Digital investment and financial analysis
Header

The creation of augmented reality goggles, also known as Google Glass, have gained a lot of attention lately from both the media and search experts alike. According to a recent PR Web news release,  Stephen E. Arnold, a leading expert in online information systems, reported one potential trajectory that he sees for Google Glass in a monograph that will be available to the public in the fall of 2013.

Stuart  Schram, an ArnoldIT engineer with academic training in bioengineering, said:

“Google has focused on the eyeglasses form factor. At the same time, the company is pushing forward with inventions by Ricardo Prada (working with Sergey Brin) in interface areas which apply to other types of devices. Google is putting in place researchers and patent applications that will allow the firm an opportunity to push forward in medical devices, semiconductor manufacturing, and fabrication of components at incredibly small sizes.”

While it is difficult to determine what the release of Google Glass could mean for the search giant and society at large, we find this report to be an engaging read. Those interested in reserving a free copy of the monograph should email seaky2000 at yahoo dot com.  There is also a short write-up about the project on Arnold’s Beyond Search blog available at: http://wp.me/pf6p2-99N

Jasmine Ashton, August 05, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT.com, developer of Beyond Search

 

 

 

Sure, you could give your customers a survey to fill out, and hope they do.  Or scan online review sites looking for your business.  But maybe the social media site most likely to provide valuable customer feedback is Twitter, according Sheine Austria.  She posted “Eight Ways to Get Customer Feedback via Twitter” on the Dealer Marketing Magazine web site.

While Austria’s advice is tailored to automobile dealerships, her tips are universally applicable.  Twitter is suited to customer feedback because it is immediate, public and can be searched by hashtag.  It gives you, the business owner, great insight into what’s on your customers’ minds.

Austria also feels that using Twitter marks your business as tech savvy:

“For customers who have one foot in the real world and have the other foot in the web, it is really a plus if hash tags and Twitter accounts lead back to an effective website. This gives the customer information they need before making the trek to the actual location of the car dealership and test driving the car or cars they’re interested in.”

All the advantages of Twitter can be disadvantages as well, so the business owner needs to be careful.  That immediacy and publicity can work against your business as well as for it.

Laura Abrahamsen, July 23, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT, developer of Beyond Search

 

Mike Dubrovsky recently won the attention of the attendees of StartupPalooza in NYC in late May. We asked the bright minds behind Simply Grid  to give us a bit of insight into their winning innovation.

What’s the history of your firm? What problem did you set out to solve?

Mike Dubrovsky started the company. He has an engineering background and developed our technology. My background is in operations – I’ve been an attorney, the CEO of a web development studio, and an exec in another energy startup. I joined to provide operational expertise and milestone focus.

We wanted to solve the problem of the provisioning and control of electric service in markets where metered electricity is either not available or there is significant overhead in providing it.

When did you become interested in power fractionalization and charging for limited use access? Can you describe how you developed your love/interest/expertise in fractionalization and charging for limited use access?

Mike lived out in Brighton and there were several food trucks near him using very noisy and polluting generators. He ran the numbers and realized that if we could somehow provide them with electricity, we could both eliminate the noise and pollution as well as save the food truck vendors money on their energy costs. At first we were just going to use standard off the shelf electricity pedestals from Eaton. However, we quickly realized that the legacy 3rd party metering and control system included in their pedestals would not meet our needs. Therefore, we stripped out the legacy 3rd party hardware and built our own custom hardware controller and cloud-based software management system. This gives us a turnkey solution for provisioning, metering, and billing – and we realized that this could be a much bigger business than just selling electric access to food trucks.

Your firm has been investing in fractionalization and charging for limited use access. What are the general areas of your research activities?

Hardware development for our controller and software development for our cloud-based management system. We are also beginning to explore other areas such as wireless electric service.

What is the primary application of your firm’s invention / innovation?

Right now our focus is in food truck rodeos and food carts in metro markets. We have revenue generating deployments at the Atlanta Food Truck Park in Atlanta, GA and the Moontower Saloon in Austin, TX. In the next few weeks, we will be launching a pilot deployment in Union Square in NYC in partnership with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability. We are also targeting marinas and RV parks where, although they do already offer electric service, their method for provisioning, control, and metering is often antiquated. For example, the metering is often done by an employee walking around to each service point and recording meter readings on a clipboard.

Without divulging your firm’s methods or clients, will you characterize a typical use case for your firm’s technology?

A food truck park or municipality that wishes to provide electric service to food trucks/carts to eliminate the noise and pollution nuisance. A marina or RV park that wishes to enhance their metering model or their ability to provision and control electric service to their customers.

What are the benefits to a commercial organization or a government agency when working with your firm?

