Credit : Emmanuel Chaligné
“…but I hate you too, sometimes”
I love Wikipedia and all open source platforms as much as I love Google, Apple and so many big Internet & Tech players. And even if it’s unpopular to love some of them, I still love them for what they bring to the internet world.
I love the world too, but I don’t want to have to choose a radical and patriot positioning to exist.
Of course, sometimes I also hate big tech and their excessive dominance that gives them the right of life and death over whoever does not follow their dictates; their world-views.
The internet is the mirror of the real world; with its cleavages, its economic wars, its inequalities and its injustices. But to be a citizen of the world, you have to know the world, in all its differences.
I know the Internet, in all its differences, I am a universal citizen of this virtual, free world, a citizen of a global Internet and I accuse all those who wish to balkanize or take advantage of the instability of the real world to create their own business based on absurd patriotism and territorial pride.
Credit : macrovector
Some parts of the world live their moments of revolution or evolution, each in turn, at their own pace, and for others being more advanced does not give them the right to be moralistic, nor dictator. These crises of dominance are against the common good.
Whether in Asia with China and India, or perhaps tomorrow with Africa; we must not be afraid of losing our place in the world rankings, we must accompany these opportunities and humbly accept that the giants of yesterday will not be so all-powerful tomorrow.
Credits : Photos by jose aljovin
Reshuffling the cards must be seen as an opportunity, a necessity to stimulate innovation, creativity, to continue to create, and reinvent.
We, founders of (real) tech startups, WeWork hard to continue to evolve the internet. We believe that the global internet is not finished and will never be. It is constantly changing (in the image of our world).
And it is not because Google has efficiently indexed the web, that we have to stop rethinking it, to shake the established order with ambition.
Credit : Image by bmagsfoster
It is in the order of things that our mentors leave us their inheritance and let us evolve it. We, the new generation, in the sense that goes the world, without isolation or conservatism, build new great things for the greatest number. Don’t take me wrong, I do not blame anyone, we are responsible for having let our mentors to turn into tutors and become giants (not very green…btw) by laziness.
But “Ho Ho Ho” from now on, they are very tall and high-pitched. We need magic seeds, to seize some golden eggs and hoist ourselves up high enough for them to hear us.
I am not alone in believing that is the right moment to prove to the global internet that we can disrupt its all stacks (from the infrastructure to the delivery of information) to repossess what belongs to everyone.
The internet needs digital avengers, a freeweb league that must prevent cyber-balkanization.
Credit : braindamaged
We have endorsed the contractfortheweb.org shared by Sir Tim Berners Lee, form now on…
“Let’s continue on good terms”
“and let’s talk about good timing”
Do you remember the deployment of 3G mobile networks (-2 B.FB. , is around 2002)?
The mobile carriers and manufacturers invested heavily in what would be the realization of what we saw in “back to the future” … Videophone!
Credit : Back to the Future
YES, except that even this futuristic masterpiece had anticipated something … the use case !
Credit : Back to the Future
In short, the first 3G ready smartphones of major brands appeared in 2004. Mobile carriers tried to sell paid options for people to talk to each other using video and it was a flop (at least in the West). Even today, few people call in the street using video.
Video telephony as imagined in the year 2000, as imagined in 1910. From a French card.
Why? Confidentiality ! Are we not more at ease and comfortable to talk on video when we are at home with our loved ones or in a work meeting … in short : isolated … but rarely “on the go” …
Credits — left : Courtesy of TANDBERG Corporation — right : Facebook-portal / Mobilesirup
In 2007, all the major mobile manufacturers of that time (Nokia, HTC …) had their 3G product range ready, but the first iPhone had been released the same year in EDGE only (aka 2,75G)!
