Power in Questions … How May I Serve?

Isn’t it always easy to assume that when someone says something to us, we know exactly what he or she is saying? Other times we assume that, in fact, they know exactly what they are saying. Most times our assumptions although with the best of intentions are unfortunately incorrect. Quite often, in our business we then build products, services and our sales and delivery around these misguided assumptions.

About a month ago, I got a call from a potential client who was referred to me by a former client. He asked if we would be able to come in and look at their technology systems. Apparently, they were looking for ways to do some cost cutting. In the discovery process I started to ask questions to clarify what, in fact, this company wanted to have happen. I asked a number of questions about the company’s current situation, the technology being used, training in place, the goals of the company and the parts of the system that are working and the parts that are not. After which we both arrived at the conclusion that the company would benefit a lot more from something entirely different than cutting costs on their technology. Ironically they needed to invest more into their technology but develop a mobile strategy that ensured their current and future systems and tools were aligned to their corporate vision.

When it comes to effective questioning it really is important to fully understand the cause rather than tending to only the symptoms. This is paramount I believe for any business but particularly a service based business. It really is that simple, as providers of “service” unless we can demonstrate value to our customers we have no right to be in business. We need to be effective in understanding our customer’s needs. In information gathering there are two types of questions to consider:

Closed questions, these are questions designed to get the response you may want to hear; usually these are prescriptive with limited choice – example yes, no or short answers.

Cause based questioning, these are open-ended questions designed to gather more information to try and seek more information. Depending on an answer to a question ask further questions to get a deeper understanding of the underlying often buried matter rather than assuming you know what the answer may be.

Some questions to consider when developing a client’s mobile strategy:

iOS or Android? Choosing the Best Platform

Is this a decision based on revenue or market visibility? Apple’s Australian smartphone market share has fallen to around 35%, while Google’s Android is now more widely used than Apple’s iOS in every major market except Japan, according to new Kantar Worldpanel figures.

The figures, which measured the market share in the January quarter, show that Android now claims 57.7%, roughly level from a year earlier (57.9%).

However globally 73 percent of all app revenue was generated in Apple’s App Store as compared to only 23 percent for Google Play.

Understand what your customer’s objective is

Understand your customer usage patterns. By taking your time to understand customer behaviour or usage, it will give good insights into the platform decision. Understand what platform the end user of your product will be using. Research information about your final end user determines which platform is right for you to start with.

Consider training and usability – Determine how you plan to implement a rollout strategy

To effectively serve your customer ask questions about what they need and why. Then ask one more question, don’t assume. Clarify again. Understand their needs; it really is about the customer. Once you fully understand your customer’s needs only then serve.

 

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What Is Augmented Reality ?

Augmented Reality or mediated reality is a technology that allows users of mobile phones and tablets (android or iOS) to see and interact with objects that seem to be projected onto the real world in 3d.Projected objects are dynamically displayed on the user’s screen as though the tablet/mobile is a window through which the user is perceiving a mixed world of real and constructed images. User’s may also interact with the constructed images by “seemingly” touching the object and causing it to perform a desired action Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data

Is augmented reality the same as virtual reality?

The differences between virtual and augmented reality is not often well defined. True virtual reality completely blocks out the real world whereas augmented reality adds to the already existing real world. Sometimes these forms that are somewhere between virtual and augmented reality are defined by other terms. For example, mixed reality is a mix of a digitized model of the real world combined with computer-generated models.

Augmented Reality or mediated reality is a technology that allows users of mobile phones and tablets (android or iOS) to see and interact with objects that seem to be projected onto the real world in 3d.Projected objects are dynamically displayed on the user’s screen as though the tablet/mobile is a window through which the user is perceiving a mixed world of real and constructed images. User’s may also interact with the constructed images by “seemingly” touching the object and causing it to perform a desired action Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data

Is augmented reality just a fad?

Augmented Reality has been hailed by many as a passing fad with no real beneficial use bar novelty value. AR will move on from being just a fad it also brings commercial benefits for publishers and brands. Many are already taking advantage and seem to be reaping the rewards.

Augmented Reality or mediated reality is a technology that allows users of mobile phones and tablets (android or iOS) to see and interact with objects that seem to be projected onto the real world in 3d.Projected objects are dynamically displayed on the user’s screen as though the tablet/mobile is a window through which the user is perceiving a mixed world of real and constructed images. User’s may also interact with the constructed images by “seemingly” touching the object and causing it to perform a desired action Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data

For which industry is it suitable?

AR can fit a wide range of solutions for any industry. Some examples Appearition works on:
– Entertainment, media and publishing
– FMCG and retail
– Advertising and exhibitions
– Tourism
– Training and Education
– Manufacturing

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Top Tech Trends for 2015

Technology changes as quickly as the weather these days, and can be just as difficult to predict.
Luckily Gartner are on hand to do the predicting. Earlier this month Gartner Analyst, David Cearley, presented their top technology trends for the coming year at the firm’s annual expo. Their list shows that the focus is on merging the real world with the virtual one, the implications for analytics and the type of IT needed to deal with it.

The Internet of Things, and everything associated, including smart machines, pervasive analytics and 3D printing, all feature on Gartner’s horizon for 2015.

