Archives For mobile

Google Glass Google Glass (Photo credit: jurvetson)

How extensive and invasive will Google’s Glass strategy be?  Will it create an Omni-Web?  My crystal ball on Google’s long game strategy for future Social, Local and Mobile (SoLoMo) solutions and offerings is unlike others I have seen written.

First, it would be helpful to define what I mean by future SoLoMo solutions and offerings. My last of four posts, How SoloMo Companies May Help You and the World Interact, listed a number of companies utilizing a variety of methods to identify and track people, places, and things in the physical world in order to personalize user experiences by learning more about out the preferences, locations and habits of our daily lives. Others have called this nearing SoLoMo transformation by a number of titles:

  • M2M – Machine to Machine
  • M2M2M – Machine to Machine to Man
  • The Internet of Things
  • Smart Services
  • The Contextual Web
  • The Sentient World
  • The Ambient Web

I provided several use cases showing how preference, presence and habit data can in turn be used / monetized by automating actions for us in our environment, and better personalizing content and advertising.

The various methods and technology being pursued by today’s enabling companies were highlighted in this “Hotel California” series of posts. Among these were:

Optical Recognition (Facial and Object), Hidden Cameras and Microphones, Gaze Tracking, Gesture Recognition, GPS and A-GPS, NFC, Bluetooth, Audio Frequency ID, Check-ins using QR codes, AR, Patches adhered to the skin, Opt-In Requests for Information protected by ToS, Platform Marketing, Tagging and Sharing of Photos, Business Intelligence and Data Mining.

Of these company categories, use cases, methods and applied technology, my take from publicly available information is that Google appears to be following the superior method of optical recognition.  With optical recognition, you need only one point of reference to capture the data presently missing; an always-on camera that scans the environment around a user.

As I see it, there are 2 fundamental enabling elements for Google to succeed as described in the excerpt I have appended below. These are:

1)   The Google Glass Project

2)   Software enablement through patented facial and object recognition, and augmented reality linked to profiles and databases.

Here is an excerpt from my last post as to how I see Google competing in the future, but first watch Google’s video on Google Glass.  Key points on how I think Google will compete are not mentioned in the video.  These key points are inferred from recent acquisitions, regulatory inquiries, patents and trademarks, and those of major competitors.

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Minority Report Minority Report (Photo credit: Henry.)

This is the fourth and final post on how the Hotel California Scenario for future social, local and mobile media, apps, platforms, devices, and solutions (SoLoMo) is being created. In the Hotel California scenario, the User is the Interface, The World is the Computer, and the Situation is the Network. This post’s short list of companies exemplifies the offerings that will transform our interactivity with the world around and disrupt just about every vertical market in the process.

When I started this four part blog series last year, I referred to the user’s point of view when contending that 2013 will be a pivotal year for a new degree of Social, Mobile, and Local (SoLoMo) solutions to be embedded in our daily personal and professional lives. Others have called this future transformation by a number of titles:

  • M2M – Machine to Machine
  • M2M2M – Machine to Machine to Man
  • The Internet of Things
  • Smart Services
  • The Contextual Web
  • The Sentient World
  • The Ambient Web

Referring to the Hotel California use case helps to avoid getting caught up in splitting semantic and technical hairs. Whatever moniker you prefer, 2013 will be the year businesses in just about every vertical market begin to be disrupted by a new form of SoLoMo, changing the way we do a lot in our daily lives.

SoLoMo Practical Use Case Examples

How will it all work? New sensors and devices in the world around you are about to identify entities, record events, send the corresponding data through any number of wireless networks (depending on the situation) to an application that will either generate another event or produce meaningful information sent to user(s) based on pre-learned and/or pre-set preferences.  Here are some examples:

