Italian Wineries and the next year opportunities

vigna all'alba

The wine sector today

The wine sector has not yet risen from its lowest point, and is likely to return to pre-Covid levels only in 2021.

Current data - provided by the TradeLab analysis company - predicts a closure of 2020 for wines equal to -28%. This contraction, however significant, is better than one percentage point compared to previous forecasts, but still not sufficient. 

The main reasons for this collapse are due to the sharp decrease in consumption outside home, in the HO.RE.CA channel, due to the closure of the spaces and the clear decrease in foreign tourism

Regarding exports, the first half of 2020 saw a 3.4% decrease in value: the largest percentage collapse was that of the Chinese market (-40%). While large production companies are reacting a little better, small companies, those that put quality and territoriality first, are the most in crisis. 

But not everything is lost. Indeed, for many wine producers the coming months will be full of opportunities.

The substantial change in the types of consumption requires a change in the product proposals: in this context, the possibilities for the sector to return stronger than before are considerable.

In this article we will describe the growth opportunities for the wine sector in terms of product positioning, new market opportunities and experiential offerings, with an eye on both the digital world and the indispensable physical experience. 

 

Voice of Customer: listening to improve

vino tavola rotonda

The first thing companies should do today to get back on their feet is “try to understand” what is happening to their customers. The months of chaos we have all experienced have undoubtedly changed our habits, thoughts, behaviours and desires.

Companies cannot ignore these changes: it is necessary to understand which direction the public is moving in. This is the right time to stop and start asking yourself questions.

The Voice of Customer can absolutely help: this is the branch for the collection of feedback and desired users (prospects, customers, employees) with the aim of providing a better user experience (UX), but also aimed at collecting information to support marketing and branding strategies. 

Thanks to digital technology, market research is now much cheaper and more effective. Through major social networks, email, whatsapp, chatbots, but also Amazon Alexa, you can relate one-to-one with your users. Starting from the data collected, it is possible to discover relevant and potentially disruptive information, especially today.

It is therefore essential for the wine sector to start from listening to what the present has to say to us.

 

Digital Commerce: selling without the intermediary of third parties 

Another factor that can no longer be postponed is the adoption of a digital sales channel. Having a Digital Commerce where you can sell your wine to the general public and professionals has become essential. 

This period has allowed millions of Italians to discover the value of Digital Commerce: therefore, it is difficult to go back to pre-pandemic habits. Of course Digital Commerce does not necessarily have to be an exclusive platform for individual producers.

To improve its effectiveness, it would be better to create hubs of more players who together decide to join forces: doing so would reduce costs, increase the visibility of the platform and give more choice to consumers and merchants. An example? A platform that unites all Piedmontese producers of Barolo.

What other benefits does Digital Commerce provide? Obviously it allows wineries to expand their market, differentiate the public and eliminate the expenses of third party operators, whether they are restaurants, wine bars or large retailers. 

In addition, being able to create a direct relationship with the public helps to create all those loyalty dynamics so dear to the company's income statements.

From this point of view, it is necessary to devote a specific study to what is called a subscription economy.

 

Product Subscriptions: Building Lasting Relationships

abbonamento vino

The subscription economy - which has been booming for some years - is an opportunity which, if well exploited, can be a major economic discriminator. What is it? It is simply the offer of a subscription to the products to the customer, in exchange for a discount. We are well aware that this mode of sale is already widespread within the wine sector. Many families, every year, call the trusted manufacturer to stock bottles. 

Digital, however, makes a qualitative leap to this service. In fact, as we have already said, the greater probability to create a loyal relationship with the customer improves the probability that a subscription will take place. Obviously all this applies to both B2B and B2C audiences.

Digital Commerce and Subscription Economy go hand in hand, and in our opinion it is right to implement both once you decide to move a part of the business online. 

 

Gamification: entertaining and engaging the public

Gamification consists of offering to the customers an experience, digital or physical, that aims to involve them through a "game”. Marketers have always known that linking product experience to fun is a winning tool to gain public trust and appreciation. Thanks to digital the possibility of engagement is considerably greater, and allows customers to be reached wherever they are.

Prize games, competitions, badges, trophies and competitions are not to be underestimated if you want to increase your customers and make them loyal to your products. Until a few years ago, only large companies were able to bear the costs for activities of this type: today this is no longer the case. 

In addition, the games themselves have also changed, which over the years have become increasingly engaging: if previously we were limited to collecting stickers, today we can create interactive competitions (contests on social media, in-app games, etc.).

Ultimately, playing today has never been so beneficial for companies.

 

Internationalisation: taking Made in Italy all around the world

Made in Italy has a future only as long as it can attract and involve even the most distant peoples.

To make this, you need to continually renew your offer and distribution channels, to be relevant in the digital age. One of the most complex markets for Italian companies, both culturally and because it is highly digitised, is the Chinese one. 

As we pointed out in the introduction to the article, the Chinese market was the one that experienced the steepest collapse due to the pandemic: -40%. 

