Category: Customer Service


Smart home service providers like Vivint,, and Xfinity Home are getting more positive online reviews than smart home devices makers, according to a new report from Argus Insights. This shows that customers prefer to have a service provider who comes in and installs their smart home devices for them.

The report analyzed more than 56,000 online and social media reviews of smart home devices and apps. Looking at the app reviews, Vivint’s Sky app had the highest satisfaction rating in the report. Other service providers including Xfinity Home,, and Cox Communications are all seeing improving app satisfaction and subscriber growth, according to Argus. In comparison, smart home apps from device makers like Nest, Philips, and Belkin are lagging behind in satisfaction, the report found.

The big difference between the service providers and individual device makers is that the service providers will install customers’ devices for them. When consumers buy an individual smart home device like a Nest thermostat they have to setup and install the device on their own.

Unfortunately, many smart home devices are plagued with technical glitches that can make installing them very difficult for the average consumer. If a customer is experiencing technical problems with their device, it will likely reflect on their satisfaction with the app that controls that device. So smart home service providers are carving out a space for themselves in the nascent smart home market by solving this technical challenge for customers.

the cost of fixing technical problems and making repairs to devices estimated 10-33% of operational expense for industrial IoT deployments

BREAKING DOWN OPERATIONAL EXPENSES FOR INDUSTRIAL IoT DEPLOYMENTS: Jasper, which provides a software platform for connecting and managing IoT devices and was recently acquired by Cisco, released a study this week breaking down operational expenses for industrial IoT deployments, and explaining how companies can save on those expenses.

The cost of operating IoT devices can vary widely for enterprises depending on a multitude of factors including the type of devices, the type of internet connection it uses, and where it is deployed. This makes it difficult for enterprises to estimate the full cost of deploying IoT devices and their ROI on IoT initiatives.

The study grouped operational expenses into three categories:

  • Network communication: This is the cost of providing a data connection for the devices. Jasper estimated that this usually makes up one-third to one-half of the operational expenses for industrial IoT deployments.
  • Administrative labor: This is the cost of managing and monitoring devices, and creating reports from their data. This makes up anywhere from 20-50% of the total operational costs of IoT initiatives, the study found. 
  • Technical support: This is the cost of fixing technical problems and making repairs to devices in the field. Jasper estimated this makes up 10-33% of operational expense for industrial IoT deployments.

Companies can reduce these expenses with certain solutions and strategies. For example, if a company’s data usage for its IoT deployments fluctuates monthly, it can opt to pay its data subscription on a per megabyte basis instead of paying the same amount every month.

The study also found large disparities in costs for devices depending on whether they were connected to a software services platform. The study estimated that administrative costs per 100,000 connected devices dropped from $2 million per year to $800,000 per year if they’re connected to a platform. Jasper is one of the major providers of such platforms, so the finding is certainly helpful for its business. However, if platform providers can provide such steep cost reductions for their enterprise clients, then it could be a major boon for enterprise IoT adoption.

Watch as augmented reality brings ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to life (VIDEO) | Read | Mobile | Malay Mail Online

I continue to get excited about the future of product marketing, education and training. AR is a game changer.

AUSTIN, March 26 — Sony Future Lab showcased a new device at the recently concluded SXSW festival that transforms any flat surface into an augmented display.

Using an Alice in Wonderland book as an example, a Sony representative demonstrated how touching any character will take them out of the pages and turn them into interactive animations.

And if you’re wondering how it works, The Verge did us all a favour by explaining it in a nutshell.

Basically, the technology is built from two components: A camera and projection.

The former “map[s] the terrain and tracks changes while hand and finger recognition provides the controls,” and the latter creates the images that appear in the physical space.

– See the video at

Quick Read: The WebVR 1.0 API Draft Proposal

Virtual reality has come a quite long way since Oculus Rift entered the stage a few years ago, opening up a whole new range of possibilities to experience digital content. Although its use cases were blurry and undefined, it gained huge traction which lead to Facebook acquiring Oculus for $2 billion. Such great expectations also lead to the inevitable influence of VR on the web, which is not likely to be a 2D exclusive environment by the year 2020.

WebVR Cardboard Headsets

As one of the main players advocating an open and free web, Mozilla has been actively helping chart the course of virtual reality on the web. As a result of their exploration of the area, the MozVR project was founded, which today is one of the key contributors to WebVR standards alongside Brandon Jones from the Google Chrome team. These contributors recently teamed up to announce the version 1.0 release of the WebVR API proposal. This is a big step for the future of virtual reality on the web so let’s have a look at what this means.

Note: Our very own Patrick Catanzariti covered WebVR and how to get started last year at SitePoint, so if you haven’t dipped your fingers into the big and immersive world of VR, make sure to check out his article.

Concretely, as detailed in the official Mozilla Hacks blog post, the updated APIs offer various improvements. These are in a nutshell:

VR specific handling of device rendering and display.
The ability to traverse links between WebVR pages.
An input handling scheme that can enumerate VR inputs, including six degrees of freedom (6DoF) motion controllers.
Accommodation of both sitting and standing experiences.
Suitability for both desktop and mobile usage.
Feel free to check out the API draft for more changes and details (especially if you have tinkered with VR before).

The best WiFi router (disclaimer: our client TP-LINK is a clear winner

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy.
Read the original full article below at

After spending a total of 200 hours researching and testing over 20 WiFi routers, plus analyzing reader comments and feedback, the $100 TP-Link Archer C7 (v2) is the router we recommend for most people right now. This dual-band, three-stream wireless-ac router usually costs between $80 and $100 — the same price as many older, slower routers. But unlike those slower routers, the C7 supports the fastest connections of every major device you can buy today.

