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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.

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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.

http://www.nytimes.com/video/technology/100000004574648/china-internet-wechat.html?smid=fb-share

 

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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)