The New Approach To Digital Innovation
June 23, 2016
A funny ‘think’ happened on my way through the Alexa project. For those of you who have been following us here at Softvision, we recently launched a ‘ Lunch & Learn’ series by building our very own Echo using the Raspberry Pi and then we created a new Amazon skill (app). We also successfully submitted that skill to Amazon and it is now available as an Amazon Voice Service for use with the Echo.
The ‘Lunch & Learn’ started off as just two people and grew as more and more wandered into the conference room and joined in the fun. They all want to know what will be next so we started to think and research.
We totally ‘ got’ why Amazon would open their code to the Echo. It matters less where the device comes from and more about the applications that can interact with Amazon’ s commerce environment. Every time you inquire or buy an item using an Echo (via Alexa), the item is placed in your account history. Then when you ask Alexa next time to find you some jeans, she will first look at your history before making a suggestion. This way the shopping journey can begin and end with Amazon. They hope.
So, what do we now find so interesting about the Echo and other similar devices? The number of new tech innovations that are being offered in somewhat the same way. Each with a different game in mind but each turning the technology over to the public to see what and where they will go.
A few that come to mind are Google’ s Project Tango, FaceBook’ s Chatbots, and Microsoft’ s Bot Framework.
Project Tango is a 3-D mapping tool that allows the user to basically use a camera to capture a real live space in 3-D and then place objects in it. The user can then walk around the space and look down on the objects or look inside the objects. For a reasonable fee, you can purchase a kit and have at it. I recently visited a Design lab that was using Project Tango and got to see it firsthand. Now, I just need to start thinking about how Retail might employ this technology and that’ s just what they wanted me to do.
As for Facebook, it won’ t be long before folks using Facebook Messenger can be in chat mode, but still do such things as order tickets to a concert.
“We think you should message a business just the way you would message a friend,” Zuckerberg said at a recent software developers’ conference in San Francisco. “To order flowers on 1-800-Flowers, you should never have to call 1-800-Flowers again.” What might this mean to retail? If consumers demand bots, every retailer will have to jump in.
In March, Microsoft launched the Microsoft Bot Framework, software tools that allow companies to develop their own bots.
So Taco Bell and its ad agency Deutsch along with partner SAV Studios decided to pursue their own world of chatbot possibilities. They built a bot for workplaces that use Slack’ s messaging platform for internal communications. Why should anyone walk around the office taking lunch orders when the order can be placed via TacoBot?
“But food is just the first step in the chatbot world”, said James Shani, CEO, SAV Studios. “I see a future where the bot becomes more well-rounded … and can do just about anything and everything for you.”
The new world of innovation is such that users can also be creators. Create the technology and through digital mobility, release it into the world for the innovative public to play with. And that’ s exactly what we’ ll do!