Google Glass and Segway failed because they forgot about humans


Our relationship with technology, and social media, in particular, is ripe with irony, impulse, and irrational behavior. We have a love/hate with Facebook and our smartphones, which seem to offer us a mixture of both freedom and servitude. The average American spends over 50 minutes a day on the world’s largest social network while touching their phone well north of a hundred times. As social animals, we long for the warmth of friendship and prospect of love that is a swipe or click away. At the same time, as thinking beings, we are prone to navel-gazing about a nagging loss…

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3 predictions about the future of voice assistant apps in 2018


Remember when you first starting using mobile apps around 2008? I know I do; I recall how the idea of pressing little iPhone icons for breaking news, emails, shopping needs, and restaurant searches seemed exotic and revolutionary, but it quickly became “the new normal.” I was a product manager back then and found the potential marketing capabilities of these apps to be fascinating. Fast-forward to the present, and like mobile apps in ‘08, voice assistants now are creating new ways for brands to interact with consumers. And by looking back at the evolution of mobile, I believe that we can…

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Top alternative forms of experiential marketing that drive engagement


Generation Y is unique in many ways, including the fact that they’re choosing to invest in experiences over things. Instead of buying fancy cars and homes as soon as they get their first big payday, millennials invest in vacations, weekends at music festivals, and other adventures. For businesses interested in engaging this valuable demographic, this trend brings great marketing opportunities. Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) realize that consumers in their 20s and 30s want to leave the house and truly experience life. This is much more than attending parties and conventions, though. It’s about finding interesting ways to draw in those…

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Christmas carol writing AI proves humans are still better at a few things


As we near the dawn of the robot apocalypse, this is proof that you’re probably safe for at least a few more weeks. Colorado-based research scientists Janelle Shane recently trained her own neural network to write its own Christmas carols. Using a collection of about 240 carols ranging from “What Child is This?” to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer,” Shane turned the neural net loose with zero instruction. First, it attempted to find patterns in the songs, thus making its own rules of what goes together. Unfortunately, that turns out to be a nonsensical mess, like this: a…

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Snowden’s new Android app turns your cheap smartphone into a home security system


Even the best digital security practices are often undone by sloppy physical security. An unreadable 40 character password, after all, is only as secure as the office containing the Post-it note you wrote it on. (Sidebar: please don’t do this. Use a password manager for god sakes, it’s almost 2018). To help combat the threat the Freedom of the Press Foundation, led by our favorite spy-turned-advocate, Edward Snowden, launched Haven, an app for cheap Android burners that turns them into full-fledged home security devices. Haven uses your phone’s built-in hardware — cameras, microphones, light sensors, and accelerometers — to monitor…

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