For the food truck/carts in particular, there is significant demand by consumers to have these amenities available, particularly in metro areas, which is counterbalanced by the desire to do it in as “green” a method as possible without the noise and pollution nuisance. Our solution directly solves this issue, and it’s why so many municipalities are interested in what we can provide.

How does an implementation project with your firm move through its life cycle? What’s unique to your firm’s approach?

If we are dealing with a public/municipal site, there is a specific permitting process we need to go through. If a private lot, we don’t have the permitting process, but the remainder of the implementation would be the same. We first need to verify the location makes financial sense for deployment. We then work with a local contractor to implement our hardware on the ground and connect it to the grid. We then sync up the on the ground hardware with our cloud-based management system via 4G/3G or wifi and we’re off to the races. Our customers then use their mobile phones to initiate/terminate electric service from the particular outlet in our pedestals they wish to use.

One challenge to those involved with “green energy” and “environmentally friendly approaches” is getting organizations to invest. How are you dealing with this?

As I noted previously, one of the great things about our solution is that it actually saves the vendors money over their existing energy source. Therefore, it’s a no brainer for them to use our service, which means we generate revenue from day 1. While we love the “green” and “environmentally friendly” aspects of our business, the fact that we make a very solid margin is what gets organizations to invest.

How does your firm see the main trends in power fractionalization over the next 12 to 18 months? What products or services will you be focusing on to deliver on your next vision?

While our initial markets are food trucks/cars and marina/RV parks, we believe there will eventually be a significant demand in the EV space as well. Our technology is well placed to take advantage of the projected growth in EVs over the next several years as the demand for more charging locations increases. As mentioned previously, we are beginning to investigate the possibility of replacing electricity pedestals with in-ground wireless charging stations. While this technology would require our customers to up-fit their existing infrastructure with a piece of hardware, we think this might be the future of our service in metro locations.

Where does a reader get more information about your firm?

http://simplygrid.com

Jeffrey Hoffman
COO – Simply Grid
http://simplygrid.com

Constance Ard, June 18, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT, developer of Beyond Search

On May 23, Chen Li and Dev Bhatia recently spoke with Stephen E. Arnold, a search expert, to discuss the recent launch and early success of the search engine technology provider SRCH2. The complete interview can be found in the Search Wizards Speak article “SRCH2 An Interview with Chen Li and Dev Bhatia.

SRCH2 was founded in 2008 and is now entering its 3.0 release cycle. The company’s patented search software enables “rich search” features including instant forward search (using a full-text forward index cached in memory), configurable error tolerance, rapid geo search, configurable rankings, and more.

After the interview, Arnold gave his stamp of approval:

“SRCH2’s technology does bring many Google-like features to enterprise and mobile search. The company’s approach sharply reduces deployment time. Instead of talking about a one-day installation, the SRCH2 approach delivers on quick and painless roll out and integration. The system’s response time and its time-saving features such as auto-suggest make the experience seamless and fluid.”

With the move to mobile apps, Cloud-based, and location-based services, it is imperative that search savvy companies invest in solutions are uniquely designed for these applications. Otherwise they will be left behind. SRCH2′s search technology excels when faced with these challenges by including rich search features that are not being provided anywhere else.

Jasmine Ashton, June 11, 2013

According to the recent Beyond Search story, “Bitext a Breakthrough in Local Sentiment,” Bitext, a multi lingual sentiment analysis and text analytics provider for social media, has the approach that other companies should be looking out for. While sentiment analysis is a relatively new focus for text processing companies, Bitext’s software takes an integrated approach without burdensome implementation costs.

The article states:

“Bitext’s sentiment analysis engine analyzes local sources of user comments to deliver an opinion and sentiment snap-in, together with topic categorization, a huge step forward in aggregating data. Bitext’s system processes contents from user-generated reviews as well as more traditional data such as information in a CRM solution or a database of agent notes. One important step forward for Bitext’s system is its inclusion of trends analysis.

For example, when in a city searching for a restaurant, a user can display the locations and consumers’ assessments of nearby dining establishments. Bitext’s engine will go beyond the standard review and overall star scoring, and add to that details on the topics touched in the review and with what sentiment. This information is backed with a detailed list of opinions, positive and negative. Bitext also adds a “sentiment score” topic in the review, for each restaurant or shop identified on the map.”

 Stephen E. Arnold, an influential search expert, gives his stamp of approval by commending Bitext as a company that is in step with the shift to mobile devices. Arnold said:

“Fortunately, Bitext has stepped forward with a semantic analysis engine that focuses on complementing and enriching existing systems, rather than replacing them.”

We agree with Arnold’s statement and believe that, in uncertain economic times, it is more important than ever that companies invest in affordable solutions that work.

Jasmine Ashton, May 29, 2013

Sponsored by ArnoldIT, developer of Beyond Search