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BlackBerry’s vision of customer service’s future is bright

What does the future of customer service look like? Hint: it still involves people, retailers, and devices, but is streamlined, faster, and customized to each consumer.

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BlackBerry forges ahead

We all know that Research In Motion (RIM), the creators or BlackBerry devices, are struggling – stocks are falling, they are no longer the media darlings, devices hitting the market right now are criticized for being less than visionary. Despite their challenges, BlackBerry envisions an amazing future filled with their devices in a way that automates life but doesn’t eliminate the need for human interaction.

[ba-youtubeflex videoid=”6TQtrXyeIhY”]

A jazzed up version of today’s technologies

Some have criticized this video for being unrealistic, but there are already existing technologies that do everything in the video, but with a more disjointed interface and functioning through various devices and apps rather than just a single device that handles all of the functions, and they all look the same.

In the video, RIM imagines [ba-highlight bg=”#DDDDDD” color=”#333333″]device integration[/ba-highlight], which is similar to how internet-connected Blu-ray players already behave. Point a device at a television and control it. You can even plug your iPhone or Android in to your HDTV, and even more amazing, there is already an app that turns any tv into a browser. Having all of your devices communicate already exists, although it remains disjointed.

Also in the video, we see [ba-highlight bg=”#DDDDDD” color=”#333333″]mobile and social[/ba-highlight], which of course already exists. Most retail sites allow you to share content directly from the site, but the advantage RIM is pointing out in their device is that it could be tied to your device’s contacts rather than just your Facebook, or just your Twitter. Even companies like Bing are mixing in mobile and social, for example, as they have made search social, and even though that is only one aspect of a device’s use, the groundwork has been laid.

[ba-highlight bg=”#DDDDDD” color=”#333333″]Immediate customer response[/ba-highlight] is envisioned in the video, which exists today through a variety of web apps, website plug-ins, and e-commerce features, and at its most crude form is available through web chat on a standard website. [ba-highlight bg=”#DDDDDD” color=”#333333″]Retail management apps[/ba-highlight] and [ba-highlight bg=”#DDDDDD” color=”#333333″]supply chain management[/ba-highlight] tools already exist and have amazing analytics that are improving constantly, but RIM’s vision of how the user sees and interacts with the app is definitely above and beyond sexy. The goal here appears to be reducing many tasks down to a single click, which would definitely a plus.

In the cab, the woman is given her total electronically, pays by holding up her app, collaborates through chat and browser sharing, and her device knows she is on the way to the station and offers to sell her a ticket with one click. These are all current technologies, using GPS, geo-fencing, and mobile payment systems, some of which you can already use without pulling out a credit card, like TabbedOut, and collaboration tools as simple as Skype.

[ba-highlight bg=”#DDDDDD” color=”#333333″]Augmented reality[/ba-highlight] (AR) has existed for years, allowing people to hold up their phone and see messages and pop ups through their camera, typically showing where a business is or what its offers are. This technology is, however, getting a boost from companies like Google with their augmented reality glasses which is not the same vision RIM has of AR, but close.

[ba-highlight bg=”#DDDDDD” color=”#333333″]Point of sale[/ba-highlight] specials, and custom tailored offers are already done through loyalty program apps through phones, and the [ba-highlight bg=”#DDDDDD” color=”#333333″]connected home[/ba-highlight] is already here in many forms. Now, the one part of Minority Report that has not become a mainstream reality is walking into a store that recognizes your device, and begins communicating with you through a hologram. It’s coming though. We applaud RIM’s vision still including humans, rather than the idea that everything will be run by robots by 2020.

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Roland Estrada

    June 8, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I started laughing out loud when I read the headline. I come not to bury Caesar, but to praise him – In reading the article I wasn’t quite sure if it was in praise of BlackBerry or just the fanciful vision the future they paint in the video. In any case, as “visionary” as the video is, I doubt that BlackBerry will be on the forefront of any of these technologies.
     
    We are five years into the touch screen revolution and BlackBerry has yet to produce a touch screen phone that anyone will buy. They also can’t seem to put out an OS that doesn’t feel like one is using DOS. Their new OS won’t be out until late this year and may be to little to late. Has the rotund lady started singing? No, not yet but she is on her way to the theatre. BlackBerry has been down before and might make it back this time but it will be a long hard slog.   

    • Yves Cuyugan

      June 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm

       @Roland EstradaRoland, let’s not forget the acquisitions of several companies made by RIM. These companies acquired by RIM knew RIM’s position in the smart phone market. The vision must’ve made sense for these companies for them to allow RIM to buy them. QNX, TAT, Paratek, etc… They all play major roles on what can/will happen down the road with these device integration.

