Episode 35
June 13, 2017

Machine Vision and Google I/O Review

The guys review the announcements coming out of Google I/O and some of the breakthroughs in MV/VR/AR.

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Phillip: [00:00:55:88200] Welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about cutting edge and next generation commerce. I'm Phillip.

Brian: [00:01:01:7200] And I'm Brian.

Phillip: [00:01:02:22500] And we are back with you live, having two great episodes right behind us. We had two amazing sort of, I don't know, they were kind of landmark episodes for us. What do you think, Brian?

Brian: [00:01:16:18000] Yeah. I mean, I would say Nick Vu was was just so cool.

Phillip: [00:01:24:24300] Incredible. Yeah, he really I think embodied kind of what we have been looking for, which is someone who is a sort of a maven in the digital transformation retail space, but who is very grounded in reality and sort of being able to give us really, really actionable data and advice. So really, really cool stuff. So thank you, Nick Vu.

Brian: [00:01:50:25200] Yeah. Thank you, Nick. That was great. And then our unbelievable cross podcast production with...

Phillip: [00:01:59:89100] Is that what it was officially called? I know they'd kind of said that, but I guess that's what we're calling it.

Brian: [00:02:04:53100] Sure. Whatever it whatever it is, it was.

Phillip: [00:02:06:32400] Whatever it was.

Brian: [00:02:08:1800] It was some kind of magic with Jason and Scot.

Phillip: [00:02:13:7200] Jason and Scot from the Jason and Scot Show. And so thank you guys for having us on your show. And thank you for coming on ours. And so if you haven't listened to those two episodes, I highly encourage you. Make sure you go back and listen to those because it just keeps getting better. And thank you to our sponsors who continue to help make it possible. And you, the listener who makes it possible. We just want to remind you real quick, you can take part in today's show by dropping us some feedback. We want you to do that. So go ahead and hit us up on FutureCommerce.fm. Make sure you click into the show link. If you're listening right there, just scroll down, and you'll see the comment box below at the bottom of the episode page. And make sure you subscribe and like, give us a five star on iTunes or Google Play, or I guess what they're calling it now is Apple Podcasts. So that's going to take a little bit of getting used to. Or you can listen right from your Amazon Echo on TuneIn radio with the phrase, "Alexa Play Future Commerce podcast."

Brian: [00:03:13:55800] I think that we're going to start to have old fogies who are like, "I'm never calling it Apple Podcast."

Phillip: [00:03:21:45900] Yeah.

Brian: [00:03:22:47700] "It's not that to me."

Phillip: [00:03:24:56700] That's not what it was to me. "Back in my day..." Actually, you know, since we mentioned Alexa, somebody had a really interesting sort of gripe about how slow the product movement is with Alexa. I know that there's some really interesting stuff happening with, like the Echo Look and what's the other one? Show?

Brian: [00:03:47:29700] Yeah Show.

Phillip: [00:03:47:58500] Yeah. Show. Kind of interesting stuff happening there. And I'm kind of bumping this up. I know we de-prioritized it in our news, but aside from those two things and whisper mode, there's really no product innovation happening there right now for the people who had the original devices. A lot of rumblings about the new Echo, Echo 2, dropping in the next couple weeks. But aside from that, you look at what Google's doing with Google Home. It's kind of mind blowing.

Brian: [00:04:16:26100] Well, hold on. Hold on here. I do want to get to Google Home, but they did just announce Alexa Calling, which was really cool.

Phillip: [00:04:25:45000] Yeah, I do like that. You know what I kind of like about it is the passive nature. So it doesn't automatically just push something to you and kind of yell in your face, which, you know, was one of the privacy things that was kind of concerned about, about anybody being able to just like push messages to you that play out loud. God knows what could happen there.

Brian: [00:04:44:17100] Gonna happen someday.

Phillip: [00:04:45:16200] Yeah, I'm sure. But to to to what degree like how that works... Like, they've really thought that out, and it sort of rolled out in a silent update a couple weeks ago. I really like the way that it functions, and I like the voice to text as well in the Alexa app. So kind of a nice update all around. But it can't hold a candle to Google Home's new ability to have six different voice recognitions.

Brian: [00:05:11:38700] Yeah that's really cool.

Phillip: [00:05:11:38700] So six members of your household by voice can all have tailored experiences with their Google Home device, including the kind of contextual search that you would get by person to sort of learn tastes and like and behavior. So, yeah, Alexa's, feeling a little older these days in the light of that. So I think that was kind of interesting. Of course, you know, Google is... They just had IO, so they're hot to...

Brian: [00:05:41:5400] It was just a big announcement time. Of course they could try to leapfrog. I mean, I think it's not an accident that Amazon announced two pretty major devices right before IO.

Phillip: [00:05:51:89100] Yeah, that's... You're right. You're right. But I do think that we also should be aware that they're probably getting ready to rev the product, and there's really no reason to do it. There's the only thing that I think at this point that they could make an excuse for a product rev would be, even though the Dot just came out, like the cheaper Dot landed right before Christmas 2016, it'd be real hard sell to get people to to rev all the devices in their home, especially when they're selling them in five and six a piece, in a five and six pack. I think it'd be a hard sell, but the only thing I can see happening is, you know, Amazon just recently open sourced its... Or is licensing? Or open sourcing it's Far-Field Microphone technology? The five microphone array sort of thing, which is kind of interesting. But one thing it just does not do well is the crosstalk between rooms. So if you have two devices close to each other, they don't really... There's no sort of device priority in which one receives the wake word or the command. They both hear you. They both try to act at the same time or they get confused.

Brian: [00:07:03:8100] What if we could give them different names?

Phillip: [00:07:05:21600] Well, you can. That's what you do, right?

Brian: [00:07:07:66600] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:07:07:85500] You so you can assign one Echo, one Amazon, one Alexa, but...

Brian: [00:07:13:12600] Three names. I can't wait until we can assign our own names.

Phillip: [00:07:17:53100] Yeah. So that's the other thing. So Google Home also rolled out an over the air update recently that gives you the ability to have macros. So, you know, you can queue up a bunch of actions, all with one single word. And right now, that is probably my biggest pet peeve with the home automation that we have going on. I know you can do that If This Then That. But, yeah, having something in device. Anyway, this is off base. But my point is, is it's starting to feel like there's a little bit of age on the Echo devices, and I'm sure there's a rev coming, but there's got to be something really compelling. Google lapped them already. And I've said now for a year almost, that Alexa had an 18 month head start. And it's starting to look like much less of a head start these days.

