We are glad to announce, that GeoCTRL became a Platinum winner in the dotCOMM Awards 2022 competition presenting the industry-first mobile application for location data analysis developed for its client. The simple-to-use interface allows academics and professionals to run complex location analytics studies on population movement in just a few clicks on their screen.

GeoCTRL Anna Pak Mark Forster Helmut Lasser dotCOMM Award Platinum Winners
GeoCTRL Anna Pak Mark Forster Helmut Lasser dotCOMM Award Platinum Winners. Credit: Roger Hofstetter for BILANZ

Location insights can help identify where infrastructure dollars are best spent or which locations are more popular for business. It allows identifying continuously changing human movement behavior and analyzing the competitive or environmental landscape. These insights open up new possibilities in impact forecasting, risk assessment, disaster management, infrastructure planning and deployment, sustainable development, and business growth.

Activity Density provides direct insight with the living population density heat map. It also captures how and when people move around a given study area that would otherwise be difficult to capture, like in parks, dense city centers, stadiums, and recreation centers. These insights play a crucial role in industries such as Transportation Planning, Urban Planning & Design, Smart City, Retail, Travel & Hospitality, and more.

CEO Mark Forster on the mobile app: “We wanted to achieve three things: 1) provide the best activity density data to public/private stakeholders in a time when we’re all discussing infrastructure 2) make data and insights available on the go in an industry-first mobile app, and 3) provide a simple-to-use interface.”

dotCOMM Awards is an international competition honoring excellence in web creativity and digital communication. The competition is unique in that it reflects the role of creatives in the dynamic web that is transforming how we market and communicate products and services.

Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. There were more than 2,500 entries from throughout the United States, Europe, and many other countries in the dotCOMM Awards 2022 competition.

Even if you are not familiar with the term, you have probably come across it before. From a layman's perspective, Web3 is widely understood as the third and final "phase" of the Internet. So far, about every ten years, the Internet has entered a new phase of transition from Web1 to Web2 to Web3.

Interestingly, however, there is no single controlling organization or any universal line behind these phases as the Internet moves from Web1 dominance to Web2. These different periods, however, are characterized by the nature of Internet content. Simply put, the three phases of the Internet can be summarized as follows:

Web1 - static

Web2 - dynamic

Web3 - decentralized

The first phase of the Internet, Web1, was primarily concerned with the provision of online content and information. Thus, Web1 was largely static and allowed users to virtually only read information.

The introduction of Web2, which is usually associated with the growth of social networking platforms, was instead largely about the interactivity and usability of the interface. Web2 abandoned the previously static nature of the Internet becoming dynamic. This allowed users not only to consume or "read" information but also to create it themselves or "record" information. However, this broader Internet has also created problems with data privacy when personal data got into the hands of large digital platforms.

Web3, on the other hand, seeks to solve this problem by moving from a dynamic to a decentralized Internet. Moreover, in Web3, data is not owned by centralized organizations but is shared. Moreover, Web3 focuses on improving internal functionality, just as Web2 focused on front-end functionality. A hallmark of the Web3 era is also the emergence of dApps or decentralized applications that can replace traditional applications.

laptop technology ipad tablet

Web3 promises to make the Internet more decentralized, and this extends to the types of applications used in Web3. One of the integral parts of many dApp or Web3 applications is what is called "smart contracts". Those who have experience with blockchain technology are probably familiar with the concept of smart contracts. Smart contracts are essentially self-executing software agreements, pieces of code that run on a blockchain similar to the Ethereum blockchain. They are automatically "triggered" or executed when an appropriate set of conditions is met. Thus, these "contracts" can automatically verify and execute transactions between different parties.

The fact that Web3 and dApps use smart contracts means that the logic of the contracts can determine application behavior. In practice, this eliminates the need for a specific company or individual to act as an intermediary opening a brighter future for many industries, including retail, real estate, and marketing.

As location intelligence companies continuously evolve and transform, the market value keeps expanding, opening tremendous investment opportunities.

As location intelligence companies continuously evolve and transform, the market value keeps expanding. As a result, the industry is constantly searching for the best solutions to help companies in various sectors to meet customer needs and achieve business goals.

SEIZE THE MARKET

Location intelligence is a subcategory of the IoT concept that allows businesses to identify consumer trends, customer behavior, and other data about niche markets to make better decisions, deliver better products and services, and mitigate market risks while incorporating real-time location monitoring capabilities.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, a report released by Markets and Markets states that the worldwide location intelligence market reached a value of US$15.7 billion in 2021 and is anticipated to increase at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 13.8%, reaching US$29.9 billion in 2026.
The rise is projected to be aided by increased demand for data-rich location solutions to boost customer engagement and operational efficiency.

Furthermore, according to the report by Reportlinker, China, the world’s second-largest economy, will remain among the fastest-growing in this cluster of regional markets. It is forecasted to reach a projected market size of US$6.8 billion by 2027, trailing a CAGR of 18.3% over the analysis period 2020 to 2027. Among the other noteworthy geographic markets are Japan and Canada, each is forecast to grow at 10% and 12.2%, respectively, over the 2020-2027 period.

Europe will drive the 13% CAGR estimated for this segment. This regional market accounted for a combined market size of US$1.3 billion in 2020 and will reach a projected size of US$3.1 billion by 2027.

Led by countries such as Australia, India, and South Korea, the market in Asia-Pacific is forecast to reach US$4.5 billion by 2027, while Latin America will expand at a 15.5% CAGR through the analysis period.