As the first country to suffer from the consumption crisis caused by lockdown, China was also the first nation to emerge from it, and to resume growing and buying as usual: at the moment, foreign alcohol purchasing rates are growing rapidly.

The Chinese market was the fastest growing market in wine consumption worldwide. Although the pleasure of wine is universal, in order to be able to communicate with the Chinese people it is necessary to have a valid cultural knowledge of the country: for this reason it is not advisable to engage in promotional and internationalization activities without relying on external consultancy companies, which are able to support and recommend the best strategies. 

Value China, a subsidiary of Neosperience and composed of young Italian-Chinese, has recently implemented a digital promotion program dedicated to Italian wineries

Winease offers Italian producers the opportunity to learn directly about Chinese consumers, to discover the most effective ways to communicate with them and to use the most suitable tools to promote their uniqueness.

Through partnership with Wechat, China's largest social media platform, Interwine, the largest and oldest professional wine fair in China, and Putaojiu.com, China's leading press release platform in the wine sector, Value China is able to support and guide Italian winegrowers in conquering the market.

 

Conclusions

Ultimately, the growth possibilities for the sector are considerable and necessarily pass through the implementation of strategies focused on digital channels.

Understanding the public, engaging and retaining customers, eliminating third-party brokerage, joining stronger and more structured hubs, selling online and reaching distant and untapped markets: these are the guidelines for the wine sector that guarantee immediate success against a medium-term investment.

If you have any questions, please contact us and we will be happy to answer your questions.

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Smart Agriculture: seizing the opportunities of a growing sector

Technology shows all its destructive nature when applied to what has always seemed unchangeable. It is the case of agriculture, and its enormous possibilities for growth and development if interfaced with the latest innovations and technological solutions of Smart Agriculture

The value of this technology employment in 2019 in Italy was estimated at 450 million euros, with a growth of 22% compared to last year's value and with even more optimistic long-term development prospects.

The largest investments in the sector are dedicated to monitoring and control systems for agricultural vehicles and equipment (39%), management software (20%) and natively connected machinery (14%), followed by remote monitoring systems for land and crops (10%) and systems for mapping land and products (9%).

First of all, it should be noted that the technological field that seems to have the greatest application opportunities within Smart Agriculture is IoT (Internet of Things), obviously assisted by other technologies such as Drones, Blockchain, Machine Learning, etc.

Italy invests in Smart Agriculture about 20% of the total of the EU.

But what are the practical advantages of agriculture in adopting these instruments?

In this article we will explain the technological applications within the cultivation processes that can help the farmer manage processes, materials, machinery, human resources, and, of course, the crops themselves more efficiently.

Phytopathology

Phytopathology often causes enormous economic losses to the farmer if not recognized in time. To limit the damage, it is essential to discover its onset punctually, while at the same time preventing its start by highlighting the conditions that increase its risk.

How? For example, through the implementation of sensors (IoT) in the fields, on the trees, on the individual fruits, in the drainage channels, and so on, thanks to which it is possible to recover qualitative information on the health of the plants, on the humidity of the soil, on the presence of harmful substances, insects, diseases, etc.

At the same time, by using drones, orthophotos, and 3D images, it is possible to highlight the different parts of crops, which receive less water, grow less, or appear less healthy or sick.

Precision Farming

Another application of IoT, drones, but also Machine Learning, is explained in the concept of “Precision Farming”.

Usually, resources are used according to the schedule or in any case homogeneously in a crop, without considering the intra-field variability and the real needs.

The new technologies make it easy to collect information to carry out selective treatments, saving time, and applied products. Through predictive analysis, made possible by Machine Learning algorithms, the farmer can predict when certain crops and areas will need to be sown, irrigated, or fertilized.

Other Smart Agriculture Applications

But now let's go into the various features, imagining a ready-to-use solution dedicated to Smart Agriculture. What are its practical applications? 

Plot mapping

Thanks to the solution, the operator can easily draw web maps of their plots using the orthophotos of the area as a background. The system also allows you to upload the cadastre maps. It would be possible to map not only the plots but also tare or parts of land destined for other uses.

Georeferencing plants or rows 

In addition to displaying the plots, when the information is relevant for each plant, it is possible to geo-report plants or rows, using the GPS in the field and reporting the information on the map.

Computerization of crop data 

Each plot drawn on the map can be associated with a multiplicity of useful information both during the evaluation and monitoring of the crop and during the sending of data for regulatory compliance

Interface with soil and plant sensors

The solution interfaces directly to IoT sensors positioned in the plots to provide important information about soil and plant response to weather conditions

Weather data display

The application provides weather data from fixed control units or IoT sensors installed directly in the plots. The sensors provide useful information about the microclimate that insists on a certain area, which is essential for the assessment of the possibility of occurrence of certain phytopathologies

Warehouse management for fertilizers and plant protection products

A specific section of the solution would be dedicated to the management of the fertilizer and phytosanitary warehouse. The system automatically displays a counter to monitor the presence of products in the warehouse.

