Posts tagged consumers’

Consumers’ group wants Uber to publicize self-driving tests

uber-autonomous-car

Uber has started to integrate self-driving Volvo XC90 cars into its Pittsburgh ride-hailing fleet this month, a noticeably large leap for a company that only started to work on autonomous cars last year.

Public interest group Consumer Watchdog is one of the many with eyebrows raised, and has called on Uber to be as transparent as possible with its self-driving tests.

Privacy project director John Simpson sent a letter to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, providing ten questions and four transparency requirements that echoed most of California’s self-driving laws.

Simpson said Uber must disclose all crashes, loss of control, and system failures, release technical data and videos of the crash, and provide a monthly report, similar to Google, that detail all activities, things the company learned or added, and miles driven.

It’s a comprehensive transparency request, but one that Uber doesn’t have to abide by, since its testing in Pennsylvania. The state currently has none of the self-driving laws California has introduced, meaning if Uber doesn’t want to disclose information, it doesn’t have to.

Still a compelling argument

That said, Simpson makes a compelling argument on why Uber should disclose information. In the letter he says: “Once you have opted to use public roads as your laboratory as you have done, you take on a moral obligation to be completely transparent.” This looks to be the rallying cry for Consumer Watchdog, if Uber refuses to disclose.

Here are Simpsons’  — shortened and edited — ten questions to Uber:

  1. Will you publish a complete list of real-life situations the cars cannot yet understand, and how you intend to deal with them?
  2. What do you envision happening if the computer “driver” suddenly goes offline with a passenger in the car, if the passenger has no control over the vehicle?
  3. Will you agree to publish its software algorithms, including how the company’s “artificial car intelligence” will function in a collision?
  4. Will you publish all video from the car and technical data such as radar and lidar reports associated with accidents or other anomalous situations? If not, why not?
  5. Will you publish all data in its possession that discusses, or makes projections concerning, the safety of driverless vehicles?
  6. Do you expect one of its cars will be involved in a fatal crash? If so, would you be held accountable?
  7. How will you prove that self-driving cars are safer than today’s vehicles?
  8. Will you agree not to store, market, sell, or transfer the data gathered by the car, or utilize it for any purpose other than navigating the vehicle?
  9. Do you have the technology to prevent malicious hackers from seizing control of a driverless vehicle or any of its systems?
  10. When do you expect to deploy and carry passengers in fully driverless cars without backup human drivers

The impact of consumer groups has yet to be felt in this booming new industry. It will be interesting to see Uber’s reaction.

The post Consumers’ group wants Uber to publicize self-driving tests appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Are prices driving away potential smart home consumers?

samsung-smart-fridge

Almost every product in the house now has a smart alternative, Nest revolutionized the thermostat and smoke detector, August built a smartphone connected door lock, and Samsung launched a smart fridge.

Even with the abundance of smart alternatives, Lux Research says there is still disconnect between the consumer and manufacturer. Price is the most obvious issue, despite manufacturers lowering prices in the past year, they are still too high for consumers that aren’t fully invested in the usefulness of smart home devices.

See Also: Comcast adds to smart home offerings with Icontrol

Lux Research also argues that retrofitting may have helped major smart home firms like Nest and Samsung keep customers on board. Some, after purchasing first generation tech, decided not to purchase the second generation, either due to cost or lack of additional features.

“Current prices [for smart home appliances] are three times higher and will have to be lower for manufacturers to push smart appliances for mass adoption,” said Jessica Hernández, Lux Research Associate and lead author of the report. “Also, businesses can benefit by focusing on retrofit technologies as a bridge for smart appliance adoption, drawing in products such as refrigerators and air conditioners that have a long life cycle.”

Smart home choices tending towards security and safety

Smart home popularity appears to be trending away from appliances and into security and safety devices. Smart locks, air quality and filtration, and energy management have seen a rise in sales over the past two years.

That is good news for Notion, August, and other security and safety providers, though the firms may face similar issues when it comes to launching their second or third generation device.