Brian: [00:08:07:28800] Maybe. So I think there's a lot of things happening behind the scenes that aren't visible to the world.

Phillip: [00:08:15:13500] We would hope so.

Brian: [00:08:15:24300] What I mean by that is Alexa, if you remember back to CES, it got into everything. Like everything has Alexa in it.

Phillip: [00:08:22:68400] Yeah. Yes, yes. That actually takes us right to... This is a nice segue because Alexa in your car is not going to save Alexa in the long run if Google is integrated with everything else you do in your life. You know, like Alexa in your car is compelling, but only because I'm trained right now to say Alexa. But I have my phone now is on a magnetic thing on my dash. And I say, OK, Google all the time. So it's interesting. It's interesting. So, yeah, having it baked into the car, which actually kind of leads me to my sort of interesting thought of the week, which is I've recently got a car that has its own data plan. I've chewed through the 3 gigs, complementary data that they give you. And I'm at this point, like, should I renew the data plan on my car? And it's really compelling having that data. And I'll tell you why. So I'm still on Google Fi, and I know that you just recently moved away from it.

Brian: [00:09:26:83699] I did.

Phillip: [00:09:26:83699] We can talk about that. But I'm still on Google Fi, which is getting better. And I'm not so disenchanted with it as I was, you know, this time last year. However, this is AT&T. So it's not belonging to one of the networks that I'm currently on with T-Mobile or Sprint in my area through their MVNO. But, yeah, this is a completely different network. And having that redundancy of being able to swap over to the Wi-Fi hotspot in my car when I'm in like a bad area or a bad cell phone signal area or something like that, that's actually come in really handy, especially for like streaming and streaming music in the car.

Brian: [00:10:11:21600] Do you have to get the data plan through AT&T?

Phillip: [00:10:15:2700] Yeah.

Brian: [00:10:15:2700] Oooph...

Phillip: [00:10:15:2700] So you can get a SIM card. So I've thought about this as well. So I could get a data SIM for for Google Fi, which would be a device only SIM or data only SIM, which would be ten dollars per gig flat. And that would actually be cheaper than AT&T, which wants 15 dollars per month for I think one or two gigs of data. I forget how it works. It doesn't really matter the price. The point is, is that I'm starting to wonder, separate data plan for all your devices that just feel so old. And the fact that it's my car also kind of feels... It doesn't feel great.

Brian: [00:10:52:50399] Yeah. I totally agree.

Phillip: [00:10:52:50399] So I'm sort of...

Brian: [00:10:53:60300] So T-Mobile who I just sort of I put down on our last episode.

Phillip: [00:10:59:62100] Sure.

Brian: [00:11:00:16199] And then promptly switched to. {laughter} I think that they're Add a Device is like five or ten dollars a line to add a device with unlimited data.

Phillip: [00:11:14:41400] Does that, like, obligate you into like a two year agreement of some kind?

Brian: [00:11:18:8100] Nope. No. No contract.

Phillip: [00:11:20:56700] Interesting. Well, I'm interested to hear what people think, too. Having a data plan for my car is kind of a new thing for me. I've never had to do that before, but I will say...

Brian: [00:11:32:37800] I do agree with you, though. We're still running basically on the same plan that was introduced with cell phones came out. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:11:40:33300] Oh, sure.

Brian: [00:11:41:62100] Which is like you have a phone, and you might have two phones, and you might have three phones. And then we introduce tablets.

Phillip: [00:11:50:49500] Yeah.

Brian: [00:11:51:4500] Great.

Phillip: [00:11:51:69300] That was the next thing. Yeah.

Brian: [00:11:55:32400] It's not that different. Now it's like well hold on here. Maybe we're going to get most of our data on the go actually.

Phillip: [00:12:04:68400] Yeah. My kids are finally kind of getting old enough, too... We got a Nintendo Switch.

Brian: [00:12:09:43200] Sweet.

Phillip: [00:12:09:43200] And they're like playing Mario Kart and stuff, and they're kind of getting to the point where they're old enough to kind of want to be watching movies or something. I can see data being used in the car as like a car hotspot for genuinely useful purposes. But maybe this is just like my own struggle because... Well, first, I'm old. But second...

Brian: [00:12:39:54900] You're not that old, man.

Phillip: [00:12:40:71100] Yeah. But second, it's like the cost conscious thing that's ingrained in me now from Google Fi and sort of paying by the gig is maybe just an antiquated and sort of an old fashioned thing. I think almost every single other cell phone provider at this point has unlimited data. It's interesting. Interesting. It's an interesting thing. I'm curious what our listeners think.

Brian: [00:13:07:3600] I hate to just keep riffing on cell phones because I feel like we've spent enough time on it.

Phillip: [00:13:12:1800] Yeah, that's 2005 commerce.

Brian: [00:13:14:85500] I know. Seriously. The CEO of T-Mobile, and I'm totally spacing on his name at the moment, but he basically is desperate to win away Verizons business. So he's actually no matter where you're at on your payments for your pixel phone, you can come over to T-Mobile and he'll pay for the whole thing if you're on Verizon. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:13:39:85500] {laughter} Remember, at one point they were giving away T-Mobile stock?

Brian: [00:13:43:74700] Oh yeah. They were giving away like a share.

Phillip: [00:13:45:45900] Yeah.

Brian: [00:13:45:65700] If you were on the plan. Yeah, that was crazy.

Phillip: [00:13:48:12600] I'm really curious. I'm really curious how that worked out for the people that got a share of T-Mobile stock. But anyway, we digress. I know you made the jump over to Samsung and that takes us over to Bixby land. And we've not talked a lot about Bixby on this show. I'm kind of curious what your first impressions are of that voice assistant.

Brian: [00:14:08:64800] I mean, I just barely got to it. And frankly, I've been using Google as my voice assistant because I'm so used to it.

Phillip: [00:14:15:20700] Sure. Okay.

