Digitalist Flash Briefing: UX 2018: User Experiences For A New Generation

Remember the excitement when you got your first smartphone? Your curiosity the first time you typed “@” online? As the world becomes increasingly digital, we expect great experiences in every interaction with every business and organization. What does this mean for user experience (UX) designers?

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Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

Meet Some of the Women Building Comcast’s Next-Generation IoT Experiences


    By Ashley Reed, Human Resources for the Digital Home Team at Comcast Cable

    For Internet of Things engineers, there’s a lot to be excited about these days, but one thing that’s been particularly inspiring to me – as a woman who is continuously on the lookout for talented software engineers – is the emergence of so many brilliant, dynamic women who are helping to create the next generation of connected home experiences.

    While we still have plenty of work to do to create more diverse teams in software engineering, the progress we’ve made as a technology community is inspiring.  If you visit one of our IoT centers of excellence in Philadelphia, or Austin or Silicon Valley, you’ll find any number of scrum meetings that are mostly made up of women or are being led by women, or both.

    We know this is critical because diverse teams are more innovative. A 2015 McKinsey & Company study Mckinsey found that more diverse companies perform better financially. And all the evidence we’ve seen – both anecdotal and empirical – reinforces the real-world value of diverse teams.

    We also know that any progress we make has an amplifying effect.

When women engineers come to interview with us, they often ask to talk to other women in the organization. Having so many talented diverse people to refer them to at all levels of our organization helps us attract critical talent.

    There are too many stories to share, but I asked three of my colleagues to tell their stories, and have collected those here.


Creating Seamless Connected Home Experiences

Jugnu Gupta is senior director of product management, leading the IoT products and partner ecosystem for Comcast. She focuses on building the technology behind the Xfinity Partner Program, which lets Xfinity customers control a large and growing array of IoT devices like Nest Thermostats, Philips Hue Lights, and August Smart Locks, all from their Xfinity Home hubs.


   Jugnu is also a leader on the team that built connected home “scenes” for Xfinity Home.

This lets customers set simple scenes like “Good Morning” or “Leaving” that prompt Xfinity Home to seamlessly perform a number of actions like turning on specific lights, arming or disarming the security system, and adjusting the temperature.


For Jugnu, work is driven by a deep passion for the power of IoT to improve people’s lives, and a firm belief that connected home experiences should be for everyone, not just techies, and early adopters. “I work very hard every day to build experiences that are easy to understand, enable and use on an ongoing basis,” Jugnu said. “With relevant recommendations that are personalized to each customer, simple first-time experiences, intuitive controls and automation, our customers can now use IoT products with minimum effort and even limited technical know-how to make their lives better.”


Creating Magic Through Simplicity

Tina Kim, a senior product manager on the digital home team, did not start her career at Comcast working on IoT products and experiences. Instead, she managed the powerful Platforms Rules Engine that the digital home engineering team leverages to build connected home products and services. To Tina, who is based in Comcast’s Silicon Valley Office, the IoT group was just one of many tenants using her team’s platform.


   As she started working closely with the Xfinity Home team, she became a personal convert to IoT as well, installing IoT devices at home and tinkering with them to find the perfect balance. Now she’s a firm believe both in the potential of IoT, as well as the importance of making it accessible to customers.


   “I envision a future where automation lives across virtually all of our devices.  The real magic happens when devices just do what we want them to do with little or no demand on the user,” Tina said. “Imagine leaving your home and your lights turn off, Wi-Fi network locks down, garage opens, and your car starts to warm up based on the temperature outside. That future is now, and what’s coming down the

road is even more exciting.”


Creating Peace of Mind with Smarter Cameras

For Sarju Mehta, Senior Manager of Software Development and Engineering on the Xfinity Home team, working in IoT was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. Sarju started her work at Comcast on the team that was building the company’s e-commerce platform. While she thrived on that team which adopted the pace and urgency of a new startup, the appeal of taking on new engineering challenges was too strong when an opportunity opened up in the digital home team.


   Sarju works on the video platform team, which focuses on building greater intelligence and functionality into the recently redesigned Xfinity Home security cameras. For Xfinity Home customers cameras play a critical role in providing peace of mind, and Sarju’s team has been working to make them better and smarter. Improvements included AI-powered computer vision and more seamless integration with other Xfinity products including apps and the X1 platform.


   “People use our cameras to have peace of mind in terms of their security needs.  My job is to ensure that performance and reliability always stay in the forefront of our minds because they are fundamental to our products’ success,” Sarju said.


Looking to the Future

   Working with so many brilliant engineers, both women, and men, it feels greedy to say it, but we still need more.  As we continue to offer dynamic new IoT experiences to customers our need for talented engineers only continues to grow. If you want to work with these great women and more check, out our job listings

Digital Home.


The post Meet Some of the Women Building Comcast’s Next-Generation IoT Experiences appeared first on ReadWrite.


Alibaba and Ford team up on connected car experiences

Alibaba and Ford team up on connected car experiences

Alibaba and Ford have teamed up to explore ways that connected tech can be used to transform customer experiences in the automotive industry.

