Trends Report - March

Trends Report - March

As digital becomes more ingrained into everyday life, brands are having to continuously innovate to ensure they provide clear value to customers and a clear reason to engage with the brand.

On top of that, new technologies are providing brands with opportunities to create completely new and unique experiences for their customers. Here are my top picks for the month, ranging from digital loyalty schemes, to augmented art work, and criminal-catching glasses!

Starling & Flux launch digital loyalty scheme

What is it?

Challenger bank Starling and fintech start-up Flux have teamed up to provide Starling customers with a digital loyalty scheme. Once users have enabled Flux within the Starling app, they simply spend at supported merchants using Starling, and loyalty rewards earnt are automatically displayed in the starling app, alongside a fully item-level digital receipt. Users can exchange loyalty points for cashback.

 What can we learn from this?

Flux aims to make loyalty stamps truly digital to speed up the checkout process and make loyalty a completely unconscious process. Brands must provide true value for customers through a seamless digital customer experience, and in times where competition is rife, must provide clear and simple reasons to shop with them over any other competitor.

 Source: Tech Crunch

 Google uses artificial intelligence to predict flight delays

What is it?

Google is updating its Flights feature with not only explanations for delays, but predictions. The technology uses Google’s machine learning system to look at historic flight status information to forecast delays, and flags when there is at least an 80% confidence prediction that the delay will come true.

 What can we learn from this?

With Google also moving into flight and hotel booking, the search giant is becoming a bigger threat for brands than ever before. By providing more relevant and contextual information to consumers, all in one place, Google is creating innate value by helping customers to save time and money. Google’s continuous innovations in search and content pose a key challenge for brands: what is the role of branded websites when more and more relevant and contextual information can be found without even leaving a search engine?

 Source: Engadget

 Hololens add mixed reality to Japanese artwork

What is it?

Hololens has teamed up with mixed reality lab hakuhodo-VRAR to create an immersive experience for one of Japan’s favourite pieces of artwork. Users stand in front of the artwork wearing a Hololens and a holographic version of a Zen Buddhist monk will explain the artist’s meaning behind his artwork. The display is brought to life with rainclouds, lightning and thunder, as well as transporting users to outer space, surrounded by celestial bodies.

 What can we learn from this?

Microsoft is setting a new standard for using virtual and augmented reality to create truly unique experiences. Microsoft has revolutionised the technology, creating a new ‘mixed reality’ experience which seamlessly blends the virtual and physical environments. As the technology becomes more mainstream, brands will have more opportunities to target customers in completely immersive and personalised ways. 

 Source: On MSFT

China Police use smart glasses for facial recognition

What is it?

Police in China are now equipped with smart glasses to use facial recognition to catch individuals who may be avoiding law enforcement. So far, the police have used the technology to catch seven people connected to major criminal cases and 26 who were using false IDs whilst travelling.

 What can we learn from this?

Wearable technology and facial recognition are becoming more intelligent, more intuitive and more subtle. With multiple brands moving towards smart glasses, such as Intel and Level, consumers will soon start to expect an unprecedented level of interaction with brands across digital, physical and virtual environments. As technology becomes more immersive and more embedded into day-to-day life, brands have new opportunities to target customers at a time and in a place which is most relevant to their exact needs and desires.

 Source: The Verge 

Google create artificial intelligence algorithm which scans eyes to predict heart disease

What is it?

Google’s health science company Verily has announced the launch of an AI algorithm which can scan eyes to detect risk of heart disease. The AI algorithm evaluated eye scans and after refining its model, was able to predict cardiovascular risk factors like age, gender and blood pressure. The analysis is potentially easier and quicker than a blood test with roughly the same accuracy as current methods.

 What can we learn from this?

 Artificial intelligence has massive implications for the prediction and treatment of health problems. Previously, we have seen AI predict diseases like Alzheimer’s and Schizophrenia, and the number of health problems which are being targeted with AI is rapidly increasing. Artificial intelligence has the potential to completely revolutionise the way we predict, diagnose and treat patients, with some algorithms even developing completely unique treatment plans based on individual needs, DNA and history.

 Source: The Verge