Brian: [00:14:17:35100] And so actually, I just got the phone, like just got it. So I haven't even gone through and set up Bixby properly. I did try to use Bixby Vision, which is probably the most intriguing thing about it.

Phillip: [00:14:30:42300] Yeah. And that was the thing that you tried to demonstrate to me. I didn't really quite work. It did notice like what things were in its like picture.

Brian: [00:14:40:19800] Yeah. It could pick up objects.

Phillip: [00:14:42:66600] Like, "This is a shirt."

Brian: [00:14:43:22500] Yes.

Phillip: [00:14:43:22500] But it didn't necessarily give you the kind of what is that shopping suggestions, which I think is such a hard problem to solve. I don't fault it for that.

Brian: [00:14:55:3600] Yeah. Yeah. I think it's looking for like any kind of like marker or image that you can pick up like a logo or something like that. Probably. But yeah, I'm interested to see how they evolve that product. I'm probably more excited about Google Lens because that will just be integrated into the Google assistant.

Phillip: [00:15:21:28800] Yeah, that's a new... So for those who didn't watch the IO announcement, give us a little bit of a two second download on what Google Lens is.

Brian: [00:15:30:65700] Two second download is it's just like Bixby vision, but it's going to be way more integrated into Google products.

Phillip: [00:15:35:40500] And for those who don't know what Bixby Vision is, what is it?

Brian: [00:15:38:54000] Oh, sorry. So it's machine vision.

Phillip: [00:15:40:73800] Machine vision.

Brian: [00:15:41:13500] Machine vision for your camera on your phone, so you can hold your camera up and let it scan whatever it's looking at. And it might be able to give you information about it, whether it's for shopping or for finding out more information about a specific place you're in. So you might be able to hold it up to like a building, and it might tell you something about the building. Or if you're in at a store, it might tell you, "Oh, you're at this store. Here's the information about it." But this is actually a really big deal because right now we get most of our information about clothing and things like that from tags. Products have packaging and tags and all kinds of other stuff. And so what this might enable us to do is have much more in-depth info about products as we're walking through a store.

Phillip: [00:16:37:9900] Sure.

Brian: [00:16:38:2700] You can have basic info about your butter on the packaging. But then when you scan it with your phone, you find out way more details like, "Oh. This particular butter came from this particular farm instead of cows from this one farm," and provide more transparency again, like just more information for consumers, so they can make good decisions or be marketed into buying something. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:17:12:87300] And I guess I'm not really into whether it's good or not. Like I think we can always find something useful to do with these things. I just think it's interesting that that's where all of the providers have naturally been pushing into is sort of ambient awareness, like awareness of surroundings, even though they may not be things that you're necessarily aware of, but things that are available in ambient around you in pictures, help them make better decisions for things like ad serve, and sort of maybe contextually cue up other search results or serve you better data around location. So it could be interesting stuff. Hey, I'm going to quiz you.

Brian: [00:18:08:71100] Oh, boy.

Phillip: [00:18:09:68400] So do you know what a CPU is?

Brian: [00:18:14:25200] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:18:14:25200] And what is a CPU?

Brian: [00:18:17:26100] It's a processor.

Phillip: [00:18:18:33300] Yeah. It's a computer processor, right?

Brian: [00:18:21:76500] Right.

Phillip: [00:18:22:18900] Do you know what a GPU is?

Brian: [00:18:23:80100] Yeah. I saw that video of was it Intel trying to explain what the GPU is?

Phillip: [00:18:30:9000] Yeah. GPU is just it's a graphics processor, right?

Brian: [00:18:33:45900] Exactly.

Phillip: [00:18:34:8100] And it does it a little differently. It's built in such a way that it can chew through the things that are hard to process for generating graphics. Right?

Brian: [00:18:43:42300] Yeah. Did you see that whole, like, demonstration of the paintball gun trying to show the difference between a CPU and GPU?

Phillip: [00:18:51:9000] Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Brian: [00:18:52:59400] That was pretty fun.

Phillip: [00:18:53:14400] Yeah. We should find a way to link that up even though we don't really do show notes. So here's the quiz. Do you know what a TPU is?

Brian: [00:19:02:58500] No, I don't. Have you ever heard of a TPU? I've heard the term.

Phillip: [00:19:06:54900] So I've never heard of a TPU. I'm not really clued into these sorts of things, but it was all the rage at Google IO because they were talking a lot about their new next generation AI training system. TPU is a tensor processor unit, which is a specially designed processor that is specifically offloading the kinds of processing used for Google's tensor flow, which is their neural net. And what's really interesting about that is that they are supposedly... So they have built the largest neural net. This is like the largest, or at least the largest being employed against a commercial use cases. So between Google Brain and Deep Mine, which are both Google AI sort of moonshots or they're internal teams that work on this sort of stuff. They've now actually... They're employing that TPU system across all of their products now. They've sort of gone... Last year they said it was AI first, and now they're kind of implying AI machine, learning to a lot of their products. But what's really interesting about that is they're also making that same excess TPU, tensor processor unit capacity, available on Google Cloud Engine. So if you're using Google Compute Engine for other things, you could also make use of their TPU system for extremely fast and sort of really highly scalable neural net needs, so making it even more attractive to people who haven't really quite bought into Amazon or are looking for an alternative to Amazon's Elastic Cloud Compute. So it's kind of an interesting thing. And I feel like that was the thing that was the differentiator out of Google IO was sort of giving access to that same thing that powers Google Lens to everybody. Anyway, fascinating stuff. And Google keeps going deeper. They're now making their own VR, right?

Brian: [00:21:42:2700] Yes, that's right. No, they announced they're going to have a standalone Daydream headset where you won't even need a computer actually to utilize it. So that's pretty exciting as well. I thought the Daydream was a really pretty VR headset.

Phillip: [00:21:59:52200] Yeah.

Brian: [00:21:59:76500] I didn't get a chance to use it. I didn't have a phone that's compatible with it. But I think that the upcoming one will probably both be stylish and very good at what it does.

Phillip: [00:22:15:63000] Yeah, I'm really hoping that Google like stops revving products and actually makes them so that they're available to purchase when you want.

Brian: [00:22:24:59400] Yeah. AKA, like put a date on this.

Phillip: [00:22:26:83700] Yeah. The Pixel's a year old now. Pixel's a year old. Still not available in the Google Play store to buy. That's really frustrating. Anyway...