Processing of graphs and statistics

Smart Agriculture produces numerous graphs and statistics that allow you to carry out a specific analysis for various factors, in particular:

  • Forecast modeling: the solution would be able to produce very accurate forecast models for each area, indicating the probability of generation, fertility, and mortality of a pest agent. This information allows knowing promptly the beginning of a phytopathology or the degree of infestation.
  • Optimize the use of products: the Smart Agriculture solution would allow optimizing the use of fertilizers, plant protection products, and irrigated water thanks to the use of distribution maps and soil parameters obtained from soil sampling.
  • Support in the choice of soil sampling points: the platform would support the farmer to choose sampling points through pedological data, orography, and previous sampling.
  • Highlight the presence of localized criticalities: the solution would highlight various criticalities, such as nutrient deficiency,  phytopathologies, or the presence of water stagnation in the soil through vegetation vigor maps. These maps are created from remotely sensed data by satellites or drones.

Conclusions

In summary, the Smart Agriculture solution that we have imagined allows you to:

- Improve and modernize crop management by replacing paper maps and data;

- Optimize data handling and loading times;

- Prevent the onset of disease and contain its spread;

- Optimize management choices;

- Save on the use of products (fertilizers, plant protection products, water);

- Contain the environmental impacts of activities;

- Produce higher quality goods;

- Conduct time comparisons for the management of criticalities in the plots. 

The time has come for agriculture to enter the era of digitalization.

The future is 4.0. also for agriculture: by developing new solutions for Smart Agriculture it is possible to benefit a growing market, which offers opportunities to companies that believe in an ecological and prudent approach to resources.

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5 tips for an effective Lead Generation

5 tips lead generationThe great salesmen of the past have now become legendary characters, whose stories feature films and television series. In fact, we are all bewitched by the skills of a good salesman, who alone can make a business prosper.

Although it is still important for companies to have a talented sales department, many companies are tempted to give up the human component in commercial activities in favor of digital solutions that promise the moon, but ultimately are very ineffective.

In fact, although they are cheaper and faster than any vendor, Social Selling or Account Based Marketing platforms are far less effective than human activities.

The reason? They lack an essential component: empathy.

Communicating the right message at the right time is complex: it is necessary to analyze the context and a whole set of subjective factors that a machine is not yet able to take into account.

However, this does not mean that digital is not helpful. Today you can find thousands of potential customers using platforms like LinkedIn, or simply browsing the web. Problems arise when a machine is asked to operate independently in the “contact phase”. The risk of passing for spam is more than real: for a company, this is the worst thing to do.

How is it possible to carry out digital sales activities without risking being irrelevant, ineffective, or even harmful?

 

5 Tips for Effective Lead Generation

In this article, we will show you the 5 tips that our sales department has always followed, and we will explain how our solution for Social Selling and Account Based Marketing works and how Neosperience Customer Generator can help your business grow.

  • To sell your products you need to know how to sell yourself

A trivial statement that it is often not put into practice.
Usually, those who contact us on social media or through our website are complete strangers: this obviously makes us think that their communications are spam. Getting noticed before contact is the first step to getting a response, hopefully positive. Create a relationship before direct contact. Like and comment on what is shared. Discuss, show yourself, and hear.

  • You need to examine

Before contacting potential prospects, you need to find out their role in the company and what their interests are, what their company does, and the trends and risks of their sectors. In business, you don't have to assume, but know how your company and services can be useful to that particular person.

  • Be personal

Today companies continually receive copied and pasted messages sent from poorly programmed bots: no wonder the results of these operations are virtually nil. A good sales activity must in fact be as “personal” as possible. So don't just talk about the product, but focus on your personal experience and that of your interlocutor: be “personalized”, tell who you are and what you do in the company, and find points of contact with your interlocutor.

  • Get organized and keep track of everything

The activity of a salesman must be organized. Keep track of what you write and who is your prospect. Take notes on what your prospects do and how they "are", and try changing your strategies to see which ones work best.

  • Supports your direct contact strategy

Sometimes it's the same prospect that finds your company. In fact, value-specific content for different targets is a natural “magnet” for new contracts: articles, whitepapers, ebooks, webinars, or videos, the important thing is that they are interesting and show the value of your business.

Neosperience Customer Generator

 

Neosperience Customer Generator

This is "Neosperience Customer Generator" by Neosperience on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.


What is interesting about this drawing of “empathic” advice is that all the activities described can be supported by our Lead Generation platform, Neosperience Customer Generator, based - among other things - also on Lead Champion, a digital marketing solution that we acquired just a few months ago.

