Amazon just won't leave us alone (healthcare?!). Plus we talk cell phone free zones, taking back control of personal data, and an open source voice assistant.
Future Commerce featured in retail TouchPoints:
- We were wondering where all our new listeners came from. It came from this review in retail TouchPoints.
- Klaudia Tirico shoutout. Thanks for featuring us!
- Either we've elevated ourselves to Jason and Scott and the official NRF podcast level, or we've brought them all down to our level.
- We're currently in Seattle for a live show with Merchant to Merchant. We'll be joined in a panel with merchants from Filson and Mervin Manufacturing.
- Buzz Marketing alert! Filson's got a dope flagship store: it even manufactures products in store. (And Filson's been around since the Yukon Gold Rush).
Amazon's a for-profit venture now to the tune of 1.9 Billion last quarter:
- Washington Post reports on their profits for Q4.
- Amazon attributes a good portion of the profit and gross sales to Echo device demand.
- Bezos: "Expect us to double down." Watch out, people.
- AWS drove profits. 26% of operating margin in Q4. AWS sales rose 45% to 5.1 Billion.
- Charlie O'shea: "Growth, growth, and more growth."
- Buzz Marketing! Amazon's Super Bowl commercial.
- Could they be teasing replacing Alexa's voice? Maybe a user configurable voice? (Please let it be J.A.R.V.I.S.)
- Brian's "wouldn't it be weird" moment: what if we could record snippets of our voice and turn them into audio assistant voices?
- Phillip geeks out and shares a Star Trek anecdote: Majel Barrett-Roddenberry, the original voice of the Star Trek computer, had every part of her voice phonetically captured before she died. Now they could embody her posthumously into a device using this data.
- CIA and FBI shout out!
- Another shout out! We were just on Kiri Master's podcast, Ecommerce Brain Trust. Check it out. We talked a lot. Thanks, Kiri!
Hot take: Amazon is killing Whole Foods:
- (Brian says it's fake news)
- Is Brian ever going to say anything negative about Amazon? Probably not.
- Business insider reports on new procedures for Whole Foods that make people cry.
- Brian's take: Actually, Amazon is the savior. Whole Foods rolled out OTS before the merger and it didn't work. Amazon wants to fix the problem.
- Phillip's take: millennials now have to operate like an actual business. Sadness.
Amazon again? Alexa added voice activated texting as a feature:
- Retail TouchPoints says Amazon's adding voice activated texting to Alexa.
- Brooks Brothers are an early adopter for Alexa business. They're using it for Business enablement on the back end.
Seriously, more Amazon? Amazon healthcare, anyone? (free delivery for Prime members):
- Partnering with JP Morgan Chase and Warren Buffet to improve healthcare in some mysterious way.
- If you rearrange the letters in their names, it's an anagram for Weyland-Yutani Corporation.
- Wow, Brian is excited about this? No way! The all benevolent Amazon will use our personal data to improve our lives.
- Brian's privatized universal healthcare.
- Phillip says we're all already working for Amazon in some way.
Chris Rock bans phones at shows:
- Chris Rock is using the yondr pouch at shows.
- A new move toward cell phone free spaces?
- People on Twitter are celebrating this.
- This is almost 5 years too late.
- Is there a social quotient? AQ.
- Yondr markets cell phone cases that lock your phone until the end of the event.
Google clips camera Segue:
- It came out.
- Brian: We don't have to be involved. You can be in the moment and review the information later.
- Phillip: "You would not be saying this if you had watched Black Mirror."
- But a possible positive trend: we might wind up creating privacy and cell phone free zones.
- We can still live and have technology but still respect the boundaries of technology free areas.
Strava Data Issues:
- This year, it turns out a bunch of US military personnel revealed secret US military bases by logging their activities on fitness trackers.
- This is a human flaw. Shouldn't they know better than to log their personal activity on secret military sites?
- What's the balance between personal and company/government responsibility?
- What responsibility do companies have over publishing body data?
- We should have greater control over how body data is used and published.
- EU's GDPR compliance. ZDnet article says 22% of businesses aren't near compliant in the next 12 months. Check it out.
- GDPR big decision: you not only have the right to your anonymity, but you can delete yourself from the internet.
- Merchants: make your customers data available to them and let them control it. Build partnerships with your customers.
Open Source Voice Assistant:
- Mycroft just launched a Kickstarter for an open source voice assistant.
- They have a physical device you can actually source the parts and build it yourself.
- A third party company could make their own version.
- It's the Mark II device. The Mark I already exists as a private device.
- Brian is worried about this.
- They have a lot of interesting partners including Ubuntu foundation Mozilla foundation is supporting it. You have large partners supporting it.
- Open source alternative.
- Look out for a keynote on open source upcoming from Phillip.
- Phillip is stoked about it.