Brian: [00:22:43:42300] Yup.

Phillip: [00:22:43:42300] So that's kind of where they're at. I find that really interesting. Google continuing to sort of push the VR thing. I wish they'd figure out chat, but we've talked a lot about Google. Actually, can we...

Brian: [00:22:58:18000] We still use hangouts, by the way?

Phillip: [00:23:00:21600] Yeah, we do. Can we move on? Because I feel like there's some really, really cool stuff coming. I'm really...

Brian: [00:23:05:41400] Yeah. Let's do it.

Phillip: [00:23:06:8100] So something that caught my attention... Speaking of conference season, so Google IO just wrapped up. Right before that, Microsoft's big annual conference, which the name escapes me... What is that conference called? Microsoft conference... Like as if... Build. Ok, yeah. Build conference.

Brian: [00:23:30:22500] That's right.

Phillip: [00:23:30:67500] Right. I think it was out your way. I think it might have been in Seattle.

Brian: [00:23:34:34200] Oh. For sure. It was.

Phillip: [00:23:35:81000] Yeah. And so at the Build conference, they had a lot really interesting stuff. But the thing that I think took everyone by surprise was the YouTube demo by someone, by a developer, actually from Florida who created a hologram of Cortana and linked it up to the Cortana voice assistant and then actually animated and created a hologram representation of the actual like Halo Cortana speaking and then actually displaying in context in that hologram the same sort of screen tool tips that would come along with it. Now, what's interesting is it seems like he, this developer, lives very close to where I live in West Palm Beach. So we're trying to get a hold of him. I'd love to have him on the show. It'd be really cool to kind of get him to turn up. But his name is Jarem Archer, and he's @unt1tled on Twitter. Where the "i" is, it's the number 1. @Unt1tled. But you should see it. He's sort of 3D printed his own rig to display what looks like either a surface or an iPad above a traditional four sided hologram prism. And then it's just, it's impressive. It also looks like he has a hollow lens on the desk. Definitely a Microsoft developer. He released this at the Build conference, got a lot of fanfare around it. But you should see the demo because it's mind blowing.

Brian: [00:25:32:65700] It's really unbelievable. Like I mean, we've talked about holograms on the show before.

Phillip: [00:25:39:13500] And well you've talked about them. I've just laughed about them.

Brian: [00:25:43:53100] {laughter} That's true. That's true.

Phillip: [00:25:46:65700] Incredible.

Brian: [00:25:47:48600] There is quite a bit of tech out there right now. The thing about holograms is, so I'm told, they're actually not that difficult to actually make.

Phillip: [00:25:54:62100] No. I don't think so.

Brian: [00:25:55:80100] Basic holograms are not hard to make. Now, like real time rendering of holograms, I think maybe is a little bit harder. Like a video or whatever it is that you're trying to animate could be a little bit more difficult, probably. But I think the exciting thing about holograms is I mean, this is just another display, right? It's another way to view things. It's just it gives us a better experience. Make things more relatable potentially. And definitely when you're watching this, you're like, "Oh, my gosh, I'm in the future. Like, I live in the future."

Phillip: [00:26:33:00] It reminds me of... Holograms have existed for a very, very long time. I don't know if you remember, there was this video game back in like the 90s called Time Traveler. It was like a laser disc video game. You remember that?

Brian: [00:26:52:8100] No.

Phillip: [00:26:52:89100] Oh, my gosh. So it was one of these sort of... Do you remember Dragon's Lair? You ever see that game? Where it was one of those like you press a button when the button comes up on screen. It was a reflex game. And that's like, if you miss press the button, then the story ends. You die, you got to pop another quarter. But what was really interesting about it is that the gimmick for Time Traveler was that it used a concave mirror for the holographic effect. So it sort of looked, from a particular vantage point, like it was images that were sort of free-standing in 3-D that were sort of just appearing in space. So I don't think the actual physical, "Let's make something appear like it's right there" hologram part is the hard part, I think. It's just a different... It's a completely different UI and different medium. Requires a lot more sort of gear and vantage points.

Brian: [00:27:51:52200] Well, I think the thing that's cool about holograms are their shared experiences. I don't know if we just talked about this offline or if we talked about this on the show.

Phillip: [00:27:58:38700] I don't think I did. No.

Brian: [00:28:00:4500] But yeah, you look at different augmented reality and virtual reality... So augmented reality is interesting because you can share the experience, but you both have to be one, on the same filter and two, have the technology to actually do it. And then VR can be a shared experience or it can be alone depending if you're on network. But with a hologram is shared, no matter where you are.

Phillip: [00:28:27:18000] Right.

Brian: [00:28:31:11700] I think you can sort of augment reality, if you will, with holograms and then people don't necessarily have to have devices to experience that augmentation. So if I recall correctly... I'm remembering way back now, and I haven't been to Disneyland in forever, which looks like Disneyland is getting a major overhaul. But do you remember, did you ever go when they had the Indiana Jones ride and then, like, Indiana Jones sort of comes down? He appears at different places throughout the ride.

Phillip: [00:29:07:66600] No. So I've never been to Disneyland. I've only ever been to Walt Disney World.

Brian: [00:29:11:37800] Oh, yeah. Of course. You live right there.

Phillip: [00:29:13:17100] Right.

Brian: [00:29:14:72900] Yeah. So I think that was a hologram, if I recall correctly. They used a hologram to do that. And that was like he years ago.

Phillip: [00:29:22:11700] Striking. But it was probably kind of an incredible experience.

Brian: [00:29:27:47700] It was super cool. Yeah. And so that's another thing. I think Saku kind of mentioned this to some degree. But back on our first interview with her, it's sort of the arcade experience to these new technologies. And I'd be really interested to see how theme park and other shared experiences, like even like retail stores sort of create experiences or there'll be new places popping up that will allow us to leverage these new experiences, so that we can share the cost of the technology and have these beautiful curated experiences for us. That might actually be sort of the next step. One thing that was really cool... We talked about sort of the digital converging with physical with Google Lens and Bixby. But Nike just launched a track where you can actually race yourself.

Phillip: [00:30:31:31500] Yeah. Actually, this is really interesting. Carry on with that, because I want to find this story that I read about this. Yeah.

