Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthMarch 9, 2018
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2min995

One of Europe’s biggest train ticket retailers has launched a new voice app to help customers easily plan journeys.

Trainline has built their app for Google Assistant, and the firm has roped in the help of ‘rapper’ Big Shaq (AKA comedian Michael Dapaah) to help show off the skills of the automated service through a rap ‘battle’.

A two-minute film, available on YouTube and Trainline’s website demonstrates how Trainline’s voice app can help simplify rail journey planning. Fresh from a test session in a recording studio, Big Shaq plans his journey home by opening the Google Assistant and saying “OK Google, talk to Trainline” to activate the voice app.

He is greeted with a rapping voicebot who answers all his questions freestyle, resulting in a fun rap duet which leaves Big Shaq satisfied he has all the information he needs to have a successful journey.

Speaking about the new app functionality and the partnership, David Slocombe, Product Director at Trainline said:

“In the world’s first rap duet between a rapper and a Voicebot, Big Shaq put Trainline’s voice app through its paces but it was more than up to the challenge! Trainline’s voice app is a great example of our mission to use smarter technologies to make travel simpler and more hassle-free.”

 


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamDecember 6, 2017

1min654

Online Supermarket Ocado has found another way of implementing technology into the delivery of excellent Customer Experience, with a new robot that can differentiate and pack groceries for you. 

They worked on several prototypes until they created the final robot with a suction pick-up arm with built-in sensors. This way none of your groceries end up crushed.

The robot can differentiate between 50,000 items. Check out the video below.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamOctober 5, 2017
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4min764

This week Google revealed the new Pixel range on the anniversary of the release of their original smartphones.

Google Pixel and Pixel XL 2 smartphones, Google Pixelbook, Pixel Buds, Google Clip, Google Home Max, Google Home Mini, and more were unveiled, and fans are keen to get their hands on the new pieces of tech.

Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL

The new and improved version of Pixel comes in two sizes – 5-inch OLED display and 6-inch QHD OLED.

Additionally, the XL model has the ‘tall display’ feature and comes in three different colours: black, blue, and white.

Fast charging is taken to a new level for these two phones – now you can get a seven hour battery life with a quick 15 minute charge.

Similar to many new smartphones, Google Pixel 2 phones have removed the headphone jack, opting instead for Bluetooth technology.

All Google’s new gadgets have been equipped with the latest AI and machine-learning features that work on improving photos and videos, such as the new Video Stabilization feature.

The new Pixels also have Active Edge, meaning you can squeeze your phone and get the Assistant running in no time.

Google Pixel 2 starts at $649 for the 64GB version. The Pixel 2 XL starts at $849 for the 64GB variant. Australia, Canada, Germany, India, UK, and the US are the available countries.

Google Pixelbook

Google is trying to re-imagine the laptop experience by creating this ultra-thin 10mm thick and 1kg computer. It has 12.3-inch touch-screen and 4-in-1 special design, which includes a regular laptop, table stand, tablet, and a tent mode.

The Pixelbook runs on ChromeOS with built-in Google Assistant to make an unforgettable user experience. According to Google, it has a 10-hour battery life, with a quick 15-minute charge will net you two hours of using time.

Another addition is the Pixelbook Pen, which has the option to point and select elements on-screen and give your Google Assistant instructions on what to do next.

The Pixel book has 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of SSD storage.

The release date is 31 October and you can pre-order it right now.

Google Clip

This is the Google Clip, and the name comes from a small clip at its back used to easily place the device anywhere you like.

It is smart camera that uses machine learning technology to get the best capture of images.

Pixel Buds

Since the headphone jack has been removed from the new Google phones, Pixel Buds have been introduced to keep users listening.

The right earbud is equipped with touch sensors allowing users to easily navigate a playlist. Yet perhaps the most interesting feature is a real-time Google Translate option supporting 40 different languages.

Users can expect a five-hour battery life.

Google Home Max and Google Home Mini

The Google Home Mini comes in three colours: white (ish), black, and red, and is released on 19 October.

