RnD Update for February 2017

Written by Karl Binder on February 6, 2017

So now 2017 is bedded in and more than just a hangover from Christmas and New Year we can take a deep breath and consider, just for a minute, what we’re up to here in our Research and Development wing of stickee. So then, 2017 started with the launch of the new brand and new company website which seems to have settled down nicely and we quickly moved on to looking at what new technology we’re interested in exploring in the next few months.

Alexa

There’s nothing too new about AI and voice recognition but with the advent of Alexa from Amazon it suddenly feels a lot more mainstream. Needless to say I invested on one of these helpful little goodies for home and we popped an Echo Dot into the studio so we could see what we could make it do. First impressions are pretty good, we like it, but the available ‘skills’ that you can download feel limited and very ‘early adopter-ish’. But it is clear to see the potential in these smart home devices so we thought it prudent, and above all interesting, to see what we could do with our very own ‘Alexa skills’. A starting point for us this month is looking at the cross over between comparison and its related services and Alexa. More to follow hopefully once we have a more developed prototype worth showing.

Virtual Reality

Still high on the agenda and not flagging in interest is Virtual Reality. So maybe 2016 wasn’t the big single breakthrough year that a lot of people predicted however it did make considerable strides into the mainstream and we are seeing VR popping up in all manner of places. Maybe due to the cost, space required and the fact the tech still feels ‘new’, VR will be a slower burner than expected. That said there’s still plenty of new stuff coming out all of the time and plenty of exciting activity around the subject. We’d had a lot of interest ourselves from partners and clients and we’ll be continuing to develop our in house games and some interactive applications in a number of new areas. Faustine has written an interesting article about some of the top new VR experiences here.

Augmented and mixed reality

A natural progression from VR so we are now looking through the lens at what we can place in the real world around us. Instinctively there feels to be more immediate potential in AR as a concept but VR does offer the immersion into far away lands. We’re exploring AR however with some prototype applications in a few new fields that should produce some exciting results with a couple of very talented partners.

Comparison, business intelligence and data

OK, so it’s not Bladerunner but Comparison is still moving at pace and becoming an ever increasing online staple. As part of our core business revolves around intelligent comparison products we’re obviously going to continue developing better and better ways of comparing products and services more accurately and faster than ever before. We developing a new range of tools to make comparison more widely available with greater depth of data. Check out a quick article about why comparison continues to grow here.