Discover more from Future Commerce
Episode 32
May 12, 2017

Yeah Yeah Yeah, Fine, Let's Talk About Echo Look

Brian and Phillip sit down to talk about Echo Look.

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this episode sponsored by

Brian: [00:01:11:4500] Welcome to Future Commerce, the podcast about cutting edge and next generation commerce. I'm Brian.

Phillip: [00:01:15:65700] I'm Phillip.

Brian: [00:01:16:49500] Today, we have a lot to catch up on.

Phillip: [00:01:21:24300] Hey. Listen. I know what you guys want to hear. You want to hear about the Echo Look. And we're going to talk about it. We got a lot of other stuff to catch up on, too. So just hold on your pants. It's coming. Promise. You know what else you could hold on to?

Brian: [00:01:39:11700] Not hold on to.

Phillip: [00:01:39:33300] Yeah. You can not hold on to your feedback. {laughter} This is terrible. You can tell that we haven't done this in a while. We want your feedback for today's show, and we want you to leave that in a place where you can start a discussion with some other people. So you and other listeners can go to, scroll to the bottom of the episode title, and there's a Disqus comment box. We want you to pop your feedback in there and start a discussion. And we also want you to leave some feedback. Pop us a five star on iTunes or Google Play. And you can also listen to us anywhere that you happen to be with your Amazon Echo on TuneIn radio with the phrase, "Alexa, play Future Commerce podcast." Well, welcome. Welcome back.

Brian: [00:02:20:66600] Welcome back.

Phillip: [00:02:22:35100] This is it. It's been a busy conference season. You and I have been here, there, and everywhere in the past couple months. And we somehow managed to squeeze in a bunch of podcasts in between. But they've looked a little different recently, haven't they?

Brian: [00:02:38:44100] Yeah. I mean, we've had some pretty cool stuff going on. I mean, I've really enjoyed our recent podcast, but they haven't been sort of our standard. And so I'm excited to kind of get back to it.

Phillip: [00:02:50:39600] Yeah, me too. We also had some feedback that people sort of like the diversity, but they like when you and I sort of do the pundit thing. And so we're gonna listen to that feedback, try to give you a little bit more of the punditry. But listen, you should take this as a compliment. A lot of people are saying they like when you talk more. So I'm going to try to shut my mouth.

Brian: [00:03:17:72000] No, man. This is all good. We spur each other on.

Phillip: [00:03:20:1800] {laughter} Apparently I'm very opinionated. {laughter} But I like it. I like it. So we actually I think since the last time we talked we've been through Shoptalk and a few other conferences, and I know Shoptalk EU is coming up, and they've just recently announced a bunch of their speakers, including a couple of their keynotes. So Shoptalk EU is coming up in October, 9th through 11th, in Copenhagen, where I might be. I might be visiting Copenhagen, but at the end of May. But a bunch of people that you would probably recognize, including...

Brian: [00:04:01:00] Yeah Shoptalk is killing it right now.

Phillip: [00:04:02:50400] Yeah.

Brian: [00:04:03:9000] They are out there in front of it. They are getting great content. What did you think of the content at Shoptalk? It was pretty good.

Phillip: [00:04:14:15300] It was good. But like there's this phrase that I have that's "try hard," like when someone tries a little too hard.

Brian: [00:04:24:77400] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:04:25:15300] I feel like some of the content was just trying too hard to fit into the overarching, futuristic view into retail. And while I love that, Shoptalk is about that, but it's about a lot of things. And to some people, I mean, just having digital commerce is the future for them, like they're not even there yet. So it's a broad range. And you see a lot of like huge brick and mortar merchants at these shows, like massive, massive brands, and that's represented, I think, in the speaker panels, too. All you have to do is go to and featured speakers is like you know...

Brian: [00:05:09:32400] IKEA...

Phillip: [00:05:09:32400] Yeah, yeah, exactly. It's Google, Casper, IKEA, Harrod's, Pizza Hut. You know, you can't really... You've heard of everybody basically. It's pretty cool.

Brian: [00:05:21:14400] Yeah, it is cool.

Phillip: [00:05:23:18000] What was your take? I know that we sort of covered Shoptalk a bit when we were with Acquia, which you should go listen to. That was a really great panel for us, and one of the largest that we've done yet as a live event.

Brian: [00:05:39:65700] Yeah, I thought that went really well, too. I thought it was really cool being in person. It was our first in-person podcast.

Phillip: [00:05:49:40500] Yeah had a little crew of people. Actually, if you listen through someone comes up and just starts talking to us in the middle and...

Brian: [00:05:57:16200] Did we bleep that out?

Phillip: [00:05:59:39600] No, we didn't. I left it.

Brian: [00:06:00:58500] Oh. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:06:00:58500] We just left.

Brian: [00:06:02:68400] That was awesome.

Phillip: [00:06:03:36000] You know, live is live, but it was really great. We're always excited to be able to meet people at these events and capture real conversations with people who are actually cutting new ground, forging new ground.

Brian: [00:06:20:1800] Speaking of being at events. It was pretty awesome being a part of MageTalk live at Imagine.

Phillip: [00:06:28:44100] Yeah. Yeah.

Brian: [00:06:29:86400] I really enjoyed that.

Phillip: [00:06:30:76500] Magento Imagine. So Magento, the eCommerce platform, has their large annual conference in Las Vegas every year. And so we were there at the beginning of April where Future Commerce did some live podcasting, which was awesome.