The Neosperience Customer Generator allows you to:

  • Identify

Choose your target audience by combining information from all departments;

  • Discover

Recover the firmographic data of your ideal clientele - company size, location, sector, market position, and annual revenues - as well as strategic factors such as market influence, the likelihood of repeated purchases and the expected profit margin;

  • Save

Automatically load profiled leads and relevant information into the Customer Data Platform (CDP) of the Neosperience Customer Generator. Fill out notes and tags on Lead profiles; reuse this information later to boost your business;

  • Interact

Attract your potential customers and dialogue with them by generating Qualified Leads. View the profiles of your potential customers, identify their skills, follow their activities and send personalized messages automatically;

  • Engage

Create targeted content for each of your leads, dedicated to the specific offers you want to promote. Combine the effects of two strategic approaches: Account-Based Marketing (ABM), to communicate in a personalized way with each corporate actor, and Inbound Marketing, to generate new leads offering relevant and quality content;

  • Measure

Each marketing activity must produce measurable results. Thanks to Neosperience Customer Generator you can always know the conversion rate of your activities, the increase in the number of Leads over time, and their economic value.

Conclusions

Neosperience Customer Generator is a facilitator. It is the union of the best of digital - intelligent and empathetic - with the immeasurable value of the human relationship.

Digital is a tool, not the solution to all problems: for many years to come, the human factor will be indispensable. Our 5 tips are the foundation for a “human” and effective Lead Generation, and the guidelines on which we have developed our solution.

Only by combining digital and physical we can survive in today's ultra-competitive market, governed by digital intermediaries and made even more complex by the crisis that companies are experiencing today.

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Virtual Exhibition: Neosperience and Value China for your B2B event

virtual exhibitionWe have trust in the future of B2B International Events

We know that the last months were the lowest point ever reached by this sector.  

However, according to us, there are a lot of tools and options to overcome this period and to build a new way to think about International Exhibitions

Today Problem

One concern is the impossibility of traveling around the globe. 

This is mainly a business problem

If you can’t present your products and services in person, how is it possible for you to reach the far market? 

The Solution: Neosperience Virtual Exhibition

It is possible thanks to new technologies. We have a vision: empower the strengths in your fair with an innovative, best-in-class digital platform. 

Neosperience Virtual Exhibition (for the chinese market Smart Exhibition) is a vertical solution that can help Italian businesses to create and manage their own international events. It is specifically designed to build a bridge between the Italian e Chinese markets

Why? Because we are convinced that there is not a future for the occidental industry without collaboration with Asian countries. For this reason, we welcomed Value China in the Neosperience family. Our common goal is to create and develop business partnerships between our great countries and economies. 

Your Goal

We have outlined what we think are the essential goals to create a successful event in our post-digital world.  

  • Develop a fair digital ecosystem to forge relationships and invent new ways to involve the exhibitors’ and visitors’ community;
  • Create and deliver engaging experiences that surprise and capture visitors;
  • Leverage the ability to connect, influence, build trust with target audiences, across any platform, or any device.
  • Broaden customers’ data creation sources and increase the level and quality of data;
  • Develop new revenue streams based on the sale of virtual stands with many sources of revenue: positioning and visibility, services activated and used, advertising pre, during and post the events.

 

What We Offer

Let’s talk about our solution. Our Virtual Exhibition and Event Management System is based on the Neosperience Unbreakable Community and provides a set of powerful services, yet easy to use:

  •  A space to make the exhibition topic fun and relevant: keynotes with insights and narratives aimed at both professionals and the general public, one-to-many, one-to-few, and one-to-one sessions;
  • A matching engine to suggest the most profitable meeting opportunities between buyers and sellers;
  • A virtual reality discovery and visit system of factories or regions accompanied by technical specialists that allow both businesses and consumers to live the experience with an extraordinary emotional impact and memorability;
  • An eCommerce Platform to create new streams of revenue for exhibitors and organizers. 

Our goal for your Exhibition is to establish a global destination dedicated to the digital experience. The attractiveness for the product enthusiasts and the global stakeholders’ community will be based on the ability to bring meetings, tests, and in-depth sessions to the virtual world, to promote knowledge of the product and the vendor community.

From a business perspective, the aim is to create the first pole of attraction of the product sector, aimed mainly at the international buyers' community.

Virtual Exhibition: why us?

Neosperience and Value China: together we deliver the best solution combining our "empathy in technology" vision with our knowledge of the Chinese market.

We can help your company extract maximum value from its positioning, supporting the Virtual Exhibition setup and sales 360° from the vision to roll out, thanks to the performance of our team and best-in-class Neosperience Cloud and Solutions.

Moreover, we can leverage our cross-border operating model to serve your company everywhere in Asia and the Pacific area, accelerating the path to connect Chinese buyers to your company more effectively.

The challenge that we face while creating your “unbreakable customer community” is attracting enough members to create value and offering full benefits from the first sign-up.

Thanks to our ready-to-use solutions, we will start with a robust and simple virtual exhibition architecture, and capitalize on viral growth.

Are you interested in our Virtual Exhibition vertical solution? Do you want to be a forerunner on the digital events market?

We will show you all the concrete benefits related to the adoption of the Neosperience Virtual Exhibition.

