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Adidas’ View of the World Cup

6 Apr

The upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil will the world’s most viewed sporting event of the event of the year — yes, more viewers than for the Super Bowl.

As with other major sporting events, the technology involved in creating a better customer experience for the World Cup continues to be cutting edge. This year’s innovation: a camera embedded in the soccer ball.

Raymond Wong, reporting for DVICE.com, notes that:

“Created by adidas, the brazucam is arguably the most high-tech soccer ball ever conceived. The custom soccer ball is equipped with six high definition cameras (GoPros, if you must know), which will be used to record the game from new angles. What kind of angles and views can we expect? How about views from the ball flying in the air before it gets kicked by another player? Or views of the ball coming right into the goal? Adidas plans to release a new video on its YouTube channel every week as the ball travels around the world and ends up at the World Cup in Brazil.”

Take a look at the adidas trailer on YouTube: “I am brazuca, traveling around the world on my way to the 2014 FIFA World Cup™. Come join me as I meet some of the world’s best players, attend matches, and play with fans. With six eyes and 360º views, I will see and share the love of football around the globe like never before. Follow my journey on Twitter: http://twitter.com/brazuca. #allin or nothing .”

 

 
And, of course, there is an official brazuca World Cup soccer ball for sale – at $159.99. Sorry, this version does not include any cameras. But it is the soccer ball they will be kicking this summer!
 

Coming Tech Gadgets

30 Mar

We could literally write a post every day about the developments in consumer technology. There are that many innovations being introduced into the marketplace.

John Brandon, a contributing editor at Inc. magazine, discusses seven eye-catching products that will be appearing soon. What do YOU think?

  1. HP 3D Printer
  2. Project Ara (a mobile phone whose components will snap together)
  3. Vanguard ID Systems ViewTag (a programmable luggage tag that tracks the luggage)
  4. Apple iPhone 6 (a “phablet” with a longer battery life)
  5. Intel RealSense (a 3D camera for laptops, tablets, and other devices that senses finger movements, reads facial reactions, and listens to your voice)
  6. 802.11ai Wi-Fi (faster and easier to connect to a network)
  7. Android Wear Smartwatch

Click the image to read more detail on Brandon’s creative picks.

 

Lessons from SXSW Interactive

20 Mar

As noted at its Web site: “The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conferences & Festivals offer the unique convergence of original music, independent films, and emerging technologies. Fostering creative and professional growth alike, SXSW is the premier destination for discovery.”

At the recent SXSW Interactive event,  JWT Intelligence did some background research and came up with 10 key overriding themes for us to consider:

  1. The Snowden effect
  2. Data permanence
  3. Demystifying cryptocurrency
  4. The future of the Internet
  5. Wearables
  6. Man versus machine
  7. Disruption
  8. The humanitarian potential of technology
  9. Visualization
  10. Mindfulness and technology

Here is a slideshow that looks in-depth at these overriding themes from JWT Intelligence:
 

 

Welcome Back, One World Trade Center

7 Mar

It has been about twelve-and-a-half years since one of the worst days in American history — a tragedy that many of us will remember forever. Now, One World Trade Center is ready to reclaim its unofficial title as “The Top of America.” And in the turbulent times we face, it is gratifying to see an important symbol back in the sky, although we will still miss the “Twin Towers.”

In recognition of the rebirth of 1 WTC, Time magazine has produced a great multimedia tribute. Click here to access it. As Richard Licayo writes:

“For years after the 9/11 attacks, nearly all the activity at Ground Zero was downward—digging through the piles of debris, excavating a vast pit to restore the ruined transit lines, preparing the foundations for the new buildings that would emerge there. Even the memorial that opened in 2011 was an exercise in the poetics of descent — two vast cubic voids, each with water cascading down all four sides, carrying grief to some underground resting place.”

“The memorial has turned out to be a lovely thing, but what the site still needed was something that climbed, something that spoke to the idea that emotional burdens might not only be lowered into the ground but also released into the air. Now we have it: One World Trade Center, the glass-and-steel exclamation point, all 1,776 feet of it, is nearing completion close to where the Twin Towers once stood. No doubt the new building’s official dedication will open the way to a necessary debate over its merits as architecture and urbanism, its turbulent design history, and the compromises made over the long years it took to get the thing built. But in one important respect, One World Trade Center has already succeeded. It has reclaimed the sky. And this is the view from there.”

