Results tagged “consumers”

How food scanners, talking vegetables and blockchain are set to transform an industry

The food industry is in a sweet spot. Consumers are gravitating towards a food culture influenced by quality produce, health awareness and regulations. The demand for sustainable and ethical produce is compelling the industry to go back to basics. Science is replacing low-quality calories with nutritious alternatives, and creating cheese, seafood and meats from plant-based extracts. As technology disrupts food production, distributors need self-diagnostic quality control systems to ensure quality and safety.

In 2015, the European Commission instituted The Horizon Prize for a portable food scanner. The winning non-invasive food scanner will use innovative technologies to analyze and disclose food composition, nutritional, and allergen information. It will encourage healthy eating by empowering people to exercise discretion at the point of purchase or consumption. Prototypes of shortlisted solutions are being developed. Once commercialized, this food safety device may upend the food industry.

Mission to Mars: New Frontiers for Media & Entertainment

Mission to Mars: New Frontiers for Media & Entertainment

A Mars rover on the surface of the red planet collecting soil and other material information. A rover is an automated motor vehicle that can be remotely controlled.

On 20th June 1969, an estimated 600 million people watched the televised landing on the moon. Audiences saw Armstrong walk, while Armstrong and Aldrin planted an American flag on the rocky surface.

Fast forward to 2030

Five Ways in Which AI Is Changing Banking As We Know It

Sense, Analyse, Engage: How to Successfully Monetize Your Fan Ecosystem (Part 1)

There was a time when every neighborhood bank in North America and Europe was acquired by or merged with a larger institution. By 2000, global mega-banks offered fewer choices to consumers looking for competitive interest rates and other services. But the too big to fail banks are now facing competition because of a resurgence of customer-friendly, local banks. There is an even bigger challenge: Technology companies have been applying for financial licenses that would allow them to enter the digital payments space.

As traditional banks grapple with the challenges posed by FinTechs, legacy constraints and traditional operational models, artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as the savior. In a recent survey that Infosys commissioned on AI adoption across industries, 23% of the nearly 250 respondents, in the financial services sector, confirmed that AI technologies have been fully deployed in their organizations, and these are also delivering up to expectations; 47% of the respondents view AI as being fundamental to the success of the organization's strategy.

Bet You Won't Have Time To Read This Post Today

Bet You Won't Have Time To Read This Post Today

Today is Cyber Monday here in the US, and we are inundated with steals and deals. These range from lunches to gaming consoles, furniture to holidays. As the energy of the day takes over, it's not uncommon to have family and friends glued to their mobiles, filling up their carts with stuff they have been coveting for weeks- even months perhaps.

But first there was only Black Friday- the day after Thanksgiving when American retailers officially kicked off the holiday shopping season. In the last decade - never to let a lucrative opportunity pass them by - retailers devoted the following Monday to their virtual shop, and Cyber Monday was born. But something else was born along with it: the special 'one-day event' in the retail scheme of things. Aren't we all familiar with the 'manic Monday', 'terrific Tuesday' and 'wacky Wednesday' offers? Ask any marketing expert and she'll tell you that creating a sense of urgency appeals to the human psychology and is a well-tested method to sell merchandise rapidly.

Thoughts on Windstream-EarthLink Merger  - O Wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Last Friday, I was having coffee with my team and discussing the wave of consolidations that are happening in the US communication industry when a colleague commented, "Anurag, with this pace of deal announcements, it looks like you will have to write an article every week." His words were prophetic, for two days later, on the eve of the historic US elections, EarthLink announced its merger with Windstream Communications in an all-stock transaction. The deal values EarthLink at about $645.2 million, and with debt at approximately $1.1 billion. Windstream shareholders will own about 51%, while EarthLink shareholders will own 49% of the combined company.

