On June 10, 2018, Uber crossed the 10 billion trips mark. Tapping into the ubiquity of networks and mobile apps, Uber has played a leading role in redefining travel and transport experiences for customers. Uber further aims to help in city planning and development by offering key insights to civic bodies for better-informed decisions.

 

PWC predicts that rise in revenue from the sharing economy business models will reach $335 billion by 2025. Access to API’s and open ecosystems has fostered innovation by building on existing capabilities more easily and collaboratively. The success of Blockchain technology, over the past couple of years, by banking on the transformative power of such open ecosystems is a classic example of the breadth of possibilities that digital ecosystems create.  As we look to the next generation of digital ecosystems let’s focus on a few key trends that will re-define success through the next wave of growth:

 

Voice as Interface: 

 

Digital-age customers are more empowered than ever-before demanding experiences that are continuously-evolving with technology trends.  A case in point is the human-machine interface that started with punch cards in the late 18th century.  As it evolved with technology, the interface took different forms – cursor & mouse graphic user interface, touch & connectivity to current interface as an omnipresent voice agent. 

 

Fueled by the advancements in technology like machine learning and big data, virtual personal assistants (VPA) and voice agents have emerged as a key combination with human-like computing interfaces redefining our definition of convenience.  Voice interfaces are rapidly going mainstream with wider adoption of chatbots and digital assistant enabled speakers becoming common in both the home and office and soon to be in vehicles as well. 

 

This audio technology allows for an intuitive, handsfree and more interactive way to engage, and both consumers and enterprises are widely experimenting with these capabilities.  While consumers are using the technology to assist in everyday chores, enterprises are embedding voice interfaces in their ecosystems to streamline internal processes, enhance customer services and improve shopping experiences. 

 

 

Personalization:

 

Personalizing offerings to drive deeper customer relationships is core to most businesses long-term success.  The digital ecosystem has numerous examples of value creation by tapping into individual preferences based on age, gender, education, physiology, environment and more. Amazon, Google and Netflix have risen to be amongst the most successful companies creating high business value as they redefined individual experiences through personalization. According to a research by McKinsey, personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent, lift revenues by 5 to 15 percent, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10 to 30 percent.

 

Offering the right context/experience to the customer on a one-on-one basis also demands the right set of tools and channels seamlessly integrated in order to present consumers with valuable insights. Most companies are achieving this by aligning with the consumer persona and leveraging technology at a deeper level within core processes to tailor relevant digital experiences. 

 

 

New Interaction Paradigms:

 

To fully exploit the potential of next-generation digital ecosystems, tapping into new interaction operating models and technical innovations is the way forward.  For example, multimodal information from haptic, visual and auditory means allows a user to better navigate in a virtual world. Augmenting human capabilities through such innovative new interfaces not only enhances users’ sense of realism but also makes the experience more adaptive and engaging. 3D interaction, multi-sensory systems, and implicit interaction models are being experimented resulting in physical world merging seamlessly with digital. Few examples of new interaction paradigms-include:

 

  • 3D interaction: Audio, visual and haptic sensory combinations like mid-air haptics in a car that allows for improved cognitive capabilities by tapping into bare hand gestures
     
  • Load balancing senses: Experiences like auditory AR where one can refine auditory experience by tuning in or out as needed 
     
  • Cognitive workload sensing with the help of EyeTracking allowing to monitor attention or distraction of user in real time

 

The opportunities that the combined power of voice, personalization and context offers for enhanced value creation is infinite. We at HARMAN are excited to be driving our innovation agenda to help our customers capitalize on the immense ability of these trends to engage, empower and elevate their business.