US – A new wave of Silicon Valley start-ups are connecting consumers with real personal assistants. Our latest microtrend asks: could the end be nigh for automated customer service?
Want to find a birthday present for someone, but don’t want to have to shop for it yourself? Uber co-founder Garrett Camp’s new shopping app Operator can help you by putting you in touch with a network of eager personal assistants. Send a message with your request, then sit back and wait as they take care of the rest, from researching options to placing your order and arranging delivery.
Operator is one of a host of start-ups that place IM at the centre of their offer, such as Magic, which gives users a phone number and the instruction: ‘Text this phone number to get whatever you want on demand with no hassle’. Our microtrend examines the reason for this sudden surge of appsistance, and asks whether it will ever work well enough to make a profit.