The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has taken place in Las Vegas this week, drawing the world’s leading consumer technology brands all showing off their latest and greatest inventions.
Details and Implications
As always, there was almost too much to take in – AR, VR, AI, Blockchain, Roll up TVs, Nano technology and much, much more. Here were a few of the highlights:
Alexa Vs Google - The omnipresence of Google at CES is a marked change from previous years and the focus – Google Assistant – is a statement of intent. The entire city was draped in the words ‘Hello Google’. Digital ads, human signage, the branded monorail, the huge slide and ball pit (well it is Google) all focused on making it clear that Google Assistant is the future of voice, not Alexa. Googlers in branded jumpsuits could be found at every booth where there was a Google Assistant integration, so as you walked the show floor you had a clear visual indication of the extent to which Google Assistant is being integrated into future home, health, auto and entertainment tech. Alexa integrations were also huge in number, but much less obvious. The battle for the control of our homes, cars and lives through voice is well and truly under way.
China - Almost a third of the exhibitors at CES this year were Chinese companies - 1,300 of the 4,500 companies according to the Consumer Technology Association - and 500 companies had the word ‘Shenzhen’ in their name (that’s a tenth of all exhibitors). Well known Chinese companies like Baidu, Huawei and Alibaba were of course in town but were joined by new players such as electric car company Byton. At every turn you came across another Chinese company, some riding the wave of existing technology trends and others innovating into new areas. CES has always been primarily a tech show that was US focused, this year it felt more like a Chinese export show.
Beginning of the End of the Phone? - In isolation, the technology on the show floor is amazing and some products will go on to be huge successes. Combined, it’s just possible that they could change our lives. Wireless earphones / buds were all around – including those with built in AI to help with simultaneous translation. The Mars earbuds (from Korean company Naver) will automatically translate English, Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Thai and Indonesian. They do this using an AI called Clova (owned by Naver parent company Line). Add voice control, phone calling and a host of other services and it’s a really smart product. Pairing these with one of the host of smart glasses at the show – all also with built in voice control and AI using Alexa, Google Assistant etc. and many also with HUDs (Heads Up Displays) built in for viewing content – and you could be getting closer to a future without the need to have a phone in your pocket, especially if you also add in a smart watch (there were hundreds). That body-based ecosystem can do pretty much everything you use your phone for today, barring watching content on a screen.
The show is growing – both in terms of visitor numbers (circa 180,000) and global reach (exhibitors came from over 150 countries). It may not be the place where you will see the latest digital innovation, but walking its floor you will understand the way the tech winds are blowing and where you should be able to take advantage. Expect the voice war to be long and loud and don’t rule out a big Chinese player getting in on the ecosystem war.
Source: Mindshare World
Recently, multiple instances have come to light about top private hospitals fleecing the patients. From overcharging for treatments to referring expensive medicines, many private healthcare facilities have come under the scanner. While the government is taking actions to discourage such malpractices, its vision of corruption free healthcare system is proving to be difficult. News18 India, through its sting operation, has exposed the deceitful practice of earning from medical insurance as well.
News18 India conducted a sting operation targeting private hospitals in NCR like Rama Hospital, Sonipat and Amrapali Hospital, Noida to name a few. The channel’s undercover team of reporters created a storyline of how their wrestler son, who has a medical insurance of 10 lakh rupees, was badly injured and treated in another hospital. While they incurred an expense of Rs. 50,000, they were not able to claim the money through insurance. With this narrative, the team went to various hospitals where the doctors and the management revealed how they can help them claim their money through various nefarious means.
News18 India’s team caught on camera many people talking about how the patients can get their mediclaim from the insurance companies and make money out of it. The doctors will admit the patient for 10 days on papers and will submit expensive bill to the insurance company. The doctors also revealed how they can also include fake diseases and injuries in the insurance claim to make it more realistic. The hospital authorities on camera that the money earned from the claim will then be divided between the patient, the doctors and the mediators.
Though people might think that these fraudulent practices do not affect their health but they forget that they will have to bear the cost of increased premiums if the insurance companies incur losses. Through Operation Lifeline, News18 India’s team reveals how rampant corrupt practices such as these are bound to have negative consequences for the common man. New policies and laws can be made but the ground reality is a far cry from completely solving the corruption issue.
