Spotify Time Capsule

Spotify is capitalising on the inherent human need to dredge up the past and roll around in it with a brand new personalised playlist generated from your birthdate.

“Your Time Capsule” gathers tunes from your teens and early twenties, throwing them all together in a personalised, inevitably cheesy trip down memory lane.

How does Spotify know how old you are? When you first sign up for Spotify (how long ago was that?), each user has to fill out their date of birth — “Your Time Capsule” gauges your age from this. Spotify will create a playlist for every user in 60 markets, aged between 16 and 85.

For an idea of what to expect for a 29-year-old, my playlist kicks off with Hanson’s “Thinking of You,” an opening Middle of Nowhere jam that I definitely wore out on my Sony Walkman. Then, it careens into Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby,” and Spice Girls fan favourite “Never Give Up on the Good Times.” Then we’re into Usher, Blink 182, Craig David, Mary J. Blige, Yellowcard… yeah, don’t look at me.

It’s a strong move from Spotify, whose decade-based “All Out” playlists are some of the platform’s most popular — the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s playlists have between 1.2 million and 1.7 million followers each.

Want to give it a go? Find “Your Time Capsule” at timecapsule.spotify.com or at the top of Home or in the Decades section of Browse on the Spotify app for iOS or Android.

You can also scan the Spotify Code below for your playlist, if you’re into scanning:

 

Why its hot

  • Giving the people what they want
  • Knowing your audience
  • Not hot:Scanning

http://mashable.com/2017/09/28/spotify-time-capsule-playlist/?utm_cid=hp-h-4#0LFOTDX9SqqR

Diverse Buying Committees Require Personalized Approaches

Millennials are taking their seats among Generation X and Baby Boomers at the buying table, making navigating the already complicated buying environment even harder, thanks to their different preferences.

According to a SnapApp and Heinz Marketing survey  in late June 2017, to understand and identify the generational differences, and impact of those differences, on the B2B sales process and buyer’s journey, the report looks at the differences between the rising Millennial buyer, their Generation X and Baby Boomer counterparts, and how B2B marketing and sales strategies can address the gaps between them.

 The key findings included:  

For Millennials:

A noninvasive approach is key to gaining any traction within this cohort, which avoids sales at all costs:

  • Emphasize the relevance to the Millennial buyer and their issues specifically.
  • A company must win the trust of those that the Millennial buyer trusts.
  • Best pieces of content include: blog posts, infographics, videos, ungated eBooks. No whitepapers.

For Generation X,

Marketing and sales should reach out early in the buying process:

  • Highlight product details and benefits for the whole team vs. individuals.
  • Use data, analytics, and other measurable statistics in your conversations.
  • Best pieces of content include: webinars, charts/graphs, brochures.

For Baby Boomers

Early engagement goes a long way with this generation:

  • Lead with how your product benefits the members of their teams, rather than individuals.
  • Use data and analytics to clearly show the value of the product.
  • Best pieces of content include: webinars, charts/graphs, interactive eBooks.

Why It’s Hot: B2B marketers still take a fairly standard and universal approach to marketing and media, which aligns well w/the behaviors and interests of Gen X and Baby Boomer buyers; i.e., white papers, lead gen and immediate sales outreach, as well as focus on benefits for the team as a whole. This approach is a huge turnoff to Millennials, who not only are joining buying committees, but are often initiating and spearheading them!

 

To Infinity and Beyond with a BFR

Tired of the earth? No worries, Elon Musk hopes to have trips to Mars available by 2024. With SpaceX’s new toy, BFR (which stands for Big F****** Rocket) is supposed to replace the current Falcon’s. The BFR is going to be 347 ft tall, 29 ft wide, and said to have 40 cabins that will store about 2-3 people, meaning there’ll be about 100 people per trip! But BFR isn’t only for trips to Mars or the Moon, Musk says it could also be a great way to travel around the world, shortening all trips to under an hour.

Why It’s Hot:
“It’s 2017, we should have a lunar base by now” – Elon Musk.

source: http://mashable.com/2017/09/29/elon-musk-mars-bfr/#Za4mL0F0PqqX

I’m gonna go watch some Jersey now…

Nike is celebrating the beginning of its partnership with the NBA by revealing that its new fan jerseys will include an interactive element, designed to bring the sport’s followers closer to its biggest stars. Billed as ‘the future of fan apparel’, each of the connected basketball jerseys features a unique NFC chip — the same technology used in metro cards, or for apple pay — built into its jock tag. using NIKEconnect, fans will then be able to access real-time, personalized experiences through their smartphone.

Why It’s Hot:

-Yet another example of how physical and digital worlds continue colliding at breakneck

-Successfully merged two of the most relevant communication tactics, tech and content, to deliver unique experiences

– Somehow, it turned clothing into a proprietary media channel () which huge cross-selling opportunities

Source

FDA’s Digital Health Innovation Action Plan Targets Software – Not Hardware – For Regulatory Approval

A few weeks ago I posted an article that spoke to the value connected medicine dispensing could bring to healthcare.

