November 18, 2013

Virgin Mobile ‘Game of Phones’

Virgin Mobile Australia have just launched ‘Game of Phones’ a spoof on the cult TV Show, Game of Thrones, that utilises the core concept made famous with the MINI Getaway campaign back in 2010Players will be challenged to hunt for almost $200,000 worth of prizes in the ‘Game of Phones’ virtual world through a mobile app game that will see live interaction between tens of thousands of people on the streets of Australia. When players come within 50 metres of a prize icon, they can tap to claim it, but it can then be stolen by other players located within 100 metres. Throughout the game, Virgin Mobile stores will act as safe houses – a great way to drive people in-store!

Game of Phones

Game of Phones

The winner who earns the grand title of King will also be rewarded with a $50,000 VIP Virgin dream holiday.

Director of Virgin Mobile Brand & Communications, Nicole Bardsley, said: “Games are now the second most-used application on smartphones, just after Facebook and we are genuinely excited to be able to engage the public in our brand in a truly innovative, unique, fun and inherently ‘Virgin’ initiative that is ‘mobile first’.”

Snapchat turns down billion dollar deal from Facebook

The news that Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel have turned down a Facebook offer of $3 billion cash has surprised some, but talking with the BBC Spiegel says he isn’t that focused on advertising and instead is looking at selling added value services. He points to the success of WeChat who make 90% of their substantial revenue from in app transactions and gaming services. As well as the Facebook offer, Snapchat has lots of investor interest – with WhatsApp owner Tencent offering to lead investment at a valuation of $4 billion. Given the state of the tech IPO market, many think Instagram sold too soon/too cheaply and this belief combined with Snapchats exponential growth will help propel Snapchat to an even higher valuation.

Latest app that aims to increase road safety: HUDWAY

HUDWAY is an augmented reality app that uses smartphones to outline the road ahead with turn-by-turn directions, and displays it on the car windshield using ‘head-up technology’ – details like speed, distance, and driving instructions are displayed in different light.

Head-up technology is a display that presents information without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints. The HUDWAY does not require any other equipment other than a user’s smartphone and the user can pre-load all desired routes so that they can use HUDWAY offline.

See the demo video here showing the Head-Up Display (HUD) in action in a rally car.

Internet connection is required to build the route.

EON Power Saving Experiment

e.on in Sweden wanted to find out if they could change customer’s behaviour by showing them how much electricity they were consuming.

e.on recruited 10,000 participants to take part in Sweden’s Largest Energy Experiment. Each person was given an app which connected to their homes and monitored their power usage. The data collected was then visualised in five different ways so that users could find the one most motivating to them. One was a virtual battle between participants whilst another was a furry Tamagotchi, whose health depended on each user’s energy consumption habits. Have a watch of the video hereto see all the different data visualisations.


Out of the 10,000 that participated, their habits changed and lowered their energy consumption by an average of 12%. Marketing isn’t always about pushing messages, but inducing change and it takes great design thinking like this and belief in ideas that invite the participant to achieve something worthwhile and get value back from their involvement.

iPhone setting to prevent car drivers texting

People are notorious for using their mobile and driving. In a bid to prevent this happening, a concept has been designed called ‘Car Mode’. Much like Airplane Mode, this will lock down some of the features of the mobile phone. ‘It saves your texts, emails, and other notifications until you arrive at your destination, and lets anyone who texts you know that you’re currently in Car Mode. This way they don’t feel ignored and you have the peace of mind to know you’re not being rude.’

Whether or not Apple decides to integrate this into their products’ capabilities is yet to be announced.

Foap app: Make money from your photos

Instead of letting companies use your photos as part of their T&Cs, the Foap app has opened up the opportunity for users to sell their photos.

‘Our vision is to let people from all over the world earn money from selling their smartphone photos—simply by downloading our free app, snapping a photo and uploading it to the Foap Market. When someone buys the photo, the photographer can cash out his/her money. And best of all, the photographer can sell the same photo over and over again.’ This app lets brands easily access photos from local areas that they can pay the rights for and will be cheaper than arranging for a photographer. Foap gives users information on how to take great photos so that they have a high standard of photos on offer.

4G comes to Cumbria

EE has switched on its 4G network in rural Cumbria, bringing the superfast technology to more than 2,000 residents and businesses for the first time.

SO MOnday fun: The best Twitter conversation you will read today


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