Increased Use of Point of Care Tactics Offer Opportunity For Better In-office Experience

MM&M announced this week that “up to 20% of pharma brands are moving digital media spend to point-of-care tactics” which was grounded in a study fielded by ZS Associates. To a certain extent, this is unsurprising as many forms of digital media such as social and display continue to face increasing scrutiny around the topic of ad fraud.

This will have an impact on two key audiences in healthcare marketing – patients and providers – which if well thought through, should be overwhelmingly positive.

Phreesia Patient Intake Platform

Patients

Platforms such as Phreesia offer patients the opportunity to engage with content as part of the intake process. The biggest challenge here will be placements that are relevant to the specific patient as there is a potential to spend effort on poor placements. Case in point; when I took my son to the pediatrician for his flu shot this year, I was offered the opportunity to “Learn More” about a branded product. The only thing I can recall about the brand is that is had nothing to do with why I was there and wouldn’t be appropriate for my son. Contextual relevance will be critical to success in these moments.

epocrates advertising platform from athenahealth

Providers

HCPs, particularly PCPs, are the target of massive amounts of marketing. Overwhelming is an understatement here. When you consider the necessity of staying abreast of current trends and new therapies, to a certain extent, they need to be exposed to these messages. However, when it’s all said and done, the moment that matters is when the Rx decision is made. The opportunity to be a relevant part of that moment as part of the HCPs workflow in the EHR/EMR offers pharma companies an incredible opportunity. When you consider the number of drugs that don’t have the budget for mass DTC advertising, the HCP really is the decision maker in the therapy of choice.

Why It’s Hot

While contextual relevance for audiences is improving and offers plenty of potential, the real win will be when a brand can own the conversation across the moments in an office visit.

Consider a diabetes patient checking in for a check-up who is offered a message around potential therapy they may be eligible with a DTC ad based upon key factors pulled through from their EHR.

Then, at the end of the appointment, the HCP if offered a targeted message in the EHR with a savings offer the patient can print and take with them.

With brands doubling down on these POC channels, we have the opportunity to take the in-office experience to new levels.

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.

Moona makes pillows great again

A French startup named Moona is raising money on Kickstarter to produce a temperature controlled pillow that stays cool to help improve sleep. It also has (all together, now) an app that helps you analyze your sleep patterns.

Take that, the My Pillow guy.

Story on The Verge and Endgadget

Skeptics refer to the product as “essentially a water bottle combined with a memory foam pad that you strap to the top of your existing pillow…it’s weirdly clunky and just plain odd-looking.”


Moona’s RTB’s

Why it’s Hot:

Is it hot? Is it supposed to be?!? It’s hot because it stays cool…which makes it hot (assuming it works).

Sex Sells

In Colombia, young lovers often resort to stealing moments of intimacy in places where they risk being interrupted (such as a parent’s house, or in a parked car).

To help them get their hot-n-heavy, Condom brand Duo released an app to alert young lovers in Colombia when they risk being caught having sex.

To work, the app requires two mobile phones with cameras. One phone is placed in the area where the interruption is likely to come from and acts like a motion sensor. When someone (or something) disturbs the scene, the first phone sends a message (and an image of the intruder) to the second phone, alerting the lovers and giving them time to compose themselves.

According to Geometry Global, the app attracted 62,262downloads, more than 23,000 monthly active users, and the brand achieved a 23% increase in sales in the fourth quarter of 2016, and a 20% lift in the first quarter of 2017.

Why It’s Hot

  • We’ll its sex related
  • Brand solved a very real pain point for their core audience; young consumers who are likely to live at home and crave privacy

 

Source: https://www.contagious.io/articles/brand-guardian

Really uncool app

How can terrified parents of newly qualified teen drivers persuade them to drive safely? Toyota has come up with what could be an ingenious method — embarrassing them.

The brand’s new Safe and Sound App, not only blocks social media posts and incoming calls once they’re traveling over nine miles per hour, it automatically switches to playing their parents’ Spotify playlist once they break the speed limit or try to use their phone. And, naturally, parents are free to put as much embarrassing music on there as they choose.

The parents activate the app when the teen wants to borrow their car, and it syncs both parent and child Spotify accounts. The app uses Google Maps API technology to detect if they’re speeding, and when the young driver touches their phone or breaks the speed limit, the music they are playing through Spotify will suddenly cut out and their parents’ playlist will kick in instead. Only once the driver stops interacting with their phone or returns to within the speed limit will their own music resume playing.