What I neglected to mention is the plethora of HIPAA hurdles that the healthcare industry faces when it begins collecting patient-specific healthcare data on mobile devices such as phones, tablets or wearables.

Thankfully there may be a solution on the horizon that significantly circumvents this challenge.

In the past, if a client were to build an app that collected patient-specific medical data, the entire phone would then be considered a “medical device.” The challenge with this lies in the relative inability of a healthcare company to effectively to manage HIPAA compliance on a device they rarely have contact with.

However, the FDA’s new Digital Health Innovation Action Plan is looking at ways to view the software as the components of a tech solution that needs to be regulated. This effectively paves the way for healthcare companies and the companies to more deeply integrate mobile technology with healthcare.

As part of the plan, the FDA is seeking 9 that meet the following criteria for its pilot initiative;

  • Business is developing or planning to develop tools that meet the FDA’s definition of a device — one intended to be used to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent a disease;
  • Company has an existing track record in developing, testing, and maintaining software products use key performance indicators for quality control;
  • Must agree to provide access to performance measures during the pilot
  • Collect real-world post-market performance data and provide it to the FDA;
  • Availability for consultations and site visits from FDA officials
  • Provide quality management system information

So who did the FDA deem worthy this past week from the pool of over 100 applicants?

  • Apple
  • Fitbit
  • Verily (the health unit of Google parent Alphabet)
  • Samsung
  • Roche
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Pear Therapeutics
  • Tidepool
  • Phosphorus.

“We need to modernize our regulatory framework so that it matches the kind of innovation we’re being asked to evaluate, and helps foster beneficial technology while ensuring that consumers have access to high-quality, safe and effective digital health devices,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. “These pilot participants will help the agency shape a better and agiler approach toward digital health technology that focuses on the software developer rather than an individual product.”

The end goal of the program is to develop a regulatory framework for software as a medical device so that companies with established, tried and tested quality assurance protocols would be able to update their products faster.

Why It’s Hot:

in the past, mobile devices such as wearables, phone or tablets that collected patient data weren’t HIPAA compliant. This new FDA initiative opens up the potential to build technology that makes these devices HIPAA compliant opening up vast new opportunities for the healthcare industry.

What Goes Up (Slowly), Must Come Down (Quickly)

Readers are quick to click away from webpages that don’t load in a timely manner, and advertising contributes to that latency. But what if advertisers got taxed for heavy ads that delay publishers’ page-load speeds?Ad-quality issues delay page loads by an average of 4.3 seconds, costing ad-supported sites $400,000 in revenue a year, according to ad tech firm Ad Lightning, which helps publishers identify ads that hurt their site performance.Slapping fines on heavy ads would shift the responsibility for sluggish sites onto advertisers and their creative shops, where the blame often lies.

“Some advertisers hold publishers accountable for viewability yet use creatives that sometimes take 10 seconds to load,” says Spande. “Beyond viewability, lighter ads with less animation just perform better.”

The idea has some support among agencies. Publishers are already being “taxed” by Google’s algorithm, which pushes slow sites further down in search results, among hundreds of other signals it uses to rank results. So if an advertiser wants to use heavy ads, should they also pay a premium cost?

Enforcement challenges
Enforcing an ad surcharge would be tricky, though. It’s hard for publishers to prove which ad creative is slowing down their pages, especially when programmatic comes into play. Even if the publisher could prove that certain ads slow down page-load time, that cost would be eventually passed on to the advertiser, which might cause backlash from brands. It’d be hard for publishers to impose such taxes on their own because advertisers can just pull their spending from a site if they don’t like the publisher’s policy.

Then, there’s the question of who would tax the advertisers.  Google DoubleClick and other ad servers are in the best position to do the work because the ad server owns data around file sizes and the number of ad tags, and it’s the only place where an ad could change.

Why Its Hot:

In order for this to work, an ad tax would need broad enforcement. Publishers would need to rely on Google and trade groups like the IAB to tax advertisers, says a publishing executive, speaking on condition of anonymity. Similar to when Chrome decided to block ads that don’t meet certain standards, Google had the power that prompted lots of creative agencies to take notice.

There’s hope that market forces correct the problem before it gets to the level of an ad tax. Ad servers, supply-side platforms and  DSPs that work in publishers’ interests will be rewarded by getting publishers’ business. If creative agencies are told in the brief stage that their ads should meet certain ad specifications, they will do so to avoid penalties and to get better campaign performance.

Why does there have to be a loser?

If we all work towards the best user-experience, we all win.

Snapchat Announces New 3D AR Lenses for Ads

Snapchat Announces 3D AR Lenses as a New Ad Option | Social Media Today

Snapchat’s 3D World Lenses are now available as an ad option, according to Social Media Today.

