Sionic Mobile Sees ULink® As a Significant Step Toward a World of On-Demand Automation
Technology in today’s world continues to evolve at lightning speed. As automation continues to proliferate throughout many sectors, consumers are demanding even more.
In light of the current pandemic, safety and efficiency take center stage. What factors define what consumers want most in a future, connected world? Convenience and simplicity. Neither of which would be possible without automation. Consider them building blocks to what we see as the inevitable.
As demand grows for more seamless experiences, companies are investing in automation. Sionic Mobile recognizes its ULink technology as a pivotal step toward an automated world. We’ll get to that a little later.
So, what could this future world of full automation look like? Well, look around at the early indicators.
My Car Is Smarter Than Yours
Advancements in automotive technology are clear signs of forthcoming automation. Many of the features we use in our cars today automate needed functions. They are not only innovative, but also convenient. All in all, cars today are smarter than ever.
Have you noticed what’s happening with voice-enabled technology, for example? In-vehicle voice commands have gone from simple, pre-scripted phrases to conversational interactions. And, big brands are pushing this technology even further. Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto are two notable players in this space. Auto OEMs are incorporating this technology into their vehicles.
Apple CarPlay offers drivers a “lite” iOS smartphone experience, with a safety emphasis. By connecting your phone to the factory infotainment system, CarPlay takes over. What’s even better, CarPlay integrates Siri. She may assist you with in-vehicle audio and climate functions. You can also summon her help with text messages, emails and navigating to points of interest.
Google Android Auto is like CarPlay in concept, except it’s for Android devices. Via USB cable, it displays a paired-down version of the user’s phone on the dashboard. Android Auto utilizes Bluetooth technology for voice phone calls through the audio system. For safety, it won’t take over like CarPlay does and vehicle functions are still available. Dashboard menus allow you to use Google Assistant to make calls, get directions, or play music. You can also send text messages or ask random questions as you would on a Google Home device.
This is only the beginning. At CES 2020, Exxon and Mobil fuel stations made a big announcement. They are teaming up with Amazon’s Alexa for voice-enabled fuel payments. According to Voice Tech Podcast, drivers with an Alexa-enabled vehicle will be able to pay for gas. They may instruct Alexa to do so in their Audi, BMW, or Ford vehicle. Author, Amy Fletcher, provides more insight in her article:
Alexa and Siri, according to Fletcher, will be two of the top systems used worldwide. General Motors’ new cars will soon be receiving Amazon Alexa digital assistant technology. The feature will come factory installed but will need an in-vehicle internet package.
From Transportation on Demand to Driverless
Believe it or not, Millennials and Gen Zers are not that into cars. Let me be clear. They don’t want to “own” cars, but still need transportation. A Forbes article suggests a changing mindset as one of the factors as why this is true. We agree. On-demand is in demand.
Car Sharing Services. Want to rent a car? Ok. But, you want something specific, right? Enter Turo. Turo is an American peer-to-peer car sharing company founded in 2010. It allows private car owners to rent out their vehicles via an online and mobile interface. As of 2017, Turo had four million registered users and 170,000 private owners’ cars for rental. Want a Viper? You got it!
Subscription Services. Several luxury auto brands are offering this unique service. Qualified drivers choose a participating brand and agree to pay a fixed monthly fee. Via mobile app, drivers can choose to drive most any vehicle the brand offers. They may also switch vehicles as often as they like. Drivers manage vehicle deliveries and pick ups to and from their homes using their app. The best part is they don’t pay for maintenance or insurance. It’s all included in the monthly fee. Book by Cadillac was the first of its kind to provide this service. Now, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and others have joined the fray.
Autonomous Deliveries. Last year, Walmart teamed up with a self-driving, robotics startup called Nuro. The retailer plans to tap Nuro’s driverless technology to deliver goods to consumers. The companies are set to begin a pilot program for online grocery deliveries to those in Houston, TX who opt in. Items will arrive at your home in an unmanned, autonomous vehicle. Nuro was also tapped to deliver prescriptions for CVS and to deliver pizza for Dominos.
Driverless Cars. This reality may be closer than you think. General Motors is hard at work developing the GM Cruise Origin. The Cruise Origin is a driverless, all-electric, 6-passenger shuttle for ride sharing. As stated by GM Authority, the Cruise Origin will have self-driving software. This software will best the average human driver to provide safe motoring.