Why it’s hot?
They used a human insight and turned it into a product – for teenagers, the threat of embarrassment is more severe than threat of injury

Source: Creativity

This new AR app lets you point and translate

Thanks to the recent release of Apple’s ARKit, front end developer Frances Ng has created a point-and-translate app. That’s right, simply point your phone at the item you want to translate and if the item is recognized, associated language options will display.

AR_Translation

Here it is in action.

Whether you’re looking to learn a new language in the comfort of your own home or in a foreign land looking for a helping hand, the app is a great example of often-too-rare AR utility.

The UX magic is possible through a combination of Apple’s ARKit and an existing database of about 1,000 learned objects that Ng ported into the app. While Ng says her app is just a demo and she has no immediate plans to take it to market, what’s so remarkable is that while companies like Microsoft spent many years and dollars on mastering object recognition, Ng was able to build her app in a weekend, simply because it’s building off so much past work that’s now freely available and baked into platforms like Apple’s.

https://www.fastcodesign.com/90136943/want-to-learn-a-new-language-with-this-ar-app-just-point-and-tap?utm_content=buffer58149&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Why It’s Hot

  • With the new AR development kits, we should definitely see a run of useful apps like this (as well as I’m sure lots of non-useful examples!)
  • It’s also an example of how more and more development is being done off of robust platforms increasing speed to market and standardizing patterns for fast consumer orientation
  • Screaming for help, just went high-tech

    Every year, there are 44,000 accidents causing injuries and in only 10% of cases do the emergency services reach the scene in time. This lateness or non-arrival of first aid leads to 14,000 deaths annually.

    So life insurance brand AIA decided to harness the country’s 35 million smartphone devices to enable people to get help faster. Open Aiya, created my Happiness FCB Saigon, is a mobile app that allows people to alert their contacts about an accident even if they can’t reach their phone.

    When a user says, ‘Hey Siri, Open AIYA’ the voice activated panic system automatically sends an SMS to family, friends and the emergency services. The message contains the person’s precise GPS location so they are easier to assist.

    Why It’s Hot:

    -Yet another example of brands finding a pain point that aligns with their business model, and solving it through innovative tech….and develop a first of it’s kind, at that (the first voice-activated panic system)

    first responder app cuts emergency response time in half…


    The European Heart Rhythm Association have developed a “First Responder” app that claims to cut the time for someone in cardiac arrest to receive CPR by more than half. It essentially sends out a signal to all app users, who are people trained to provide CPR, and if one is close by, they can answer the call. The app even provides directions. In their tests, the EHRA saw the following results:

    Why It’s Hot:

    First, it’s almost shocking no one has already done this. The technology required has been available for years. But, for me, it’s the massive impact such a simple solution can have. Every minute they’re able to shave off the response time “increases a victim’s chance of survival by ten percent.” Considering heart attacks are the #1 cause of death in our own country, I wonder how long until we can adopt a similar model.

    This App Has Moved Over 333 Million Pounds of Food

    Americans toss out, on average, 72 billion pounds of safe, edible food each year. Around 52 billion of those pounds flow from manufacturers, restaurants, and grocery stores into landfill. Feeding America is a nonprofit that reaches the 42 million people in the U.S. who struggle to afford food through managing 60,000 partner organizations and efforts. They have developed a new tech platform called MealConnect to streamline food donations from stores and restaurants to those in need. They have facilitated 737,000 pickups and moved over 333 million pounds of food–enough for 278 million meals.

    MealConnect officially launched in early June after a 3-year pilot period. It is a platform that acts as a dashboard to manage the flow of excess food in the communities around Feeding America’s food banks. Accessible in both website and app form, MealConnect allows business donors—whether it’s a retail chain like Chipotle, a local shop, or a farmers market—to create a free account, where they can upload information about excess food they have to donate, and select a date and time they’d like it to be picked up. On the Feeding America side, an algorithm sorts through the available donations and matches them with a partner organization, like a soup kitchen, based on need and timing. Once a donation is matched with a partner, someone from the partner agency will drive to collect the excess food from the source.