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Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can offer real help against Covid-19. We created a team of experts working with our technologies to develop screening algorithms that support the health system.

With the hashtag #defeatcovid19, we launched the initiative and community defeatcovid19.org to onboard all organizations and experts in Artificial Intelligence. The goal is to identify technological answers that support healthcare departments and doctors in such a difficult time. 

To this purpose, we have already made available our platform and our team of data scientists to organizations and bodies that fight against Coronavirus, joined by the Milan Polytechnic, the first partner of the initiative.

The technologies available include neural networks specialized in identifying specific patterns within images and data correlation models. Patterns can be used to support screening and, subsequently, to make the evaluation of therapies more robust concerning the data collected, thus improving the estimation of the prognosis.

“We are gathering a team of artificial intelligence experts from all over the world - explained Dario Melpignano, President of Neosperience. We made available our Neosperience Cloud platform, Core Edition, offered for free to all public and private and non-profit research institutions, active in the health ecosystem, who will request it for developing novel Covid-19 screening methods. 

Giuseppe Andreoni, coordinator of the TeDH laboratory (Technology and Design for Health) of the Milan Polytechnic and scientific coordinator of the Nestore project, funded by the European research program Horizon 2020, which already sees Neosperience engaged together with 14 European public and private research organizations, is confident of the value of the initiative. “Together with Neosperience, we have created a working group that can develop screening algorithms with which to assist healthcare personnel. The team’s goal is to immediately welcome the contributions of the most expert organizations and data scientists broadly and inclusively, enhancing the efforts of each towards the common good.“ 

A challenge that brings together technical skills and ideal motivations, as the President of Neosperience reemphasizes. “In recent weeks, we have dedicated ourselves to understanding how to be more useful to our community in the difficult situation we are experiencing.

One of the primary needs is to have diagnostic tools available that are quick and easy to integrate into the screening processes. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can provide a contribution in early diagnosis to health systems around the world: to organize operations, plan therapies, and improve efficiency in such a critical moment. “

Dott. Alberto Barosi, Head of Non-Invasive Cardiovascular Diagnostics at Luigi Sacco Hospital of Milan, an expert in the field of diagnostic ultrasound, contributed to the realization of the project. The initiative involves a pool of Covid Hospitals in the provinces of Milan, Bergamo, and Brescia

Neosperience will promote sharing, together with the Polytechnic of Milan and the other partners who are joining (at the moment, the 14 partners of Nestore European Consortium and Value China). The results achieved will remain as shared property of the scientific world. 

The data and models, together with the developed methodologies, will both be made public on open-source tools such as Github and made available to Italian and foreign research groups that request them, thus enhancing the tools to support diagnosis and treatment. Data collected anonymously in compliance with privacy legislation.

The data scientists and the organizations that want to deepen and join the project can visit the website:

http://www.defeatcovid19.org/.

Together we will defeat Covid-19 thanks to Artificial Intelligence.

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Digital Health. Last Trends and the Nestore’s case

Before I start telling you about the Nestore European project, to which we have dedicated some of our best resources in the last year, we would like to draw the lines of the technological and methodological innovations that are emerging in both public and private health sectors.

In recent years, medicine has demonstrated the effectiveness of revolutionary healthcare innovations, ranging from the invention of vaccines to the discovery of antibiotics.

It is interesting to mention the development of telemedicine, which allows doctors and patients to communicate remotely, and to exchange data from monitoring tools such as wearables and smart clothes.

Furthermore, Augmented and Virtual Reality are now able to help students with their studies, for example through virtual and interactive teaching programs, with the possibility of seeing human anatomical structure and operations where and when they want.

This has significantly decreased the costs and timeframes of health education, and perhaps it will increase the number of students enrolled in medical degree courses.

At the same time, viewers for mixed reality (in-between virtual and augmented reality) are spreading on several levels. Doctors can use them to make remote visits or to visualize patient data virtually and in real-time. 

The Microsoft HoloLens is the device that seems to have had the most success in the field; There are countless case studies in which they have been used both for teaching and as real-time support for doctors in the operating room.

Artificial Intelligence is also becoming central to the treatment and diagnosis of health problems. At the moment, numerous studies are trying to demonstrate it by searching for patterns in the medical records of sick subjects, it is possible to predict whether the same disease will take place or not in healthy individuals.

Although the results of these studies have been criticized by the international scientific community, the application of AI for health will probably make a difference in the coming years.

Future innovations, however, do not stop there. There are also the use of 3D printers for the creation of functioning organs, studies on the sequencing and modification of human DNA, and the creation of "living" nanorobots for the treatment of the most insidious diseases.

In addition to the technological applications that are emerging, Deloitte traces the path of future methodologies that health systems seem to have taken in recent years, highlighting three macro-trends:

  • Health systems will shift their focus from disease treatment to prevention and well-being;
  • The technological platforms will allow the free and safe flow of data of individuals, groups of subjects, health institutions and the environment around them. By analyzing these data, operators can make decisions in real-time;
  • Greater involvement of patients in their health dynamics will guide their attitudes and behaviors towards greater empowerment.