The new ad format, unsurprisingly, will be at the higher end of Snapchat’s ad options, and can only be purchased through Snapchat’s direct sales team, not the platform’s recently launched self-serve platform.

The campaigns will be available in two formats – as explained by Marketing Land:

  1. They can run as traditional Sponsored Lens campaigns, where they’ll only show up when people swipe through the gallery of Lenses to apply one to their post. As with a normal Sponsored World Lens campaign, a Sponsored 3D World Lens must be bundled with a traditional Sponsored Lens that’s available through the phone’s front-facing camera in order to appear in the Lens gallery, according to a Snapchat spokesperson.
  2. Or they can be attached to a Snap Ad and be promoted outside of the Lens gallery. Users can swipe up on the vertical video ad to use the Lenses, marking the first time that a Lens can be used as a Snap Ad attachment.

Why Its Hot

Seems like every week we’re talking about new applications for AR. As an ad buying option, it will be interesting to see which brands are able to take advantage of AR. With the high price tag, Snapchat will have to make sure they’re delivering the ROI buyers are looking for.

Ikea acquires TaskRabbit

Both Ikea and TaskRabbit have confirmed that the Swedish retailer has acquired the gig-economy startup in a deal on Thursday. According to recode:

TaskRabbit had already struck a pilot partnership with Ikea around furniture assembly in the United Kingdom and also had marketed its workers’ ability to put together Ikea items in the U.S. and elsewhere.

The heads of TaskRabbit and Ikea Group: Stacy Brown-Philpot (left) and Jesper Brodin

The heads of TaskRabbit and Ikea Group: Stacy Brown-Philpot (left) and Jesper Brodin

Why it’s hot

Ikea has already shown that it wants to get serious about digital innovation with the launch of it’s Ikea Place AR app. TaskRabbit’s firm ties to Silicon Valley – with its CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot, a former Google exec and a board member at HP Inc. – will mark a larger step into tech space for Ikea.

Learn more: https://www.recode.net/2017/9/28/16377528/ikea-acquisition-taskrabbit-shopping-home-contract-labor

Dubai is building a mock Martian city


United Arab Emirates has announced that it’s building a 1.9 million square feet simulated Mars settlement. It will be called Mars Science City and will serve as home to interconnected domes housing various laboratories simulating the planet’s terrain. The team building the structure plans to use advanced 3D printing techniques and heat and radiation insulation to mimic the harsh environment of our neighbor.

Why it’s hot?
New start-up movement: The city will have labs to develop technologies that can provide future Martian colonies with food, water and energy.

Source: Engadget

nike connected jersey…

Nike added a new layer of to clothing recently when it introduced connected NBA jerseys.

To coincide with its new status as official NBA gear provider, jersey owners can now tap their iPhone 7 with iOS11 on the jersey’s tag to activate “premium content” via NFC.

Per 9-to-5 mac:

“Essentially what happens is customers can purchase a jersey for their favorite player and unlock “premium content” about that player via the NikeConnect app. That premium content includes things such as “pregame arrival footage,” highlight reels, music playlists from players, and more. Just so everything comes full circle, the jerseys can unlock boosts for players in NBA 2K18.”

Why It’s Hot:

Everything is now a platform. With AR, NFC, and QR truly becoming mainstream, and mixed reality and AI presumably not long behind them, we’re interacting with things in a whole new way. This is a relatively light example – less utility, more entertainment – but it shows how technology is integrating into everything to provide a new layer of experience to even the clothes we wear.

Checking Out With VR

MasterCard and Swarovski claim they are the first to make virtual commerce a reality.

Retailers like Lowes and Ikea have created virtual showrooms where consumers can browse goods while wearing VR headsets, but shoppers can’t buy products while in the VR experience. Instead, items are added to a shopping cart to be purchased later on a different device.

Swarovski borrows much from Lowes and Ikea, as its VR shoppers walk around a high-end home and interact with various crystals from the retailer’s Atelier collection (see video below). Engaging with a product also provides details about it, such as price and the option to check out right then and there with Mastercard’s MasterPass.

“The average time users spend on visits is nine minutes,” said Abi Mandelbaum, CEO and co-founder of YouVisit, which powered the option to check out in VR for Mastercard. “If you can get someone to engage with you for nine minutes, why do you want them to go somewhere else to complete the purchase?”

Source

Why It’s (Maybe) Hot

Marketers are still trying to find applications for VR so purchasing within an app is an interesting idea. But would this work for products outside of the luxury vertical? And will it actually drive sales?

Robot, a kid’s best friend?

Robots are making their way into schools and education to help children lower their stress and boost their creativity. Among those who have diseases such as diabetes and autism, robots can even help restore their self-confidence.

One research shows that autism children engage better with robots than humans because they are simple and predictable.

