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Mobile wallets: skewed market research

Kind of a tech geek, my attention was drawn to this article in Business Insider today. Yes, I know, your wallet has been mobile all along. Mine too, but I was kind of hoping it was about hardware wallets. Turns out that mobile wallets are apps that store payment card information in your smartphone, allowing you to make in-store payments. Mastercard, heavily invested into the phenomenon with its Masterpass, did some market research about mobile wallets and came up with a conclusion that seems rather biassed. Mobile Wallets were mentioned In 75% (!) of 3.5 million social media conversations about new payment methods. Yet these apps are used in just 1% of retail sales. Their conclusion: mainstream breakthrough is hindered by too many available mobile wallet apps, lack of support for store loyalty cards and consumers waiting for wearable wallets. My two cents: with 75% awareness and 1% penetration, could it be that the public just isn’t interested? 🙂 My wallet contains all cards I need, is finished in premium leather and I do wear it … in my back pocket.


Beware of App myopia

These day, apps are all the rage … for some reason every online service needs it’s own app. Supposedly for your convenience, but really so all separate service providers can collect your personal data. This NY Times article/documentary now praises the strategy of the Chinese WeChat app, were all online services imaginable are being combined into one app. Disruptive, pioneering, innovative … well, not really. What is such an app called if you think outside the hyped frame-of-mind? An internet browser, isn’t it? The only difference … more online services forced back towards a single application, enable the provider to get hold of your behavior and profile. Not too fond of the business world turning to totalitarian regimes for inspiration, quite frankly.



Scary live video manipulation

Recently, Stanford University released a research paper illustrating just how easy it is to tamper with real-time video, using just a simple webcam. This is illustrated by the video below. Scary to think how this could be used in the media. Do have a look, it is that good that at first I was convinced it was a hoax.

Face2Face: Real-time Face Capture and Reenactment of RGB Videos (CVPR 2016 Oral)