Four Major Brand Activations To Look Forward To At SXSW 2015

It’s SXSW Interactive time again, and the Lab will be in Austin covering the latest developments. The buzz is already beginning, though, with major companies looking to make an impact at an event typically associated with startups:

  1. McDonald’s Hopes To Win Millennials Back
    McDonald’s will be hosting a charging area, dubbed the “Fry-Fi Station”, as well as food truck, street performances, live music, and a lounge equipped with WiFi and TVs streaming coverage of the panels. The fast food company will also be hosting three pitch sessions to showcase the company’s commitment to digital innovation. However, McDonald’s has already attracted negative press by initially opting to not pay bands to perform.
  2. Twitter Plans to Boost Brand Presence
    Twitter has kept a pretty low profile at SXSW for the past few years, with a small pop up-space showcasing ad content and networking with potential partners. Glen Brown, head of content and partnerships, would not reveal any specifics about what the messaging service has up its sleeve for this year, but he did reveal plans to increase brand presence and share a new native video strategy.
  3. New Transportation Options With LyftLine and “Magic Mode”
    In addition to allowing multiple riders to share a car with LyftLine, the company is also unveiling a SXSW-dedicated promotion called “Magic Mode” that will allow attendees to request stylish rides including a 1963 Bentley, 1960’s era mini cooper, a Tesla Model S, and a Range Rover.
  4. PayPal Supports Start Ups
    PayPal is launching a new contest this year that will let startups pitch to shark tank’s Daymond John. The winner will receive one-on-one consultations and $30,000.


Free WiFi Hotspots Available Through NYC Public Libraries

Read original story on: WSJ Online

New York public libraries will soon start lending WiFi hotspots to people who need it most; namely, the low-income residents who don’t have broadband and are enrolled in library programs. Around ten thousand Sprint WiFi hotspots will be funded partly by a $1 million donation from Google.

This expansion of free NYC Wifi hotspot program marks yet another effort in the city’s initiative to bring Internet access to all New Yorkers. Earlier this year, the city announced a linkNYC plan that will start converting outdated payphone booth into Wifi hotspots.

49ers Wi-Fi Stadium

The San Francisco 49ers are equipping their new stadium with a speedy Wi-Fi network that will provide a solid data connection for the possible 68,000 fans who can attend a game. The network will not only improve fan satisfaction, but will likely generate a lot of social media activity in the process. Other venues can do the same and also use wi-fi as a means of collecting audience data to better understand who visits their location.

Netgear Smart Home Devices, NeoMax TV And More

There were lots of announcements from Netgear earlier today at CES.  Most of these focused around the Smart Home, an area which should triple over the next couple of years.  Netgear  unveiled new home security cameras which are wireless and fit in the palm of your hand.  The Vue Zone and the Vue Phone Night Vision Camera transmits video wirelessly and will email you if there is unexpected motion in the house so you can see immediately what the camera is seeing.  They also released a new version of Plus2TV which allows easy streaming from your mobile devices to your television.  There are new dual band 11ac WiFi products allowing faster connectivity in a world of growing devices.

The Genie App allows the users to generate QR codes as a way to share home networking, printing and the like without sharing your password.

The NeoTV Max has a built in Sling Player so that accessing content from your Slingbox from other TV’s is a breeze, helping to, as they describe it, “turn your regular TV into a smart TV.”  Their new NeoTV Prime is a partnership with Google TV.  David Henry, Netgear’s VP Product Marketing, described it as “Google TV done right.” It combines Google TV and the ability to run apps from Google Play with enhanced support for home media and connected USBs.   You can cross platform search with a dual sided remote/qwerty keyboards and it predict and make recommendations for future viewing.