The Ideal Insurance Client

Arguably an insurance client who buys insurance and never has to claim is the ideal customer. From in-car telematics to wearables and body sensors, the Internet of Things (IoT) could enable insurance companies to support customers and steer them away from danger.

Imagine that you were about to renew your car insurance. One of the insurance companies offers an app that collects data about your location, driving behaviour and environmental conditions. In addition to the peace of mind insurance should typically give you, you also have a supportive and useful app designed to help reduce the likelihood of an accident. Sounds great, right? Developing this experience for insurance clients would lead to more satisfied clients and more renewals. But would you be willing to explore such a proposition, or would you be suspicious? Would you invest time using the app and in following the recommendations it gives you, or would you get bored after a few days? Would such risk mitigation reassure you that you were covered or worry you that the insurance company was going to use the information you had supplied to wriggle out of paying up in the case of a claim?

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Making wearables more than a luxury plaything

(Image credit: Adrianna Williams/Corbis)

Interesting article on the growth in US software patents for commercial applications for devices that can read your brainwaves and do something useful with it. A wearable device that can monitor and respond to your brain activity is far more interesting than the current generation of wearables (let’s face it, pulse monitors with GPS mainly) and could be applied in far more interesting ways.

SmartBrain ranks brainwave-reading companies based on a patent strength index. Along with Microsoft and Nielsen, the list of top 25 companies include BodyMedia (JawBone), Accenture, and IBM. All of this interest suggests that EEG sensors will appear more frequently in wearable consumer devices. Consumer-level pricing of EEG devices of increasing sophistication will lead to more experimentation and innovation deriving from the apps that can accurately convert thoughts into something actionable.

TSB and the new world order

As TSB prepares to be taken over by Banco Sabadell, their focus on physical branches is a notable move. In the face of increasing tendencies toward digital services, the purchase of 30 new outlets to add to a network of 265 flies in the face of many other high street banks’ strategies.

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Carl Sagan: users of the universe

Professor Carl Sagan was a visionary. In his seminal TV series and accompanying book Cosmos, he sought to teach the general public not only about cosmology and more general science, but about the impact we are having on Earth. His ability to take an atemporal perspective on the impact of humanity on the planet was way ahead of its time in late 1970s, and still has it detractors 40 years later, but is essentially one of user experience. He warns us of the huge damage our desire to ‘improve’ our user experience of the planet will have for hundreds of thousands of years after we (as a race, let alone individuals) are gone. He reminds us of our insignificance in the history of Earth, and hopes to teach us to consider more than our own satisfaction in the way we live our lives.

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IBM combine artisan skills with heritage to create innovation campaign

In a series of paper art posters, mixing a traditional medium with the promise of innovation, computing giant IBM promotes their work. The combination of environmental concerns and technological innovation in the messaging is part of the ‘Smarter Planet’ drive at IBM, which has been working for six years to improve efficiencies and reduce wastage in key sectors identified by IBM.

It’s so interesting to see major corporations like IBM putting so much emphasis on being ‘smarter’. Requalifying themselves as innovators is a tough challenge for a mature organisation, and this incubation programme gets the pitch right whilst not detracting from the core capabilities of the company. We like.

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