Friday, March 30, 2012

Why my 4 year old wants to swap his traditional piggy bank for a bank account



It's true. I think this is a prime example of what "growing up digital" is all about. So how did my son asking for a bank account come about?

the other day, I noticed that the little brat guy purchased another digital book which was downloaded to his own personal Kindle Fire. This was evident by a lovely email in my inbox telling me, "thank you for your purchase on Amazon." Um...what purchase on Amazon? #scroll...scroll# ...Jacob!" As a proud dad, I could only laugh.  After all, it was a book purchase -the boy loves reading books every chance he gets.

So, to make a long story short, I told Jacob that he just needs to ask me if he wants to download a book before doing so.  He's gotta follow process to, after all. "And you owe me $2.99," I claimed, smiling like Ebenezer Scrooge.  

But then, the response I got was one that took me by surprise. "But dad, I need my own money so I can get my own books by myself.  Do I have to ask you all the time?" This made sense. But right as I was about to respond to remind him he has his own allowance, I thought to myself, "What good is physical money to a kid whose primary expense at 4 years of age is on digital goods?" Then it hit me, the kid needs his own checking account. He has a savings accounts, but that's for the future. He needs something to take care of digital purchases such as the ones he makes (constantly) on his Kindle.

So long as I've got overdraft protect on that thing, I'm good. For now...I need to figure this out before the little man hits me with something else, like Skype credits, a recurring membership to Nick Jr. Boost, and possibly tying his Zynga PetHouse game to his account as well -apparently, he's all out of plant seeds.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Subscribing to Geo-Feeds and Location-based services through Perceptive Networks

The concept of using RSS feeds to keep up-to-date on any topic is certainly nothing new. However, the idea of Geo-feeds and location-based is one that is yet to be fully explored. And I’m not referring to subscribing to news content or social media updates based on current events in your city or what your local friends have posted on facebook. Rather, what if I subscribed to a feed that provides me with information that is being uploaded and posted in my neighborhood? Are there photos within a 5 mile radius uploaded to the Flickr for me to see? Has someone recently posted a review of a restaurant just down the block, or if reviews were posted regarding a movie currently playing at your local movie theatre? Or what if tweets were posted about an event happening within your community? What if you were in the market for a home in a specific area and a seller just posted property?

One may ask what the utility of subscribing to such Geo-Feeds and/or Location-based services, but stopping to think about the possibility for such services provides markets with new opportunities in this space, and is clearly an indicator of mobile innovation.

Again, mobile versions of Yelp and Facebook are available for one to log in and check updates either directly or their email, and twitter is certainly one step closer to bring you updates of friends via text tweets, but I feel that the real future of connective services is through that of a Perceptive Network, one that provides individuals with relative updates based on where they are and what they are doing at any given time.

If your geo-feed is enabled to receive automated parameters (such as your location via GPS on your phone, your login information for Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter all through one global openID), it could then send you immediate updates that apply to where you are, and based your preferences.

So the next time you are in downtown SF and your friends are strolling down Union Square, taking photos at the Westfield, shopping on Market Street, or meeting up with someone you know at the BART station on Powell, your perceptive network will know as the result of searching your own personal networks online for information relating to your local area.

For additional thinking fodder, check out Faris’ articles on The Invisible Web, as well as Hanna Beyenbach’s article on Location-based services. Both of these intentionally are just scratching the surface on this topic.

Happy future gazing :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Discovery is Becoming Social

In viewing a talk by Jyri Engestrom on social objects, social peripheral vision and nodal points, I thought his insights on social networks from these unique perspectives were quite interesting.

Right around 29:23 of the video, he states that traditional search engine queries and site visitation will ultimately be replaced by gaining more relevant information through status updates, posts, and link sharing within social networks and IM. This notion of “social filtering” applied to how we consume and value information shows how making the entire Web social is not only about people connecting directly through each other, but through content acting as a social object.

Watch the video on the Reboot website.

Slide presentation below:
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: vision peripheral)

Presentation: Extending the Digital Experience

I know I haven't posted in a while, as things have been a bit busy over the last several weeks. However, I thought i'd make up for it by posting my newest presentation, also available on Slideshare.