GETTING BIGGER WITH MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

While many new startups are emerging, a few companies are being acquired by larger companies.

For instance, last year, the strategic acquisition of Uber Media by Near will enable Near to enhance its portfolio of data intelligence products for its customers in the U.S. market. Moreover, Precisely has announced a formal agreement to acquire PlaceIQ, a provider of location intelligence. As a result, Precisely will be able to improve its location data offerings. Either party has not disclosed the financial terms.

In addition, StreetLight Data, a pioneer in mobility analytics, announced its recent acquisition by Jacobs. StreetLight Data leverages its massive data and machine learning capabilities to focus on mobility, enabling users to solve complex transportation challenges. Jacobs’ goal is to expand its end-to-end digital solutions portfolio and concentrate on ESG while acquiring high-growth and high-recurring revenue software firms that provide value for its customers and the communities they serve.

TOP 5 STARTUPS REVOLUTIONIZING THE LOCATION INTELLIGENCE INDUSTRY

As the world is undergoing a digital revolution, innovations in the technology industry don’t stop surprising. Yet, within North America - the U.S. shows the fastest market growth and innovative development, within Europe – Switzerland, and Germany. These five leading location analytics companies are building a better and brighter future across continents.

CARTO

CARTO was founded in 2012 by environmental scientists and visualization experts. Its headquarter is located in New York City, with offices in Madrid, Seville, and Washington DC. CARTO enables organizations to use spatial data and analysis for more efficient delivery routes, better behavioral marketing, strategic store placements, and more. Data scientists, developers, and analysts use CARTO to optimize business processes and predict future outcomes through the power of spatial data science.

Palcer.ai

Placer.ai is one of the top IT companies in San Francisco and was founded in 2016. Placer.ai provides retailers with actionable insights and location analytics into their audience and competition. With unprecedented visibility into humanity-in-action, every retailer can be brilliant at running their business. Place.ai targets various organizations in retail, commercial real estate, finance, hospitality, and municipalities.

GeoCTRL

GeoCTRL is one of the leading young startups in Europe to analyze and deliver population movement trends critical to creating a better future. This Swiss startup was founded in 2019. GeoCTRL uses unique AI-driven methodologies to extract the most comprehensive insights from different data sources, combining Wi-Fi and Bluetooth data collected from physical sensors, mobile GPS, and telecommunication data. Such a data cocktail is able to grasp and identify even the most unseen and untouched market opportunities. In addition, GeoCTRL provides physical businesses with near real-time audience information to generate more insights on traffic around their location. A combination of proprietary hardware & software allows companies to start within minutes and doesn’t require advanced data analytics skills to work with data. Unlike most solutions, GeoCTRL provides autonomy and works simply on power; the data is transmitted via 3G and 4G.

AirSage

Soon after its founding in 2000, AirSage pioneered wireless network signaling data into robust mobility data. Preliminary studies led to breakthroughs that allow AirSage to deliver more precise position data, road traffic coverage, and traffic patterns at different times of the day. As a result, AirSage now has the most coverage of any real-time location and mobility service in the U.S. AirSage collects and processes over 15 billion anonymous location signals daily by collecting and analyzing mobile GPS signals.

Teralytics

Teralytics is a location data pioneer established in 2012 with an approach to transform transportation planning and operations by providing up-to-date mobility insights of high accuracy. They also offer big data analytics solutions that deliver insights into human location based on data from mobile networks, online browsing, and custom CRM. Its data products are used in the financial, retail, transportation, and media sectors.

Learn more about the companies that are playing a significant role in the current scene of the location intelligence ecosystem with Location Intelligence Ecosystem 2022.

On 2.2.22, the leading Swiss mobile technology provider, Adello, streamed live the 28th industry event on METAVERSE via Linkedin and Youtube for the 180 registered industry professionals.

The event host and panel discussion moderator was Mark Forster, Chairman of Mobile Task Force at IAB Switzerland and founder of Adello and GeoCTRL. Thomas Hutter, the CEO of the advertising consultancy company Hutter Consult AG held his keynote speech. Dr. Margarethe Dopf, the Chief Business Development Officer at the digital tourism organization Speed U Up Suisse, participated in the panel discussion.

During the event, the speakers discussed the most debatable question of today:

What is Metaverse: an overrated phenomenon or the digital gamechanger?

Mark Forster started his introduction speech with the history of the metaverse development. Since Zuckerberg’s big announcement of Facebook being renamed into Meta and shifting its main focus to the metaverse development, the “Metaverse” has become a widely discussed topic.

Entering metaverses could be possible already in the near future. According to Mark, Metaverse can be accessed with an advanced VR set, which has the ability to move in 6 dimensions, and sensor gloves, which are designed to provide tactile sensations.

Forster continued with his explanation on preconditions to the metaverse development. The metaverse took its roots already in the first wave of gaming in the 70s. Since then, the gaming industry has dramatically evolved. With the rapid advancement and proliferation of mobile devices and the breakthrough of the revolutionary iPhone in 2007, gaming became more widespread. The next milestone was achieved when mobile became sensory, it transformed the whole gaming process making it more interactive. Today mobile games constitute more than half of the gaming market.

The second precondition that Forster mentioned was the spread of the internet which opened tremendous opportunities for innovations. 2003 was a significant year for the digital industries when Facebook (now Meta) and One Life, the first game that has similar traits with Metaverse, came to the market.

