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THE INSURANCE AND THE IoT REPORT: How insurers are using connected devices to cut costs and more accurately price policies

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This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

Insurance companies have long based their pricing models and strategies on assumptions about the demographics of their customers. Auto insurers, for example, have traditionally charged higher premiums for parents of teenage drivers based on the assumption that members of this demographic are more likely to get into an accident.

But those assumptions are inherently flawed, since they often aren’t based on the actual behaviors and characteristics of individual customers. As new IoT technologies increasingly move into the mainstream, insurers are able to collect and analyze data to more accurately price premiums, helping them to protect the assets they insure and enabling more efficient assessment of damages to conserve resources.

A new report from BI Intelligence explains how companies in the auto, health, and home insurance markets are using the data produced by IoT solutions to augment their existing policy pricing models and grow their customer bases. In addition, it examines areas where IoT devices have the potential to open up new insurance segments.

 Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • The world’s largest auto insurers now offer usage-based policies, which price premiums based on vehicle usage data collected directly from the car.
  • Large home and commercial property insurers are using drones to inspect damaged properties, which can improve workflow efficiency and reduce their reliance on human labor.
  • Health and life insurance firms are offering customers fitness trackers to encourage healthy behavior, and discounts for meeting certain goals.
  • Home insurers are offering discounts on smart home devices to current customers, and in some cases, free devices to entice new customers.

In full, the report:

  • Forecasts the number of Americans who will have tried usage-based auto insurance by 2021.
  • Explains why narrowly tailored wearables could be what’s next for the health insurance industry.
  • Analyzes the market for potential future insurance products on IoT devices.
  • Discusses and analyzes the barriers to consumers opting in to policies that collect their data.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the IoT, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of insurance and the IoT.

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Our favorite Samsung Galaxy S8 deal is $200 ahead of Black Friday 2017

There's an important Samsung Galaxy S8 deal in the US ahead of Black Friday 2017, and it's cheaper than the price you'll find anywhere on Amazon today.

It's $200 off the Galaxy S8 on Newegg for the superior International version of the smartphone – the one that comes unlocked to work on AT&T or T-Mobile.

It also just so happens to be the dual-SIM capable version of the Android phone, which makes it ideal for traveling outside of the US and connecting to both your existing number for calls and texts and a foreign SIM for cheaper data while abroad.

This version of the smartphone usually costs $799. You'll have to pay Newegg the full price, but that's generally the cost of buying a fully unlocked phone that isn't overtaken by carrier apps and bloatware.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is also on sale and is even cheaper. In fact, you'll pay less for this 6.2-inch phone than you would the smaller 5.8-inch S8 from Samsung. How things change in a little over half a year.

It's cheaper and faster

Maybe the best news of all is the fact that this particular Samsung Galaxy S8 phone runs the Samsung Exynos 8895 Octa-core chipset.

The Exynos 8895 proven to be faster in our review testing compared to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset. The one thing Qualcomm's chip can do is connect to Verizon and Sprint's CDMA networks in the US. This phone cannot.

That's why this deal is beneficial to anyone solely on the AT&T and T-Mobile GSM networks, or one of the many other MVNO carriers in the US that supports GSM phones.

Saving $200 off our recommended versions of the Samsung Galaxy S8 is a good start to Black Friday one week before the deals even begin.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/samsung-galaxy-s8-deal-newegg-black-friday

The best Toys R Us Cyber Monday deals 2017

While Toys R Us Cyber Monday deals in the US may not be here until the end of the month, that doesn't mean you can't save on kids gifts right now. You know, the toys that are so cool you want to play with them yourself when the kids go off to bed? Yeah, there are deals on them at this very moment.

All of this is a lot easier thanks to the mega-savings that Toys R Us promises and always delivers on. This year, the US toy outlet is facing bankruptcy, and that means you may find even better Cyber Monday prices than you'd normally expect.

We've seen worthy discounts on Nerf blasters, Marvel action figures, kids tablets and even Power Wheel-style ride ons. And Toys R Us is always a good source of movie and video game deals, according to Cyber Mondays of years past. Oh, and have we mentioned LEGOs? Those are popular come the biggest shopping days of the year.

