Archive | October 7, 2012

Google has reached an agreement with AAP for its digital publications

Google and the Association of American Publishers, have finally managed to settle a deal, after 7 years of legal disputes about the rights of the later for Google’s digital libraries.

The details of the deal haven’t been available to audience, but both Google and the Association of American Publishers have announced that publishers can decide whether or not to provide their books for digitalization for Google’s  “Library Project”.

The president of publishers, Tom Allen, have quoted: “It seems that digital services can provide innovative ways of discovering content, while respecting owners’ copyrights.”

But it seems that this deal isn’t enough to relieve Google from its current litigation with the Authors Guild. The executive director of Authors Guild has stated that Google keeps having huge profits from copyright- protected novels and that they will not hold back with the law suits.

There had been a former deal for the deposit of 125 million dollars as compensation to the rightful creators, but after objections about competitive advantages, the federal court had cancelled it, so they signed a new deal 3 days ago.

Google has already published about 15 millions of digital books to enhance their efforts to provide “easier access to world knowledge” . For that cause, Google collaborates with big libraries from all over the world, like the New York Public Library and Stanford’s University Libraries.

References

http://capital.gr/tech/Details.aspx?id=1632849

http://e-pcmag.gr/news/sumfonia-google-amerikanon-ekdoton-gia-tis-psifiakes-bibliothikes 

 

 

Pioneer’s Navigation Systems Recognizes Hand Movements

I read in a recent article that Pioneer will introduce navigation systems that will recognize hand movements of the user for controlling the interface in Japan. For example, hand movements such as waving will prompt the next song to be played, and the movement of moving the hand closer or further away from the touchscreen will zoom in/out the map. The user is able to set a maximum of 10 functions through hand movements.

Two infrared-leds and two infrared-sensors are used for recognizing the hand movements. The producer states that the technology makes it safer for users to control the navigation system, because the user does not have to look at the touch screen that often during a car ride.

However, I think this is more dangerous. What if the user uses a wrong hand movement? For example, the user is trying to reach for something in the car, but the navigation system thinks the user is trying to zoom in on the map. This will cause the user to have to fix the screen, which takes more time, and sometimes can lead to dangerous situations. Even if there would be a “undo” button, the user can be distracted from the road for a few seconds, with possible dangerous consequences. I can understand that this technology is new for navigation systems, but I don’t think this is any safer than the current navigation systems.

Increasing popularity: The downfall of Spotify?

Spotify is growing, no question about that. But they fail to achieve profitability. Something needs to be changed within their current business model if they want to stay in the market. Even when the popularity of the online music streams increases, high royalty costs ensures that the losses are increasing as well. (Of every dollar earned by the company, Spotify has to pay 98 dollar cents to the music labels for its royalties.)

 As shown in the figure below, the revenue of the online music stream service increased in 2011 by 151%. However Spotify fails to achieve a positive net income. Because of the increasing popularity Spotify had to hire more staff which led to higher personal costs of 32 million dollars, an increase of 173% compared to the year 2010.

 

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Figure 1: Spotify Financial Overview

It is unclear if Spotify is going to change something within in their business. A solution would be to increase the prices that customers have to pay. But competitors that are entering the same market must be taken into account. Another solution could be found in the fact that singers without a record label would sell their songs directly to Spotify. Something Apple is doing already with iTunes. Disadvantage:  Your song has to be streamed for more than a thousand times to make some money.

Looking at the system dynamic model of Spotify (shown in figure 2 below),  it can be seen that only 10 percent of all Spotify users are users that pay for the service of Spotify. Another 20 percent of these users are users that defect to other music stream services.

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Figure 2: Spotify system dynamic model

It is very clear that something needs to change with Spotify’s business model. But what if they do not change anything, do you think this will be the downfall of Spotify? Or do you believe the company is flexible enough to overcome this challenge?