First impressions are everything for technology, when 3D TVs finally arrived on the market, it was exciting for a few weeks, then people started losing interest due to lack of content, poor quality, and cumbersome accessories. The same apathy towards smart home devices may occur if manufacturers are unable to prove how the smart functionality adds value to the home.

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How to create insights from consumers’ click histories

Without any action behind it, data is just a bunch of numbers. Clickstream data is particularly valuable, providing insights about what consumers are doing.

Data alone does not lead to insights. Analyzed data backed by a hypothesis and placed in the right context, on the other hand, does.

Clickstream information is a particularly good set of data for marketers to examine if they want to understand their customers better and connect with them based on their actions.

The many benefits of clickstream data

With clickstream data, you can examine not only how customers are interacting with your brand, but also what they are doing before and after they arrive at your site.

clickstream-data

Clickstream information is based on consumers’ actual click and browsing behaviors, with records of click-throughs and URLs visited collected in the order they occurred, giving marketers important, industrywide insight into online behavior, the customer journey through the funnel, and user experiences.

Rather than providing simple numbers of visits or sales, clickstream information reflects consumer behavior based on their activity and identifies areas companies could improve where the competition might be doing it better.

The insights garnered from clickstream data may not always match your hypothesis, but they are always useful if you ask the right questions.

Don’t collect data just because numbers are nice to fall back on. Instead, focus on collecting information like click history that is directly tied to your business objectives and key performance indicators.

Identify what you want to learn, and focus your collection and analysis on that specific data subset.

Make the most of your clickstream data

Creating actionable insights out of your data is essential to portraying a full and accurate picture of the customer journey. Maximize the effectiveness of your clickstream analysis by employing these three tactics:

1. Have a hypothesis

This is a minimum requirement for a data project to be efficient and lead to insights. Without a hypothesis, you’re just wasting time. The more specific you are in your data requests, the easier it is for your data team to pinpoint exactly what they need to pull, analyze, and provide.

You don’t have to be sure of the outcome, and the data may prove you wrong, but that’s OK. Just be sure your data team enters a project focused and that they reach a conclusion.

Let’s say you run a display campaign to drive awareness and clicks to your own site for a product. If you sell that product through third-party distributors, like Amazon or Target, your hypothesis might be that your display campaign is influencing purchase behavior and conversions on these third-party sites. Without clickstream data, it’s very hard to connect those two pieces and prove or disprove this hypothesis.

tie-to-kpis

2. Tie your analysis to KPIs

Your analysis might reveal plenty of information about how consumers reach and interact with your brand or with your competition, but not all information yields actionable insights. You might find that consumers searching your website tend to search three times. That’s interesting, but you don’t gain real insights from it without understanding how their search activity affects their subsequent behavior or how it differs from consumer search activity on competitors’ sites.

Structuring your hypothesis and analysis around KPIs diminishes the risk of reaching insights that are not actionable. If your leading KPI is, say, trial subscriptions, look into the trial conversion flow of your competitors, and reverse engineer their customer journey through the funnel to detect conversion and abandonment trends at each step.

If the vast majority of consumers bounce during step three of five on your site (but not on your competitors’ sites), test out consolidation steps to improve the user experience and increase conversions.

3. Identify your output goals

Without a clear goal for what you intend to do with clickstream data, you cannot transform it into actionable insights. Are you studying customer journeys to optimize conversions or user experience? Are you looking for details about PR or case studies to grow brand awareness and generate leads?

Answering these questions and setting intentions for your data will help you in many ways, from filtering data requests from the get-go to guiding your thought process when focusing your data request and analysis.

By analyzing customers’ online actions – clicks, purchases on other sites, and their browsing history — with specific output goals, you reveal a world of insight into how they interact with your brand’s web properties, your competition, and how they react to your offering.

Don’t collect clickstream data just for the sake of collecting it. Understand what you want to investigate and how you can benefit from it. Make sure it’s relevant to your company, and then analyze clickstream data to better understand your customers’ actions and optimize their experience.

Marketers need to go beyond just the numbers and patterns that data provides if they want to successfully understand and connect with consumers. Focusing on customer actions will lead to a better understanding of your audience and what resonates with them, increasing the success of your marketing efforts and, ultimately, creating a better business.