    Before MealConnect, if a restaurant offered leftover food, they’d have to call the food bank, and the entire process might take a long time through a series of phone calls. On the app, donors snap a picture of the food, and fill out the reason for donation, ingredients, and sell-by data, if possible (for retailers who tend to consistently have the same type of food to donate; they can also include instructions for pickup logistics. For each donor account, their donations live on a dashboard they can access to view past transactions.

    So far, the platform has facilitated 737,000 pickups and moved over 333 million pounds of food–enough for 278 million meals.

    The platform was developed with a $1.5 million grant from Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org; another $1 million grant from General Mills will help it scale out to more communities and organizations. Feeding America is hoping to make significant progress in solving hunger – its goal is to save around 2.8 billion pounds of food each year and end “food insecurity” by 2025.

    Why it’s hot: This is an awesome example of using technology to simplify a dated process, and works towards getting wasted food into the hands of people that need it. Hopefully this platform is able to work towards solving a fundamental problem in the U.S.

    Source: Fast Company

    Google wants to make you look funny

     

    Google wants to make you look funny with fun bitmojis!

    Instead of analyzing a photo of you pixel by pixel, Google’s algorithms recognize “qualitative features” of your face such as eye color, and then turn them over to another algorithm which picks from more than 563 quadrillion combinations to make a funny image that sort of looks like you.

    As you might imagine, all of this was quite a challenge for Google’s team of artists and scientists. One issue in particular was avoiding the so called “uncanny valley,” a psychological phenomenon which makes an illustration of a human that’s very similar, but not quite identical to the real thing, creepy to humans.

    Why its hot?

    • I feel like bitmoji is getting its mojo back by partnering with Snapchat but this is a fun twist
    • This makes me want to download the app, and i dont care about bitmoji at allllll.
    • The video speaks for itself, its a very interactive app and you can save the emojis to share outside of the platform

    Monkeys in Magenta

    After seven years, the digital band, Gorillaz, are releasing a new album, and as part of their promotion, a new app is encouraging people to find the color magenta to unlock unique content.

    Deutsche Telekom has created the Lenz app that will unlock new content for users whenever they hover it over something magenta — the brand’s corporate color.

    The brand has teamed up with the virtual band, Gorillaz, to launch the Lenz app, which was created by Saatchi & Saatchi for the Deutsche Telekom music and lifestyle platform, Electronic Beats. With the new app, when a user finds something magenta (it could be a t-shirt, a flower or anyting that matches the Pantone range), they can hold their phone over it, to reveal new content from Gorillaz, including the first ever “live” interview with the band using motion capture and composition technology, and exclusive clips from the band’s new album “Humanz,” dropping on April 28. The app uses Chroma Keying technology to use the color to unlock the content.

    http://creativity-online.com/work/deutsche-telekom-lenz-app/51602 

    Why It’s Hot

    This is a really cool activation. It is great positioning for Deutsche Telekom because it’s not overly intrusive or brand-heavy. And Gorillaz of course gain additional buzz around their upcoming album. I think this is a great example of a brand involving itself in a moment without trying to take it over.

    Infield Chatter Social Network Lets MLB Players Interact With Fans

    The Major League Baseball Players Association launched this week, Infield Chatter, a social media app that lets players interact with fans. Infield Chatter already has more than 1,000 players on board, which means all the players on Major League Baseball’s 40-man rosters for each of its 30 teams are signed on. (MLBPA says about 500 major leaguers are on the site, but minor leaguers and retired players can also contribute.) “We asked for a better way to communicate directly with fans and learn more about them, and make it easy for them to learn more about us,” Minnesota Twins pitcher Hector Santiago said via email. “We believe this is the way to go, a true baseball community so that we can just be ourselves.”

    Members of the Infield Chatter community will enjoy special features designed to connect players and fans in a number of ways, including:
    •Sharing photos, videos, and original artwork, with the ability for both sides to comment
    •Regular video chats, where fans and players can conduct two-way Q&A sessions
    •Hosting contests and competitions, where fans can win “player-hosted experiences,” autographed items and more.

    With so many people loyal to massive platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, it’s hard to persuade even die-hard fans to download yet another app. However, the association is pitching Infield Chatter as a way to hone in on its specific audience, as fans increasingly want details about players’ lives outside of the game.