Brian: [00:06:44:68400] Yeah, yeah, we got to collaborate with MageTalk. And it was great. I mean, I felt like the chemistry was really good and got to cover the show from sort of our perspective, which was cool and do some live streaming, which was awesome. If you haven't seen that yet, head over to and check out the episodes that are posted there. There's both the livestream feed and the edited episode. So you should check it out. It's really good content.

Phillip: [00:07:21:86400] Yeah.

Brian: [00:07:22:19800] And Mark Lavelle, the CEO Magento, came on. I really enjoyed that. Mark is a great guy. I love talking to Mark.

Phillip: [00:07:31:69300] Yeah. He's amazing. We had a really good time with him as a sort of joining us for the show. Thank you to Magento for making that happen. But we're gonna be doing a bunch more of that kind of stuff. And in fact, just coming up real quick here at the beginning of June, we'll be at IRCE, which is the Internet Retailer Conference and Expo, probably the largest or the second largest show in retail and digital.

Brian: [00:08:00:21600] Second. Second.

Phillip: [00:08:00:21600] Yeah, the Big Show, they'd like to tell you, is the biggest one. IRCE feels pretty darn huge. Always some great speakers there as well. But we'll be there. We'll be onsite. So you need to come make some time. Brian and I will be hanging out at the Something Digital booth, which is actually in a pretty good spot right in the middle of all the action this year. So we're really excited to be there and hooking up with them to do some live podcasting. And we'd love to get some business industry insiders and some analysts and get people's take on not just the show, but the content being produced at the show. And so if you happen to see us walking the show floor, come grab us.

Brian: [00:08:45:32400] Come say, "Hi."

Phillip: [00:08:45:32400] Yeah.

Brian: [00:08:46:76500] Yeah. Come say, "Hi." Ask us questions. Give us feedback.

Phillip: [00:08:48:54000] Just standing, make sure that we're not recording before you come and talk to us. {laughter} Just kidding. But that one is very, very cool. Can't wait to do that. It's gonna be great. And that'll sort of wrap up conference season for us to some degree. And we're gonna get rolling.

Brian: [00:09:05:31500] Maybe. Well. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:09:06:55800] Actually... And you know what? Actually, by the time this comes out, this will be our anniversary. So happy happy birthday, Future Commerce. We're almost one year old since the inception. We dropped... We were stealth for some time, and we dropped a bunch of episodes in August of 2016. But we had been recording since right about May or early June of 2016. So we're coming up on our one year anniversary. So congratulations. We've been doing this for year.

Brian: [00:09:37:72000] Happy birthday. We're pretty old for a podcast.

Phillip: [00:09:42:27899] Yeah. You know, it's true.

Brian: [00:09:44:57600] Yeah, we're not super old, but we're...

Phillip: [00:09:47:60300] Thank you to the listeners, too, you're making us pretty successful. We want to thank some of our new sponsors. TurnTo, who is sponsoring us for a few episodes. I want to thank dotMailer, who is coming on brand new to our family here at Future Commerce.

Brian: [00:10:04:27000] Love dotMailer.

Phillip: [00:10:04:27000] And so we're picking up a real audience, we got some real sponsors and now you can expect some real good stuff coming out in the future. Speaking of money. {laughter} Speaking of money and sponsors. You wanna take this next one?

Brian: [00:10:20:45000] Yeah. IBM has their XPRIZE contest going on right now. And I think a hundred and forty seven teams have joined up competing for a five million dollar prize.

Phillip: [00:10:30:82800] Gosh.

Brian: [00:10:32:17100] I love that IBM is doing this. This is a great way to get sort of up and coming people interested in and really like up to snuff on Watson. So I appreciate that they're doing this. And then there's some nice rewards at the end for people that do a really good job. And it could actually propel them to success on the Watson platform.

Phillip: [00:11:01:24300] Yeah. It really could.

Brian: [00:11:03:44100] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:11:05:61199] But this is the sort of thing they should be doing, right, as a very large company with a lot of cash, right?

Brian: [00:11:10:56700] Yeah. So we'll keep an eye on that and see who ends up taking the prize home, what they do. I'm really interested to see what they do.

Phillip: [00:11:16:56700] I mean, would you like to hazard any predictions or guesses as to what we might see out of that?

Brian: [00:11:26:15300] No, actually. {laughter} I think given what Watson can accomplish, I feel like anything could come out of this. That's the thing.

Phillip: [00:11:43:75600] Right.

Brian: [00:11:47:12600] Watson is so big. And you could apply in so many different ways.

Phillip: [00:11:53:31500] Sure.

Brian: [00:11:55:89100] This is the fourth year that they've done this. And I feel like every year something really interesting comes out.

Phillip: [00:12:05:28800] Yeah. Sure.

Brian: [00:12:07:36900] It will be interesting. Did you see, Tom, Robertshaw's bit on personality testing on Watson?

Phillip: [00:12:19:54000] No, no. That sounds really awesome. Fill me in.

Brian: [00:12:22:9900] Yeah. I mean, what's Tom's... I should know this. I think it's just Tom Robertshaw.

Phillip: [00:12:28:27000] No, it's Bobby Shaw on Twitter.

Brian: [00:12:30:51300] No, no, no. What's his blog?

Phillip: [00:12:33:17100] Oh, I'm not sure. We'll look it up, but fill us in.