The internet speed has changed from 2G to 5G, accelerating from the time when sending a text message would take minutes to when a movie can be downloaded in seconds. For instance, the 3G, also known as the mobile internet of its time, had only a speed of 3.1Mbps. Today within 5G, the internet speed can reach 10-50Gbps. Moreover, internet latency rapidly decreases, positively affecting the video and gaming industry.

Another factor that affected the growing interest in the Metaverse is the positive dynamic of the cryptocurrency. Just a decade ago, cryptocurrency was considered a “dubious occupation.” Today it is claimed to be the “potential future of economics.” The main growth of cryptocurrency happened between 2017 and 2018 and later again in 2020. This dynamic consequently paved the way for the NFTs, which is another big topic today.

Forster continued disclosing what benefits and disadvantages the Metaverse can bring in the future. The opinions are divided. Some say that the Metaverse will create an absolutely new world full of various opportunities. Others claim it’s an overhyped trick, and everyone will soon forget about it.

For the moment, the future is uncertain, but time will show what the Metaverse can offer us.

Hybrid shopping, innovative in-store experiences, and digital-first customer expectations significantly redefine digital transformation. The upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has flipped the industry, demanding tremendous technological advancements and innovations. Artificial intelligence and machine learning became critical in the retail world as demand for a seamless shopping experience and advanced personalization grew. Not only in e-commerce but also in physical retail, these tendencies are here to stay.

It’s important to understand where these advancements will lead us next by identifying consumer demand, trends, and innovative know-how that will guide us through this decade. The last two years have formed several tech trends that started to shape the retail industry’s future for years to come.

Let’s take a look at what technology developments will affect the retail sector in 2022 and beyond!

Machine Learning’s in Supply Chain Management

To enhance efficiency and responsiveness, retailers will continue to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). In addition, companies will continue to emphasize the benefits of machine learning in sales funnel optimization and supply chain management.

Retailers will use ML to automate time-consuming inventory-related operations and procedures and reduce hazards such as inadequate resource planning. Furthermore, ML will empower retailers to become more time and cost-efficient while providing a high-quality service to end clients, thanks to real-time and predictive resource analysis.

The way retailers and suppliers work is changing because of machine learning technologies in the supply chain.  ML is a kind of artificial intelligence that uses data to train a computer model so that it can adapt to changing situations without having to be taught to do so. In this way, the system may change its ways and enhance the consistency of its own algorithms over time. The supply chain services a variety of ML approaches such as inventory management, Warehouse management, transport and logistic, production, chatbots, and customer services. According to Gartner, cognitive algorithms and AI approaches will be incorporated or augmented in 25% of all supply chain technology solutions by 2023.

DHL, one of the world’s leading logistic companies describes ML and its fundamental components as complementary delivering insights which were previously inaccessible into enhancing supply chain management effectiveness. DHL has implemented ML, which has proven to be a very powerful technology that constantly strives to uncover important aspects most impacting supply chain performance by combining the strengths of unsupervised learning, supervised learning, and reinforcement learning. Each of the endpoints in the taxonomy (methodology) is completely generated from algorithm-based reasoning, ensuring that algorithms scale throughout a worldwide organization.

Making smart data-driven decisions

The retail industry's Location Intelligence (LI) solutions have been soaring off the market. The implementation of LI for retail has been increased by the growing use of mobile phones and IoT devices. The retail business makes use of LI in a variety of ways, including store site selection, consumer demographics, and targeted advertising. The capacity to generate revenue from the usage of location data is described as LI. According to a Wipro study report, 80 percent of all data maintained by businesses contains a geographical component. GIS-based technologies assist in the extraction of insights from demographic data, revealing the link between people and place.

There are several advanced technology companies providing software and hardware solutions to companies in this sector. These technology companies like GeoCTRL based in Zurich helps businesses and large corporate companies in the retail, real estate, and hospitality tourism industry to analyze people's movement and to help these businesses understand what drives sales, profits, and visitations of their consumers through location analytics or LI.

The vast majority of retail companies are still unaware of what drives their sales. At what time of day does a local business attract what kind of customer? When is a marketing strategy likely to result in increased in-store revenues? In order to maximize product display, promotion, and the supply chain, data insights are necessary.

For instance, the Retail solution by GeoCTRL helps analyze a detailed audience profiling which provides accurate footfall data and detailed mobile audience insights. These insights can give you an understanding of who your customers are, how to impress them, and how to increase marketing ROI. Moreover, the data is in real-time hence, GeoCTRL empowers marketers to make quick decisions and adapt to any market changes by delivering real-time insights of customers' footfall, their dwell time, audience interests & behavior. And Finally, there is speed and simplicity in their data with a simple-to-use dashboard, which helps businesses easily analyze all data. You can also obtain deep insights into your location audience and synchronize it with your internal reporting data to drive your business performance.

Reinforcing Focus on Data Privacy

Cybersecurity is the one major component of IT that has acquired more media exposure than any other in the last year. As cyber criminals took advantage of businesses’ swift shifts to remote work, many high-profile ransomware attacks put enterprises of all sizes and across all industries on constant alert. This increased threat has coincided with additional scrutiny over how consumer data is handled in the retail market.

Data privacy should be at the forefront of any retailer’s IT planning. New government regulations that extend from low-level solutions like multifactor authentication to AI-powered warning technologies can assist define these strategies. But, again, seeking advice from a reputable expert can assist in navigating the best options for any organization while being compliant with any required standards.