We compared the Archer C7 against 21 different routers over a 10-month testing period. On most of our tests, the Archer C7 was the fastest — outperforming routers that cost twice as much. You won’t find a better-performing router than the Archer C7 for less, and you’ll have to spend a lot more money to get a better one.

Hacking Cars is only the beginning of the security issues

JEEP CHEROKEE CONNECTED CAR HACK ONLY AFFECTS FIAT CHRYSLER: Two weeks ago it was revealed that hackers were able to access a Jeep Grand Cherokee via its infotainment center’s radio and then could control the car from up to a mile way. In response, Fiat Chrysler sent over-the-air and USB plugin updates to 1.4 million of its affected cars. The infotainment radio maker, Harman International’s CEO Dinesh Piwali commented on the hack yesterday and said that no other cars that have Harman infotainment radios installed are at risk of being hacked, according to the Associated Press. Piwali also said that the hacked radio was developed approximately five years ago and that newer models have more advanced safety features. Despite Piwali’s claim that no other systems are at risk, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is still investigating 2.8 million Harman radios.

The true value of IoT enables personalized experiences to a single user, but who keeps the data? #IoT #personalization #bigdata

HOW DATA WILL ENABLE “LIVING SERVICES” IN THE IoT: BI Intelligence recently spoke with Mark Curtis, co-founder of Accenture-owned digital design firm Fjord, about how the IoT will change digital experiences. In a recent report, Fjord argued that the true value of connected devices will be in delivering “living services” that learn and adapt to their users’ preferences and habits over time.

Curtis illustrated the concept with the example of a smart lock on a hotel door, which on its own doesn’t deliver a great deal of value. But when that hotel door is networked with other connected devices in its proximity it can tell who is entering or leaving the room based on the smartphone or device used to open the door. That recognition by the smart lock could then turn other devices in the room on or off and alert the thermostat to set the room temperature to the customer’s preferred setting. 

For that smart lock to deliver such an experience, data needs to be analyzed in the backend to understand the customer and personalize functions to his or her preferences. Curtis detailed three obstacles that enterprises need to tackle to deliver these personalized experiences:

  • Organizations need a platform with the scalability to ingest huge volumes of data that will be created by new connected devices in their networks.
  • To analyze relevant data, organizations will need to know what kind of insights they’re looking to get from their data. Today, a human often has to interpret data to find the most relevant information. That won’t be possible in the future – the exponential increase in the volume of data from more connected devices will require automating that selection process. Organizations will have to know before hand what data to segment out for analysis.
  • Organizations will have to think through how they will change services in real-time based on data. For example, customers will increasingly want to see for themselves all of the data being collected so they too can understand their own behaviors. This is already becoming prevalent with fitness trackers that allow the users to see data regarding their activity levels. Over time consumers will get bored looking at the same data all the time though. So enterprises need to surprise customers by learning what information they’re interested in and then interpret the data to deliver new relevant insights. For example, a fitness tracker could learn when the user’s activity levels typically drop and provide suggestions through a mobile app or web portal on how to be more active during those sedentary periods.

Destroying Customer Trust is as Simple as…

If you shopped for a motorcycle, would you ever stop to consider that a Harley-Davidson wouldn’t deliver the power and style that Harleys have come to represent in our collective subconscious? Likely not, because you trust the brand to deliver on its promise of cruising down the open highway with a 100-horsepower engine underneath you.

Every bike Harley manufactures delivers on its brand promise, and as a result, its customers and advocates trust it to continue delivering. This dynamic is the cornerstone of the “trust economy,” a term coined by Rachel Botsman in a 2012 TED Talk. Positive interactions with a brand result in building trust. Negative interactions result in erosion of trust.

Understanding and joining this trust-based economy is relatively simple in concept: deliver on your brand’s promises to your customers. They key, according to Ray Wang, analyst for Constellation Research, is building trustworthy brand experiences—and not engaging in activities that destroy trust.

“You’re not competing with other companies; you’re competing for time and attention,”says Wang. “And that competition is for experiences and outcomes.” When a customer’s experience and the outcome of an interaction deliver on the brand’s promise, that builds trust.

Wang cites Airbnb, a digital startup whose entire value proposition has become a model for the trust economy. “Airbnb doesn’t sell rooms. They don’t sell nights. Their entire value is as a trust network.” Customers can trust the rooms they rent, and landlords can trust customers, for the same reasons: the compounded outcomes of past experiences on both sides. Customers and landlords both review interactions, building positive (or negative) trust profiles on both sides.

So how does a business compete in this trust-based economy? Deliver on your brand promises, Wang says. Here’s how in five simple steps.

Personalize experiences. Know who your customers are and what they want, and create experiences for them that deliver on your brand’s promises. For every interaction that accomplishes this, you build trust.
Operate with transparency. “Always operate with an understanding that everything eventually becomes public,” Wang says. That way nothing inadvertently sabotages your efforts.
Build credibility. Wang outlines a series of questions to ask: do you promote trustworthiness through external certificates? Do you promote trust through customer testimonials? Do you run truthful marketing campaigns? These seem simple, but if the answer is “no,” you’re damaging your customers’ trust.
Make it easy to complain. Companies often turn away from customer complaints, but Wang explains, they serve double duty: they’re data points about where you’re failing, and offer the ability to complain (and to feel heard) actually builds customer trust.
Guarantee satisfaction. The natural corollary to offering a forum for complaints—and delivering on the brand experience—is making sure that you can always guarantee a customer will be satisfied.
The trust economy can be hard to navigate, especially for companies that aren’t familiar with the principles of providing great customer outcomes and experiences. For those companies looking to avoid being left behind by the companies already offering these experiences, a great place to start is Ray Wang’s entire webinar, available on demand.