Music streaming service, Songza has partnered with Weather Channel to offer music recommendations tailored to local weather conditions. Advertisers have been using weather data to affect marketing budgets for some time, realizing it’s powerful impact on sales. For Songza, weather plays as much a role in mood as music, so it makes sense to incorporate that data when making music suggestions. As we continue to glean more insights from big data, look for even more sophisticated algorithms which will anticipate what media we want before we even know it.
SmartThings, a developer of software and hardware powering the Connected Home, released some surprising data points based on their network of 10,000 users. According to the startup, those active homes generate 150 million data points a day. Currently, those data points are being used to inform the smart home devices, but imagine a world where that data could inform auxiliary products and services. This would create a world of anticipatory computing, where your lights dim when you start Netflix or your oven logs all the recipes you’ve seen on TV.
Geo-fencing is a hot technology, especially in the home, and Apple’s new patent indicates that it has no intentions of ignoring the trend. The patent describes a home automation system powered by location data fed from Apple’s mobile devices, as well as additional integrated peripherals like credit cards and RFID badges. With this many sensors contributing, it becomes possible to create extremely detailed inferences of not only where a person is at any time, but what they’re doing, or even who they’re with. With this powerful information, Apple’s system goes beyond home automation, and incorporates another hot trend: anticipatory computing. Should the system be easily implemented (which is usually a strong suit of Apple products), it could be a boon for both trend areas, and inspire further innovations for each.
Wearable computing is no doubt on the rise with a host of health devices, home appliances and that respond to your behavior and environment. Traditional banners and display won’t do in these new categories, but there is an opportunity for predictive recommendations. For instance, your washing machine knows its low on detergent and recommends Tide, or your fridge suggests a Betty Crocker recipe based on its contents. Just look at Nest, Fitbit or LG’s smart appliances for proof that this trend is not so far on the horizon.
There is no shortage of data and content at your fingertips. In fact, that’s the very problem a slew of companies are solving for, none more than Google. Google Now, for instance, learns from your behaviors and preferences to surface relevant information from itinerary to contacts before you even look for it. It’s a trend known as anticipatory computing and it’s here to stay.
In fact, a new Android app, Aviate plans to create a dynamic homepage for mobile that will surface relevant apps based on your behavior and environment. Entering your local gym for instance, opens your fitness tracker and plugging in your headphones starts your Spotify playlist, and so on. If brands are going to be successful in the future, content and experiences need to anticipate consumer interests in the same manner.
MindMeld, an app that’s considered something of a futuristic computing system, received a very large investment from Samsung, Intel, and Telefónica. Dubbed ‘Siri on steroids,’ MindMeld can listen to an eight-person conversation and suggest information that the speakers involved might want to see, before they know they want to see it. Users have, until now, responded well to apps like Google Now that sift through personal data to provide useful info at the correct time and place, but MindMeld takes it several steps further. It’s easy to imagine that the app’s future will include TV screens and telephones that listen in on every conversation and suggest a recipe with, say, a particular brand’s food product included, or a similar TV show on a particular network, or a new movie being released that week – the possibilities go on and on. How consumers will respond to the subtle – and perhaps not as subtle – branding and advertising possibilities of such a technology will need to be fleshed out as it grows, but for the time being it’s important to note that tech companies are, quite literally, buying into the notion of “anticipatory computing” as the next major step forward in the way content and information are delivered to consumers.