    Why It’s Hot

    The MLBPA said the Infield Chatter app was created at the request of MLB players, who wanted a better way to interact with their fans. The app meshes well with MLB’s own initiatives to create youth appeal for a sport that is losing younger fans. Infield Chatter reaches a distinct, pinpointed community in ways that social media can’t. In a press release, Kris Bryant, a player for the Chicago Cubs, commented on the app: Every player understands how important it is to connect with the fans. They’re the main reason this game is so special. The fact that Infield Chatter was built with this interaction in mind as the top priority really helps us share and connect in ways that we haven’t been able to anywhere else. Major leaguers who come from around the world – with numerous differing interests and insights – will now be able to engage with fans on a host of subjects, all in the palm of their hand.

    ‘Family Link’ app gives kids their own child-safe Google accounts

    Today Google announced the launch of Family Link, an application for parents to keep tabs on what their kids are doing on their devices, especially for those younger than 13. Family Link requires that both parent and child use Google’s Android phones and tablets. The parent will first download the Family Link mobile app to their own device so a Family Group is created on Google, which establishes the parent as the group manager. Then the parent will set up the child’s Google account and when your child signs onto the new phone the first time, the Family Link app will automatically install to complete the setup.
    Think of Family Link like parental controls plus monitoring. The app allows parents to do the following:
    • Track kids’ location.
    • Require permission for new app installation and see which apps kids have installed.
    • Put kids’ phones to sleep when it’s time for dinner, homework or bed.
    • Set a “bedtime” and sleeping hours during which devices can’t be used.
    • Identify which apps are your kids’ favorites. At any time, a parent can see just how much time they have been spending in various apps. And what they have used in the last 7 and 30 days.
    • By default, mature and adult-only apps are blocked inside Google Play so your child can’t even see them though parents can alter the settings to be more or less permissive.
    • Set a new unlock code if kids forget their own.
    • Ring the phone’s ringer to find lost devices.
    • Set which apps get access to the camera or microphone.
    Parents cannot see things like which websites their kids visited or who they sent messages to or e-books they read. Kids can also find out exactly what parents see, because they have the app, too. “We don’t want kids thinking Google has built spyware,” said Saurabh Sharma, Family Link’s product manager. “That’s where transparency comes in.”
    The app is in a limited testing phase for now and Google is open to having testers try it out and provide feedback. Google hopes to make the feature available in the US in early summer and later this year in other countries as they navigates local laws. An iOS version is not yet available, but it is in the works.

    Why It’s Hot
    56 percent of kids in the US aged 8 to 12 have mobile phones. Family Link addresses the trend of kids accessing the internet at younger and younger ages. Google allows parents to deselect apps they don’t want their kids to use. Android Pay and YouTube are off limits for all kid accounts (though YouTube Kids is available). Every family is different as far as rules around screen time go, so Family Link takes this into account. Google lets you set a different limit for each day of the week, and you can also set a specific Bedtime period, where the device automatically locks up at a certain time of night. Of course, no tool is going to substitute for the guidance, understanding and rules parents will put in place for their own kids. Family Link opens up the conversations between parent sand their children regarding smartphone and online behavior.

    How LIKEtoKNOW.it turned a screenshot into a shopper’s heaven

    If you’re into social media and fashion, you may be familiar with LIKEtoKNOW.it. If you look to Instagram for style inspiration and seen something your favorite fashion blogger wore in a #ootd post but couldn’t figure out where to get that outfit, now you can shop that look. The service lets users create an account tied to their Instagram profile, then every time they “like” a influencer’s photo on Instagram they receive an email with the “to buy” link to purchase the item. That’s how LIKEtoKNOW.it was born in 2014.
    Today so many people take a screenshot as a way to remember the things they really want to buy. LIKEtoKNOW.it launched a standalone app to take advantage of the screenshot-as-shopping-list phenomenon, as well as opening up ‘closed’ social networks like Instagram and Snapchat to retailers and consumers alike. To use the new app all you have to do is take a screenshot of a photo you want to shop. Since screenshot functionality is developed and maintained by device manufacturers it’s platform-agnostic.