Another research that works with children with diabetes makes their robots “imperfect” and have them make mistakes so they don’t intimidate the children. Children learn that they don’t have to be perfect all the time.

Why it’s hot (or not): are robots the right companions for children? What impact would it have on human interactions if children are exposed to AI at such a young age?

 

 

Quartz News Is Using The iOS 11 To Bring AR To News Stories

Quartz News, the digital-focused arm of  Atlantic Media, has launched a nifty AR feature in their news stories thanks to the new updates to iOS11. Now in a select number of the daily stories featured in the Quartz News mobile app you will find augmented reality to help illustrate objects featured in a particular story. For instance, its coverage of the demise of the Cassini spacecraft is joined by a 3D model of the ship that users can examine as if it was physically in the same room with them.

Why It’s Hot: 

Of all the emerging technologies that companies have their eyes on, augmented reality seems to be the easiest to scale by way of mobile phones with no need for extras like headsets or glasses. Apple CEO, Tim Cook believes that many people will “have AR experiences every day, almost like eating three meals a day. It will become that much a part of you,” Cook predicted at a tech conference last year.

Quartz News sees this as an opportunity to bring news stories to life in ways that users have never experienced before. “In the same way we can use images and emoji and gifs to bring alive the stories we’re sharing, we think we can use AR to help people understand objects in the news,” John Keefe, head of Quartz’s Bot Studio, adding that the tech could also be used to illustrate stories with 3D landscapes, models of landmarks and historic structures, or even data visualizations.

Uber adds a new feature for riders that teaches basic sign language

Uber has added a new feature to its app this month to support its deaf and hard of hearing drivers, a group the company says number in the thousands across its service. Uber says that these drivers have together completed millions of trips, and while it has added a number of features to its app over the years to provide additional support for those with hearing impairments, it’s going a step further with a new feature launching at the end of Deaf Awareness Month, which takes place in September.

The new feature will surface a card in the feed of the rider app when they’re paired up with a driver who is deaf or hard of hearing that will give them an option to learn some basic words and phrases in American Sign Language (ASL). The rider can select basic greeting like “Hello” and “Thank you,” or learn the letters to spell out their name so they can confirm it to the driver.

It’s a small thing, but a handy tool that could build on top of what Uber already does in-app for its hearing impaired drivers.

Check out the site here

Source: Tech Crunch

Why it’s Hot

Uber is fighting to show some goodness — Lyft launched a new campaign and has been taking on partnership like Uber used to do. This is a positive approach and potentially rather useful and engaging.

Predicting Malaria outbreaks from outer space

While only 10% of all malaria-related deaths happen in the Amazon region, that equals around 100,000 lost lives each year. So, as the rainy seasons begin, and temperatures rise, forest fall, and a thousand other factors occur, no one has really been able to get ahead of predicting where an outbreak may occur or even when it may occur — until now.

Bring in N.A.S.A.!

From Engadget: The tropical disease can bring on severe fever, headaches and chills and is particularly severe for children and the elderly and can cause complications for pregnant women. In rainforest-covered Peru the number of malaria cases has spiked such that, in the past five years, it has had on average the second highest rate in the South American continent. In 2014 and 2015 there were 65,000 reported cases in the country.

Why is this hot?

  • Good for the world: using U.S./NASA Landsat satellite systems for the greater good of the world’s poorer, more needy populations and their horrifying diseases is using existing technology in new ways.
  • Good for living: just think, if they can detect the outbreak, the government can disseminate NGO’s and supplies and perhaps minimize the death toll and the debilitating nature malaria has on the economy of struggling nations.
  • Good for reputation: this is a model for what a good-hearted world leader does.

Slack AI says maybe you need a mid-afternoon snack…

Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield recently spoke to MIT Technology Review about the ways the company plans to use AI to keep people from feeling overwhelmed with data. Some interesting tidbits from the interview…

Slack

When asked about goals for Slack’s AI research group, Butterfield pointed to search. “You could imagine an always-on virtual chief of staff who reads every single message in Slack and then synthesizes all that information based on your preferences, which it has learned about over time. And with implicit and explicit feedback from you, it would recommend a small number of things that seem most important at the time.”

When asked what else the AI group was researching, Butterfield answered Organizational Insights. “I would—and I think everyone would—like to have a private version of a report that looks at things like: Do you talk to men differently than you talk to women? Do you talk to superiors differently than you talk to subordinates? Do you use different types of language in public vs. private? In what conversations are you more aggressive, and in what conversations are you more kind? If it turns out you tend to be accommodating, kind, and energetic in the mornings, and short-tempered and impatient in the afternoon, then maybe you need to have a midafternoon snack.”

Read more at MIT Technology Review.

Why It’s Hot
The idea of analyzing organizational conversation to learn about and solve collaboration and productivity issues is incredibly intriguing – and as always with these things, something to keep an eye on to ensure the power is used for good.

