The future of online car buying

The Future of Interactive Mobile Computing

There is no question that the car buying process and experience will change dramatically in the next few years too. Technically, today it is possible to do the entire transaction online, but the problem lies with the user experience – the lack of “touch and feel”. The speed with which technology is developing, the availability of bandwidth, the development of practical mobility solutions and the increase in processing power will lead to technologies that we can only imagine today. One of the best examples is the iPad from Apple. It is a truly practical mobility solution that brings a full multimedia experience to the user.

Publications such as Wired Magazine and Popular Mechanics have embraced the technology to produce online reading experiences that were only seen in science fiction movies a year ago. One can read an article about a car and see interactive videos and high definition interactive 3D models of cars. Another technology that is developing at the speed of light is 3D computing. Combining the interactive, multimedia experience of the iPad with a 3D experience (a precursor to holograms) will revolutionize the way we interact with our environment. Imagine browsing a website in 3D and looking at fully interactive and 3D models of cars, being able to look inside the car and under the hood. You will even be able to virtually “kick the tires”.

The idea that consumers want to touch and feel before they buy is true only for today. As the consumer immersion experience improves they will be much more amenable to online purchasing of high ticket items such as cars. All of this is obviously much more true for new cars, especially the strong and well recognized brands. Pranav Mistry from MIT developed a technology called ‘SixthSense’ that allows the user to have a totally mobile interactive integration with the physical world. There is no doubt that the car buying experience is going to change dramatically in the next five years and the obstacles that exist today preventing consumers from buying online will all but disappear.

Mobile networks killing the economy

Mobile networks killing the economy

The Untouchables

Vodacon. The mobile comminucations con of the century.The spectacular explosion of the cellphone industry in South Africa has created a myriad of opportunities for business. It has opened up many new markets and given almost every citizen in this country an opportunity to participate in the digital era. Instead of embracing this new opportunity, mobile service providers in South Africa are destroying it because of their incredible thirst for power and money. It is clear that their drive for profits far exceeds their desire to provide proper service to their customers and this is evidenced by the lack of infrastructure investment.

It is laughable that on most major highways in South Africa there is not 100% coverage. They have been aware of the thousands of complaints for a number of years but still they refuse to upgrade and invest in the infrastructure to solve the problems. In the meantime their executives are earning ridiculous salaries and bonuses for the fantastic profits they generate, but they are unfortunately not measured on customer satisfaction. Why should they care about customer satisfaction? They have a monopoly and definitely not a long term view. They don’t need to listen to anyone and the complaints lodged fall on deaf ears. A few weeks ago there was a discussion on Talk Radio 702 and their switchboard almost crashed from all the calls about the pathetic service provided by these companies.

Salaries

Rob Shuter (Vodacom CFO) R14,205,882
Pieter Uys (Vodacom CEO) R10,700,571
Shameel Joosub (Vodacom SA MD) R9,452,685

Our government is helpless and clueless and doing absolutely nothing to resolve the issue. They have the power to force the mobile companies to improve their service levels but they don’t. One has to wonder why they do nothing.

Vodacom
Even LG knows what's going on!