    Why It’s Hot

    LIKEtoKNOW.it is finding a way to go around the walled gardens. Screenshots – a favorite way to remember what you like is your link to shopping around the web. This app will now let users (both influencers and shoppers) migrate more easily between social platforms. If the next Snapchat pops up tomorrow, Influencers can start posting content on day one, since all their audience has to do is take a screenshot to shop the content. Essentially the app means it no longer has to worry about its service fitting within the rules of each social platform, or even a new platform that pops up which doesn’t take kindly to links (or API workarounds).

    Phone-Attached UV Camera Monitors Skin Health

    Originally a niche brand for smartphone fingerprint recognition, Nurugo is branching out with a new product in the beauty market. They developed an app called SmartUV to help users be more aware of their skin type. To use the app a special UV camera sold by Nurugo has to be attached to the bottom of the smartphone.

    By emitting UV light the camera is able to show skin problems that normally people don’t notice, or let users know of developing issues like sun spots or melanoma so they can treat them before it becomes life-threatening. It also allows users to see how effective their sunscreen is.

    Source: PSFK

    Why It’s Hot

    Another “our bodies” approach — connecting technology and intelligence about our state of being.

    Using Tech to Get Away From Tech

     

    Consumers are looking for the right balance when it comes to technology. Smart brands are tapping into people’s desires to disconnect.

    Dolmio, a pasta sauce company created the ‘pepper hacker’ – a device that automatically disables surrounding Wi-Fi – to help families reclaim dinner time.

     

    Why it’s hot….

    1. Using tech to get people away from tech
    2. Keeping consumers top of mind outside of the category

    Optimizing Store Pages on the App Stores

    Beyond ASO: The App Store Marketing Guidebook

    This article does a great job at showing the importance of different elements on an app’s store page.

    It goes into the differences between the two store.

    Shows different layout options that change what content ends up above the fold.

    And goes into detailed and sometimes surprising stats.

    “60% of visitors decide to install or leave without ever engaging with the page. In other words,  these visitors are only exposed to the creative that appears “above the fold”, and their first and only action is either tapping the install button or leaving the page altogether.”

     

    Why it’s Hot:

    App Store Optimization (ASO) is a crucial part for an app’s success. We need to keep all these things in mind when laying out the store pages on the app store.

    The Quantified Car

    tom_automatic

    Automatic is a combination adapter and app that interfaces with your car’s on-board computer. The adapter gathers data on fuel efficiency, miles driven, and bad driving habits (jackrabbit accelerations and hard braking). The app can then give drivers insights into their driver profile, their car’s mechanical condition, tell you where you parked, and in an accident, can even notify loved ones and signal for help.  Ever wonder what that check engine light really means? Automatic can tell you the exact error code, what is usually the causing the problem, and connect you to local mechanics.

    As a consequence of gathering all this data, Automatic is able to issue yearly “Your Driving Year in Review” reports. Here’s mine. I commute far too much, drive too fast to optimize fuel efficiency, and sadly, when you add up all my driving time, I spend more than two weeks a year behind the wheel.

    Why it’s hot:
    Newer cars are starting to include these tracking features standard, but for the majority of older vehicles on the road, tools like Automatic can provide actionable data right now. And since driving is one of the most dangerous (and unhealthy) activities we can do in our lives, any data that can optimize the experience will help us make better decisions. Look for car brands (other automotive related brands) to embrace this data, creating better experiences and deeper integrations.

     

    Newest Sleep Number Bed Tracks Your Daytime Activities

    The latest Sleep Number “It” bed not only analyzes how you sleep but also tracks what you do during the day to help you get the best sleep possible. In addition, it can pull in data such as weather forecasts and traffic reports to provide you with recommendations, such as going to bed earlier, to help you get the most out of your sleep.

    The “It” bed was unveiled at CES in Las Vegas this week. In addition to using the existing sleep-tracking SleepIQ biometric technology that uses sensors to track presence, movement, and heart and breathing rates while using the mattress, the new bed connects to your mobile devices using Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to track your activity throughout the day.

    The data can include when you eat, exercise, your schedule for the day, etc. Based on this data, the mattress suggests ideal firmness levels and ideas for how to get the best sleep.

    Why It’s Hot
     We spend a large percentage of our lives sleeping, and sleep is vital to our health. As mhealth and the Internet of Things continues to grow, it makes sense that data be used to optimize our sleep experiences. This in turn may lead to better overall health and improved productivity!

