Category Archives: Mobility

Financial Technology – Categories of FinTech Solutions

FinTech refers to new solutions which demonstrate an incremental or radical / disruptive innovation development of applications, processes, products or business models in the financial services industry. These solutions can be differentiated in at least five areas.

  1. First, the banking or insurance sector are distinguished as potential business sectors. Solutions for the insurance industry are often more specifically named “InsurTech”.
  2. Second, the solutions differ with regard to their supported business processes such as financial information, payments, investments, financing, advisory and cross-process support.[4] An example is mobile payment solutions.
  3. Third, the targeted customer segment distinguishes between retail, private and corporate banking as well as life and non-life insurance. An example are telematics-based insurances that calculate the fees based on customer behaviour in the area of non-life insurances.
  4. Fourth, the interaction form can either be business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C) or consumer-to-consumer (C2C). An example are social trading solutions for C2C.
  5. Fifth, the solutions vary with regard to their market position. Some for example provide complementary services such as personal finance management systems, others focus on competitive solutions such as e.g. peer-to-peer lending.

Global investment in financial technology increased more than twelvefold from $930 million in 2008 to more than $12 billion in 2014

Source: Financial technology – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Building Apps Incorporating the AI Power of IBM Watson’s Cognative Computing Cloud

IBM Watson’s APIs are available today so teams may ramp up quickly and use IBM’s cognitive computing engine.  From IBM Watson’s site, it seems like anyone may build against their cognitive computing platform.  In addition,  your team may submit to be ‘Featured’ in their application Gallery.  Explore the library of featured applications produced by this partnership.  At the time of this writing, there were 14 applications.
Several of these apps have been created by IBM to showcase their technology.  IBM Watson APIs are categorized into ‘Services’ used:
  • Dialog
  • Natural Language Classifier
  • AlchemyData News
  • Personality Insights
  • Tradeoff Analytics
  • Speech to Text
  • Language Translation
  • Text to Speech
  • Visual Recognition
  • Concept Insights
  • Relationship Extraction

They sound like AI,BI comprehensive services, but in full disclosure, I’ve not read though the API docs available by IBM.  It can be found here, grouped by IBM Watson’s Cognitive Services.

One of the applications powered by IBM Watson in their gallery is a “News Explorer”, which leverages the Service ‘AlchemyData News’.
The app runs in a browser, and consists of 5 main User Interface components.  The centrally placed, “News Network” widget similar to a mind map, correlates articles, companies, organizations, and people.  Visually it displays these components and their relationships in groupings similar to a relationship tree.
 News Network
The left side of the screen has a table called ‘Details’, one column with short descriptions of the stories.  From the UI perspective, it enables users to follow the data from left to right, from details to graphical representations.
Details
The right most side of the screen contains a world map leveraged as a heat map in which all the News is derived.
Locations
Right under the ‘Locations’ widget, there is a ‘Topics’ tag cloud.
TopicsTags
I encourage you to check out the News application, click here.
In addition to UI drill down within the widgets, there is a comprehensive search capacity.
Are you ready to compete with Siri, or Cortana, or build your own Expert solution?  Looks like IBM is empowering you to do so!

Apple iOS Email: Boldly Building an AI Rules Engine

When selecting the ‘flag’ option on an email, one of the menu options shown is ‘Notify Me…’  When anyone replies to that email thread, the person/me is notified.

This Apple iOS email feature, ‘Notify Me…” seems like a toe dip into an AI Email Rules Engine with the one condition and without customization. Is a full blown engine in the Apple product roadmap akin to Outlook?  Has this feature been ‘out there’ for awhile, and I just missed it?

Regardless, a more powerful, robust AI Rules engine, yet keeping the iOS simple, and elegant design could enhance business savvy user’s experience.

Notify Me Feature
Notify Me Feature

Cloud Storage and DAM Solutions: Don’t Reign in the Beast

Are you trying to apply metadata on individual files or en masse, attempting to make the vast  growth of cloud storage usage manageable, meaningful storage?

