In somewhat surprising news, Nike has announced that it fired the majority of its FuelBand team, and is pivoting its business away from wearable hardware and into exclusively software. That means that all FuelBands will likely not be produced in the relatively near future, and the slimmer model planned for this fall will not make it to production. For now, though, the present generation of FuelBand will continue to be sold. It seems as though this move isn’t necessarily because the wearable market is faltering; indeed, wearables and fitness tracking more broadly continue to boom. This has more to do with the fact that Nike’s digital app ecosystem continues to out-perform its physical hardware like, and as Apple and Google stand poised to join the battle for consumers’ wrists, Nike likely simply decided now was the time to re-focus the business plan.
According to a report released today, Google plans to open retail stores across the United States in order to showcase its expanding line of physical products. The goal is to have the first flagship stores open for the holiday season in metropolitan areas. Google accelerated plans to open physical locations in order to appease customers unlikely to purchase expensive physical hardware, such as Google Glass, without first trying the device for free. Already, Google has Chrome mini-stores inside Best Buy in the U.S. and electronic shops in the U.K, but stand-alone flagship stores would bring Google’s image as a physical retailer to the fore, and win over more Android skeptics.
Direct TV’s Hopper DVR is a disruptive force in the living room. For starters, it allows simultaneous recording of six channels, mobile remote integration and an app ecosystem. But most disruptive of all is its ability to skip primetime commercials, which has caused CNET to withdraw its Best In Show CES honor awarded to the device following litigation from parent company, CBS. If that’s not proof enough that the Hopper is a gamechanger, I don’t know what is.
CNET and the IPG Media Lab recently partnered on a research project to uncover how mobile apps are being used by consumers to make purchase decisions. The research specifically tested the CNET Reviews app to explore opinions, influence and opportunities for both marketers and CNET. The findings are based on aggregated evaluations of thirty-six shoppers at a leading consumer electronics retailer, including pre and post-shopping interviews, in-store observation and physiological stimuli recording methods. Each participant was a well-informed consumer electronics shoppers and existing CNET user.
I’ve gotten ping after ping this week, as my contacts respond to various points on their 25 Things list. Last night I overheard while at RiteAid (a sure indicator a phenomenon has hit critical mass), a girl telling her almost boyfriend, “I tagged you in my 25 things list on Facebook, did you see?”
Not surprisingly, blogs are buzzing over the phenomenon. Who created it, who first sent it, and why has it caught on with users to become a mass movement, inspiring equal amounts of hatred and vitriol. Full disclosure, I was tagged three times before I finally gave in and wrote the 25 things, but I could not abide and tag 25 people while releasing my intimate details publicly, so I tagged five people and sent it via email–I thought it a good compromise. Continue reading “25 things – banal drivel or human revolution?”