    Make Priceless Family Memories on Thanksgiving, StoryCorps-Style

    story
    StoryCorps is beloved for its intensely personal interviews, one of which airs every Friday morning on NPR’s Morning Edition. Earlier this year the non-profit released an app that allows even an inexperienced interviewer to become a documentarian, with guidance on where to hold the phone’s microphone and how to think up great questions. StoryCorps is now leading an initiative called The Great Thanksgiving Listen to encourage thousands of younger family members to use the app to record interviews with their elders. It’s a great conversation-starter and groundbreaking way to archive the wisdom of the generations. Interviews can be uploaded to the Internet and made publicly available, as well as being preserved in the Library of Congress, for use by curious historians of the future.

    Why it’s Hot

    Instead of using our electronic devices to zone out and disconnect from those around us, the StoryCorps app actually uses technology to help people listen and connect with each other—face-to-face and from the heart. The Great Thanksgiving Listen is “a project about generosity – love and listening,” said StoryCorps founder, Dave Isay, “so doing it around a holiday that centers around gratefulness and giving made sense.” The StoryCorps interview lasts no more than 40 minutes. There are helpful users guides, suggested questions and interview tips, and the app has a built-in tool to create your own customized list of interview questions to make it go smoothly. Have a glass of water and a box of tissues nearby. Crying is not only OK — it happens in the majority of StoryCorps interviews, even if you’re not talking about death or loss, a veteran StoryCorps facilitator commented. “My interview subjects were often caught off-guard by how intense their memories felt, and how quickly their 40 minutes were up.”
    At the end of an interview, you save and upload it, but the StoryCorps app asks you to do two things first: Enter a series of keywords, a critical step if you want your interview to be found by future historians. Then the app asks you to take a photo with your subject.
    You may edit your interview on a computer before posting to the Internet and upload audio files directly to StoryCorps.me on a Web browser.

    BlaBlaCar’s Chattiness Index

    Paris-based BlaBlaCar is a popular car-sharing service in Europe, but not well known or established elsewhere. What makes them interesting is that during sign-up they have a “chattiness” index that asks the user how chatty they are in a car. They are either “blah,” “blah blah,” or “blah, blah, blah.” They can also select their fellow riders based on whether they smoke or what music they listen to. What is interesting and ironic in many ways is that the backlash to “Uber” in France has been tremendous. Unlike Uber, BlaBlaCar does not have contract workers or employed drivers, but is more a carpooling app. Drivers simply charge their fellow riders a small fee for gas and drop them off along the way to their final destination. And because it is more ridesharing that a car service, it does not have to deal with the regulatory hurdles that have challenged Uber in Europe. The company is valued at $1.6B, making it the only startup in France estimated at more than $1B.

    Why It’s Hot

    While Uber and other services may not be able to gain an enduring foothold in Europe, home-made solutions such as BlaBlaCar may be successful. It shows the universal need to find alternate solutions from getting from point A to point B.

     

    Facebook Introduces Notify, a News App Designed to Make Your Other Notifications Obsolete

    On Wednesday, Facebook released an app for Apple’s iPhones and iPads called Notify, which will alert users with information from media companies including CNN, The Weather Channel, Fox Sports and Fandango. Its notifications are similar to the ones many people already receive from the media companies’ own mobile apps, but they are connected to people’s Facebook accounts, meaning Facebook gets more information about its users’ media consumption habits and interests.

    The app asks users to pick at least three stations from which to receive notifications, using “stations” to refer to its media partners, which are organized into catergories including news, local, sports, business, entertainment, politics, science and technology, celebrity and gossip, music and audio, fashion and beauty, gaming, health, food and drink, and shopping and deals.

    While Notify could reduce the need for people to install publishers’ own apps or enable notifications from those apps, moreover, it could also help publishers get their content in front of those people since publishers’ own apps typically aren’t as popular or widely used as apps like Facebook’s. People spend 84% of their time on phones with just five apps, excluding apps that come preinstalled, such as mail and calendar apps, according to Forrester. So piggybacking on Facebook’s popularity could be a more successful way for publishers to gain share of that attention.

    Facebook_NotifyApp3x2

    Why It’s Hot

    While there are no immediate plans to allow advertising through this app, it could help publishers get their content out in front of more people by piggybacking off of Facebook’s popularity and advertising opportunities will likely follow.