The Google Home Max is equipped with Smart Sound, with auto-tuning based on what you are playing and the size of the room you are in.

Expect this to drop in December.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamSeptember 28, 2017
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7min855

Yesterday was a big day for Amazon, they announced a number of different products.

Some older Echo models are updated and some new Echo devices are now equipped with the voice-activated assistant Alexa. Amazon also announced their brand new Fire TV and a fish-Alexa crossover, which got the most attention at the event.

Here is a quick digest of all Amazon’s news:

Brand New Amazon Echo

This is the new and improved version of Amazon Echo, which we all love, with some additional brand-new features. Use it to play music, stay in touch with your fiends and family, control your smart home and other smart devices. Thanks to Alexa being on the Cloud it is constantly updating and adding exciting features.

Amazon Echo is just a little bit taller than a soda can and it has a new processor which improved Alexa’s voice recognition and made it more reliable. There are 6 different casings you can choose from and they look absolutely amazing. Thanks to Echo’s new and diverse styles they can blend into any home or office.

Echo now has 7 microphones allowing it to pick up your voice no matter where you are, even if there is music playing. And it’s yours for only $99.

Echo Plus

Its exterior has not changed a lot from the previous Echo design, but at the same time it got a new built-in smart home hub giving it the ability to completely control all your smart gadgets and devices. This is something Echo was able to do even before, but Echo Plus can now control your smart home without the need to install any additional apps or hubs.

According to Amazon’s words it works straight out of the box and it is much smarter than before. Also, every Echo Plus comes with a Philips Hue bulb – a little testing partnership among Amazon and Philips into the smart home innovations. The price of a new Echo Plus is $149.

Echo Spot

Echo Spot is a clock made by mixing the Amazon Echo Dot and the Amazon Echo Show features. It’s a completely new form of a smart clock which you can put next to your bed, and it supports Alexa, meaning it has a number of Echo-characteristic features to make your life easier.

Echo Spot plays music for you and it can connect to your speakers or use a Bluetooth connection to lighten up a party. Next to a number of features already characteristic for these devices, you can even use Echo Spot to make video calls thanks to a small camera installed at the front.

Simply put, now we have a smaller version of Echo devices masked inside a bedside alarm clock for a price of $130.

Echo Buttons

These are small colour changing Bluetooth devices you can connect to your Echo speakers and play numerous buzzer and trivia like games with your friends and family. They come in a packaging of two. So now you can use your imagination and invent your own ways to have fun with these gadgets.

Not a lot has been said about the Echo buttons, and it seems that this is currently their only use, but there is always always room for upgrades. You can get these cute little Echo Buttons for $20.

Echo Connect

The idea behind the new Echo Connect is that it connects your home’s phone jack and your Echo making it easier for you to receive and make phone calls using your landline number.

The price for this Echo device is $35.

 

 

 

 

 

Fire TV

It has been a while since Amazon’s TV streaming box got an upgrade. Smaller then the model before, it can now stream videos in 4K and HDR. Once you connect it to your Echo device it can easily you can easily control it using your voice.

Fire TV steaming box gives ultra-high definition videos with an image clearer than ever before. However, it does require a TV that supports 4K and HDR.

The total price of this device comes up to $70.

Big Mouth Billy Bass device with Alexa inside

Here is a small preview of how it would look.

Alexa modified Big Mouth Billy Bass is a new product which some may deem interesting, and some completely unnecessary.

Alexa connects to Billy via Bluetooth and the fish starts talking. You can than easily give it commands and it will lip-sync to the music you play on your Echo device.

The company predicts that the new Alexa/Big Mouth Billy combo will be up for sale later this year.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamSeptember 13, 2017
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6min886

We picked the best Apple articles you should know. Here is everything about Apple’s iPhone event.

