Tag Archives: 2012

Au Revoir

Well, how many of you noticed the date today? 31.1.13 ! Nice,huh? And how fitting for the grand finale of 2012.

Happy New Year, Goodbye 2012 (10)

2012 review

2012 was full of surprises – good and bad. But innovation was a theme that ran all through the year. In the hope that 2013 will be just as innovative, if not more, with music by Kodaline, and video production by Whirled Creative, Google pulled together a great summary of our search trends labelled “Zeitgeist 2012“.

Without further ado, I present you with a truly inspiring video that exhibits the people, events, places and moments that made a difference to us in 2012.

To view the video, click on the image.

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See you next month with a new series titled “Want, Need, Lust”…


Size Matters

While manufacturers are battling over your eyeballs, and the phrase “ubiquitous connectivity” has passed from this world even before anyone had a chance to learn what it means, there is one screen that is truly u·biq·ui·tous (adj. present, appearing, or found everywhere. Synonyms: omnipresent).

The screen in EVERYONE’s living room. The screen that, no matter how many devices per household, still gathers the clan every evening and still has the best view in the house. The screen that is truly HD, 3D, surround sound, and all the rest of it. The screen that reaches dimensions that make sitting on the sofa more attractive than ever. Yes, we just might be getting fed up with mobility…

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Size Matters

“Fiddling around with screen sizes has played havoc with device categories,” says  Matt Ablott in a recent blog post. “First we had the smartphone… then we had the tablet… More recently we have seen vendors target devices in the midrange between the two… With smartphones getting larger and tablets getting smaller it probably won’t be long before the two form factors trade places in terms of sizing.”

In the television category, however, there is no dilemma as to which is better (bigger or smaller). And when TV sizes start to get preposterous (Samsung exhibited a 110-inch behemoth at CES in Las Vegas), the message is clear: size matters!

And in the age of the SmartTV, ubiquity comes with a brain! Not only is the TV a household feature that has a penetration rate of 98% in the industrialized world (as compared with 71% PC, 55% smartphone, and only 5% tablet penetration). It also possesses all the features we have come to expect of our smart devices: internet, apps, social media, etc.

When the connection between the two is complete, and families or friends sitting infront of their TV screen interact using their “other” smart devices, the circle will be complete. The combination of public and private displays will allow our multi-tasking, content-hungry, ADD generation to watch, engage, and socialize simultaneously.

And then what will mobility look like? Maybe varied locations with the same constellation (ultimate experience = big screen + many little screens). Weboolu’s Virtual Entertainment Console is a living example!

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Chuang Jien!

(for those of you wondering, Chuang Jien is Chinese for Innovate)

As the second largest country in the world, and the most populated with a potential local market of 1.3 billion (2012 census), China’s technological clout has never been in question.

500 m internet users, 300 m mobile internet users, 900 m mobile subscribers, a mobile internet market of $1.7 b, and a “demo-to-download” speed of less than 3 months.

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Innovating China

China’s biggest strength has become applying concepts to a creative and uniquely Chinese context. They have an eagerness to learn, the audacity to take risks, and the sincerity to admit what works and drop what doesn’t. Facebook and Zynga, for example, are actually learning from the mistakes and successes of Chinese monetization experiments,which span an unprecedented spectrum.

Having invented the printing press, compass, and gun powder, it is no surprise that scientific self-sufficiency is China’s goal. But while their strategy to transform from “serving as the world’s factory” to “becoming pioneers in global innovation” is impressive, their homegrown scientists have too often been labelled blatant technology thieves.

With 40% of Chinese games on Android, and 20% on iOS, clearly copycats, the Chinese define themselves as having an unrivaled imagination in 2nd generation innovation, namely making incremental improvements and adaptations for the Chinese market.

