For decades, visions of the future have played with the magical possibilities of computers: they’ll know where you are, what you want, and can access all the world’s information with a simple voice prompt. That vision hasn’t come to pass, yet, but features like Apple’s Siri and Google Now offer a keyhole peek into a near future reality where your phone is more “Personal Assistant” than “Bar bet settler.” The difference is that the former actually understands what you need while the latter is a blunt search instrument.
Google Now is one more baby step in that direction. Introduced this past June with Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean,” it’s designed to ambiently give you information you might need before you ask for it. To pull off that ambitious goal, Google takes advantage of multiple parts of the company: comprehensive search results, robust speech recognition, and most of all Google’s surprisingly deep understanding of who you are and what you want to know.
The past fourteen or so years have been a great run for flat-panel TV sales, but according to IHS (formerly iSuppli), that run is finally going to turn in the down direction in 2012. The expected drop off is predicted to be five percent, which still leaves the total TVs sold in 2012 at 37.1 million, more than a few dollars for sure. The fact that last year saw a modest one percent raise is as good of an indicator as any that the good times are over. Of course this is but a single prediction from a single analyst firm and we’ll all have to wait until the year is over and earnings are announced to know anything for certain.
Flat-panel TV shipments to fall for the first time ever in 2012? originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 28 Mar 2012 07:59:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Besides the elderly gentleman paying in nickels, the biggest holdup at supermarket checkouts is the cashier finding an item’s barcode and properly scanning. So Toshiba has developed a faster camera-based system that recognizes the food, packaged or fresh.
The system uses pattern recognition technology, so it can identify labels or packaging, as well as fresh items like fruits or vegetables that are typically lacking even barcodes. Mistakes are reduced since cashiers don’t need to punch in codes for fresh items, and the system is fast enough to recognize items even when they’re in motion.
Of course it still won’t stop the line from being held up as someone contests the ten cent yogurt coupon the store won’t accept, but it’s a step in the right direction of making grocery shopping easier to endure. [DigInfo via Ubergizmo]
Tumblr has been in the news a lot recently because of their huge user numbers (there’s also been some question of whether or not they are a “bot fest” – but I’ll leave that for others to analyze.) Back in 2009, I compared Tumblr to Posterous – but since that time Tumblr has just pulled away. So much so that Posterous seems to have seen the writing on the wall and is now pivoting in a new direction. But I thought it would be good to take a look at how Tumblr fairs against the larger, more established blogging networks – namely WordPress.com and Blogger.com (now part of Google).
In terms of unique visitors, there isn’t any comparison – WordPress continues to dominate. Blogger has seen attrition in their numbers and has now fallen to third place (maybe the recent move to integrate Blogger into Google+ will help here).
In terms of visits, while Tumblr passed Blogger more than a year ago, it has now moved into a tie with WordPress.
But while Tumblr has many fewer unique visitors, those visitors are viewing a lot of pages. In fact, Tumblr is now completely dominating WordPress and Blogger in this area.
And in terms of attention, Tumblr is once again dominant.
I think the reason for the higher level of engagement on Tumblr (as measured in Page Views and Attention) probably comes down to a couple of key properties of Tumblr:
1. Tumblr functions more like a social network – thus people that use Tumblr tend to also subscribe/follow other Tumblrs – creating a strong network effect.
2. Cross-blog tagging – this brings a bit of Twitter to the blog network – allowing people to easily aggregate content, by tag, across blogs. This also, no doubt, aids in content discovery.
3. Tumblr reduces barriers to publishing content – unlike a traditional blog, where people feel the need to provide richer content, Tumblr tends to encourage simple posts.
What do you think? Are you using Tumblr now in place of other blogging networks? How do you decide which one to use, and for what purpose?
Get ready, because this one may get big: 44% of all iPad applications being tested on the actual device are games. Hey Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, the iPhone/iPod titan is getting its tentacles all over the living room.
The iPhone/iPod monster has positioned itself as the preferred mobile gaming platform for developers and is quickly becoming one of the largest game platforms in the planet, with 75 million iPhone OS devices sold in just 2.5 years. The current king of all game platforms sold 125 million units of the much cheaper Nintendo DS in five years and two months.
