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BlackBerry and the Death of the Business Device

Last week, BlackBerry reported a dreadful fourth quarter, showing a net loss of $125 million. This prompted RIM, among other moves, to release a statement promising to focus more fully on the business consumer. If this was 2005, it would be an absolute no brainer. Enterprise solutions are what made BlackBerry a household name before they unsuccessfully tried their hand at the consumer market, so why wouldn't refocusing on enterprise save them now? The trouble is that since BlackBerry put smartphones on the map with their business-friendly offerings, they've been consistently leapfrogged by other manufacturers and operating platforms. And because both iOS, Android and even Windows phones have become ubiquitous in the business world, it's going to be extremely hard to regain that market. Redefining "The Business Consumer" BlackBerry's new focus on the "business consumer" may fall on deaf ears because, let's face it, when it comes to smartphone users, there's really no such thing as a strictly "business consumer" anymore. We have our devices on us at all times, and the typical user is looking for something that addresses both business needs and the need to smash pigs with disgruntled birds or Draw Something. So even though BlackBerry's ads want us to believe that anything outside of the BlackBerry operating system is a "toy," it's simply not true. There is a feeling that BlackBerry does have a leg up on the competition when it comes to network security, but since the other platforms have become more adopted in the corporate world, it won't be long before it's an equal playing field, and some may argue iOS is already there. And it's unfortunate that one of BlackBerry's so-called brand differentiators at the moment is the physical keyboard. While they hands down have the best physical keyboards, we've become very accustomed to writing emails with a touchscreen, and those who haven't have a handful of Android and Windows phones to choose from that feature more than capable physical keyboards. Creating handsets specifically for "The Business Consumer" also assumes that BlackBerry is going to be able to create devices that are going to be so superior at "business" solutions, that people will carry one of them for work, and then go back to using their "plaything" Androids and iPhones when they leave the office. Raise your hand if that sounds ideal to you. No one? Okay, moving on. The App Playground I have both an Android handset and an iPad. I like both of them for different reasons and think they both excel at different things. The truth is, and this might cause a bit of an uproar among Apple and Android fanboys, iOS and Android devices aren't all that different. Sure, there are differences in connection speeds, processor speeds, battery life, screen resolution, other surface level things but the overall form and functionality are similar enough. They're sleek, slim, glossy, utilize touch-screens, are great for surfing the web and are more than sufficient for answering work emails or viewing documents on the go. This is mainly the reason that everyone's suing each other over patent infringements. When smartphones came out, it was the features that set handsets apart. Now, the base features that are shipped with the device are only the beginning and are pretty standard. It's the apps that truly run the show. You buy a handset and the apps that you put on it define whether your device is business-focused, consumer-focused, or a bit of a mixture of both. Just because you have an iOS or Android device doesn't pin you as a "consumer" anymore as there are a number of solutions on both the iOS and Android platforms which make it easy for any of their devices to cater to the business user. And the fact that the number of apps on both Android and iOS outnumber BlackBerry by about 700,000, the chances are that the business user is probably better catered by the two former. What's Next for BlackBerry In short, the outlook is bleak. BlackBerry's lack of innovation over the past 5+ years compared to their competition shouldn't give anyone a good feeling that they know how to right the ship. But all is not lost. What's that saying about the first step to getting help being able to admit you have a problem? They know they have to do something radical to improve things, and it looks like they're making moves in the right direction. They're also close to launching their new operating system, BlackBerry 10 and some leaked photos of the new system are getting some people excited. However, by the time it reaches the market, iPhone 5 will be out and it may be too late. If BlackBerry 10 fails to turn things around, will they be out of options? A colleague of mine suggested that if that happens, the only remaining option might be to kill the operating platform, use their skills at creating business-focused devices, and focus solely on making the hardware for another platform. Would love to hear any thoughts on how you feel BlackBerry will be able to get back on their feet in our comments section below.