   

1. Everything Apple announced at the yesterday’s keynote. Take a look at the newest features.

   

2. Watch the Engadget’s summary of the whole event in only 13 minutesFind out about the entire event in 13 minutes.

   

3. Take a peek at the most important promotional videos from Apple’s event

   

4. Everything we know about the iPhones so far. Comparison: iPhone 8 vs. iPhone 8 Plus vs. iPhone X.

   

5. Apple Watch 3 LTE is your new wrist phoneAn intriguing news feature added to apple watch.

   

6. Will the new Face ID give you higher legal protection over the passcode or a fingerprint?

   

7. The iPhone X has face-tracking added to ARKitIt has been discussed quickly at the keynote.

   

8. The desktop iOS App store is removed by the Apple’s iTunes update. Apps would need to be managed directly from your iPhone or iPad.

   

9. AppleCare+ for your new iPhone X is going to be expensive. Better opt for the extended warranty to protect your phone.

   

10. Apple is pricing its news products the same in dollars and pounds. Why is that?

Interesting Links:


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamSeptember 6, 2017

2min879

On September 12th, Apple’s new ‘spaceship’ headquarters are gonna be open for the debut of iPhone 8. It will be the day when Apple is celebrating the 10year-anniversary of the first iPhone.

So far we know that:

  • they are working on a new lightning cable which will enable faster charging
  • the fingerprint reader may be moved to the back of the phone
  • a new ARKit has been announced for iOS 11, so iPhone’s design will probably include AR
  • a 3D depth-sensing camera for selfies
  • facial recognition could be introduced
  • dual lenses could be stacked vertically on the Plus model
  • physical home button could be replaced by an on-screen button
  • the high-end model could have new OLED screen which would allow deeper black colours and better battery life
  • the new iPhone could have an all-glass shell
  • wireless charging could be one of the many new features
  • headphone jack could be excluded, just like with the iPhone 7

The only thing left is to wait for the big reveal on the 12th September.

Interesting Links:


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamAugust 16, 2017
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8min846

Boston Dynamics demo clip shows we are not quite living in an I, Robot future – even if the machines can skate better than you can

Technology baron Elon Musk is scared of AI, warning of visions of the robot apocalypse when Terminator-esque machines decide they no longer need humans. But judging from the progress made by arguably the most advanced humanoid robots, if Terminator does show up, it won’t even be able to stack shelves without falling over.

The hilarious outtake was part of a video demonstrating the advances made by former Google-owned Boston Dynamics, featuring a series of robots including the Atlas humanoid automaton, which while impressive in many respects is far from a highly capable robotic killing machine – or job taker.

Hapless Boston Dynamics robot in accident
FacebookTwitterPinterest  Everything didn’t quite go to plan for the robot. Photograph: Boston Dynamics | TED

While robotics have certainly come a long way, now able to stand, or even roll on skates in a video that can only be described as the stuff of nightmares, Boston Dynamics has shown that an i, Robot-style future is currently very, very far from reality.

So for the time being, the now Soft Bank-owned Boston Dynamics may not have achieved the goal of a house robot, but at least it has provided the world with amusement at a robot that tries so hard, but ultimately fails. But maybe don’t laugh too hard, a machine never forgets.

Source: The Guardian

Interesting Links:


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamAugust 1, 2017
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5min616

(Reuters) – Shares in Direct Line Insurance Group (DLGD.L), Britain’s largest motor insurer, jumped to a record high on Tuesday after it reported better than expected first-half profit and raised its interim dividend.

Intense competition in British motor insurance has put pressure on premiums in recent years but the average price of car insurance hit a record high in the second quarter, driven by new rules for personal injury claims and a tax rise.

Direct Line said operating profit from ongoing operations rose 9.5 percent to 354.2 million pounds, well above a company consensus forecast of 268 million pounds, and it raised its interim dividend by 1.9 pence to 6.8 pence.

Its shares jumped as much as 7.6 percent to 403 pence and were 6 percent higher at 0900 GMT, the top gainer in the FTSE 350 index of non-life insurance companies. FTNMX8530. The previous record high was 399.1 pence on Dec. 17, 2015.

Shares in smaller rival Hastings (HSTG.L), which reports half-year results next week, were up 2.8 percent while British motor and home insurer Admiral (ADML.L) was 2.9 percent higher.

Direct Line said its solvency capital ratio rose to 173 percent from 165 percent.

