Saturday, December 03, 2011

So what's the next step, I asked? Do people start wearing biometric tokens that send signals to devices in the neighborhood, letting you know when you're in their vicinity so they can respond by tweeting you to please buy them?

Sure, why not, comes the swift response from CEO Marc Benioff. Last August, as regular ReadWriteWeb readers will recall, Benioff astounded his audience at the Dreamforce conference with the mind-alteringly imminent notion that Coke machines should become aware of their customers' presence, and respond through their iPhones with bargains and loyalty points. Of course, Benioff's idea at that time relied upon the customer always having his iPhone with him. This time, at the Cloudforce conference in New York this morning, Benioff one-upped his own idea with the notion that a biometric bracelet could supply interested products and devices in the wearer's immediate vicinity with a kind of identity signal.

Benioff's suggestion was brief and simple: Not just applications, but people working remotely, can get a better understanding of customers' needs if they had vision into the context of where they are and what they're doing. As demonstrated earlier in the day, a financial sales team might have immensely greater comprehension of the urgency of a customer's needs if they were to see that she was at the bank, that she was talking to a loan officer, and that she had started filling out the paperwork for a mortgage application...