Before we accuse them of stealing our intellectual property, let’s look at many of the Western innovations that we worship: the Palm Pilot vs. the Newton, the iPod vs. the Rio, Facebook vs. MySpace,…

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Reality Bites Back

Reading an ezine is convenient, but reading the latest physical edition of VOGUE is all about pleasure. Purchasing music on iTunes is quick and easy, but spending hours at a Virgin Megastore is close to heavenly. There is something about the digital experience that, no matter how popular or intuitive, still lacks the flair that reality provides.

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There are characteristics of digital experience, however, that leave reality in the dust. Spontaneous discovery, for example, that permits us to get contextual information about the world around us.

As you hold the smartphone’s camera up to a painting in a museum, Augmented Reality should automatically understand what you are looking at and show you all the information about its context: the work of art, the artist, opening hours, the museum shop, etc.

From a report by Fjord and 13th Lab, “it is not about creating a new Internet for reality, it is about connecting the existing one to reality. Just as most Internet properties now have a mobile version of their web page and user interface, we believe they will eventually have a “reality” version of web page adapted to be rendered on top of reality.” To read more about the report, click on the image.

Augmented Reality’s developers, users, and publishers need to remember, however, that it’s not just about gaming…

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Innovative Chaos

Great viral videos on YouTube, or Facebook identities that blur the line between business and personal, lend themselves to memorable marketing. But when the x-factor crosses media channels, and cooperates across the various interfaces, you get that pristine tone usually reserved for crystal glasses.

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Lynx decided to send a handful of fans to a Caribbean island, Lynx Chaos Island, for the party of the year with 20 Lynx girls, return flights, watersports, food & drink…

Giving 14 tickets away via 6 digital treasure hunts, they touched all the behavioral tendencies of their target market (young, competitive, interactive, and, yes, horny).

They used, among others, Twitter, pinterest, Flickr, YouTube, Google Maps, Tumblr, fake blogs, an online ninja school, an imaginary pizza takeaway site, lyric searching, Morse code translation, language translation, image-matching, and infuriatingly-competitive HTML5 games.

The result was one of the most popular videos on YouTube (click on the image to see), more than a million interactions, and a hell of a lot of publicity. Oh, and they also generated great content from the trips themselves for future use 😉

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Swooshing Support

Many companies’ social policy involves some kind of dialogue with customers. Many times this can backfire as dissatisfaction with a product or service is always part of that dialogue.

But what happens when a company takes the anti-establishment side of the customer?

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After a dragged-on lockout of the National Hockey League, which produced millions of furious and hockey-starved fans, the NHL tried using social media to calm the masses. “Keep calm and pin on” was the official message to its 81,000 pinterest followers (derived from an World War II British propaganda poster reading “Keep Calm and Carry On”). The mocking was soon to follow, with “Keep calm and eat shit NHL,” or “Keep calm and get the lockout over with!” representative of the 150-plus comments received by mid-morning.

Nike recognized an opportunity and, picking the side of the fans, produced a viral ad that showed its support, with fans using frozen hamburgers instead of pucks. Populist sentiment galore, the YouTube video gained more than half a million views within 2 weeks. Utilizing fans, amateur players and even a few NHLers, Nike’s message? “Hockey is stronger than any league power struggle!” That’s right, JUST DO IT.

Click on the image to watch the video.

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Touch Me Now

In today’s complex world, time is of the essence and simplicity is king. One touch, swipe, tap or click is the most effort consumers are willing to put into ordering, purchasing or buying anything.

The “just-a-click-away” promise has been around since the invention of the mouse (computer mouse, that is 🙂 ). Reserving a holiday, inviting a friend to an online game, or even transferring packages. But the “one click” still required us to log on to the internet, access the particular web page, and enter an endless amount of information into a digital form before we could actually perform that “one” click.

Not any more…

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Dubai’s Red Tomato Pizza introduced the VIP Fridge Magnet. The magnet was sent to registered loyalty program members, providing them with a true “one-touch” experience.

Using their smartphone’s Bluetooth functionality to connect to the internet, all customers have to do to order a pizza delivery is to press the button on the magnet. Some minutes later their favorite pizza arrives at their doorstep.

Click on the image to see more.

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