Caspar making new comfy sleep stuff, just not for you

Caspar has teamed with American Airlines to design and supply the massive airline with a slew of new sleep products. The 8 new products include “a mattress pad that fits over your seat, a regular pillow and a lumbar pillow, a pillowcase, a duvet, a blanket, pajamas and slippers.”

No, this is not a dream. It’s also not available for coach travelers. The products are solely for business class and first class travelers. You know, the people who need it the most.

You, however, will still be unable to sleep on the red eye on account of the demon toddler kicking your seat from behind during the entire duration of the flight. Happy trails!

Story on TechCrunch

Why it’s Hot

It’s hot for Caspar because it gives them bigger name recognition in the very competitive next-gen mattress space.

Digital Ad Industry is Out of Ideas

http://www.businessinsider.com/advertising-week-2017-the-digital-ad-industry-is-out-of-ideas-2017-9

Advertising industry has been trying to solve the problem of annoying ads in order to make ad experience better for consumers. Past efforts to improve digital ads:

  1. Project Devil- suite of premium, magazine-like ads rolled out in 2010
  2. IAB Rising Star- create bigger, bolder, brand-friendly ads
  3. Online Publishers Association’s big ads- captur TV ad budgets using, big ads, again
  4. Brand.net- build a digital ad network across top publishers

None were widely adopted and few are around anymore. Also, didn’t some of these big ad units make online environments MORE annoying?

All in all, banner ads are still king and being adopted by platforms we thought would hold out (looking at you Buzzfeed).

Too often brands are just looking to create really big ads instead of creating ads suited for their environment. What is the direction most industry experts say we should go? They say we should look at Instagram and Snapchat where ads are created for the platform to align with the other content.

The problem? Programmatic. It’s the only way to compete with TV reach . Right now programmatic is only scalable through the most widely used ad sizes.

Why it’s Hot:

There is no great solution- right now. You have to think of digital ad space differently and stop comparing it to TV. Digital should be all about data and audience targeting, not about the ad units itself. Find the people who are interested.

Continue to blend direct buys, social, and programmatic to get reach and impact in order to deliver on awareness and response. Eventually the programmatic platforms will be able to scale different types of creative, but you’re always going to advertise across hundreds or thousands of sites and therefore it will never be suited to the specific site it lands on.

Assassin’s Creed Origins Releasing Zero-Combat Mode

Ubisoft announced the development of a zero-combat mode for Assassin’s Creed Origins, the soon-to-be-published tenth installment of the wildly popular Assassin’s Creed series of video games. While Assassin’s Creed games typically involve a hefty dose of violence along with their sprawling, historically accurate worldbuilding, the zero-combat mode will turn Ubisoft’s massive re-creation of Ancient Egypt into an interactive, living historical world.

The educational mode will feature dozens of guided tours that focus on subjects like the Great Pyramids, mummification, and the life of Cleopatra, among others. Players can also simply roam through the entire world without having to keep looking over their (virtual) shoulders, taking time to wander and explore the vast landscape that includes Alexandria, the Sand Sea, the Giza Plateau, and more.

The content is painstakingly vetted to ensure historical and cultural accuracy, thanks to the team of historians and Egyptologists who helped create the educational world. According to Jean Guesdon, the creative director for Assassin’s Creed Origins, “We spent years recreating Ancient Egypt, documenting ourselves, validating the content with historians, with consultants, and we feel that many more people than just the players can benefit from that.”

The update doesn’t land until 2018, but when it’s ready, it’ll be a free upgrade for everyone who’s already purchased the game.

Why it’s hot: The zero-combat mode is a significant play for Ubisoft, who may be trying to get into the education space with this release. Guesdon says, “I hope that teachers will seize this opportunity to present that to their students, so they can learn with this interactive medium.” Regardless of their broader intention, it represents an exciting (and fun!) new application of the Assassin’s Creed series’ worldbuilding technology and expertise.

Ubisoft blog | Engadget | Ars Technica

Toyota launches awareness campaign, urging drivers to take action

Toyota announced it’s launching a campaign to urge drivers to take an hour to get their car airbag repaired.

The multi-channel ad campaign is slated to drive awareness around the 2016 reveal of the Takata airbag inflator recall and is launching in three priority markets: Los Angeles, Miami and Dallas. The “In about an hour” campaign emphasizes that airbag repairs are easy, fast and more importantly, free.

While 19 manufacturers and tens of millions of vehicles are involved in the Takata recall in the U.S., Toyota is focusing its marketing where a hot, humid climate poses a greater risk for Takata airbag inflators to rupture when the airbag deploys, causing potentially serious injuries or even death.

Each repair takes “about an hour,” but only one will “save your life,” the campaign slogan asserts. “It’s an easy choice,” the ad continues, “but millions of people still haven’t brought their affected vehicles in for a fast, free repair.”

