Sunday, 11 February 2018

Facial recognition in Digital Age

Do you remember Hollywood movies Terminator: Rise of Machines or Ex Machina where facial recognition technologies are used in several ways?

Today with digital technological advances, face recognition has become very important for businesses, to know who the customer is and send hyper-personalized offers to generate more revenues.

Facebook has used facial recognition technology since 2011, to speed up the process of tagging friends or people in photos. When a user uploads an image to Facebook, the site's algorithms recognize the faces of friends and asks users if they would like to tag them.

Security agencies were also early adopters of face recognition to identify suspicious behavior & threats to any big event or crowded areas like airports. Now some of the airports have installed facial recognition for smooth passenger movements through immigration hall, security, and arrivals.

Now even iPhone x has the face recognition to unlock it.

Face recognition is done by applying deep learning algorithms on the faces to detect faces and identify a person.

Businesses from every industry are using face recognition to increase revenue & improve customer experience. They can measure how many people are there, how do they feel in your stores/premises, are you reaching the right people and are they interested?

Banks are using it for KYC and verification of customers.

In the Retail industry, AliPay from Alibaba has introduced facial recognition software for online payments service “smile to pay”. With this new technology, you would simply scan your face with your smartphone camera to place your order.

Smartphones and smart watches have already enabled new payment experiences in bricks and mortar shops. Online shoppers are expecting the same easy experience for their payments in online stores. Credit card giant, Mastercard has launched a similar facial recognition payment method called “Selfie Pay.”

Tesco plans to install screens in petrol stations that will scan customers’ faces to determine their gender and age so it can run tailored ads.

Finding Rover is an app that lets owners post pictures of lost pets in hopes of reuniting them with their owners. Using facial recognition software, the app matches photos and alerts owners when their pets are found.

Helping Faceless is an app created to help find missing and kidnapped children and reunite them with their families. Users can input the date and location the person went missing to narrow search results.

Wal-Mart has tested facial recognition software FaceFirst as a way to prevent theft. The technology scans the face of anyone who enters a store and identifies any suspicious people and potential shoplifters, instantly alerting store security on their phones.


Facial recognition potential is enormous even though today it is not fully realized. There are countless ways to use facial recognition and integrate it into almost anything that the customer totally forgets they are using another piece of technology

Sunday, 4 February 2018

What Chatbots are doing in the Digital Age

Our lives have changed for good due to the digital tsunami – it started with internet in 1995, then in 2004 social media stormed the world with Facebook, then came iPhone in 2007 and the whole world changed. Every mobile company started making smartphones for easy user interaction.

Today’s game changer is Chatbot !!

A bot is nothing more than a computer program that automates certain tasks, typically by chatting with a user through a conversational interface with help of natural language processing (NLP).

You don’t have to scroll through thousands of products on the website, just order to a bot and it will take care of delivering it.

There are 2 types of bots making inroads - Informational bots & Response bots.

Information bots are like subscribing to a breaking news or weather alerts based on your reading habits while response bots are responding to a user requested problems.

These bots should know everything about the customer they are talking to resolve the issues.

Many companies are considering voice interface to ease out the interaction and save the efforts of typing texts. Users converse with chatbots just like they do with family and friends.

Instead of asking your customers to visit the website & ask to find what they want or call the customer service, it is much quicker and easier to get direct answers via chatbot.

With digital assistants like Apple Siri, Google Home, Amazon Alexa voice has become an integral part of the interaction.

Chatbots, powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, can learn our habits, understands our tastes and preferences and can be much more pleasant than a sequence of scroll, taps, and clicks to get to where the customer wants to go to complete an action.

Imagine how easy it is by chatbot to order pizza, book a ticket, complain about a defect of the product you just purchased than calling a customer service, waiting for IVR choices and spend more time just listening to music or customer rep.

Some of the technological advances in chatbots are:

·      They can be multilingual very easily than humans
·       Can be available 24/7 without any extra money to be paid
·      Anyone can interact regardless of device or channel or browser
·      Faster adaption by users
·      Ability to access data instantly than humans

The travel industry has plenty of areas where chatbots can help to take the burden off the staff, and also enhance the experience for customers. Everything from booking hotel rooms and flights to renting a car or providing assistance during a trip could be successfully handled by a chatbot.

Chatbots in healthcare are helping patients with common treatments by asking simple question and answers about symptoms.

Customer service is the most common area where chatbots are used today.

As NLP is constantly undergoing breakthroughs, chatbots will be able to interact with humans more seamlessly.


Sunday, 28 January 2018

How Digital is helping businesses with geofencing?

You are walking in the mall doing the window-shopping, you pass in front of an electronics store, and suddenly you get a discounted offer to buy a TV you dreamed for….you are amazed. You go in see the TV and buy it at a very discounted price.

How does this happen? The digital technology behind this is called geofencing.

Geofencing is a use of global positioning system (GPS), WiFi, Bluetooth beacons to create virtual boundaries around a location.

It is a location-based service where your location is tracked by the app or WiFi on your mobile. Geofences can be used to target customers in physical locations, allowing you to trigger the right message, the right campaign, at the right time and place.

Geofences can be put into big stores, airports, major events/concerts, tourist places.

Today with digital transformation at its peak and wide adoption of smartphones, geofencing is common for businesses  via several ways:

·      Location-based marketing can deliver in-store promotions to specific customers based on customer analytics they have carried out such as restaurants sending text messages of daily specials to customers who are walking by, Attract new customers by sending them exciting offers they can not refuse
·      In Smart homes - security alerts when someone enters the area
·      Employee tracking – in hazardous areas like mining it can be used to track if workers are in the safe zone or getting into danger zone
·      At big gatherings like concerts geofencing can be used to engage audience by sending them guidance or information about the event
·      Exit surveys for the customers leaving your store and asking for feedback
·      Build solid profiles of customers based on their entry /exits, where they spend more time and use that further for marketing right offers

How does geofencing differ from beacons


Beacons need to have customer’s Bluetooth on for targeting whereas geofencing uses location data from the smartphone. Beacons work well indoors within a small distance of 10-15 feet while geofencing can cover 100 meters.

By sending your customers a time-specific, location-specific push notification with a special offer, geofencing allows you to increase overall sales.


There will be multiple further developments in geofencing, which will help businesses to use the digital technologies to their advantage.

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