Author Archives: Victoria Petitjean

Social Robots – Challenges and Potential

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The term Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to (re)creating natural intelligence (human and animal) based on machine learning in computer science area. The goals of AI are for machines and/or computers to replicate/mimic human reflection and reaction. Among others, the focus on AI developing capabilities are the following: (1) problem solving: identifying the action needed to archive and solve at best a specific goal given (2) Reasoning: identifying and acknowledge diverse events, knowledge, relations and other in order to decide on the best solution and analyze its consequences (3) Planning: identifying step by step tasks needed to archive a specific project/goal within sets of time (4) Perception: capable to interpret surroundings (such as voice, face and object) thanks to sensors such as camera, tactile sensors and microphone (5) Motion and manipulation: distinguish his localization, navigate in it environment, manipulate objects, use physical motions and gestures (6) Learning (automatic, semi-supervised and supervised): learn complex relations between its actions and its results for specific improvements on it performance needed such as able to move more effectively. (7) Natural language processing: ability to understand human basic language in specific language and able to communicate/engage in conversation (8) social intelligence: To do these sort of tasks, AI machine must have required human intelligence, therefore these machines must require as well; the ability to fit within our social norms and express and/or perceive emotions

This last capability is much more important for social robots; seen already utilized in warehouses and factory, Robots are now slowly but surely entering our homes and private public places sectors which increase the value of it machines by gradually shaping our new daily life style by being more and more accessible and available seen these past few years.


Lea – The robot assistance for elderly person by The Robot Care:

Being on the market since last year, Lea was built for the purpose of helping elder person to walk or sit thanks to it very though full design, connect with family and friends thanks to an integrated screen and it video communication system, ensuring the safety of it owner thanks to sensors while being able to assist in physical activities, helping to motivate elder people to move and be more active.

Savioke Relay – The service robot in hospitality industry by Savioke

Provide personnel customer service especially in hotels but also in workplaces (used in about 17 localization using it device, counting major hotel brands such as Sheraton, The Westin, Marriott and others), primarily used as transport small items from one person to another.

Buddy – The home companion and assistant robot by Blue Frog Robotics

Built with a screen to represent the “face” and “head” and moving on wheels, Buddy is a “companion” robot that offer assistance (ex:controlling smart home appliances), entrainment at home (play with kids) and interfaces but more importantly, Buddy is here to make your home more secure as he can be used as a movable camera and can detect anything going on in your own home when you are not there and send you a signal when there is something fishy going on when you are out.

In the past as well as today, the issues for robots to be placed in our home sphere and being able to communicate with, lies less on the lack of it technology development but more on boundaries, ethical and moral issues and the complexity of our social norms in human society. These issues turned to create further complex questions if social robots would be accepted into human’s daily life style. Developers have tried to focus on according these concerns by creating “acceptable” robots as this technology brings a lot of concerns. Andrea Thomaz, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the university of Texas at Austin, explain this situation briefly in her TEDtalks speech: “The Next Frontier in Robotics: Social, Collaborative Robots” where also explain the importance of assembling few different capabilities into the social robots that we have cited and describe at the beginning of the article.

For robots to become a further developed social companion however, it is much more complex as it could seem. For that, robots should not only recognize behavioral pattern, but also be able to communicate and act as we human-to-human. They should be able to detect therefore, human emotions, sarcasm and motives to react on them as we are living within a constant dynamic environment. Thanks to that, the two-way flow actions between robot-to-human goal achievement would be much more easy and possible but the development of this specific capability us much more complex to attain. However, the recent availability of robots for home as companion, with Buddy (available to pre-order since mid 2016) or Jibo (available to purchase since end of 2017) have risen hopes for possible further development in such a robot to acquire their maximum potential to soon really become the reason our life changing daily routines.




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Reasons behind smartphone games’ popularity

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We all know that devices such as smartphones or tablets are multitasking handheld personal computer that are used for several purposes other than calling and texting alone.
Today’s mobile devices are used as camera, calendar, television, web browsing, sending e-mail, geolocation, tape recorder, calculator, compass, accelerometer, digital mapping and many other. These features build a strong product value to consumers which gives the possibility for each consumer to personalise their device(s) further by downloading any applications needed and wished resulting to use one single device instead of few for many users.