In the next few years, the biggest problem that national health systems, especially Western ones, will face will be the increase in the average age of citizens. As per today, the necessary budget for the sector increases every year; it’s necessary to change strategy and modus operandi.

Today, technology is the most practical and realistic solution for the previously discussed issue which it has shaped the three trends highlighted by Deloitte.

All three trends make up the fundamentals of the European project for the sustenance of the elderly, in which Neosperience is participating. Nestore is a health digital coaching program based on AI and Machine Learning algorithms. It takes the form of an application that users, located in the +65 age group, can use independently.

Within the Nestore application, there are some of the most innovative tools, such as:

  • An intelligent activity management system, which recommends wellbeing pathways based on users' habits and physical possibilities, integrated with wearables and environmental sensors;
  • Environmental sensors "count" visits from friends and relatives, to control the user's social interactions and help them not to suffer from loneliness;
  • One of the latest innovative chatbots enables a truly human dialogue between machine and patient, and which can recognize the emotions of those who use it;
  • An algorithm that recognizes food, and its nutrients, via the smartphone’s camera;
  • Personalized games to improve users' memory and reflexes;
  • A social network to share interests and activities among Nestore’s members, to live together and improve their mental health.

In general, Nestore's goal consists in improving users' daily lives by stimulating responsibility in behavior and a healthy lifestyle. Physical and psychological data are shared with doctors and health personnel, who are thus able to act promptly in case problems arise.

Nestore aims to be a useful and essential tool for public and private actors in the health sector in order to reduce the cost of therapies without sacrificing the quality of the service.

Health is and will always be one of the most important fields of application where it’s possible to test the latest technological and methodological innovations. Today, we live in times where the chances of a structural crisis in the sector are growing more and more; working to find useful solutions to avoid it is a satisfaction and an opportunity that makes us proud.

 

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Social Network and Blockchain. Control in User’s hands

blockchain

The Blockchain is a technology in continuous evolution, which never ceases to amaze for its endless applications.

What made it known to the general public was the birth and global spread of cryptocurrencies. Unfortunately, due to the lack of confidence in the reliability of this economic system, the Blockchain has not had an easy life in its affirmation process as a technology of the future.

But things are slowly changing.

Not long ago, Carrefour supermarkets implemented a Blockchain structure in its production chain to guarantee the quality of its products. A simple and intelligent way to bring the Blockchain closer to people's daily lives, stimulating their interest and increasing confidence in the system.

Today, another trend is taking shape, aiming to involve people more and more in this technology: the use of the Blockchain within social networks. The distributed database is used both to guarantee the security of users' data and to enable secure in-app virtual payments without banking intermediaries.

The most emblematic case of this trend, which caused a stir in public opinion, was the announcement by Mark Zuckerberg of the creation of a Facebook cryptocurrency, called Libra, to allow users to pay and exchange money.

The announcement immediately created fibrillation between the institutions, banking, and state, concerned about the stability of the international financial system and the protection of user privacy.

The risk of seeing the traditional banking system collapse from the ground up, or the danger of a reduction in tax revenues to which governments could meet, has immediately undermined the "legality" of Libra. Moreover, Facebook and its partners, having the opportunity to learn about users' purchasing behavior for profiling purposes, risk to endanger freedom and individual privacy.

The path to get to the launch of the cryptocurrency, announced for mid-2020, was therefore more difficult than expected, partly because some of the sponsors of the initiative, such as Paypal, Mastercard, and Visa (which had to guarantee the reliability of the project) had left the association, motivating the decision with a lack of certainty about its real application possibilities.

Yet it is not so much the idea of a "cryptoclaimed" social network that is badly viewed, but the size of the operation itself.

In fact, there are already tools that work in the same way.

An excellent example of this is All.me: an application based on the meToken cryptocurrency, launched in 2016 and counting more than 500 thousand users today.

How does a social network with blockchain solution work?

All.me is a single platform that includes some of the most interesting features of the Digital, namely, the creation of social networks, the possibility to earn from its own content, the sale and purchase of peer-to-peer and the exchange of digital currency. All these features are integrated into a single app.

Each component is linked to the others and integrated within the system to make everything safe and reliable. All.me is divided into five modules:

  • Social network (meNetwork) - Platform for sharing information between users.
  • Marketplace (meMarket) - C2C and B2C sales platform.
  • Payment Service (mePay) - The native cryptocurrency-based payment system.
  • Wallet Service (meWallet) - Area for the control of transactions and their balance.
  • Cryptocurrency (meToken) - The native cryptocurrency of the system.

One of the most important features of the platform is the full control of data by customers. They are encouraged to create quality content, receiving in exchange meToken that can be used to buy products on the Market.

The Blockchain for the decentralization of responsibility and ownership of tools, as happens in All.me, is the future of many fields, especially social media.

With these premises, a central organization will no longer be necessary to play the role of a controller who, with the users' data, ends up earning by profiling members.