 

Sources:

http://www.privco.com/alert-privco-exclusive-spotifys-just-closed-full-year-financials-obtained-by-privco-reveal-rapid-revenue-growth-unsustainable-business-model-revenues-up-151-to-244m-yet-cost-of-sales-up-98-and-losses-ballooned-60-to-59m-somethings-gotta-change-soon-on-spo)

http://www.apple.com/itunes/sellcontent/

 

Images:

http://www.broadstuff.com/uploads/SpotifySystemDynamic.JPG

https://staticapp.icpsc.com/icp/loadimage.php/mogile/978171/433f39ae34c51ebfb4751e61c12edddc/image/png

 

Caredroid, a social-emotional intelligent robot

In a few years a social robot will take over the care of lonely- or demented elderly people; at least that’s what CAMeRA, an research institute of the VU University says. The robot, Caredroid, is so called social-emotional intelligent and is able to make moral decisions. It talks to people, motivates them to move and finds out what the people need. The Caredroid is able to build up an personal relationship with the patient because it remembers past experiences.

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Two weeks ago a group of students presented the idea of a leading health portal in the US, WebMD.com. A website which provides healthcare over the internet. This website could have the result that less people will visit a doctor and thus could save costs. The Caredroid will be complementary to the existing healthcare and has also the aim to reduce the costs in the healthcare sector.

Reducing costs is needed in this sector, so you could say that the robot can be seen as a great success. But the question that also can be raised here is: are we not going beyond the borders with this robot when using it on people? In other words: can this Caredroid robot be seen as ethical?

3D printing: a new standard of living or just a hype?

Imagine visiting your sister and you accidently break her Eiffel tower souvenir she got a long time ago from her summer love. She’s angry at you! You want to give her a new one, but you can’t just fly back to Paris to get a cheap souvenir… Well, this might not be a problem anymore. It is now possible to find the 3D printing files for that item and print it with your new high tech 3D printer! Voila, a new Eiffel tower souvenir, identical to the one your sister had.

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This is a really strange scenario, but became reality actually. And in the near future we might even be able to print out more and larger objects, like furniture and such. It depends on the development of this new 3D printing technology. (http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/06/there-is-no-reason-for-any-individual-to-have-a-3d-printer-in-their-home/ )

Quite funny is that on kickstarter (mentioned earlier in class by ToW groups) there are quite some projects going on regarding 3D printers.  ( http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/formlabs/form-1-an-affordable-professional-3d-printer )

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This development might be a real outcome for current issues and needs in the world, on the other hand it might also bring new (negative) issues and problems into our world.

The most discussed topic regarding 3D printing technology is the ability to print guns. Many say that it is possible to print guns, but due their material it will be unable to shoot. Others state that they printed a gun that actually shot bullets! ( http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/smartnews/2012/10/its-all-fun-and-games-until-someone-3d-prints-a-gun/ , http://webwereld.nl/analyse/111578/open-source-project-maakt-zelfgeprinte-vuurwapens.html )

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Personally I have no idea what to think of this new technology and if (and how) we will use this in the future. Will it be a temporary hype? Printing random objects for fun and just because we can do it? Or will we actually replace some basic objects by printing it ourselves instead of buying it in the stores?

What do you think the future of 3D printing will be?

Physical Payments with PayPal

I’m sure people must have heard about PayPal. It’s the online payment website where you can attach your debit bank card and your credit card to your PayPal account and pay other PayPal users, online websites and even your eBay transactions with. I myself have been using PayPal for almost 8 years, and their steady service made it easy for me to get familiar with the (back in the day) new concept. They introduced little changes over time, for example in the beginning it was only available for credit card users, and they didn’t have that many support for eBay transactions compared to nowadays. They introduced the PayPal app over the years, and now they’re planning on moving from the digital world to the physical world.

I read an article on Tweakers.net (sorry, it’s in Dutch) about their plans for introducing this in The Netherlands. As mentioned in the article, PayPal has to find a way to create value for their customers if they want to have customers actually using PayPal in the offline world. PayPal has introduced physical payment in the US, using NFC combined with a mobile application for payments in offline stores. Using your login code and password will suffice too. The problem they face here in The Netherlands is that the added value has to be created elsewhere, because a Dutch customer doesn’t have problems with paying by pin (debit card). PayPal must find a way to make payments with PayPal more interesting than paying by pin. PayPal can do this by saving information and preferences of the customer and alert them at the visit of a particular store.

I myself am not particularly fond of this idea. I think this is too risky regarding theft. Your mobile phone can be stolen easily, with the risk that people can use your account on your phone to do payments. I’m fine with online payments, but I’ll have to see how this new development will turn out in order for me to decide if I’ll use this service.