    Source

    Tweets Powered By Your Feet #GetCharged

    AMPY MOVE™ is a portable smartphone battery charger that charges itself as you move (from kinetic energy) encouraging a fit lifestyle through a “smarter way to stay charged.”

    AMPY MOVE™ is a portable smartphone battery charger that charges itself as you move (from kinetic energy)

    The founders of AMPY MOVE portable battery charger and AMPY+ mobile app explored the possibilities of capturing their own energy from daily activities to charge their smartphones, then engineered a solution to do just that and so the AMPY MOVE was born; a motion-charger, a portable smartphone battery that charges from kinetic energy.

    AMPY MOVE™ is a portable smartphone battery charger that charges itself as you move

    AMPY MOVE, “The World’s First Wearable Motion-Charger,”  also has a free app available, AMPY+, “A Smarter Way to Live Charged.”

    The AMPY+ smartphone app helps you stay charged and stay fit. Review your personal Battery Life Forecast with predictions and insights, track the calories you burn and power you generate, and compete with your friends.

    AMPY+ App // FREE to Download

    It’s free, and you don’t need an AMPY MOVE to use it. Sending a shout out to the founders of this cool new kinetic energy capturing wearable. Your team nailed the seeding for the December Release of AMPY MOVE with the free AMPY+ app.

    Why It’s HOT: Preventive health and wellness are at the forefront of our lives; driving insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and employers to encourage taking ownership of your health and long term wellness. Enabling a healthy and fit lifestyle through a wearable like AMPY MOVE provides great utility and it could influence positive lifestyle changes in those that use it. It’s green energy, it’s good for your health and it makes you sound really smart when you say “I utilize my kinetic energy to charge my smartphone while getting fit for bathing suit season. What do you do?”

    Source: getampy.com

    Apple’s First App for Android is Here!

    No, hell didn’t just freeze over.  You probably won’t be seeing an iTunes app in the Google Play store anytime soon, either.

    Apple has released an app called Move to iOS which helps eternally frustrated Android users (like me) make a smoother transition from Android to Apple. It seamlessly transfers your pics, messages, email accounts, contacts and bookmarks from your ire-inducing Samsung phone to your shiny new iPhone 6s.

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    Story on Engadget

    Why It’s Hot

    It is hot because while this seems like a really small reason to switch from Android to Apple, upgrading to a new phone of any kind usually means you lose some of your stuff. Apple seems to be looking at the minor pain points and addressing them in a really smart way.

    Tinder meets Presidential election

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    “Siri, who should I vote for?”

    Now there’s an app that brings the swipe right/swipe left match-making into the presidential election. It’s the Voter App.

    This new app lets you work through your position on all the major issues– repealing Obamacare, legalizing marijuana, increasing the minimum wage… then you are matched up with the party and ranked list of candidates to see who lines up with your views (and who is furthest from them). There are different levels of questions depending on the amount of effort you want to make. Now you can make the same rash decisions about the leader of the free world that you do on dating.

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    Business Insider Article

    Washington Post article

    App on itunes

    Why It’s Hot

    Aside from the frightening observation that you can avoid deep understanding of candidates positions… it shows how quickly we adopt certain structures and behaviors when the Tinder experience is now a standard digital experience.

    Tinder Moves to Business Networking for Ambitious Millennials

    Tinder is teaming up with Forbes to build a social networking app for ambitious millennials who seek entrepreneurial pursuits rather than romantic interests.

    Though the app can potentially introduce new co-founders, mentors, sales leads and the like, an initial launch looks to limit the community to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list, an affluent community of 30 year olds (or younger) who’ve already ‘made it’ financially and entrepreneurially.

    Tinder Moves to Business Networking for Ambitious Millennials

    Setting up an alumni-like network, the commercial schmoozing space will operate under the premise of ‘speed networking’—the same foundational principle Tinder is founded on that made it famous—and is set to takeoff October 4 in Forbes’ latest 30 under 30 summit.

    The process is a learning experience, argues Forbes’ Head of Mobile Products Salah Zalatimo who says “…this [will] serve as a nice experiment… We think about meeting people as sort of a general challenge. We don’t want to solve it for just one [form of relationship].”

     

    Why this is hot

    Tinder takes its core principle (speed + connections) to activates new audiences, uses and business opportunities.

