Co-Authored by Alan M. Pate
Remember that scene from Minority Report? The one where John Anderton (Tom Cruise) takes a trip to GAP, virtual billboards call out his name and bombard him with offers as he walks through the mall, retinal scanners flash left and right, an AI hologram offers up his own personal greeting – “Welcome Back to the Gap! How’d those assorted tank tops work out for you?” It’s not quite 2054, and we haven’t quite perfected PreCrime, but ad tech is taking some big steps in the Minority Report direction.
2014 may be the year Apple’s “iBeacon” iOS7 feature changes the game for targeted advertising with its ability to detect customers’ presence and deliver targeted ads. As with almost any new ad tech these days, its adoption isn’t without privacy concerns.
As reported by the New York Times, this Super Bowl weekend the NFL deployed Apple’s iBeacon technology to send users of the NFL Mobile App targeted advertisements based on their physical location in Manhattan or in MetLife Stadium. Fans walking down Broadway received messages such as – “Get your picture taken with the Lombardi Trophy, located between 43rd and 44th streets on... Read more
Co-Authored by Alan M. Pate
When I was a kid, I spent a good deal of my time building a tree house. I collected all of the scrap material from around the neighborhood, brought it to my tree, and nailed it in place. I didn’t have a plan, but I had a grand vision, and that vision drove me to collect more pieces of scrap regardless of how they fit or didn’t fit into the structure. Eventually the tree house was more reflective of the scraps I had collected than of the original vision. I had a grand time in that tree house, but I don’t think it qualified as a dwelling. It wasn’t very safe, and I had to constantly patch it back together as the poorly fitted joints and connections failed. Of course, that is the point of a tree house. It is a pastime. The constant need for maintenance and complete lack of utility are part of the charm. Not so with a media platform.
I am reminded of my tree house when I read that so-and-so holding company has made another acquisition that “further extends their platform.” Those kinds of platforms are not the ones I want to base my business on.... Read more
As a former trade union member and also having worked previously in a distribution company, I was absolutely shocked to read a BBC investigation about how workers in a very well-known online retailer’s warehouse face an ‘increased risk of mental illness’.
The BBC’s undercover investigation into the warehouse was shown to one of the UK’s leading experts on stress at work, Professor Michael Marmot, who described the conditions are “all the bad stuff at once”
Without having seen the resulting programme, being screened on the BBC’s Panorama programme tonight (Monday, November 25, 20:30 GMT), I really don’t want to pass too much comment. However, with the continual technological advances in warehouse management systems and wholesale & distribution software, I find it incredible that staff are being subjected to this kind of working environment.
I’m an avid online shopper, and can completely understand the need for ever-cheaper, ever more efficient online sales systems and delivery, but surely advances in technology at the front end of online shopping should at least be matched with systems that make the picking and packing of my online order more effective and not to the detriment of the people working in the not-often-seen warehouse environments.
One of the companies I... Read more