Friday, May 13, 2016

The Secret Android Utility App Gold Rush of 2016

Thought i would rev up the old tech blog , and write a post on my observations of how the Android and iOS app economies are evolving in 2016. I see a few mega trends that are fundamentally re writing the paradigm of tech and start ups that has been in effect since 2007 when the iPhone launched.

3 Main drivers of a new era of "app start ups"  :

1. Mobile smartphone saturation point. 
Smartphones are pervasive. Androids with advanced 5.0 + software are now available at the $65-80  price point. This means all the dependent app studios , mobile gaming companies, even social networks like facebook are going to have slowed down growth.

2. Beijing and China as a start up hub has arrived. First real competitor for Silicon Valley.

As part of Opera Software going through an M&A bid of $1.23 Billion USD from a Chinese consortium of internet companies (click through to Fortune article) , i have spent some time in Beijing in 2015 and 2016 meeting with some of the best and brightest product teams out of Beijing. 

Here is who i have met with :

Giant Chinese Android OEM's
  • Xiaomi  - #1 private start up in china valued at 45 Billion. Met with hugo Barro and his product teams .
  • Huawei - #3 OEM in the world, massive tech conglomerate
  • Oppo - #4 OEM in the world
Beijing Software companies participating in Global and Domestic China markets:
  • Cheetah Mobile - #1 Android Utility publisher in the world. Publicly traded on NASDAQ CMCM .
  • Hola launcher (shanghai based) - 500 million downloads in 2 years, 130 million retained, 2015 Google Play award .
  • Mobi Magic - #1 app title on facebook audience ad network, 300 Million MAU Android utility on 360 Security Apps:
  • Kunlun Beijing Tech - largest game distirbutor in china with rights for rovia, EA, supercell titles .
  • Oupeng - Opera owned browser JV reaching 150 Million plus browser users in China .
It is amazing how fast and aggressive Beijing software start ups and even hardware start ups move. 
There is a "double dipping" entrepreneurial culture brewing in China that sponges up start up lessons from Silicon Valley and EU and India (english based start up stories and business cases) but also sponges up start up lessons from hundreds of ventures inside domestic china (mandarin based start up stories and business cases). 
This is creating a generation of chinese software and hardware tech entrepreneurs that are immersed in the most information and input on how to rapidly and cash efficiently launch and scale start ups. 
The venture capital from domestic funds in china, JP Morgan, Sequoia is flowing freely in Beijing. 
Many companies reach Billion and 10 Billion $ USD valuations at rates not seen in the valley , but tapping into China's massive domestic audience.

All of this is capturing super well in this blogpost about traveling and meeting Beijing start up CEO's and VC's in china by the founder and CEO of ShopKick.

3. On Android a Secret Gold Rush of Utility apps has happened in 2015 and still unraveling in 2016
The adoption of Gamification techniques and Nir Eyal's Hooked product design approach has resulted in the rise of Massive Android Utility app publishers. These companies have learned how to scale not 1 but Multiple app titles over 100 Million in 1 year. There is at least 10 software houses out china that has a portfolio of Android utility apps that reaches more than 100 million downloads via Google Play (which means outside of China). 
Not only do these utilities scale and grow at an unprecedented app scale (fully taking advantage of the Mobile Saturation scale for the first time), but they also PRINT MONEY. 

Just watch this Facebook F8 talk on stage by Yahui Zhou, who is CEO of 360 security android app. Facebook is showing that 360 Security app is top monetizing title on the facebook audience network :

The gold rush seems to be real based on how high up on the list of top grossing publishers Cheetah Mobile , 360 Security, Qihoo 360, DU booster, Lion Mobi, Swift Wi-Fi , and a half dozen others publishers all are.

Here are my other observations
(of whats happening in the app start up space in terms of who is winning and loosing) :

1. Silicon Valley companies are completely missing from this space. 
All of the Top android Utility players are from APAC . Cheetah, 360 security, DU booster, HOLA launcher, APUS launcher, Swift wifi. 

2. The previous "Old guard" of android utilities like Lookout security , AVG , AVAST security seems to have had their In App Purchase business models disrupted by a new ad supported Utility app type. 