The best part about Cyber Monday 2017 is that the Toys R Us deals will be just as good online as in person in almost every case. You can shop the store without leaving the comfort of your couch. That makes sneaking away to buy toys in the middle of the night or super early in the morning a lot easier than before, making the surprise when your kids open their gifts that much easier to achieve. You gotta admit – those overjoyed faces make it all worth it.

So, what are the best Cyber Monday deals at Toys R Us? While we have time before we see big items like Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One on sale, we're already finding a lot of other early Cyber Monday deals you can consider putting away right now.

Cyber Monday quick links

Toys R Us Cyber Monday quick link

Early Cyber Monday deals in November

Toys R Us ads to leak ahead of time

There are no leaked ads detailing the Cyber Monday 2017 deals Toys R Us will have right now, but they should come in late November. Since Cyber Monday comes after Black Friday, Cyber Monday ads may not be officially released until after Black Friday.

One place to keep an eye on is the Toys R Us Cyber Monday page. You can bet that when deals do become available, they will be listed here. 

The Toys R Us Black Friday Preview is out in the wild, so you can peruse it's pages to get a sense of all the deals you can expect all the way through Cyber Monday 2017.

Once the Cyber Monday ads do arrive, however, they will offer all the information you need to figure out what deals are worth going after, and which you can skip. 

If you do find something you like, remember there’s no such thing as unlimited stock, and being able to quickly hop on the internet and press the buy button is the surest way to get the deal you’re looking for before it vanishes.

If ads are available early from multiple retailers, then it's a good idea to compare prices and make sure you’re buying products from the store with the deepest discounts. Toys R Us will likely have a lot of good deals, but they may not be the very best ones available on Cyber Monday.

Sometimes ads detailing the deals coming on Cyber Monday leak early, so keep checking here, as we’ll post these leaked ads when they become available. That way, you can plan your shopping strategy and find the best Cyber Monday deals. We're all about eliminating shopping stress, which is a good thing, right?

Expected Toys R Us deals

Cyber Monday might be about online shopping, but for Toys R Us, there will likely be a lot of overlap with the deals happening at the toy store on Black Friday.

Video games and gaming consoles are often on sale for Cyber Monday, so expect Toys R Us to have some significant deals in this category. The new Xbox One X is already out, and this fall is going to be full of new video game releases, like Star Wars Battlefront 2. New games and consoles aren’t cheap, so any Cyber Monday deal on these items is worth looking at. Lots of deals also include bundles of consoles and games together, so be on the lookout for those if you want the best prices on multiple products at the same time.

With a new Star Wars moving coming out later this year and Rogue One inventory getting old, expect some deals on everything Star Wars. Lego has had The Lego Batman Movie and will have The Lego Ninjago Movie this year, so related products may be popular and discounted. Disney and Barbie are also popular brands for deals, and should continue to be this year.

Cyber Monday may also be a good time to look out for big and expensive items you wouldn’t want to schlep out of the store yourself. If you’re looking for trampolines and Power Wheels, Cyber Monday will be a good time to do it as these will be delivered to your door (no need to squeeze them into your car).

Toys R Us Cyber Monday advice

There’s no pushing or shoving in online shopping, but there’s still serious competition among shoppers. Look for deals early and often if you know what you want to buy. Doing so will not only help you spot the best Toys R Us Cyber Monday deals as soon as possible, but it will also help you known when the listed deal price is actually a change from the regular price. If you just want to see the best deals and decide whether they’re to your liking, just reload this webpage regularly to see any updates

Since Cyber Monday will have a lot of people visiting the same retailer sites at the same time, you might want to use a VPN to avoid internet congestion. If the local servers for Toys R Us are too busy during Cyber Monday, you might not be able to access the site, but a VPN can help you route your internet traffic to another region where it’s not so busy, so you can get to the deals before they are all sold out.

