Singularity is Here!
Digital Singularity, the point where human experience and technological omnipresence converge, is upon us. Technology has become embedded in the human experience in a way that renders it not a physical thing but an omnipresent part of our lives, fading into the background yet augmenting, influencing and supporting our day to day living. As outlined in Kevin S. Parikh’s book “Digital Singularity”, Hyperconvergence, Digital Moments, Augmented Reality and Digital Twins form the four pillars of Digital Singularity, driven by technology prerequisites - Cloud, IoT, Sensors, AI, Automation, Blockchain, Cybersecurity, and 3D Printing among others.
Hyperconvergence, the first, foundational pillar of Digital Singularity is the merging of two or more independent technologies with different uses, to create something with a new purpose that is greater than the original technologies could ever have had by themselves. The convergence of common technologies gives birth to a completely new device or service with advanced capabilities and functions fundamentally changing how we have used and viewed them for generations. The second pillar of Singularity, Digital Moments and the basis of this article, is a transaction that occurs within a transaction. The third pillar, Augmented Reality uses the information we get from our senses- from the real world, in real time, and enhances it with external technology to supplement our perception of our surroundings and enhance analog experiences so we can make decisions based on inputs. Lastly, the Digital Twin pillar is a real time, virtual model of our physical selves that is constantly transacting and acting on our behalf through automation – without ever needing to rest or refuel.
Digital Moments - The Value of Transactions Within Transactions
A Digital Moment is a transaction that occurs within a transaction. Consider the following. You are riding your bike, with the only objective of getting from Point A to Point B. However, during this time, your Wi-Fi connected bike is sending data about your riding patterns, which could prove useful for analyzing your overall health or adjusting your workout. The act of riding sparks another automated transaction.
Digital Moments can happen everywhere, in the background, and simultaneously with other activities. While we are doing one activity, another action is transpiring without human prompting. This is enabled through automation, analytics, and artificial intelligence. These transactions are occurring as we are living our day-to-day lives. They’re collecting data and information and doing something with it, such as conveying that information to you through feedback and other means. You may not even be aware when it is happening, or how it is happening, but this sub-transaction is moving forward automatically.
Digital Moments make up a layer of activity that is nearly invisible to you, happening thousands of times a day. Digital Moments will simplify many transactions allowing you to easily get the products and services you want.
Elements of a Digital Moment
A Digital Moment has five elements:
- It is a It is a digital activity that is happening while you are doing something else. This could be a purchase, a communication, or any transaction between two parties.
- It is automatic. Transactions happen with the given information, without any prompting.
- It requires consent. These transactions happen with the individual’s permission, which may have been given at a prior time or in real time during the transaction.
- It is secure. The transaction utilizes encryption or biometrics prior to approval.
- It utilizes social media. The transaction may permit the collection of feedback, ratings, and preferences.
Now and Into the Future
Consider what is currently happening in social media. On your Facebook newsfeed you see ads for products you recently viewed across different websites. Here, the Digital Moment is occurring on different levels. The first transaction is the act of scanning your newsfeed, likes, and other searched content that you have clicked on in the past. When a product appears on your newsfeed, it has been curated and strategically placed in front of you to prompt you to buy it and complete a transaction. This type of demand generation, made possible by technology prerequisites, is a new sales avenue.
In the near future, Digital Moments could even change the way we watch television. Let’s say a soccer match is happening. You are watching the game and notice that one of the players is wearing a style of shoe you would like to use in your local soccer league games. You could pause the game, select “like” directly on the shoes on the TV, and quickly scan through the starred ratings and reviews of them. The TV would then search for them online at the best price. An indication from the online store would appear offering these shoes for you to buy via your TV. This transaction could also happen automatically, as long as you authorized this in advance.
The Value for Business
How can companies and individuals take advantage of these Digital Moments? You have to become aware that the go-to-market channels for selling your product have shifted. That means you will need to sell your product differently and understand what a Digital Moment is so that you can tailor your approach to this new mode of selling. While there will still be brick-and-mortar stores in the years ahead there will be ways, through Digital Moments, to automate demand generation and increase customer awareness. Organizations need to reimagine their customer experience journeys to weave Digital Moments in them thus amplifying the overall experience,
Digital Moments are microtransactions, continuously occurring and improving our analytics. Soon, it will become apparent that when you want to sell “the next great thing” you would think, “How do we take advantage of Digital Moments as market channels to sell our products?” Some of the value will be in analytics; some of it is in the data being collected that produces automatic transactions that change people’s lives.
When you are selling a product or service, you will have the opportunity to better understand customer preferences since they are regularly interacting with you (assuming you have technologies that are analyzing this data). That could enable you to tweak your marketing and sales channels as you will understand customer’s likes and dislikes. Digital Moments will become a revenue-generating model for companies and the standard for how we relate to products and services as we head toward Singularity.
If you do not start learning about Digital Moments, you could lose sales to this new channel. And, if retail corporations are not selling this way, they will be missing out on a large segment of the market. The good news is that you can jump into this channel and be a part of it—but only if you acknowledge it exists.