  • Your favorite ladies apparel store app recognizes you approaching via a number of possible methods and sends your smartphone a route through the store that you could follow to see this year’s new spring fabrics and patterns matching your online social browsing, likes and wants.  Expect coupons, credits and gamification to intensify and influence your shopping experience.
  • Your glucose levels are monitored in near real time by a device adhered onto your stomach and results sent to your smartphone and then your doctor.
  • Your client is unexpectedly arriving in town with nothing to do tonight and an app on your smartphone pulls up a certain seafood restaurant for reservation and ticket availability for the ballgame, given his preferences.
  • A parking app knows the class you go to every Monday night and routes you to an open parking spot via mobile as you near your destination.
  • The thermostat in your house rises to a comfortable 70 degrees from an energy saving 55 when your car gets within 2 miles of home.
  • A smart container might message that the last gallon of milk is about to expire or be depleted, and that information could either update your shopping list or be sent directly to your grocer for fulfillment based on a pre-set contract.  Smart containers might be your fridge or a product itself.
  • Your insurer messages you that your bathroom scale, or the fitness monitor in your shoe or bike verifies that you qualify for a health insurance discount.
  • An airplane mechanic uses Google Glasses to pull up a schematic of the engine he is working on with an app that recognizes the image, and augmented reality allows him to find parts in house, order needed parts, view critical path for estimated repair time, calculate and send a time and materials proposal/bill, and show him a short video of the repair process.

We are now moving from the experimental stage to the commercialization stage of these and many other examples. The reader should not think of these as just consumer apps either. In each case, there are implications to the way product / service providers, governments and other organizations operate and/or market. There will be a wave of pure play B2B opportunities as well. As incredible as it sounds today, the real growth in hardware and related services will not be focused solely on Smartphones and Tablets, as there will be billions of new “devices” in the environment that will need to be designed, built, sold, connected/paired and managed. By way of example, I have listed a few companies that will enable some of the changes in my series of posts below. Think about what they are doing, how they plan to do it, and imagine how the integrated elements will create a new future.

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English: The monk Samten who came to Samye Lin... English: The Tibetan monk Samten who came to Samye Ling with Sherab Palden Beru around 1967. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This blog post is the third of a four-part series on the Hotel California Scenario for future social, local and mobile media, apps, platforms, and solutions (SOLOMO). In the first post, I likened lyrics from The Eagles Hotel California to a future SOLOMO scenario where the User is the Interface, The World is the Computer, and the Situation is the Network. The second post suggested that it will be increasingly possible to do an “end-around” your smartphone passcode lock to access the sophisticated, powerful and user-friendly data mining that play a central role in the highly personalized experience we are coming to expect. This third post explores legalities and practicalities of privacy rights, emerging use cases, and possible outcomes. I am not an attorney, nor consider myself an expert on digital privacy, but I can read the tea leaves on where we are headed.

Can Anyone Keep Up with Privacy TOS?

The companies creating what I am calling the Hotel California future want to provide you with offerings that you will pay for because they improve lives and business performance. There will be other less obvious costs as well, highlighted ahead.

New SOLOMO product introduction is rampant and adoption is rapid. Generally, this indicates that no one wants to be labeled a Luddite, and expectations are high that new technology delivers advantages. In this type of insatiable market setting, who has time to read every line of a Terms of Service (TOS) document, or to recheck boxes every time privacy rules change?

In the last post, I covered how data mining will be done regardless of passwords and passcodes. NetFlix just succeeded in changing a law to allow sharing of your viewing history on social media. This means, figuratively for now, that your television can watch and report on you, and most people do not even own connected TV’s yet.  There appears to be some sort of after the fact opt-in clause that is unclear to me, however, it must be renewed every 2 years.  Is the renewal of your privacy rights on everything from robocalls to social media platforms to television to perhaps offline shopping eavesdropping really going to be programmed into everyone’s to do lists?

Moreover, if you download an app that you only use once and then shelve with the other 100 apps, don’t be surprised if the TOS you agreed to when downloading the app allows continued data mining and/or rights to your data.  Repeatedly forgoing these rights, whether through the TOS or expiration of opt-ins, is a cost of your new free service or inexpensive app.

The free and freemium service platforms and apps that are so helpful to us can also require approving lengthy CYA terms of service so protective that you’d need a team of lawyers to distinguish the egregious from the simply liberal. Of course, a quick policy change can turn what is the simply liberal today into the egregious tomorrow.  At some point, regressive analytics turned into predictive analytics and that will soon give way to persuasive analytics – how do we get you to buy a product you would not ordinarily try, or go somewhere you would not ordinarily go?  This has been a core goal of any marketing for decades, but the manners in which it will be done are changing rapidly. For example, which friends can we enlist, knowingly or otherwise, to persuade you using new forms of digital multi-level marketing? Does anyone really think that last month’s Instagram policy over-reach on their rights to market using your photos will never be repeated by another friendly startup with an innocuous cartoon logo? Changing policies that affect how others view you are another cost of using free platforms.