      • Roland Estrada

        June 9, 2012 at 10:35 am

         @Yves Cuyugan Maybe. The jury is still out. Companies agree to be aquured mostly for money not someone elses grand vision. Usually, the talent within the acquired company will leave to do other things. RIM’s problem for the last five years has been the lack of vision and lack of execution. You can buy all the great tech in the world but if you have lousy management, forget it.
         
        Palm had an operating system with great potential when they were bought by HP. Problem, HP could not execute. If RIM can’t win hearts and minds later this year with their new operating system then the future looks bleak for them.  

  2. Roland Estrada

    June 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I decided to circle back to this subject in light of two things – Apple’a developer conference being held this week and BlackBerry’s one trick pony announcement, the BlackBerry Music Gateway. I know, the one trick pony comment is a cheap shot, but it was served right over the plate, so I hit it. 
     
    The BlackBerry Music Gateway is already behind the curve. It costs fifty dollars and only does one thing, stream music. You can spend $100 on an Apple TV and stream music,  movies, videos, photos and play games  from an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. With the arrival of the new Mac OS this next month, you will also be able view your laptop display on your HDTV using Apple’s AirPlay. The Apple TV also lets you view Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, MLB, NBA, NHL, and more. Apple of course is not alone. Vudu, Roku and others make great alternatives to Apple’s set top box, albeit without the ecosystem. 
     
    The point is that you can hire out to present a gorgeous gee-wiz video, but that doesn’t mean your company will be the company to bring these technologies to market. Given BlackBerry’s recent troubles and horrible leadership, they will be hard pressed to deliver on anything shown in the video to any great degree of success.
     
    The idea of a unified consumer experience complete with geo-fencing is outlined in Apple’s press release below. This will be available in iOS 6.
     
    Apple iOS 6 Passbook”The new Passbook app is the simplest way to get all your passes in one place, such as boarding passes and baseball tickets. Passbook lets you scan your iPhone or iPod touch to use a coupon, get into a concert or check into your hotel. Passbook automatically displays your passes on your Lock Screen based on a specific time or location, so when you walk into your favorite coffee shop your loyalty card appears and you can scan it to buy a coffee or check your balance. Passbook can even alert you to last minute gate changes or flight delays at the airport.”

  3. Roland Estrada

    June 13, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    I’ve found the perfect term for times I read dubious tech posts on real estate tech sites – Claim Chowder. I know I sometimes come off as a jerk on these posts. But you can’t just have a bunch of cheerleaders. 
     
    “There’s a term called Claim Chowder that was, as far as I can tell, coined by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber. It refers to when someone makes a prediction with an aura of certainty and knowledge that turns out to be horribly wrong.” Credit – The 401st Blow. 
     
    This is a great post on Claim Chowder. 
    https://401stblow.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/claim-chowder/
     
     

  4. Roland Estrada

    June 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Well, this doesn’t look good. 🙂 I know like Apple, that BlackBerry has it’s fanboys but I think it’s time look elsewhere at least for now. 
     
    https://www.macworld.com/article/1167496/rim_delays_blackberry_10_reports_plummeting_sales.html#lsrc.rss_main

    • Yves Cuyugan

      June 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm

       @Roland Estrada 

    • Yves Cuyugan

      June 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm

       @Roland Estrada It’s rough and will only get rougher. I’m not going to say tides are going to turn for RIM either. All scenarios at this point diverts to a gloomy end. Yes i will admit that I am fan and been a user of RIM products since 2000 but as a fan, all i can do is hope for the better. I’m not a blind fanboy and when the time comes to throw the flag, i will gladly do so.

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Business News

Supreme Court okays trademarking for ‘generic’ name URLs

(BUSINESS NEWS) Generic name trademarks have helped to stave off monopolies of broad products and services, but the Supreme Court just ruled that generic company names like Booking.com, can now be trademarked.

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generic trademark

For years, The United States Patent and Trademark Office has denied rights to names termed as “generic.” This was previously used to prevent generic terms from monopolizing a section of the market. It has prevented many companies from doing that as well.

However, as we move into the 21st century we begin to see things that may not be so cut and dry. As usual life gets messy and things are far more grey than they previously have been.

Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled that website names are eligible for a change to the previous trademark rules. The website that pushed for this privilege first, Booking.com that is owned by Booking Holdings Inc., argued that they needed this ruling to stop consumers from following copycats down a rabbit hole and away from their business.