The challenge in front of the space : Innovate or Die
1.There is too much redundant titles. 
2.The use cases being chased by this space is too limited:
  • Boosting Ram
  • Antivirus scan
  • Deleting Junk Files
  • Battery Saver
  • Scanning / Encrypting Wi-Fi
3. One scan of the Google Play app store, clearly reveals a "crowded" app space with too many redundant titles. 
But what is even more of an existential threat is that a lot of these use cases will be covered in future android OS rom updates from Google or OEM's like Samsung, Huawei, Oppo, Meizu, Micromax, Intex, Xiaomi, etc . 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Free Android app costs MWC attendees millions of Euros in roaming-data charges

Did you install the Mobile World Congress (MWC) app for Android? You need to block this app from using your mobile data NOW! After one week in MWC, we found that it was hogging huge amounts of background data. A rough estimate shows over 5 million Euros of roaming charges could be wasted by this app’s background data usage.

Last week, Barcelona was awash with over 100,000 mobile industry execs, marketers, startups, nerds and geeks from all over the world. To meet them, you need to shell out on expensive flights, over-priced hotel rooms and, what’s more, roaming-data charges.
Using Opera Max on Sony, Samsung and HTC devices, we observed over 70 MB of background data usage per day by the MWC app. All three device owners did not use the app for anything except entering the Fira. In total, these people ended up with spending 280 MB on average on background data.
Disclaimer, Opera Max is an app I product manage at Opera. At MWC I met with Techcrunch, Venturebeat, Tom’s Hardware, Kompas and other media to discuss how background data management is a huge problem for Android users. Android apps can burn up huge amounts of background data, making data plans inefficient and costly for people in emerging markets and cost-conscious consumers in general. To address this, we’ve just released an update of Opera Max with a Smart Alerts feature, which exposes the Android apps on your device that are burning excessive background data, compared to other apps.

This Smart Alerts feature in Opera Max (version 1.6) is how we figured out how data hungry the MWC app really was.  So, we investigated it via Opera Max’s data usage timeline. We were shocked to find that the MWC app was using data more than 50 times per day, all in the background and averaging over 70 MB in background data usage.
If you are like me, and were using roaming data, the MWC Android app is insanely expensive to have on your device. This app could cost MWC attendees at least 5 million Euros in roaming data charges, just for the background data alone. Here is my back-of-the-napkin calculation:
A. 1 MB of mobile roaming data (most likely on Telefonica) costs .50 Euro pence.
B. MWC 2016 had 100,000 attendees. Let’s say half of them used Android.
C. Duration of MWC was 4 days.
D. The MWC mobile app used an average of 70 MB in the background without the user knowing.
E. 71% of MWC Android users used roaming data.
The math :
A. 70 MB background-data  usage per day x .50 Euro pence x 4 days = 150 Euros per day in background-data usage.
B. 140 Euro x 50,000 Android attendees = 7,000,000 Euros in background-data charges!
Let’s apply a 29% discount on this for those users who turned off their mobile data completely. So instead of 50,000 Android-using MWC attendees with the app installed and using roaming data, let’s assume it’s 35,500. This makes the total 5,000,000 Euros in background-data charges applied due to the MWC app.

This is terrible. Most people noticed and complained about how much battery life was consumed by the app. What most folks did not realize is that the battery was  being burned up by the massive amount of background-data usage.
The GSMA should be leading the industry and app developers towards being very aware and responsible with how much data their apps use. If we want to onboard the rest of the world population onto mobile networks, we need to take seriously the idea of app developers being responsible for how they design their apps to consume data. There is absolutely no way that emerging market networks will survive the onslaught of data if apps are as careless and inefficient as they are now, 3 years from now.
I sincerely hope that, next year, GSMA does the responsible thing and leads the industry by example towards more efficient and cost effective use of data.
In the meantime, do yourself a favor - block the MWC 2016 app from using your mobile data or simply uninstall it. Read on for the details, and for a tip on how you can avoid this scenario in the future.
Please note this post, and all blogposts on are my own thoughts and opinions and not of my employer or former employers.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Survived Mobile World Congress 2016 ... pics to prove it ;)

Still jet lagged from MWC 2016 . Sitting back in MV, trying to parse and analyze everything that happened at MWC . 

It is a gargantuan task, considering how much is packed in a short 4 days. Throw in the jet lag on both ends of a 16 hour flight (for those of us coming from Silicon Valley out to Barcelona) . Throw in the tapas , wine, and parties. Throw in all of the exciting business opportunities, ideas, meetings, and you can't help but feel a bit like you are in the tornado of news. 