Entering multiple realities in Metaverse

Another interesting term we often hear in the technology industry is the term Metaverse. While many describe this term in various definition, there are also several elements to Metaverse which makes it very unique and trendy. To define the term itself, Metaverse is a contemporary internet experience in 3-dimensional. Hence, the metaverse is an immersive next-generation version of the internet, likely rendered by virtual or augmented reality technology.

The venture capitalist Matthew Ball, describes the metaverse as a “successor state to the mobile internet” and a “platform for human leisure, labor, and existence at large.”  Furthermore, Walmart begins to diverge into the world of the metaverse, with plans to launch its own cryptocurrency and NFT collection. Late this month, the major company filed various new trademarks indicating its intention to manufacture and sell virtual items, such as electronics, home décor, toys, sporting goods, and personal care products. Walmart stated in a separate filing that it will give consumers virtual currency in addition to NFTs.

Some of these components in the world of metaverse include:

The mirror world:

A virtual version of real-life people, places, and activities exists in a mirror world, which is a digitally rendered replica of the real world. Mirror worlds appear often in science fiction, such as in Netflix's Stranger Things, The Matrix film series, and Ready Player One, a novel, and film. The metaverse might be a mirror world that perfectly reflects the actual world, or it could be a completely made-up world like one seen in a video game.

Skeuomorphic design:

Skeuomorphic design is a rare concept that basically implies that virtual items will be designed to seem like real-life objects. The metaverse may resemble the actual world in that it is frequently connected to our reality's physics and designs, but it does not have to be identical.

Digital twin:

A digital twin is a virtual representation of a real-world object or building. Digital twin technology was initially utilized by NASA to perform simulations of space capsules in 2010. It was first introduced in the 1991 book Mirror Worlds by David Gelernter. Microsoft has underlined the importance of digital twin technology in the metaverse's construction.

Virtual reality (VR):

 VR stands for a virtual reality (VR) experience in which the user wears a headset and sees and interacts with a digital environment. VR now includes complete headsets rather than glasses, immersing the user in a 360° virtual environment in which they may move about as long as they do not collide with actual barriers.

Augmented reality (AR):

AR stands for augmented reality, which is a digital overlay that is projected onto the actual environment. Consider Niantic's Pokémon Go, Snapchat's dancing hot dog, or even Google Glass wearables. While Google Glass tried to take off, there may soon be starting to AR-connected spectacles such as Facebook's Ray-Ban Stories or Snapchat Spectacles.

Mixed reality (MR):

MR combines features of virtual reality and augmented reality; however, the exact description is hazy. Virtual and real-world things can interact with one other, and virtual objects can interact with real-world objects. The Snapchat hot dog filter, for example, can dance across a table without slipping off the edge.

Unified Commerce Drivers Integrating Headless Tools

Traditional web-oriented CMS (Content Management System) solutions are no longer sufficient in today's multichannel society. Instead, a headless CMS is an appropriate solution for many retail businesses if you need to provide high-quality content and develop online experiences at a larger scale.

A headless application is one in which the backend content, data storage, and complex operations are separated from the consumer display of the information. In most situations, this is accomplished by making data available via APIs (also known as an API-driven strategy), which several front-end apps and frameworks may access.

Headless tools strengthen system functionality and flexibility, making it simpler for retailers to sell their products across several channels, such as their website, social commerce platforms, and even physical storefronts. As a result, companies may improve customer happiness, minimize the risk of errors, and establish a single source of truth with a whole perspective of their consumer’s behavior.

With its rising popularity, there are several popular companies that have started to integrate headless commerce setups into their businesses. Amazon which is one of the largest online marketplaces now offers users the ability to purchase orders in various ways by implementing Echo, which relies on voice comments. There is also Dash, which handles orders that are certain to devices it's connected to by a click of a button. Another retail pioneer, Nike has also migrated to a digital strategy. Nike used a Node.js BFF (Backend for Frontend) adaptor in conjunction with React SPA for a more robust mobile purchasing experience, weakening some of Adidas' market control.

The Popularity of Virtual Try-on Rises 

Despite considerable growth in 2021, many businesses were still hesitant to implement this retail technology. Given that virtual try-on was still in its development phase, this isn’t surprising. Yet, the long-term nature of the pandemic, technical developments, and additional evidence of the potential benefits of virtual try-on give companies reason to be confident about the future.

Virtual try-on offers both an online and in-store solution personalized to consumers’ demands in multiple channels by integrating augmented reality with the concept of unified commerce. Virtual try-on can support customers in making more confident purchasing selections, leading to more sales and lower return rates. However, an increase in sales and demand isn’t the only advantage. Retailers can also use it to assess demand for certain goods, allowing for more deliberate industrial processes, boosting their sustainability efforts, and potentially reducing cost while saving time.

Sustainable Retail Environment Through Technology Advancements

Customers are becoming increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of shopping and consumption. According to studies, 60% of consumers are willing to modify their buying habits to reduce their negative influence on the environment. Hence, customers are increasingly scrutinizing their purchasing decisions more attentively. With customer demand for sustainability, retailers seek to boost transparency and collaborate with more sustainable businesses to discover the best solutions to existing issues.

One approach is to use AI/ML-powered technology to eliminate present and potential waste throughout their supply chains. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can help stores become much more sustainable while also saving money by incorporating them into monitoring and improving process management.

Introducing innovative business concepts, such as the circular economy, is another approach. Companies will need to adapt to their new behaviors as an expanding customer base favor recycling, reusing, mending, renting, and minimizing.