How to Break Facebook’s Social Dominance

A survey of Appcelerator and research firm IDC among 5,526 Appcelerator Titanium developers showed that app developers see mobile as the future and Facebook might be a social network of the past.

According to 66% of the surveyed developers it is ‘likely to very likely’ that start-ups have a fighting chance against Facebook in the near future; IF they go mobile first. A mobile-first social startup will disrupt the market for social applications on mobile devices and take market share from giants like Facebook.

Furthermore, the survey stresses the fact that major technology shifts in the past have transformed entire industries and the increasing development and use of mobile will be no exception. Nevertheless, mobile developers highlight an advisory note to all businesses: in order to stay competitive in the era of mobile, traditional business models need to be re-evaluated through a mobile-first lens. Mobile provides companies with unique opportunity to build towards competitive advantage and transform their relationships; even faster than was possible when web technologies emerged.

The respondents also predicted that by 2015, they will be developing apps for television (84%) and another 74% believed that they will be building apps for cars as well. Most of all, most developers recognized the pace at which mobile development is growing and stressed its significance in the business community.

An example of the above mentioned technology shift is the fast growing mobile social network Path. At first adoption of Path was slow, but after a redesign Path has now 3 million registered users that connect and share experiences and events by using the application.

As Path shows the success of a mobile-first startup that takes away market share of Facebook, even though it is small (but growing steady) as we speak, we can assume that mobile-first startups certainly will stand a chance against a Goliath like Facebook. However, there is a catch for mobile start-ups: ‘Mobile will also leave a wake of casualties among companies that underestimate the speed of disruption’.

What do you think? Will mobile-first social startups have a fighting chance against Facebook?

Digg is back. (But do we care?)

For those who don’t know what Digg is or have already forgotten about its existence, let me tell you something about one of the most interesting “after-the-bubble” internet stories.

Digg is a social news aggregator founded by Kevin Rose in 2004. From Wikipedia:

“The site’s main function is to let users discover, share and recommend web content. Members of the community can submit a webpage for general consideration. Other members can vote that page up (“digg”) or down (“bury”). Voting takes place on digg.com, plus many websites add “digg” buttons to their pages, allowing users to vote as they browse the web. The end product is a series of wide-ranging, constantly-updated lists of popular and trending content from around the Internet, aggregated by a social network.”

One of the main Digg’s goals was to democratize online news and content.. and it was without any doubt a success. In 2008 it was valued $160 million and it was in talks with Google about an acquisition for $200 million. 4 years later, in July 2012, Digg was sold in 3 parts for around $16 million. What has happened?

One of the biggest missteps was the website’s redesign in 2010. Digg removed some of the core features and presented a whole new design while insisting it was the same. Users’ response was catastrophic, the traffic dropped around 34% and many moved to Reddit, which enjoyed new visitors.

In addition, when Facebook and Twitter became mainstream, people discovered a new way of sharing the news, It is easy, fast and more social. As Rose acknowledged, it took 8 steps to submit a post on Digg, which is an eternity on the Internet. The only advantage Digg has, is the anonymity.

Finally, Digg’s voting algorithm had a dark side too. Reports suggested, that more than a half of the home page content was controlled by only 100 Digg’s users (http://www.seomoz.org/blog/top-100-digg-users-control-56-of-diggs-homepage-content). When the number of monthly visitors is in millions, something went wrong.

Lesson to learn?

  • Respect your audience
  • Don’t make radical design changes (without a good explanation)
  • Make sure your product works
  • Continue to innovate

As the title says, Digg is back. It has a new design, with similar features and honestly, I like it. But then again, there is Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard and many more and it just might be too late.

M.