Click the image to see an aerial video of 1 WTC.
 

 

Analytics and Social Media Marketing

4 Mar

With the growth of social media marketing has come the related increase in the use of analytics to measure the effectiveness of social media. As we have reported before, Google Analytics has been the leading tool for marketers in studying their social media performance.

Now, new research from Demand Metric (sponsored by NetBase) highlights how companies are using social media analytics. According to eMarketer,

“The rise in social media analytics tools has satisfied marketer demand for a way to measure and gather insights from social marketing efforts. Nearly two-thirds of organizations in North America have adopted them, according to a January 2014 study by Demand Metric sponsored by NetBase. And this group responded quickly to the release of such tools — over half of takeup had occurred in the previous two years. How are marketing professionals using social media analytics tools for optimization? The top response among those polled by Demand Metric was campaign tracking (60%). This was followed by brand analysis (48%) and competitive intelligence (40%).”

 

 

An Interview with Futurist Guru Ray Kurzweil

3 Mar

Ray Kurzweil is widely acknowledged as a true technology guru. As Wikipedia notes: “Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flatbed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first commercial text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer Kurzweil K250 capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.”

Recently, the Wall Street Journal‘s Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker sat down with Kurzweil for an in-depth interview: “Machines will soon be as smart as we are, says Ray Kurzweil. But not to worry. The engineering director of Google Inc. and founder and CEO of Kurzweil Technologies Inc. argues that as computers get smaller and more powerful, we won’t face a sci-fi nightmare. Instead, these machines will help us expand our capabilities.”

For print excerpts from the interview, click here.

Click the image for a video clip of the interview.

 

Careers in Marketing: Sharpen Your Digital Skills

1 Mar

In planning for the next phase of your career, think digital. There are — and will be — a lot of opportunities out there. :-)

 

 

The Rise of the Phablet

27 Feb

As smartphone technology evolves and competition becomes more intense in that market space, innovations are not only focusing on features but also on phone size. Thus, we now have still another new marketing term — phablet. [Yes, just what we need another new term. :-) ] A phablet is a combination of a phone and tablet, a full-featured smartphone with a much bigger screen.

Will this trend continue? Will it be successful? Will it slow the growth of tablets?

As Brian X. Chen reports for the New York Times:

“Smartphones are going against one of the long-held rules in portable electronics, that smaller is better. Year by year, computers, storage devices, and music players have shed size and weight. And for decades, it has been happening with cellphones, too. But now cellphones, and smartphones in particular, are going the way of the television: They just keep getting bigger and bigger. And people keep buying them.”

“The trend became even more apparent this week, as handset makers introduced a number of big-screen smartphones — from five diagonal inches to more than seven inches — at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. Samsung Electronics, Sony, and the Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE, among others, are all betting that consumers find images and video to be more vivid and engaging on a bigger screen, and that they may prefer to carry a larger phone instead of both a smartphone and a tablet.”

Click on the image to see a video on the phablet.

 

 

Should Marketers Be Climbing the Vine?

18 Feb

Is Vine.co (owned by Twitter) ready to be the next “big thing” in social media? Already, it has generated some changes by competitor Instagram. When it was launched in late January 2013, Vine announced that it “We wanted to make it easier for people to create and share videos from a device we almost always have with us: our phone. Since then, you’ve shown time and again that video can bring us together in new and profound ways. You inspire us every day. Thank you for making our first year so special.”

As a more independent expert, Douglas Karr, reports for MarketingTechBlog: “Vine launched a year ago and has had quite a bit of success. Think of Vine as a video version of Twitter, where you record short clips of video and upload them. It’s not surprising that Twitter purchased Vine and integrated playing the videos from Twitter and their applications. When using the app, the camera records only while the screen is being touched, allowing you to do some nifty videos.”

Check out this infographic to see how well Vine is doing — and why marketers should take note!!
 


 

Being Prepared for 2014 and Beyond

13 Feb

Businessweek annually forecasts the year ahead. For this year, it says that: “Inflation and interest rates are low, oil prices are expected to fall, companies are sitting on cash, and there’s plenty of consumer demand.” In the 2014 report, Peter Coy sets the economic and geopolitical stage for 55 global industries.”

Click the image for a fun (and hard) quiz to test how ready you are for the future. 
 

 

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