The Future of Shopping

What will be the future of shopping?

Well, in recent HBR, there is an interesting article about this topic: In this article, the author describes a vivid but fictional shopping story of Amy, who enjoys a new shopping channel with an abundance of information, near-perfect price transparency, and a parade of special deals. As the author points out, the future of shopping is not a simple e-commerce. A new INFORMATIVE, TRANSPARENT,  EFFECTIVE and ACCESSIBLE shopping platform is coming out. And it will not be an easily defined e-commerce, through which customers are not required to sit in front of the laptop but change to use easy-accessible DIGITAL INFORMATION for communications.  

In fact, similar accessible and convenient shopping business model has already come out (although not exactly the same as the author mentioned) with the help of digital information:  LBS ( Location-Based Service (LBS) is an information or entertainment service, accessible with mobile devices through the mobile network and utilizing the ability to make use of the geographical position of the mobile device[1][2][3] ).

Here is an impressive example of LBS.  

In this advertisement (although it seems that this is just a joke on April fool day, the idea of easy-accessible and digital shopping is sooooo creative), Starbucks shows its new Mobile Pour services: when you are walking on the street but feel like drinking coffee, you just need to use the App on your smartphone for ordering. And then, a few minutes later, a Starbucks staff will send that coffee to you. Your location information through your iphone app will be sent to the nearest Starbucks shop for your new everywhere (not just internet-based) e-commerce.

Besides this fictional model in business world, some governments have also tried to made use of this new LBS platform: HK travelling agency has developed an app for tourists, that is, when you touch that app, those tourists spots, restaurants and public transportation within 500 miles will show up for your reference. This shows the fact that the business model can be applied not only in business world but also government services.

Also, more excitingly, Facebook, the world largest social media, seems to decide to buy Gowalla and expand their service in LBS. Considering the large amount of people using Facebook, we can guess the bright future of LBS. 

Well, what is your idea about LBS? Does it offend your privacy? Will you think it will be one of the main shopping methods in the future?

Iphone 4S- HTC idea 2S? What will be the next?

The world technology is developing incredibly fast… Just after the launch of Iphone 4S, during the long holiday, HTC posts a new product ( HTC idea 2S) pic on their inofficial website :  

Certainly, this so-called idea HTC somehow shows HTC’s attitude towards Iphone 4S. Not sure whether this is just a rumor or truth. However, the function listed in this new product lets us realize that the flat world has come to a new “Innovation Age”. Technology has developed so incredibly fast that everything nowadays can be combined together for communications with technology.

Let’s  see the function list of this new product (hope my translation works):-

  • Beats Audio, applicable for any kinds of entertainment
  • 4.7 inches, 1600*960, 3D screen
  • Android 4.0 + windows
  • 2.8GHz Quad processor,  2GB RAM, 64GB
  • 16 million pixels  
  • 2800mAH, with batery exchanger from human heat to electricity
  • inner Icloud system
  • support NFC
  • cheaper than iphone

The above function is amazing! Even better than an average PC….Is that still a cell phone????

Iphone 4S connects voice information to the IT world; HTC now could exchange body signals/language/heat to the IT language. And both are almost as smart as PCs. 

Then, what will be the next smart phone?? What will smart phones develop in the future? Let’s wait and see this exciting high-tech industry.  


Is Apple’s Siri set to beat Google (Android Voice) off top spot?

The recent discussion on this post shows out a heated recent voice race in high-tech industry: The iphone 4S Siri is launched as the best new feature of the new product, which attracts hundreds of Apple fans go for it. Meanwhile, on the other hand, it also arises a heat discussion among those Android fans: whether the dominant Google (Android) voice will be replaced by the new Siri; whether the innovation from Google will easily be beat off just within one year; and will the mature well-rounded Google Service lines ( which we mentioned in our case) be affected and finally occupied by Apple? 

Before addressing this tough problem in the newspaper, we can first refer to the below interesting video for some basic ideas about the difference of the two system:

Apparently, Iphone Siri is showing its great advantage over the Android Voice. It is better than Android Voice mainly in three aspects: –

1. conversational: The biggest difference between Siri and Android Voice is that Siri behaves more humanely and is more often used as an entertainment system. Apple developers equipped her with some measure of pop culture knowledge and a 21st century sense of humor. And sometimes, the same question, asked twice, will even give you different answers. This funny conversational aspect is far more interesting than the stubborn google voice.