Effortless Payment Systems

Customers demand a consistent experience across all channels. Therefore, retailers must satisfy their expectations. Allowing seamless payments is one approach to achieving this goal. Payment systems will have to include the option to pay from anywhere, with the consumer in control of the transaction medium, which is still one of the most significant problems of the retail-customer experience today.

Because cash is becoming less common, companies need to implement new solutions tailored to their consumer needs. Customers will have to be able to pay without any friction, whether it’s by credit card, cryptocurrencies, mobile phone e-payments, or the increasingly popular purchase now, pay later payment options.

Conclusion

From the beginning of this decade, retail businesses have seized 2021 to establish new strategies and re-invent their competitive edge to adapt to evolving situations. In 2022, companies will need to increase their efforts to meet the growing demands for sustainability and innovative consumer experience, particularly in brick-and-mortar locations. Customers who are searching for tailored and unique solutions will progressively favor machine learning and artificial intelligence adoption, virtual reality experiences, immersive shopping, and flexible payment options.

Overall, retailers must carefully monitor the recent retail trends and sociocultural transformation to succeed in 2022 and beyond and learn which technologies to implement and how to do so effectively.


Have you thought about what presents will be in trend in 2022? This article might have an answer 😉

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a new trend for this year. These digital tokens are linked to digital assets, such as video highlights, memes, or even tweets, and have the real potential of making someone rich. In simple terms, NFTs provide a digital asset or work of art with a blockchain-created certificate of authenticity. They’re all over the place, from the NFL to Twitter to digital copies of Louvre Museum art.

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are a new way to digitally acquire and trade art and other assets. These crypto-assets represent the most recent blockchain-based boom: The whole market for NFTs was about $42 million three years ago. By the end of 2021, the marketplace for non-fungible tokens, which are digital pieces of art tied to blockchain technology, reached a $41 billion value, according to blockchain data company Chainalysis, which updated a previous report.

The convergence of the digital and physical worlds is taking shape, with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) allowing brands to expand their reach into “digitally-enabled experiential tie-ins,” investment bank Jefferies said in an analyst note. Hence according to Jefferies Analysts led by Stephanie Wissink, the bank raised its NFT market-cap forecast to more than $35 billion for 2022 and over $80 billion for 2025.

An NFT is a one-of-a-kind digital token that uses the Ethereum blockchain to record transactions digitally. It’s not a fungible cryptocurrency like bitcoin or ether, which can be exchanged for another bitcoin or cash. NFTs, like bitcoin, are kept in a digital ledger, and each one has a list of who owns it. The digital asset linked to the token is what distinguishes an NFT. This might be an image, video, tweet, or piece of music that is published to a marketplace and then sold as an NFT.

They give secure ownership right over a digital asset to a buyer, preserving the item’s value. However, the internet makes it simple to copy and fabricate anything, and without an entire ownership record like an NFT, the product is virtually worthless.

What makes the tokens unique?

NFTs allow a seller not only to sell something today but also to continue earning tomorrow. Artists, in particular, have historically struggled to profit from the increasing value of their work. NFTs can be created to let the token’s author receive money every time it loses value, generally between 2.5 percent and 10% of the selling price. Any renowned person trying to increase their earnings potential would appreciate the option to set up a regular cash stream. Last weekend, YouTube personality Logan Paul, dressed as a Pokémon trainer in a cartoon picture, sold $5 million worth of his own NFT.

NFTs have an almost endless range of uses. Some predict that in 10 years, all purchases will include NFTs. Others believe that smart contracts will eventually replace relevant formalities like paperwork. While many people believe that NFTs are hype or too obscure to become widely usable, major companies such as Meta (previously Facebook), Twitter, Reddit, and Visa are paying attention and striving to ensure that they don’t lose out on the NFT growth.

Some of the exciting NFT upcoming trends are:

NFT Gaming

A new electronic game that allows players to purchase, breed, and trade NFT kittens surged in popularity in 2017. The demand for CryptoKitties was such that transaction volume surpassed the Ethereum network’s limitations, halting cryptocurrency transactions. In 2021, hundreds of games based exclusively on NFTs were available. In addition, existing games are being updated to include NFTs. NFTs may even have the ability to change the way in-game marketplaces work.

The gaming sector has a lot of potential with blockchain technology and NFTs. Axie Infinity and Blankos Block Party, for example, are making headlines with their play-to-earn (P2E) models, which pay gamers actual money. They’ve gained tremendous popularity in the last year, especially in developing countries.

Metaverse and NFTs

The metaverse is being anticipated as the future of online interactions and the next stage of the internet by many. For example, Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the rebranding of Facebook as Meta, as well as the firm’s ambition to become a “metaverse firm.” Meta aspires to create a virtual world that combines business, pleasure, and social interaction.

What does this mean in terms of NFTs?

In Zuckerberg’s announcement, he stressed that the metaverse should have privacy, security, and interoperability. As our lives become increasingly advanced, we’ll want more secure methods of proving ownership of our identities and digital assets.

Thus, this is where NFT plays an important role. Consider the metaverse to be a digital version of the actual world. You can talk to other people, explore, shop, and accomplish tasks. NFTs enable the same non-fungibility of assets that we experience in the real world in this domain.

NFT fragmentation

Some NFTs are extremely expensive, as we all know. For example, as of this writing, the lowest Crypto Punk for sale costs about $400,000. However, fragmentation is a new trend that makes high-value NFTs more accessible to buyers.

