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Gartner, the IT research company, published its 2016 list of predictions for marketing technology a few weeks ago. As I was reading it, I was struck with how easily the list could be aligned with the user experience of the typical purchase process. Not the complete buyer’s journey; but at least the transactions steps in the middle.
In less than three years, advances in marketing technology will move beyond human intervention to streamlining and scaling activities that currently require manual interactions with audiences. Intelligent technologies will do more than automate repetitive operations — they will investigate, evaluate and make decisions on behalf of both marketers and customers.Marketing technology will soon become so intelligent that it will perform tasks that have always required direct human involvement.
The latest Facebook controversy surrounds their plan to offer a service called Free Basics that allows people with feature phones (in the developing world) to access online services without paying for data. The problem is that they can only access Facebook approved apps.
You can’t just surf over to anyplace on the web with Free Basics. Which raises the question: Is Free Basics an altruistic effort to connect the world’s financially strapped people to information and opportunities, or a neocolonial race to capitalize on those markets?
My Take I have been following the public debates about distracting driving and cell phone use with some dismay. The biggest problem seems to be the intuitive attractiveness of handsfree cell phone usage. The general public wants to use their cell phones while driving. But the distraction they cause is hard to deny. So hands free is a very alluring solution. And since they don’t know much about cognitive attention and distraction, the fact that the driver can keep his or her eyes on the…
Results suggest that (a) texting is as unsafe as phone conversations for street-crossing performance and (b) when subjects completed most of the texting task before initiating crossing, they were more likely to make it safely across the street.
We shouldn’t be surprised that texting while crossing the street is dangerous. Do we need a study to show us? Since so many people do it, perhaps we do.
When Sanjay Batra told me about his plans for this panel, I was thrilled to participate. User Experience pros from Google, IBM, Motorola, and my mélange of affiliations shared our experiences and ideas about accessibility and mobile technology. The dynamic interaction among the panelists and with the audience brought out lots of very interesting issues, challenges, and concerns.
This is an innovation that the introvert in me can really buy into. For many years now, social-focused apps have helped users find each other. But Avoid Humans is a new app that reverses the process. It helps the user find a place that has the fewest people.
It seems like you can’t find a restaurant, store or parking lot without coming across a horde of people that will inevitably ruin your day. Whether it’s waiting for a table, waiting for a parking spot or just trying to find a place to stand so you can breathe for a second, going out and socializing is becoming harder and harder to do because, well, we’re just running out of room. But now with a website called Avoid Humans, it’s actually easier to find a quiet place outside of your bedroom closet.
If you are just getting used to the small screens on wearables such as smart watches, get ready for the next innovation. A new idea from Tiny Circuits called the TinyScreen could significantly expand where these mini screens make practical sense.
TinyCircuits is an Open Source Hardware company specializing in designing and manufacturing very small (Tiny) electronics. Based out of Akron, OH, TinyCircuits was originally started in 2011 by Ken Burns as AkroSense LLC, with the intent to develop cheap, smart (very easy to use) and tiny sensors.
This might be the app that convinces the average person to adopt some smart home features. Not just for garage doors, but the simple idea of visibility.
If you have a garage, you’ve likely experienced a nagging bout of door doubt at some point. It’s that sinking feeling you get after leaving home, and it starts when you’re about two blocks away: “Did I actually close the garage?” But you’re probably running late and the kids are arguing in the backseat, so it’s no wonder you can’t recall. Until a year ago, you had two choices: Double back and check, wasting precious minutes, or just take the chance that thieves won’t view a wide-open garage as an invitation to help themselves to its contents. Today, however, there’s a third, smarter way to go.
Do you use speech recognition software as an input on your desktop or mobile devices? The basic tradeoffs have been studied for ages. Speech allows the user to keep hands-free, particularly helpful for maintenance workers and health care providers who have their hands busy while they need to input notes. Also for physically challenged people who have limited motor control for typing.
In a sense, voice-writing requires people to change their cognitive style. It’s relatively free and easy, more like speech than writing. But because it’s hard to edit and tinker, dictating to a phone is most like working on an old manual typewriter, where you have to map out each sentence in your head before clacking away. “I think through more completely what I’m trying to say,” Erik Olsen, a video journalist at The New York Times and another dictation adherent, told me.
The amount of screen time we are giving our kids has become a controversial topic. In part, this is because both sides have very good arguments. On one hand, it seems that we are better preparing our kids for the digital world that they will face in their professional future if we get them accustomed to and skilled with the use of digital devices early on, when learning is natural and intrinsic. But on the other hand, there are some consequences of this screen time. We worry that our youngest kids are not socializing effectively. And then as they grow older, they encounter new and often more serious consequences.
Excessive use of computer games among young people in China appears to be taking an alarming turn and may have particular relevance for American parents whose children spend many hours a day focused on electronic screens. The documentary “Web Junkie,” to be shown next Monday on PBS, highlights the tragic effects on teenagers who become hooked on video games, playing for dozens of hours at a time often without breaks to eat, sleep or even use the bathroom. Many come to view the real world as fake.