Games are one of the most popular application’s categories, representing a total of 39% of all downloaded applications, generating over $50 billions in revenue worldwide in 2016 which counts up to 81% of mobile store consumer spending (compering to 75% in 2014). While the gaming industry is growing in terms of profitability counting over $100 billion in revenue in 2016, the thriving preferences to play games on mobile devices seen these past few years resulted last year to generate (for the first time) the biggest source of revenue from the other devices such as PC or even consoles games (32% in total comparing at 31% for consoles and 23% for PC).

source: Newzoo, 2017

The reasons of it changed trend are caused due to few main reasons:

Lower cost of production: Due to a far less development costs to create games on smartphones thanks to a far less needs of complicated coding because of smartphone’s smaller screen sizes, lower resolution and processing power, it results to decrease greatly the cost to produce such games. Also, because these are downloaded by the users directly through the device, it negating the need for packaging and shipping, all that resulting to lower as well dramatically the price of the game to the user.

Growing number of smartphone users: We see every year a considerable growing number of smartphone users worldwide (this year, almost 11% increase of smartphone users in comparison to 2016, making in total around 2.4 billion to use such a device), making these games a lot more accessible for any smartphone owner today.

New type of market segment: Not everyone wants complicated games and willing to “waist” their time on time-consuming games. Rather than that, a lot are just looking for quick and easy time-passing games just to entertain themselves for a few laps of time while waiting for a friend, on the bus and other ones.

Makes it possible to play anywhere, anytime: Smartphones gives the possibility to play games anywhere thanks to their size, making them extremely portable oppositely to PC or consoles that requires bigger space and more are more complicated to connect in comparison to smartphones.–J_8oD73UFpayprei7D3UQ9VKbVkqeX7g&_hsmi=53391639&utm_content=53391903&utm_source=hs_email&hsCtaTracking=b1e7ad0f-0367-47fe-af74-d25b087e0247%7C1f97673a-73fc-4014-ac26-8ed0a696bc2a

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Understand UX and it new trends

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Popularized by Donald Norman in the 90’s, user experience (UX, UD, UXD or UED) has over the years involve in very wide meanings. UX refers to the quality experienced by the user while interacting with a product (computer, smart-phone…), service (web site, application) or system (software). UX defined by multiple and combined processes such as marketing, usability, branding, visual design when designing a website. But UX is furthermore crucial due to it many purposes and goal seeking objectives including; increase shareholder interests and meets their needs, positive emotions, behaviour and enhance value toward the interface product as well as increasing sales and traffic.

As focusing here to e-retailers, there are many processes to take into account when designing such platform. Jesse James Garrett provides in his book “The Elements of User Experience” the five ideas elements explaining; strategy and requirements to information architecture and visual design in order to create a successful user experience.
The elements include:
(1) The Surface Plane: Includes series of images/texts (explicit, understandable, attractive, desirable) through which, by a click will transfer to another subpage needed by the user (Visual Design)
(2) The Skeleton Plane: Website strategically designed layout for the purpose of maximizing effects and efficiency (clear, simple and visible): (Interface Design/Navigation Design/Information Design)
(3) The Structure Plane: Understanding thanks to user interaction with the website, his needs and expectations to better meet and facilitate his experience during usage. (Interaction Design/Information Architecture)
(4) The Scope Plane: Group features included in website needed to help the user (ex: shopping basket) (Content Requirements/Functional Specifications)
(5) The Strategy Plane: Defines the user needs and therefore the objectives to meet them and which should as well result end goal objectives of the website (User needs/Site Objective)

Magnus Revang point out that while proceeding to all processes, the user must always be first considered. In his diagram “The User Experience Wheel”, Revang sum up all the six most important principles that must always be taken into account while designing a website: Findability (user able to find what he is looking for?), accessibility (contains able to be used by every user?), desirability (enhancing needs and interest to the user?), usability (easy to use, learn? pleasant? Meet user needs?), credibility (creates a sense of trust for the users?).


While we understand now the importance and purposes of UX for e-commerce, there is one very important concern that should be taking into serious matter; the constant change of user’s needs and expectations. This is why UX is a dynamic process, urgently needing a not ending progress. As said above, UX has complex and wide meaning which have been really popularized and looked through with the rise of digital use thanks to technology development and changes in economic trend. Below we will describe the few UX new trends observed during the last year as well as other that we might experience in the future thanks to hint indicators. This information is essential to look into due to rapid technology changes and which can help to greatly optimize business to differentiate themselves and be on top of the game. It is as well important to note that while some trends have not yet been implemented to their full potential and/or come across to all three product, system or services, it is crucial to take them into account and thoughtfully think if these ones, if implemented in the future would in fact help optimize user experience in different fields. Below we will describe some of them.

  • Time saving design

While this trend has for years been already a big concern, business understand that they should furthermore improve on it category. Online companies such as Uber or Airbnb have integrated it strategy where the need and achievement goal of the user is met in a very short period of time thanks to very simple linear few steps.