Best practices leverage a consistent hierarchy, an Information Architecture in which to store and retrieve information, excellent.

Beyond that, capabilities computer science has documented and used time and time again, checksum algorithms. Used frequently after a file transfer to verify the file you requested is the file you received.  Most / All Enterprise DAM solutions use some type of technology to ‘allow’ the enforcement of unique assets [upon upload].  In cloud storage and photo solutions targeted toward the individual, consumer side, the feature does not appear to be up ‘close and personal’ to the user experience, thus building a huge expanse of duplicate data (documents, photos, music, etc.).  Another feature, a database [primary] key has been used for decades to identify that a record of data is unique.

Our family sharing alone has thousands and thousands of photos and music. The names of the files could be different for many of the same digital assets.  Sometimes file names are the same, but the metadata between the same files is not unique, but provides value. Tools for ‘merging’ metadata, DAM tools have value to help manage digital assets.

Cloud storage usage is growing exponentially, and metadata alone won’t help rope in the beast. Maybe ADHOC or periodic indexing of files [e.g. by #checksum algorithm] could take on the task of identifying duplicate assets?  Duplicate  assets could be viewed by the user in an exception report?  Less boring, upon upload, ‘on the fly’ let the user know the asset is already in storage, and show a two column diff. of the metadata.

It’s a pain for me, and quite possibly many cloud storage users.  As more people jump on cloud storage, this feature should be front and center to help users grow into their new virtual warehouse.

The industry of cloud storage most likely believes for the common consumer, storage is ‘cheap’, just provide more.  At some stage, the cloud providers may look to DAM tools as the cost of managing a users’ storage rises.  Tools like:

  • duplicate digital assets, files. Use exception reporting to identify the duplicates, and enable [bulk] corrective action, and/or upon upload, duplicate ‘error/warning’ message.
  • Dynamic metadata tagging upon [bulk] upload using object recognition.  Correlating and cataloging one or more [type] objects in a picture using defined Information Architecture.  In addition, leveraging facial recognition for updates to metadata tagging.
    • e.g. “beach” objects: sand, ocean; [Ian Roseman] surfing;
  • Brief questionnaires may enable the user to ‘smartly’ ingest the digital assets; e.g. ‘themes’ of current upload; e.g. a family, or relationship tree to  extend facial recognition correlations.
    • e.g. themes – summer; party; New Year’s Eve
    • e.g. relationship tree – office / work
  • Pan Information Architecture (IA) spanning multiple cloud storage [silos]. e.g. for Photos, spanning [shared] ‘albums’
  • Publically published / shared components of an IA;  e.g. Legal documents;  standards and reuse

Wireless Data Plans, Packet Protocols, Granular Reporting

6 Days Left of my Billing Cycle: 0.3 GB Left (out of 10 GB)

Are you kidding me?! I login to AT&T’s Wireless, myAT&T portal to dive into where is all our data going?  I am able to see quite easily what mobile phone number is eating up our plan, but no additional granular information.  AT&T has a great site with lots of good information to help their customers manage their plans.

However, it seems wireless providers leave it up to the handset manufacturers to interpret the usage of the phones. Makes some sense on an individual level, but as multi line / family wireless plans continue to evolve, the growth of wireless services management portals should be spent on providing consumers transparency into their usage, aggregated and granular.

Packets of [wireless] data, bits of information, have a ‘signature’ as they travel through the Internet ether.  Packet protocol defines where the data/information originates, and it’s destination, as well as any other required information by the application sending / receiving the data.  Wireless carriers’, services management portal should allow consumers to slice and drill down to see how data is being used. For example,

Wireless plans of 10 GB is not a lot with teenagers.  You may want to target areas to curtail usage so you aren’t ‘bleeding data’.  At this time, there is not enough transparency on how data is being used from the wireless provider’s usage platform. The provider should be able to parse data packets to quantify how data is being used, and provide reports, e.g.