EarthLink was founded in 1994. It was envisaged as an alternative to dial-up internet service providers (ISP) like AOL who had a closed ecosystem. Dial-up internet services from EarthLink became popular by the turn of the millennium. They extended their success to broadband services but soon started facing pushback from Telcos. At the time of the merger, EarthLink had 29,000+ fiber route miles, 90 metro fiber rings and secure data centers that provide data and voice IP coverage. Dial-up as a mode for accessing the internet went out of vogue and by the end of the first decade of the new millennium, most of the dial-up giants like AOL got acquired. Those like EarthLink have been finding their new 'avatars' through partnerships/mergers and are focusing on niche markets not served or underserved by the telco giants of today. And it was only a matter of time that a player like EarthLink would want to grow beyond their niche market.

Is Your Business Prepared for Conversational Commerce?

Is Your Business Prepared for Conversational Commerce?

Who hasn't heard of the popular comic strip and television show 'Dennis the Menace,' in which an obnoxious little boy would confound and annoy his neighbor, the unwitting Mr. Wilson? That old show perfectly describes the state of consumer-focused chat bots up until very recently. For example, you might purchase a home security system that hooks up to your smartphone only to have the teenager next door hack into it and set off the alarm in the middle of the night. A funny prank to the teenager - but not funny to you and your family!

And haven't we all had some amount of fun asking Siri or Google Voice questions in such a way that they would elicit funny responses? But this is changing. Have you noticed that bots are now becoming smart enough to know that people are playing around with them? Instead of trying to answer a question, they simply stay silent. The goofiness involved with baiting a chat bot is changing quickly, as human beings begin to respect machines for what they are.

Message In A Bottle

Message In A Bottle

In the past, consumer goods companies launched product after product with predictable success. New products were backed by meticulous research, consumer insights and a blaze of publicity. However, modern marketers are realizing there is no formula for a successful product story.

The 4Ps of marketing are getting upended by e-Commerce and buffeted by demographic and economic forces. The holy grail of consumer loyalty is now part of mythical folklore. Consumers now seek products that are utilitarian as well as convenient.

The Utilities Model Is Transforming - Power To The Consumer

The Utilities Model Is Transforming - Power To The Consumer

Fact: The electrical grid in the United States experiences more blackouts than that of any other developed nation. Much of the physical equipment on our grids has aged to the point of obsolescence. And most industry experts would agree that the American utilities industry has reached a critical point. The message is clear: Update the infrastructure now or face serious consequences. At the same time, utilities are also experiencing a transformation to their business models (some of which, like the grids themselves, are more than 100 years old). Green energy sources, referred to as Distributed Energy Resources, are turning the centralized power generation and distribution model inside out.

The good news for the electrical grid in the United States is that for the first time in a long time, organizations and the government are coming together to make significant investments in infrastructure. Government subsidies such as the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 have provided US$ 4.5 billion for use in grid upgrades. But, that's barely a drop in the bucket compared to the infrastructure investments of other countries. Still, such investments will not only improve and upgrade the physical infrastructure in the United States, but will also better enable and optimize a 'smart grid' that can recognize, circumvent, and even prevent problems before they occur. Ultimately, smart infrastructure will improve the reliability and resiliency of our power grid.

Data Can Help Publishers Understand What Readers Want

What it means for the New York Times to hire a scientist  [Source:]

Despite the vast amount of digital content available today, I love my daily newspaper. Many readers, like me, continue to enjoy reading newspaper for its depth of coverage and unique experience. However, there is no ignoring the fact that newspaper circulation has dropped significantly over the last three decades.

Publishers are still trying to come to grips with a new generation of digitally-connected consumers, who use non-traditional channels such as mobile devices to access news from social media and apps. At the same time, newer entrants to the publishing market such as The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed are attracting more readers with free, shareable online content, that increases engagement and readership.

'mHealth' Means More Power For Consumers

'mHealth' Means More Power For Consumers

There is a cultural struggle going on in the heart and soul of the global marketplace. Not since the years after World War II, when veterans began having children who later embraced rock-n-roll music (and annoyed their Big Band-loving parents), has such a distinct line been drawn between generations.