Similar to my previous digital media presentation , the deck focuses on some of the new interactions which are occuring between brands and users as the result of our changing behavior both on and off the Web.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Who's Connected and How

A visual depecting how connectivity among the global population:



Based on the CIA World Factbook, Greenland is the most connected population in terms of internet access (with over 90% of the total population connected). More interestingly, The United Arab Emirates has an average of 1.6 cell phone per citizens.

Via Good Magazine

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Future Social: Nine Trends Shaping the Future of Social Interactions

Recently, during the LIFT Asia Conference, Nokia researcher and anthropoligist Jan Chipchase provided insight into some of the following trends that are shaping social interactions throughout the globe:
  1. The first is that social interactions are becoming pocketable, making it possible to carry the tools one uses to communicate, entertain, and help you understand where you are and what you want to do next
  2. The rise of serial solitary experiences – a concept of being together with others in the same place doing the same thing, but on different devices through a shared, but filtered experience
  3. The increase in connectivity among people, services, and the locations around us through those objects which we carry. While this in itself is somewhat a new concept, our decision to share our location (as well as how), and other geo-contextual information, with whom, and with what level of granularity is shaping the mobile space
  4. The question of opting out of a technology becoming one of whether to opt out of society is becoming a reality, as sharing creates significant social pressure to adopt new technology
  5. Such connectivity, along with the increasing sophistication of online services is allowing us to reduce the time between asking a question and receiving an answer through real-time associations
  6. The adoption of such technology at a younger age (which is more evident in the mainstream), to the point where technological and social literacy will become niche to older generations who can’t keep up
  7. The boundaries between personal and work life will continue to erode as the result of convenience (i.e. checking email on the way to work)
  8. The speed of technological change will continue to increase and that for some services, their lifetime will be measure in days or hours
  9. That pocketable is just a stepping stone to such technology becoming invisible, not in the sense of a seamless experience, but simply that such innovations will be so small and hidden that no one else can see.
Watch the video on the LIFT Asia Conference website.

More on Perceptive Networks

Just to further expand upon the notion of a perceptive network (see previous post), the reality of this type of service could be close than your think. With current exploration in location-based services, this realm can be explored further from asocial standpoint. I think providing another example would help to clarifying the role of such perceptive networks.

Say you head out downtown for the weekend for the usual hanging out, shopping, dining, etc. You login to your perceptive network, which would then determine where you are by a GPS-enabled device. An hour later, the networks detects that your friend posted a tweet indicating he was at the bookstore perusing the arts section.

If you were nearby, the network would then send you a text alerting you of your friends proximity, where you could then reply to his tweet, or call him directly. Later that night, two of your friends who you had no idea were going to attend a show you have tickets for, updated their Facebook profile to talk about the band they were excited to see, of which gets picked up by your perceptive network and shared with you.

End the night with an update of where any of your friends might be out that night, and you have opportunities to connect with whomever your choose, moving from one encounter to the other, and navigating the city based on your social connections. This social-driven mobility is at the heart of perceptive networks, of which purpose is to provide users with sharing their experiences with those they know.

Imagine then the possibility of today’s social networks opening their back doors to more and more developers, such as Facebook Connect, and allows ways for marketers to reach users at the geo-local level and understand where they are and what they do to provide consumers with relevant tools and updates.

Taking all of this to a third degree, technologies such as TikiTag and Mir:ror also make sense in interacting with your perceptive network. If it’s late a night, and the group is out for a night on the town and now heading home, there’s always that slight chance that one’s wallet or key’s end up missing. So if Johnny left his keys at the bar, but hopefully his wallet is still in his back pocket (if not, I’m wondering how much the chap had to drink), your perceptive network would notice that one of the two objects that should be with you (or rather close to each other), has gone missing, and would notify you via text before you even noticed, which could be by the time you are at your front door.

Perceptive networks, then, are just that – networks created through objects tagged with RFIDs, online networks, mobile devices and SPIMES providing geotility, and other personal digital information, which perceive where you, your friends, and important objects are at any point in time, and what they are doing/located in relation to other objects.

Bear in mind, that those who are part of your social network who also have their own perceptual network will make it easier for your own network to know where they are, so long as you and that person have opted to connect each other’s network (but interactions among different perceptive networks is another story to be continued…)