Let’s take a look at the trends:

Computing Everywhere
As mobile devices continue to proliferate, Gartner predicts an increased emphasis on serving the needs of the mobile user in diverse contexts and environments, as opposed to focusing on devices alone.
“Phones and wearable devices are now part of an expanded computing environment that includes such things as consumer electronics and connected screens in the workplace and public space,” said Cearley. “Increasingly, it’s the overall environment that will need to adapt to the requirements of the mobile user. This will continue to raise significant management challenges for IT organizations as they lose control of user endpoint devices. It will also require increased attention to user experience design.”

The Internet of Things
The combination of data streams and services created by digitizing everything creates four basic usage models—manage, monetize, operate and extend. These four basic models can be applied to any of the four “Internets.” Enterprises should not limit themselves to thinking that only the Internet of Things (IoT) (assets and machines) has the potential to leverage these four models.

3D Printing
Worldwide shipments of 3D printers are expected to grow 98% in 2015, followed by a doubling of unit shipments in 2016. 3D printing will reach a tipping point over the next three years as the market for relatively low-cost 3D printing devices continues to grow rapidly and industrial use expands significantly.

Cloud/Client Computing
“Cloudis the new style of elastically scalable, self-service computing, and both internal applications and external applications will be built on this new style,” said Cearley. “While network and bandwidth costs may continue to favour apps that use the intelligence and storage of the client device effectively, coordination and management will be based in the cloud.”

Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics
Analytics will take center stage as the volume of data generated by embedded systems increases and vast pools of structured and unstructured data inside and outside the enterprise are analysed

“Every app now needs to be an analytic app,” said Cearley. “Organizations need to manage how best to filter the huge amounts of data coming from the IoT, social media and wearable devices, and then deliver exactly the right information to the right person, at the right time. Analytics will become deeply, but invisibly embedded everywhere.”

Context-Rich Systems
Ubiquitous embedded intelligence combined with pervasive analytics will drive the development of systems that are alert to their surroundings and able to respond appropriately. Context-aware security is an early application of this new capability, but others will emerge.

Smart Machines
Deep analytics applied to an understanding of context provide the preconditions for a world of smart machines. This foundation combines with advanced algorithms that allow systems to understand their environment, learn for themselves, and act autonomously.

Software-Defined Applications and Infrastructure
Agile programming of everything from applications to basic infrastructure is essential to enable organizations to deliver the flexibility required to make the digital business work. Software-defined networking, storage, data centers and security are maturing. Cloud services are software-configurable through API calls, and applications, too, increasingly have rich APIs to access their function and content programmatically.

Web-Scale IT
Web-scale IT is a pattern of global-class computing that delivers the capabilities of large cloud service providers within an enterprise IT setting. More organizations will begin thinking, acting and building applications and infrastructure like Web giants such as Amazon, Google and Facebook. Web-scale IT does not happen immediately, but will evolve over time as commercial hardware platforms embrace the new models and cloud-optimized and software-defined approaches reach mainstream.

Risk-Based Security and Self-Protection
The path to the digital future leads through security. However, in a digital business world, security cannot be a roadblock that stops all progress. Organizations will increasingly recognize that it is not possible to provide a 100% secured environment. Once this is acknowledged, they can begin to apply more-sophisticated risk assessment and mitigation tools.

This will lead to new models of building security directly into applications. Perimeters and firewalls are no longer enough; every app needs to be self-aware and self-protecting.

 

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3 Amazing Augmented Reality Ads

Augmented reality ads is fast-becoming one of the most popular advertising tools at a brand or agency’s disposal. With augmented reality proving to boost customer engagement and over 22% of the world’s population owning a smartphone, augmented reality is the perfect route for advertising to take.

Augmented reality, by its definition, gives brands the opportunity to integrate the digital world with the real world, which appeals to everybody from younger tech-lovers – bored of traditional advertising methods, to an older generation engaged by its great visual appeal.

Here are some brands that have utilised augmented reality in their advertising already:

Pepsi Unbelievable Bus Shelter

Pepsi took on London with this branded adventure on New Oxford Street. Pepsi took an average looking, busy bus stop and fitted it out to make it a seamless augmented reality experience for the people who happen to stop by.

A video feed showcased the footpath through the ad and some amazing augmented reality visuals then came to life. From meteorites and extra-terrestrials to lions and balloons, this ‘Unbelievable’ Bus Shelter Installation from Pepsi is a bit of branded fun.

Into the Storm

Similar to the Pepsi ad mentioned above, this ‘Into The Storm’ Augmented Reality Ad is made by the same guys. The ad streams a live feed of the road in-front of the AdShell through to passers-by on the other side. At first glance, it looks surreal and almost normal, that is, until the Augmented Reality part kicks in and starts to shoot lightning bolts, create tornados and other weather effects that look like they are happening right up that road in-front of their eyes!

Kit Kat – Times of India

This Kit Kat advert provided a bit of Android interactivity for readers of The Times of India, India’s most-read English newspaper.

The Artvertiser

This is a software platform that replaces advertisements with art in real time. Although first started in 2008 this is a fairly new, exciting way of advertising.
http://theartvertiser.com/

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Read more here about how to use augmented reality in your advertising and whether it’s beneficial for your business.

 

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Augmented Reality – The 8th Mass Medium

We love this engaging and educational TEDx Talk by Tomi Ahonen that demonstrates some of the latest thinking and explains why augmented reality will literally change the way that we look at the world.

Some of the facts and predictions might surprise you!

Tomi Ahonen was rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in January 2012. He released his twelfth book in 2011 and is the most published author in the mobile industry. A widely respected figure in the industry, Tomi is referenced in over 120 books.

 

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