How Technological Startups Affect the Business World
December 6th, 2016
In the last decade, we all have observed the boom of IT startups and various technologies that change the way we interact with each other and with the world around us.
Some dystopian futurists keep talking about the nearing of the end of the world because of all the robots and AI and another tech. Science fiction writers don’t help the issue, either, by writing books where humans are made obsolete (and thus inducing the panic in the minds of many people.)
Is our future so bleak indeed or can the technologies facilitate the emergence of new business areas, industries, and professions?
Amazon, the world’s best-known e-commerce giant, is launching a physical convenience store called Amazon Go.
What’s so special, you might ask?
There is no checkout in the store and zero human retail staff. Instead, the store is operated by the same types of technologies as self-driving cars: deep learning, sensor fusion, and computer vision.
Customers need to install a special app on their mobile devices, which is scanned in the very beginning (as they walk in), and then, thanks to the sensors, the chosen items are automatically added to “carts” and the client is charged as he / she walks out of the store.
Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Machine learning and AI are the trends of the recent years. Every now and then there is news that an AI has learned to predict disease or forecast market prices, or that machine learning has contributed to the accurate recognition of speech or images.
Authors of the Riminder startup have created a service that changes the traditional recruiting. Machine learning technologies can analyze the CVs and vacancy descriptions to find non-obvious matches that a human recruiter might miss.
Due to these matches, Riminder can offer the applicant nonobvious job position. For example, it can offer a person who is looking for a journalist job an analyst position, and for the Project Manager applicant - a Product Manager vacancy.
For its assessment, Riminder uses a personalized analysis that is done for each applicant via a special deep learning algorithm. Numerous companies have used Riminder service to find new employees already (as well as identify and train future leaders among existing team members.)
I'm not scared of a computer passing the Turing test... I'm terrified of one that intentionally fails it. (c) Anonymous
Machine learning also helps to generate new advertising models and ways to engage consumers and brands. ClevAPI startup is an image recognition service that allows brands to automatically add their logos and products onto the objects related to the business.
For example, ClevAPI can help identify a motorcycle tire brand and put a brand’s logo on it or highlight elements of the biker’s ammunition. In this way, ClevAPI transforms neutral pictures and videos into branded items. Moreover, ClevAPI can operate in almost real-time.
ClevAPI authors call their product an innovative solution for product placement and natural advertising. In fact, traditional advertising approaches might be rendered ineffective if this solution takes off.
At the conjunction of advertising technologies and artificial intelligence, we find another startup called Real Life Analytics. This project helps to create targeted ads on any digital screen in real-time mode.
The startup’s solution can recognize people in the field of vision of, say, a billboard, and identify them by sex, age, and other characteristics to display targeted advertising that will be interesting for them.
For example, if there are a lot of young mothers in the mall during the day, the billboard will be showing an ad for a special offer for diapers or sale at the kids’ clothes store. At the mall’s food court, where a lot of men might be idling, waiting for their wives, the billboards might be showing new cars advertising or sports channel.
There has been much talk in the recent news about blockchain technology. Besides being quite influential in the area of financial services, it can also affect the way notaries and lawyers work, because the transactions done using blockchain do not have to be confirmed or notarized.
Blockchain can also be useful in areas related to art and this was the solution that a startup called Verisart came up with. They use Bitcoin mechanisms for authentication for the works of art, which is a revolutionary thing in the art appraisal and can change the way fine arts experts work.
Verisart provides a digital profile for each piece that is posted online and anyone can check it out in real time. The owners' database is encrypted, but those wishing to buy a painting can easily check whether they are buying the original art and not a fake.
In a similar way, a British company called Everledger provides insurance for diamonds. The Everledger registry contains all information about the gems as well as all the transactions that took place involving this particular diamond.
The startup authors plan to create a system that would allow tracing the history of every stone. At the moment, the database contains information on about 300,000 gems, where each record contains a unique numeric code and information about the diamond. Everledger plans to have data about 800 thousand precious stones.
Digital Health Tech & Devices
Smart devices are changing the medicine world - and not just the treatment processes, but also caring for the sick. Robots and smart devices also allow taking a fresh look at care for the elderly.
CarePredict’s Tempo product is a smartwatch that keeps track of the older person’s activity. The device can notify relatives and home care providers if something is about to happen, by monitoring person’s vitals. Tempo’s sensors can detect the upcoming symptoms of a heart attack or high blood pressure.
The developers emphasize the fact that CarePredict uses self-learning algorithms that can recognize a person’s daily activities and assess how the current situation is different from what that given person is doing on a typical day. For example, the low activity might be a sign of an afternoon nap or it can be a cause for concern, if there’s no activity for a relatively long time.
Virtual Reality Future
Virtual reality is ceasing to be something extremely expensive and today it’s being used in entertainment and education. This revolutionary technology also is changing such industries like medicine and architecture.
ICE 3D startup allows creating a virtual interior, which can be viewed with the help of VR glasses. With this startup’s product, users can remodel their virtual home, for example, change the color of the walls or the size of the interior elements, and immediately see the changes.
The startup called IrisVR set a similar task before them - using virtual reality in architectural design. Using IrisVR, you can create a virtual copy of the building and design the insides of it using virtual elements.
Have to perform a rare surgery? Surgical Theater startup created a platform called Surgery Rehearsal Platform (SRP) that allows doctors to practice performing operations in a virtual reality OR before doing it to a real person.
Real Estate sellers are especially happy with the virtual reality tools. Thanks to this technology, one can “visit” a house or an apartment with intents to purchase it - all without having to travel far. This is one of the services offered by VResidence startup.
Prospective buyers can use virtual reality glasses and mobile apps to check out the apartments and houses they like, view them from various sides, and make a decision regarding the property.
Whether our future is gloomy or bright with all the latest technologies, it’s up to us to decide. In the meantime, we can enjoy all the benefits we get from this tech.
Have a revolutionary idea that will change the world?
Have a revolutionary idea that will change the world?