What do Ned Kelly, Al Capone and digital wallets all have in common?

March 1, 2013

ned kellyUp to this morning’s interview with Celine Foenander on ABC Local I would have said nothing, but one of the recurring questions I get asked around digital wallets is how secure they are?

The answer is very secure, because it’s in the interest of the banks and credit card providers to make it as secure as possible, but of course as secure as they make it, there will always be someone who will try to outsmart them, just like Ned Kelly and Al Capone.

We soon turned our attention to the digital wallet future; migrating our physical cards, licences, passports, airline tickets and other stuff on to our mobile phones;what and how we will use this new technology for in the very near future and whether physical cash is becoming extinct.

Another plus with this interview is that Celine thinks I’m funny, not strange funny, but ha ha funny – go figure!

Anyway, have a listen and let me know your thoughts on digital wallets, less cash society’s and whether you think you think you’ll use it or not.

Listen now:


13 trends for 2013

December 3, 2012

Tablet PC computer with 2013 New Year counterIn 2013 we will see an Australian election that is bound to slow business down and the economy for a couple of months. We will see Europe and America continue to build a new normal around their economy’s and future as they continue to grapple with the legacies of the past.

We will see a year where innovation will become the buzz-word as we move out of a relatively deep cycle of global negativity and doom and gloom to one where we see possibility and renewed hope.

2013 is only days away and it’s already set to be crammed with innovation, gadgets, new thinking and challenges..

This week Nicole Dyer of ABC Radio Gold Coast and I chatted about my 13 trends for 2013 which include:

1. Big Data – The answers we seek have got to be hidden somewhere amongst all this data that’s we’re drowning in. Internal records, online information, social media chatter, third-party providers, and the list of information sources go on. We know all this stuff is out of there and most probably could be useful, but how do you begin to make sense of it all. Welcome to the next frontier and the next set of tech billionaires. The rush is on for data gold and we will see a slew of one stop digital solutions that offer to make sense of all of your fractured information and turns it into one screen profitable wisdom.

2. Mobile everything – this may sound old and ordinary, but the first mass used smart phone was only 5 years ago and the shift to this becoming our default personal assistant and digital best friend has been quick and taken for granted. As we continue to take great big gulps of digital oxygen from our devices, our addiction will only continue. In this post iPhone era, where our desire for mobile gadgets will be far less brand dependent and more about features and cool and Apple, as cool as it is and was, will start to lose its’ cool.

3. Appy Days – an industry that hardly existed 5 years ago is now mainstream, a viable career choice set to turn over $12 billion next year. It has quickly moved beyond from just being about angry birds and games, to having a serious business side, with these little digital front doors keys poised to be the death knell of traditional websites.

4. Bring It All Together – we want everything now and in one place and that’s exactly what we’re going to get. Much of next year’s innovation will take lots of seemingly disconnected bits and pieces from lots of different places and put them together into one easy to use and purposeful space. The travel app that gives you a true door to door experience, booking you a taxi from home; let’s you know if the plane is on time; checks you in; informs the hotel how far away you are and checks you into the hotel, and guides you to your room when you get there and opens the door for you.

5. NFC – Near Field Communication, or a technical thingy that casts a virtual net from your mobile device to digitally connect you to your surroundings. This one has been in the wings for quite a while and we came close to a launch in 2012, but 2013 is make or break time for it.

6. It’s not rude to point / I know that face – mouse and keyboard – they’re so last century. 2013 is the year of the gesture, face recognition and voice. Every great sci-fi movie has this as a basic staple and now it’s going to become common in an office and living room near you. Mobile devices, ATM’s, cars, homes, TV’s and even fridges will know your face and let you in. Want to change channels on the TV, don’t reach for the remote, just swipe your hand in mid-air.

7. Goggles – 2013 will see the start of a new evolution in personal viewing displays built-in to ordinary looking spectacles. Google and other developers all have versions of the heads up displays buried in glasses due for release in 2013 and although it will take a while for them to come down in price and become mainstream they will find a market.

8. Co Creation – stop doing it on your own. There has been a fundamental shift in management style and business separations in the last decade. One where collaboration and co creation have overtaken control. Business of all sizes are synergistically coming together to achieve common goals and ambitions, sharing resources and talents, but also disbanding and moving on, or having multiple co creative experiences.