Brian: [00:12:37:77400] Yeah, so he had Watson profile his personality basically, his strengths. And he did a little study associated with that and with like Redditors or something like that.

Phillip: [00:12:57:24300] Yeah, yeah, I've actually found it now. It's a and it's a post from April 2017.

Brian: [00:13:05:14400] There it is. I'm seeing it as well. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:13:07:49500] Yeah.

Brian: [00:13:07:64800] So that he went to this AI conference in Bath, and they were doing a study on AI and basically applied it to Reddit to see basically what their personal values were based on social media word use. Oh that's right. It was values essentially, and it had to do with personality traits. And so Tom did it to himself. And it was really interesting to see what he actually valued. So have a look at in April, "Investigating Redditor's values with IBM Watson." Great article.

Phillip: [00:13:52:78300] Very, very cool article. This actually reminds me of something that I pointed out in one of my talks. I spoke at Bronto Summit a few weeks ago.

Brian: [00:14:04:6300] That's right, man.

Phillip: [00:14:04:70200] Which is the big email marketing platform that was recently acquired by Oracle via NetSuite. And so it was a very cool opportunity to speak there. But it reminded me of there was this really great retrospective on, I believe, Hidden Brain, The Hidden Brain podcast with Shankar Vedantam. I don't know if you ever listen to that. Fantastic podcast, but they talked about in the late 2000s or late like 2008, 2009, right when Facebook was really spooling up and Facebook apps were all the rage. Somebody created a My Personality app, which used very similar personality profiling for people that would take actual personality tests. And the incredible thing about My Personality, which was, you know, a test that people took, is that it turned into seven or eight million people that took them My Personality personality test, which was an actual psychologist, the actual four personalities personality tests, which looks very similar to what is being done here with Watson in this thought experiment. What they did was of the seven or eight million people that took the test, 90% or so of them allowed access to their Facebook profile to allow them to see their social network and to review their social network posting. And so what they found was they could accurately predict within 95% confidence your personality traits, everything from agreeableness to introversion, all of those, you know, conscientiousness, all of those major personality markers by only about 25 or 30 likes that you'd made. So the content of the post and the like or the brands that you like and the content on those brands or pages or even your political disposition can be determined in 25 to 30 likes. In fact, they could even peg your personality as close as what your spouse would do within 200 likes.

Brian: [00:16:21:52200] Wow.

Phillip: [00:16:21:52200] The average Facebooker... The average Facebook user has three to five thousand likes over, you know, a four to five year period. So it's the largest database of human personality ever compiled in human history. In fact, the data has been anonymized and submitted as part of research that is now sort of open source to be studied by psychologists. So it's kind of an incredible psychiatric or personality study that even anthropologists and people in human sciences are starting to dig into because it's so incredible and so deep. So I love that Tom is getting into this, and I love that Watson's part of it. And I think we can see more of this from things like the XPRIZE.

Brian: [00:17:12:71100] Yeah, totally. I do agree with that. So it's exciting to see what's being done with a AI. Speaking of a AI, IKEA made a really bold move and actually opened up their AI research with

Phillip: [00:17:37:25200] Yeah.

Brian: [00:17:38:36900] Yeah. Supercool. This is really interesting. Essentially, they want to democratize, well, they say democratize tomorrow's AI. And so essentially they have a future living lab, and they want to see how people feel about AI. And so they want people to share what they feel like the future of AI will be. And they kind of plan to open this up, and they'll be very clear about what it is that people are saying and essentially what's going to happen with a AI, or what they feel like is going to happen with AI based off this research. I'm really excited see what the outcome is.

Phillip: [00:18:24:38700] What I really like about this is that it's a very consumer centric site. And it's focused on education and focused on trying to, I think, position IKEA as a brand that's thinking about interaction beyond just their in-store retail and consumer experience, but begin to invest in other areas. And I think that's where we like, the whole charter of our podcast was talking about not just the future of commerce, but how retail pushes our technology forward.

Brian: [00:19:08:72000] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:19:08:72000] Because retail is the core... Retail, purchasing, bartering is the core of our civilization. It's the reason why we all work. It's the reason why we all pursue our passions and our dreams is to have self-sustaining, to make a living and sustain ourselves. And I think that at the core of that is commerce. And so seeing a brand like IKEA push this sort of initiative is really inspiring.

Brian: [00:19:40:59400] Yeah, I totally agree. It's really it's an economic engine behind innovation. Right? That's what retail is. It's one of those engines behind innovation.

Phillip: [00:19:53:9900] Yup.

Brian: [00:19:54:25200] So I just I appreciate it. I love that. I think it's cool that a retailer at scale of IKEA is sort of recognizing that they are a leader. That's one thing that it's almost like they're kind of self-aware about it. We're more than just the seller of cheap furniture.

Phillip: [00:20:24:19800] {laughter} In every sense of the word.

Brian: [00:20:25:88200] Yep. Exactly. What we're doing is going to shape the future of how people live and interact and the types of technologies they're going to use in their everyday life are going to be connected to what we're doing right now. And so why don't we be a little bit more engaged with this and really demonstrate the leaders that we are and open it up, and involve the world in it? I like it.