Source

Why it’s hot:

Toyota’s taking it a step further to get their drivers in the door for airbag repairs, by emphasizing the risk of serious injury with fast call to actions and assertive messages. By extending with a cross channel campaign including social media, you’re ultimately reaching a passive audience that might not be in the relevant mindset of getting something fixed on their car. It’s straight and to the point.

Creating Personalized AR Videos and Interfaces

With the release of iOS 11 came ARKit and a bunch of cool new apps that use the augmented reality technology. This week I saw two that caught my eye for similar reasons.

First is Placenote which allows its users to design interfaces for physical spaces in augmented reality. You could use Placenote to “leave instructions for your airbnb guest, help friends find your apartment, even create and share an interactive museum tour.”

Second is Holo with ARKit, an app that allows users to place 3D objects into their videos/photos.

 

Why it’s Hot:

  • Holo with ARKit is an awesome use case to show how ARKit can be used to personalize videos. It could easily be adopted by SnapChat or a similar social network
  • Placenotes allows users to create experiences in a new medium. Airbnb recently added the guidebook feature to their app which allowed hosts to add a step by step guide for how to reach the apartment/find keys/get in through photos and copy. This would be a great new feature for them to use for hosts to leave notes for guests in AR.
  • Placenotes could be used at events or shops to give guests information in a unique way.
  • Both of these products are early ARKit examples. Can’t wait to see what could come next with the type of tech!

Never Built New York

The Queens Museum has just opened a new exhibition called Never Built New York, featuring drawings, models and VR experiences of architectural projects that never were. They span from fantastical sci-fi imaginings to alternative mockups of built NYC buildings.

There are five VR experiences that allow visitors to see what certain landmarks, like Coney Island and Grand Central Station, would have looked like on a different time timeline. In a few weeks the curators and the VR designers are releasing a stand alone app to feature these experiences.

“This still image from one of the exhibit’s virtual reality experiences shows William Zeckendorf’s 1946 vision for an airport on the Hudson River.”

“Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1959 idea for remaking Ellis Island was to turn it into ‘a city within a city,’ with residential towers arranged like spokes on a wheel and glass domes that would contain parks and other shared spaces.”

“The Queens Museum successfully raised over $50,000 on Kickstarter to build this custom bouncy house model of Eliot Noyes’ 1961 plan for the Westinghouse Pavilion at the 1964 World’s Fair. Each sphere would showcase one of the company’s best-known innovations, which at the time included everything from refrigerators to live TV technology to fighter planes.”

“This model shows an airport stretching down the Hudson River and into Midtown Manhattan, an idea pitched by real estate mogul William Zeckendorf. He owned the Chrysler Building.”

Why It’s Hot: Architecture is not often a field in which you see the many iterations of the design process, so this exhibition is an ode to that process and the interesting ideas that may not have made it. It was also an interesting decision to incorporate VR into the exhibition, because not all museums are allocating the time and funds towards developing new ways to interact with content.

The museum is also organized by geography rather than chronologically, so it is interesting to see the neighborhoods and locations where designers and urban planners have been focused on to improve over the decades.

Source

Giphy Stickers, now available on websites

Giphy Embed is a new plugin that lets users drag and drop gifs onto a live site. The plugin is activated by the website and displays an ‘add gif’ button at the bottom of the user’s viewport. Users can click away to add random gifs to the page, and drag them around to customize the page to their liking. Developers can predefine what gifs to use, even using their own custom sticker packs (so no need for the brand to worry about off brand imagery on their site). Users can then share their creations.

It’s no secret that Giphy sees the future of communication as visual, and Giphy’s Director of Product explained that they see Giphy Embed as a visual commentary tool that can spur engagement on any site. Try it live on Thought Catalog and Quote Catalog.

Why it’s Hot

  • Increase user engagement and time on site by letting users add fun stickers that are predefined or customized to the brand.
  • In the tradition of ‘what is old is new again’, you too can make your favorite website look like your old GeoCities gif page.

Google and Levi’s Make a Connected Jean Jacket

The jacket is Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google—is the result of a partnership between Levi’s and Google to integrate a conductive, connected yarn into a garment. It’s still early days, but the jacket offers a glimpse into connected clothing.

The jacket looks like most jean jackets, except for a small device on the left cuff. The black tag contains a wireless radio, a battery, and a processor, but the most important tech in the Jacquard Jacket remains invisible. A section of the left cuff is woven with the special yarn that turns the bottom of your arm into a touchscreen. You pair your phone through a dedicated app, and after setup it asks you to define a few gestures (What happens when you tap twice on the conductive yarn? What if you brush away from yourself, or toward yourself? What should it mean when the light on the tag illuminates?)

