WestJet Flight Light

Over the last year or so, I have seen more and more brands from different industries actively experimenting with new ways to move beyond selling their products and providing their consumers with “convenience services” that eventually drive repeat usage / purchase of the product.

In this latest example, WestJet wanted to give their business travelers the ability to pursue opportunities, without losing connection with their loved ones at home. So, they created WestJet Flight Light, a nightlight that used live flight data to project a WestJet flight path onto a child’s bedroom ceiling. This simple device made the countdown of the hours and minutes to the parents return even more fun and interactive for the children waiting at home.

The prototype of the Flight Light is going to be in beta-testing throughout this summer. To stay updated visit the Flight Light homepage for more information.

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H&M Home Gift Guide enables Voice Shopping

Voice computing is opening new possibilities for the retail industry, especially to inspire and interact with customers. So, this holiday season (2018), H&M decided to take the lead when it comes to shaping the voice commerce of the future and to have their customers be part of the journey.

H&M in USA launched the H&M HOME Gift Guide – an easy to use voice application filled with inspiration and ideas for different holiday gifts for anyone’s home available via the Google Assistant on all smartphones and Google Home smart devices. To activate the H&M HOME Gift Guide, users had to simply ask for H&M HOME from their Google Assistant and then easily browse through the H&M assortment to find the most suitable gift. The voice application also offered easy payment through voice.

H&M HOME initially announced the creation of a voice application, called H&M HOME Stylist, in June 2018. At that time, H&M said the voice stylist offered personal styling suggestions, mood boards and inspiration for every room in the home.

Hence the H&M Home Gift Guide is just a revamped version of H&M Stylist, prepped with Holiday themed products.

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Mercedes-Benz Yes A.I. Do

For the world premiere of their new Mercedes-Benz ECQ at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, Mercedes transformed their new model into a wedding carriage. Four lucky couples were invited to test drive the new Mercedes-Benz ECQ on the roads of Las Vegas and experience its special A.I. features first hand.

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I-VIE the Watson Assistant from IBM

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.

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Pizza Hut lets you order pizza from your shoes

Pizza Hut is the official pizza of the NCAA, a men’s basketball tournament known informally as March Madness and played each spring in the United States.

For last years tournament Pizza Hut created the world’s first shoe that ordered a pizza. Now to celeberate their second year as the official pizza of the NCAA, Pizza Hut, Droga5 and the Shoe Surgeon launched Pie Tops II, a limited-edition high top shoes that not only utilized your geolocation to order the current Pizza Hut deal at the press of a button, but also allowed users to pause the game while they received their delivery.

A TV ad has also been released to highlight the new pause feature of these newly relaunched Pie Top shoes…

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Jaguar launches in-car cashless fuel payment

In a world-first, Jaguar and Land Rover owners can now pay for their fuel via the touchscreen of their car at Shell service stations. Rather than paying at the pump or queuing to pay in the shop, installing the Shell app via InControl means drivers can simply drive up to any pump at participating Shell service stations, select how much fuel they require and pay with PayPal or Apple Pay on the vehicle’s touchscreen.

For more details visit http://bit.ly/2lOZfcC.

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Tostitos Party Safe Bag

According to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 45 people were killed in drunk driving crashes on Super Bowl Sunday 2015. This was nearly half of all traffic fatalities that day. So for the 2017 Super Bowl Sunday, Tostitos launched a limited-edition “Party Safe” bag that could tell when you’ve been drinking, and then assist you to get home safely from the party.

The special bag was created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and came equipped with a sensor that was connected to a microcontroller calibrated to detect traces of alcohol on a person’s breath. If any alcohol was detected, the sensor would turn red and form the image of a steering wheel. The bag of chips would also give the user a $10 off Uber code along with a “Don’t drink and drive” message. Users with a NFC enabled smartphone could also tap the bag to call for an Uber.

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Gatebox: The Virtual Home Robot

Move over Alexa, Siri and Cortana. Gatebox is set to be the worlds first virtual home robot. Gatebox’s first character, “Azuma Hikari” is a fully interactive holographic girl, who at her most basic can control your smart home equipment. Additionally, she can recognize your face and your voice, and is designed to be a companion who can wake you up in the morning, fill you in on your day’s activities, remind you of things to remember, and even welcome you back when you return home from work.

Gatebox is currently availble for pre-order to customers who speak Japanese in Japan and USA for around $2,600 per unit. For more details visit gatebox.ai.

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Volvo Concierge Services

Volvo is one carmaker that is actively experimenting with new ways (Volvo Keyless Cars and Volvo In-Car Delivery) to move beyond simply building and selling cars. In their latest effort, Volvo has created a service ecosystem around its cars that give its customers access to various third-party service providers to remotely fuel up, get a car wash, service the car, and more.

The heart of the Volvo Concierge Service is the digital key, a one-time-use location- and time-specific key that allows service providers access to the vehicle. This is a big advantage as it keeps the car secure and keeps owners from needing to meet someone and hand over the key. The supplier, whether that’s a refueling company or a valet parking attendant or Volvo itself (for oil changes and other maintenance), use an app that remotely unlocks the car and allows the engine to turn on.

The Volvo Concierge Services are currently being tested in the San Francisco Bay Area with owners of the new Volvo XC90 SUVs and S90 sedans.

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Microsoft HoloLens redefines elevator maintenance

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.

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