Virtual good creation becoming real brand task

Virtual good creation becoming a brand task One of the big show stoppers at E3 was Microsoft’s roll out of Kinect, featuring a natural user interface and motion sensing capabilities. With Playstation’s Move, Sony’s motion sensing addition to the PlayStation and the preexisting Nintendo’s Wii, there’s now greater emphasis on simulated environments. And along with these simulated environments, or virtual realities, comes virtual objects.

How will brands introduce their real world products into these rich virtual worlds? Computer-aided design (CAD) suddenly becomes much more important. CAD is typically known for the design of tools and machinery and for drafting and design in architecture. But now CAD and other 3D software solutions play an important role as brands begin to populate these virtual worlds with virtual objects based on real life products. Continue reading “Virtual good creation becoming real brand task”

How the iPad is reshaping the Web

iPad continues to create ripples through the mobile, eReader, and online applications worlds. Here are five ways the device is transforming the Web as we know it:

1) Where has all my flash gone?  Or Hello, HTML 5
This is playing out in the press with a great flourish as everyone scrambles to understand apple’s strategy and relationship with Adobe.   85% of the top websites use flash (according to Adobe Labs) so Flash isn’t going to go away but HTML 5 will be a new way to navigate the web and consume applications,  without relying on Java or other plugins.  The very nature of how pages are built and how you navigate the web will be an application metaphor.  And playing off the current popularity of location based services, with HTML5, the browser on any device can detect the user’s geographical location if approved by that user.  This makes it possible for web pages to explore location aware experiences.   And video consumption will also really benefit because you won’t be relying on proprietary plug-ins that are CPU intensive.  And as of this week, Revision 3, a popular broadband TV site, announced it now supports video playback on the Apple iPad, thanks to its foray into HTML5.  You’ll see other major video consumption sites follow suite as the game changes again for video on and offline.  (HTML 5 will also be a player in the set top box world) Continue reading “How the iPad is reshaping the Web”

Connected devices get some Best Buy love

According to a report from ABI Research, Best Buy is planning to set up displays in store to showcase devices connected to the Internet (TV’s, Set-top boxes and blue ray players).  The hope is that with a bit of education, consumer adoption will get a push, lighting sales in all areas of Internet driven electronics.  According to ABI, Internet connected living room devices are expected to become a mainstream feature in 2013, with 19% of all flat panels shipping this year to showcase Ethernet.  Of course, we’ve all been to Best Buy displays where they don’t work or the sales staff knows less about the features then today’s educated consumer, but what will all this mean to marketers?

As the hardware evolves, so will the software and the business models that push content through those new applications.  You can imagine a world in the near future where televisions last longer because the renewed focus on hardware and CPU capabilities pushes for an improvement on overall system performance.  In these scenarios, you really will be asking, what’s the chip inside?  And an entire generation of people will grow up with never experiencing the separation of broadband from broadcast. Continue reading “Connected devices get some Best Buy love”

iPad: Point/Counterpoint

The iPad has struck a nerve, stirring up a ton of controversy… Is it the next great device or an overhyped Apple toy? Check in with the Lab to see our first installment of our new series: “Point/CounterPoint: Whose Side Are You On?” Featuring Lab Director, Lori Schwartz and Lab CTO, Scott Susskind.

iPad: Game changer or iPod Touch for Boomers?

iPad (Courtesy of Apple)The IPG Media Lab team weighs in on Apple’s release of the much anticipated iPad device.

Is the iPad a game changer?

Scott Susskind, IPG Lab CTO: I don’t know if I would consider it a “game changer.”  However, I do think it raises the bar.  We saw several tablet devices this year at CES that leveraged the Google Android platform that have some similarities to the iPad.  However, the iPad will quickly leapfrog the competition due to the maturity of the iPhone OS and breadth of the existing application ecosystem. The heavy lifting was already done. It allowed Apple to focus their efforts on smoothing out the user experience for this form-factor as well as developing special ports of business apps that make it an attractive device for the workplace.

That said, I think it will be a short-lived lead.  As the Android App ecosystem matures, the marketplace will swell with a variety of Android-based devices Devices that will either compete directly with the iPad, or fill smaller, niche markets that would be too costly for Apple to support through multiple hardware versions.  And since the content (and app) distribution model will likely be based on an open ecosystem, I would wager that the lion’s share of the market will be non-Apple inside of a few years. Continue reading “iPad: Game changer or iPod Touch for Boomers?”