Brian: [00:30:38:32400] Yeah. So, I mean, it's pretty self-explanatory. But my point is...

Phillip: [00:30:43:73800] Was it the in-store experience? Or like what was it? It was somewhere.

Brian: [00:30:47:29700] It was like a track. I think it wasn't in the US. I think it was down somewhere... It might have been in the Philippines. Maybe? I can't remember for sure. Yeah, maybe look up that story. And I was just kind of illustrating a point, which is that some of this technology is definitely there, in terms of us being able to have new experiences and do things are never done before, but it's going to take bigger companies and bigger players to put together these experiences for us to share as a group, as a population, before some of these things are gonna filter down to the general public. Actually, let's talk about that a little bit more as well. A good friend of mine, a former coworker of mine, just got hired at a company that is working on VR feeling... So you can actually put on a suit...

Phillip: [00:31:49:3600] Yeah. Haptic.

Brian: [00:31:50:54000] Yeah. Yeah. Haptic. Yes. Thank you. Haptic suit. And I think it's called Axon VR. Gosh, I can't believe I'm... Yeah. Axon VR. And they've released the haptic suit, which is... I don't know how much it's going for right now, but I could definitely see this becoming something that people pull into stores or put into an arcade type experience or something you can pay for and experience. And then we'll all have access to this and go use it in a more general sense.

Phillip: [00:32:35:2700] The only thing I can think of that that would be useful... But I shall digress. I will not. I will not go there.

Brian: [00:32:43:18900] {laughter} Oh.

Phillip: [00:34:26:84600] Yeah, I do think that that is a thing that's... It's interesting that you know people working in that space. I think that's definitely coming. What I'm kind of fascinated with with the Nike experience, which you can actually find... I think it was on The Verge where I just saw it. But you can run against these LED walls. And so you're interacting digitally with a... You're the ghost of yourself sort of running against you, which is cool. But I think that that's really cool because it's a... You talked about shared experience. I think that's what's interesting about this is it's an experience that onlookers can also experience. Whereas the haptic thing is like it's still catering to the virtual experience that VR is.

Brian: [00:35:28:35100] Certainly.

Phillip: [00:35:28:78300] Which is the personal only. But I think it's really, really interesting that it seems that shoe brands are the ones... Footwear is what's really pushing the envelope here. Don't you find that kind of interesting?

Brian: [00:35:49:64800] It is interesting. Yeah, totally interesting.

Phillip: [00:35:50:77400] Nick Vu actually, in our previous episode, also sort of seemed to hint that Adidas was continued to push the envelope and had been for some number of years. They've had VR experiences in their stores for years.

Brian: [00:36:06:19800] In-store. Totally. It is interesting. They're also like pushing all kinds of other stuff. This gets back to a conversation we had, I think, three episodes ago about how retail was actually pushing forward our shared, or our general experience, life experience and sort of pushing forward technology and making it available to us in ways that we've never been able to experience it before.

Phillip: [00:36:34:3600] Right.

Brian: [00:36:36:68400] This is a big deal. I'm glad we're talking about it because I haven't heard many people. It's funny. We always think, "OK, big business..." At least our generation's like, "Oh, big business. Not awesome." It's like, wait a minute, hold on here. These big businesses are actually the ones that are driving forward some of these groundbreaking technologies and ways that we are going to experience the world that you would never expect that they would. Granted, they're selling stuff to us in the process. And I guess that's sort of the point.

Phillip: [00:37:08:15300] Yeah. And they should.

Brian: [00:37:10:15300] Yeah, they should.

Phillip: [00:37:10:58500] Yeah. Yeah. They should.

Brian: [00:37:12:13500] I agree.

Phillip: [00:37:13:8100] Interesting, actually, speaking of that and pushing technology forward, I believe Nike just recently also tried to break the two hour marathon record.

Brian: [00:37:26:9000] {laughter} Oh yeah.

Phillip: [00:37:26:9000] Did you see that? Sort of a tragic failed attempt. Eliud Kipchoge, the Kenyan runner... They set it up sort of amazingly to do everything that they really could to try to break the two hour marathon record. Unfortunately, came in at two hours and twenty four seconds. Gosh, that's heartbreaking.

Brian: [00:37:55:37800] That's crazy.

Phillip: [00:37:56:7200] What was incredible about the way that they did the two hour, or they were trying to do, the sub two hour marathon was well, first of all, that's 4 minute, 35 second mile all the way through, which is just unbelievable. What a pace that the human body would have to endure. But the way to do that, I mean, really, the only way to do that is through technology. So they had pacers setup for every half a mile or so to run and keep pace. And then they had pace vehicles as well. But Nike has these new, supposedly the fastest shoes ever made that were specifically created just for this purpose. And they had like windbreakers trying to sort of break the wind, trying to setup this perfect environment to basically make it possible. And it's all technology that's enabling all of that. You need technology to make all of that happen. It's just an interesting thing and still kind of reaching up. At the end of the day, it's just the limit of the human body. But anyway, very, very...

Brian: [00:39:17:00] It's amazing. I love it. Nice. Well, I think...

Phillip: [00:39:23:89100] Anyway footwear.

Brian: [00:39:25:21600] Yeah footwear. Exactly.

Phillip: [00:39:27:70200] Shocking. In fact I'm actually getting into the world of more body data with doing a lot more running recently and really kind of enjoying that. I'm shocked at how many footwear brands actually have connected shoes.

Brian: [00:39:45:80100] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:39:47:44100] And Under Armour and a few others all have these sort of... They're not just step trackers. They do all kinds of things. But they also tend to tell you, like at what point you should start thinking about replacing your shoes. And it's just an interesting mixture of technology in that space.

Brian: [00:40:03:75600] Yeah. I talked about this with Bryan Eisenberg.

Phillip: [00:40:07:36000] Yeah.

Brian: [00:40:07:74700] It was a really interesting conversation. And it's funny because connected clothing, or smart clothing, has been sort of on the horizon for a long time. And it's just finally starting to pick up some steam. It's still on the fringe. Only larger companies, like Under Armour and Nike are really pushing it. It's not something that is... It's not like there's technology out there that is easily accessible for smaller brands, although I should say that's starting to happen now.

