I’ll Make You Famous
What do you know?

Tightened data privacy rules mandated by Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are here, and the impact will be felt not just in Europe but around the world.  Many businesses are re-examining their data collection and use policies, trying to find the balance between knowing your customers and your customers feeling you know too much.  The backlash from customers for offending businesses promises to be loud, public and painful.

Everyone wanted to be like Amazon.  Massive personalization through huge collection of personal data and mega-investment in the analytics and data manipulation both on the backend and in the hands (literally) of the consumer.  But, reality sets in.  Very few companies can either gather that kind of data (Amazon, Google, Facebook…) or support the continual development to manage all that data and turn it into something personally targeted and appropriate.

Now, after Facebook’s implication in user data sale or breach during the last US election, multiple and consistent hacks of massive customer data around the world, and the warnings of many – including Elon Musk for example – that we must protect ourselves from the potential abuse of AI BEFORE we allow implementation of the technology, the pendulum is swinging on consumer attitudes about their personal data.  GDPR in Europe and approaching 70% of the US population that feels that these companies know too much about them is creating a strong push toward privacy and the judicious and limited use of personal data.

Starbucks is a mobile payment star

Starbucks will remain the most popular proximity mobile payment app, staying ahead of Apple Pay and other competitors, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast on US proximity mobile payments.
This year, 23.4 million people ages 14 and over will use the Starbucks app to make a point-of-sale purchase at least once every six months. That puts it slightly ahead of the 22.0 million people who will use Apple Pay. Google Pay (11.1 million users) and Samsung Pay (9.9 million) will round out the top four payment apps. The ranking will remain unchanged through 2022.


“The Starbucks app is one of the bigger success stories in mobile proximity payments,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu. “It has gained traction thanks to its ability to tie payments to its loyalty rewards program. For users of the app, the value of paying with their smartphone is clear and simple—you can save time and money at the register, all while racking up rewards and special offers.”

Apple Pay has the second-highest adoption rate, having launched before the Google and Samsung apps, and is currently accepted at more than half of US merchants. Google Pay is not as widely accepted, but it benefits from being preinstalled on Android phones. While Samsung Pay has the lowest adoption in terms of users, it is the most widely accepted by merchants.

Competition is intensifying, however. While each of the top four apps will continue to gain users in the US throughout the forecast period, their share of mobile payment users will continue to drop. That can mainly be attributed to new payment apps entering the market, particularly merchant-branded mobile apps.

“Retailers are increasingly creating their own payment apps, which allow them to capture valuable data about their users. They can also build in rewards and perks to boost customer loyalty,” Liu said.

Overall, the number of US proximity mobile payment users will grow 14.5% this year to reach 55.0 million. In 2018, for the first time, more than 25% of US smartphone users ages 14 and older will make a proximity mobile payment at least once every six months.

Adidas sees itself as a digital company

“We’ve become a digital company,” says CEO Kasper Rorsted. Part of this, for example, is the fact that (according to Rorsted) 90 percent of the marketing budget will already be given over to digital campaigns and social media. “We can thus interact with consumer and be where they are.” At the same time, they are a very young company. For the employees, there is no “digital transformation,” as they “already are digital” and have a high affinity for digital topics.

“Beyond that, it’s no longer a matter of establishing a classic distribution,” board director Roland Auschel also says in an ISPO.com interview, “The question today is: How many of these stores will we as a brand really need in the digital future?”

Did you take your vitamins?

Abilify MyCite makes a digital pill with a very small sensor inside (there are probably others by the time you finish reading this).  It is made to be ingested and the sensor is activated by the digestive juices in your stomach.  The patient wears a small patch on his/her ribs which receives a signal from the activated sensor in the pill.  The patch sends a Bluetooth message to a mobile app which records the information provided by the sensor in the pill.  This mobile app is synced with the app in the doctor’s office or hospital, completing the update of information.  Clearly, this can be important in tracking critical medication dosages.  Many people are not comfortable with this level of invasive technology.

Hotel room of the Future

What will the hotel room of the future look like? Discover a concept combining two ideas addressing current challenges faced by the hospitality industry. The video illustrates ways technology and ultra-personalization could be used to enhance guest experience and well-being.


At its 2018 I/O developer conference, Google showed off some updates coming to Google Home and Assistant. One feature — Google Duplex — can make phone calls for you and talk to the person on the other end to schedule appointments and make reservations. Google says the feature will roll out as an experiment over the coming weeks.

Google Maps Amazing New Features after GPS. Direction System Visual positioning system VPS.

And One More Thing…

If you haven’t seen this, it will either make you laugh or scare you terribly.  The capability of AI to make any fake video look real has its’ mask removed (literally).  Using just YouTube and a webcam you will be amazed at what can be done, and you may never watch anything with the simple innocence of belief again.


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