Today’s Evolving Models of SOLOMO Data Capture

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Members of the San Francisco Gold Rush at 49er...

Members of the San Francisco Gold Rush at 49ers training camp at the team’s headquarters and practice facility in Santa Clara, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This blog post is the second of a four part post on The Hotel California Scenario for social, local and mobile media / solutions (SOLOMO). In my last post, I likened lyrics from The Eagles Hotel California to a future SOLOMO scenario where the User is the Interface, The World is the Computer, and the Situation is the Network.  The future depicted is one of personal empowerment unlike anything that has ever existed, and should be celebrated. 

There is enormous momentum driving startups and established companies alike to have a social strategy and go “mobile first”. The statistics on social usage are undeniable, and mobility is evolving and disrupting worldwide.  Read any tech blog or media resource and you will be deluged with a never-ending stream of articles on the benefits of mobility, brought to you by the newest network, user-friendly platform, device or app. I first envisioned and strategized over some of this evolution in the early 1990’s with my IT colleagues.  We used to call this “Any 5” meaning anyone getting anything, anywhere, anytime, in any form.  Now that mobile’s time has finally arrived, it occurred to me that industry practitioners and users alike should take a step back to also consider possible corollary costs that the always on, on demand, in your pocket, highly personalized, presence-based world of social/mobile might bring us.   

The Theatre of Security

This past weekend, a security expert being interviewed on major media explained that there is something known as “The Theatre of Security”. His example was that of a random number of people who are singled out for pat downs on the trains. He explained that this form of “security” really did not make anyone any safer, but it provided commuters with the illusion that they were safer, hence the theatre.

In terms of your privacy, and potentially your future security, the passcode on your smartphone will provide you with similar theatre.  Sure, it is helpful to know that if your smartphone is fleeced in such a way that the thief cannot unlock it, today’s run of the mill robber will not have access to your data. Mobile devices are becoming so central to our lives, that people prefer to lose just about anything except for their smartphone.  However, as my previous blog post depicted using the Hotel California example, your face will soon biometrically unlock your data, and the world, including cat burglars, will be programmed to receive.  So if you shudder at the thought of having your cat burgled, or you take comfort in having a passcode on your smartphone, read on.

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Cover of "Hotel California" Cover of Hotel California[/VISIONARIES!]

Let’s reflect on one possible post 2013 future of smartphones and social, local and mobile in the context of a few stanzas of a famous Eagles song. In this scenario, The User is the Interface, the World is the Computer, and the Situation is the Network. The smartphone, on the other hand, is no longer the lynch pin of the mobile value proposition. Having your face as the primary interface may make privacy-minded folks recoil, but don’t hold it against the Eagles for being so visionary.  Consider a part of their 1976 Hotel California lyrics:

Welcome to the Hotel California

Such a lovely place

Such a lovely face

They livin’ it up at the Hotel California

What a nice surprise, bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling,

The pink champagne on ice

And she said, ‘we are all just prisoners here, of our own device’

And in the master’s chambers,

They gathered for the feast

“Relax, ” said the night man,

We are programmed to receive.

You can check-out any time you like,

But you can never leave! “

The Business Trip Scenario

You walk up to a beautiful hotel in San Francisco, and the cameras outside the door initiate facial recognition. As you enter, you are welcomed immediately, both on the smartphone in your carry on luggage, and more importantly on the interactive digital signage display that everyone in the hotel lobbies and elevators can see. Immediately, and without prompts, your hotel arrival makes its way to your various location-based social apps (e.g., Foursquare, LinkedIn, Hotel discount club, and In-house and local restaurants via open table). You immediately begin receiving a daily Yelp list of offers and helpful content from everyone in town who fits your preferences and wants a piece of your wallet.

Your close friends on Google+ and Facebook who live locally

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