This year the show was bigger than ever, and the 2 days of metro strikes made Barcelona feel like it was bursting at the seams with 100,000 mobile professionals, hackers, geeks, executives, and media.

For Opera this is an extra exciting time. We are in the midst of having a bid by China's Electornic Arts aka Kunlun for acquisition of 100% of Opera stock . 

We also have a portfolio of products that are exploding with growth : Opera Max , Apps Club , Coast , Opera for Android, Opera Mini , Surf Easy , Opera Mobile Store , Opera TV.

Also with partners like Xiaomi and Samsung already shipping my product, Opera Max,  there were exciting press events to go to off the fira . Here is a front view (VIP seating) of Hugo launching xiaomi's Mi5 2016 flagship phone. Hugo did a great job unveiling the devices, and they are clearly going to be a strong successor to the Mi4 device which catapulated Xiaomi to 70 million Androids sold in 2015 , and 170 Million MIUI OS installed user base around the world. All of this made the show a whirlwind of meetings, new ideas , tapas , and coffee :''

However i am most proud of our work with , together we won the GSMA Global Mobile Award for the Best innovation in Education and Social Change. For our joint work in getting worldreaders free mobiles webapp out to millions of readers in Africa. Opera Mini is the #1 leading browser on the African continent. Worldreader is an Non profit , 501 C , with the mission of bringing free books and literacy to every child on the planet. Worldreader mobile website is a curated catalog of about 30,000 books across a variety of languages. This is the most cost efficient way to deliver the gift of reading to those that crave it most in emerging markets in Africa , India, and Indonesia.  This is the WorldReader team and Opera folks posing for a photo with out 1st place award trophy :

The other pics in this post are screenshots of tweets with pics of meetings with Frederic from Tech Crunch , Obrien from Venture Beat,  Hakon CTO of Opera (inventor of CSS) , and shot of me next to the logo complements of Bruce Deputy CTO / HTML 5 book author. 


Friday, January 22, 2016

Why is failing: solving the wrong problem too early

Why is failing: solving the wrong problem

The Current Product Strategy Problem: took a strategy wrong turn by solving the wrong problem at the wrong time. Their initial product focus has been on getting a mobile data offering at a $ 0 price point out in Emerging Markets. On first glance this makes sense, that if you made the minimum price 0 billions would just start using data. But in reality the gate keeping barrier is motivation.

Creating excitement and awareness is super hard, creating demand on the fringe of tech adoption is beyond super hard. So before price is an issue the barrier is that users who dont use mobile data at all, do not know why they want or need mobile data. Dropping the price to 0 for a limited choice of 300 stripped down websites, is clearly not going to help motivate people to buy something they don't know or care about - mobile data plans.

Also the rate of growth of's android app or "Free Basics by Facebook" app shows that price alone is not sufficient to connect the masses.  The observation is that the price reduction to FREE is meeting massive industry and regulatory push back. This is a huge problem for further growth of app.

Guidelines for searching for a new product Strategy solution:
  • Don't take short cuts when shaping behaviors of hundreds of millions of people. 
  • Don't skip steps in the Technology Adoption Curve, when you are talking about fundamental tech paradigm shifts (before internet vs after internet is a HUGE shift).
  • Don't take people from 0 internet mindset to a Samsung smartphone with mobile data and expect them to know why that is awesome, or why they should care. They will see the Samsung as a camera, voice calling , SMSing device. Because they can SEE the value at a glance in those 3 services. But they dont have a mental image for the value of "data" . 
Cross the Chasm with internet adoption / mobile data plan adoption. 
Classical Tech Marketing wisdom from Geoffrey Moore's "Crossing the Chasm" dictates that Technology adoption is driven sequentially through a set of Psychographics and not Demographics. 

Facebook's early product efforts are all focussed on Pragmatists and Conservatives psychographics by attacking the pricing problem.

Optimizing Pricing helps only after users already have a desire to adopt the services / or content of the Free Basics app.

The product design / go-to-market strategy of apps assumes that if you just lower the cost of mobile data  access then magically millions will rush to hop on the internet. Basically from the side it appears that the thesis is: if you lower cost to 0 then there is no more Chasm.  

Admit mistakes / Consequences of driving price to 0 :Facebook's current approach of offering a limited stripped down set of mobile websites at a price point of zero, is getting MAJOR push back from huge telecom companies and governments. Because without a huge rise in  newly connected users, driving down the price to zero over night is a suicidal proposition for these businesses and executives. So they are digging in and putting up a huge political and resource fight.

