Peloton, but for cooking

Ask questions and interact live with your favorite celebrity chef, such as Guy Fieri or Martha Stewart, right in your kitchen. Linked to your Amazon Prime account. Need a peeler and some limes for this recipe? Amazon will send them over.

From The Verge: “Food Network says it’s specifically modeling its classes after Peloton’s live-streaming model. Food Network is banking on the power of its personalities, and the $7 streaming fee starts to make sense when it’s viewed as an exclusive membership, giving fans the chance to interact with their favorite stars.

Netflix may get Seinfeld in 2021, and Apple TV Plus may have all of, like, 10 shows — but only Food Network Kitchen will give its users the chance to interact with Guy Fieri and ask him cooking questions live. I’m imagining it to be the equivalent of your favorite Food Network personality doing an Instagram Live, but with way better streaming quality (have you ever sat through an Instagram Live you didn’t immediately want to exit?). And maybe that alone is worth paying for.”

Why it’s hot:

Since it’s on Amazon, it’s integrated with Amazon Fresh, so you can choose a recipe you want to learn and have the ingredients delivered to your door before the class begins. Agoraphobics rejoice!

It’s live streaming, but with food celebrities. But it could be any celebrities you otherwise wouldn’t have such intimate access to, doing anything. In a world where most content is given for free, it reinforces one notion of celebrity, in that you have to pay to have access them.

Turning the camera on Big Brother

NYTimes is analyzing the music used by candidates at their rallies. Music is a powerful emotional signal, transmitting a message deep into the emotional brain where we feel connection. So, it is helpful to know how candidates are using this psychological messaging tool to reach voters.

Extrapolating meaning from data sets, such as song tracks used in political campaigns, can bring to light information that would otherwise not emerge. The growing trend of using big data to help us understand and manipulate the world may be coming more into the hands of the public.

Why it’s hot: Knowledge is power. Whoever has the data and the processing power, has the knowledge and can learn things about the world that no one would have discovered otherwise. Primarily this power has been with brands and governments. But what if more of that power came into the hands of the people? This article points to a possible future where open-source data mining could help us learn things about governments and companies that could level the playing field in the war over territory in our collective consciousness.

If big data was in the hands of the people, what would we do with it? How would it effect our relationship with brands and products.

Source: NYTimes

Retail wants a Minority Report for returns

In what now seems inevitable, an online fashion retailer in India owned by an e-commerce startup that’s backed by Walmart is doing research with Deep Neural Networks to predict which items a buyer will return before they buy the item.

With this knowledge, they’ll be better able to predict their returns costs, but more interestingly, they’ll be able to incentivize shoppers to NOT return as much, using both loss and gain offers related to items in one’s cart.

The nuts and bolts of it is: the AI will assign a score to you based on what it determines your risk of returning a specific item to be.This data could be from your returns history, as well as less obvious data points, such as your search/shopping patterns elsewhere online, your credit score, and predictions about your size and fit based on aggregated data on other people.

Then it will treat you differently based on that assessment. If you’re put in a high risk category, you may pay more for shipping, or you may be offered a discount in order to accept a no-returns policy tailored just for you. It’s like car insurance for those under 25, but on hyper-drive. If you fit a certain demo, you may start paying more for everything.

Preliminary tests have shown promise in reducing return rates.

So many questions:

Is this a good idea from a brand perspective? If this becomes a trend, will retailers with cheap capital that can afford high-returns volume smear this practice as a way to gain market share?

Will this drive more people to better protect their data and “hide” themselves online? We might be OK with being fed targeted ads based on our data, but what happens when your data footprint and demo makes that jacket you wanted cost more?

Will this encourage more people to shop at brick and mortar stores to sidestep retail’s big brother? Or will brick and mortar stores find a way to follow suit?

How much might this information flow back up the supply chain, to product design, even?

Why it’s hot

Returns are expensive for retailers. They’re also bad for the environment, as many returns are just sent to the landfill, not to mention the carbon emissions from sending it back.

So, many retailers are scrambling to find the balance between reducing friction in the buying process by offering easy returns, on the one hand, and reducing the amount of actual returns, on the other.

There’s been talk of Amazon using predictive models to ship you stuff without you ever “buying” it. You return what you don’t want and it eventually learns what you want to the point where you just receive a box of stuff at intervals, and money is extracted from your bank account. This also might reduce fossil fuels.

How precise can these predictive models get? And how might people be able to thwart them? Is there a non-dystopian way to reduce returns?