Phillip: [00:40:43:85500] Yeah. Yeah. And I remember 10 years ago Nike had an insole insert for the original iPhone or for the iPod. I think it might have been for the iPod at one point as a step tracker for an insole, connected insole. Do you remember that?

Brian: [00:41:07:48600] Oh man. I did not remember that.

Phillip: [00:41:08:18000] Nike running... I don't remember what it was. It was crazy.

Brian: [00:41:11:13500] iPod. iPod.

Phillip: [00:41:13:13500] Do you remember iPods?

Brian: [00:41:15:27900] Oh geez.

Phillip: [00:41:16:50400] Interesting. But anyway, iPod's no longer valuable. You know what is valuable these days?

Brian: [00:41:22:89100] Oh, yeah, I do.

Phillip: [00:41:24:44100] Yeah. Data.

Brian: [00:41:25:72900] Data. Exactly.

Phillip: [00:41:27:23400] Data.

Brian: [00:41:27:71100] World's most valuable resource now.

Phillip: [00:41:30:41400] Yeah. No longer oil. World's most valuable resource, according to the economists anyway, is data. So a story coming out of The Economist. Kind of sort of thinking about how we get into regulation and talking about the mind bending profits that companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, Google's parent company, are all kind of, you know, just cranking out profit. Twenty five billion dollars in net profit in the first quarter of 2017. Amazon capturing over half of all dollars spent online in America. But what's incredible about that is that these companies are basically almost wholly, completely unregulated. When you look at the amount of regulation that goes into other businesses of comparable size, really the only difference is that this is not a commoditized resource. Right? This is not a resource, a natural resource that's regulated in any way.

Brian: [00:42:40:87300] I loved Chris Alban's tweet just from this past April, late April. He said 2007, you are the product. 2017, you are the training data.

Phillip: [00:42:52:87300] Yeah. And that's so true. That's so true. It's interesting. I do think we're so far past... Do you remember back when Microsoft was like on a 15 year bent with antitrust lawsuits?

Brian: [00:43:12:60300] Oh, yeah. What a joke.

Phillip: [00:43:14:67500] And where is that nowadays? You know, where is that happening? I know that Google has been faced and especially in the E.U. with antitrust sort of crackdowns and regulation, but it's all but absent in the United States of America.

Brian: [00:43:29:83700] Yeah. In the US, yeah. I think the EU is still making moves, but...

Phillip: [00:43:34:75600] Well, let's see how long the EU actually lasts at this pace. I'm kind of getting into this space of like, "Are we okay with this?" I'm trying to wonder what this signals. Really, regulation should bring some... It would would have a lot of negative effects. Like the inability for the company to sort of compete and innovate against its rivals or a smaller US upstart. So it definitely could also slow the pace of innovation, and that's certainly not a track that I think any of us want to go down right now, especially when we're in a pretty decent economic climate. Who wants to put the brakes on that?

Brian: [00:44:23:23400] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:44:24:3600] But just interesting, interesting stuff. You know, who was is it? Is it Apple that is about to be the first trillion dollar company? The world's first trillion dollar company.

Brian: [00:44:35:83700] Yup.

Phillip: [00:44:35:83700] Which coming up on it as an 800 billion dollar market cap at the moment. We're gonna see it in our lifetime. Going to happen.

Brian: [00:44:46:69300] Easily.

Phillip: [00:44:48:29700] Terrifying.

Brian: [00:44:49:4500] And it's not going to be because of runaway inflation. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:44:52:31500] No. And it's also not gonna be because of all of the incredible... Sure, Apple's done some innovation, but they're not innovating in this space anywhere like their competitors are. Which is interesting because you listen to the naysayers, and they'll tell you how bad Siri is. They'll tell you how bad their devices are or are right now.

Brian: [00:45:17:81000] Well didn't we just talk about Airpods?

Phillip: [00:45:19:23400] Yeah but Airpods has an incredible consumer sentiment. They've got an incredible consumer rating on the Airpods. So it's a 98% satisfaction rate, I think is what we talked about on the last episode.

Brian: [00:45:32:11700] Let's take a step back. Apple isn't actually often on the forefront. They usually find stuff that's out there that can be done way, way better and recognize the market opportunity and then do it way, way better.

Phillip: [00:45:46:55800] Yeah, well, I think they're going to have to do more in the space. What is Apple doing with AI and machine learning right now that's sort of pushing the envelope? It makes me... They're not even signaling. At least Google talks about stuff that they never actually do anything with.

Brian: [00:46:04:68400] Here's what they're doing. They're letting Google be on the iPhone. Did you see that?

Phillip: [00:46:10:41400] No.

Brian: [00:46:11:81000] Yeah, no. I think... Is a Google Voice that's gonna be available on the iPhone now?

Phillip: [00:46:17:81900] Oh, I did see that. That's true. Yeah, yeah.

Brian: [00:46:21:8100] Yeah. That's that's Apple's contribution.

Phillip: [00:46:23:20700] {laughter} Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, well, thank you, Apple. Thank you for allowing Google to continue to exist in this world that you basically own. It's interesting. I do hope that these companies continue to grow and innovate and employ people and create better worlds for us to live in for our kids. But I'm a little bearish on their ability to be... They all have stockholders to answer to. Every one of them. And that's sort of the scary thing, is that you can't be altruistic just on your own. You have to answer to the stockholders at some point, and you have to turn profit and that's scary.

Brian: [00:47:20:81000] Sure. Well, so here is absolute truth to that. However, also on the flip side, we still have an insane amount of innovation going on outside of these big companies. I mean, if you look at Sentient.AI, great example of that. We had Jonathan Epstein on back on episode 14, I think it was, or 15. They're doing some really cool stuff with AI. And there are many other companies. We had Body Labs on. They're doing stuff that no one else is doing. There's still plenty of space to get out there and do something that no one else is doing.

Phillip: [00:48:00:16200] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Brian: [00:48:01:88200] So, I mean, there is still... The barrier to entry is still low enough where I feel at least in America, yeah, maybe you can't get into the phone business too easily, but you can get into creating innovative software that does stuff that no one else has thought of.

