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Google IO 2016 Day 2 – Review

Google IO 2016 continued with Day 2 announcements and news about Google Daydream VR. As expected plenty of discussion were on VR, Google Play improvements and Google Cloud and Android Wear updates.

The second day of the show was a bit calmer by design in order to let developers get down into the details of everything that was announced on day 1, but there’s still plenty of newsworthy information out there from day 2.

The big headlines of the day were fresh details on Daydream VR, the final announcement that the Play Store is coming to Chrome OS and as expected Android Instant App stayed star of the 2nd day as well.

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The day 2nd at Google I/O 2016 continued with detailed explanations of announcements made on Day 1, but DayDream and Instant App stayed stars from Day 1:

  1. DayDream VR – Day 2
    Though we got a pretty solid rundown of Daydream VR at the Day 1 keynote, a handful of sessions on Day 2 gave us all of the deep details on Google’s new virtual reality push in Android N. We now know that the Nexus 6P is the first device set up to develop Daydream compatible apps, and Google has also launched a system for using another phone as a controller in lieu of yet-to-be-released Daydream controllers.Google also confirmed that it plans to release its own takes on the Daydream headset and controller designs, though the focus is still on third-party manufacturers making their own. On the content side, Google gave a sneak peek of the new virtual reality launcher in Android N, as well as new content offerings from YouTube, Google Play Movies and more. For content creation, Google announced partnerships and integrations with movie makers, developers and game engine creators.google-daydream-vr(1)
  2. Android Instant App- Day 2
    The “Android Instant App” continued to remain the star of 2nd day as well. With the buzz over Google’s new “Android Instant Apps” initiative that will enable Android devices to pull down specific parts of apps without downloading and installing a full app, it’s reasonable to expect the feature will make its way to Chrome OS. Speaking at a Q&A session after the announcement, the Chrome OS team from Google explained that anything designed to work on Android “should just work” on Chrome OS — yes, including Android Instant Apps.Google-Android-Instant-Apps-03

Google also provided little details on Google Home, Google Assistant and Android N, but asked people to wait for the year fall and its release.

The two new big announcement of the day 2 were:

  1. Chrome OS
    After being heavily rumored, Google finally dropped the news on us — Google Play is coming to Chrome OS. Later this year, Chromebooks, Chromeboxes and Chromebases will be able to launch the Google Play Store and download millions of Android apps. Those apps will run as first-class citizens on the system, right next to any Chrome apps you may have.

Unlike the ARC Welder that preceded it, this new implementation opens up a world of possibilities for consumers to get great apps on their Chromebooks.


  1. Google Play Awards
    Google I/O
    is all about developers, and part of that story is giving praise to the developers that make the fantastic apps that Google itself notices as being exceptionally great. Google took time after the show on Day 2 to highlight these apps, and while there are big names included that you’ve heard of, there are plenty that you haven’t seen that were worth highlighting and checking out.

Manufacturers are free to choose between Chrome OS and Android

With the lines blurring between the experience of using Android and using Chrome OS, Google’s Hiroshi Lockheimer also said that there isn’t any specific screen size or device type where Google will tell a manufacturer whether it should choose Android or Chrome OS as their system of choice.

Chrome OS is still obviously tailored toward larger devices with a keyboard and mouse, while Android works best on smaller touch-only form factors, but if a manufacturer wants to cross the typical lines now that Chrome OS supports Android apps they’re free to do so. There will continue to be mainstream Chromebooks out there that have convertible form factors and resemble something more like a tablet, and on the other side of things companies can still choose to make Android-powered laptops if they wish.

Google also announced later yesterday that it was in the process of developing a faster chip – known as Tensor Processing Unit – to speed up transactions in artificial intelligence. Not much is known about the chip, however, and the company promised to detail later this year.

The 3rd day expectations are also high. For updates of 3rd day stay with Mantra Labs.

If any queries approach us on hello@mantralabsglobal.com


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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

Chart, line chart

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.


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