Dr Theo Lynn – Business Innovation Platform Director at Dublin City University
Dr Theo Lynn once again opened the DICE conference. He pointed out that our phones are increasingly our constant companions. 96% of 18-35 year olds now own smart phones and the age demographic of ownership of first mobile is getting younger and younger, in fact it is expected to drop to 10 years old within the next two years! this was echoed by Alex Meisl later on in the conference who claimed that more five year olds can use a phone than tie their own shoelaces!
Other interesting statistics we were enlightened to included:
- 78% of us often compare prices of products and services online before purchasing an item in store.
- 90% of people access Facebook on their smartphone and check their phone as soon as they wake up.
- The 18% of people who use their phone while on a date then received some dating advice from Lynn “don’t use your phone on a date, it will not help you score.” and as for the other 18% who use it in the cinema (probably on a date) I have my own advice, LEAVE THE CINEMA NOW!
- 57% use their phone while on the toilet. surprisingly enough more women then men were culprits of this.
- 3 out of 4 mobile searches trigger follow up activities such as a further search, word of mouth sharing or even a purchase.
Lynn then went on to talk about the 4C’s of Mobile:
- Cash– from online banking to online shopping, paypal and more.
- Credentials– you may not know your PRSI number but you will certainly know your mobile number and as they are with us for life I must agree with Theo in saying they’re our most common identifier.
- Communication– The primary function of our mobiles is of course communication, echoed in the amount of communicative based apps such as Viber, Whats App, Facebook messenger, Snapchat, etc.
- Content– While most us have between 10 and 20 apps on our phones we only use less than 10 on a regular basis preferring apps that are useful and productive to those of entertainment value.
Location is not to be overlooked though. Location may be used to set ourselves reminders creating an interaction between the retailer, the device and the consumer. For instance, lets say you’re passing by the flower shop, your phone will prompt you with a reminder you’ve already set to go in and buy your significant other some flowers.
Theo quickly closed his presentation with some comments on wearable technologies such as Google Glass which would be discussed in more detail later on by Dr. Cathal Gurrin.
Dr. Hughes is the Chief Technical Officer at Digifeye. As well as co-founding Digifeye, former DCU student Mark also founded Style-Eyes an image recognition app, and was awarded Enterprise Ireland’s “One to Watch” prize.
Digifye is an interactive store front which allows you to buy the same product or similar products to those featured in a selected image. Digifye searchs a range of products and suggests similar products in your price range or even the same product. It is also useful for magazines and newspapers, for instance the daily mail employees 3 staff to search for fashion but Digifye does this automatically.Thanks to Digifeye any celebrity or model featured on any fashion website can be turned into a shop mannequin. This is particularly useful for retailers as celebrities drive trends – The Duchess Effect. It has also allows retailers to upsell with outfit suggestions.
Hughes then talked about training machines to recognise and understand images. computer vision has proven difficult to achieve due to the semantic gap, computers are unable to regognise core components on an image as they have no reference, they only see numbers. Flickr searchs are based on tags on the image not the image itself, this can lead to unwanted search results and inaccuracies. However, that been said we now have face recognition and car tracking with great accuracy. SIFT (scale invariant feature transform) has a 99.8% accuracy rate. Supervised learning is used to teach computers to recognise what an object is. The computer learns the characters of an object by being told what hundreds of images of the object is, ie learning what a dress is by been hundreds of images of dresses being uploaded to its database.
Dr. Cathal Gurrin – Lecturer DCU School of Computing
As well as being a lecturer in the DCU School of Computing Cathal is also a funded investigator in the INSIGHT Centre for Data Analytics. He gave us an insight as to how powerful mobile devices are now, for example the iPhone 5 is 60000 times more powerful than the computer that guided Apollo 11 to the moon.
Pervasive computing means technology is everywhere now. Wearable technology will be mainstream by 2015. Omnipresent technology such as Google glasses are activity aware. This means that the device will know if you are stitting, standing, walking etc. It will also be socially aware, i.e. if you are alone or in a bar with your friends.
These devices will know us better than we know ourselves, the will know the times of day we get tired, when we are most productive and the times of day whan we are most likey to make mistakes. Personally I’m not entirely sure of the use or purpose of this as I can tell all these things myself, which begs the question; Is this just technological development just for the sake of it? Because we can?
They wont just analyse data though they will also store it. You will even have your own personal life log. A wearable camera can take up to 4000 pictures a day which will provide a visual memory of your life. They are working with the concept of a surrogate memory, can’t remember someones name? This will no longer be a problem. However the issue of privacy does arise with this new taecnology, so if you don’t know someone on the street the camera will blur out their faces so that will remain anonymous, also your ‘internet of me’ will be your own private archive unavailable to anyone else.
You will also be able to track your health, it will tell you if you’ve had too much coffee today, if you go out drinking tonight by just how much it will affect your productivity tomorrow. It will also use pattern mining and chart and map your life and be able to understand your life experience i.e. when your stress periods are. It will also be able to look at a product and tell you if you’ve used it before and wheteher or not you liked it. It seem to me these wearables will experience your life with you if not for you.