2. speaking-friendly:  Comparing these two speech engine, we could easily find that iphone Siri is more sensitive to people’s talk. It usually spends less time than Android to distinguish the contents of the speakers. The short interval between the communications makes the system more speaking-friendly. And here is a very good example of this point.

3. various service: Another apparent difference of Siri is its variety of service. Further to the video above, we could easily tell that Siri covers more area of service than the simple search engine of google. Siri can mainly do below several things (right pic):-
– play music
– text
– set up schedule
– remind appointment
– GPS system
– email
– create notes
– set alarm
– get homework answer

But does this mean that Siri completely beat off Google voice or google is replaced by Siri?

Definitely no. In fact, Siri sometimes has to rely on Google search engine.

When you are testing the limit of Siri, you could always notice these situation:



Siri does always turn to google search engine (example 1) when questions are asked out of its scope. What’s more, when showing googled results (example 2), Siri usually presents simpler and less helpful answers than those authentic google Android. The unavoid reliance on Google and its less informative result shown from the research show the fact that Siri is somewhat a kind of product develops from Google Android and definitely cannot replace the platform used for practice.

In this regards, different from the points on the newspaper, considering the two different sides of the problems, I think the battle between Iphone Siri and Google Android Voice is not a simple win-fail issue — Actually, google voice and Siri do both exist in the market for distinguished advantages and different market segments / purposes: Siri is famous for its personalized intimacy with users, while Google voice is well-known with its professional searching system.

Different thoughts? Show your opinions:

Hello, my second quarter, I am Xiao

The first 1/8 MBA life has just ended two weeks ago with…haha, awesome:)  This is the first time for me to read so many books just within 2 months!!!!!! I am proud of myself ^_^(generally, hmm, guilty to admit, I might spend a whole semester to read as much as I am doing now…)  

Life and study, oh yes, and foooooood here are quite different from my past 26 years. More demanding, more challenging but also more colorful. I like boston so much – I like the people here, beautiful landscape and food (really enjoy pasta and pizza, but unluckily these have made me gain 9lbs since I came to the states) . Hehe, exited about my second quarter:)

Well, something about my different 26 years:-

I was born and grew up in Shanghai, the biggest city of China. Does it look very similar to your NYC?~~haha, it has a nick name called East NYC, a famous sleepless city in Asia:)

As the single child in my family, I have very close relationship with my parents. Thus, unlike you guys, I live with my parents even after I started working. And my mom is a great cooker!! I like the food she prepares every day.

However, I went for boarding school since my middle school. A weird circle lol: living with parents-living outside at school-living back with parents. My middle school is a strict academic school. There, I met my favorite maths teacher and became interested in quant since then. My maths teacher is an awesome guy who teaches me a lot and helps me win the first prize of the national maths competition. The first prize and its later opportunity of representing China in Asian Maths Olympic Games help me get enrolled in my high school without entry examination:) Then, the later story is simple, best high school to best university, boring but it is the truth. Yet, I met a lot of friends throughout the way and some of them have even become my classmates for more than 11 years. (Oops, we all live in a standard but boring life:()

After my graduation from campus, I went for Ernst & Young, working as a consultant for 3 years. Work there may not be interesting, but on the other side, it provides me a lot of opportunities to travel around the whole China. Contacting with clients from different areas is interesting experience.

Is this my life??? Nope!! Besides study and work, I have plenty of other interests and hobbies:-

1. Photograph: Although not good at photographing, I still like it so much. It helps me memorize all the happiness in my life. And the thing I like most from photographing is that I like making difference of the pictures taken at different time. Here are some pics of my friends, very interesting. You can witness the changes as time flies…

2. Cooking: Haha, I like cooking and eating. For your reference, besides this one, I also upload a few Chinese food menu. Enjoy Asian food lol:)

3. Movies/drama. Watching movies / dramas is fun. And living with an active dramatist during my whole 4-year undergraduate is amazing!

4. calligraphy: I am not good at drinking…the time you guys spent at bar for fun had been spent on calligraphy when I was in China. It was pushed by my mom!!! (I like going to the bar too….. )Yet, thanks to my mom’s push, I am now with good Chinese hand writing and can sometimes pretend to be a highly educated girl. (good hand writing is almost equal to a well-educated professor in China) And, admittedly, I come to like calligraphy now.