Five Groundbreaking Apps from CES 2012

One of our favorite events from this year's CES was the Mobile Apps Showdown. Hosted by Howard Stern regulars Jon Hein and Gary Dell'Abate, this event gave ten app developers four minutes to pitch their app concept to the audience and conduct a quick on-stage demo. The top app was determined by an Applause-O-Meter winning a shiny trophy, the admiration of attendees and a landslide of CES media coverage. In a previous blog post (http://bit.ly/zJTZje), we discussed 'CIA: Operation AJAX'?, one of the top ten finalists. Today, we take a quick look at five finalists that inspired our imaginations. Aurasma Lite by Aurasma Developer's Description: Aurasma is a new technology that brings the physical and virtual worlds together. Available as a free app for iOS and Android devices or as a free SDK for developers, Aurasma uses advanced image and pattern recognition to recognize and understand real-world images and objects in much the same way as the human brain does. It then seamlessly blends the real-world with interactive content such as videos and animations we call 'Auras'?. Auras can be created for printed images, products, clothing and physical places. Users can even use the simple tools in the app to create and share their own Auras. Since its launch in July 2011, Aurasma has had more than two million downloads. Over 1,000 partners around the world in markets including consumer electronics, retail, sport, automotive, entertainment, advertising and publishing are using the free technology. Aurasma was developed by and is part of Autonomy ' an HP Company. Cost: Free Link: Website (http://bit.ly/ycTMoX), iTunes (http://bit.ly/zHWYVf) Ellis' Take: This platform has HUGE upside. Augmented reality is something that to most is complex, confusing, and costly. This app empowers everyday users to tag and affect the digital world around them. Will it evolve into the next big digital platform or linger on as a simple novelty adopted and loved by a core group of hobbyists (like a new evolution of geocaching)? Matt's Take: Interesting opportunity here for brands. While augmented reality is something a lot of brands are looking into, the price tag is usually a barrier for entry. Being able to utilize pre-existing technology to create branded information with your products is something that should be very enticing for most brands, especially in the retail space. Magisto by Magisto Developers Description: Magisto is an amazing app that takes your raw videos and turns it into a beautifully edited & produced clip perfect for sharing. And it does it all in a click, for free. Right now, all these special moments are too long and boring to share. With Magisto you can create videos that your friends actually want to watch and you can do it with minimum efforts and maximum quality. Magisto will analyze these videos, understand it, find the best parts and make it look amazing! Now you have a way to express yourself and to capture those special moments that you want to share with the people around you. Cost: Free Link: Website (http://bit.ly/xwXL3P), iTunes (http://bit.ly/xPbikY) Ellis' Take: Three easy, mindless steps to create a highlight reel from videos of my dog. Win. Matt's Take: Really liked this at first, but upon further review, all videos need to stream from the site and you can't actually 'own them'?. Their plan is to move to a 'freemium'? model that gives you added capabilities for a price. Cinefy by App Creation Network Developers Description: Cinefy is a mobile video editing platform for iPhone where users create and share videos mixed with high quality special effects. Cinefy empowers users with no editing skills to quickly insert footage, add music and apply visually stunning effects with its intuitive and simple interface. 'As a former television director, this is a thrilling product to see in action'? said Gary Stover, Product Director. In Cinefy, individual themed or branded effects packs are available for in-app downloads, offering TV and game studios the ability to market products in a way that creates exciting and massive viral exposure potential. 'We made Cinefy to put the most exciting Hollywood quality production tools directly in the user's hands,'? said Dan Hellerman, CEO of App Creation Network. 'The ability for studios to promote their brands, by empowering users with actual effects elements themed to their shows or games, is an explosive marketing tool.'? Cost: $2.99 Link: Website (http://bit.ly/w6dl86) Ellis' Take: I don't know if this will make home videos better'?¦just different. For brands with user-generated content strategies in place, this could be a valuable tool that you may want to encourage consumers to consider. It could certainly raise the presentation of user-generated content, adding more value to those campaigns. Matt's Take: Much like Magisto, I like the idea of being able to easily create better videos than the ones most people are uploading to Facebook now. SecuraFone by SecuraTrac Developer's Description: SecuraFone is a multi-purpose smartphone app that functions as a powerful, personal safety solution. SecuraFone helps prevent distracted driving and accidents, provides instant emergency response, and offers 6 other GPS tracking and alerting features including: real-time tracking, historical tracking, geo-fence alerts, SOS alerts, and covert, emergency help calls to emergency response centers or the primary account contact. The alerts are sent using email and text messaging. 45% of teen drivers text while driving and 11 die each day in accidents caused by distracted driving. 35% of seniors will fall each year ' the leading cause of injury-related deaths among seniors. Employers spend over $60 billion a year in medical costs, legal fees and property damage related to employee driving accidents. SecuraFone serves as a tool for instant communication in this type of emergency situation and as a proactive solution to prevent accidents and dangerous conditions before they occur. Cost: Free Link: Website (http://bit.ly/xKPtOv), iTunes (http://bit.ly/A10nYP) Ellis' Take: It was interesting to hear the audience reaction to this app being presented. While many of the other apps received 'oohs'? and 'aahhs'?, this app had a strange impending sense of 'big brother'? to it ' especially when the developer referenced being able to track your employees locations in real time. You can imagine that at a conference held in Las Vegas, the response to that feature was rather lukewarm. Matt's Take: Absolutely horrifying. I must download this immediately. Foam Fighters by AppGear Developers Description: AppGear is an innovative line of apps that seamlessly interact with cool, collectible toys, shifting digital gaming into your reality. Foam Fighters is a collectible line of detailed foam airplanes that really fly and look fantastic on their own. These foam fliers also unlock missions in the digital world by scanning them into a smart device. Once unlocked, these planes are attached to the front of the device with the included arm, then dive in to the digital world and battle for control of the skies. The plane is mounted on the front of the smart device, dog fighting and taking digital damage in the app. The real world plane is now flying in the digital battle for the skies. This new product category will redefine game play by upgrading the physical experience with digital action. Cost: App is free; Retail play set is $9.99 Link: Website (http://bit.ly/xG1g1r) Ellis' Take: Is it wrong if I wish I was ten years old again? Or if society didn't have a stigma about adults playing with toys that they've outgrown by two decades? We're seeing augmented reality starting to enhance playtime, a trend that is very likely to continue as brands look for ways to connect real-world, physical play with digital extensions. Another great A/R example at CES was Intel's booth that featured a demo of LEGO's Intel-powered augmented reality retail display (http://bit.ly/ycmj3T). Matt's Take: Meh. I understand they're trying to be creative mixing in the physical plane with the game, but it seems like the game could be just as successful without having to attach a foam plane to your tablet. It just seems like an unnecessary step.