On one side are the older consumers who would never think of discussing very personal health matters via Skype with their physicians. They make appointments to go in and see their doctors face to face. On the other side: 'millennial' consumers who feel at ease being classified as 'self-directed patients.' We have boundless innovation in the field of mobile health technology (or 'mHealth') to thank for allowing healthcare providers to offer outpatient services for more people around the world. No longer do you have to go to the doctor's office and sit in a waiting room. The doctor will come to you via digital technology.

New Credit Union Survey Highlights Digital Readiness

New Credit Union Survey Highlights Digital Readiness

Slow and steady wins the race. Nice advice and an old maxim. But does it really apply to the digital age and especially to the financial services space? That's what we at Infosys Finacle wanted to find out when we collaborated with Cornerstone, a financial services and technology consulting firm. The study focused on a small corner of the vast financial services world that is often under-reported and under-represented when it comes to surveys: the credit unions.

For the uninitiated, credit unions are hybrid institutions. Like banks, they give loans and take deposits from customers. But they're not open to simply anyone who has the money to bank there - at least, that's how they were born. Credit unions are members-only financial institutions that revolved around a certain segment of customers, so the idea was that the loan officers and bank tellers who worked there knew more about the needs and concerns of, say, a construction worker or a telephone company employee.

Rise Of The Digital Insurer

Rise of the Digital Insurer

Retailers risked being left in their competitors' dust if they didn't stay on top of digital trends. The smartest retailers have created seamless experiences for their savvy, digital consumers - whether online or in-store.

Believe it or not, the same is true for the expectations of digital consumers and their insurance companies. Whereas retailers can turn on a dime and react very quickly and effectively to consumer preference, with the insurance industry, it's a different story. That's because the insurance business is extremely predictable and runs on a very basic premise: that an army of actuaries utilize algorithms to determine rates for policyholders. If something such as a natural disaster occurs and the companies must pay out on some policies, those companies simply adjust the rates they charge to everyone. So the insurance company is always, always coming out on top no matter what transpires in the world.

Helping Banks Help Consumers

I was struck by how someone recently described the new chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of the Unites States. Janet Yellen, she said, is not only the first woman to hold that post. But she's also the first Keynesian who's *open* about being one.

Being a Keynesian, of course, means that you have great faith in the power of monetary policy to affect the economy as well as the banking sector. That there have been central bank governors who have believed in Keynes is without argument. It's fascinating, though, that she is the first one in her country not to hide her devotion to this philosophy. I bring this up because monetary policy is back in the news again. Our colleagues who attended the World Economic Forum last month came away with a healthy dose of discussion on the topic.

Game Theory & the Future of Financial Services

Applying Game Theory to Your Trading [Source:]

One of the more talked-about movies of the winter season is "The Wolf of Wall Street," a high-octane story about the greed and excesses of a bunch of poorly behaved stockbrokers in the early 1990s.

An academic view of the movie would remind us that game theory - the same tenets of which explain why cricket players decide on certain strategies in order to win their matches - is front and center in any story about the stock market. That's because the capital markets are very much the end result of passionate, very emotional decisions as to how best to invest money. Financial services firms have been trying to tap into how their customers think and act as a way of better serving them - and, of course, improving their bottom lines.

Consumers Can Win When Banks Change Course

Reuters Breakingviews: How to stop banks treating customers like meat [Source:]

Stripped down to its most basic elements, banking is a fairly straightforward business. A bank can make money on interest rate spreads or the fees it charges its customers. Beyond that, everything else is icing on the cake.

For the better part of a decade, financial services firms have expanded mainly thanks to the second way: increasing their existing fees and coming up with new ones. Credit the overall sluggish nature of the global economy for this phenomenon. When one business line becomes more challenging, it's common sense to ramp up your other source of income.


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