Phillip: [00:21:02:60300] Yeah. Yeah. I would say we have an obligation to continue to push progress forward, not just for like broader economic development or broader economic opportunity, but because I think we can't relax on the efficiencies of the modern world. There are plenty of people in this world who don't have access to technology that would make their life markedly better. Everything from, you know, we're over here talking about self-driving cars. There's people that still need clean water. And so we need to be investing in all kinds of technology and economic development. So an infrastructure, too. One thing I'd love to see us talk more about is IOT for industry.

Brian: [00:21:57:6300] Yes. Good idea.

Phillip: [00:21:57:63000] Because I really think that that's the kind of thing that has the potential to sort of revolutionize the way that we think about manufacturing and efficiency. And one of the key markers of an economy is productivity. And I'm really interested to get someone on to talk about stuff like that, because I think it could be really important. Actually, over on the Merchant the Merchant podcast, we recently had, which is at You should go check it out. We interviewed Sean Phaler from Pentair Water Systems, which is a Fortune 500 company, global company, that does water filtration systems, which sounds terribly unsexy. But when you hear what they're doing with their sustainable fishing initiatives and their water filtration efforts and some of their charitable and government work that they do in cities like Flint, Michigan, but in other municipalities as well, and then some of their broader, you know, global social good that they're investing in... There are companies that are doing this. And we should hold the brands that we that we love to higher standards to continue to push these things forward as well.

Brian: [00:23:14:53100] Totally agree. You know, it's something that I love. I love that technology is making something that was previously very unsexy, very sexy.

Phillip: [00:23:24:44100] It's true.

Brian: [00:23:24:44100] And that's happening across the board right now. The Predix platform by GE, really sexy stuff. In fact, GE did a whole campaign about how cool it actually was. But it actually is really cool. Their IOT platform. I think it's expected that process more data than the entire Internet not too long from now, I think, by like 2020 or something like that. Because they've got sensors in all of that, like everywhere in everything that GE touches. Including like all of BP's oil refineries. And then that's just one example. So it's an insane amount of IOT data and that's the entire world that I wish I knew a lot more about, because it's so cool right now. Like, IOT is absolutely revolutionizing the way that business to business transactions happen and how people are are thinking about their data.

Phillip: [00:24:36:53100] Yes. Supply chain is being revolutionized. And what's really interesting is IOT... We're so off topic right now. But I'm loving this.

Brian: [00:24:46:45900] Yeah, me, too.

Phillip: [00:24:46:45900] What's great about IOT is that it can actually enhance the consumer experience. Again, not to re reference it, but one of the talks I gave at the Bronto Summit was about the future of commerce, and the future of commerce, in my mind, the near future isn't AI and VR, it's just transparency and supply chain. How many of the widgets that you're trying to buy do I have on hand? How many are inbound? When will they ship? How often do I get them in stock? When can you expect them to be back in stock? All those things are important.

Brian: [00:25:21:60300] Speaking of which, I just saw an article that said that Microsoft's Blockchain, their supply chain initiative with Blockchain... They just bumped up their partners to, I think was 13, which doesn't sound like that many. But I think it's a growing thing. There are 13 partners out there that are actively pursuing how to improve the supply chain with Blockchain. I know that we just jumped from IOT to Blockchain.

Phillip: [00:25:55:37800] {laughter} In your mind they are like one and the same.

Brian: [00:25:57:45000] No, no, no, no. But you were talking supply chain and how it's like right now.

Phillip: [00:26:03:41400] Sure.

Brian: [00:26:03:88200] Like one of the most important pieces of improvement in commerce. And I totally agree. This stuff is happening in the here and now, and it's affecting you, as a consumer, a lot more than I think you're even realizing.

Phillip: [00:26:19:48600] Yeah, I think so, too. Well, I think that in any big data, yawn at the term, there's a lot of data that's produced by these sorts of metric and and information gathering tools and systems where we used to just gather data on high points in manufacturing, like rate of output, rate of breakage. Now we have very, very fine grained data. And we have to find ways of making that data useful, which is also another one of those future of commerce things is putting data to better work. I do think the underlying technology of AI and Blockchain and things like that, especially when you're talking about accounting or transactional or historical relation of data, those are all things I think are useful applications of Blockchain. But I don't think that AI or Blockchain, as much as they are appealing to venture capital firms, I don't think that they are the things that enable technology to be good inherently. I think transparent technology is the things that enable humans to be better at what we do. And we want the consumer experience and the merchant experience... We want transparent technology that just enables better experiences. That's what we want.

Brian: [00:27:44:82800] True.

Phillip: [00:27:44:82800] And so I'm excited for better, more transparent technology, so that we don't think about interacting with the technology, we think about interacting as humans.

Brian: [00:27:56:23400] With each other? {laughter}

Phillip: [00:27:58:88200] Yeah. {laughter}

Brian: [00:28:02:39600] As Karen Baker put it, it's not business to business. It's not B2C. It's human to human. Right?

Phillip: [00:28:12:10800] Yeah. Precisely. Yeah, exactly.

Brian: [00:28:16:18900] Yeah, this is good. Speaking of... No, I don't think that's a good transition, but I want to transition anyway. Did you see that Baidu open sourced their car tech, their AI for the cars?

Phillip: [00:28:33:11700] Yeah, I saw that. It's insane.

Brian: [00:28:35:58500] Yeah, super cool. Super cool. I think there's a... Kind of going back to AI a little bit, but it's just another example of another business that's being transparent with what they're doing and opening it up for everyone to take part in. Now even Tata Motors can go add Baidu to their cars.