Instead Focus on Creating Demand / Desire for Data experiences.
Data cost is a big factor, but it is not the GATE KEEPING factor that is keeping people from going online. The GATE KEEPING factor is lack of motivation. A base level understanding of why should you care about internet is missing in billions of people. WHY is mobile internet cool ? People need an understanding of why mobile data is awesome to even consider it and think about price.

Free Basics app does not have a good enough content / desire value to motivate users to go for it .
A list of 300 limited websites is simply not enough value.

Instead focus on keeping the users that already use data happy . They will be the evangelists that cultivate awareness and the perception that having mobile data plans is cool across cultures, generations, languages, and various socio-economic levels. This is best done by an army of evangelists , face to face with your future customers. 

Disconnected people literally need a mental image of something you can get online through an app or a mobile website (e.g. weather, bus schedule, mobile payments, classifieds listing for a bike, games, etc) that is desirable to them. They literally need to daydream of screenshots,  before they will have any real motivation to change their behavior or attitude towards a new piece of technology or service.

To have these magical motivational mental screenshot images people need to be exposed to cool app experiences and mobile web experiences. Most likely they need to be exposed more than 8 times, before they will be interested in trying to obtain data driven app experiences for themselves. 
This exposure vector or exposure surface area really works via a face-to-face mechanism , through people to people conversations. Especially in places where connectivity penetration is low. Friends showing friends their android screen. People observing each other in cafe's . Billboards, radio, print ads in newspapers and physical venues help , but at a much lower efficacy rate then face to face evangelism of tech. At our core as Silicon Valley techies we all remember how in the 90's this was the case, and we know this to be true. Real tech adoption happens face to face through "geeks" that gleefully explain a cool new service, app, piece of hardware to their friends and family. And if the service is really helpful the word of mouth spreads.

Focus on Helping newly connected users of mobile data enjoy it and afford more. 
They are the next wave of evangelists you need. Focus on users that are not at the very edge of connectivity but are already connected , and already Want MORE data but are struggling to afford it. Those are the evangelists and early adopters that will go out into African, Indian, Indonesian , and Bangaldeshi villagers and show their androids to their friends and family. 

Those are the users that will delight people with magical demoes of knowing the weather, streaming music, looking up train/ bus schedules. In order to convert more "first time" users, you need an army of evangelists. The bigger that army, the bigger the word of mouth factor, and the further the edge of connectivity will move into various remote pockets of the unconnected world.

Limiting Choice is not effective, so offer Data savings on all apps and websites to insure choice .
Offering striped down and limited versions of content for free is not exciting. This already exists from Opera, at scale and appeals to more users with Choice: 
Opera Mini , data savings mobile web browser, offers very similar limited / striped down versions of mobile websites with 90% data savings  for over 10 years now . The difference is that Opera Mini Universally converts any website into a Mini website. That means the user can go anywhere on the web, and get any website at 10% of the data cost.
  • The 10% cost , unlimited choice model has resulted in Opera Mini becoming the #1 web browser on African continent, Top 3 most used android app in India, and has had hundreds of millions of downloads and has hundreds of millions of monthly active users. 
  •'s / Free Basics model of 0% cost to the user, but a limited choice of 300 striped down services FEELS like a second hand internet. This promotes feeling of shame , and FEELS not exciting. The boundless expanse of choice of where to go on the web is part of that inexplicable magic of the internet that is crucial for new users to experience for them to truly adopt a connected way of life.
Reboot the product to give people: Control over data usage , Cost Savings,  Full Choice
Making access cheaper , but only to striped down mobile web is not exciting enough. It has to be cheaper access for native apps and for mobile web.
  • Facebook purchased Onavo, a startup, which had an early data savings app for android that provided data savings across apps and mobile web (although for images and text only, and did not provide savings for streaming video and audio). This was the right approach. However since facebook purchased the company, Onavo apps have hit a plateau in releasing new features, growing, or really being cared for. 
  • Opera Max, my app, is an android app that provides data savings across apps and mobile websites. It attempts to lower the cost of mobile data usage universally (although HTTPS and encryption being on the rise make certain apps not compatible with currently accepted data savings techniques) . Opera Max has the ability to provide data savings for text, images, streaming video, and streaming audio formats. There is not feeling of second hand interent or shame in using Max. The feelings are of control and geekiness (exactly what appeals to the next generation of Emerging Market Early Adopters and tech influencers).
Ads Should Be Part of the Product Mix. 
Transparency and trust building is key to bringing billions more online. Facebook's biggest issues is convincing goverments and telecom operators to trust them . Everyone suspects that facebook has financial / revenue motives from launching despite facebooks repeated protests that its sole mission is to help people go online and not revenue.

