tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 10, 2014 07:16 PM
As the International Consumer Electronics Show wraps up its annual spectacle in Las Vegas, it's difficult to make the call on who or what exactly 'won' CES 2014. With brands (and marketers) big and small from nearly every sector presenting impressive tech, it's hard not to call everyone a winner—especially consumers.
Still, this year's show presented some key themes, the most apparent being "connectivity." As consumers adopt more technology into their lives, the task at hand is to now connect those technologies—create an ecosystem of sorts that allows for seamless control and enjoyment.
On that front, the automotive and mobile industries made a strong showing at CES, where Google's Android unveiled the Open Automotive Alliance and connected-car platform with nearly 10 major automakers signed on, including GM, Honda, Audi and Hyundai. The Alliance, meant to develop connected-car innovations with the same standards, plans to see the first vehicle with Android integration by the end of this year.
Similarly, AT&T announced its own connected-car platform and new AT&T Drive Studio in Atlanta, where the company will partner with developers to create specialized apps for automakers like Audi and Tesla.
But the car wasn't the only environment to get the connected treatment.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 10, 2014 12:55 PM
IBM remains bullish on Watson, its supercomputer made famous on Jeopardy!, but it is having a hard time leveraging the super-smart artificial brain beyond trivia and into revenue-producing businesses.
IBM maintains that Watson has revolutionary real-world applications in a variety of verticals including health care and investing, with CEO Virginia Rometty projecting that Watson would generate $10 billion in annual revenue within 10 years. But according to Wall Street Journal, as of last October, Watson wasn't meeting revenue hopes, generating "only" $100 million. Setbacks include costs in “training” Watson “to master the particulars of various businesses.”
To better realize its potential, IBM announced at CES this week in Las Vegas that it is investing $1 billion into making Watson the centerpiece of a new business group based in New York—a group that will build out a productive and profitable ecosystem for the super-computer. Already employing 2,000 people, IBM projects the unit to create $20 billion in revenue by 2015.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 10, 2014 09:14 AM
Target now says 70 million were hit by data breach.
IBM's Watson group unveils cloud services for big data.
Fifth & Pacific adopts Kate Spade as new corporate name.
AB InBev switches CMOs as new Bud Light campaign gears up.
Apple flows devices into corporate world.
Applebee's revamps kids menu.
Barnes & Noble digital sales drop but bookstores show signs of stabilizing.
Caribou Coffee debuts new loyalty program.
Daimler reports 10 percent rise in Mercedes-Benz 2013 vehicle sales.
Ford looks to Fiesta to increase sales in Japan as Mulally says he's staying put.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on January 8, 2014 09:23 AM
Yahoo overhauls its advertising platforms as Mayer puts on a show at CES.
Alibaba integrates its payment service with China's Sina Weibo.
McDonald's looks to use sustainable beef by 2016.
Airbus names new US chief.
Amazon makes it difficult for new hires to stick.
Barnes & Noble promotes Nook head to CEO.
Bentley sees steady luxury sales in 2014.
BlackBerry renews its vows to the smartphone keyboard.
Boeing must slash costs of building Dreamliner.
Comcast halts erosion in video subscribers.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 17, 2013 05:43 PM
As the year readies to close out, it's time for the annual onslaught of year-end lists of best ofs, worst ofs, and 2014 look-aheads. So in due course, IBM has released its annual 5 in 5 annual technology predictions, highlighting what the company thinks will come to the forefront in the next five years.
“We try to get a sense of where the world is going because that focuses where we put our efforts,” Bernie Meyerson, VP Innovation at IBM, told VentureBeat. “The harder part is nailing down what you want to focus on. Unless you stick your neck out and say this is where the world is going, it’s hard to turn around and say you will get there first. These are seminal shifts. We want to be there, enabling them.”
Among the expected innovations in cloud computing and smarter cities, IBM expects there to be significant changes in the way the medical community treats illness, and how our digital lives are made more secure.
The new list of tech trends and innovations that IBM expects to impact our lives in the years ahead:Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 28, 2013 03:22 PM
It’s been more than two years since IBM’s Watson made its hit TV debut on Jeopardy! And now, Watson is the latest “cognitive, expert personal shopper” developed by an early stage partner in the IBM Watson Developers Cloud, digital shopping company Fluid.
Their Watson-powered app—the Fluid Expert Personal Shopper—marries Watson’s transformational cognitive computing that provides dialogue-driven assistance with product recommendations and content, letting consumers make queries using Watson’s natural language processing (NLP).
But, “Watson’s natural language capabilities are not what make it special,” Brooke Aguilar, VP Global Business Development at Fluid told brandchannel. “The big differentiator is that Watson is a learning machine and one that quickly learns from and adapts with each interaction. In the context of digital shopping this presents a tremendous opportunity for Fluid to give consumers highly engaging and rich shopping experiences that are personalized and become more so with continued use.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 14, 2013 09:14 AM
GM could see exit of CEO Dan Akerson next year, Reuters says.
Crocs considers ways to go private.
Snapchat becomes one of most sought-after tech businesses after reportedly turning down $3 billion buyout from Facebook.
AT&T creates mystery of locked, used iPhones.
Alitalia prepares restructuring aimed at getting more resources out of Air France.
American Airlines and US Airways set up major-airport route grab with their merger as deal cruises through courts.
Ateliers Pleyel stops piano production in France.
Baidu faces suits over video piracy.
Boeing sees unionists reject new labor deal for 777X production.
Burberry is weighed down by beauty business.
Cisco tells of big revenue dropoff in emerging markets.
Cracker Barrel shareholders reject activist's third bid to be on board.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 12, 2013 07:28 PM
Using technology to better understand consumers' wants and needs has hit a new stride as brands compete to target promotions and deliver personalized customer service.
While most major retailers have used predictive analytics for years, new technologies have augmented the statistical game to nuances heretofore unknown. For instance, IBM has begun testing technology that essentially assigns core psychological traits by analyzing a consumer's tweets.
“We need to go below behavioral analysis like Amazon does,” said Michelle Zhou, lead of the User Systems and Experience Research Group at IBM’s Almaden Research Center where the software was created, according to Mashable. “We want to use social media to derive information about an individual—what is the overall affect of this person? How resilient is this person emotionally? People with different personalities want something different.”
The software builds a personality profile based on the most recent hundred or thousand Twitter updates, scoring them against the "big five" traits used in psychology: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. It also scores on “values” (hedonism and conservatism) and “needs” (curiosity and social harmony).Continue reading...