    Want a Job…Swipe Right!

    selfoeWe are living in a world where swiping can find you love, pick a meal, and now even find you a job. A Swedish developer just created a new app called “SelfieJobs” that turns your next job search into tinder like glory.

    The mechanics of this app are as such you download it, take a selfie, fill out a short profile, that includes your name, a description and a list of characteristics that would catch a recruiters eye, like education. You can also set how far you are willing to accept a job geographically—30 kilometers (18.6 miles) is the default setting.

    This app basically takes all of the career matching of linkedin and the fun of swiping and creates a new easy way to better search for jobs.

    Why its hot!

    • Shows how the world is becoming a one swipe/click wonder land
    • combines two popular outlets to form a seamless experience
    • Turns looking for a job fun!

    Here’s How Yahoo’s New Messaging App Silently Combines Texting and Video

    Yahoo unveiled a new app that combines video and text messaging, minus the sound. Livetext allows people to watch each other’s silent reactions while texting. Mute video texting gives Livetext a unique feature, differentiating themselves from Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, Skype, and Viber. They believe this app syncs the simplicity of texting with real-time reactions and emotions.

    “We wanted to create a new way to communicate, blending the simplicity of texting with the emotion and immediacy of live video, to make your experience spontaneous and real,” Yahoo’s Adam Cahan said at Livetext’s media launch event in New York City

    Check it out, no headphone’s required:

    Why it’s hot:

    the presence of audio can sometimes prevent people from responding to video chats right away, but they may still want to see one another while texting. Yahoo has combined all of the best features from messaging apps: Livetext displays text messages and emojis on the video screen like Twitter’s Periscope, doesn’t save or archive chats and media files like Snapchat, and organizes contact lists and friend requests like Snapchat too.

    Read more here and here

     

     

    Shopping Made Even Easier With New ‘Crave’ App

    Have you ever seen someone walking down the street and really admired their clothes or shoes and thought, “I want that”? With the new app called Crave that went live to the public on Tuesday (it’s a free download on iTunes), you can now snap a photo of the clothes you see and crave in your everyday life, and it will pull up visually similar results in seconds, then you can purchase the item directly on the app itself.

    There have been other applications on the market in which you need to scan a barcode to compare prices but this requires no barcode scanning– instead it just analyzes a photo in order to help consumers find things that look like the item in the picture. “These photos can be snapped right from the Craves app, or they can be uploaded from the phone’s Camera Roll,” says the article.

    Craves features clothing from a variety of stores at the moment from department stores to boutiques (Nasty Gal, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord and Taylor, ASOS, Signer22, Coach, etc.). When a user makes a purchase through the app, Craves receives affiliate revenue but they hope to expand to other revenue systems in the future.

    There is also a social component to this app, shoppers can follow friends and influencers and also browse through trending items and favorites and receive sale notifications.

     

     

    Read more about Craves Here. 

    From Fingertips to Your Lips – A Glass of Wine Delivered at a Touch of a Screen

    We all can attest to the frustration of trying to get a drink at a crowded bar. Now, beacon technology allows the drink to come to you as you lounge around talking about rich people things on the beach in Cannes, France.

    An app created specifically for the renowned Cannes Lions festival, Rosé Time allows VIP attendees to order free glasses of rosé wine to be delivered to their precise location.

    gallery-1434653691-00-rose-hero-visual

    Here’s how it works: as you walk into the VIP section of Cannes Lions Beach, a simple beacon-triggered notification will be sent to your Apple Watch that says, “Rosé Time?”. All you have to do is download the Rosé Time app first, click yes, and a free glass of the pink drink will be sent to your hands. The app, created by Urban Airship and Intergalactic, will only be active Monday through Thursday, June 22-25, from noon to 6 p.m.

    landscape-1434653580-rose-time-with-interactive-notification

    Why it’s hot:

    Beacon technology is ingenious. It’s easy and it is the perfect way to offer contextual targeting to audiences where they will pay attention the most – on their smart devices. At a festival with the biggest of the big advertising minds, this is a great way to show the possibility of this sort of technology and create an experience that emphasizes the convenience and ease a simple app can bring. Although this app shows a very limited scope of what geolocation devices can do, it is certainly an interesting idea that can be built upon to create even better, even more efficient experiences.

    Besides, sometimes you just need a drink now.

    Read more here.