Much like we look for labels to help guide our food choices, we will now be able to know how much data your connected device is sharing. How are you supposed to know which smart lightbulb you can trust?
Enter the Trustable Technology Mark. It’s like being certified organic, but for the Internet of Things. Supported by the Mozilla Foundation, NYU Law, the University of Dundee, and other institutions, the trustmark–a phrase for a logo that signifies a certification of some kind–aims to recognize companies building connected devices that have stellar data and privacy practices, are transparent and secure, and have some guarantee of longevity.
In a world awash with sketchy technology that doesn’t communicate how personal data is being used, the Trustable Tech Mark is a way to give kudos to companies that are actually operating responsibly. Right now, there’s no way for consumers to know which products won’t put their data at risk–nor for companies to prove that they’re trustworthy.
Why Its Hot: Visibility into tech could perhaps hasten adoption amongst the last tech holdouts.
Avocados from Mexico, is capitalizing on the insatiable need for their product by making the recipes on their website shoppable. Now, shoppers can indulge in their habit by choosing from a host of delivery partners – Amazon Fresh, PeaPod, or Walmart Grocery – to get all the ingredients needed to make anything that calls for everyone’s favorite berry. Avocados views shoppable recipes as a service to its own customers, rather than a way to win some of the e-commerce pie.
By garnering customer demographics and preferences, Avocados from Mexico will use machine learning to deliver better, more personalized content to consumers. “We’ve been working very hard in the past to try to get as much data as possible from our consumers,” said Alvaro Luque, president and CEO of Avocados From Mexico . “We’ve been building a very robust CRM system to get them as close as we can to our brand. Every deep investment we can do will help us build this big database we are trying to develop.” Luque said more data will help the company understand the e-commerce preferences of consumers and enhance the customer experience. Avocados From Mexico can determine a metric that is very close to ROI by comparing the cost of its ad campaign with the total value of the products moved to shopping carts, said the company.
While most other grocery products don’t share the same fame as avocados do and can’t expect consumers to visit their site to discover more, building consumer relationships (or more bluntly: gathering consumer data) is especially important to maintain relevance in Amazon’s latest sector play.
Why its hot: Elevating customer experience through personalized content is no longer reserved for high price point products, but rather has become table stakes. Are avocados doing a better job at CX than your brand?
ElliQ is a proactive social robot, designed to not only interact with older adults, but also to engage them. By suggesting activities and connection to loved ones, the robot creates a more human-like connection something other voice-assisted technologies still struggle with.
Why it’s hot: Harnessing the power of voice-powered assistance to deliver value to a generation that likely needs it the most.
DoNotPay is a Tinder-esque app that helps users file lawsuits and claim awards from class-action settlements.
Instead of funneling through the endless bureaucracy, headache and investment that litigation entails, users can now swipe to sue. The app helps individuals claim everything from remediation from class-action lawsuits to reimbursement for late package delivery. And, the next time your airline kicks you off a flight, or your uber makes a wrong turn, you can be reimbursed for that with a simple tap. While skeptics may see this as an abuse of the legal system, anyone ever wronged by a corporation will finally feel empowered to act and will actually have the representation to do so (since most lawyers won’t talk to you unless your case can yield at least $10,000).
Why its hot: Tapping into native behavior to simplify and democratize access to justice.
John Hancock is putting an end to traditional life insurance and plans to exclusively start selling interactive policies. Policyholders will be prompted to use wearable devices (or their phones) to track health data and are incentivized to pursue healthy habits with the promise of lower premiums.
To run the new program, Hancock partnered with Vitality Group, a platform that already operates widely in South Africa and the UK. Vitality claims policyholders using wearables live 13 to 21 years longer than “normally” insured couch potatoes.
Seemingly, this approach is a win-win: consumers pay less while insurers reduce their risk. And, while the company has sold such policies since 2015, a move to fundamentally change their business model poses a stark contrast against the norms of an antiquated industry.
Why its hot: When data collection is mutually beneficial, we’re okay with it
Almost all of our devices are (or very soon will be) controllable by voice, and while this shift can empower some, others – specifically children – are left out of the loop. Though 1.6 billion connected devices are sold to children under 13 each year, no technology has ever been built to address the unique needs of this audience. Specifically, since speech linguistic patterns are vastly different for children, when they speak to their devices, frustration ensues.
And, while parents are not likely interested in yet another digital touchpoint, (screen time concerns highlighted here) they are indisputably concerned about their children’s privacy and security. Today, when a child tries interacts with a virtual home assistant, that information is processed online, potentially putting their security at risk.
Kidsense wants to mitigate those concerns. By building automatic speech recognition technology that helps children better communicate with voice-powered devices through an embedded platform, their service is GDPR, COPPA and parent-complaint.
KidSense can deliver peace of mind to parents, and a better, less frustrating experience for those that nag their parents (meaning, almost every single child) for the latest tech.
Why Its Hot:
Solves a consumer pain point and adds the features that would get someone else to pay for it. Also, kids are the greatest salespeople, so give them something worth peddling.
Amazon’s private label fashion business has faced several hurdles, but continued investment – Prime Wardrobe, Echo Look, and numerous pure play e-comm acquisitions – proves that they won’t stand for anything less than front row.
Recently, Amazon has acquiredBody Labs – a firm which promises to bring 3D models to life. For fashion, accurately predicting size and fit across a diverse consumer base has always been a reach goal. Designers and other stakeholders in the supply chain have long relied on antiquated data, often based on models of an average person, and no one brand has found a scalable solution for custom-designed clothing.
While Body Labs can’t solve for customized design, it can provide brands with a range of different models and bodies that would validate the fit of different patterns, which makes for better fitting clothing.
If Amazon’s private label clothing knows your fit better than any brand can, why would you shop anywhere else?
Why it’s hot:
As personalization is becoming table stakes, Amazon’s foray into one of the most significant aspects of individual expression once again shows that any market can instantaneously become amazon-takes-all.