This 4th edition of the Viva Technology conference, which brought together no less than 124,000 visitors over a period of 3 days in Paris in May, put two technological issues in the limelight (thanks to the Cannes Film Festival!), namely hyper-personalisation (which was at the heart of all the new experiences on display) and the flying taxi.
Hyper-personalisation boosted by artificial intelligence
Hyper-personalised experiences were the star attraction of the event, as was the case during the Retail Big Show in New York. All the main fashion and retail brands are in agreement about the importance of this approach, which is made possible thanks to the algorithmic analysis of collected data (in other words, artificial intelligence). We can only admit that we have moved on, from an approach based on “cost saving” technological innovation to improve the internal process, to an approach based on “growth hacking” for a change of scale. Performance marketing has become precision marketing, to create personalised experiences according to data collected during each interaction with the consumer.
Artificial intelligence uses machine learning algorithms to concentrate on added-value data (80% of “parasite data” is thus eliminated according to P&G). As for augmented reality, it is a way of supplying information directly and in situ via a phone, headset or glasses. Customer interaction is also at the heart of preoccupations, with increasing needs in mobility – anytime, anywhere -, new channels such as voice (through mobile phones, connected speakers, etc.) and the pursuit of direct exchanges with consumers through social networks.
Here are a few examples in the worlds of fashion, health and retail that caught our attention.
L’Oréal devoted its stand to hyper-personalisation, through various experiences that shine a spotlight on technology and the user experience. We discovered SkinConsult AI, which combines L’Oréal expertise and deep learning (provided by ModiFace, recently purchased by the brand) to interpret selfies and produce a personalised analysis of your skin in real time with augmented reality, and therefore recommend the right treatment.
Shopitag, an omni-channel commerce solution developed by the Belgian company Infiniti Mobile, provides a framework of tools for customer interactions (chat, voice, social media) all the way to logistics including the integration of business solutions (SAP, Salesforce, etc.). They put their expertise and platform at the disposal of customers to make the most of commercial momentum, regardless of the sales channel, by creating contextualised offers which are suggested to customers at the right moment.
CareOS is the first operating system (OS) devoted to health and beauty specifically designed for smart bathrooms. From connected showers to scales, including such things as toothbrushes, more than 50 IoT devices, products and services are currently available on the platform. As seen during a demonstration at the LVMH stand, Artemis, its smart mirror, combines artificial intelligence, augmented reality, voice command, object recognition and facial recognition for an immersive personalised experience. This mirror is capable of recognising its user, capturing certain physiological indicators (thanks to a connected bracelet), giving reminders about appointments for that particular day as well as the weather report, suggesting hairdressing tutorials, or shopping for products directly by scanning the label… A very wide range of services: video link
Could we be using flying taxis by 2025?
As for transport, there’s a real trend towards urban mobility, with the presentation of several flying taxi prototypes, combining drones, helicopters and light passenger aircrafts. Most of the solutions concern urban transport for home/work or airport/city centre trips.
The most extravagant one was the Slovakian AeroMobil, currently working on the 4th version of its flying car, which is capable of morphing into a small plane (with a 9-metre wingspan) in less than 3 minutes. This two-seater vehicle (with a 240 kg carrying capacity) will be able to cover a distance of 750 km at a maximum cruising speed of 260 km/hour. All you will have to do is head to the nearest airstrip or take the motorway.
The most operational is HoverTaxi, a new type of two-seater electric aircraft (multi-rotor) that relies on a land-based infrastructure of modular containers, an air traffic management interface in urban areas, and a mobile application for bookings. Like the other companies, it focuses on urban and suburban transport, and ultimately on four types of use.
- Event: Nice/Monaco during the Monte-Carlo tennis tournament
- Point to point: Orly Airport / Gare de Lyon in Paris
- Recreational: to get a bird’s-eye view of certain sites and natural areas
- City trips: to link strategic points
To be profitable, the price of a 30-minute run should cost about fifty euros.
The most promising was Ascendance Flight Technologies, a French start-up created in 2018 by former Airbus R&D teams, and project E-FAN, who developed a technology that enables planes to take off and land vertically. The idea is to provide an urban taxi service (point to point) that fits in with existing infrastructures (heliport network), with low noise pollution and operating costs. Currently in the prototype phase on a 1/3 scale, the airborne taxi concept will be equipped with hybrid engines (a unique and patented propulsion system). It will be able to carry four people within a 150 km radius at a speed of 200 km/hour. Hybrid motorisation is only the 1st stage. They aim for it to be 100% electric. Its commissioning date is scheduled for 2024. In the meantime, they must get their prototype up to scale and successfully obtain all the necessary certifications. Several partnerships with airports, cities (European and Asian) and helicopter operators are currently under discussion. Watch this space!
This 4th edition of the event kept all its promises and provided guidance to the digital transformation currently gathering momentum in all areas of the market, thanks to increasingly mature technologies.
Le Lab – innovation consultant