The New Media Experience

Last week I visited the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and there were by my count 25,000 tablets being displayed (that number might be slight hyperbole). To be honest, I really only checked out a few of them ' one or two Androids and this Windows tablet being featured by Intel. The hardware wasn't really what caught my attention with the 2012 tablets, especially since tablets at this point aren't really differentiating themselves all that much. What caught my attention was how people were using them, talking about them, the overall capabilities that tablets offer and how they're shaping our media experience. So that led to this interesting question for you tablet owners out there. What's your favorite experience on your tablet? Is it reading, playing apps, or watching movies? What if I said that some day in the not too distant future, you'll have a hard time differentiating those experiences because you'll be doing all three at the same time? And this isn't a post about some new tablet that allows for multitasking. I'm talking about tablets redefining our media experience and storytelling as a whole. Take a look at the 'CIA: Operation Ajax'? application that's available for the iPad. It tells the story of a real-life CIA operation in Iran that took place in the 50's. It is currently classified as an 'app'? in the iTunes App Store, but is that REALLY what it is? To me, that seems to be much more than an app. On the surface, it's a graphic novel ' not exactly something that you would expect to find in the App Store. But once you look deeper into how you interact with it, it becomes something that is almost indefinable. It takes the passive pieces of literature and cinema and mixes them with the active experience of an application. You become fully-immersed in the story because you're not only reading it, but touching it, listening to a full score and pulling up interactive content that a traditional media experience doesn't allow. If you think about it, the concept isn't even that new. Many book publishers have had cross-device experiences where you can get additional information on a website, and DVD extra features have been around for years. Being able to have the entire experience on one device is just so much more immersive. And while Marvel Comics has an app that has minor animations and the iBookstore has enhanced books, this is the most in-depth experience I've seen to date. So what does this mean? In a nutshell, the opportunity for enhanced content exists. Think about reading a novel with its own soundtrack, with character back-story and short movie clips. Imagine watching a movie on your tablet and instead of playing the 'where have I seen this guy before'? game, a simple tap of the screen on the actor's face will bring up an actor bio with IMDB integration. Just think about what this will do for the textbook industry where you'll someday be able to not only read about dissecting a frog, but also dissect one on your tablet without having to smell the formaldehyde. Kermit rejoice! The capabilities are there to one day ditch the passive media experience and embrace a much richer, fully-immersive media experience. At this point, the only question that remains is whether or not content providers are going to make the investment into this enhanced content. So what do you think? Would you pay a premium price for the enhanced media experience?