To make the unit economics work for 3 - 4 Billion mobile data subscribers, we need something like the TV ad ecosystem model . In TV advertising underwrites the cost of wireless data transmission. At Opera we have done some early experiments around this. You can read about it here.

The point here is that Ads will at some point need to be introduced to support the next several billion connected data plans. Making things free is not an option forever. Furthermore, as soon as ads are introduced the question of transparency and trust will fade away because the business model will be out on display for everyone to see. And in an ideal world the unit economics are managed in a way so that sustainable business models for the telecom operators and ISP's emerge.

Proposed Product Strategy Summary :
Big Picture you can imagine a series of steps. First start with empowering data savings of 30% - 70% for any apps...  focus on accelerating millions of users from "new minimal data users " to become the rabidly excited mass of new tech geeks and evangelists that will go out and bring in the next wave of first time users online. 
This will in turn appease the industry and telecom companies in the big emerging markets, and then price should be brought down to zero with the use of ads as a way to pay for the costs.

This is a better path to brining more people on line with their androids, then the current Free Basics offering. 

I work for Opera Software, which has been pioneering Data Savings tech for over a decade , and has been bringing people online and onto the open web since 1995. Opera mobile and desktop browsers and other apps reach over 350 million monthly active users around the globe. The vast majority of Opera users come from : India, Indonesia, Brazil, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Russia (Big BRIC markets where most of the unconnected people live). 

The views and thoughts expressed in this blogpost are 100% my own, and do not represent the view of Opera software.

My Background / Expertise in making apps that encourage mobile data usage:
There has been tons of news lately about the plight of aka "Free Basics by FB" . Most recently the discussion has been focussing on how is hitting a wall in India (the most important Emerging Market left for web and mobile growth) .Recent "" headlines :
As a response to reading all of these articles and posts, and carefully following the plight of since before it launched, i am writing this post.
The goal was to analyze where went wrong, and understand why it is failing in places like india. The core vision of is pure, the execution took a few wrong turns. But it seems fairly easily fixable.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Wi Things Activite Swiss Smartwatch Unboxing and Review

2 Weeks ago i got a Wi -Things Activite Smart watch. After some thorough testing, finally here are the unboxing pics and my review.

Before the unboxing, it is interesting to consider that this watch represents a first to market product from the Swiss watch industry defending their market against an all out assault from smart watches from Motorola, Samsung, LG, and next week Apple.

The Swiss watch manufacturers have joined together and created their own "smart watch" standard of hardwards sensors and Bluetooth radios. The design principle for the Swiss movement platform is that it needs to fit into a regular sized watch. Use a standard watch battery to power the device close to a year.  Have 1 dial that shows progress indicator for a metric like steps. Have a silent vibration alarm.

It will be very interesting to see how where the market goes for smart watches vs traditional analog watches which are dead simple elegant utilities.

OK back to the unboxing. I was very excited about finally ordering and getting this product, since it has been out of stock for months since its launch.  Reason for why i have been anticipating the Activite hat it is a very well executed intersection of 2 types of things i geek out on:

- Minimalist Watches with Analog dials (Preferably Swiss Made)
- Fitness / Health tech tracking bracelets , clips, etc ( fitbit, Jawbone Up, misfit shine etc)

The fact that the watch is French Designed and Swiss Made shows from the product and packaging. 


I have tried a number of various fitness bracelets and clips in the past and none of them stuck with me as much as a simple minimalist watch. Mainly due to battery life issues and the need to recharge the bracelet or clip. The Activite beautifully solved this issue, by using a standard watch battery CR3025 which is supposed to last 8 months !!! This is a battery life i can deal with for an object i use every day :)

The companion Healthmate app by Withings for iOS is really well done as well . It works well at pairing with the watch over blue tooth (the low power sipping kind). 