Credit : Apple
Genius of pragmatism and market vision, Apple introduced another revolution: the mobile application as a website optimised to be controlled by touching the screen! (and FaceTime arrived 3 years later…)
At that time, I was working for a telecom operator (at innovation and devices department … believe me or not ! ) and before switching to Android then, ultimately to iOS, I was a pioneer and a fervent user (and contributor) of the Palm OS community. Then I migrated to Windows Mobile (with a long stint with BlackBerry) to rationalise the devices’ number (1 cellphone + 1 PDA = 1 Smartphone ! wow it was revolutionary !).
Memories bonus (and easily found). A wink to Newton and the copernican Galileo Galilei; it’s with some wistfulness that I remember the power of Copernic in 1996 (a meta-search software) before I switched for Google, but I also remember the fail of the Apple’s Newton (which was already called a personal digital assistant btw and maybe too ahead of its time) …
And even if Newton (who had the intuition of the apple) was born when the other passed away (almost to the day), let us remember what Galileo said:
“The authority of a single competent man, who gives good reasons and certain proofs, is better than the unanimous consent of those who do not understand anything there. “
Well, this is the moment where (as an entrepreneur) I gently tackle the good advice given in kind (and valid in 98% of the cases) : Do you solve a pain ? Have you validated your assumptions ? Start small and scale, experiment and iterate fast, …
“YES ! and NO!”
We are not forced to start small and as a follower. If we nurture a vision, have a strategy, and, more importantly, we execute methodically and deploy enough ingenuity and pragmatism to gain speed and agility, then YES, new innovative ideas can be rich from the very beginning of the story.
So, apologies to all the nice advice, I respect you A LOT, but not enough to follow all your precepts blindly. Sometimes, an entrepreneur has to follow his vision ;-)
Anyway, during those years too, I had a lot of fun impressing my relatives by asking my smartphone “what’s the weather for tomorrow” and my Windows phone would reply in a perfect French. It worked very well … and that was 15 years ago !
Credit : memecenter.com
And even if the list of voice commands were much more extensive than that, I stayed there with voice control on mobile … for several reasons:
1st : Confidentiality (sharing aloud what I want to do doesn’t lend itself in all situations)
2nd : conversational mode limitations and sometimes slowness to reach my goal (intrinsic to the Q & A mode).
Credit : memecenter.com
“But the voice control had not said its last word …”
“Hey Alexa, bring me your lights”
I have 5 smart speakers at home, and my kids are already used to asking “Alexa” to turn on the lights or to play music. And it’s so nice to have the news read by our Google Home in the kitchen early the morning when I prepare the breakfast for everyone.
But I’m at home, with my family, my commands are simple, I’m ok even if I fail, no problem, no one will judge me !
Of course nobody can deny the pressure when demonstrating the latest technologies (and when we boast ;) ), it must work smoothly, otherwise … shame awaits …
Credit : Tenor.com / gwel29
It’s the kind of change that happen when we leave our house or a zone of confidence, where we were comfortable to talk with our machine. Are we just as much on the street? In open space? At the restaurant ? At the supermarket ? At the airport ? At school ?…
Most of the time, we stay silent, look at things and decide in silence what we want to do at the moment. We, alone, know what action we’re gonna do because we have the necessary context (sounds a bit dumb to think about such normal thing, but that the way it is, right?). Most of the time, we know what we want. We know but then we have to find the information.
And that’s how we’ve been educated; to “Search”, all the time, for everything, and for more than 20 years. We are quite efficient at it, and thank Google for that.
Credit : jay88ld0
The big search engines have successfully organised the information available online. However, the business model is based on you searching a minimum (to be profitable). It’s a business of keywords !
And yet, they know that the future of access to information also goes through digital assistants (mostly natively integrated).
So how to reconcile the obvious trend to access information quickly and easily, from home (with smart-home speakers) and keep us in a minimal search percentage when it comes to our smartphone?
Credit : Mitchell Lazear
“Talk to your smartphone!”
“OK Google” It’s great I’m talking to my assistant, but the world is also very visual, isn’t it ?
Of course all big players had already thought about it.