Layers of influence reign at CES

Layers of Influence at CES 2010 (Lori Schwartz)Imagine a world where any screen you come into contact with has the capability to play multiple streams of content that are contextually relevant to you, to your gender, location and purchase habits.  Imagine that this content could take the form of video with additional layers of text, graphics or audio.  Then picture a powerful 4G network, with 80 megabits of data being delivered with HD quality video and 3D enhancements. Data would be fed back and forth to respond to interactions and navigation would be more primal, responding to touch and movement. Marketers would have a field day with targeting content based on demographics right down to the individual.  And imagine if the foundation of this world was presented to you at a yearly consumer electronics trade show…

While there were no earth shattering products or mind-blowing reveals at this year’s CES, the world I described above has been set in motion. Never before have so many consumer electronic companies all committed to embracing the same technology trends in such a way that the dividing line between competitive offerings is hard to see. All this sets the stage for what I’d like to call “layers of influence.”  Continue reading “Layers of influence reign at CES”

Does CES still matter?

Does CES still matter?The CES floor is all abuzz with 3D, eReaders, and touch screen experiences but in a year where there’s pressure to deliver measureable results, should a brand care abut what’s a year is so ahead? The answer is yes!

Once consumers start experiencing 3D and touchcreen experiences in public spaces (dooh will have immediate deployments) the expectation for all content to deliver at the same level will be high.

Brands should be creating messaging and content for what’s to come.

Windows 7 is setting the stage for touch screen to be a standard. Flash is making its way to your living room through set boxes and connected TVs with power SOC (systems on a chip) that will enable interactivity and layers of information. And over the top solutions powered by broadband are creating web like experiences on HD screens.

The stage is being set for a visual and kinetic revolution and if your not prepared to leverage the solutions that are available, your brand will be left out in the cold.

A new kind of e-reader?

Vook imageAs many publishers and newspaper professionals contemplate the death of traditional print, along comes another format to participate in its demise, The “VOOK.”   The Vook, Simon and Schuster’s new hybrid book/video combination will be available on computers, iPhones and iPod Touch and allow you to read a book interspersed with videos that add to the narrative, or offer a visual aid for training and education purposes.

Vook’s marketing promises that you can read your book but also watch videos, view how-tos and connect in that social media way with authors and other readers. In fact their big push is that you can “do it all in one place…[no more] switching between applications or websites.” Continue reading “A new kind of e-reader?”

The promise of “local”

The promise of local (istock)Local is the new hottie and everyone wants to date her! The promise of local (in terms of content and targeted advertising) has long been the promise land for all of us emerging media types.  With the growth of broadband and IP related content solutions, the dream of targeting relevant content/ad messaging can become a reality. Semantic solutions are allowing us to learn about users and IP-based data allows us to push down that marketing funnel and deliver the dream of relevant messages.  Cable has been playing with DMA and SubDMA targeting for the last few years but has yet to really land the plane.  For the larger cable and satellite solutions it’s a numbers game.  They need access and affectability in more regions and households to make this a true play and they aren’t there yet.

Mediabrands, the Lab‘s holding company,  has just launched a new Hyper-local Media and Marketing Unit to offer new local marketing solutions.   “Geomentum,” is a new business entity, whose  hyper-local vision is based on a bottom-up investment strategy, which begins with sales data, and data reflecting the changing media mix.  Continue reading “The promise of “local””

Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and social visualization

Death of MJ Twittered

Much will be said over the next week or so about the passing of two iconic celebrities Thursday, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson, whose work will forever be associated with particular moments in our cultural history.  I was a teenager at the height of Farah Fawcett’s launch and was well aware of the impact of her world-famous poster on all my male teenage friends.  I also danced to many of MJ’s top 10 singles and watched his life choices play out over the national stage.

Today, the social Web, as we saw happen with Iran, impacts the movement of information about these two well known celebrities.  Beyond Twitter and some blog entries, many sites have moved toward the artful use of visualization software to capture the impact and tremendous activity of newsworthy information.  A day like today is when their stories play out. Continue reading “Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, and social visualization”