This transformation offers a huge advantage to the people who decide to participate, as they end up actively contributing to the development of the product and controlling its value.

On social media, where many users feel exploited by organizations, this is a strength that can make a difference today and in the future.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

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2019 was a year full of satisfactions for Neosperience

Quotazione 2019

In this article, we will try to synthesize 12 intense but rewarding months.

2019 was a year full of satisfactions for NeosperienceOur best expectations have finally taken shape, transporting us into a new universe of growth and infinite possibilities. 

First and foremost, we also want to remember our journey towards listing on Aim Italia, which, once achieved, has allowed us to give visibility and prestige to what this company represents, also from a human point of view; "Empathy in Technology" is the claim that guides us every day, reminding us that our mission is unique in the market.

Obviously, this substantial development has changed the way we do business.

If before we were responsible only to ourselves, today we must give value to all the shareholders who support us and believe in our project. It’s not a simple task, and we face it with high awareness and confidence in what we do.

After the listing, we decided it was time to grow.

For this reason, we have opened our first office outside the country, in Seattle, USA, and we have decided to join forces with Somos, Mikamai, Jack Magma, LinkMe, and Value China, to build together a promising future based on collaboration among all our expertise.

From the working point of view, satisfactions were not lacking.

We found new companions of adventures, such as Borgo Egnazia, with whom and for which we gave shape to our cutting-edge Solutions. With great joy, we have also continued to work with our historic clients, who every day demonstrate their confidence in our quality level.

About our Solutions, how can we forget the launch of the two most innovative ones: Image Memorability, to give scientific validity to the memorability of images, and People Analytics, for in-store flows control. They have revolutionized the current panorama of technological proposals for business.

We would also like to mention the awards we have earned during the year, such as the victory in the international competition for the regeneration of the Villa Reale di Monza, and to be counted by Gartner as one of the six best software vendors for 2020 in the Customer Analytics market.

Finally, we would like to thank all of our employees, those who stayed with us and those who decided to join our project. Without your support and commitment, this would have been impossible.

What will the Neosperience 2020 reserve for us?

Many things are already planned and we will soon update you on the next news. What we already know and can communicate to you, is our confidence in the future that awaits us. During the upcoming year, we will continue to believe in our abilities and possibilities to grow in an empathic way, respecting people.

 

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Neosperience Tourism Cloud, China and digital tourism in Italy

Chinese Tourists

Tourism is a decisive voice for the health of Italian Economy. According to the estimates, expenditure for the year 2019 will be approximately 112.4 billion euros, up between 6% and 13% compared to 2018.

The greatest increase was in the Asian market, especially the Chinese one, with more than 20% attendance and one and a half billion euros spending. 

The creation of the Silk Road (OBOR) and the visit of President Xi Jinping's in Italy have certainly helped the Bel Paese to improve its reputation in the Far East.

What are the average Chinese tourist characteristics?

Tourists from China have some well-defined characteristics. First of all, they are very demanding, both in terms of services and contents. They are high-spending, young (60% between 20 and 45 years), with a male majority (60%), love the cities of art and willingly buy luxury products, especially clothing.

However, what unites every Chinese visitor is the tendency to use digital tools during the booking phase and when purchasing on the Italian territory.

The use of cash in China, in fact, is rapidly decreasing, while the use of mobile payment instruments such as Alipay and WeChat Pay is on the rise. Just to make a comparison, these two instruments have a billion and four hundred thousand monthly active users in total, while Apple Pay, globally, counts 127 million.

It seems clear that, if you want to attract Chinese visitors and stimulate their spending, the implementation of payment methods with these tools must become essential.

As for reservations, the subject is very similar; being strictly mobile people, Chinese users proceed to search for information through online platforms or applications, such as the above-mentioned WeChat.

In the future, a double-digit growth in visitors from China is expected. Today the Italian hospitality facilities must adapt to a market that is profoundly different from the Italian one.

To support this process, Neosperience has decided to develop the Neosperience Tourism Cloud, a platform for customizing and digitizing the tourist experience.

How does the Neosperience Tourism Cloud work?

It is divided in three distinct but complementary components. The first one, specific for customer acquisition, consists of a psychographics traits construction of the audience, through personal data recovery. The goal? To understand their deepest desires and suggest an ideal journey.

How are these data recovered?

Through the other two components: the NeosVoc platform (a tool for the Voice of Customer that uses intelligent, real-time questionnaires to manage, assist and advise tourists throughout their journey), and the Customer Data Platform Unbreakable Community, always enhanced by AI tools, to integrate all the data coming from different softwares and reconstruct the client's history, in order to predict his future behavior.

What does the tourist gain?

A unique and personalized experience designed on his needs and desires. Today, the customer needs to feel "central", and no longer just a guest, but a citizen of the world; from this point of view, it is important to offer real experiences.

And the tour operator?