Fragmentation is the process of breaking down a non-fungible token (NFT) into smaller pieces (ERC-20 tokens) so that individuals may buy small fragments of a much more expensive NFT. It’s easier to conceive about NFT fragmentation in terms of corporate shares. When you purchase a share, you are purchasing a small part of the company. Similarly, an NFT may be fragmented into millions of tiny pieces or shards, and users can buy their portion of the NFT at a lesser price by fragmenting it. NFT pieces, on the other hand, are fungible, meaning they may be exchanged or swapped for an identical item.

AI NFTs

The creation of NFTs by AI is the first major trend today. This isn’t a recent phenomenon. At Christie’s in 2018, Obvious Art sold an artwork made by an AI dubbed GAN for more than $400,000. However, since the introduction of NFTs, the worth of digital assets has become widely acknowledged, and new AI initiatives are churning out new artworks and minting them as NFTs on a daily basis.

Arlequn, the artwork below, was made by an AI named Alicia.

Alicia evaluated approximately 9,100 paintings by well-known artists and ran 300,000 rounds of complicated programming to identify the artists’ patterns and strategies. As a result, Arlequin was born, one of Alicia’s numerous one-of-a-kind paintings.

On AI Made Art, it was purchased as an NFT for slightly over $400 (0.1 ETH). The artwork was developed by artificial intelligence and is not simply digitally saved on the blockchain.

The Future of NFT

The NFT space is constantly evolving. New NFT initiatives are being built and created every day, such as NFT streaming, NFT medical and financial services, NFT Ticketing, Avatars & PFP NFTs, Digital twin NFTs and Scaling blockchains and websites. However, the continuous rise of NFTs increased interest in technology, and the industry’s ever-expanding applications have been the few consistent NFT trends during the last year.

The future depicted by these NFT trends is intriguing. While many people are concerned about the metaverse’s consequences and the emergence of AI, it’s an exciting future ahead. It’s a future that will, for better or worse, bridge the gap between consumers and creators, provide value and security to digital assets, and radically change the world.

With the recent pandemic outbreak, the adoption of smart technologies by the travel and hospitality industries has become essential for enhancing guest experience while also saving time and money. Multiple sensors, software, and automation services let businesses become more competitive in a constantly changing hospitality environment.

No matter the size, hotels must anticipate upcoming trends as the high-tech landscape continues to advance, changing customer lifestyles and increasing demand for innovations. After an extensive analysis of the travel and hospitality industry, we collected insights on the top 7 technology innovations to accelerate your business growth.

1. Go Mobile with Smartphone Apps

Today, mobile applications support almost every aspect of our lives, making them easier and more efficient. Modern tourists, especially Gen Z and millennial travelers, use multiple travel apps to personalize their stay. Everything is available via mobile, from destination choice to flights and hotel booking to entertainment planning.

Last year, large hotel chains started widely providing reservations management, virtual payment services, points accumulation, online check-in and check-out, and even room temperature regulation – all to deliver five-star service at a mobile scale. Marriott, Conrad, and the Ritz-Carlton hotel chains already have their mobile apps presented on both iOS and Android platforms. It’s also a great method to stay in touch with guests after their vacation using push alerts.

2. AI-driven SaaS solutions

Artificial intelligence seemed to be a buzzword, but now even small businesses in the hospitality industry can introduce it into the daily business processes.

Chatbots are a fundamental element when implementing AI solutions. They are available to assist consumers, answer commonly asked questions, and generate direct bookings. More intelligent chatbots can handle the most frequent queries and pass guests to the relevant department without the need for a phone operator. For example, the Radisson Blu Edwardian in London and Manchester use an AI-powered virtual host to check guests in or out, order room service, and answer questions 24/7.

Hoteliers today rely extensively on artificial intelligence and machine learning to introduce hyperdynamic pricing, make customer-centric decisions, and evaluate guest data to implement more successful marketing tactics and tailor-made packages to meet the demands of their guests.

AI-driven hotel solutions may also be utilized in the back office to streamline operations by automating tedious processes and answering commonly requested queries, allowing your team to focus on delivering the best service.

3. Tapping into the Power of People Travel Pattern Analysis

With thousands of people traveling through a hotel monthly, there is a massive database of big data that can be leveraged to improve sales and marketing strategies. This large data may be collected and analyzed to manage income, uncover specialized offerings that will appeal to various target groups, and assist in making decisions that will improve the guest experience.

Data-driven solutions can enable you to forecast what services your guests will desire, allowing you to sell these services effectively and attract and retain customers. For example, you might want to check how many of your guests are local versus from other regions or countries. Each subgroup will have distinct requirements; by providing a tailored and memorable experience, you may gain customer loyalty and distinguish your hotel from the competition.

For example, GeoCTRL, a Swiss-leading location analytics provider, helps business and large corporate companies in the retail, real estate, travel, and hospitality industry to analyze people movement patterns, correlate this information with business insights and get a clear understanding of what drives visitation, sales, and profits of their organizations.

From population density with local and international travel patterns to specific personal demographic traits of passengers can be depicted using location data as it provides various valuable information about travelers.

4. Enhancing Sustainability with IoT

As mentioned earlier, technology has become increasingly crucial to help hoteliers save money. No doubt, Internet-of-Things became an ultimate game-changer for large hotel chains. IoT capabilities range from energy-saving occupancy-based sensors and motion detectors to thermostat regulators and smart entertainment studios. When the space is occupied, these sensors may also be utilized to regulate lights and conserve water. Furthermore, LED lighting may save a significant amount of energy while also creating a cool atmosphere in the room.