Phillip: [00:48:19:45900] Yeah. Speaking of which, yeah you're spot on there. We're in this place of lock in to a scant few vendors, which I think you go back to the Teddy Roosevelt trustbusters days, and he's rolling over in his grave. This was the... At least with cable and telephone operators we had regional monopolies and not global monopolies. That's all we have anymore. The Internet has brought us all closer together, but it's done it under the roof of four or five major companies. And that's great for AI training data. And it's not so great, I think, for a consumer choice and for transparency of what exactly is going on with all of what's in our best interest.

Brian: [00:49:13:86400] I don't know about that, man. If you look at what it costs to buy a fully functioning smartphone right now... I mean, actually, Google just released their Go platform as like a downmarket play. It's a new operating system.

Phillip: [00:49:34:44100] Oh, yeah. We didn't talk about that. Yeah.

Brian: [00:49:36:49500] Yeah. It's a down market play, and it's going to hopefully make more devices available or give people more access to high tech devices or software than ever before. They talked about their next billion users, right?

Phillip: [00:49:54:45900] Yeah. Yeah.

Brian: [00:49:55:00] And so I actually kind of feel like, in terms of accessibility and choice, there still is a lot out there. I mean, open source is also helping with this a ton. Now, making sure the right people get compensated for how this stuff rolls out might be a different story.

Phillip: [00:50:13:78300] Yeah, and that's a whole other topic, I think.

Brian: [00:50:17:55800] Yeah, definitely. Yeah. Anyway.

Phillip: [00:50:20:7200] Interesting.

Brian: [00:50:21:52200] I hear your concerns. Would Teddy Rosevelt be rolling over in his grave? I'm not totally sure that he would with these companies. He might be rolling over in his grave for completely different reasons, which I won't get into now. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:50:36:68400] I don't know how beloved people hold old Theo these days. Hey, listen, we've got a couple other really cool stories here. But I do think just as an aside, it's sort of really important, it's important that we remind you or we tell you... I think this is our announcement about Shop.org, but we are going to be live podcasting at Shop.org.

Brian: [00:51:07:25200] Yeah. Super excited about that. Yeah. This will be our first year at Shop.org.

Phillip: [00:51:13:63000] As Future Commerce anyhow.

Brian: [00:51:16:50400] Yeah as Future Commerce. Our first year broadcasting live as an official part of the show. So come, bring the whole company. Bring the whole company along.

Phillip: [00:51:30:69300] Why don't ya.

Brian: [00:51:31:45900] And listen in.

Phillip: [00:51:32:73800] In the realm of shows or conferences, this is not the most expensive one to attend. In fact, I think they've sort of reworked this show a little bit. And so despite what you may have heard in the past, I think this one's gonna be a really, really cool one. So we want you to come out. It's in L.A. this year.

Brian: [00:51:57:9900] Who doesn't want to go to L.A.?

Phillip: [00:51:58:36900] I want to go to L.A..

Brian: [00:52:00:2700] It's going to be beautiful.

Phillip: [00:52:01:36900] It's gonna be awesome.

Brian: [00:52:02:9900] In September. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:52:03:18900] Yeah. So what are the dates?

Brian: [00:52:05:77400] It is September, I want to say, 26th through 28th. Is that right? Let me double check that actually. I should know this.

Phillip: [00:52:12:68400] You should know this off the top of your head. It's 25-27.

Brian: [00:52:16:52200] 25-27. I was close.

Phillip: [00:52:18:3600] Yeah. So yeah. Come on out and make sure you look us up. We're gonna be podcasting from the podcast booth. So are Jason and Scot from the Jason Scot Show who were just recently on Future Commerce, and we wanna make sure we see there. And keep a lookout because we'll probably be putting together a few little events that week for some meet and greets. That'll be really nice.

Brian: [00:52:42:15300] Yeah. It'll be fun.

Phillip: [00:52:43:29700] I mean, why don't you  close us out? There's a couple little other neat little stories that I think we pulled out for the week as well.

Brian: [00:52:51:38700] Yeah. Oh, yeah. This is pretty cool. I know that this is sort of off topic, but Volvo's going all electric. All the way, baby.

Phillip: [00:53:00:38700] Yeah, yeah. I was sort of shocked to read this myself, but I think it's like no more diesel and yeah, electric is the future, which is incredible.

Brian: [00:53:16:5400] It is incredible. Yeah. Kind of plays back to like car tech that we were talking about a little bit. And just like how we think about cars in the future. That will be very... I'm excited to see how that actually plays out. And the other thing that we kind of talked about covering on the show that I thought was really interesting was, and actually we just referenced Sentient and how they've got some basically a hedge fund that allows AI to make autonomous purchasing. But there's also a story you found on Vice. AI is now basically mining hundreds of thousands of news articles per hour for stock tips, and it's predicting stock prices with 76% accuracy.

Phillip: [00:54:13:17100] Wonder how many of those are just looking for Trump statements and sort of trying to predict market swings based on... {laughter}

Brian: [00:54:20:39600] {laughter} Yeah. The one thing that they kind of like... This is obviously unbelievable, right? I don't think there's anything out there that's ever been out there like this before.

Phillip: [00:54:31:58500] Yeah.

Brian: [00:54:31:58500] But the concern that I might have is I could see people maybe gaming this a little bit. If you put out the right types of articles, you might be able to create a system in which you influence AI because it's not understanding what's legitimate and what's not if it's mining through hundreds of thousands of articles. Now, maybe there is some sort of like failsafe in there for that. But I can't help but think that there's going to be a way to game this that people are going to start to take advantage of.

Phillip: [00:55:14:54000] Tie it into our last story. Right? So traditionally, you would have a certain Wall Street analysts that would be watching particular companies, right? And they sort of give you the buy or sell rating. Like recently there was a story of... I used to watch Etsy really close since the IPO. Never actually did anything after the IPO. Was really sad. But I was a big fan of Etsy prior to the IPO. But there's like forty five Wall Street analysts that watch Etsy. And forty one of them have rated it a buy. Well there's four that have rated it a sell. And just watching their analysis alone would kind of be an interesting thing for an AI to sort of, you know, make decisions, purchase decisions, based on that. But Volvo making an announcement about the electric car being the future. That's the kind of thing that I think that we used to pay 10, 12, 40, 50, 100 people to all watch and care about. And now it can be automated by a couple TPUs. That's kind of an interesting shift in the way that we place value on things in the stock market is more and more based on public news and PR. That's what it comes down to.