Before Microsoft took over Eoin worked for Nokia. Eoin discussed how the acquisition of Nokia came about and it simply came down to Nokia not being able to keep up with the times and letting their competitors get further and further ahead of them.
That been said Microsoft are on the up. They believe that starting at the bottom is the key to getting to the top. So fear not the “blokia” is going nowhere, no it is a perfect phone for festivals and the likes where people are weary of bringing their precious iPhone for fear that they will lose or break it. Next step is the affordable smartphone, I myself bought into this principle as I couldn’t afford to buy a €300-€500 iPhone yet I still wanted to be able to use apps and everything else the iPhone offers, I bought myself a very affordable Nokia Lumia about 18 months ago and couldn’t be happier with the value for money I got. So with two out of the three conquered its now on to the high-end phones, question is will they be able to compete with Apple? Microsoft’s other aims are to build a universal system and behave as one windows ecosystem across various devices and upgrade previous devices before realising new ones.
Davey then discussed Watson, the computer who beat two people on the hit US TV quiz shoe Jeopardy. when it’s not partaking in quiz shows Watson has a more serious use. it can also be used in the treatment of cancer. Watson may revolutionise healthcare as it researches hundreds if not thousands of texts and sources, identifies the cause of the disease and then recommends various treatment plans for the patient.
IBM pointed out how many companies just want an app to keep up with the times but put little thought into what they actually want in an app. It is important to develop a good, useful app as the companies reputation is on the line. At the end of the day a poorly developed app is not going to attract or keep customers, in fact they may even switch to a company with a better app! As 61% of consumers will not forgive your service is poor. To combat this Paul recommended the “iceberg” approach, with more being put into the content and data in the app than just a “cool” display. IBM produced the worlds first smartphone but decided to move to the applications side of things. Apple and IBM now have a strategic relationship where Apple produce the devices while IBM take care of the apps.
Alex Meisl – WiForia & Sponge
Alex has being doing digital for the last 25 years making him and excellent keynote speaker at this years Get Mobile conference. He is Chair of mobile agency Sponge and Retail Technology Marketing Company WiForia.
Some quick statistics included ;
1/3 of all UK adults interviewed said they would rather give up sex than their smartphone, guess Serie can keep you warm on those winter nights after all.
There are more mobiles than toothbrushes in the world.
Meisl then took on some myth busting.
- SMS is dead- SMS is still alive people! 145 billion SMS texts were sent in the UK in 2013, 6.5 per head per day.
- mobile advertising is trivial- mobile advertising will be bigger than newspaper advertising for the first time ever this year in the UK.
80% of branded apps get less than 1000 downloads, as Davey said, its imporatant not just to have an app but to have a good app and not to forget good business practice. Barely 4% of budgets are spent on mobile advertising. Pretty ridiculous in this day in age in my opinion especially seeing as approximetly 20% of our day is spent on mobile devices , a figure only surpassed by TV! Not to mention you get more bang for your buck as it is a less clustered media space. So why isn’t there more investment in mobile marketing. According to Meisl, people often forget that mobile is part of the sales process even if the purchase is not made on mobile. Approximetly 49% of us start a purchase online but complete the purchase in store. 34% of all e-retail sales in the UK are via a mobile device and generate 48% of of all traffic. 1/3 of googles top 100 clients do not have mobile optimised sites leading to 61% of business being lost. now I’m no business expert but I would seriously question any business that is not investing in mobile and losing 61% of business! to further my point 50% of all uk sales in the next eight years will be influenced by mobile. there are 55 million public wifi access points around the world by 2018.
Meisl then showed us a fascinating video of how one Guatemalan shoe shop Meat Pack managed to steal competitors with promotional discounts that diminished every second you wasted. despited the dodgey video this is a highly creative and innotive inniative way of engageing customers and encouraging them to buy.
Wiforia enables retailers to send personalised offers to it’s customers upon entering the shop, such as “welcome back to our store, click here for special offers in store today” This could be even optimised further by minimising waste and sending messages such as ‘Hey we’ve too much of product X and it’s going out of date soon, why don’t you pick some up free of charge!’ this has the power of surprising your customer encouraging them to create brand advocacy. These messages can also be tailored to the time of day, such as lunchtime deals. It has many uses from customer surveys, loyality schemes to surprising and delighting your customers with unexpected offers. 76% of purchase decisions are made in store and 66% of shoppers said in store messages would influence their product purchasing decisions, making Wiforia an extremely useful technology for retailers.
Finally, here are Meisl’s 6 Key Takeaways;
- Don’t forget standard business priinciples
- mCommerce is more important than mShopping
- Get all customers to self identify
- Mobile makes anything a digital gateway
- Context especially location is a key driver
- Don’t forget old school technology such as SMS