With the aim of catapulting its automotive sales in the Chinese market, automotive giant Ford will work with four of ecommerce giant Alibaba’s business units. 

These include the divisions that run its operating system AliOS, its cloud-computing platform Alibaba Cloud, its digital marketing arm Alimama and B2C shopping site Tmall.

Read more: Ecommerce giant Alibaba opens ‘China’s smartest warehouse’

New opportunities

Ford and Alibaba want to identify and develop opportunities in a range of areas, including artificial intelligence, infotainment and the IoT

Although this partnership is only in the initial stages, both firms are already looking to conduct a pilot study that will help them develop retail opportunities in the automotive industry.

It’ll cover various stages of the automotive ownership cycle, including pre-sales, test drives and financial leasing options, according to Alibaba.

Read more: Alibaba showcases vision of ‘retail store of the future’

Leading the sector

The Chinese firm has already made an attempt to lead the industry in China, where more than 400,000 connected cars are already using AliOS. It also launched an internet car with China-based automaker SAIC Motor in 2016. 

Daniel Zhang, chief executive officer of Alibaba, explained that the firm is investing significant resources into the automotive sector and said it was “excited to redefine the consumer journey and user experience for automobiles” in its partnership with Ford. 

“Our data-driven technology and platform will expand the definition of car ownership beyond just having a mode of transportation and into a new medium for a smart lifestyle,” he added. 

Read more: Ford Robutt ensures car seats are built to last

Looking to the future

Jim Hackett, president and CEO of Ford, said that China is “one of the world’s largest and most dynamic digital markets, thriving on innovation, with customers’ online and offline experiences converging rapidly.”

In a statement, he said the companies share a vision “for smart vehicles in a smart world to reimagine and revolutionize consumers’ mobility experiences.”

China is not only the largest car market in the world, executive chairman Bill Ford pointed out, but is also “at the heart of electric-vehicle and SUV growth and the mobility movement.” The company now hopes to expand its presence in the world’s most populace country. 

Read more: Ford, Domino’s Pizza to trial self-driving delivery service in US


The post Alibaba and Ford team up on connected car experiences appeared first on Internet of Business.

Internet of Business

Using Data to Create Personalized Experiences for a Better Bottom Line

The Need for Personalization

Today’s retail landscape is more competitive than ever. Brands have to rely and work with not only brick-and-mortar chains, but with websites around the world, many of which operate on thinner margins. Brands that are trying to break through are facing an increasingly difficult disrupted marketplace, where new competitors seem to appear almost every day.

Meanwhile, an array of new technologies enable brands to deliver personalized experiences to millions of individual customers in real time. Analytics, both on the web and in-store, provide detailed insights on customers’ interests and purchase patterns, along with increasingly accurate predictions about what they’re likely to buy next month. Brands and retailers are leveraging this data to streamline their sales funnels, achieving greater efficiently every year.

In this increasingly competitive marketplace, personalized customer experiences are no longer just a nice bonus. They’re the only thing preventing your customers from switching to another brand that seems to understand them better. With a tremendous amount of money being spent getting foot traffic in stores, personalized experiences can be used to point consumers towards desired products, in hopes of making a sale. Here’s how visual experiences can enable more engaging experiences, more empowered sales teams, and an improved bottom line for your brand.

A person looks at a mirror.

Personalized, connected, data smart experiences

Data comes from a wide range of sources – and ideally, you should be gathering it from all your store’s touchpoints. Interactions on the web, on mobile, and in brick-and-mortar stores can all combine to create customer insights you’d never have gotten from any single source. Add in volunteered data from loyalty programs, and you’ve got all the resources you need to build robust, 360-degree view of your store.

These deep customer insights enable you to deliver more tailored advertising, orchestrating continuously improved customer journeys that span all digital and physical touchpoints. Instead of showing all your customers the same ads, you’ll be able to show offers related to their individual tastes and preferences – both on the web and in your stores. This kind of interactive signage gets more than twice the engagement rate of social media and 24 percent more dwell time than Google’s benchmark.

Beyond advertising, these robust customer insights will enable you to provide best-in-class sales tools to your employees. The latest generation of in store technologies are helping sales associates get to know their customers via opt-in loyalty programs, allowing them to greet customers by name, purchase anywhere, make recommendations to customers, anticipate customer demand and optimize supply chain to meet demand.

With more informed salespeople comes faster, more streamlined, and personalized service. When your customers feel empowered to begin the purchase process on their own devices – and your sales staff can pick up and complete that process at the point of conversion – you’ll see shorter lines, faster checkouts, and smoother flow of foot traffic throughout your store. Since employees will be able to concentrate more on personal customer service, customers will leave happier than ever.


Raising your bottom line

Longer dwell time and shorter lines are all well and good – but how do all these changes perform in terms of return on investment (ROI)? Strikingly well, in fact. Personalized experiences have been shown to contribute to increased revenue and reduced loss in a variety of complementary ways.

