Archive for November, 2010
Black Friday (November 26, 2010) saw $648 million in online sales, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2010 and representing a 9% increase from Black Friday 2009, according to new figures from comScore.
Thanksgiving, Holiday Season Sales Show Online Growth
In addition, Thanksgiving Day (November 25, 2010), traditionally a lighter day for online [...]<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/marketingcharts/~4/66AtsjUZdDo" height="1" width="1"/>
Among the five most-used email providers, Inbox.com and Gmail grew at substantially higher rates than their competitors in the past year, according to data from CompetePRO.
Inbox.com Grows 65%
Although in terms of monthly unique visitors Inbox.com ranked a distant fifth in October 2010 with about 7.9 million, that figure represents an impressive 65% increase from 4.8 [...]<img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/marketingcharts/~4/wlm-yk22Sl8" height="1" width="1"/>
The iPhone might not be at the top of consumers’ wish lists this holiday season, according to data from a Nielsen survey of people over 13.
As you can see, more people are interested in non-iPhone smartphones than the iPhone. This could have to do with the fact that thanks to AT&T, the iPhone is only available to 1/3 of the U.S. population. Or, it could mean that Android (and maybe Windows Phone 7?) are more appealing now than ever.
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Amazon Price Check is the one app that can conduct a product search using practically every method available. If you’re comfortable only looking to Amazon for the best price, it’s an incredibly versatile price checking app. More »
For the first time since cable has existed, the number of subscriptions has fallen from one quarter to the next. Have we finally found the mythical mass exodus to Hulu and Apple TV? I don’t think so. Here’s why.
The map above shows activity that took place between the first and second quarters of this year. Orange circles represent with net subscription declines in metro areas, green circles show net increases. Compare that to this heatmap from RealtyTrac that shows where the highest incidence of foreclosure in May of 2010:
It’s not an exact correlation by any means. But it’s close. And I’m way more inclined to believe that cable’s one of the first things people sacrifice when times are tight than that everyone in the Southeast suddenly bought a Boxee Box.
The real worry for cable companies is that as people are forced to drop cable, they’ll suddenly realize that they never needed it to begin with. It’s so easily replaced! So while the top graph isn’t the death of cable, it may well be the vulture circling overhead. [WSJ]
2007 was the year of the Wii. So was 2008. But 2010? Not the Wii’s year, especially when you look at the console’s decline in the United States over the course of the year.
This chart, provided by Gamasutra and based upon US retail sales figures, shows a console in decline, its sales down by a significant margin over the past two years (and to such a degree that even a miraculous Christmas for Nintendo’s console won’t reverse that trend).
A price cut might help stop the rot. A “must have” game – something the Wii is lacking at the moment – wouldn’t go amiss either. But then, would either of those things make Nintendo’s machine seem more appealing to a “casual” consumer wowed by Kinect’s advertising campaign? Or the ever-growing ranks of PlayStation 3 owners, lured by its multimedia capabilities and reduced price-tag?
In-Depth: Where Do Wii Sales Go From Here? [Gamasutra]
The open source Kinect driver was just released yesterday and we’re already seeing some pretty impressive hacks for the Xbox 360 accessory. Florian Ectler used the open source Kinect driver to turn the Kinect into a gesture-based multi-touch control device, above. As you can see, the hacked Kinect identifies hand gestures, which are then used to manipulate photos. Awesome.
Ectler’s interface gave us creepy flashbacks to the futuristic interface used by Tom Cruise in Minority Report. As you can see in the clip below, Cruise tosses windows back and forth between screens with hand gestures. That’s not too far off from what Ectler’s interface provides. An unlike Minority Report, Ectler’s solution doesn’t require users to wear dorky three-fingered gloves
Open source Kinect camera driver now available for download
This is a little confusing, but it looks like there’s another Kinect driver out in the wild, and this one is actually available for download. The folks at NUI Group, who posted results first, are working on an SDK and Windows driver for all the capabilities of the device, which they plan to release as open source once their $10k donation fund is filled up. Meanwhile, hacker Hector Martin has performed a quick and dirty hack of his own (three hours into the European launch, no less) and has released his results and code into the wild. Sure, pulling data from the IR and RGB cameras and displaying it is a lot different than actually making sense of it, but if you’re just looking for a way to plug your Kinect into your computer and squeeze some fun visuals out of it (and you’re smart enough to deal with some pretty raw code), it looks like Hector is your man of the hour. Peep his video proof after the break.
Kinect hacked to show off how Windows 8 multitouch controls may work
Hackers are hard at work ripping apart Microsoft’s controller-less Xbox 360 accessory. Recent developments have shown off Minority Report style multitouch control and the Kinect running on Mac OS X.
Firstly, Florian Echtler has taken the recently created open source camera driver and created his own multitouch UI “TISCH” software library. Echtler’s software shows off Minority Report style control for the Kinect running on a Linux distribution. The software is cross platform according to the developer page.
The second piece of Kinect hacking news comes in the form of the Mac. Theo Watson has released an OS X port of libfreenect, a library that can run Kinect’s output inside of OS X. Watson released a video demonstrating the Kinect running in Apple’s OS X operating system.
Kinect hacking is only at the very early stages but what’s clear is hackers are demonstrating the potential of the technology for use on PCs. Microsoft recently purchased 3D gesture experts Canesta. Microsoft’s investment in this technology is likely to see them focus heavily on bringing gesture based control to Windows 8. Earlier this year a number of Windows 8 product slides leaked from a HP employee that pointed towards some new product features. Kinect integration, a Windows App Store and fast boot were all promised. Microsoft previously purchased 3DV systems, who also make gesture recognition technology. With the push for this technology in gaming, it’s only natural that Microsoft would also want to port this to Windows.
With Windows 8 approximately two years away from general availability, Microsoft has the time to avoid any potential intellectual property issues and secure a number of key software patents. Canesta has secured 44 patents related to gesture control. Microsoft will likely port a number of improvements to Kinect during this time too. If Microsoft can perfect the technology and control most of the patents then it’s a strong market that the software giant will be dominant in. Hackers will only help refine certain usage scenarios and ideas for the future of the technology.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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