It also released 49 million pounds of reserve after a review of the additional costs from a lower Ogden discount rate indicated a smaller than expected increase to claims costs.

The Ogden discount rate was cut to minus 0.75 percent from 2.5 percent in February, effectively raising the amount insurers must pay out in the event of successful personal injury claims.

Direct Line, whose brands include Churchill, Green Flag and Privilege, said gross written premiums rose 5 percent to 1.69 billion pounds in the six months, with a 10 percent rise in gross written motor premiums.

Its in-force policies from continuing operations rose to 15.8 million, up 0.5 percent from a year earlier. It reported a combined operating ratio of 88.9 percent and maintained its target of 93 percent to 95 percent for 2017 and the medium term.

($1 = 0.7559 pounds)

Direct Line has been a loyal entrant into the UK Customer Experience Awards and the UK Digital Experience Awards. They have taken a number of awards home with them over the years and we hope they will continue to do so in the future.

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Jason Neely and David Clarke

Source: Reuters

Interesting Links:


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamJuly 31, 2017
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4min1984

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

The problem with innovation is that too many people talk it and claim it.

Rather fewer actually deliver it.

I am moved, therefore, by McDonald’s, which managed to create something so simple, intelligent and – at least to some people – useful that it can never be undone.

For its Canadian arm got together with a couple of larger brains than its own — from STACKLAB and the University of Waterloo — and turned those recyclable drinks trays into boomboxes.

That sentence feels like it was written by someone who has drunk too much Grappa in Napa, I know.

But please look at this video and perhaps even marvel at how you can turn the mundane into the Happy Mondays.

Apparently, boomboxes are based on “very simple amplification concepts.”

I always thought they were based on a lot of bass and a propensity to annoy you on the beach.

Still, here is how to turn your drinks tray upside down, make a couple of soi-disant speakers out of two flaps at the bottom, and place your phone in the middle.

You might think this was just a little amusement to peddle as PR. You’d be right, of course.

However, the Everyday Foodie reports that customers at the Woodbine Beach branch of McDonald’s in Toronto were given these things in a McFlurry of celebration on Saturday.

I know that some will be disturbed that, if this became a nationwide thing, the serenity of their local McDonald’s would be forever threatened.

I, though, can only think that this represents an extremely hopeful step in integrating creative thinking into the staid world of fast food.

Just imagine if you could turn your McDonald’s beverage cup into a microphone. Or even a megaphone.

Wouldn’t that be uplifting?

I foresee a rival to American Idol in which all the participants make their music using recyclable items from McDonald’s.

It will be called America’s Got Musical Nuggets. Or something else.

Written by: Chris Matyszczyk

Source: Inc.

Interesting Links:


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamJuly 26, 2017

4min745
  • One is ‘irresponsible,’ the other’s understanding is ‘limited’
  • It’s not the first public spat between the two executives

It’s rare for Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg to interact publicly with other moguls online. When he does, it’s usually friendly and choreographed, like the time he asked Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates for help on a Harvard University commencement speech.

But with Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., it hasn’t been as cordial. In a live video Q&A on Facebook Monday, Zuckerberg was asked what he thought about Musk’s calls for proactive regulation of artificial intelligence, before the robots become dangerously smarter than their creators and pose an existential threat to humanity.

“People who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios, I just, I don’t understand it,” Zuckerberg said in the video. “It’s really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible.”

Zuckerberg said he was optimistic about the technology, and that people shouldn’t call for a slowdown in progress with artificial intelligence. Musk shot back on Twitter.

“I’ve talked to Mark about this,” he wrote. “His understanding of the subject is limited.”

It’s not the first time the two have clashed publicly. Last year, a SpaceX rocket exploded on a launchpad in Florida. The rocket was carrying a satellite that was supposed to help Facebook spread internet connectivity in Africa. Zuckerberg, who was travelling in Africa at the time, wrote on Facebook that he was “deeply disappointed to hear that SpaceX’s launch failure destroyed our satellite.”

Written by: Sarah Frier

Source: Bloomberg

Interesting Links:




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