9. Chameleon Computers – BYOD aka Bring Your Own Device – one screen multiple uses in multiple places. It’s a work computer by day, a play computer by night and a friend in your handbag when you’re out and about. No it’s not 3 separate devices, it’s just the one device you carry with you everywhere you go and this is newest fad in businesses providing computer hardware to their employees.

10. 3D Printers – need a replacement part for your tractor, but can’t get it delivered for two weeks. No problem, print one out of your very own 3D printer. This love child of Star trek’s “Beam me up scotty” and your old fax machine, is the next big industry and will bring with it a fundamental shift in the way we manufacture, buy, deliver and innovate.

11. Head in the clouds – Our insatiable hunger for 24/7 access to all of our information regardless of where and when we are, has now found a new savior in the heavens. Cloud servers are becoming our preferred and trusted digital storage locker as we move from just storing our emails there to trusting it with our digital lives.

12. Out with the new and in with the old (in a new way) – everything old is new again. In this world of ever-changing “things” we are turning to the past, with a great big dollop of nostalgia, to reinvent what we’ve already had. Expect social media to become ordinary. For Facebook, Twitter and other conversations to become less “full on” and for us to become terribly blasé about all of this. New digital possibilities, apps and businesses will rise to refresh and update traditional offerings. Fashion, food and fun will also receive new twists on old themes as they make their comeback, yet again.

13. IP and Patents are becoming obsolete – First person to market advantage has never been more important than it will become. With the world-changing so quickly and innovative ideas abounding the timing involved in legally locking down ideas, innovations and inventions is becoming less practical and advise from top legal minds seems to be protect your innovation as much as possible, but don’t let it stop you being first to market.

Have a listen now to this month’s FutureTech segment and let me know what you think will be the innovation highlights of 2013


The world according to you

July 13, 2012


This morning 2UE’s John Stanley and I chatted about the Future starting with a quick look at the changing workplace before getting quickly sidetracked into a discussion of our mobile phones becoming our very own  personal assistant and showing us the world as we want to see it.

Listen in:


The future of Retail under moonlight

April 3, 2012

Wow, last night’s segment on Nightlife with Tony Delroy on ABC Local radio was a hoot.

We stripped back the hype, doom and gloom to take a look under the hood to see what is really going on with retail to discover that we are living through an evolutionary phase, like many industry’s across our planet, in which new elements of purchasing and retailing are emerging such as online, and as we transition through this we are experiencing the usual change mentality of “in my day this would never have happened” and “the world as we know it, is over”.

We will have casualties in this journey and nothing good can be made of that, but we will also have new heroes and experiences come out of it and in a few years this brave new retail / consumer world that we are building will seem ordinary and the way we used to shop will be another folk story we tell our children.

Online retail, even in the most ambitious statistics, is set to only account for about 15% of all retail purchases in the next 10 years, this leaves much buying and selling to be done in a physical store and in this newish world, the physical store will still account for the majority of retail experiences, but within that store there will be totally new expectations and interactions.

We are currently taking our first tentative steps into this new retail experience with mobile device apps, QR (quick response codes), NFC (near field technology) and in store technology such as magic mirrors.

Consumers will come laden with these new technologies, at first in their mobile devices and then beyond into other devices and discreet objects they carry on or with them as well as new in-store technologies. They also come laden with information, insights and prejudices provided by their online social networking tribe.

We are also seeing crowdsourcing websites such as groupon, scoopon, catch of the day and many others that have an initial flurry of excitement and success and are now having to rebuild their business models and broaden their offerings for long-term sustainability.

We also put shopping into context to see it as an 8 stages process, only one of which is the actual purchase, and that it is the way the consumer travels through these stages, using a blend of traditional and virtual engagement, that is changing.

We also chatted about the changing consumer, consumption patterns, global / national / local markets, bespoke and hyper-personalised purchasing.

A tonne of interest and great questions from our many call in listeners, so all in all a great interview and well worth a listen if you want to make sense of what lies ahead in retail (47 minutes):


Now for my next mobile computing trick….