June 2015 Snapshot for 212-555-1212

231 songs streamed from ABC, N MB; 23 videos watched on YouTube, 2.3 GB; 34 streamed videos from Netflix, 3.2 GB; 345 emails downloaded, 90 MB;

DAM on wireless services:  Application data packet objects may have visibility through Digital Asset Management (DAM), all objects that can be managed, phone calls to chats from Facebook (except where encrypted).

Now take a piece of paper, write privacy on it, then rip it in half and toss it in the garbage.

How Microsoft Gets Back into Mainstream Popularity

The HoloLens may propel Microsoft back to the ‘Cool’ kid on the block.    The HoloLens has the potential to “fly off the shelves” in tandem to Windows 10.

Ever since I saw the movie Blue Thunder, I wanted my own Heads-up display (HUD).   Here are a few suggestions for implementation:

Must Have’s

  • ‘Priced to sell’:   Even if the cost of the hardware is reduced to a thin the margin, that may or may not be enough.   From day one, these “Windows into Windows” must be viewed as essential to the ‘enhanced’ OS package, like ‘Windows 10 Home Media’.
  • Microsoft, Enable Channel Sales (DELL, HP) to offer Microsoft Windows 10 and HoloLens ‘Media’ package deals, together both the OS and the HoloLens are offered at a reduced price.
  • The HoloLens and Windows 10 User Interface (UI) significantly enhances how the consumer interacts with Operating Systems.
  • [Channel] Sales may offer bundled HoloLens / Windows 10 applications, e.g. Minecraft;
  • Analyze / prioritize top 10 (N)  opportunities for application development, and produce internally, and/or with partners.
    • Partners may range from software vendors to accredited training programs, e.g. flight school XYZ
  • Intuitive  and feature rich developer APIs:
    • Provide the HoloLens developer a software ‘Simulator’
    • Products with source code examples
    • Quick path from development to market: Lean application vetting process; including the vetting of app developers.
  • Education levels 6 to 12 and beyond can benefit, segmented by: the sciences (e.g. Chemistry, Microbiology, Physics);  Trade Schools such as Automotive and HVAC;
    • Colleges and Universities may be early adopters, and expand their Massive open online courses to including remote participation, e.g. medicine
  • Applying for an ‘operator license’?  HoloLens, accompanied with a licensed operator,  allows users to wear the HoloLens, and follow a step by step, interactive tutorial within the vehicle, e.g. Car, Boat, Helicopter, Truck, Airplane, etc.

Click here:  comprehensive list of Augmented Reality (AR) apps.

Interesting articles on Microsoft’s Hololens:

Microsoft dives deeper into HoloLens details: ‘Holographic processor’ role revealed

Microsoft leaps into 3D computing with Windows Holographic and HoloLens

Hands-on with Microsoft’s HoloLens: The 3D augmented reality future is now

 

Microsoft HoloLens

 

People Turn Toward “Data Banks” to Commoditize Purchase and User Behavior Profiles

Anyone who is anti “Big Brother”, this may not be the article for you, in fact, skip it. 🙂

The Pendulum Swings Away from GDPR

In the not so distant future, “Data Bank” companies consisting of Subject Matter Experts (SME) across all verticals,  may process your data feeds collected from your purchase , and user behavior profiles.  Consumers will be encouraged to submit their data profiles into a Data Bank who will offer incentives such as a reduction of insurance premiums to cash back rewards.

 

Everything from activity trackers, home automation, to vehicular automation data may be captured and aggregated.    The data collected can then be sliced and diced to provide macro and micro views of the information.    On the abstract, macro level the information may allow for demographic, statistical correlations, which may contribute to corporate strategy.

On a granular view, the data will provide “data banks” the opportunity to sift through data to perform analysis and correlations that lead to actionable information.