Future of the Web, Humanity, & Advertising

I recently had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Qi Lu, President of Microsoft's Online Services Division and got to hear his views on what the future holds for the web and search. The presentation was really interesting and actually put me in awe of how much possibility there is. Here are some of the innovations that the web has had and will see in the future: Keywords ' search engines primarily ran on these in the beginning to gather search results Geo-targeting ' implemented to help the user find more location relevant search results Apps ' helped bring the web's information to user's on-the-go Social ' developed to connect you with your friends. Implementing this into search engines is the next step for Microsoft and by teaming up with Facebook, this gives them a huge advantage Task Completion ' another soon to be new frontier in the world of search engines. For example, right now searching 'dinner for two, movie after'? will not generate relevant results for what you want. But in a smarter web with task completion, you will yield results for restaurants and movies nearby, both with reviews or ratings from people you know, location information, as well as maybe an ad for cabs to take you from the restaurant to the movies, all in one search With all of these innovations, one person mentioned the printing press and how the invention of it indirectly cheap cialis sparked the Enlightenment. So with a smarter web that is even more accessible to everyone, what does this mean for humanity? Lu's take on it is that an increased interconnectivity of the world is going to bring people much closer together and that the idea of community will be radically transformed, as well as what constitutes a civil behavior. Also with a more streamlined and smarter web, one wonders how advertising will change and if it will even still be relevant to us anymore. Lu believes advertising is here to stay and with good reason. If there was no advertising then there would be no information to search for. Advertising is what informs us of new information regarding certain products or services that we would otherwise not know about. However, the portal in which that information is delivered is and will constantly change. This is why startups like Groupon have reached an unprecedented amount of success in today's market. Now more than ever, Lu believes startups have a huge opportunity to help shape the web's future. Web innovation is all about making the most out of everything the web has to offer. Streamlining it into your day-to-day life is what successful innovation is made of. Innovators eventually want to reach a point where the web can read your mind and your intent so well that it will be able to generate relevant results, as well as ads. It seems that a psychic internet may be a long way away but only because there is still much left to be discovered.

Future of the Web, Humanity, & Advertising

I recently had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Qi Lu, President of Microsoft's Online Services Division and got to hear his views on what the future holds for the web and search. The presentation was really interesting and actually put me in awe of how much possibility there is. Here are some of the innovations that the web has had and will see in the future: Keywords ' search engines primarily ran on these in the beginning to gather search results Geo-targeting ' implemented to help the user find more location relevant search results Apps ' helped bring the web's information to user's on-the-go Social ' developed to connect you with your friends. Implementing this into search engines is the next step for Microsoft and by teaming up with Facebook, this gives them a huge advantage Task Completion ' another soon to be new frontier in the world of search engines. For example, right now searching 'dinner for two, movie after'? will not generate relevant results for what you want. But in a smarter web with task completion, you will yield results for restaurants and movies nearby, both with reviews or ratings from people you know, location information, as well as maybe an ad for cabs to take you from the restaurant to the movies, all in one search With all of these innovations, one person mentioned the printing press and how the invention of it indirectly cheap cialis sparked the Enlightenment. So with a smarter web that is even more accessible to everyone, what does this mean for humanity? Lu's take on it is that an increased interconnectivity of the world is going to bring people much closer together and that the idea of community will be radically transformed, as well as what constitutes a civil behavior. Also with a more streamlined and smarter web, one wonders how advertising will change and if it will even still be relevant to us anymore. Lu believes advertising is here to stay and with good reason. If there was no advertising then there would be no information to search for. Advertising is what informs us of new information regarding certain products or services that we would otherwise not know about. However, the portal in which that information is delivered is and will constantly change. This is why startups like Groupon have reached an unprecedented amount of success in today's market. Now more than ever, Lu believes startups have a huge opportunity to help shape the web's future. Web innovation is all about making the most out of everything the web has to offer. Streamlining it into your day-to-day life is what successful innovation is made of. Innovators eventually want to reach a point where the web can read your mind and your intent so well that it will be able to generate relevant results, as well as ads. It seems that a psychic internet may be a long way away but only because there is still much left to be discovered.

  • 2 min read
  • May 19, 2011

So You Want An App?

On the business development front, we've noticed a handful of clients and prospects that have expressed interest in developing a downloadable application for their brands. Who can blame them? I personally get giddy every time I fire up the Urbanspoon app on my iPhone. "Where should I eat tonight?? The possibilities are ENDLESS!" And we've all killed an hour or 70 playing Angry Birds. But is this the right solution for your brand / product / service / Russian mob scam? Let's examine a few questions that you should ask yourself to see if it makes sense. Will it drive sales? First you need to be honest with yourself and ask, 'Is this critical to my business?'? For a brand like REI to develop a mobile app with e-commerce capability that allows users to purchase a new camping tent with a few swipes, a mobile app can be an incredibly powerful way to connect to users. The app delivers a new, convenient purchase channel to drive sales thereby justifying the ROI for building an app in the first place. However, if your brand is Yoplait, you may need to think twice since the same e-commerce opportunity is not there. Instead, you'll likely explore content centered around brand positioning and identity, perhaps exploring more health-specific / promotional content. Which brings us to our next point'?¦ Will it be good? Sounds easy, right? Let's continue to use the Yoplait example. So we can't purchase online (cause that'd be gross) but maybe instead we build an app tied to healthy dieting and exercise. That is a very competitive space and you'll be competing with best-in-class applications that will often be so much more robust with content, support, maintenance and updates. Think about the competition among health (Lose It!, Weight Watchers Mobile, Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker) and fitness (Nike+GPS, FitnessBuilder, RunKeeper). Building a mobile app on the cheap to compete against these is like trying to build a bike in your garage on the weekend, then racing it in the Tour de France in July. Although this space is expected to experience tremendous growth (2010: 10.9 billion downloads; 2014 (projected): 76.9 billion downloads!), maintaining user engagement will continue to be a challenge as one in four apps that are downloaded are only used once. Will it be costly? It could be. Very quickly. Alarmingly so. Let's say you wanted to develop an app for iPhones, which only account for a quarter of the total smartphone market. Don

10,000,000,000'?¦10,000,000,001'?¦10,000,000,002'?¦

Last week, the 10 billionth app was downloaded from the Apple store. Remarkable really. If brands were not racing to develop an app before, the race is officially on as this news is sure to push any brands that have been holding off over the mobile edge. Before your brand dips its toe into the app waters, a few questions to check off the list for marketers and developers: Why an app? Yes, an obvious question but so often with new technology we 'just want it'. We feel the need to keep up, show that our brand is on trend. Clearly the world loves apps 10 billion times over, but not all apps. There are many apps that were created by well meaning, hard working marketers that have yet to get more than a few downloads. Will the app fill a need or will be for entertainment only? An industry specific tool Does the app allow the medical community to share data easier in emergency rooms? Does the app allow architects easy access to solutions to complex mathematics while on the job site? A fun tool, but a tool none the less Golf tips that can be accessible on the 7th hole when the ball just keeps going to the right no matter what you do @%!& There is a clear path to success (and optimization) if the app fulfills a very specific need. Not to simplify it, but find a real need that matches with your industry and then challenge your developers to make it user friendly. Entertainment: This is where success is both harder to control and can be more broadly defined. This is the challenge for the marketer. If it's for entertainment ' be true to entertainment. Don't say you want to create the most fun app ever, measure it on downloads and then ask: "but where is the product tag line in the app?" It is user friendly? No choice here. If it's a bad idea, it won't matter. If it's a good idea and it's not user friendly, someone will rebuild it, only better. Make sure the end game for the brand and the user is clear and achievable.

Four Easy Tips for Mobile Interaction

There's no question that integrated social media programs generate awareness and buzz, give you a say in the existing conversations about your brand, and allow you to provide immediate customer service. The next step is to not only be social, but mobile as well. Encouraging mobile interaction at the point of purchase with mobile couponing/QR codes and giving users a reason to come back for more with a branded mobile application is key. Integration is crucial ' Brands should leverage their Facebook page, Twitter handle, and existing website to promote/drive mobile initiatives. Here are a few tips for starters: 1. Build your mobile opt-in database Getting people to opt in will allow for testing. This is where you can play with different innovative push messages and optimize high-performers. Tactics like mobile-only sweepstakes and coupons can entice consumers to join, which ultimately increases opt-in rates. 2. Use QR codes Brands can do so much with QRCs, from incentives to building a community, or both: P-O-P example ' Have packaging encourage consumer to scan the code for an immediate discount > QRC takes consumer to your Facebook page > Facebook page prompts consumer to 'Like us'? for a coupon. Now you have a new fan in your database to whom you can push content. 3. Create a branded app your target audience will find beneficial Although I said to create a 'branded app,'? it isn't about pushing your brand agenda. It's about providing a tool that will prove valuable to your target. If it truly makes consumers' lives easier in some way, they will interact with the app more often and thus have longer exposure times with your brand. 4. Mobile loyalty program Build a program where consumers can opt-in to scan their receipt after purchasing the brand's product(s). Give away a free or discounted product throughout their membership depending on frequency of purchase, as with any loyalty program. There's no question that integrated social media programs generate awareness and buzz, give you a say in the existing conversations about your brand, and allow you to provide immediate customer service. The next step is to not only be social, but mobile as well. Encouraging mobile interaction at the point of purchase with mobile couponing/QR codes and giving users a reason to come back for more with a branded mobile application is key. Integration is crucial ' Brands should leverage their Facebook page, Twitter handle, and existing website to promote/drive mobile initiatives. Here are a few tips for starters: 1. Build your mobile opt-in database Getting people to opt in will allow for testing. This is where you can play with different innovative push messages and optimize high-performers. Tactics like mobile-only sweepstakes and coupons can entice consumers to join, which ultimately increases opt-in rates. 2. Use QR codes Brands can do so much with QRCs, from incentives to building a community, or both: P-O-P example ' Have packaging encourage consumer to scan the code for an immediate discount > QRC takes consumer to your Facebook page > Facebook page prompts consumer to 'Like us'? for a coupon. Now you have a new fan in your database to whom you can push content. 3. Create a branded app your target audience will find beneficial Although I said to create a 'branded app,'? it isn't about pushing your brand agenda. It's about providing a tool that will prove valuable to your target. If it truly makes consumers' lives easier in some way, they will interact with the app more often and thus have longer exposure times with your brand. 4. Mobile loyalty program Build a program where consumers can opt-in to scan their receipt after purchasing the brand's product(s). Give away a free or discounted product throughout their membership depending on frequency of purchase, as with any loyalty program. Path:

These are a Few of My Favorite (Internet-Connected) Things

There seems to be a million definitions of 'digital marketing'? floating around, but at the core, this term simply means the use of technology in marketing. Contemporarily, this refers to applications that exist on our laptops, tablets, desktops, televisions, or mobile devices. However, the breadth of technology that this term, 'digital marketing'?, applies to has started to drastically expand. Increasingly, communication can occur on extraordinary platforms, including physical objects. Futurists call this phenomenon, of translating real world objects to the Web, the Internet of Things. Internet-connected devices can now publish data that are measurable by censors or RFID tags. This data could provide better product recommendations, reveal patterns in everyday activities, or be integrated into our social networks. There are so many possibilities'each one creepier than the last! By the year 2020, forecasters expect there to be 22 billion Internet-connect devices. Here's a list of my favorite applications and concepts that are being developed. Acting on your road rage. Bump.com allows fellow drivers, as well as businesses, to connect with a driver through license plate recognition. The technology uses a camera, attached to your own license plate, which is able to very quickly read surrounding plates. Next time you get cut off'or want to ask for the girl's number that you've been trailing in rush hour traffic'you can simply scan their license plate with your smartphone and message them directly, or post a negative rating. This kind of technology could have several other applications (besides just alleviating your road rage) like automated check-ins, or the ability to associate a vehicle with an in-store purchase. Texting with your dishwasher. Although still a concept, innovators have been throwing around ideas about a future kitchen where all your appliances can be communicated with via SMS. One idea takes inventory of your refrigerator, crafting your next grocery list or letting you know when an item's about to expire. Another allows you to bake cookies, remotely. Some suggestions are as simple as allowing for SMS messaging when your coffee is done brewing. Futurists are saying these kinds of functions are actually closer than we think; and predict they will be integrated into our own home appliances in the near future. Remote-controlling your car with your iPhone. A new innovation (by AutoBot) does more than unlock your car doors'it allows you to find your lost car in a parking lot, performs diagnostic checks, and messages family when you've been in an accident. As a data nerd, I think being able to log data about your driving patterns or the health of your car has huge potential. Of course, Google has taken this idea one step further and has begun producing cars that drive themselves. Giving your heart its own IP address. As trust builds, consumers will increasingly start using apps for medical purposes. My favorite example allows you to receive text messages from your own organs. Researchers (at IMEC) have developed something called a BAN (that is, a Body Area Network) which is able to communicate with a user's cell phone, while also updating their doctor. This technology can work with sensors that monitor your heart, your brain, or your muscles, and could be marketed to fitness enthusiasts'?¦ or hypochondriacs? This new kind of healthcare doesn't stop there. Other applications are being testing: like pills (by Novartis) that have censors directly in them that can text you with dosage and timing information. These are just a few of the applications that are being dreamt up by technologists. It's becoming inevitable that objects will start to have identities of their own, be able to tell their own history and be connected to the Web. Devices (such as GPS unites or Internet-connected TVs) have even begun to outpace human subscriptions on both ATT and Verizon networks. It won't be long until status updates from more unexpected objects, like your microwave, start appearing in your News Feed. Entrepreneurs have begun to catch on and are capitalizing on this opportunity. For more information, check out some of these key start-ups in the space. Pachube.com: a platform for tracking real-time data of censored-objects Thingd.com: a 'database of stuff'? Stickybits.com: allows you to form user-generated clouds (threaded conversations of video, photos and text) around physical objects, especially CPGs Itsmyurls.com: generates identifying QR codes (used for resumes, social profiles, etc) Itizen.com: allows you to tag a product or a gift with 'a story'?