Source: ZDNet

Slow down baby, this is too fast…

Arteris, a road operator from Brazil released Speed-O-Track, an app that encourages drivers to obey the speed limit by messing up their music.

When a driver breaks the speed limit, the app increases the tempo of the music being played on Spotify. It does this by connecting to Google Maps data to identify the speed limit and distorts accordingly.

 

Granted, the benefits of this largely depend on people downloading the app. To encourage this, Arteris has offered a free month’s subscription to Spotify to the first 500 people who download the app.

Why It’s Hot

  • It’s an example of a brand developing tech that fits nicely with their business objectives while solving a problem for their customers
  • It came up with a nice solve to encourage adaption
  • Instead of building tech from scratch, it layered on to existing platforms, once again demonstrating we don’t have reinvent the wheel to develop something groundbreaking.

Source: https://www.contagious.io/articles/fast-tracking

I hate the idea of “Smart clothes” but its happening. Levi’s and Google to blame.

Some interesting new technology has hit SXSW and is coming to a store near you this fall. Levi’s and Google have partnered to create a denim shirt enhanced with tech for $350 a pop. I don’t know how I feel about it because enough is enough, right? WRONG. According to Juniper Research, wearables are expected to be a $19 billion industry by 2018.

The smart Commuter jacket, which was introduced over the weekend at SXSW in Austin, is aimed at those who bike to work. It has technology woven into its fibers, and allows users to take phone calls, get directions and check the time, by tapping and swiping their sleeves. That delivers information to them through their headphones so that they can keep their eyes on the road without having to fiddle with a screen.

Why its hot!

  • Wearable’s like Fitbit have seen a decline in sales, resulting in job cuts and budget cuts, its interesting that Google and Levi’s have decided to move forward with an idea like this given the market.
  • This is a wearable but its more so about the fabric.
  • Wearables are expected to be a $19 billion industry by 2018 or this jacket could be the first of many new clothing options.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/03/14/how-google-and-levis-smart-jacket-shows-whats-coming-next-for-wearables/?utm_term=.4079a6ae4642

Putting the Wearable Tech Trend in Perspective

The wearable device category has all the makings to ignite a technology revolution except one: widespread consumer interest.

Among key findings of a recent emarketer study released this week were:

  • Awareness of wearables was high as of last year, which is a long time in a tech category. A significant share (40% to 68%) of mobile media users polled worldwide in Q3 2014 were already well aware of wearable devices.
  • However, high awareness of wearables did not lead to a high rate of ownership in 2014. Less than 2% of the world’s population and less than 20% of internet users worldwide reported owning a wearable device last year. Ownership among US internet users was above the world average, however, ranging from 20% to 25%.
  • Fitness trackers continue to be the most commonly owned wearable device among internet users worldwide. Adoption of wearable devices outside the fitness category has been slower due to a less apparent value proposition.
  • The jury is still out on the Apple Watch. Despite robust sales, early reviews are mixed, with users unclear about the need for the product.
  • Still, forecasting firms have a positive outlook on the growth of wearable device shipments going forward, particularly smart watches. In fact, forecasts for smart watch shipments this year are more bullish than the year-one shipment projections made for the iPad.

wearables

Of note:  Through 2019, sales are projected to skyrocket spurred by the wristband and smart watch category and further consumer interest in the Apple watch.wearables2

Of note: among internet users worldwide, ownership of wearable tech is on par with other trending tech and still in single digits with expectations to double within 1-3 years.wearables3

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Key stats: females are faster adopting to wearable technology and express higher interest. 26% of female US internet users own a Fitbit device (vs 18% male) and 30% of females who don’t own, expressed interest to own any wearable tech (vs 24% males).

 

 

 

 

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Why its Hot:

The state of the wearable products consumers are polled about in one survey are likely to have changed (for better or worse) by the time the next survey is conducted. Additionally, consumer awareness and opinions of wearable technology are in flux, so older surveys need to be weighed against newer findings to gain insight into how the market is evolving.

Of note: The wearables category includes a long and growing list of smart body wear, which makes it difficult for any one survey to probe deeply into consumer use of all the device types, let alone all the specific brands of devices on the market. But the trend is clearly growing and with that growth comes opportunity for marketers interested in targeting people not only based on where and who they are, but what activities they are engaging in at that precise moment. So we need to keep an eye, an ear, a wrist, a foot or a head on this movement very closely as it evolves.