This is an abridged version of an article published earlier this week on our sister site ClickZ.

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Accuracy in biometric wearables is consumers’ top priority

fi

While comfort and long battery life are pretty cool, a recent survey found that consumers most desire accuracy from their wearable devices.

An article by Mobile ID World reported survey results from a joint poll of 706 Americans by biometric wearable-maker Valencell and the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group. MEMS stands for Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems.

The survey found that 63% of respondents said that accuracy was a highly important feature of wearable biometric devices. This compared to 57% who ranked comfort as highly important and 47% who prioritized battery life.

Furthermore 73% of those surveyed expected wearable with better accuracy will eventually impact users’ health directly. As well, 74% of respondents who currently do not own biometric wearables say they would consider purchasing one if improved accuracy might assist them in improving their health.

“More consumers than ever before are looking to biometric wearables to monitor their health and fitness, and wearables that cannot be trusted for accuracy will ultimately lose-out to wearables that have been properly validated,” said Valencell President and Co-founder Steven LeBoeuf. “These survey results are testament to Valencell’s view that accurate and interesting insights are critical to the success of the wearable industry, and are the biggest drivers of growth today.”

MEMS crucial components for accuracy

‘MEMS are critical components in boosting the accuracy of medical wearables. These components include pressure sensors, accelerometers, environmental sensors and heart rate monitors that are delivering increasing data granularity.

“Beyond accuracy, MEMS and sensors make wearables more interesting because they literally sense the world around us,” said Karen Lightman, MEMS & Sensors Industry Group executive director. “With so much advanced functionality now at their disposal, I am convinced that wearables designers will introduce new and compelling products that consumers will consider ‘must-have’ rather than just ‘nice-to-own’.”

As well, the survey found that biometric wearables are facing challenges with regards to device recharging. 40% of respondents said they had stopped using their devices because they did not want to go through the bother of continually recharging their wearables.

This comes against the backdrop of anticipated 19% growth in the healthcare wearables market by 2020.

The post Accuracy in biometric wearables is consumers’ top priority appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Accuracy in biometric wearbles is consumers’ top priority

fi

While comfort and long battery life are pretty cool, a recent survey found that consumers most desire accuracy from their wearable devices.

An article by Mobile ID World reported survey results from a joint poll of 706 Americans by biometric wearable-maker Valencell and the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group. MEMS stands for Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems.

The survey found that 63% of respondents said that accuracy was a highly important feature of wearable biometric devices. This compared to 57% who ranked comfort as highly important and 47% who prioritized battery life.

Furthermore 73% of those surveyed expected wearable with better accuracy will eventually impact users’ health directly. As well, 74% of respondents who currently do not own biometric wearables say they would consider purchasing one if improved accuracy might assist them in improving their health.

“More consumers than ever before are looking to biometric wearables to monitor their health and fitness, and wearables that cannot be trusted for accuracy will ultimately lose-out to wearables that have been properly validated,” said Valencell President and Co-founder Steven LeBoeuf. “These survey results are testament to Valencell’s view that accurate and interesting insights are critical to the success of the wearable industry, and are the biggest drivers of growth today.”

MEMS crucial components for accuracy

‘MEMS are critical components in boosting the accuracy of medical wearables. These components include pressure sensors, accelerometers, environmental sensors and heart rate monitors that are delivering increasing data granularity.

“Beyond accuracy, MEMS and sensors make wearables more interesting because they literally sense the world around us,” said Karen Lightman, MEMS & Sensors Industry Group executive director. “With so much advanced functionality now at their disposal, I am convinced that wearables designers will introduce new and compelling products that consumers will consider ‘must-have’ rather than just ‘nice-to-own’.”

As well, the survey found that biometric wearables are facing challenges with regards to device recharging. 40% of respondents said they had stopped using their devices because they did not want to go through the bother of continually recharging their wearables.

This comes against the backdrop of anticipated 19% growth in the healthcare wearables market by 2020.

The post Accuracy in biometric wearbles is consumers’ top priority appeared first on ReadWrite.

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