Phillip: [00:29:04:13500] Right. Yeah. That's not uncommon these days. It's like people are taking a lot of the learning in the data and sort of open sourcing it. Especially in... Elon Musk recently open source patents for a lot of their electric car technology as well, right?

Brian: [00:29:24:80100] Yeah. Yeah, they did. That was really cool.

Phillip: [00:31:27:76500] What's interesting is, again, this is talking about transparency. I was recently in Las Vegas like four times in the past couple of months for various conferences. I happened to be there at the same time as NAMM, which is the National Association of Music Merchants. They had a talk, which caught my eye because I'm a consumer of this company's products. But there's a company called Izotope, which is, I believe, a German company that makes audio software. And in particular, they provide a range of software for audio restoration, which can be used in a lot of applications, including in forensic analysis. So we use it in our podcasts for a lot of things in particular drawing down background noise or filtering out bumps or various things. And it's a really powerful tool. Their newest version, which they talked about at NAMM, was presented as they've they've used machine learning and a facet of their cloud service to incorporate some machine learning algorithms into their most recent products, one of which is called Neutron. And what it does is it takes its used machine learning to profile some popular music or some popular media to profile what EQ and compression would sound like on average for a particular genre. And then you can use that same machine learning algorithm that it's derived and apply it to your music or to your recordings, your audio recordings. So it's really useful because what's awesome is there's a new standard in podcasts. And this is totally off base, but there's a new standard in podcasts that NPR actually wrote a paper on recently about audio loudness levels and achieving radio like... There's EU regulation that's forming right now around podcasts and loudness and sort of conforming to radio standards for podcasts. And in general there's this whole really deep concept there. But in looking into it, tools like Izotopes' Neutron product, which is a machine learning based tool, they can make those efforts much easier. So I took the NPR sample. I took the NPR profile generated from machine learning over thousands of hours of it listening to NPR. And you can apply that same profile to Future Commerce and get the same dynamic range, get the same average loudness and conform to those sort of compliances. It's a tool that is, on the surface, really easy to use, but has very deep roots in statistical analysis and machine learning and big data to apply algorithmic processes to audio. And I think that this is one of those small things, as nerdy as that is for me. It's one of the small things that we're going to see that applied in many industries across commerce that we haven't really even thought about or expected it to be applied to.

Brian: [00:34:57:00] Totally. This is why I don't even want to predict what's going to come out of the XPRIZW, because this is just another application that someone was like, man, if I just applied machine learning in this way I could actually achieve the outcome that I'm looking for consistently across the board.

Phillip: [00:35:13:42300] Sure.

Brian: [00:35:14:84600] And I would have never thought to do this. There's just so many things that can be applied to right now, things that are going to be very visible to the public and things that they're never going to even realize. And that's, in commerce especially, I think that's going to be happening. And we're talking about personalization.

Phillip: [00:35:34:34200] Oh, sure. Oh, yeah.

Brian: [00:35:36:83700] I mean, there's going to be a ton of stuff that happens in personalization that's related to machine learning and already has. You as a consumer, you just say, "Oh, yeah, I do like that thing that it's suggesting to me," or "Wow, I'm really enjoying this experience." And it's just AI behind the scenes adjusting to your likes and dislikes based off your 10 Facebook likes. Right?

Phillip: [00:36:01:18000] Actually, speaking of things that consumers really, really like... Nice little segue.

Brian: [00:36:08:38700] I know. I was going there.

Phillip: [00:36:09:27000] Techpinions recently hit out with an article. There was an analyst, Ben Bajarin, over at Techpinions, doing some market research analysis and NPS score review for Apple AirPods and declaring it a hit with 98% consumer satisfaction or customer satisfaction. So 98% of all AirPod owners said that they are satisfied or very satisfied. Remarkably, 82% say they were very satisfied. When you compare that, and this is crazy. This is just crazy. When you compare that with when the iPhone came out in 2007, it had a 92% satisfaction level and the iPad had a 92% satisfaction level in 2010. So between creative strategies and Experion, the NPS scores, net promoter score, is extremely high for AirPods. Came back as a seventy five.

Brian: [00:37:12:62100] Wow.

Phillip: [00:37:13:20700] And then actually to put that in context, iPhone is seventy two. People freaking love their AirPods.

Brian: [00:37:23:33300] I'm not going to lie, AirPods make me want to switch to an iPhone. Just that alone.

Phillip: [00:37:29:17100] Yeah. Me too. Yeah.

Brian: [00:37:31:31500] Which is that's saying a lot. Like I really don't want to go to an iPhone. But I'm considering it. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:37:39:78300] You want to hear what the top... I'm just basically reading the report because it's so darn good. I don't wanna mess it up. You want to hear what the consumer satisfaction report keywords the most frequently used words by respondents were... Here we go. Fit. Which is incredible because all I've ever heard on the Internet is people complaining about the iPod headphones fit. Sound quality. Convenience. Magic. Love. Good sound and battery life. We'll take a couple of those with a grain of salt. Here's the blow away. This is 98 percent consumer satisfaction on the time it takes to charge AirPods. Wow.

Brian: [00:38:19:27900] Wow, wow.

Phillip: [00:38:21:34200] Wow.

Brian: [00:38:25:26100] That is magic.