Price Discrimination for Information Goods

This week’s theme is all about information goods. Mainly in terms of costs, competition and strategies, market structures, and pricing, the reader provides us with a lot of information on this subject. In one of the articles (Chapter 2: Pricing Information), the authors (Shaprio and Van Varian) argue that the Internet has made it easy to personalize information products. In addition, the Internet also makes it easy for companies to personalize the price they are charging for their information products. Furthermore, they argue that information products that are highly tuned to customers’ interests will have a lot of pricing flexibility. By using a so-called “point-to-point” technology, organizations should be able to arrange for multiple, and even personalized, prices. In the same chapter, the authors refer to Pigou, an economist who already in 1920 referred to the “one-to-one marketing” strategy by the phrase “first-degree price discriminiation”. What follows is a discussion on three types of differential pricing, which are called first, second, and third degree price discrimination (Pigou, 1920). The authors continue by giving them more descriptive terms and a discussion on the first and third one.The second degree of price discrimination is described in the third chapter, which is not in our reader.

In order to get a full and, hopefully, better understanding of all three degrees, I found a really interesting article on the latter one with regard to information goods! In his article, Frank Linde (2009) not only describes the second degree of price discrimination, but argues that information goods allow for new forms of second degree price discrimination. That’s why I thougt it would be interesting enough for us all to get notified! What follows is a short discussion on his findings.

Linde (2009) starts with pointing out three different basic forms of price discrimination. As I already mentioned, two – the first and third one – are also explored, and in more detail, in the reader, whereas Linde (2009) is focusing on the second one. The second degree of price discrimination is explained as a principle of self selection: customers choose from several alternatives according to their individual willingness to pay. Linde (2009) argues that three types of this degree of price discrimination can be distinguished, all based on the fact that the supplier does not make a fixed offer to different customer groups, but that the customer can choose which price to pay himself.

The first concept is called “windowing” and refers to bringing a finished information good like a film or book in different forms and at varying times on to the market. Because the offers satisfy different needs, customers are prepared to pay on different price levels. Providers of information are trying to create various “profit windows”, to tap the full potential and gain as much as possible. The second type is called “versioning”. With versioning, Linde (2009) argues that the organization offers its product in various versions and leaves it up to the customer to select the (most) suitable one. For information providers, it would be very easy to produce different or various versions. The cost of changing the original version would be very low in comparison with, for example, the development costs. The last concept is called bundling, which means coupling two or more goods in order to get a combination that creates a single offer. The latter one is sold as a package or set for an all round price. Linde (2009) argues that bundling would be a worthwile variant of price discrimination, as the marginal costs of for the addition of further goods to a bundle are of neglectible value. 

Based on Linde’s (2009) theoretical framework, I conclude that the three various types of second degree of price discrimination can be applied very well to information goods. I think this article is really an interesting one, in terms of being complementary to the reader. By reading it you’ll get a better understanding of information goods and the ways in which price discrimination is and can be implemented to this product category!

References:

Reader (Section 6): Pricing Information, Shaprio & Van Varian

Frank Linde, (2009),”Pricing information goods”, Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 18 Iss: 5 pp.
379 – 384

Big Data and Hadoop: “you won’t believe what’s possible” or “best days have passed”?

Everyone knows that data is growing exponentially. What’s not so clear is how to unlock the value it holds. Not long ago it was believed that Hadoop is the answer.

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Hadoop got a lot of buzz last years in database and content management circles, but some people still don’t really know what it is and or how it can be best applied.

The underlying technology was invented by Google back in their earlier days so they could usefully index all the rich textural and structural information they were collecting, and then present meaningful and actionable results to users. There was nothing on the market that would let them do that, so they built their own platform. Google’s innovations were incorporated into Nutch, an open source project, and Hadoop was later spun-off from that. Yahoo has played a key role developing Hadoop for enterprise applications.

With Hadoop, no data is too big. And in today’s hyper-connected world where people and businesses are creating more and more data every day, Hadoop’s ability to grow virtually without limits means businesses and organizations can unlock potential value from all their data.

Wikipedia tells us that Apache Hadoop is an open-source software framework that supports data-intensive distributed applications. It enables applications to work with thousands of computation-independent computers and petabytes of data. Hadoop was derived from Google’sMapReduce and Google File System (GFS) papers. Hadoop is designed to scale up from a single server to thousands of machines, with a very high degree of fault tolerance. Rather than relying on high-end hardware, the resiliency of these clusters comes from the software’s ability to detect and handle failures at the application layer.

The following video (starting from 1:30) is pretty interesting in order to get an idea of Hadoop.