The decision, heavily weighted at 8-1, gives Booking.com, nationwide legal protection against competing companies trademarks.

A remark released later by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Supreme Court states, “We have no cause to deny Booking.com the same benefits Congress accorded other marks qualifying as nongeneric.” An argument quoted from the decision continues as since, “‘Booking.com’ is not a generic name to consumers, it is not generic.”

This stance, taken by the majority, exemplifies a firm position on the rights of the individual companies’ abilities to identify themselves as they see fit.

The lone dissenting vote coming from Justice Stephen Breyer who argued that he fears that this decision “will lead to a proliferation of ‘generic.com’ marks, granting their owners a monopoly over a zone of useful, easy-to-remember domains.”

Honestly, if you can’t come up with your own domain that either incorporates, but doesn’t copy, or gets your point across without being too generic, you may need to hire a PR person.

This move forward from the Supreme Court opens up a lot of possibilities for people to be creative with their businesses. If generic and simple names will be the norm, then people will have to think outside the box in the future. Bring on the challenges.

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Business News

New company beats Amazon with next morning delivery?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Amazon has a new competitor in South Korea: Coupang, with faster shipping than Prime.

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delivery services

What if I told you Amazon Prime’s, 1-3 day guaranteed delivery time isn’t the fastest e-commerce service the world has to offer? You would think I’m lying right?

Coupang, one of the world’s fastest delivery services located in South Korea, allows you to order any item, anytime before midnight, promising that it will be at your doorstep by 7am! (I wasn’t lying!) With 70% of its employees living within a 10 minute radius of a Coupang center, 80% of residents residing in populated cities and 95% of it’s population owning a smartphone, South Korea has become the perfect e-commerce epicenter. Coupang employees over 10,000 people who together deliver 99.3% of all orders within 24 hours. Imagine it’s Tuesday night, you’re falling asleep and suddenly remember you forgot to get your wife a present for her 50th birthday tomorrow. You have two options: accept your fate of being put in the dog house for three long weeks, or quickly order a few great items off Coupang’s website that’ll be delivered BEFORE she even wakes up!

Like Amazon, Coupang allows its customers to create a profile, store desired products in a list, and check out using your saved payment method. Half of South Korea’s total population of 51.6 million has installed Coupang’s app with a surge of people trying Coupang for the first time during stay at home orders due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The company struggled to meet fulfillment demands, especially those including PPE, household cleaning products, and children’s necessities. While many companies are struggling to stay afloat, Coupang is quickly adapting to meet consumer demands. In March, the company opened a new logistics center to expand its overnight/same day delivery services and is currently working to reach an even broader population.

Believe it or not, right before Coupang received a $2 Billion investment from SoftBanks, its founder, Kim Bom debated walking away from it all. Bom founded the company in 2010, receiving the investment in 2018 and is expected to pursue an IPO by the end of 2020. So for all of you entrepreneurs wondering if you should give up on that decade long dream…DON’T. Coupang went from selling a few hundred items each day to 3.3 million. Now that’s what you call entrepreneurism!

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Google plans to pay publishers for content (a little too late)?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Google will finally pay publishers for news, but only a few, and they have to meet Google standards.

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google, bad

I mean…could you get any greedier Google? (Chandler Bings voice).

After years and years of pressure and complaints from publishers that Google’s search feed doesn’t properly recognize them or the news they work so hard to report, Google has finally announced that they will begin to pay publishers for content. But only some.

WHAT A LOAD OF BS.

According to the News Media Alliance, Google profited 4.7 BILLION in 2019 as a search engine for the news industry. So now, not only is Google fleecing its content providers and the writers who are working to create material for them, but it’s quite likely that Google’s algorithm is pushing paid news to the top of its search feed. What does this mean for users? It means that for one, you will see what they want you to see, but most importantly, it means that Google HAS the money to pay its publishers but chooses not too!

Google’s announcement to start paying publishers excludes all publishers outside Brazil, Germany, and Australia. Even within the countries that Google closed a deal with, there are many that do not meet its “high quality content” requirement for a paid position. The problem with all this nonsense is that we stopped letting the news come from others like us, and instead, according to the U.S News Media Alliance, the news is entirely owned by a handful of companies. You may have 635 channels on your TV, but if you google…or maybe you should duck duck go it, you’ll find that all those channels lead back to one huge organization.

SO WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?

Google has definitely been pressured to make some big changes, and while paying publishers is a good first step in the right direction, is it enough to make up for years of damage?

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