Someone who tested out the jacket while riding her bike home explains how her experience worked:

A double-tap on my left arm now sends a ping to Google Maps and delivers the next turn on my navigation, either through the speaker on my phone or whatever headphones I’m wearing. (All the Jacquard Jacket’s connectivity comes through your phone.) If I swipe away, it reads out my ETA. The small motor in my jacket sleeve buzzes and the light comes on when I get a text or phone call. You can change tracks in your music with a swipe, or to count things like the miles you ride or the birds you see on your way home. The jacket was designed with bike commuters in mind, and the functionality follows suit

Right now, the designers say they’re looking for more feedback. They want to know what people do with the jacket, and what they wish it could do. It goes on sale for $350 in a couple of high-end clothing stores on September 27, before hitting Levi’s stores and website on October 2.

Why it’s hot:

Although this is not yet a revolutionary item, it gives us a peek into the capabilities and use cases for connected clothing – whether that be commuting bikers or city-dwellers looking for directions, or someone wanting to change their music without taking out their phone. This could also have implications for the vision-impaired trying to navigate their way through a metro area, etc.

Source: Wired

Your Confirmation Bias Is Showing….

The mind – both conscious and unconscious is a powerful force.  Past experiences, upbringing and even current habits shape how people react to situations and stimuli. Confirmation bias is a form of cognitive bias. Cognitive bias is defined as

…systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion.

meaning that individuals create their own “reality” from their perception receive around them. Confirmation bias is the filtering out of information that doesn’t fit the perception or attitude of the person. If an individual is very pro-vegetarian, they will filter out any information that shows the benefits of a carnivorous diet- thereby strengthening their own bias.

This bias is especially prevalent in how individuals are using social media. With the ability to like or block content, the user’s cognitive bias is amplified, giving that person only information that fits their pattern of rationality.

This same bias can be applied to patterns of health. Smokers for example – who most likely understand the fundamental risks, will filter out messages that vilify the activity of smoking.  People change, only when their bias shifts

 

Why It’s Hot

Confirmation bias is a powerful driver of human behavior, but what if it could be used to alter that same behavior? For smokers, they understand the strength of addiction and the “pain” of quitting. When they see ads showing black lungs their bias filters out that message. Their reality says “its ok, I’m already smoking”

But what if the message hit the bias head on? What if the campaign acknowledged the “suck”? That message would align with the smokers bias and perhaps not be filtered out. Capturing mindshare is becoming more and more difficult, perhaps understanding and confronting bias is a way to breakthrough.

 

Crunchwraps + Forever 21 = A Collab You Never Saw Coming

Taco Bell has been known to inspire devotion in fans, from senior photo shoots to themed birthday parties. But what if you’re looking for a more everyday way to show off your allegiance to living mas? The brand’s latest collaboration with Forever 21 might just be your answer.
Today, the two companies have announced the release of Forever 21 x Taco Bell, the first for the restaurant. The line will include clothes for men and women that feature everything from eye-popping graphics to subtle patches that alert those around you to your taco fandom.
According to the press release, the line was designed to capture what fans expect from Taco Bell: “accessible, affordable, creative, and fun.” The full collection will feature tops, cropped hoodies, body suits, as well as sweatshirts and an anorak jacket. All of the looks will debut on October 10 in an event for fans in downtown L.A. and will be available for purchase on October 11 only in select U.S. stores and online.
A sneak peek at the collection features Taco Bell super fans Brittany Creech and Andrew McBurnie — who became internet famous for shooing their senior portraits at Taco Bell — as models. McBurnie wears the men’s sweater in millennial pink, embellished with a patch featuring some of our favorite Taco Bell items: tacos, burrito, drink, and a packet of hot sauce. Creech wears one of the body suits, a look inspired by a fire sauce packet.
While we only have the slightest hint at what this could mean for the rest of the collection, we’re hoping for something that pays homage to the beloved Crunchwrap, and (dare we say it?) maybe even a nod to the Doritos Locos taco. Does the world really need this fast food x fast fashion mashup? Of course not. But when something is cheap and good, we always find it hard to say no.
Source: Refinery 29
Why it’s hot:
  • What makes this partnership unique is that food brands don’t typically create apparel for purchase, it’s typically made for giveaways or to help promote a new campaign.
  • Taco Bell and Forever 21 pair together to show us how a brand can create apparel that speaks to their audience in the right way, in comparison to Bud Light who missed the mark last week (see here).

When ads know too much

Google has added the option for audiences to mute ads, citing examples like “ad knew too much“. The point isn’t to put an end to personalized, intrusive advertising, but rather figure out how to make this advertising less creepy. “The company says it uses this feedback to avoid showing you the same ad again across any device or browser on which you are signed into your Google account.”

Why it’s hot: The new feature also lets users block individual third party ads and advertisers. Understanding who is blocking an ad and more importantly why is valuable feedback for strategy, media and creative to consider when the next opportunity to optimize assets or message this audience comes along.