Smart Hotels develop solutions and advanced facilities to create a unique experience for their guests while also making their job easier. Voice control, face recognition, and smartphone control are a few examples of technical improvements that smart hotels use to put guests in control of their own experience. Guests can use various technologies to control the lighting and temperature in their rooms, have a bath, listen to soothing music, and even check in and out. Smart technology is more environmentally friendly and can reduce operational expenses and energy consumption.

5. Implementing Facial Recognition to Make Customers Smile

Object recognition, one of the promising AI applications, started winning people’s hearts in the travel and hospitality industry. Almost all the latest smartphone models have facial recognition capability. Facial recognition can be used to offer private services with complete confidentiality even from the hotel crew, unlock rooms or common utilities, customize services, and even run mobile advertising that will make your clients smile (psss, these guys can help you with it).

6. Establishing Cybersecurity

With the advancement of technology, there is an increased risk of data breaches. This is when cybersecurity comes into the picture. Since hotels handle large amounts of sensitive personal data, they are vulnerable to cyber threats like phishing, ransomware, and DDoS attacks.

Hotel management must have measures in place, such as updating passwords periodically, utilizing a VPN when accessing the hotel network from outside the hotel, and establishing a guest network, so that hotel guests do not connect to the same network as your hotel employees.

7. Development of Virtual Reality

In the future, hotels will increasingly embrace virtual reality (VR) technology. Consumers with VR headsets may now get reality hotel tours straight from their living rooms or offices. Future applications might include employing virtual reality in the booking process to allow passengers to easily transition from purchasing flights to seeing the hotel room they are reserving to exploring destinations.

When it comes to arranging group events, virtual reality may be quite useful to hotels. Without having to fly to the hotel for an in-person tour, the event planner may tour the meeting and banquet rooms to check whether the facilities will work for their needs. Both the event planner and the hotel save time and resources as a result of this.

In Conclusion

Big data and various hospitality-specific technologies are being used to make better-informed decisions. Implementing new technology can not only enhance customer experience but also save money and provide hotels with a competitive advantage. Considering how important human interaction is in the hospitality business, it’s crucial to recognize the benefits of technologies that help automate repetitive processes and let people focus on what really matters. Keeping up with the latest trends can help you better understand what your consumers anticipate, allowing you to continue to innovate and give outstanding service.

Before answering how valuable Point of Interest (POI) data is, we need to take a step back for a brief overview: What is POI? How to collect POI data? What factors influence POI data quality?

A point of interest (POI) is a specific point that someone may find useful or interesting. The term “of interest” is not to be taken literally: it means of interest to a specific user in a given context. It might be a hotel, a restaurant, or a tourist attraction, as well as ordinary places like post offices, schools, grocery stores, or parks.

Points of interest are the basis for most of the data supporting location-based applications. POI data feeds most digital maps and navigation systems and can support various applications, including real estate, finance, and healthcare-related.

Anyone with a mobile device can be provided with a geo-located, time-aware POI service to get recommendations on the nearest places. Consumers or end-users, for instance, can use POI data to locate a shopping place, an accommodation, the nearest bus stop, or emergency service.

POI data generation methods

So, how is POI data generated? Some of the most common methods are data collection from open sources or social media platforms, which produced a massive amount of data every day

Many methods have the flaw of providing an inaccurate or inconsistent dataset. Therefore, through a team of experts, companies or government entities can actively, accurately, and consistently collect and update data for a reliable and efficient data flow. However, which elements should they consider when choosing a data method or a provider to obtain quality POI data?

Governments, or enterprises, can leverage POI data to identify patterns and trends and make more targeted data-driven decisions.

Quality POI data

Essentially high-quality POI data is defined by update frequency, coverage, ease of use, and consistency.

Our world is changing so rapidly every day. In order to provide users with the most up-to-date information, it is necessary to keep POI data constantly updated.

Good coverage means that the data provider can offer a wide variety of POIs, ideally on a national or even global scale, using both local and global providers. This way, users can rely on POI location data in an app to find the place they are looking for.

Speaking of consistency, there must be a match between the real world and the POI location data in the database. For example, to avoid a situation when, while searching for a specific place, users discover that an app made them go elsewhere or that the place has been closed for months. Thus, we need updated, accurate, and consistent POI data.

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Application of POI data in different industries

Any industry can leverage POI data differently, although the most common application, which plays a central role for companies or government agencies, includes competitive mapping and site selection.

For instance, in the telecommunication industry, POI data can help determine where to build new infrastructure, expand the customer base, or quality of services. It can allow to study the competition and understand user needs by geography.

In the retail world, POI data can help answer questions such as: What is the market share of a business? How much is the spending capacity of people who live or work in a specific area? What is the demand for that service? Which are the nearby competitors? Knowing the answer to these questions enables marketers to make targeted decisions, such as whether and where to open a new store or when to close one for lack of profit.

The public sector can use POIs to achieve many goals. By mapping a given area, it is possible to analyze and understand if existing services or products are effective, which services need to be improved (e.g., public transport, hospitals, etc.), and where those services are missing.

POI data is also used in the real estate, consulting, and financial sectors.

Location is a key element in real estate. For example, providing consumers who want to rent or buy a property with useful information about the area around that location? POI data can provide all those insights about nearby facilities, stores, schools, etc. Its role has further grown with the pandemic: online platforms for customers are now used, not only to locate the nearest services but also to visit places virtually from home.