For some, Hadoop is still just a possibility, but for others it’s real and already creating value for businesses, organizations and individuals. In fact, Hadoop probably helped you find the best airfare on your recent trip, get directions to a restaurant or connect with an ex-colleague. Hadoop now is almost everywhere. For better or worse, it has become synonymous with big data. In just a few years it has gone from a fringe technology to the de facto standard. But is the enterprise buying into a technology whose best day has already passed?

It’s far from controversial to say that Hadoop is firmly planted in the enterprise as the big data standard and will likely remain firmly entrenched for at least another decade. Want to be big data or enterprise analytics or BI-compliant?  You better play well with Hadoop.

And what do you think about Hadoop? Have the best days already passed?

 

 

 

Sources:

Think With Google, Google Insights

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http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/emea/

Today I stumbled upon a service by Google called ThinkWithGoogle.

For those of you that are unaware what this is, I was until last week, this service allows users to navigate through an extensive offering of research conducted by Google, globally and localized. Google offers videos, presentations, study reports, info graphs and more in a variety of different topics. They allow you to navigate through their studies by region, type, business segments, tags and more.

The amount of information available, for free, is incredible and is up for grab by anyone interested. A lot of the research conducted is performed in cooperation with or towards other corporations. It is impressive how far Google is able to go with modern technology, regarding analyzing their users and the topics at hand.

It is interesting to see how these services fit in the overall Google portfolio. Why do you think Google is offering these services? Is it merely a portfolio for  them to promote the Google brand as an innovative and knowledge-producing machine?

Some examples I found interesting:
http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/emea/library/studies/eye-tracking-study-comparing-mobile-and-desktop
http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/library/studies/The-impact-of-YouTube-Pre-rolls-and-TV/

Little Bird – a robot librarian for the social Web

There is a very simple question that Little Bird, a service that launches today in private beta, attempts to answer: What community are you interested in? With that as a starting point, the service chugs through Twitter streams, blog posts and LinkedIn pages to find the most influential people, companies and reading material on your chosen topic.

Started by former TechCrunch and ReadWriteWeb journalist and consultant Marshall Kirkpatrick, Little Bird was born from a need on the part of his corporate clients to know which people and sites were important to their businesses from a public relations and marketing perspective. “They all wanted to know who they should have on their radar when it came to the social web,” Kirkpatrick says. With some elbow grease and hacks, Kirkpatrick was able to answer their questions.

When EMC-acquired data analytics company Green Plum came knocking for the same answer, Kirkpatrick finally built a system that could automate much of his manual labor. Little Bird, formally known as Plexus Engine, came out of that effort.

In a similar way that Google’s Page Rank looks for connections between web pages to determine relevancy, the Little Bird engine analyzes the connections between people to determine who has the most influence in a particular community or on a specific topic. “I like to think of it as a robot librarian that goes out and tackles the social web,” Kirkpatrick says. A Little Bird search will also surface what people are reading and watching, who is the the most active on the social web, and who has the longest track record.

Kirkpatrick has raised an initial $1 million in funding from Mark Cuban and other investors to put some muscle on his social search engine. He plans to market it initially to public relations and marketing professions, selling monthly subscriptions offering unlimited access for anywhere from $50 to $2,500 depending on how many people are using it.

As to the question of whether Little Bird will promote a frenzy of self promotion by those dying to be deemed top influencers, Kirkpatrick doubts it. Because a site or person’s rank is determined by how many other influencers follow their tweets or stories it will be hard to game Little Bird. “Besides, no one else is going to see the results of your query, so I don’t think it’s going to end up being a weird public popularity kind of thing,” Kirkpatrick says. “Look, if I was just looking for a random self promotion I would have stuck with writing awful pieces about the future of technology.”

For an introduction of Little Bird, check out: http://vimeo.com/50818910 

Source: http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/05/tech/social-media/robot-librarian-social-web/index.html 

How games reward the brain

This a fine example of the usefulness of big data in games. Every click a gamer does is put in to data. With this information the game can be more challenging. In this video you get a good understanding of the usefulness of data in games. But what’s more exciting is that in my opinion this also applies for normal education. What I’m curious about is if you also think this reward system is applicable for normal education.

7 ways games reward the brain

Disruptive Innovations – How are they influenced by information and communication technologies?