 

Is it secure?  Do you care if a hacker steals your weight loss information? May not be an issue if collected Purchase and Use Behavior Profiles aggregate into a Blockchain general ledger.  Data Curators and Aggregators work with SMEs to correlate the data into:

  • Canned, ‘intelligent’ reports targeted to specific subject matter, or across silos of data types
  • ‘Universes’ (i.e.  Business Objects) of data that may be ‘mined’ by consumer approved, ‘trusted’ third party companies, e.g. your insurance companies.
  • Actionable information based on AI subject matter rules engines

 

Consumers may have the option of sharing their personal data with specific companies by proxy, through a ‘data bank’ granular to the data point collected.  Sharing of Purchase and User Behavior Profiles:

  1. may lower [or raise] your insurance premiums
  2. provide discounts on preventive health care products and services, e.g. vitamins to yoga classes
  3. Targeted, affordable,  medicine that may redirect the choice of the doctor to an alternate.  The MD would be contacted to validate the alternate.

The curriated data collected may be harnessed by thousands of affinity groups to offer very discrete products and services.  Purchase and User Behavior Profiles,  correlated information stretches beyond any consumer relationship experienced today.

 

At some point, health insurance companies may require you to wear a tracker to increase or slash premiums.  Auto Insurance companies may offer discounts for access to car smart data to make sure suggested maintenance guidelines for service are met.

You may approve your “data bank” to give access to specific soliciting government agencies or private research firms looking to analyze data for their studies. You may qualify based on the demographic, abstracted data points collected for incentives provided may be tax credits, or paying studies.

 

Purchase and User Behavior Profiles:  Adoption and Affordability

If ‘Data Banks’ are able to collect Internet of Things (IoT) enabled, are cost inhibiting.  here are a few ways to increase their adoption:

  1.  [US] tax coupons to enable the buyer, at the time of purchase, to save money.  For example, a 100 USD discount applied at the time of purchase of an Activity Tracker, with the stipulation that you may agree,  at some point, to participate in a study.
  2. Government subsidies: the cost of aggregating and archiving Purchase and Behavioral profiles through annual tax deductions.  Today, tax incentives may allow you to purchase an IoT device if the cost is an itemized medical tax deduction, such as an Activity Tracker that monitors your heart rate, if your medical condition requires it.
  3. Auto, Life, Homeowners, and Health policyholders may qualify for additional insurance deductions
  4. Affinity branded IoT devices, such as American Lung Association may sell a logo branded Activity Tracker.  People may sponsor the owner of the tracking pedometer to raise funds for the cause.

The World Bank has a repository of data, World DataBank, which seems to store a large depth of information:

World Bank Open Data: free and open access to data about development in countries around the globe.”

Here is the article that inspired me to write this article:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/you-might-be-wearing-a-health-tracker-at-work-one-day-2015-03-11

Privacy and Data Protection Creates Data Markets

Initiatives such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy initiatives which seek to constrict access to your data to you as the “owner”, as a byproduct, create opportunities for you to sell your data.  

Blockchain: Purchase, and User Behavior Profiles

As your “vault”, “Data Banks” will collect and maintain your two primary datasets:

  1. As a consumer of goods and services, a Purchase Profile is established and evolves over time.  Online purchases are automatically collected, curated, appended with metadata, and stored in a data vault [Blockchain].  “Offline” purchases at some point, may become a hybrid [on/off] line purchase, with advances in traditional monetary exchanges, and would follow the online transaction model.
  2. User Behavior (UB)  profiles, both on and offline will be collected and stored for analytical purposes.  A user behavior “session” is a use case of activity where YOU are the prime actor.  Each session would create a single UB transaction and are also stored in  a “Data Vault”.   UB use cases may not lead to any purchases.

These datasets wholly owned by the consumer, are safely stored, propagated, and immutable with a solution such as with a Blockchain general ledger.