Marketing and advertising companies are also leveraging POI data. With location-based advertisements and more targeted campaigns, businesses can improve their strategy, deliver the most appropriate message to customers, attract new ones, and increase their revenues and brand value.

The transportation and logistic industries are also using valuable POI data. POI data enables fleet movement tracking, route management, transportation infrastructure status assessment, and much more.

In addition, as e-commerce has grown, delivery services have become crucial to provide all sorts of goods. So, to maintain profitability, provide reliable and secure services, and keep customers highly satisfied, postal and delivery companies need to get high-quality POI data.

What benefits does it bring? Among the many, we will highlight a few:

Gaining POI data also enables reducing errors, delays, or loss of goods, minimizing last-mile cost with quick deliveries or by offering alternative pick-up points; mapping drop-off and pick-up points, that help to create a general but accurate picture of the served areas and plan additional future points, where required.

Whether you're an enthusiastic developer, a tech aficionado, or a marketer working with mobile app-generated Big Data, it's important at least to understand the technical side to facilitate our activities. Among the basic knowledge, it is crucial to understand what an SDK is.

In this article, we will try to explain in simple and clear words what SDK is and what role it plays as a data source, its benefits, and its relevance in the world of data science and business data analysis.

What does an SDK stand for?

The acronym SDK refers to "Software Development Kit." An SDK, basically, is a set of tools that allows a team of developers to create a mobile application, which can be connected to other software.

SDK tools include all the basic technical elements that developers can use and integrate into their apps, such as an editor, libraries, run-time and development environments, compilers or debuggers, or other analysis or testing tools.

Using an example in the real world, consider the SDK as a toolbox containing nails, a hammer, drill, gloves, and other work tools. Using these tools, you can build small things (like a piece of furniture) or more complex projects (like a house). An SDK essentially operates as a toolbox for software developers. Instead of hammers and nails, it contains APIs, IDEs, and other essential tools. SDKs are designed to be used for specific platforms or programming languages but also to improve developer-created mobile app functionality: to show advertisements in apps or manage push notifications or as an analytics system.

How is it works?

We've seen what elements SDKs provide to developers to create software applications on a specific program. This allows programmers and developers to avoid reinventing the wheel every time they want to code standard application features such as data storage, location, user authorization, and geofencing, among others.

What features should a good SDK have?

An SDK will likely be used outside of the company where it was produced, so it should provide value to other companies and the developers who use it. The SDK's value depends on its features, which in general should be the following:

features should a good SDK

SDK as a data source

The SDK can also be considered a data source. SDKs themselves are not trackers, but they are tools through which most tracking occurs through a mobile app installed on our smartphone.

Developers can use SDKs to encode location capabilities directly into an app, thus ensuring that the app collects GPS and location data (if the user gives permission for the app to collect this location information). That makes the SDK a great source of data about people's movements and behavior.

Therefore, a location SDK collects users location data through mobile apps installed on their mobile phones. These are the main characteristics of the data:

However, it is worth mentioning that, since the location data collected via SDKs have a higher quality and accuracy, it is available in a smaller volume than other types of data sources, such as bidstream data obtained on a large scale. It is also considerably more expensive, as it requires direct integration of the SDK into mobile apps. This means more human resources, time, and money spent on partnership negotiations with app development companies, data assessment, and integrations.

Bottom Line

SDK is a set of tools needed to provide unique features to improve the user experience of mobile apps. SDK components not only allow developers to add features visible to the end-users but also collect different types of data, such as location data, usage data, behavioral data, etc., that help improve user experience.

Accuracy and security are some of the strongest advantages of SDKs as a data source. Still, considering the downsides, it is a relatively expensive, smaller scale tool. Many apps, which use SDKs to track location data, require a significant amount of power, reducing the performance and battery life of a mobile phone.

What is Bidstream Data?

Bidstream data is data that is passed with a bid request. A bid request is a set of information sent by ad exchanges to the advertisers containing inventory details like:

In addition, for marketing purposes, a publisher may also share other data with advertisers, as a bid request:

So basically, we refer to bidstream as data collected by ad servers when ads are served on a website or mobile app.

Think about it, every time we open a website or a mobile app, in which ads pop up, the ad publisher gets a bunch of information, including our location, and then this information is passed to the ad firm that provides that ad.

Pros and Cons of Bidstream: Is it worth it?

One advantage of this type of data source over other sources is that it is both easier to scale and easier to obtain.

But consequently, there are several disadvantages like

Also, considering, for instance, that everyone is constantly using their phones, it results in a huge number of data points that may or may not be attributed correctly.

Thus, quite often, bidstream data is inaccurate and unreliable.

Pros and Cons of Bidstream

Focus on Transparency

For this reason, nowadays, there is an increasing focus on data quality over quantity: marketers are demanding more transparency about how the data is created or where exactly it is from.

As we mentioned above, the problem with bidstream location data is that it doesn’t provide the exact device location in many cases. Without accurate data, it is tough to understand the context of the device and get meaningful insights that consequently provide marketers with enduring ROI.

Final thoughts

Bidstream data is easy to obtain and scale, but it is often inaccurate and unreliable. Of course, there are a lot more different sources that provide location data, but certainly, an important aspect to consider is transparency.

Understanding the strengths or weaknesses of different data sources makes it easier to decide how and where best to use them. Follow our blog to learn more about other data sources that provide more detailed and accurate information about the location and people movements.

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