June 3, 2013
Google & Motorola to release smartphone as well as electronic tattoo technology
Google is planning to release an affordable smartphone onto the market that will be assembled in a factory in Texas, USA, which 15 years ago built Nokia handsets. The company says it is better to work closely to the production of the device, rather than have it constructed in South East Asia. “When your manufacturing is thousands of miles away from your engineers and your designers, you lose the ability to innovate, you lose the ability to make fast changes to how you’re manufacturing things,” Dennis Woodside said, Motorola’s chief executive. “There’s a ton of technology that’s coming in around 3D printing and much smaller-run manufacturing that we think we can take advantage of right here.” The new smartphone will be called Moto X and will enter the market at an affordable price in a bid to drive down the high cost of smartphones on the market.
Motorola have also been working on some really innovative technologies for users who have forgotten their passwords. Firstly it has been rumoured that they are developing a ‘password pill’ that the user swallows. The pill will be powered by stomach acid and ‘transmits a signal to devices outside the body’. This will allow the smartphone to identify its owner’s needs. Another method they have created is an electronic tattoo. The smartphone would be unlocked simply by being close to the owner’s body. It will be interesting to see if these technologies are released onto the market embedded in an affordable smartphone and whether or not users actually make use of its capabilities.
Nivea created a print ad in Brazil that charges your phone using solar energy. The magazine insert has a USB port attached to it that is powered by the solar panels on the insert. It helps to promote Nivea sun with the tagline, ‘With Nivea’s sun protection, you don’t need to leave the sun for anything’. This is a great example of a brand and agency creating a real life product that is useful for their target audience.
Twitter’s TV ad targeting
As a result of the strong connection between watching TV and tweeting, Twitter has introduced targeting based on TV advertising. Using video fingerprinting technology, the system automatically assesses where a TV commercial has been aired, as well as which users have tweeted about the show during which the ad was shown. The selected number of partners who are running national US TV commercials will then be able to target Twitter advertising in order to support their on-screen campaign.
As brands look to find better ways to coordinate their marketing activities, Twitter provides the perfect bridge between TV, digital and mobile. In fact, 64% of mobile centric users on Twitter use it in front of the TV at home. Twitter lets brands continue the conversations they start with their TV advertising by building on the awareness they generate through TV with the interactivity and engagement of Twitter’s social/mobile DNA.
TV ad targeting is currently available in beta for the U.S. market only and only for customers running U.S. national TV ad campaigns.
Yahoo launches new Flickr
On the same day as her company’s purchase of Tumblr, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced a wealth of updates to photo-sharing network Flickr. An attempt to become more photo-centric has seen updates to the home page, as well as a new activity feed and photo stream, all of which put photos at the forefront.
According to Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends, 500MM+ photos are uploaded and shared every day and this growth is accelerating, on trend to rise 2x YoY.
There will also be a free terabyte of space for every Flickr user, meaning essentially no limit on the number of photos you can upload (within reason). The iOS app has been completely refreshed & redesigned to give it a modern look. Users can sign in using their Yahoo account, Facebook credentials or Google account. There are 16 unique camera filters, providing a quick and simple way to snap, filter and share images quickly using Flickr’s own tools, an attempt to lure people away from the 100 million user strong Instagram.
Although Flickr remains as a favourite platform to store and share photos for professional and amateur photographers, the new updates with ease of sign in and sharing may help bring casual sharers onboard.
Penguin takes children’s fiction to Google+ with Storytime Hangout app
A new application created by book publisher Penguin uses the Google+ hangout feature to allow children and their families to take part in the classic Ladybird story of the Billy Goats Gruff.
Each participant clicks on the face(s) of the character they would like to play – one of the three billy goats Gruff, or the villainous troll – transforming children into the storybook characters allowing them to act out the story while they read along with their parents with the text displayed on the screen.
The novelty is that as they turn each page, the story will be brought to life by augmenting special masks over the video feed in Google Hangouts in order to put people at the heart of the storytelling experience, despite being in different locations.
Check out the video to get a feel for how it all works.