Since Facebook was unable to buy Snapchat, it has instead copy & pasted all its cool features. A feature similar to Snapchat’s stories had already been rolled out by Instagram and What’s App, and now it’s on Facebook too. This is bad news for Snapchat, which has a reach of only 180 million versus Facebook’s 1.9 billion. The question on their minds will be, how can the company survive this move?
BlackRock turns to AI
One of the world’s largest asset management companies is cutting jobs and turning to robots. BlackRock is moving to use AI to help them pick the best stock, in a fundamental shift in their mode of operation. AI is all about prediction, so this is probably a smart move and no doubt we’ll see more of this in the financial world before long.
Elon Musk is starting a new company. He previously created PayPal, which he then sold to eBay, and started Tesla and SpaceX. His new venture is an attempt to merge AI with the human brain. Although it sounds like sci-fi, the end goal is to make sure humans can keep up with machines, as Elon Musk believes they present a real threat to the survival of the human race.
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.