MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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Sabre Labs 2018 Emerging Technology Report examines the roles of automation, authenticity and blockchain in the evolving travel technology landscape

Sabre Corporation , the leading technology provider to the global travel industry, has released the Sabre Labs 2018 Emerging Technology Report, its latest technology forecast focused on evolving technologies and trends that will impact travel over the next decade. The 2018 report evaluates automation, authenticity and blockchain as three major areas for consideration.

“Increasingly, people are coming to understand that the travel business is really a technology business,” said Philip Likens, director of Sabre Labs. “Even the simplest journey generates huge amounts of data. Collecting, indexing and understanding that data – and how we apply that understanding to improve every traveler’s experience – is what will drive real innovation across the entire travel ecosystem. Whether it is A.I. and machine learning to automate and optimize tasks, the counter-intuitive ability to deliver authentic experiences digitally, or using new protocols (such as distributed ledgers) so a traveler can head to the airport and leave their wallet and ID at home – on purpose – tech is going to reshape the travel experience.”

The report offers an extensive analysis of the three major areas Sabre Labs believes will have the most significant impact on the industry:

Automation

Automation is not a new idea. However, advancements in A.I. and machine learning offer the potential for step-changes in how we may be served in our digital environment. Awareness and cognitive capacity for machines suggest a huge range of opportunities for those serving the travel space to completely rethink when and what to sell, how to staff and operate their businesses, and how to anticipate and exceed their own customers’ needs.

Authenticity

In our current age, trust is in low supply – so authenticity and authentic experiences are more valuable than ever. At the same time, businesses increasingly need to rely on technology and digitization to interact with their customers at scale. But is technology in tension with authenticity? Is digital the enemy of the real? And how can we reconcile augmented and virtual realities with authenticity? We examine and unpack these complex issues.

Blockchain

Huge volatility in the price of cryptocurrencies has been dominating headlines but serve to overshadow the value in the underlying blockchain technology. Separating crypto hype from the actual potential of distributed ledger technology – which enable secure, “trustless” transactions to take place – can be hard to do. But there is significant promise for blockchain as it relates to travel, not the least of which is this: imagine heading off on a round-the-world trip without having to bring your passport or wallet.

Concluded Likens, “Tomorrow’s travelers have a set of expectations fueled by ubiquitous access to information, smooth transactional experiences, and increasingly personalized offers. There is tremendous opportunity for companies to begin thinking about how their brand can be agile enough to meaningfully interact with tomorrow’s travelers. This report explores how technology can mediate and enhance these interactions – and ultimately make the journey better for everyone.”

Sabre Labs is the innovation team within Sabre devoted to exploring how new capabilities will impact travel over the next decade.

Shoppable content was meant to take off in 2017, with tech-enabled online content allowing consumers to buy featured products without being redirected to another site. However, its adoption by brands has been slow, as publishers still think of content first, with shopping as an afterthought.

This highlighted the fact that the back-end processes and technological expertise needed to integrate content with commerce shouldn’t be underestimated. If publishers can form the right partnerships to fulfil all parts of the retail process then a whole host of new opportunities will arise, including live-stream retail, which allows consumers to shop in real-time directly from live content – shopping-as-entertainment reborn for the smartphone generation.

Shoppable content is one of those areas of commerce that has been tipped as the next big thing for the past couple of years. Previously restricted to static formats, shoppable content is now moving from visual images into online video. We are also seeing the growth of live stream retail, enabling consumers to shop in real-time directly from live content. These developments could give brands the greater level of engagement they need to start driving sales via this growing retail platform.

Put simply, shoppable content is tech-enabled and online, allowing consumers to buy featured products without being redirected to another site. Consumers can click on the featured brand on the content and be directed to a shopping site. This opportunity has brands and publishers working closely to produce content that can be monetised. The development of shoppable content is very much a natural progression for brands, as they have been harnessing new technologies and platforms to drive product discovery and personalise the shopping experience.

It is becoming easier to shop via video because of the platforms that are available, whether its YouTube’s shoppable ads, Instagram Stories’ shoppable video layer or Snapchat’s “swipe-up” as an e-commerce call to action. Start-ups are developing new functions that make video shopping more seamless and immersive, such as Cinematique’s touchable videos. Marketers need to test different formats and platforms and think carefully about how to integrate e-commerce call to actions into the video content they create.

There is also a new twist on shoppable content that will grow in importance in 2018: ‘live stream retail’ enables consumers to interact with brands and shop via live-streaming. This new method is gaining popularity in China, with its market value estimated to be worth US$4.4bn and the numbers of viewers reaching 456 million (source: Deloitte). Live-streaming and commerce go hand in hand in China compared with other Western countries where streaming and commerce are separate entities. Global businesses are taking the opportunity to sell to Chinese consumers via live streaming. Macy’s, which sells officially through Tmall Global in China, has used live-streaming to give about 100,000 Chinese consumers a look at its flagship store in Manhattan. In another layer of engagement, Macy’s offered viewers coupons of the items showcased in the livestream, which they could then use when purchasing them on Tmall. Retailers and brands in China are taking advantage of customer data and trending topics to develop content that attract consumers to participate in shop streaming.

