Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Techy Visit

I have to use technology on a daily basis, but ‘tech savvy’ isn’t a label anyone is likely to give me any time soon. The truth is that I often put off buying stuff I would probably enjoy and benefit from because I can’t be bothered setting it up or learning how to use it. That’s why I was interested in ENJOY, a service which offers home visits with technology purchases to get new equipment up and running.

The California-based business has partnered with some of the biggest tech brands in the world to offer customers a free hour long session at home with an ENJOY expert, to help them get any  purchase up and running.

AT&T is the first company to offer ‘ENJOY’ visits. The ‘ENJOY’ expert will hand-deliver a purchase, unpack it, guide the customer through its features and help them get the most out of their new product. Other brands, including Boosted, DJI, GoPro, HP, Lenovo, Sonos, and Specialized Bicycles have also signed up and will be integrating ENJOY’s service soon.

All ENJOY experts are highly trained,  work on a freelance basis and can choose their own schedule using ENJOYs proprietary app.

I’d love someone to bring this business model to the UK. You might not be ready to do this on a National scale, but if you have tech skills, how about partnering with a local retailer to begin with, and see how it goes?

The Kids Concierge

Plenty of top hotels employ a concierge to help guests get the most from their stay, but Drayton Manor in Staffordshire is the first to provide a concierge exclusively for younger guests.

The idea came about as a result of an approach to the hotel by the parents of local schoolboy Noah Reeves-Walters, who took up the role of junior concierge during his half term break from school. Whilst adults may be interested in restaurants and spa treatments,C the kids have other things on their minds – the best ice cream flavours and where to sit on the rides to get the biggest soaking for example – and Noah was on hand to help.

I mention it for two reasons:

1. Children influence and shape buying decisions in a lot of businesses. Are you paying enough attention to the needs of  your customers children?

2. If you have a teenage child looking for work experience, might they able to create their own opportunity, by approaching  a local hotel with this idea?

Smartphone Predictions

It seems that there’s no end to the purposes to which a smartphone can be put. I just read about a really ingenious one, tested out with great success by researchers at Dartmouth college at the University of Texas.

The study uses data collected from smartphone sensors to monitor students’ habits and behaviours, such as length and focus of study time, frequency of partying, sleep habits, class attendance and exercise. It’s all done without any direct input from the student. The resulting data has then been used to predict student exam results, and has been found to be accurate to within  0.17 of a point.

It’s easy to see how a fully developed app could be used by a student to monitor his or her own activity, and see at a glance whether it’s likely to be conducive to getting the results they want.

This looks like the tip of a very large iceberg to me. What other fields of human performance could be monitored in a similar way, simply by carrying a smartphone primed with the appropriate app?

Brazilian Parking Tickets

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, any citizen can issue a ‘parking ticket’ to someone parked illegally in a disabled bay. The local council has introduced tickets designed to look like fines. The tickets can be printed and issued by anyone and placed on any car wrongly parked in a disabled space.

Traffic wardens already have the authority to fine anyone found parked illegally in a disabled space, but this campaign enables all residents to lend a helping hand. There is no fine associated with the ticket. Instead they simply spread awareness of the issue.

This isn’t a business or money making enterprise in its current form, but it raises a couple of interesting questions:

1. Are there other areas of public policing that could be shared by community minded citizens, to the benefit of everyone?

2. Could there be a business in co-ordinating this sort of public spirited activity?

Big Issue!

Just a friendly piece of advice – If you’re planning a trip to  London, don’t choose the hottest day for a decade to do it. And especially don’t choose that day if you’re travelling by  train. I made both mistakes last Wednesday, and it wasn’t much fun. Continue reading