In the intensely competitive regional news genre in Rajasthan, ETV Rajasthan has established itself as a clear and dominant No. 1 channel. With a market share of 78%*, the channel is clearly the preferred choice for the people of Rajasthan.
The year 2017 saw ETV Rajasthan grow by leaps and bound – in fact the channel’s impressionsjumped by410%** in the time period Week 01, 2017 to Week 01, 2018.As per the latest BARC data, the channel’s market share is almost 5 times that of its nearest competition and is 3.6 times that of all other channels combined*.
In the critical evening prime time band, ETV Rajasthan is 5.8 times ahead of the nearest compeition.***
The brand had refreshed its screen look & programming line-up in 2017. The refreshed content and fresh packaginghas clearly appealed to the viewers and this is clearly reflecting in the channels’ growing ratings.
Commenting on the channel’s success Rajesh Raina, Group Editor – ETV Network said “ETV Rajasthan’s strength has always been both its unmatched coverage of news from across the state as well as the fact that it has raised issues that have a direct and significant impact on its viewers. It is this that has enabled the channel to build tremendous equity with the people in the state. ”
Avinash Kaul, President- Network18 and MD- A+E Networks/TV18 commenting on the channel’s performance said “The people of Rajasthan have made their choice clear and we are thankful that they have overwhelmingly chosen ETV Rajasthan their channel of choice. We would like to reaffirm our commitment to pursuing the highest quality of journalism. We are confident that our focus on excellence will ensure that ETV Rajasthan will continue to remain the dominant player and a clear leader in the state.”
*Source: BARC India, TG: 15+, Market: Rajasthan, Time Period: Week 01 ’18, 24 hours
**Source: BARC India, TG: 15+, Market: Rajasthan, Time Period: Week 01 ’17 – Week 01 ’18, 24 hours
***Source: BARC | TG: 2+ |Market:Rajasthan | Period: Week 50’17-Week1'18 (1800 - 2300) hours
AI Will Drive the Most Compelling User Experiences at Home and in the Workplace
Emotion artificial intelligence (AI) systems are becoming so sophisticated that Gartner, Inc. predicts that by 2022, personal devices will know more about an individual's emotional state than his or her own family. AI is generating multiple disruptive forces that are reshaping the way we interact with personal technologies.
"Emotion AI systems and affective computing are allowing everyday objects to detect, analyze, process and respond to people's emotional states and moods to provide better context and a more personalized experience," said Roberta Cozza, research director at Gartner. "To remain relevant, technology vendors must integrate AI into every aspect of their devices, or face marginalization."
The current wave of emotion AI systems is being driven by the proliferation of virtual personal assistants (VPAs) and other AI-based technology for conversational systems. As a second wave emerges, AI technology will add value to more and more customer experience scenarios, including educational software, video games, diagnostic software, athletic and health performance, and the autonomous car.
"Prototypes and commercial products already exist and adding emotional context by analyzing data points from facial expressions, voice intonation and behavioral patterns will significantly enhance the user experience," said Ms. Cozza. "Beyond smartphones and connected home devices, wearables and connected vehicles will collect, analyze and process users' emotional data via computer vision, audio or sensors capturing behavioral data to adapt or respond to a user's wants and needs."
Other personal device predictions from Gartner include:
By 2021, 10 percent of wearables users will have changed lifestyles, and thereby extend their life spans by an average of six months.
As AI emotion systems evolve there is huge potential for specialized devices, such as medical wristbands, which can anticipate life-threatening conditions and facilitate an early response system. At the same time special apps are also being developed for diagnostic and therapy services that will help to recognize conditions such as depression or help children with autism.
"Even a basic wearable device could have a positive impact on the wearer's health," said Annette Zimmermann, research vice president at Gartner. "We are seeing growing numbers of users actively changing their behavior for the better with the adoption of a wearable device. Not only can this have beneficial influence on the amount of exercise they do but there is evidence that one or two out of 10 smartwatch and fitness band users discover a condition such as sleep apnea or cardiac arrhythmia through wearing the device."
By 2020, 60 percent of personal technology device vendors will use third-party AI cloud services to enhance functionality and services.
Cloud-based AI technologies are driving compelling user experiences on a variety of connected devices. Cloud offerings from the big tech players, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Tencent, Baidu and IBM, are starting to proliferate due to their attractive cost model, easy-to-use integration and potential to create complex services. A major catalyst for device vendors to use cloud AI services is the increased usage of VPAs and natural-language technologies, while the adoption of VPA-based, screenless devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home is also on the rise, further increasing usage of cloud AI services.
"We are starting to see adoption of these services from high-profile vendors that are using them to widen their reach," said Anthony Mullen, research director at Gartner. "Fitbit uses Alexa Skills to make user stats and functionality available through VPA speakers just as Netflix uses Actions for Google Assistant to voice control its service. Ultimately, vendors will compete on the best user experience and the smartness of their products, not the technology behind it."
Through 2022, security technology combining machine learning, biometrics and user behavior will reduce passwords to account for less than 10 percent of all digital authentications.
Password-based simple authentication is becoming less and less effective for personal devices. Even today's popular biometric technology — fingerprint authentication — is only around 75 percent successful due to contaminants such as dirt and sweat.
"Users need more convenient and accurate options for unlocking their devices," said CK Lu, research director at Gartner. "Security technologies that combine machine learning, biometrics and user behavior will become necessary to improve ease of use, self-service and frictionless authentications. Within the next five years new security technology will recognize the user, prevent fraud and detect automation threats such as malware, remote access trojans and malicious bots."
From one-off campaigns to an always-on mode is the future of influencer marketing in India
In 2018, 92 percent marketeers are expected to launch at least one influencer campaign. The popularity of the influencer marketing to drive brand awareness and reputation can be gauged by the insight that 89 percent of marketeers have found the medium to be effective and 62 percent are planning to increase their budgetary allocation towards engaging social influencers, according to today’s release of the India Influence ReportÓ 2018.
The survey results indicate that more than ever, brands are recognizing that influencers help in leveraging the exposure of the company’s product and can increase brand recognition as a result of consumers leaning on these reviews to make their purchasing decisions. The continued widespread adoption of influencer marketing shows that the channel is becoming an integral part of the marketing mix. In fact, one of the major revelations of the India Influence ReportÓ 2018 points towards the gradual maturing of influencer marketing in India with 14 percent of the marketeers suggesting an always on-mode and 16 percent planning to integrate influencer marketing within their marketing strategy.
The findings of an exhaustive survey conducted by Zefmo, a leading and rapidly growing influencer marketing platform, have indicated that top marketeres are of the opinion that consumers are more likely to make a purchase decision based on influencers because of the authenticity and affinity elements. In addition, an overwhelming number of marketeers feel that increasingly consumers are influenced by their peers when it comes to making a purchase decision. Among the top highlights of the India Influence ReportÓ 2018, the following are expected to set the trend for influencer marketing in India in 2018 –
· Macro (typically have over 50,000 followers) and micro (typically have over 10,000 to 50,000 followers) influencers have been found to be most impactful
· Top three scenarios wherein marketeers have utilized influencer marketing effectively –
1. Product launches (56 percent)
2. Content promotion (54 percent)
3. Event promotion (40 percent)
· Markets have found influencer marketing to be most important towards –
1. Authentic storytelling (20 percent)
2. Better reach (18 percent)
3. Connecting with millennials and centennials (18 percent)
· Instagram and Facebook are the preferred channels for influencer engagement
· Gauging success of the influencer marketing campaign via measuring –
1. Engagement (23 percent)
2. Brand awareness (19 percent)
3. Share of voice/earned media (15 percent)
“Influencers have high gravity of credibility and their medium is fundamentally social. Besides providing exposure to a brand, influencers lend their credibility to it,” said Irfan Khan, chief executive officer (CEO), Zefmo. “Today’s consumer can tell the difference between an advert and a personal recommendation. Therefore, influencer marketing is fast changing to become more of an intrinsic part of the marketing strategy. In 2018, we can expect brands to become more sophisticated with the data around influencer marketing strategies.”