Phillip: [00:38:25:84600] That is magic. That's incredible. Ninety seven percent on the Bluetooth pairing process. Ninety five percent on the battery life. Ninety five percent of people surveyed who are AirPod owners say they love the battery life. How crazy is that? Yeah, this really is... I think we were calling it a hit before it ever came out. I think we said it's bringing Siri, one touch Siri, to your head wherever you happen to be. But I never expected the customer sentiment to be this high. It's amazing.

Brian: [00:39:02:61200] I mean, we both were pretty stoked about them when they came out. There's no doubt. I think we both were like, wow, that's like the coolest thing. Like, forget the iPhone for a second. When they released iPhone 7, it was like, Oh, waterproof. Oh, new camera. Oh, little improvement here or there. AirPods were a big improvement. It was an actual... I think it was actually a true moment of innovation in the world. Yeah. And so I love it when Apple does that. And it's funny, I just don't think that people expected that to be the thing.

Phillip: [00:39:41:31500] Yeah. I wasn't expecting it either. That's why it was so surprising to see that. And I think we're going to see continued improvement there. It would really make it a killer app if... Well, there're a couple things. There's a little bit of disharmony right now in Apple's product line. And this isn't uncommon. Apple has always kind of been in transition. Like IMAX for some time didn't have FireWire 400, and then they had FireWire 800. And then they didn't even have that. They only had Thunderbolt. And so as we're kind of changing standards for connectors and adapters and things like that, you know, we're in this really weird space right now where the AirPods, I think, use the lightning charger. The new iPhone is USBC or lightning still? It's lightning.

Brian: [00:40:38:30600] I think it's lightening. It's lightning.

Phillip: [00:40:39:9000] Yeah, but the new MacBook Pros are USBC, which is probably the future. And I'm seeing, if you want to talk about my customer satisfaction, my MacBook Pro is USBC now. Well, guess what so is my phone, and I just got a Nintendo Switch. Also USBC.

Brian: [00:40:58:50400] Nice, dude.

Phillip: [00:40:59:64800] And dude, everything has USBC. I just got USBC external battery, like a battery that you carry around just to charge your phone. That's also charges USBC. I have more devices now that charge via USBC than anything else, and it is actually better. I know it doesn't have Magsafe. So I think we're just in a weird time right now. I think people are gonna catch on. Also, Apple just announced earnings. iPhones are steady, but Macbook sales are driving profits for Apple.

Brian: [00:41:33:25200] Well I mean, they've finally released one.

Phillip: [00:41:39:36000] Well, right. {laughter}

Brian: [00:41:40:70200] I mean, it helps when you have a new model.

Phillip: [00:41:44:34200] Yeah, I mean, it's been seven months. So, I mean, they were announced in October. A lot of people were pooh poohing them. And I think the lesson is the same with AirPods. I think the lesson here is don't listen to people on the Internet.

Brian: [00:41:57:81900] That's a good lesson.

Phillip: [00:41:57:81900] Because I think in the real world, people are actually really liking these products.

Brian: [00:42:05:10800] Yeah. Speaking of not listening to people on the Internet...

Phillip: [00:42:09:81900] Here it is.

Brian: [00:42:11:27000] Yeah. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:42:12:57600] This is it.

Brian: [00:42:13:38700] And a new consumer product and something that AI has been applied to that's visible.

Phillip: [00:42:20:61200] {clapping}

Brian: [00:42:20:61200] Introducing the Echo Look. {laughter}

Phillip: [00:42:24:1800] Wow. Who saw that coming? {rim shot}. Sorry. Dad joke.

Brian: [00:42:33:36000] Dad joke.

Phillip: [00:42:34:56700] Aw, man. Echo Look. So what is it for those who haven't heard of it?

Brian: [00:42:38:86400] I didn't see this coming.

Phillip: [00:42:40:23400] Okay.

Brian: [00:42:40:48600] I didn't see this coming.

Phillip: [00:42:42:44100] Could you briefly describe what the Echo Look is?

Brian: [00:42:44:55800] The Echo Look is a camera that you put in your house...

Phillip: [00:42:49:21600] Made by Amazon.

Brian: [00:42:50:74700] By Amazon. Obviously. Echo. That when you stand in front of it, it tells you whether or not your outfit is actually matching and a good outfit and looks good on you.

Phillip: [00:43:04:81000] You're getting excited. You're shouting now. I love how passionate you are about the Echo Look. So but that's not all it does, right? It's got to do more than that. It also takes pictures, right?

Brian: [00:43:16:33300] Well, it takes pictures. You can take videos. I mean, obviously, it's a camera.

Phillip: [00:43:20:50400] It's also an Echo.

Brian: [00:43:23:11700] It's also an Echo. So, I mean, for two hundred dollars, you're getting another Echo with a camera that you can take videos of yourself with. And also it will tell you if you look good.

Phillip: [00:43:36:00] So what you're not going to hear on this show is how we think this is creepy, and you're not going to hear us also talk about the potential privacy issues. I'm sure that'll come up over the next year. You're also not going to hear about, you know, your creeper boyfriend trying to take pictures of you in the bedroom. That's not going to happen either. But what you will hear about is I think that this is like destined to be a hit.

Brian: [00:44:01:67500] Yeah, I do, too.

Phillip: [00:44:02:60300] I'm gonna be upbeat about this because...

Brian: [00:44:05:19800] This is the first time I've ever heard you be upbeat about something like this.

Phillip: [00:44:11:29700] {laughter} That probably means that this is going to be a horrible failure.