  • Integration of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is also one of key for future implementations solution for time saving in UX where if fully developed can predict the user needs before the user himself. It could be a great feature for mobile system development, e-retailer with live chat-bot or shopping assistance solution, product recommendation and many, many other. This is a great promise to value furthermore the service, system or product for the user but also to the business itself whereas it can save time and money.

  • Smarter Personalization

Algorithm integration in platforms such as Facebook helps to decide automatically what kind of news feeds to prioritize for you to see based on your past and most clicked “likes, shared, comments and time spent on a particular link. Also, it takes in consideration your family members and close friends as well as the importance of the story post by your friends (such as birthday, importance of the event posted, number of engagements on a post etc).

  • Improving your website design

Not only most of website must be compatible and appealing to all digital devices available due to increase of their use but also it is important to understand the user design preferences when it comes to websites. Information are important and which, only 20% of all content text are red in a website by a user, this is why it is important to shorter it as much as possible, leaving blank white spaces instead for the other features to stand out (product, image, text…).

  • Micro-interaction

The Web has involved in a way which result to be able to communicate and interact in form of dialogue between users. However, as again time is getting furthermore precious, micro-interaction is a great solution. Facebook messenger app allows today users to reply with a simple emoji to a particular private message resulting to an easy, fun, time saver and understandable tool.

  • Payment method

While some innovations from China might still be “too” advanced for most e-commerce websites and users, new possibilities of payment method should never the less be known and stay in the back of the head in case. Alibaba had introduced a few years back the new purchase method possibility called “Alipay” that thanks to face recognition users can purchase their items online. While this method was too advance for the majority before, it is however, now getting a lot more accepted which got a whole lot more potential after Apple introduced it feature in it iPhone X this fall. Alipay is now implement even in physical store such as KFC this year in china, showing the growing approach of it technology.

  • Virtual Reality and augmented reality

Alibaba again, introduced last year Buy+ which make it now possible thanks to a very simple VR device and a smartphone, to browse and/or shop item in virtual mall such as Macy’s in NYC. This is particularly interesting whereas Macy’s is not present in China and so now gives anyway the possibility for Chinese to make real-time purchase, giving a sense of the store experience in another country. This is an incredible innovation that might really turn as a radical change, giving a real experience to the customers that will certainly result to greater value for both retailers and customers.





Social Media Influencers – Why they matter

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Thanks to the connected world and social media Influencers (SMI); introducing the worldwide and new word-of-mouth type, being today, one of the most effective digital marketing strategy ever created for both small business and larger ones.

Being once unknown to the world, social media influencers are now “icons” in the social media sphere and beyond. Whether they are present on YouTube, blogs, Instagram or other, Social Media Influencers are now everywhere on the internet; creating contains where they communicate and share their personal life, ideas, passion, products experience and many other. Many social media Influencers have gained over time a large and significant number of viewers and followers as well as love towards them from their audience, creating communities that groups members with similar interests. The word “influencer” directly insinuates the power of these individuals towards their viewers which with their advice on products on their channels can result to persuade their audience thanks to their authenticity and built strong truest over the years. Now investing on influencers as a marketing strategy is one of the clever way to market a product and/or brand, from small business to worldwide ones, which on average, the return on $1 dollar invested on it marketing approach is counted at $6.50, resulting to place as well first of the most cost-effective marketing strategy regarding costumer acquisition and which more than half of all 125 marketers answered to believe gaining the best quality kind of customers through their social influencers in comparison to other marketing form. Study found by Twitter and Annalect that 40% of responded claimed to have purchase at least one product thanks to a social media influencer, and which nearly 50% claimed that they believe and rely on product recommendations from influencers before purchasing. No wonder why, among all marketing channel it is the fastest growing market channels online which somewhat 60% of all marketers had for plans to increase their budget on it strategy during 2015/2016 according to Tomoson marketing study. The reason of it digital success is because people truest individuals more than brands themselves and sometimes recruiting a celebrity to represent a brand can be highly costly and out of reach for most businesses, inversely to SMI which result to a great win-win situation for all parties (businesses, potential new customers and social media influencers).
Choosing the right influencer for the right business is as well important. A large and wide audience have both positive and negative aspect where it is good to reach as much people as possible but an analyse of what kind of audience a particular influencer has is crucial. Businesses have to think about the influencer like a real ambassador, where, not only it is important to take in consideration influencer’ popularity level but also analyse if most of it followers match the company’ target consumers. Also, it is important to keep in mind that the influencer chosen, will later on represent the brand, it is therefore important to take into consideration the story of the influencer, how they behave (regularly posts, use hashtags, posts appropriate contains), how they followers respond to their contains etc. Any SMI is not right for a particular business, but, businesses not taking this digital marketing strategy trend seriously should watch out and envisage twice to it decision.





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