Posts on Nov 2017

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AWS Summerian, contextualized in what smartphones tech is concerned

In a previous post, we mentioned that AR technology relates to next-gen mobile phones. Due to the fact that for these devices, VR technology is considered less suitable, the development of AR applications should be the key for future success.

In this context, Amazon’s cloud division (AWS) launched a new Amazon platform, the Amazon Summerian, supporting the rapid development of AR, VR, and 3D applications without the need for sophisticated coding skills. Available in a preview version, the new service is browser-based and benefits at this stage by a considerable push from the company, who wants to accelerate its adoption by the developers.

Integrated, easy-to-use tools should tip the market

Mass-coding is a dream many have when anticipating the future. Being able to have at hand an average employee that is basically skilled in coding, and pairing this type of professional with easy-to-use developer software could serve in a rapid implementation of various concepts at a global scale. Of course, this dream is also cost-saving, as well as perhaps a bit offensive from the point of view of an old school programmer.

Attempts of materializing this idea are already in motion – from introducing coding as a new language in the school’s curriculum, to making various coding apps available, so that kids are familiarized from an early age with this activity.

The other side of the coin consists of the easy-to-use tools designed for developers. When backed by tech leaders, these tools are bound to have a meaningful impact on the market.

High expectations, more exigent customers

 

Amazon, in order to present its product, conveyed the following statement to the public, through the voice of Marco Argenti, the Vice President of Technology at AWS: “With Amazon Sumerian, it is now possible for any developer to create a realistic, interactive VR or AR application in a few hours.”

This raises quite a few questions, related to the possible variables – does this estimate concern low-skilled or high-skilled developers? Is this an accurate expectation to create, or is it just a marketing move?

Some of these questions have answers, while for others, we still need neutral feedback. For example, the same FirstPost article mentions how the developers “need no specific experience in AR or VR programming”, but also that the company is “working on integrating third-party developers with the services to add more features”. So the platform is partly work-in-progress.

While the customers are increasingly demanding, the specific market includes an extended array of developer tools, as you may see here, some open source, others selling for quite reasonable prices, depending on the budget.

Trendsetters will be trendsetters

 

There’s nothing like good, powerful support coming from an established source that is willing to push a product on the market. All its qualities are underlined and turned into selling points, while the sore points are remedied or in view for remediation.

From this angle, a product coming from Amazon, Google (another company investing in the same area), Microsoft or others manage to equal similar, more competitive products, who do not benefit from the backup of the huge promotion/selling mechanisms these companies have. This market gap (more like a publicizing means gap) is supposedly here to stay, because it determines smaller developers to cooperate with the bigger companies more willingly, in order to join forces.

That is why even the small moves in the market, when coming from huge tech companies, are relevant. They help in anticipating future trends. Their small moves are doubled by ample investments, and these companies are likely to shift entire markets for their estimated ROI. Others may benefit, too, in the process. Customers most certainly benefit from the fierce competition – and so do the smaller companies that are clever enough to take the pulse of the market.

Canvy, Canvy Team, Black Friday

Black Friday – it’s coming and you should be prepared

Even though this annual event entitled Black Friday has already included in its tradition bad deals, too, we are mere people, after all. We are curious, we are in touch with all things tech, some of us enjoy shopping online, and others still appreciate a good brick-and-mortar display filled with gadgets.

The idea of being able to get a few things at a more advantageous price appeals to all humans. (Even to those who are against consumerism, or at least it makes them go through a rather difficult time when the mother of all deals is stepping into town…)

However, considering that the habit that began roughly around 1952 transformed over the decades, increasing its amplitude, but also giving way to scams or exaggeration, what is the right way to approach Black Friday, in order to benefit from it, rather than being crushed under its pressure?

 

A few wise questions to ask yourself

Before knocking down the door or typing down your card details into an online portal, best ask yourself a few questions such as:

  • Is this something you thought of buying during this last year?
  • Is the price worth buying, compared to the price tags you’ve seen the previous YEAR? (yes, year, since some stores actually raise the prices, then lower them in an artificial move just before BF)
  • Do you have all the accessories you need (if not, consider how much you will actually end up spending, accessories included – are you comfortable with that?)
  • Are you replacing an item or getting it for the first time? (for the more ethically – concerned, do you REALLY need to replace that item this year?)
  • Do you have the place to install the item? (not fun buying a big smart TV just because it’s a deal, only to find out it does not fit your room)
  • Are you up to getting all upset if you actually don’t get to buy this item before the stock runs out? (this too happens quite often, so do you want to go through all the trouble or would you rather drop the entire thing?)

 

Now, proceeding to more familiar (tech) considerations…

Although there yet another month until Christmas, you might well say “Bah Humbug” when reading our above section. We understand why, but when seeing pics of crazed people crowding over the sales, a few reasonable words don’t seem redundant.

So, knowing that we’ve warned you before, now let’s get to some of the most attractive BF deals – as online media announced them.

Here you may find a complete guide of this event, including what is BF, how did it all start, the announced 2017 dates, BF shopping tips (out of which we cannot but condone “research, research, research!” – beforehand), and so on.

Mashable also provides a foolproof guide to victoriously go through Black Friday.

For more targeted special offers, it suffices to search on Google. As for some of the name explanations, here are a few of them, as listed by Business Insider.

Wishing you happy (and wise) shopping, we do have a couple of good deals on our minds, of course – but we plan on approaching the entire thing with the tech – specific composure, as well as communicate with our friends (via Canvy, of course), so that we share the best offers and help each other when it comes to beating the first wave of BF rush!