Now Apple is moving the action into the living room. Would gaming be one of main purposes of the iPad? Would the iPad become the next casual home gaming juggernaut, like the Wii? The market will tell in time, but apparently developers think that the possibility is there. Their reasoning seems solid: The iPhone/iPod demonstrated that you don’t need buttons and a d-pad to offer a good gaming experience to most people (not only hardcore gamers). It’s the same road first taken by the Nintendo DS and then the Wii. Both have a big amount of incredibly successful games that don’t use buttons at all and require little involvement and time. In fact, it seems like consumers—not hardcore gamers—favor that kind of interaction, along with games that can be easily shared and enjoyed by a few people at the same time.
The iPad Sharing Factor
Like the iPhone/iPod Touch, the iPad is a continuation of this road. Unlike its handheld brothers, however, the bigger screen of the iPad is good to share the game experience with other people. I can easily picture two or three people sitting together on a sofa, playing with one iPad, passing it around in turns. I can also imagine multiple iPads in the same household, and people playing networked games in separate screens. Or people around a table, playing a board game touching the iPad and using their iPhones. Except this board game would have spectacular graphics and be fully animated. And perhaps have remote players connected too.
Given the general direction of the market and the possibilities of the platform, it’s not surprising that game developers are pushing so hard for the iPad. It’s yet to be seen if the Apple device would be a success or not, but having such a developer support is going to play a big role. The fact is that developers are betting that it will be a success in the gaming department. 44% is a huge figure, especially considering that the next category—entertainment—only grabs 14%. And especially considering that this is a completely unknown device. They don’t have too much to lose, since the games can target both the iPad and the iPhone/iPod Touch.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for a fully-networked Tron light cycle game for the iPad, with each device being a bike cockpit. [Business Week]
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.
- Netflix vs Blockbuster - Perfect example of an industry replaced by a more efficient version of itself
- Coke vs Pepsi vs Dr Pepper
- Marketing Costs Normalized to CPM Basis for Comparison
- 3G calling, no registration, and totally free
- The Top Endorsement Earners In Each Sport
- AOL's Plan To Steal TV Ad Dollars Is Totally Working
- Groupon launches Breadcrumb iPad app, vows to not be a typical POS
- Top Most Shared Category on Pinterest is ... Food and Drink
- Flash Sale Sites Have A Social Media Problem
- #SESNY: Toward a Performance Mindset for All Advertising
- Tips for Marketers Selecting a Digital Agency
- Context Is Not King or Queen; It's Just Necessary
- 2013 New Year's Digital Marketing Resolutions
- The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Online Campaign Ratings and eGRPs
- Why You Should Banish the Net Promoter Score Immediately
- Digital Strategy To-MAY-to vs. To-MAH-to
- The Agency-Client Relationship is Forever Changed
- Targeting vs. Privacy - Who Will Win?
- Digital + Traditional = Unified Marketing
- May 2013 (55)
- April 2013 (70)
- March 2013 (114)
- February 2013 (89)
- January 2013 (136)
- December 2012 (96)
- November 2012 (130)
- October 2012 (147)
- September 2012 (94)
- August 2012 (92)
- July 2012 (112)
- June 2012 (71)
- May 2012 (82)
- April 2012 (80)
- March 2012 (122)
- February 2012 (114)
- January 2012 (129)
- December 2011 (60)
- November 2011 (54)
- October 2011 (29)
- September 2011 (17)
- August 2011 (30)
- July 2011 (18)
- June 2011 (19)
- May 2011 (23)
- April 2011 (23)
- March 2011 (52)
- February 2011 (69)
- January 2011 (108)
- December 2010 (82)
- November 2010 (67)
- October 2010 (68)
- September 2010 (44)
- August 2010 (101)
- July 2010 (61)
- June 2010 (28)
- May 2010 (28)
- April 2010 (26)
- March 2010 (33)
- February 2010 (21)
- January 2010 (12)
- December 2009 (4)
- November 2009 (2)
- October 2009 (14)
- September 2009 (6)
- August 2009 (19)
- July 2009 (34)
- June 2009 (11)
- May 2009 (4)
- April 2009 (6)
- March 2009 (13)
- February 2009 (32)
- January 2009 (25)
- December 2008 (1)
- October 2008 (1)
- June 2008 (1)
- November 2007 (1)