Greater customer satisfaction automatically leads to better economic results. Online loyalty and word of mouth are the keys to succeed in the digital market. The possibility, thanks to digital tools, to reach market segments that are very distant both in terms of interest and geographic positioning should not be underestimated.

Neosperience for the Chinese market.

To meet the Chinese audience, we decided to welcome Value China in our family: an innovative startup and entrepreneurial reality, which has set itself the goal of facilitating the entry of Italian companies into the Chinese market and vice versa.

At the moment, the focus of its activities is on tourism. An example of what Value China can make with the right tools was the presentation, occurred during the 2nd edition of the International Congress for Cooperation between Chinese Local Governments and Italian Local Governments in the Chinese city of Chengdu, of a new mini-app that allows Chinese tourists in Italy to book and pay taxis via Alipay and WeChat Pay, thanks to the collaboration with the AppTaxy service.

The news was presented by Dr. Carlo Capria, President of the Council of Ministers - Department for the Promotion and Coordination of Economic Policy - and by Dr. Maria Moreni, President of the Italy China Link association.

Today, the growth of tourism in Italy passes through the digital and the Chinese market.

Neosperience has secured, through the Neosperience Tourism Cloud and Value China, a predominant role in the future of this field, to stimulate demand and services offer, beside products that are consistent with the latest technological innovations.

Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn on Unsplash

 

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AI and Photography; beauty lies in the programmers’ eyes

Can AI and Photography work together?

A few weeks ago, in our article “Music and Artificial Intelligence”, we talked about how technology is modifying the music industry.

We stressed the non-dangerousness of this phenomenon, provided that the application of Artificial Intelligence is carried out with responsibility of all the actors involved.

This speech can also be translated into the relationship between AI and Photography, with the required differences.

There are two cases, opposite in terms of aesthetic and ethical quality, to be taken as an example of the role played by technology in the photography field: the "Dreams of New York" project and the development, in the Machine Learning world, of the GANs technique.

The first one is an artistic project created by Tanner Woodbury and Nikolos Killian, two American designers. While wandering in the streets of New York at the slow pace of Google Street View, they noticed the beauty of some sights of the city.

And that’s why they decided to carry out a photographic project, taking up and turning those “amateur” shots into black and white. They made an exhibition, with an artbook that quickly went sold-out.

The technological tool suddenly became an involuntary art photographer. The role of the American copyright legislation was crucial for the success of the project because, if it is a machine that takes the picture, then the intellectual property belongs to everyone.

On the other hand, GANs’ case was a whole other story.

The acronym stands for Generative Adversarial Networks and indicates a Machine Learning technology invented only in 2014.

Its processes are very simple; there are two neural networks, a generative one and a discriminative opponent. The first one has the task to take data and modify them.

The latter analyzes the results produced by its twin to check if the are within the truthfulness parameters set by the programmer are respected. 

Let's take a practical example: GANs has to analyze a database of thousands of people's faces. The generative neural network has the task to create the image of a completely new face, while the opposing neural network has to find out whether the image created by its companion is real or not. Each image is a battle between the two networks; one wins and the other one loses. The system obviously learns from the outcome of the process.

After a few years of testing, today there are GANs that are able to "imagine" and create faces that are so credible as to be unrecognizable both to the opposing network and to the human eye.

As for Deep Fake, the risk is to see these tools falling into the wrong hands, and perhaps damaging the community by creating non-existent people. Moreover, Copyright allows everyone to use the images of the GANs for their own purposes, precisely because they are created by machines and Artificial Intelligence, not by people.

A more philosophical question persists.

Photography is the instrument, maybe the most centered, to tell the story of humanity and reality. If you use it to generate something that does not exist, then a contradiction is created.

Broadly speaking, it is the same critical issue that emerged with the spread of Photoshop, but made more acute by the central role of the machine in the falsification process.

In this case, as well as in similar situations, the problem is not due to technology, but to those who hide behind it. In fact, the GANs had originally been conceived by its creator, Ian Goodfellow, to make large amounts of data available to small researchers and specialized centers, to make AI training more sustainable.

For example, the GANs can create, using a limited database of images, new original elements with which artificial intelligence can be trained, eliminating the cost of retrieving photographs.

Ergo: a tool for the democratization of technology and creativity.

GANs was then used in an extremely creative way, conceptually overcoming its natural purpose. For example, in unique artistic projects such as the "artificial" design of a painting that was sold at an auction for 432 thousand euros.

At the same time, some artists such as the English Anna Ridler, have used GANs in their works and performances; to be mentioned, the short film Fall of the House of Usher, in which design becomes plastic art conceived and composed by the machine.

If we wanted to define the different uses of the GANs, we should distinguish between two intents: creative and "astute". The mentality and objectives of those behind the computer, rather than behind the camera, decide the truthfulness and the ethics of the results. Photography is a science, and today, in the era of numbers, it is more evident than ever.

What will be the future of the relationship between AI and Photography?

Nobody knows, but we are ready to find out.

Photo by Rayan Almuslem on Unsplash

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