One last thing you won’t want to do is wait around when you see a deal on a product that you know you want. If a product is popular and has a really great deal on it, chances are everyone else has seen it and it will sell out quickly. You don’t want to stare at that product all day only to click the purchase button and have the webpage tell you that it’s no longer in stock. If you know what you want from Toys R Us during Cyber Monday 2017, don’t wait until the following Tuesday to get it.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/toys-r-us-cyber-monday-deals-2017

Tesla’s new electric semi truck could work wonders for cutting greenhouse gas emissions

Tesla unveiled its electric semi truck on Thursday night to much fanfare. The company claims the truck can go 500 miles on a single electric charge, and utilize a “Megacharger” to charge up to 400 miles in only 30 minutes. These are some pretty impressive statistics, and if Tesla is able to penetrate the market, its semi has the potential to take a lot of gas guzzlers off the road.

As we can see in this chart from Statista, heavy duty trucks, a category that includes semis, are the second biggest contributor to transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions in the US. Telsa CEO Elon Musk said production will begin in 2019, and that reservations can be made for $5,000 in advance. 

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SEE ALSO: A breakdown of iPhone manufacturing costs over time

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NOW WATCH: I won’t trade in my iPhone 6s for an iPhone X or iPhone 8 — here’s why

Microsoft slashes Xbox game prices ahead of Black Friday for Xbox Gold members

It's a good day to be an Xbox fan, as Microsoft just slashed the prices on a whole pile of Xbox games through its online store well in advance of many other Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. 

You can take advantage of the deals right now if you're an Xbox Live with Gold Member, but everyone else will have to wait until November 23.

Even better, you can now pick up some of the games on sale in Microsoft's store as gifts. Just use the site as you normally would, but click "Buy As Gift" when you're checking out. You'll then be prompted to enter the intended recipient's email address, and then they'll get a code. Here's a more in-depth how-to if you need it.

Like a console Steam sale

The discounts and the amount of games for sale are frankly astounding, as some of the cuts go as deep as 64%. Many of the juggernaut hits of the year can be found in the sale, including Assassin's Creed Origins for $42 rather than the usual $60, and Destiny 2 for $39, compared to the retail price of $60.

The Evil Within 2 is half-off at $30, and the same goes for Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus

The sale also includes heavy discounts for older games, such as Overwatch for $30 (down from $60) and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition for $20, down from the usual $50.

Essentially, if a game you want has a listing on the store, there's a good chance you'll find a discount for it. 

On top of all this, earlier this week Microsoft announced that it intends to slash the price of the  Xbox One S down to just $189 for Black Friday, which makes this a perfect time to rack up some games if you plan on taking advantage of the offer.

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/microsoft-slashes-xbox-game-prices-ahead-of-black-friday-for-xbox-gold-members

Best touchscreen laptops

Whether you like it or not it's undeniable that touchscreen have change the laptop landscape forever. From more touch-friendly operating systems to the explosion of drawing applications, there are more reasons to have a touchscreen on a laptop than ever before and the huge uptick in popularity of 2-in-1 laptops perfectly corroborates this.

While it might seem like every notebook has a touchscreen, not all digitizers are born equal. Sure most are good enough to detect when you're scrolling up and down a site, there are some particularly tuned for precise digital pen usage and have specialized features.

With all of this mind we've picked out the crème de la crème of touchscreen laptops for everyone from digital artists to digital note takers. Whether you're new and looking to be part of the touchscreen revolution or looking to upgrade to that next best thing, you've come to the right place.

The Microsoft Surface Pro is bar none the ultimate touchscreen device. Not only is it a tablet 2-in-1, rather than a laptop 2-in-1, it’s also completely designed around a touch interface and the Surface Pen. Whether, you’re an artist or need a reliable digital slate for taking notes, the Surface Pro is the finest touchscreen device on the market.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Pro

The Samsung Chromebook Pro can be likened to an extremely large Samsung Note 8 in that it has a stowable stylus and a great touchscreen handwriting notes. What’s more, every single thing you write down on the Chromebook Pro is saved to Google Keep, which then digitizes your handwriting into a text document for easy searching afterwards. Plus the Chrome OS device’s full access to the Google Play Store also allows users to play all their favorite Android games on a much larger screen than almost all other tablets.