Disruptive Innovations – How are they influenced by information and communication technologies?

 Nowadays, Cloud Computing is considered as a prime source of innovation in the area of data generation and data processing between interconnected devises by forming environments that promote entrepreneurism and IT innovation. The purpose of this Internet-based technology is to store information on servers and to make them available for access by users at remote locations.  In that sense, users benefit from computing power that they do not possess and which is located somewhere in the “public cloud”. In order to achieve consistency and economies of scale, the Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources over a network. The increasing focus of cost cutting and efficiency drives the shift of organizations toward this shared service.

Innovation in the IT Economy

IT evolution stimulates innovation processes and makes them more open. Distributed networks of information and data centers connect number of companies and organizations into ecosystems where innovative ideas can be easily generated. The use of super scale, data driven computing environment allows collaboration between people working in the same fields and encourages exchange of valuable knowledge and experience.

By its definition disruptive innovation is a term, often used in several industries to describe innovations that improve a product or service in unusual and unpredictable way. This can be achieved by introducing a brand new business model, or by changing the way the users view, consume and utilize a breakthrough technology. Here it is necessary to point out the difference between invention and innovation: while the first refer to discovery of a new idea, process technology, the latter envisions the ability to bring that discovery to the market.

An interesting video on the topic  presented by Juliano Tubino- worldwide director for innovation and emerging Business,  Microsoft -defines several essential ingredients of disruptive innovation:.

Think different – also known as an asymmetric attack. This relates to the thinking outside of the box and embracing diversity; diversity of expertise, culture and thinking. Disruptive innovation, as it is usually a convergence of different ideas, and the combination of different technologies.

Dream big – learning to believe in yourself and dream big. Focus on the reason to do something, the intrinsic motivation, the impact it will have on you and your surroundings.

Embrace failure – Last but not least, being unafraid of failure and not being ashamed of failures. Most famous people that enriched the world with valuable innovations failed more times we could count before they got it right. A well- known story about Thomas Edison tells how he made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. By using the learning of each failure, all those unsuccessful attempts finally resulted in the design that worked.

 My question

What else is needed in order to boost disruptive innovation and better utilize the power of cloud computing?

 

Below you can find the video of the TED talk of Juliano Tubino:

 

Sources:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/showcase/details.aspx?uuid=f55b436f-6f74-4b4a-bd23-a0823b87b9f1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOxA1l1pQIw&feature=player_embedded#!

http://www.microsoft.eu/innovation-in-society/posts/what-drives-an-innovative-it-economy.aspx

Technology of the Week: Tagwhat and QR code

So upcoming Monday our group will provide you a full presentation about Tagwhat and QR code. Here’s a summary of our findings:

QR Code

QR code is an acronym of Quick Response code. Literally, it is a code that contains information that responds quickly when recognized. QR codes can be recognized when scanned by feasible devices such as QR code readers or scanners. When the QR code is recognized, it provides the user with the relevant information of the product or service that the generator of the QR code intends to provide.

Three main trends in the QR field have led to a significant increase of use of QR codes. Besides the shift from QR codes embedded with website URL’s to more user friendly mobile versions URL’s, the use of QR codes in the marketing field has contributed significantly to the increase in QR usage. By using QR codes as an educational tool for the increasing connected customer and as a convenient purchasing tool, the current trends in the QR field are promising for the coming years.

SWOT:

Strengths:

  • Easy access and to use QR codes
  • Free or at minimal cost to create and to distribute QR codes

Weaknesses:

  • Easy to copy
  • User must be equipped with a smartphone and download the applications first

Opportunities:

  • Continuously growth of smartphone users
  • QR code technology can be used in different fields, other than just marketing

Threats:

  • Competing technology and competitors: NFC (Near Field Communication), Stickybits and Blippar
  • People know the technology, but do not use it

Tagwhat

Tagwhat is a mobile device application that uses the user’s current location to display web information about the places around the user. The application determines the location of the user by using GPS and a digital compass. The digital information is displayed in order of proximity in an image-based interface. Aside from photos and videos, the user can also receive audio and narratives when the user taps on a Tag.