Digital signage can also pick up on trends, demographics, patterns, and provide detailed analytics, allowing retailers to better decide how to promote certain items. With this data, retailers can better decide how to spend their advertising dollars. This creates targeted content that has a much better chance at effectively reaching the consumer, ultimately leading to a sale. This can all be done in real time, allowing retailers to minimize waste and spend money when and where it counts.

Personalized experiences are powerful tools for transforming unique spaces into new revenue streams. You could even transform your parking lots into showcases where customers can interact with personalized displays which can help draw them into your store. This may lead to new opportunities in capturing revenue by using these spaces to place digital signage, capture ad revenue and target an untapped audience.

Messaging at the right time is also crucial. Most customers perform their own product research, both at home and in-store. But when shopping in a store, a full 90 percent of shoppers make at least one impulse purchase per trip – often driven by ads or reviews they see on digital signs while at the store.

The more data you’re able to bring together from all channels, the more personalized experiences you’ll be able to serve up at the exact moment when each customer is most likely to consider a purchase. And along the way, your interactive displays will be gathering even more data on your customers’ preferences and behavior, so you can create more targeted, effective outreach, leading to a positive impact on the bottom line.

Visit to learn more about how Intel technology is shaping the future of responsive retail. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit and Twitter.


Facial Recognition and AI Helping Customize Retail Experiences

When shopping online, today’s customers want all the personalization of an in-store experience. And when they walk into a brick-and-mortar store, they want continuity from this online experience, based on the choices they made across all other touchpoints.

Savvy retailers have met these expectations by pulling in incredible amounts of data for highly personalized cross-channel offerings. Online, they’re performing advanced real-time analytics on customer behavior to deliver digital experiences tailored around customers’ interests and needs. In store, they’re using cutting-edge software to understand who’s looking at displays, and to engage, entice, interact and motivate action.

This level of personalization uses artificial intelligence (AI) for facial analytics. It is an essential tool for any retailer who aims to keep up with the changing expectations of digital consumers and find more effective ways to generate revenue. Here’s how the power of AI and facial recognition enable a deeper understanding of customers and provide more personalized experiences.

Two humans look at a tablet.

What visual experiences do

The goal of in-store personalization is to deliver experiences that are as individually tailored as those online. While this might sound like a tall order, the truth is that the latest digital displays can collect analytics and deliver content just as precise as those of any web platform.

Only 13 percent of in-store eye fixations are on signage, and the average shopper looks at signage for only three-tenths of a second. Less than half of those people can remember what they saw on the signs. In short, it’s not what you look at, but what you see, that’s really crucial — and a very effective way to ensure that shoppers see a display is to provide them with targeted content.

It all starts with deep insights about consumers. These can come from digital touchpoints, from in-store analytics or, ideally, from a combination of data from all channels. Taken together this data can reveal trends and deeper customer insights — for example, 50 percent more shoppers engage with alcohol brands on Tuesdays rather than on Thursdays, and they’re two times more likely to browse frozen foods on a Wednesday afternoon. This leads to a better understanding of the customer, greater data personalization, insight and a better overall customer experience.

When you connect online and offline data to arrive at these kinds of insights, you’ll deliver more personalized experiences and establish loyalty for your brand. The next step is to leverage AI to reach the shopper.

AI in retail experience

The latest data shows that interactive digital signage gets more than twice the engagement rate of top social networks. It also gets a dwell time that’s 24 percent higher than Google benchmark data for online rich media. But not all interactive signage gets these impressive results. To really activate the power of this channel, you’ve got to use it to learn about customers — then deliver personalized, customized content that connects with them at the right time.

Many retailers are scrambling to increase personalized experiences and are calling on companies with proven results that offer groundbreaking retail technology, specializing in driving brand and consumer engagement. One of the most powerful tools for in-store personalization is facial facial detection . This technology can play visually interesting content for individual customers, based on past purchases. But that’s only the beginning.

Digital and interactive displays go far beyond facial detection — they can recognize returning customers’ emotions, demographic information, shopping time, location and more. These cognitive analytics enable the display to engage in a real-time feedback loop with the customer, refining its messaging in response to the shopper’s reactions, in order to reach the right consumers with even more precise messaging in the future.

The results speak for themselves. Using a combination of facial recognition, emotion detection and advertising refinement raised the average dwell time per display to an almost-unheard-of 32 seconds. Impressions and engagements also went through the roof, as more shoppers interacted with personalized displays and were far more likely to purchase following those interactions.

Some brands are beginning to go a step even further by adding object detection to their personalization strategy. This can yield even better results, and serve targeted behavior-driven messages to individual customers. All touchpoints in all stores can deliver a single, consistent experience that spans every digital touchpoint and brick-and-mortar location.

This is the level of consistency and personalization demanded by today’s shoppers. Aside from the increase in engagement and revenue, the real value is the ability to build emotional connections with your customers. This personalization is an absolute necessity in the future of retail to keep customers coming back, time and time again.

Visit to learn more about how Intel technology is shaping the future of responsive retail. To stay informed about Intel IoT developments, subscribe to our RSS feed for email notifications of blog updates, or visit and Twitter.

The post Facial Recognition and AI Helping Customize Retail Experiences appeared first on IoT@Intel.