Read the full review: Samsung Chromebook Pro

The HP Spectre x360 meets the happiest balance between tablet and laptop. As a tablet it has perfectly slim bezels for viewing all sorts of content and is lightweight enough to hold for long stretches. Then as a laptop it has great battery life to last through the day and you won’t find anything else with a more tactile keyboard.

If you’re looking a laptop with even more screen real estate there’s the 13.9-inch Lenovo Yoga 920. It’s sports just as many 4,096 levels of sensitivity as the Surface Pro but on a much larger 4K screen. This sharp-looking hybrid laptop also brings a touch of class with its unique watchband hinge and fully metal build.

Read the hand-on review: Lenovo Yoga 920

The Surface Book 2 15-inch offers the same great touch and pen experience as the Surface Pro, but on a much larger screen and exponentially more powerful hardware. Thanks to quad-core processors and potent discrete graphics, it’s ready to handle your most demanding art projects as well as playing the latest games.

Read the full review: Microsoft Surface Book 2 (15-inch)

from TechRadar – All the latest technology news http://www.techradar.com/news/world-of-tech/roundup/10-best-touchscreen-laptops-in-the-world-909937

THE CONVERSATIONAL COMMERCE REPORT: Chatbots’ impact on the payments ecosystem and how merchants can capitalize on them

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This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

To keep pace with the ongoing shift toward e- and m-commerce, retailers are turning to chat apps, where smartphone users spend considerable time each day.

One way they’ve been accessing consumers on these platforms is through chatbots, or software programs that use business-to-consumer (B2C) text-based messaging as an interface through which customers can communicate with merchants in a question-and-answer format. 

For merchants, these offerings are valuable because sales increase as customers communicate with and shop from their brand on more channels. But there’s considerable friction — in chat apps, payments offerings are limited, which means users who might be browsing in a messaging app will still be redirected to another app or the mobile web to complete a purchase. 

This is creating an opportunity for payments processors and card networks, which are beginning to partner with merchants to capture potential volume from chat apps. And as the hype increases, other payments firms, like remittance providers and banks are also entering the game, in the hopes of increasing user engagement or attracting new types of clients.

There’s a long road ahead: We’re just at the beginning of what’s likely to be a long adoption cycle, with payments firms only starting to dip their toes into the space. But improvements in the ecosystem, combined with rising consumer appetite for these services and increasing trust, will eventually lead to moderate gains in usage that open up a massive volume opportunity for Western firms.

BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service, has put together a detailed report on chatbots’ role in the payments ecosystem.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Chat apps are the next frontier for digital commerce, but without payments functionality, the opportunity is extremely limited. Customers can — and do — ask for support, take advantage of deals, and browse many stores within chat apps. But when it comes time to pay, users have to switch to another app or the mobile web — a turnoff that could hinder adoption and lower conversion rates.
  • Most payments firms are teaming up with retailers, often those they already count as clients, to enable customers to make payments using their mobile wallets or processing features within chat apps. That’s allowing retailers to get to the space faster while opening a revenue opportunity for payments players. Others are taking less direct approaches, working to increase consumer engagement in a way that promotes more spending offline.
  • We’re at the beginning of an adoption curve, so digital payments providers shouldn’t expect massive success quickly, but in the long run, it’s likely to be a large market. As firms work to grow consumer awareness and improve the experience, the technology will eventually become mainstream, which makes getting in early and becoming established worthwhile. 

In full, the report:

  • Explains why the chat app is the next frontier for commerce, and why payments functionality is a linchpin of that success.
  • Details different types of chat app payments and their potential use cases.
  • Evaluates the hurdles that could prevent consumers from using chatbot payments.
  • Suggests ways firms can overcome these hurdles and begin seeing adoption.
  • Sizes the potential long-run market for chatbot payments in the West.

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND more than 250 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> Learn More Now
  2. Purchase and download the report from our research store. >> Purchase & Download Now

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