Baby You Can Drive My Car

That is so Yesterday!  See what I did there 🙂

The modern version is that there actually is no one driving your car. Are you ready for this?

In the fall of 2010, Google announced that it developed “self-piloting” Toyota Prius Hybrids and they were loose on the streets of California. Mostly on Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles.  And they had driven 140,000 miles with no issues. The vehicles were powered by unproven artificial intelligence software.  Those Google people are pretty smart.

Fast forward to 2014 and now everyone is getting in the game to provide “driverless” cars. Audi, BMW, GM, Nissan, Toyota, and Volvo all have announced plans to “unveil” an autonomous car by 2020. Google says to watch for its public debut of its prototype in 2016. Still, a truly autonomous vehicle, one capable of dealing with any real-world situation, won’t hit showrooms coast-to-coast for years after that.

But we have the technology already. Plus there would be no accidents, less traffic, all sorts of awesome benefits.  What the heck is taking so long?

Simple answer.  People.  We are not close to relinquishing control of the steering wheel. Heck,I never let anyone else drive. You know why?  Because I like it and so do you 🙂  Great technology in search of a problem.  Wonder what generation will adopt? Wonder if we will be around to see it?

And now a classic by the Beatles for your listening pleasure.

Webman

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Apps Bigger than Television?

Not yet but close.

Mobile apps has overtaken browsing on the desktop web, it’s starting to challenge television, Flurry says. The San Francisco-based mobile analytics startup says that consumers are spending 127 minutes per day in mobile apps, up 35 percent from 94 minutes a day in the same time last year. At the same time, desktop web usage actually declined slightly by 2.4 percent from 72 to 70 minutes.

This means that U.S. consumers are spending nearly two times more time in mobile apps than on the web. And this time spent is now starting to challenge time spent watching TV. Flurry estimates that the average U.S. consumer watches 168 minutes of television per day, based on data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2010 and 2011.

App consumption

Check out www.flurry.com to learn more about mobile application.

Webman

Looking for Feedback

Going out to have a drink with a friend or family member, always an enjoyable time.  Meeting friends at a pub for dinner, some music, a good laugh, awesome.  But how would you feel if you were being recorded without your knowledge and that advancing facial recognition software could identify you without your permission?

So here is the situation – You and a friend walk into a neighborhood bar, order a cocktail, and, unbeknownst to you both, a camera above is scanning your faces to determine your age and gender. Your details are then combined with data on other bar patrons and then made available via a mobile application for users trolling for a good-time venue with the right genetic make-up.

This is not science fiction.  It is real and it has just been rolled out in San Francisco.  The name of the company is SceneTap http://www.scenetap.com/

SceneTap is a maker of cameras that pick up on facial characteristics to determine a person’s approximate age and gender. The company works with venues to install these cameras and track customers. It also makes web and mobile applications that allow random observers to find out, in real-time, the male-to-female ratio, crowd size, and average age of a bar’s patrons. And there is no way to avoid it if you are there.

Launched in Chicago last July, SceneTap is now live in seven markets, including San Francisco and Austin, and has tracked more than 8.5 million people at 400 partner venues. Bamboo Hut, Bar None, milk bar, The Abassador, Fluid Ultra Lounge and 20 other San Francisco locations now have the i-spy cameras in place.

SceneTap promises that all data is collected anonymously and that nothing is recorded or stored. For nightlife-lovers, it’s a fail-proof way to get a preview of a bar or club. Venues can offer specials, and are given tools to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns. Marketing measurement at its finest.

Is this over the line for you?  We all know that privacy went out the window a long time ago, but now this?

In the case of Foursquare, for example, the consumer is in charge.  You decide whether you want to share this information or not. With SceneTap, the consumer has no say in the matter. Walk into one of these bars and you’re being digitally sized up — and there’s nothing you can do about it. What happens when they start to capture additional personal information such as height, weight, ethnicity, or wealth?

Let me know what you think by posting below.

Webman