 

Where Walmart’s Marc Lore Is Trying to One-Up Amazon

Tapping brick-and-mortar network for an edge

The head of ecommerce for Walmart, Marc Lore, acknowledges that the company has work to do to catch up with Amazon in some respects, but that doesn’t mean Amazon has the advantage in every digital matchup.

Lore said Walmart’s more than 1.2 million employees in the US, as well as its more than 4,600 stores located within 10 miles of 90% of the US population, are among its “unique assets.” They give Walmart advantages, he said, such as the ability to offer online ordering for grocery pickup, currently available in 1,000 stores.

The comments came only days after the company announced its partnership with smart-lock startup August Home to test delivering fresh produce straight to customers’ refrigerators.

As Amazon continues to expand into various areas of consumers’ lives and reshapes how people shop via its successful Alexa-powered voice assistants like the Echo devices, Walmart is partnering with Google to offer a feature where consumers can shop for Walmart items via Google Assistant voice shopping. The partnership also involves Walmart integrating its “Easy Reorder” feature to Google Express so Google can recommend a personalized weekly shopping list based on consumers’ prior purchase history.

How this deal came about also highlights the importance of the partnership for Google. In fact, Google was the one that approached Walmart first about the partnership.

“It’s been a perfect partnership,” Lore said. “We are a retailer. We don’t claim to be a tech company. … Google has more tech prowess. We are looking through the lens of how we can be the best merchant in the world. … The two of us are stronger than anyone alone.”

Why it’s hot:

  • Fascinating to see how the power of voice is continuing to be at the forefront of brands’ priorities when it comes to understanding and responding to consumers’ needs
  • The boundaries of cool vs. creepy keep getting pushed (would you be ok with a brand delivering food and restocking your fridge for you when you aren’t home?)

Facebook Attempting to Quell Brand Safety Concerns

This week, Facebook  introduced new “monetization eligibility standards” it said are designed to provide more clear guidance on the types of content that will be allowed to have advertising run alongside it on the platform and will also specify the types of publishers and video creators who can earn money from ads on Facebook.  The news comes in light of its efforts to ramp up their in-stream video ad offering and avoid the brand safety pitfalls that continue to plague the industry – most notably the early summer snafus of rival YouTube.

The company said it would not place ads alongside content that focuses on tragedy, conflict or debated social issues, or that depicts acts or threats of violence, for example. It will remove ads from content that fails to comply with its guidelines.

To date, Facebook hasn’t had to deal with advertising adjacency challenges to the extent many online media companies and ad platforms have, owing to the nature of its in-feed ad formats that appear as stand-alone entries as users scroll through their news feeds.

The new in-stream ads will appear as ad breaks in the middle of publishers’ videos, but won’t be inserted in user-uploaded videos.

In an attempt to alleviate brand safety concerns, Facebook said that in the coming months it will begin providing advertisers with post-campaign reports specifying which publishers’ content their ads appeared in, across in-stream videos, Instant Articles and its Audience Network ad network product.

Advertisers won’t be given the ability to specify which content they want their ads appear alongside using “whitelists” of preapproved publishers. Rather, they will be required to “blacklist” specific publishers from their ad buys, or to remove categories of publishers Facebook deems to publish “sensitive” material.

Facebook said it would also provide marketers with a new tool that will offer a preview of which publishers’ content their ads may appear alongside before their ad campaign begins.

While the new monetization eligibility standards will apply to videos and Instant Articles hosted on Facebook itself, they will not apply to the Audience Network, which allows marketers to target consumers across websites and properties outside of the Facebook platform.

Why It’s Hot:

Brand safety has been a growing concern for marketers in recent years as they try to reach more tailored audiences. Thanks to the rise of automated ad targeting systems and vast ad networks, it’s become increasingly difficult to keep track of where their ads might show up. The rise of third party verification companies is putting increasing pressure on walled garden giants such as Google and Facebook (aka the Duopoly), but the walls have yet to crack.

 

The balance between brand safety and maximizing ad revenues can be a tricky one to strike, but will Facebook’s solution, which still disavows any third party integration be satisfaction enough to quell brand needs, or is the platform simply too integral to avoid at any cost for marketing campaigns?

source: https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-pitches-brand-safety-ahead-of-video-ad-push-1505309401

 

 

Bud Light…apparel?

The limited-edition line, which isn’t yet available to the public, is a teaser for an upcoming ad campaign in the U.K. that the brand is keeping close to the vest, so to speak. (To clear up any confusion, there is no waistcoat in this mix, but there is a cross-body bag, a knit cap and a “blanket,” which looks suspiciously like a beach towel, so fans can “open up to a universe of relaxing at an ideal temperature,” according to a breezily worded announcement.)

Why its not hot?

  • Not innovative
  • Bad example of influencer marketing
  • Looks like promotional material that you give away at a bar

Bud Light Made Its Own Line of Leisurewear, If That’s What You’re Into