October 29, 2011

Our M.C.’s (mobile computers and phones) have come a long way since my first $4,300.00 brick in 1988. Not only in technology and computing power, but in its sheer intrusion in our daily lives.

The resounding comment back then was it’s a fad; it will never catch on; it’s too expensive and really nothing you have to say and nothing I have to ask you is so important that it can’t wait till you get to a land line.

Fast forward to today and we have an Australian population of 22.3 million and 24 million connected handsets.

We already know that today’s mobile phone is far more powerful than the computer that launched us to the moon in the 60’s, but the innovation, purpose and new frontiers are all still ahead of us.

Jason Jordan of Perth’s 6PR and I in our weekly segment had a look over the near horizon of mobiles and chatted about NFC and QR code technologies.

NFC – Near Field Communication – has been on the cards for a while, but is now just about to hit. It is the ability for our mobile devices to set up gateways between ourselves and others and share information and payments, the best way to comes to terms with it, is it to take a quick look at this video.

NFC will be hard wired into new mobile phones within the next 6 months and with some certainty will be a feature of the next iPhone released.

Banks and credit card providers are also pushing hard on bringing this to reality as everyone has a financial stake and incentive in shifting forever the paradigm of technology expense and ownership onto the consumer.

And consumers, once they get used to it, will find it a boon as they use one device for their keys, wallets and communication – the Swiss army knife equivalent of managing most of our day to day affairs in one little handy carry in your pocket device.

QR codes are the other short term new mobile phone toy. It looks like a bar codes on steroids. To activate it download a free QR code reader from your app store (I recommend I-nigma).

This app turns your smartphone’s camera into a QR code reader and allows you to take a picture of the code and for the smartphone to automatically call up the web address and show you its contents – think of it as the mobile phone equivalent of getting a URL in an email, when you click on it it automatically takes you to whatver the sender wanted you to see.

For a really interesting example take a look at how Tesco in South Korea uses it to sell groceries to travellers waiting to catch their trains:

For more on this topic, listen in to this weeks segment:

and listen live each Sunday at 4.40 p.m. (WST)


6PR Big Weekend – FutureTech Segment – Calling Jesus – 26 December 2010

December 26, 2010

Jesus has just knocked out Angry Birds in the fight for the most downloaded app. It is available across 8 mobile platforms and has had over 12 million downloads in 2 years.

This free interactive Bible app from Life Church has taken the virtual world by storm with 4 billion minutes clocked up already by its users reading the new testament and in Dec 2010 through Jan 2011 there on track to achieve 1 billion minutes of bible reading – now there’s a business apportunity, just waiting to happen!

We also went on to chat about supermarkets self checkouts, NFC (near field communications) coming to a credit card and store near you and Skype app’s imminent arrival onto iPhone 4.

This plus some post Christmas merriment and great conversation make up this week’s on air radio chat between 6PR’s Ted Bull and Morris Miselowski.

Listen now:


Checkout the Future on MTR and 2GB

December 23, 2010

Checkout this on air chat between Scott Pape (the Barefoot Investor) and me on radio MTR and 2GB this evening. It was a conversation about the increase use of self checkouts at supermarkets and the future of in store promotion and purchasing.

We chatted briefly about the rise of the self checkout over the last 2 years and how it now accounts for 40% of all grocery checkouts across Woolies and Coles, with Coles having 100 of their 395 stores converted (the remainder will be up by 2012) and Woolies having 1750 self checkouts across its 365 stores, before I took what I think was a step too far.

We went on to talk about in store promotion and whispering into the consumers ear through 100% opted in, chosen and downloaded MC (mobile computer) apps that feed real time real place information about selected products, specials, store activities and item locations, this definitely pushed the wrong buttons and for the first time ever the interviewer ended our conversation with “thanks for your insights, but I hope none of your predictions come true”.

Curiouser and curiouser!

Is in-store hyper-personalized absolutely 100% opt in (and therefore 110% opt outable – or you could just turn off or ignore your mobile computer) the devil incarnate, or is it finally a way for us to filter all that marketing and promotional deluge we are bombarded with everyday right down to the bare bones of what we want to hear and know about.

Anyway, I’d love your thoughts…

Listen now: