the Economist Magazine has a fresh perspective on the value of the “Internet of things”

The Economist takes a different tact on describing the Internet of Things and the value-exchange between consumers and corporations. And, of course the view is from an economic perspective.

 

The old form of capitalism based on built-in obsolescence is giving way to a new one in which products get better after they are bought

 

The internet of things will bring makers closer to customers

“the biggest revolution will come in customer relations. Manufacturers are realising that the best way to sell their products is to forge personal relations with customers rather than to spend large sums on broad-brush marketing. So far, manufacturers have lost out to others in this new world. Retailers have made inroads through loyalty cards, which allow them to gather data on their customers in return for discounts or rewards. Amazon’s business model has been built around understanding shoppers’ interests and suggesting things they might want to buy. Google is exploiting its expertise in integrating user data into its products to move into new areas such as home maintenance (witness its Nest smart thermostats).”

 

 

Source: The Economist Magazine

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kid’s wearable helps parents balance virtual and physical gaming time

PowaBand aims to integrate physical exercise into computer gaming by using a wearable monitor and points system

From the innovation experts Springwise http://www.springwise.com/

Virtual, interactive gaming has proved an excellent tool for encouraging physical exercise. We have seen a number of platforms — such as Timi Run Everydayand Step Ahead:Zombies — combine outdoor exercise with in-game rewards and now, a new wearable called PowaBand aims to integrate exercise into every gaming platform via a wearable monitor and points system.

powaplay1

PowaBand is a fitness band which tracks the activity of the wearer and accumulates PowaPlay points according to how much they run, walk or play. PowaPlay points can then be used to unlock gaming time on any platform, including Xbox One, PS4, Wii and smartphones. The points act as a currency which can be used to purchase in-game upgrades, and can be bought as well as earned. Aimed at kids, the system enables parents to monitor and control their child’s gaming time and encourages a better balance between virtual and physical play.

The PowaPlay system is still in development and welcoming input from both investors and developers. How else could the system interact with and enhance current games?

Website: www.powaband.com

be more dog, play frisbee with a cat! | a wonderful interactive experience

Video

Play Frisbee with a dog-like cat in this dual-screen experience

Brilliant

While looking for a way to promote our mobile-centric telecommunications brand in a new and different way, we turned to an unlikely source—dogs. They’re playful, viewing life as one big adventure. [Brand 02, agency VCCP and the Moving Picture Company to developed this campaign to prompt customers to embrace their inner dog]. Those who visit bemoredog.com are met by a cat that adopts an eager, dog-like outlook. The cat begs visitors to connect their mobile devices and play a multi-platform game of Frisbee. source:http://goo.gl/u7gpTQ

waze | outsmarting traffic together

You’ve certainly heard of the Waze app – If you haven’t, then download it and begin playing now.

Imagine millions of drivers out on the roads, working together towards a common goal: to outsmart traffic and get everyone the best route to work and back, every day.

Except for being potentially distracting for engrossed drivers, the platform provides a heightened awareness and a benefit beyond anything of the sort before. I’m highlighting it, because of the obvious power in connecting the physical and virtual.

Pushing the boundaries of the overlap of our physical and digital lives? Check!

Clearly, it is popular because of its utilitarian value – but what I find fascinating is how it resonates emotionally with its users.  This is one that Robert Scoble would rather die than live without (article in readwrite.com). There is something going on here that is much more than value as a real-time traffic advisor, navigator, and map – Waze plays to human psychology, behavior, and basic desires.

If we “map” Waze against some fundamental desires the picture becomes clearer:

  • We want to be in control | Waze empowers its users
  • We want to win, we want recognition | It utilizes gamification and rewards participation
  • We strive to understand the complex | It cleverly distills multiple layers of information in a manner similar to how we naturally view our environment
  • We want to play |  Waze is fun!

Think about this the next time you find yourself emotionally attached to an app.

Now get out there, become a Wazer! But keep your eyes on the road, please.

what can business learn from big science?

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What can business learn from Big Science?

From The Economist http://goo.gl/Z5x3y

AS A technical feat, ATLAS takes some beating. It is the world’s biggest microscope, used by physicists at CERN, a large laboratory near Geneva, to probe the fundamental building blocks of matter. Its barrel-shaped body, 45 metres long, 25 metres tall and weighing as much as the Eiffel tower, was assembled in a cavern 100 metres beneath the Swiss countryside from 10m parts, nearly twice as many as in a jumbo jet. It generates more data each day than Twitter does.

It is also a remarkable organisational achievement. The components were designed by hundreds of scientists and engineers from dozens of institutions. They were subsequently sourced from 400-odd suppliers on four continents, at a cost of $435m. At any one time the experiment involves more than 3,000 researchers from 175 institutes in 38 countries.

this interactive film and crisis simulator could be a lifesaver…

LIFESAVER uses absorbing, interactive film to instill unforgettable lifesaving tips

Save a life, really save a life

A revolution in the way we learn CPR, LIFESAVER fuses interactivity and live-action film to teach users the skills needed to save a person’s life if they were to suffer from a cardiac arrest – from Unit9 website 

The Resuscitation Council, U.K., similar to the American Red Cross, is promoting a compelling Interactive film and app available for smartphones, tablets and PCs which combines interactivity, storytelling, role playing to introduce and reinforce lifesaving tips.

LIFESAVER, produced by Unit9 and directed by Martin Percy, combines simulation, gamification, and first-person perspective to put the user in scenarios that test and teach first response CRP to heart attack victims.

The surprisingly emotional digital experience is  ingenious in it’s filming and scenario creation. The lessons and experiences are more evocative than the typical training in a classroom setting with a plastic dummy, such as Rusesci Annie.

It is now available.  Try it out; it could be the difference between life and death.

By Kevin R Foote. Read more in Meg Carter’s recent article in Co.Create  

Project 1440 | 1,440 minutes in a day & REI wants you to share the ones spent outside

…then go to your computer, get virtual, and celebrate the experiences in a very cool way

Earlier this year, REI launched the REI 1440 Project, an initiative that invites people to share their love for outdoors through their favorite photographs, timestamped to the minute.  The pictures are then curated into an engaging, interactive, timeline/clock.  In their words, Project 1440 is a celebration of every minute spent outside. Our goal is to fill each and every minute of the “virtual day” (all 1440 of them) with photography representing our collective love of the outside.  It’s a bit reminiscent of the National Geographic/YouTube/Ridley Scott documentary Life In a Day, the compilation of YouTube uploads.

REI 1440

At 7:23 pm, my son is captured on a sunset walk through Great Sand Dunes National

This may not be for everyone, and requires a fair bit work for the user, but it hits dead center with the REI brand and customer target – I daresay  it hits the target square between their outdoor-enthusiast eyes.

Online albums were one of the first big internet platforms that enabled rich, amplified emotional sharing – however, the experience was largely passive. The 1440 Project has layers and loops of interaction.  It takes an evocative memory of a great outdoor experience, displays it in a virtual, story telling environment of like minded people, allows you to vicariously live through others, and do it all within the context of a brand that is about empowering people to enjoy the outdoors.

This could have easily been another forgettable Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram-based promotion, but Kudos to REI and their agency, BBDO Atlanta, for recognizing that their members and aspiring outdoor enthusiasts want authenticity and engaging reciprocity with the brand.

Now, go enjoy my own celebration of outdoor moments through my submissions at rei1440project.com/#users/kevinrfoote.

miracle whip asks you to destroy a mayonnaise piñata with a robot!

Mayonnaise piñata? Robots? Cinco De Mayo? Krafts say Don’t Bash Us Until you Try Us

Bash the Mayo

Watch a real robot, controlled by a web participant, blast at the pinata.

This Facebook promotion, called Battle the Whip, literally “hits” on connecting physical engagement with a product while addressing a key consumer insight and the brand.  Perhaps it’s easier to trash-talk about mayo than actually try it.

I’m not sure it will generate a  more sales, but it does do a great job of creating engagement with the brand.

Plus, who wouldn’t want to control a pinata-bashing robot?  You can sign-up to play and watch it live (with commentators) on a dedicated website through May 5th, Cinco de Mayo (get it?).

This promotion was developed by Deep Local and Break Media.  Read more at http://goo.gl/DjbWj.  I love Deep Local – they have executed some of the world’s greatest virtual-physical consumer engagement campaigns such as Nike ChalkBot.

consumer play! the ultimate brand engagement – connecting physical and virtual product experiences

Consumer Play! The ultimate in brand engagement?
Let consumers use their hands to play with a product, at least virtually with a mobile device 

Blending old school and modern media to engage digitally-savvy consumers has been done in several marketing campaigns, but often the execution is a gimmick that few consumers try, even though the overall experience may be powerful.  Several car manufacturers, including Volvo and their X-Ray iPad App, have done impressive augmented reality trials which allow prospects using a mobile device to explore car features. How cool is that!

Along comes a more practical application, and perhaps more broadly appealing use of tying digital media to the physical.  Recently the Japanese newspaper Tokyo Shimbun in conjunction with Dentsu advertising agency, introduced an app that enables children to use smartphones to reveal more kid-friendly versions of articles.

Parents can encourage kid to use the AR app by placing their smartphones over those articles, revealing animated characters and graphics, pop-up headlines and explanations about the topics being discussed. Additionally, articles written with Kanji characters are replaced with the simplified Hiragana alphabet, making the stories easier to understand for those still learning to read. The campaign aims to increase readership by enabling parents to enjoy reading the news with their children, as well as helping to educate young people and engage them in current affairs. [Excerpt from Springwise].

The challenge for brands?  Creating broad target appeal, not a niche buzz.  This is possible if one consciously crafts the experience around the consumers’  beliefs, not just product benefits.  The power of the Tokyo Shimbun example is that it connects with the emotional experience of a parent-child relationship and while creating content appealing to children.

location, location, location… a virtual link to emotional bonds

We are territorial by nature – not just in our evolutionary need to stake out one’s claim, but also in how we relate to our environment as frame of reference. When we return to a place or recall the location of a moving experience, higher order feelings are triggered.

Great TV and print advertising has always taken advantage of this through music and imagery that transports us. The possibilities in digital marketing are plentiful, yet few agencies and marketers have fully embraced this.

This experience of virtual location can be two-way. It can be integrated with evocative imagery such as one’s neighborhood; it can also transport someone into a powerful “you had to be there” experiences.

A number of digital campaigns have effectively “mashed-up” with Google Earth, Street View, or mapping APIs.  Arcade Fire’s interactive music video, The Wilderness Downtown, took away awards at Cannes because of its integration of intimate geographic imagery, unique to an individual.  More recently, Project Re: Brief’s re-imagined, digital expression of Coca-Cola’s iconic 1970’s TV ad ( I’d like to buy the world a Coke), took connecting humanity across physical locations to an entirely new level.

Advertisers and marketers should think about their brands, think about their target consumers, think about the emotional hooks of location and build amazing digital brand experiences – experiences with relevance that can be even more engaging than a well directed TV spot.

It’s all about location, location, location.  See you there?

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