McDonald’s invests in AI for voice recognition
The fast food company announced its acquisition of Apprente, a company specializing in voice recognition for fast food ordering. The terms were not disclosed, but the acquisition follows McDonald’s purchase of Dynamic Yield, a big data analytics company it acquired for $300 million.
dis-rup-shun: Quick math says that elimination of 1 to 3 hourly employees and a reduction in human “translation” errors that seem to occur when we say our orders to McDonald’s cashiers could save $50 to $75 per hour, times 18 hours times 365 days is $492 thousand per store per year. With 37,855 worldwide restaurants… the potential value of this technology is about $18.6 billion per year. Seems like a good investment.
Yesterday’s Apple announcement went as expected and can be summarized as follows:
- iPhones: 2 new iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are over $1000 and have enhanced cameras and displays. The iPhone 11 is a less expensive ($699) offering.
- Apple TV Plus, the streaming service, is $2 less per month than Disney + and is included for free for a year when you purchase an Apple device.
- iPads — bigger screen, and better processor.
- Apple Watch Series 5 has some fancier bezels and always on display.
dis-rup-shun: Is that it? This seems like the most un-amazing Apple new product release ever. The camera features on the 11 Pro are remarkable, and the days of ever wanting a separate digital camera are all but dead, but the lack of a really exciting new product, or really unique features, is concerning. It is time for Apple to think different.
Apple TV Plus undercuts Disney+ which undercut Netflix
Apple today announced that its streaming video service, Apple TV Plus, will be priced at $4.99 per month, $2 less then Disney + at $6.99. Disney + combines three networks at HD, which provides far more than Netflix at $12.99 per month. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: It will be a rough fall season for AT&T. Not only did the company pay $85 billion for Time Warner to launch, among other things, a video streaming service to compete with Netflix and Disney, it is now under pressure by activist investor Elliot Fund, that believes the company grossly overpaid for Time Warner. It is also not a good time to be Netflix, a company that said profits will be deferred while it invests in original content. This was before Disney and now Apple declared a video streaming price war. Expect investors to be wary of Netflix as it is the only big streamer with only one line of business.
Vehicle brands less important in Cars-as-a-Service economy
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty tells CNBC that the riding experience, rather than the car brand, is most important to consumers in the world of autonomous cars and ride sharing.
dis-rup-shun: As the transportation experience moves from one of ownership to one of services, and consumers’ investments in the experience shift from significant to minor, it stands to reason that auto brand will take a back seat to other service attributes such as locating the car, setting the preferences, providing the appropriate class of service for the occasion and enabling in-car communications. Expect BMW’s future tag line, “The Ultimate Riding Experience.”