2011 : launch date of the Google Glass project by the Google X Lab … and even though nowadays, Computer Vision is the most mature artificial intelligence field of application, the project is stopped 4 years after 😞
Sergey Brin wearing Google Glass at New York fashion week. Photograph: AP / Killedbygoogle.com
“OK Google” were you afraid of disrupting the goose that lays the golden egg, too soon?
But nature abhors a vacuum, and luckily, the Apple will take the baton 😄
idopnews / Martin Hajek
“And the world is getting more and more Snappy …”
Our societies are increasingly visual. The number of photos (and videos) we take on a daily basis has grown exponentially.
We are so accustomed to seeing and communicating with pictures and videos, from GIFs, Emojis to selfies that we are increasingly letting visuals do the talking for us. It became a natural way to message each other.
“A picture’s worth a thousand words!”
According to Snapchat, their average user creates more than 20 Snaps every day, any time of day and any where they are !
Computer vision applications, with Image recognition, have enabled devices to read pictures accurately and allowed a new efficient forms of input, which unleashes new possibilities.
Even if the visual search is progressively rolled-out by search engines, it relies on powerful devices. You still have to skim results and they have a lot of improvements to be made to make it reliable and relevant to visually access all of the internet (which is a big challenge).
And why shouldn’t you be able to connect with reliable information first, instead of searching, like you do using Shazam app, to connect straight with a music you hear ?
“Just one more thing”
Credit : Columbo detective / Giphy.com
Did you ever noticed that on your mobile keyboards, the validation button could take alternatively 2 different text labels :
”Search” or “GO” ?
So, since 20 years, we are used to typing in keywords in search fields. And today, mainly on our smartphone.
Voice control is more natural for simple actions, but not convenient for all situations.
But the web is wide (> 1.8Billion websites). And how does the new generations access information? Not like you do now (assuming they are not reading me !). And that’s the way it is. New generations know how to appropriate new tools. They will show and teach you :
“How to GO faster” in many different situations
We are at the end of an era. The end of using search engines every-time, everywhere, as the web’s gate.
By 2021, Digital Assistant will overtake world population!
Source: Ovum/Informa (Cortana is no longer available in mobile app stores)
If you follow me, then you will not be surprised to discover what my co-founder and I have prepared for you all. But let me tell you again that I strongly believe that a product that helps people to consume reliable information more quickly, makes sense in the era we currently live.
We spend an ever increasing time with information, disseminated to so many different places. What’s more, we’re in a visual age, then…
Imagine that you could just point your phone’s camera over a brand name or a logo, then you simply touch the brand on your screen. Now you connect straight away with all localised official information, such as official websites, official social-media accounts, official contacts and messaging, and even more…everything actionnable with a single tap.
“ I believe that the constantly growing use of our phone’s camera will change how we, as consumers, interact with brands”
My co-founder and I (with a lot of support), have spent more than 7,500 hours of dedication to bring a new experience to the internet world.
The camera-first digital assistant : byBr, that connects you to brands, in one scan, one touch.
“See, Touch, and Connect!”
Give us a try, byBr. Snap Assistant is free (no account required)
We will ease your online journey at max for essential actions. Whether you want to follow a brand you like on your favorite social network, browse their website without having to guess the url or rely on ranking, get online offers for a product brand, call or chat with the customer support; everything is trustworthy, with a beautiful design and extreme simplicity.
We are at the very beginning of our journey. We are not perfect yet and we have still a lot to do, but our mission is clear ; to bring you satisfaction by design, by enhancing your experience as a consumer, and by speeding-up your access to information, in trust, as a connected citizen.
As an ambitious motto, we will invite you to :
“GO byBr” first, and search LATER !
We aim to extend your senses, but first, let’s be your smart eyes.
From there, let’s SEE what the future will look like… Together !
Photo of Alex Knight
Author : Emmanuel Chaligné - co-founder & CEO of byBr
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