You can control the watch hands directly from the app, which is a cool party trick / way of making sure your watch is calibrated. For travellers this also lets your watch sync to the local timezone , based on the time zone your iPhone detects. The Activite watch hands automatically adjust :) 

Sleep Tracking and Step Tracking work as advertised. 
The app can even take your heart rate measurement, by shinning a light at your fingertip and detecting your pulse.
I also like the fun badges and event cards that healthmate adds into your timeline. 

Next step: 
Buy a Wi Things Smart Scale and start tracking how my activity and sleep levels interact with my weight. 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

YotaPhone 2, a Samsung killer , from Russia with Love

YotaPhone 2 is an amazing smartphone, a smartphone designed and made by a Russian company.

A Flagship device that represents the very cutting edge of Russian Consumer Electronics. 
Launched in a unique style, by Putin gifting a YotaPhone 2 phone to the president of China at the APEC conference , before the phone was really available on the market. What a way to be catapulted into the limelight :) 

Check out these YotaPhone website and promo videos. Stylish, these videos remind me of Apple ads for some reason.

This smartphone is the first phone that is notably different in a while !
I just picked one up, so check out the unboxing below.

Some info first. Yotaphone is a Russian smartphone manufacturer and mobile operator :
Yotaphone 2, is unique because it is a phone with 2 screens. 
One screen is a 5 inch color LCD. 
Second one is an e-ink screen.

This is an amazing concept. First i am a fan of the idea of having screens on both sides of a smartphone. See my predictions about the future of smartphone screens.

Making the second screen e ink allows for all sorts of interesting features . 
You can get wayyy longer battery life if you use the e-ink display instead of the color screen.

Also the screen stays always on. The CEO of YotaPhone positions the "Always on" screen in the following terms. Smartphone owners have to unlock their device up to 150 times per day. 
Instead why not have the "Always on" notification just be visible on the outside of the phone at all times. This would save people pointless unlocking of the device. Would keep people grounded in the real world, vs staring into their phones out of nervous habit.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Musings on Future of (Mobile) Ad-Tech

What will mobile ads of the future look like ?  Will they look like minority report ads seen above ?

This is a HUUGE growth opportunity for mobile ad tech, that can figure out how to appeal to brand marketers. Someone just needs to figure out how to get brand advertisers to start spending more on digital and mobile. 

Here is a wild and crazy idea at how to crack this:
Brand marketers care about depth of engagement because they care about connecting with people emotionally. So to do that mobile ad units need to prove to advertisers that they are much more engaging than a fraction of a second glance at a tiny banner on a pocket sized screen. To prove this to brand marketers will requires new engagement metrics, that will allow us to price ad units in a new way.

Snapchat has shown interesting innovation in this direction. Snapchat's mobile advertising requires the user to maintain contact with an iPhone or Android screen with one of their fingers for the video ad to play, if contact is broken the "snapchat"/ video stops playing. This is in essence a metric of engagement between the user and the ad. Something that up until now we didnt really have (except for the explicit click). Currently Snapchat is selling ad packages against this novel ad unit with a $750,000 minimum trial fee

This could point to an interesting direction for how next generation mobile ad networks should approach tapping into brand marketing dollars. The trick is to price ads by not only impression account but by TRUE engagement metrics.

What if ?

 What if mobile ad SDK's could track , really track, how engaged users were. By using the "selfie camera" on smartphones,  face detection / gaze detection AD-SDK's could tell for how long and how strongly a user was engaged with each ad. They could also target ads to male/ female by dynamically determining the sex of the user. 

This would fix one of the key issues with CPM pricing of mobile ads today:
Pricing is not as performance oriented as it seems. Today we price an impression of an auto play video ad, that had the sound off and the user was facing away from their screen the same amount as a video ad play where the user's eyes were locked on the video for 30 seconds and audio was playing. Realistically they represent entirely different levels of engagement and thus should be priced entirely different. 

Today we don't have metrics / ad tech in place inside the ad SDK's to be able to differentiate wasted ad units vs truly engaging ad units. It can be done, by adding in camera, face detection/gaze detection library into an existing mobile ad sdk's . But should it be done ? Say we did, and the added transparency appealed to brand marketers who could now pay big premiums for highly targeted and highly engaging ad units to reach their customers . Would the trade off on user privacy be worth it ? Or would people categorically reject it ? 

With patents about gaze detection being awarded to apple ... maybe this is not as far fetched as it seems ? Maybe minority report style ads are just around the corner ?