Shoppable content and live streaming are exciting new forms of content built for commerce, which are set to radically change how consumers shop in coming years. Publishers will need to have the back-end process in place to ensure easy and effortless shopping and to meet growing demand. As full commerce functionality is built into content, brands will be able to leverage customer data to develop content that will drive consumers to discover and shop.

 

Written by Linda Tan at Zenith Media

India’s newest publisher adopts video strategy to deliver high value digital journalism to 15 million visitors

Brightcove, the leading provider of cloud services for video, today announced that its video platform has been selected by The Quint, one of India’s fastest growing news publishers, to manage and stream video content on its website, mobile apps and across social media channels.

The Quint was founded in 2016 as a digital-first publisher catering to the millennial generation. During this time, The Quint has seen its traffic soar to 15 million unique visitors per day with users accessing content topics ranging from politics, policy, entertainment, sports, business, food, and pop culture. Video is a core part of The Quint’s content portfolio and user engagement strategy and it is both embedded throughout its articles and used as standalone content. The Quint monetises video with pre-roll advertising.

“At The Quint, we cater to the millennial generation which is mainly mobile and digital-first. Video as a content type is highly effective at engaging our audience because it makes the hard- hitting news easy to digest. Our ambition is to deliver high-value journalism on digital platforms, which requires combining compelling content with the right technology to distribute and track readership and viewership,” Tushar Banerjee, head of product at The Quint, said. “The Quint selected the Brightcove video platform because of Brightcove’s proven track record of delivering the fastest and most seamless video experiences around the world - and particularly in India. With Brightcove’s local presence in India, the post-sales service has been top-notch, another critical factor for us in selecting Brightcove.”

“It's impressive to see the digital footprint The Quint has created in India in only a few years. The publisher has adopted a more visual approach in delivering the news in a way that matters to its audience while successfully leveraging video to engage its viewership,” Ben Morrell, general manager, Asia at Brightcove, said. “We’re proud to be a technology partner to The Quint to help the company realise its mission of conveying hard-hitting stories in a highly engaging manner, leveraging the Brightcove video platform to deliver exceptional video experiences to its massive user base.”

Viweres may get a chance to feature on the channel’s special Karnataka Election Programming 

As the major political parties finalise their electoral candidates, the battle for the upcoming Assembly Elections in Karnataka has begun. Amidst the high-stake contest, CNN-News18 has launched the ‘#VoiceOfBengaluru’ initiative.

Continuing with its legacy of empowering the common man, CNN-News18, through ‘#VoiceOfBengaluru’, aims to encourage the people of Bengaluru to voice their issues. Participants are required to give a missed call. The winners will get an opportunity to feature on the channel during election programming and becoming the actual voice of Bengaluru.

Apart from on-air promotions, the campaign has been promoted extensively on social and digital media. This is being further amplified through direct outreach to the viewers through other partnerships. To participate in the ‘Voice of Bengaluru’, viewers can give a missed call on 7065-421-421 and share their opinions.

TOI’s latest initiative with Asian Heart Institute says ‘Have a heart to save a heart’

Akshay Kumar joins “Happy Heart India” – an initiative of TOI and Asian Heart Institute that gives a chance to 200 underprivileged children to receive free heart surgery

The Times of India in collaboration with Asian Heart Institute launched the #HappyHeartIndia campaign. Akshay Kumar launched the campaign on 7thApril, the World Health Day, that aims to shed light on the nation’s growing heart disease problem.

The campaign urges readers to ‘Save a Heart’ by nominating an underprivileged child they may know, who is below 12 years of age and needs a cardiac surgery but has no means to pay for the surgery. Asian heart Institute pledges to sponsor and perform these surgeries for 200 verified cases across 16 cities in India. To nominate an underprivileged child, visit www.asianheartinstitue.org or send a brief case summary to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. T&C apply – http://toi.in/hhi

The campaign #HappyHeartIndia is built around multiple content pillars through interviews that will amplify the importance of inculcating healthy heart habits in our daily lives via a 3-month long engagement across print and digital. The campaign will also run inspirational stories and fun contests to engage readers as it promotes the importance of and ways to maintain a healthy heart.

Speaking about the initiative, Akshay Kumar shared, “I am delighted to take this message of ‘have a heart to save a heart’ all over India. Asian Heart Institute has always been at the forefront of charitable causes and excellence in cardiac surgery. This campaign is about surgical interventions for the underprivileged- in the spirit of community service."

Sanjeev Bhargava, Director, Brand TOI said, “The campaign with Asian Heart Institute is a step in the direction towards a healthier India and we are glad to bring this campaign to our readers. Dr. Panda and Akshay Kumar’s involvement to the cause has helped raise awareness for this campaign. TOI has always been at the forefront to help raise awareness for causes that affect the people of our country and hope to continue our endeavor in building a healthier, happy India.”

Speaking about their association with TOI, Dr. Ramakanta Panda, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Asian Heart Institute said, “It gives me immense pleasure to launch the campaign and associate with The Times of India as well as to receive unconditional support from one of Bollywood’s biggest stars, Akshay Kumar. After championing various causes and his commitment to fitness, Akshay Kumar is the ideal face for this campaign.”

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