The main trends for Tagwhat at this moment are the increasing number of people that surf the Web on their mobile devices instead of from their desktops. Next to this trend, is the demand for location-based content of importance. Moreover, the use upcoming trend of augmented reality advertising contributes to the growth of Tagwhat, and in general to augmented reality.

SWOT:

Strengths:

  • Easy to use
  • Tagwhat provides business opportunities
  • Mix of augmented reality and social world

Weaknesses:

  • User must be equipped with a smartphone (Android and Apple) and download the application first
  • Not high user awareness

Opportunities:

  • Continuously growth of smartphone users
  • Tagwhat can be used in different fields

Threats:

  • People are not aware of this technology

Comparison

When we compare the current trends for Tagwhat and QR codes, we can see that the increasing number of people that use their mobile phone to surf the Web or purchase product online is root to the growth in both augmented reality and the use of QR codes. Furthermore, we can make a comparison in the way both information goods are used; as a marketing tool. QR codes are used to ease the purchasing process for the customer by directing him directly to the company’s website, where augmented reality is targeted very specifically to customers nearby.

When we compare the strengths and weaknesses of both technologies, similarities and differences can be seen. QR code is an “older” technology than Tagwhat and therefore has a larger user base. Where QR code can be created for free or at minimal cost, businesses need to pay license to create an interactive layer in Tagwhat. Another difference in strength is that Tagwhat really combines the augmented reality with social interaction and with the QR code social interaction is limited. At final both technologies are dependent of the use of smartphones, the continuing increase of smartphone users will benefit both technologies.

During the presentation on Monday we will extend this brief summary with more details about the two technologies and are looking forward to see you. Thank you and see you then!

 

Technology of the week: Amazon and Apple

This week we will present the Technology of the week. This week’s topic is information goods. We decided to focus on the technology e-book, which is a subset of information goods. We analyzed two companies that are active in this market: Amazon and its Kindle product line and Apple with its iPad. Via this blog post we want to formally introduce you to the two companies.

E-books

An E-books is a device that makes screen-based reading of books possible. In a short amount of time the E-book technology was able to disrupt the book market.  It is fundamentally changing the business model for all formats of printed content. With a rapid increase in the sales of e-books, e-books now covers up to 15% of all revenue of U.S. publishers, and 5% to 8% of revenue from European publishers.

Companies like KBB and Selexyz tell us the alarming stories of the impact that digital distribution has on content retailers. Big companies such as Google, Amazon and Apple who newly entered  the market, make it even harder for old-fashioned bookstores to compete.

Amazon

Amazon.com Inc, a Fortune 500 company, is a global leading internet retailer. The company provides consumers with a wide range of product . Amazon can be viewed as a digital shopping catalogue with numerous low value items available to consumers to choose from. However, Amazon strongly differentiates itself from its competitors by emphasizing high level of services provided, customization of overall shopping experience and low price guarantee.

The company founded by Jeff Bezos as an online bookstore in 1994 in just a few years managed to change the way people buys and read books. At first Amazon enabled customers to buy paper books online with just a click and thereupon offered a whole new concept of Kindle eBook reading experience. Introduction of Amazon Kindle e-reader in 2007, which allows customers to shop for, download and read e-books, started the transformation of book industry. In July 2010, Amazon announced that e-book sales for its e-reader, the Kindle, outnumbered sales of hardcover books.

Amazon was a first mover in an eBook retailing industry which gave them a chance to cement their positions in the eBook marketplace by ruthless pricing strategies. However, Amazon position as an eBook market leader was shaken when Apple decided to enter eBook market in 2010 with its iBooks platform.

Apple

Apple Inc. is a widely known hardware and software developing company founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in 1976. It is the largest publicly traded . Apple operates as an online retail shop for digital goods. On iTunes one can find almost an endless selection of books, music, movies etc.

In January 2010 the iPad was launched. It included an optional iBooks application, which allowed users to download books from iBookstore and read them right from their iPads. The iBookstore was integrated into iTunes, enhancing customer’s store and device experience. iBooks did not rely on the Apple format and customers were receiving ePub format from the iBokstore.

Pursuing differentiation strategy by offering customers superior quality products with unique features and characteristics while at the same time supporting seamless integration between its various devices, Apple was able to create and maintain its platform making Apple products the industry standard.

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Team A-6