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Where does “organic” stop and “sponsored” come in – a short Canvy Team review

As you may already be aware, Mozilla switched back to Google as the default search engine for Firefox in in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The news implies that Google paid quite a considerable amount of money for this move, but it does not mention the exact value, since the “Google spokeswoman… declined to comment further”.

This is an example of how the things we take for granted when using digital tools are in fact mere results of deals, negotiations and big investments. So, what else is new, right? Not new, but rather the result of dwelling on the same idea: our satisfaction or annoyance related to all things tech-related is in fact attributable to such large scale moves. Of course, customers have their own options to make, but we only choose from the available “spread” – and what makes some variants available or not is in the hands of leading-edge tech companies, based on analytics and market considerations.

 

Organic versus sponsored/paid

The digital data we are exposed to is organic, unless labeled otherwise. However, even this commonly considered organic data may in fact have had to go through various funnels and the selection or boosting systems before reaching the average user, which makes it only partially organic.

To come back to the above news, when we employ a certain search engine, we take on all its predetermined terms and conditions. True, we get a lot of valuable free access to information, as well as other perks, in exchange for this. But those who are trying to reach us as users have to abide by the rules and conditions of the search engine – and sometimes their information fails to reach us. We don’t choose from a pool of infinite data, we only select from a bunch of preselected one. With all the AI algorithms, the selection itself got modified, to an extend that in fact it is not us who makes the choice, but an average individual located roughly in the same area as us, having approximately the same age, gender, preoccupations and so on.

Organic search results therefore are a myth. At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the data labeled as promoted, paid for, sponsored etc. It’s the upfront marketing data, placed in an area where the smaller players in various fields compete for the attention of the oh-so-powerful-yet-many-times-unaware-of-its-importance-and-value, the (potential) customer.

 

Getting more comfortable in our role

As a formerly living in a rural area person who moved to the city becomes used to the point of being dependent to the modern urban commodities, the mighty world wide web users become more and more attached to great visuals, efficient services, fast query results and brand relevance. We have stopped questioning the “results” long ago – are they organic or are they paid for? The degree of gullibility just showed its amplitude in the fake news issue.

Is this a good or bad thing? Perhaps it isn’t even a duality question. However, it is a common sense principle that one shouldn’t completely rely on something barely understood. Right, but we do need everything digital every day, more and more – it’s a mass thing.

Even though we keep on using all the wonderful digital tools, both software and hardware included, being inquisitive and aware is a must. Let’s not get so comfortable, lest it will act against our own good.

Consider this: you go out and have a great meal with your friends, somewhere locally. You come back home and you search for the place online, eager to recommend it to someone. You forgot the name. It’s not the type of place that’s word of the mouth. You type, let’s say “pub great ribs wide variety beer”. And the results don’t point to the exact place you’re having in mind. Yet they do have a web page, and they have presented their offer properly on that page. What is going on? The entire labyrinth of moderated search is put in motion, but this specific business cannot reach you – it got lost somewhere in its entrails.

 

The bottom line

As a business, learn how to master the mechanisms that allow you to be visible to your audience and reach out to them.

As a customer/user never forget that often the digital environment serves you the most optimized results, not the organic results per se, nor necessarily what you really had in mind when you hit enter, or what is best suited for you, as a unique individual. Keep searching – combine offline with online and whenever needed, make your voice heard. Customer feedback matters even in cold, mathematical algorithms, and will count in decision making. We are still shaping the world as humans, we just have to be more on the ball as before.

CANVY, Facebook, messenger, payments, news

Social Media Communication, a significant new threshold, in the Canvy Team’s opinion

Digital communication evolved from standard, more formal means, towards friendly, viral tools. The “why” is rather a no-brainer. It did so because it followed the mass of people that crowded the most intuitive, friendly and progressive networks.

We are now experiencing communications that recreate in the cyber medium the vibe of face-to-face discussions, as much as possible. We send smileys, we generously impart GiFs, memes, photos, audio sequences and generally, we mimic real meetings with a combination of digital signs and feeling conveyors.

 

The next level of interactions is here

Social Media imitated real social interactions, bringing in gradually more tools of success in its attempt. But it all has a commercial underline, which is not contradictory to the first statement here, because society too has commercial nuances – some might even say highly intensive commercials tones, not just nuances.

Therefore Social Media opened up into messaging networks, which in turn opened up to peer-to-peer payments.

Say what and where – you might ask. “Payments in Messenger comes to France and the UK”, titles AndroidHeadlines.

The initiative is bound to be one of impact. In any case, it is very interesting to follow the developments, no matter that we root for it, or on the contrary, we would rather remain conservative in our payment options.

The feature is intended for friends transferring money to each other, but it might be just the first step. Depending on how this capability will be received, perhaps Facebook will extend it for other purposes, too.

You may find out more about the necessary steps and the security guarantees in the source article.

 

Monetization, comfort and emotions

It is only logical that many of the great digital tools count on users getting familiarized with their features, then becoming almost addicted to them, to a degree where even changes towards monetization don’t bother them.

Due to the fact that a certain such product proves useful and dependent, one would be willing to pay for extra features, or even for upgrading older features.

Facebook keeps many of its attractive features in the freebie zone, be its main social network or the more recent Messenger. Changes may revolt users, but they still remain enlisted. Of course, there also is such a thing as the straw that broke the camel’s back, but this network seems to be attentive enough to avoid it.

Instead, going with the flow, as you can see, the company decided to dip its toes into the payment market waters. Do you think this is a successful move or not?