Mobile Browser vs. the App and Me ' A Love Triangle

v:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} o:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} w:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);} .shape {behavior:url(#default#VML);} --> A recent Adweek article, 'Do Mobile Users Prefer Browsers Over Apps?'? piqued my interest about the pros and cons of viewing different media on mobile browsers vs. viewing the same media on specific apps on their mobile phones. I began evaluating my own mobile phone behavior - do I prefer a mobile browser to an app? When do I decide to download an app instead of view the website on a mobile browser? Are there sites that I view on both my mobile browser and in an app format? My personal app library includes only a handful of my most trusted and useful applications: Gmail, Facebook, Weather, Pandora & Skype Mobile ' The newest music, connecting with family & friends, and knowing if I should pack an umbrella for my morning commute are important to me, thus I downloaded the apps. Some tech savvy people have a wider array of apps for variety of different mobile needs ' social media, games, and local apps. However, it's clear that the quantity and specific type of application downloaded varies by each individual person's needs and interests.  There are many websites and services that consumers find more useful in mobile app format, versus a mobile browser ' for example social media sites, music & games. This is illustrated by the Adobe Mobile Experience survey. However, today's mobile browsers (whether you have an Android, Blackberry or iPhone) are often better suited for consumers' needs. While I commonly use the Facebook application, I sometimes switch to my mobile browser when the app leaves something to be desired. For example, when using the Android Facebook app, users can't see who 'likes'? their status (only how many people 'like'? them), notifications are downloaded only every 30 minutes, and users must go to the mobile site to read/respond to a notification. Although these are minor drawbacks, they are reasons that an Android user such as myself would have to switch to their mobile browser to view their Facebook page, in addition to using the app. Although the Android Facebook app is not perfect ' I always view my Facebook profile through the app first, and if I crave something more, I move on to my mobile browser. This proves that the mobile application provides more advantages than disadvantages for me. However, I prefer to use my mobile browser for the majority of my online web surfing needs, such as shopping and the news. With the various advantages & disadvantages of every unique app, brands should evaluate their target market's mobile phone behavior before investing in app development, since it is easy and sometimes more convenient for consumers to view content via their mobile browser. Title: Mobile Browser vs. the App and Me ' A Love Triangle   A recent Adweek article, 'Do Mobile Users Prefer Browsers Over Apps?'? piqued my interest about the pros and cons of viewing different media on mobile browsers vs. viewing the same media on specific apps on their mobile phones.I began evaluating my own mobile phone behavior-do I prefer a mobile browser to an app?When do I decide to download an app instead of view the website on a mobile browser? Are there sites that I view on both my mobile browser and in an app format? My personal app library includes only a handful of my most trusted and useful applications: Gmail, Facebook, Weather, Pandora & Skype Mobile ' The newest music, connecting with family & friends, and knowing if I should pack an umbrella for my morning commute are important to me, thus I downloaded the apps.Some tech savvy people have a wide array of apps for variety of different mobile needs' social media, games, and local apps. However, it's clear that the quantity and specific type of application downloaded varies by each individual person's needs and interests.There are many websites and services that consumers find more useful in mobile app format, versus a mobile browser ' for example social media sites, music & games. This is illustrated by the Adobe Mobile Experience survey. However, today's mobile browsers (whether you have an Android, Blackberry or iPhone) are often better suited for the consumers' needs.While I commonly use the Facebook application, I sometimes switch to my mobile browser when the app leaves something to be desired. For example, when using the Android Facebook app, users can't see who 'likes'? their status (only how many people 'like'? them), notifications are downloaded onlyevery 30 minutes, and users must go to the mobile site to read/respond to a notification.Although these are minor drawbacks, they are reasons that an Android user such as myself would have to switch to their mobile browser to view their Facebook page, in addition to using the app. Although the Android Facebook app is not perfect ' I always view my Facebook profile through the app first, and if I crave something more, I move on to my mobile browser. This proves that the mobile application provides more advantages than disadvantages for me. However, I prefer to use my mobile browser for the majority of my online web surfing needs, such as shopping and the news. With the various advantages & disadvantages of every unique app, brands should evaluate their target market's mobile phone behavior before investing in app development, since it is easy and sometimes more convenient for consumers to view content via their mobile browser. Tag: http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/digital/e3i5094e406e415c280a20521b39297a826

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