Sionic Mobile: The Power of Voice and AI
Voice technology isn’t new, but voice-enabled devices are becoming even more advanced. Sionic Mobile believes that “speak & see” is the way of the future for automotive. But, what about your home and everyday life? Well, voice and artificial intelligence (AI) already play a huge role
Take your smartphone or home devices, for instance. Many of us already use Siri and Google Assistant for everyday requests. We ask about the weather or to play a song and the systems grant our wishes. Even turning on the lights or setting the alarm is simple command away. It’s AI at its best. But, the technology is becoming more sophisticated.
Google’s Duplex is a chatbot that uses AI to mimic human voice and speech patterns. The bot has a human-sounding voice, instead of a robot. Need to make a restaurant reservation? No problem. Duplex can call the restaurant and make the reservation for you. It does this with the help of Google Assistant. A recent article in Android Authority provides interesting insight on this fascinating tech:
Google takes Duplex a step further with Meena and touts it as the best chatbot in the world. According to MIT Technology Review, Google has developed a whole new metric for this tech. It’s called Sensibleness and Specificity Average (SSA). It captures the important attributes of a natural conversation. The Meena chatbot will avoid dialog that doesn’t make sense. Therefore, detecting it as a chatbot is very unlikely. Meena is currently still in development.
Smart home appliances are automating our lives even further. In 2017, Samsung introduced the Family Hub 2.0 refrigerator. They have since released newer versions. The refrigerator has cameras inside to show you its contents. Using the SmartThings app, you can view your refrigerator’s contents at any time. You can build shopping lists and perform other functions. Also, Samsung partnered with Grubhub. Using the Grubhub app on the Family Hub’s 21.5-inch LED touchscreen, you may order food for delivery.
What if your refrigerator could track food amounts and re-order the groceries for you? What if you could order food from your TV using the remote, or voice activation? This, one day, could be possible, as today’s smart refrigerators and TVs continue to evolve.
Where Did the Cashier Go?
Have you ever been shopping in-store, and when you were ready to check out, you couldn’t find the cashier? I have and it can be a frustrating experience. Well, what if there wasn’t a cashier, because you didn’t need one? Wish granted.
Amazon Go is a concept first deployed to the public in 2018. It’s a series of convenience stores operated by Amazon in major cities across the US. The stores offer prepared meals, groceries, liquor and other items. So, what make this concept unique? There’s no need for a traditional cashier.
Here’s how it works. Amazon account holders download the Amazon Go app and link their accounts. Their Amazon account then becomes their primary payment method for the stores. With me so far? Ok, good. Customers must have the app to enter to the store, which uses turnstiles that scan a QR code generated by the app.
Using cameras and weight sensors on shelves, the stores can track items. When a customer removes an item from the shelf, it’s added to their virtual cart. If they put it back, it’s removed from their cart. The app allows customers to add other people to their account, so a group’s purchases appear on the same bill. This Amazon promotional video helps paint a clearer picture.
If you’re wondering what technology make this possible, you’re likely not alone. Amazon uses deep learning, computer vision and sensor fusion technologies. Combined, these systems automate the checkout and payment steps of the transaction. They also use geofencing, supply chain and inventory management to streamline the experience.
Amazon will likely continue to finesse this store model and open more locations. It’s also possible that this will serve as a blueprint for stores of the future from other companies.
Sionic Mobile: Making the Connection
By now, I bet you’re thinking, so how does Sionic Mobile’s ULink technology fit in? Why is it an important step toward a future world of automation? Well, here’s how.
Automation requires technology. Technology requires a method of distribution to the user. That method of distribution is likely a device, a vehicle, an appliance, or an app. To use the technology, regardless of medium, users must create an account…each time. That means an account for your home pod, Android Auto, smart refrigerator and Turo app. That means one each for your Amazon Go, CVS and Dominos apps.
ULink solves this dilemma with a simple, secure solution. It’s the first “universal linking” service. Consumers create a single digital profile and link a preferred payment method. Profile information is then available for arbitrary use at any participating merchant.
Consumers may pay for goods and services or parking, all through that one account. And, their profile information is available for use at merchants across many experiences. These include mobile apps; in-home, connected devices; and appliances. Also, voice-activated vehicle dashboards may use ULink.
Why It Matters
At some point, it’s possible that everything we do in our daily lives will be completely automated. From buying fuel, to getting groceries to hailing a car could be a few taps away. None will be possible without AI and other technology.
Sionic Mobile’s ULink may serve as the connective tissue in this future world of automation. Theoretically speaking, your single ULink account could be a gateway. One that connects who you are, to the things you want to do or need.
When helping to pioneering what makes up the Internet of Things (IoT), no step is too big or too small. They are all significant.