Brian: [00:44:16:69300] {laughter}

Phillip: [00:44:16:69300] Here's my take. OK. 2016, there were over 20 million unique outfit of the day posts on Instagram. 20 million. OK. That's the market for this. There are people who take pictures and post them on Instagram every day of what they're wearing. And I think that there is a real consumer application for this. And everyone had the same sort of hatred toward the original Amazon Echo. And now voice is here to stay. It's become integrated in so many parts of people's lives. I think, there are other video devices that we're using that we're not so frustrated with, like Canary, which is a home security tool. Ring, which is a sort of a doorbell's system. There's a lot of video, internet video services that we're using. Dropcam, which was then acquired by Nest. So there's the Nest cam. Those things exist already. So whether or not it's Amazon using it is sort of beside the point. What I think is interesting is the body data that they're going to be able to...

Brian: [00:45:28:46800] Yes. That's what I wanted to get to.

Phillip: [00:45:29:37800] So here's so here's... So I know we've been talking about this a lot. It's one of our highest rated episode content topics on Future Commerce, but once Amazon has the visual recognition capability to notice that you're wearing something that you bought from Amazon, and then notice how it fits on, it can it will revolutionize the way that it suggests products to you.

Brian: [00:45:58:63000] Talk about personalization.

Phillip: [00:45:59:49500] Yeah.

Brian: [00:45:59:73800] I mean, seriously.

Phillip: [00:46:01:20700] This is beyond personalization. This is the next level. This is not personalization. Like, there's not even a word for what this is. Gosh. This is the AI that Bryan Roemmele was talking about. This is the actual personal assistant.

Brian: [00:46:20:6300] This could get to machine vision. I mean, in your home. And talk about an in-home shopping experience. This is something that...

Phillip: [00:46:27:59400] You're so excited right now.

Brian: [00:46:29:68400] I mean, the thing is, like initially people are gonna be like, oh, it's you know, it's 1984.

Phillip: [00:46:36:47700] Yeah, it is.

Brian: [00:46:37:72000] Well, it is.

Phillip: [00:46:38:87300] It's just not from the government. It's more like Alien than 1984. It's like Alien with a global or universal corporation. Right?

Brian: [00:46:50:11700] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:46:50:73800] That's really what it is.

Brian: [00:46:52:83700] So it's going to take a lot of harassment up front, I think. This product is going to be sort of laughed at a little bit. There's going to be a lot of fear that stems out of it upfront. But ultimately, this is going to be used for sharing and purchasing and a heck of a lot more than that. I mean, like you mentioned, let's talk about other things that can be done with the body data. Ultimately, you might use this as a personal identity device.

Phillip: [00:47:31:71100] Sure.

Phillip: [00:47:33:16200] And you might even use it for, probably not the Echo Look, but this is a step towards camera machine vision for like even like gaming. I don't know.

Brian: [00:47:48:67500] Well, that's been around. Right? Xbox has had a camera for five years which has been able to do crazy things like even sense your heart rate based on small color fluctuations in your face and your skin. Right? And so this stuff, there's an avid tinkerer maker community around the the Xbox Kinect, the camera system. It is an extremely powerful camera system that has a whole open source community around it. I'm just thinking about the way that you compare a connected device like this in your life with everything that you do, which is crazy. But if you follow me for a minute, like your workout intensity. Your almost like accountability, like, hey, I mean, this sounds terrible, and people are going to hate me for this... But maybe it can call out the fact that it looks like you're putting on a little bit of weight and suggest some...

Brian: [00:48:53:57600] Oh, definitely. Yes.

Phillip: [00:48:55:87300] It can actually make suggestions to you on your Amazon Fresh order if you want to eat a little healthier. You know, things like that that I think are crazy and they sound way far future and are massive invasions of privacy, but ultimately might lead to better quality of life.

Brian: [00:49:15:35100] Yeah, definitely. Think about this, and maybe like Amazon merchants, sellers on Amazon, will even have like Echo Look approved badge that they'll put on things.

Phillip: [00:49:25:50400] Yeah.

Brian: [00:49:27:59400] Ultimately this will drive better selling on Amazon, better association of products. Making sure that you're buying a complete outfit that actually makes sense. It could lead to all kinds of really cool additional benefits to us as consumers that we're gonna say, "Yeah, we don't really care about the risk. We're going to do this because it's going to help us get that job. We're gonna step into our Amazon Look before going to an interview." Of course. Or going on that date. Or whatever it is.

Phillip: [00:50:14:80100] Yeah. And once it has like a good reference for you, I mean, the ability for it to maybe even like... We've been talking about AR. What if AR doesn't have to be through a viewport? What if the AR is just a body model of you that you can virtually try on clothes on Right? Because it's built this perfect model of you, you can see how clothes would actually fit. Right? You can see how they would look on you. I don't know. There is so much that can happen from this. At the same time to be a little bearish on it, it also makes me a little worried because Amazon has a habit of having these sort of groundbreaking products that sort of have a lot of initial iteration, but then they sort of stall out.

Brian: [00:51:07:29700] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:51:07:29700] You look at the Echo. The Dot hasn't been revved since August last year. The Echo's feature release is basically whittled down to like basically nothing right now. Meanwhile, Google Home just announced support for multi voice recognition and personalized voice recognition for up to six people, I think, in a household.

Brian: [00:51:32:62100] They're killing it.

Phillip: [00:51:32:62100] Gosh, Amazon's 18 month lead is being...

