From what experts have promised, it seems like the difference of having a smartphone to an ‘artificially intelligent’ phone is like the difference of having a pet to a guide dog. While a pet will obey your commands, a guide dog will not only respond to your orders but lead the way and make decisions to what it believes is best for you. … Like the human brain, AI won’t make overly complex and simultaneous calculations instantly. What it will do, through sparse processing, is recognize images, voices and language and process them like data. … Tech companies have claimed that in-device AI also allows for better security because less data will need to be shared with the cloud-based system and more data will remain on the device.
Artificial Intelligence on your mobile: Does it really deserve the hype?
“In the present scenario, revolutionized applications access multiple servers and databases, creating a flurry of machine-to-machine traffic like never before and altering conventional traffic patterns. Additionally, in an era of digital transformations, with ever changing network usage pattern, ML enables network administrators to deploy intelligent and adaptive network infrastructures. These self-learning networks are able to gather data from various network nodes and generate networking models that are regenerative and self-healing. Consequently, the rate of adoption of networks powered by machine learning is exuberant, as it finds its application throughout all the major industry verticals. Major adopters being manufacturing; banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI); utilities; retail; telecom; and healthcare. These industries are riddled with legacy systems that are being swept across by a new age of digital transformation.”
Machine Learning Apps Replace Enterprise Legacy Systems
The addition of Model Targets to Vuforia (PTC’s AR platform). Model Targets is a new feature that allows for attaching content to objects that have not been recognizable using existing computer vision technology. Campbell says that, with Model Targets, content can be attached to objects such as automobiles, appliances, industrial equipment and machinery to enable a new class of AR content that can replace traditional user manuals and technical service instructions. Model Targets enable the recognition and tracking of objects based on shape from pre-existing 3D models and does not require an AR marker. Campbell says this high-fidelity object recognition provides more accurate positioning so that “3D content can be aligned with greater precision for use cases where step-by-step instructions and product data are overlaid onto the physical product.”
Vuforia now supports Apple’s ARKit and Google’s ARCore (for bringing AR experiences to mobile iOS and Android mobile devices). According to PTC, Vuforia has powered more than 475 million installs of AR apps from the App Store and Google Play.
The release of the Vuforia Chalk App, which allows people in different locations to share a live view of the same environment and draw simple annotations called Chalk Marks.
Augmented Reality Continues its Advance on Industry
Mapping the 3d world with the iPhone’s various sensors:
“Tech-wise, Apple is basically using an advanced system of sensors and process to map digital objects into 3D space. It’s more than just a 2D camera overlay, but rather a complex network of new tech that measures everything from room dimensions to lighting effects in order to make a digital object look realistic in physical space. Apple calls this process “world tracking,” and it’s what enables iOS 11-compatible devices to present AR experiences.
Because ARKit allows for a smooth transition from ordinary development, it’s likely that we will see a lot of adaptation before we start to see true innovation and new games. The category to watch thus far appears to be puzzle-based gaming. One of the earliest ARKit games has you guiding a tiny adventurer across various platforms, essentially solving a puzzle along the way.
Games associated with casinos, too, will provide a strong creative foundation. We may think of these as games exclusive to certain environments or even certain countries where real money gaming is legal and prevalent. But it’s a broader category than that. These games have expanded from desktops to laptops and even mobile devices, such that 3D card playing, slots, roulette, etc. are quite popular on phones and tablets. These are games to watch in AR because of their relative design simplicity. 3D, AR representations of these games will feel more real, and simulate the experience of being in a real casino.”
How Apple will build its mobile AR entertainment
Apple is indeed interested in the Augmented Reality (AR) market, but Apple CEO Tim Cook recently delivered a bold affirmation that the technology to spin the illusion of high-end AR just isn’t here yet. Until that technology hurdle is solved, Apple will likely be out of the AR race, and Mr. Cook affirms the company wants to be the best–not the first. “There are rumors about companies working on those – we obviously don’t talk about what we’re working on,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a recent interview with the Independent. “But today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way. The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face – there’s huge challenges with that. The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it’s not there yet.” … But Apple isn’t interested with being first, says Mr. Cook–they want to be the best, and deliver a quality experience. “We don’t give a rat’s about being first, we want to be the best, and give people a great experience,” Mr. Cook affirmed. “But now anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with. Nor do I think the vast majority of people would be satisfied.”