Brian: [00:56:38:13500] Maybe that's always been true. But yeah.

Phillip: [00:56:40:53100] I think it's always been. I think it definitely has always been true, but it's always been true as filtered by people who we ostensibly have some expertise to filter the good from the bad.

Brian: [00:56:57:34200] Right. So what happens... Let's just pretend for a minute that this data gets publicized to everybody, and everyone can see where people... Isn't that a little bit of a chicken and egg thing right there? Like everyone knows what the price is going to be. And then because of everything that everyone's saying and then it starts to get a little bit crazy.

Phillip: [00:57:25:86400] Yeah, well, I think that's kind of just how money works nowadays anyway.

Brian: [00:57:31:70200] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:57:33:33300] Speaking of money, working in sort of confidence where I'm going to start a new segment called Bitcoin Watch. Bitcoin is going on a tear right now on the heels of the WannaCry ransomware. Last I checked, I think Bitcoin was somewhere like 2200 dollars. Sorry. Today. Right now. $2537. Up 6.75% Today alone. Wow. Gosh. It's up. Sorry. Close of market was 9.4% increase and nearly a... Oh my gosh. Holy cow. It's like nearly a six fold increase in the last year. So alt coins definitely on the rise as well. And our friend Bryan Roemmele. He has the Around the Coin podcast?

Brian: [00:58:40:54000] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:58:41:25200] That he's frequent on. And he's sort of called the continued rise of that as well. Something to keep a watch on, because I think it all, again, the value that we place on things like stocks and money is really only held up by our belief in it. And so our belief has to be... We have to have some faith and trust in those things as having value for them to actually have real value.

Brian: [00:59:07:27000] Yeah, it's a really good point. When we start to lose confidence in something, that's when it starts to devalue.

Phillip: [00:59:12:52200] Sure.

Brian: [00:59:12:73800] I totally agree. Speaking of of Blockchain, did you see that Toyota announced that it's going to use Blockchain to sort of help it gather driving data, which will steer driverless cars?

Phillip: [00:59:29:23400] No, I hadn't seen that. Give me a little more information about that.

Brian: [00:59:36:63000] Yeah. Chris Ballinger, who's their Chief Officer of Strategic Innovation at Toyota, basically said that... I'll quote, "Hundreds of billions of miles of human driving data is going to be needed to develop safe and reliable autonomous vehicles." And he goes on to say then, "Blockchains and distributed ledgers may enable pooling data from vehicle owners, fleet managers and manufacturers to shorten the time for reaching this goal." And basically he goes to say it's going to actually make it possible. The problem with autonomous driving right now is that it's really hard to collect all the data that's necessary to make it actually safe.

Phillip: [01:00:21:58500] Yeah.

Brian: [01:00:22:8100] So that's why we've had these autonomous cars driving around, you know, for, you know, hundreds of thousands, millions of miles all over states that don't have a massively populated areas. And we still don't have enough data. So essentially, he's saying they're gonna start. I think they're going to start building this in and then customers will be able to give their insurance companies increased transparency to basically reduce fraud and give them access to driving data to measure safe driving habits, which essentially is once you opt into that, that's going to start, I think, feeding Toyota data about driving.

Phillip: [01:01:09:83700] Yeah. And who knows? If you've saw the movie Arrival and the sort of the Ex Machina. That whole thing toward the end of the movie, which is, you know, essentially us being able to have shared information in a worldwide platform to sort of conquer a very hard to solve problem that is the ne plus ultra. That is what we are, as a human species, only we are capable of would be that sort of distributed sharing of data. And if hey, listen, if we can come together as a world, as a human species over something for us to share freely data for a common good, which I think we can all agree self-driving cars would limit traffic fatalities. They would all but eliminate traffic congestion. It would be a new era for humankind. I think it is a worthy thing for us to pursue. I mean, it would be an incredible thing if that's what we can unite over. But it's going to take a commitment to open source and sharing of data. And, yeah, Blockchain is one way to accomplish that. I kind of like that Toyota is driving that today.

Brian: [01:02:35:63000] So that's about as future as I've ever heard you. That's a good way to end this episode.

Phillip: [01:02:41:87300] Yeah, stop me right there.

Brian: [01:02:44:42300] That is Phillip Jackson preaching the future. {laughter}

Phillip: [01:02:48:64800] You know, I'm usually bearish about things like this, but on this one, I'm feeling pretty good. I like it.

Brian: [01:02:56:52200] Yeah. They're also doing this in partnership with MIT, which is really cool. So, I mean, I think there is definitely a high chance of success. Toyota has traditionally been very good at accomplishing things they set out to accomplish. And MIT is also kind of in that boat. And so I'm pretty stoked about this. I agree with you.

Phillip: [01:03:22:47700] I love it. I love it. Brian, you're the best, man. I love doing this with you.

Brian: [01:03:26:69300] Another great...

Phillip: [01:03:27:62100] You're luring me over to your side. Over to the light side. I like it.

Brian: [01:03:33:10800] Yes.

Phillip: [01:03:34:9900] It's been a great episode. Thank you for spending time with us. Thank you for spending last hour with us. Wow. Where does the time go? And thank you for listening to Future Commerce. And we want your feedback, we need you involved in today's show. So make sure to get that to us at FutureCommerce.fm. We've also submitted ourselves to the podcast awards. And we want you to vote for us for the 2017 podcast awards.

Brian: [01:03:58:18000] Please do.

Phillip: [01:03:59:68400] Yeah. If you go over to PodcastAwards.com, hit the People's Choice link, and submit Future Commerce, that would be very, very much appreciated. And we'd love to win an award. That would be really, really cool. But even if you don't award us with your favorite podcast, vote on the Podcast Awards. We would like you to award us with a five star on iTunes or Apple Podcast, wherever the heck it's called these days or over there on Google Play with...

Brian: [01:04:27:39600] Come on you old fogy.

Phillip: [01:04:28:23400] Yeah. All five of you that listen on Google Play and also, you know, make sure that you never miss a show by subscribing. Because we want to keep you around. Anyway, hey, until next time. Thank you for listening. Bye.

Brian: [01:04:56:62100] Bye. Keep looking towards the future.

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