Brian: [00:51:38:13500] It's dwindling.

Phillip: [00:51:38:58500] Slowly whittled away.

Brian: [00:51:40:72900] No kidding. Although, I mean, it definitely... Did you see that you that they released their Fire, their $50 Fire with Alexa on it?

Phillip: [00:51:49:67500] No, I didn't.

Brian: [00:51:51:19800] Yeah. So, I mean that's not as big of a deal, but that's a screen plus Alexa in a fifty dollar device. That's pretty impressive.

Phillip: [00:52:01:43200] It is. It is. When I heard first that Echo Look, when I heard that name, because I didn't know what it was yet, but when I heard the name, the very first thing that came to mind was, "Oh, finally, an Alexa with a screen" That's what I thought it was going to be. But I guess the Fire is that then.

Brian: [00:52:21:77400] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:52:22:29700] At a ridiculously cheap price, considering that the Echo Dot without a screen and can't do much of anything compared to a Fire is fifty dollars. Right?

Brian: [00:52:32:32400] Right. Yup. Yeah. No doubt. I mean obviously it doesn't have a speaker, or a minimal speaker. The Fire speaker is junk. {laughter} But it is amazing that someone could get it at that price point and then have access to... I mean think about that. Think about what we have access to for fifty dollars. It is mind blowing to me.

Phillip: [00:52:56:5400] Oh it is being subsidized by them getting...

Brian: [00:53:00:65700] Selling stuff to us?

Phillip: [00:53:01:53100] Yeah selling stuff to you, but also getting data, the look and insight into the types of things that you're browsing for, that you're surfing online. It helps them build a better product. And I think that, you know, there is some subsidy there, but it wouldn't be unlike Amazon to do basically to do things at a loss for some time to get some consumer insight. That's a very common thing. All right. Well, this has been an amazing episode so far. What could we be closing up with here? Which topic do you want to hit?

Brian: [00:53:44:37800] Man, there's so much good stuff to talk about that we didn't get to. Gosh, I don't know. Let's run through a few things we didn't touch on and maybe we'll start talking about one of them at length.

Phillip: [00:54:00:22500] Yeah, sure. Sure.

Brian: [00:54:02:22500] We were going to talk about how there was litigation. There was a law that was trying to be passed in Illinois to put some constraints on location based gaming. Pidgies Law they were calling it. It didn't even make it past the committee. Didn't even make it past committee. So putting restrictions around location based activity, at least in America, is not really happening.

Phillip: [00:54:33:28800] Well, we need... Where do you stand on this?

Brian: [00:54:40:73800] I don't know.

Phillip: [00:54:42:78300] I mean, we spoke about it a bunch last year. I think somebody somewhere should be able to take legal action if they don't want a Pokey's stop at their house, to be able to through whether it's a lawsuit or through some sort of government intervention. There needs to be some means of controlling that sort of thing that's thrust upon you. The real world is the real world, and you have rights and privacy and property lines. Those things don't exist in the digital space, and those things can be thrust on you without your...

Brian: [00:55:23:900] I think there's a way to request them to be gone. Actually, there is.

Phillip: [00:55:25:85500] There is. You can go to Nintendo and you can say, "I don't want this." Right. But what you can't do is, if they deny the request or for some reason aren't being responsive about it, or if it's somehow harming you or your family, there's no means of government intervention. Which is what this law was sort of doing. Now, I don't think government is the solution for everything. But there are times where only the government can intercede. And I think in general, we'll have to wait for that precedent to be set.

Brian: [00:56:01:75600] Yeah. Yeah.

Phillip: [00:56:03:45900] That's interesting.

Brian: [00:56:05:900] It is interesting. OK, so next time we need to talk about contextual commerce a little bit more because that was a big point of emphasis at the Imagine conference by PayPal.

Phillip: [00:56:15:13500] Yeah. Sure.

Brian: [00:56:17:900] We've talked about it for a long time, we just haven't called it that really. That's their term for it. I want to talk about Messenger 2.0 and then I think maybe we should talk about Walmart and their strategy with Marc Lore right now.

Phillip: [00:56:37:54900] Yeah, that's... Yeah. Gosh.

Brian: [00:56:40:15300] That said, let's save that for next time.

Phillip: [00:56:42:41400] Yeah, and we have a ton of really awesome guests coming up that we can't even tell you about.

Brian: [00:56:47:59400] I'm so, so excited about that.

Phillip: [00:56:49:69300] Yeah. Yeah.

Brian: [00:56:50:54000] Wow.

Phillip: [00:56:51:61200] Crazy, crazy good guests.

Brian: [00:56:54:9900] Wow.

Phillip: [00:56:54:55800] People sort of at the height of the cutting edge of commerce and apparel and athletic wear and that sort of thing.

Brian: [00:57:08:18900] Yeah.

Phillip: [00:57:08:18900] So really excited for so many things coming up. But thank you for listening to Future Commerce, and we want you to take part in the show and give your voice to the show. So give us some feedback. You can hit us up on to do that. And if you're subscribed on iTunes or Google Play, we want you to leave us a five star review over there and make sure that you catch every episode by subscribing. And you can listen at anytime on your Amazon Echo with the phrase, "Alexa, play Future Commerce podcast." But until next time...

Brian: [00:57:42:60300] Keep looking towards the future.

Phillip: [00:57:44:79200] See ya.

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