Apple CEO: quality AR impossible with today’s technology
Available for free download in the Apple App Store:
“The NBA claims to be the first US sports league to have released an AR game, giving it a reputable first in the space. The title is free on the Apple App Store and requires users to flick shots at the hoop using the phone’s inbuilt accelerometer. They are tasked with scoring as many throws as possible inside a 30 second window. Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, NBA senior vice president, Digital Media, said: ‘We’ve always said that basketball can be played virtually anywhere – and today that takes on an expanded meaning.’ ‘Augmented reality presents a variety of fascinating engagement opportunities, so we hope our fans download the app and try out their skills wherever they might be.'”
NBA strengthens ‘basketball anywhere’ ethos with augmented reality game
How Unilever targeted their ad campaigns for Axe Body spray:
“Unilever first analyzed the potential Axe user by breaking males down into six profiles:
- The Predator — He takes advantage of drunk girls, and lies about his job and where he lives
- Natural Talent — Athletic, smart, and confident. He doesn’t need to lie to score
- Marriage Material — Humble and respectful, he’s the sort of guy you want to bring home to Mom and Dad
- Always the Friend — He always hits that glass ceiling
- The Insecure Novice — He has absolutely no clue what he’s doing, and things get awkward fast — the geeks and nerds
- The Enthusiastic Novice — He has absolutely no clue what he’s doing, but he’s outgoing and tries valiantly anyway
Then, they determined that The Insecure Novice would be their natural target, since he needs the most help in getting women, and would be easily persuaded into buying a product that could aid the woes of nerdhood.”
How Axe Became The Top-Selling Deodorant By Targeting Nerdy Losers
Farhad Manjoo writes in the Technology section of The New York Times:
Other than Uber, the hypersuccessful granddaddy of on-demand apps, many of these companies have come under stress. Across a variety of on-demand apps, prices are rising, service is declining, business models are shifting, and, in some cases, companies are closing down. Here is what we are witnessing: the end of the on-demand dream. That dream was about price and convenience.
Like Luxe, many of these companies marketed themselves as clever hacks of the existing order. They weren’t just less headache than old-world services, but because they were using phones to eliminate inefficiencies, they argued that they could be cheaper, too — so cheap that as they grew, they could offer luxury-level service at mass-market prices. That just isn’t happening. Though I still use Luxe frequently, it now often feels like just another luxury for people who have more money than time.
But Uber’s success was in many ways unique. For one thing, it was attacking a vulnerable market. In many cities, the taxi business was a customer-unfriendly protectionist racket that artificially inflated prices and cared little about customer service. The opportunity for Uber to become a regular part of people’s lives was huge. People take cars every day, so hook them once and you have repeat customers. Finally, cars are the second-most-expensive things people buy, and the most frequent thing we do with them is park. That monumental inefficiency left Uber ample room to extract a profit even after undercutting what we now pay for cars.
Full article: The Uber Model, It Turns Out, Doesn’t Translate
Part of the problem with the “who’s gonna stop me?” attitude of Startuplandia is when companies try to move into heavily regulated industries. Leaders they can just ignore decades of entrenched bureaucracy and regulation simply because they’ve got a high valuation.
Employee management cloud software company Zenefits (which has raised $500M in 2 years at a $4.5B valuation) hit the fan earlier today when their CEO Parker Conrad resigned over compliance issues:
In an email sent to employees today:
We sell insurance in a highly regulated industry. In order to do that, we must be properly licensed. For us, compliance is like oxygen. Without it, we die. The fact is that many of our internal processes, controls, and actions around compliance have been inadequate, and some decisions have just been plain wrong.
In December, we hired a Big Four auditing firm to conduct an independent third-party review of our licensing procedures that we will turn over to regulators as soon as possible.
Our culture and tone have been inappropriate for a highly regulated company.
Effective immediately, this company’s values are: #1 Operate with integrity. #2 Put the customer first. #3 Make this a great place to work for employees.
They literally have to call out integrity.
As talks of a purchase to go private loom, I found Ben Thompson’s post on Twitter’s tribulations:
Facebook always had an inherent advantage over Twitter in that its network, at least in the beginning, was based on networks that already existed in the offline world, namely, people you already knew. That made the service immediately approachable and useful for basically everyone. Twitter, on the other hand, was more about following people you didn’t know based on your interests. This theoretically applied to everyone as well, but uncovering those interests and building an appropriate list of people to follow had to be done from scratch.
[T]the use of mobile devices occupies all of the available time around intent. It is only when we’re doing something specific that we aren’t using our phones, and the empty spaces of our lives are far greater than anyone imagined. When it comes to “the empty spaces” most people don’t want to do work, but work is exactly what Twitter required. You had to know what you were interested in, know who to follow based on those interests, and then, to top it all off, you had to pick out the parts that you were interested in from a stream of unfiltered tweets; Facebook, in contrast, did the work for you.
Stratechery: How Facebook Squashed Twitter
Image from this Wired article.