The war of the digital assistants just got a new entrant. IBM has recently revealed the Watson Assistant, that is designed for enterprises to use with their customer-facing applications. The video below shows some of the use cases that make the Watson Assistant I-VIE seem like an enhanced version of Alexa and Google Assistant put together, that eventually hopes to be more like J.A.R.V.I.S. from Iron Man.
What this reinforces is that while Alexa and Google Assistant have momentum with consumer use cases, enterprises have strong interest in having more control over the customer experience and data. So it comes as no surprise that Amazon introduced Alexa for Business in December 2017 and set its sights beyond the kitchens and bedrooms.
The battle for enterprise assistant market share is shaping up to be every bit as competitive as the current war for consumer voice assistant users.
The Moby Mart is set to turn every parking space in the world into a new 24-hour store. About the size of a small bus, the store carries a selection of everyday products like snacks, meals, basic groceries, and even shoes. To use the store, you have to download an app, register as a customer and use your smartphone to unlock the doors.
The store is currently undergoing trials in Shanghai, thanks to a collaborative effort between Swedish startup named Wheelys Inc and China’s Hefei University. For now, the trial prototype is stationery i.e. based permanently in a carpark. But the company says that it is currently working with tech companies to develop its self-driving technology as seen in the below video.
The future of elevator maintenance is here. ThyssenKrupp recently announced the implementation of Microsoft’s Hololens out in the field where its technicians and engineers will benefit from minimized delays and matchless workflow. Fusing cloud computing and digital IoT solutions with an augmented reality interface, ThyssenKrupp will facilitate real-time prediction of repairs and component replacements while priming their experts on potential issues before they arise.
For decades, drivers have been accustomed to accessing and driving cars with physical keys. But no longer. In a ground-breaking move for the automotive industry, Volvo Cars plans to become the world’s first car manufacturer to offer cars without keys from 2017.
Volvo customers will be offered an application for their mobile phones to replace the physical key with a digital key. The innovative Bluetooth-enabled digital key technology, will offer Volvo customers far more flexibility, enabling them to benefit from entirely new ways to use and share cars.
The new Volvo app would enable the digital key on the customer’s mobile phone to do everything a physical key currently does, such as locking or unlocking the doors or the trunk and allowing the engine to be started.
Volvo plans to roll out the technology to a “limited” number of commercially available cars in 2017 and will test it in the real world from spring 2016 via its car sharing firm Sunfleet, stationed at Gothenburg airport, Sweden. Physical keys will continue to be offered for people who want them.
To make life easier for car owners, Hyundai has built an augmented reality app called the Virtual Guide. It allows Hyundai owners to use their smart phones to get more familiar with their car and learn how to perform basic maintenance without delving into a hundred page owner’s manual.
Here is a short demo video of the app from The Verge at CES 2016…
The Virtual Guide app will be available in the next month or two for the 2015 and the 2016 Hyundai Sonata and will come to the rest of the Hyundai range later on this year.