tech in the spotlight

Move Over Smartphones, Wearables Are the "Need to be Seen" at MWC '14

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 26, 2014 05:47 PM

If one thing is evident in the consumer electronics industry, it's that wearable tech is here to stay. Long gone are the fanciful ideas of James Bond-like gadgets and virtual experiences, as consumers now can hold these very devices in their own hands—and where them on their wrist. 

Continuing the major theme seen at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, mobile brands took to the booths at Mobile World Congress to tout their latest entries in the wearable space, from Samsung's second try with the Gear 2 to Sony's attempt at a Google Glass competitor. 

But with most of the consumer and analyst world still waiting on an entry from Apple, brands are using their time in the spotlight to the best of their abilities.Continue reading...

let's make a deal

Google Solidifies Mapping Supremacy with Reported Purchase of Waze

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 10, 2013 01:51 PM

In a bid to reinforce its mapping leadership, Google is reportedly about to acquire Israeli map start-up Waze for $1.3 billion, beating out a bid from Facebook for $1 billion, Bloomberg reports

Waze is a crowd-sourced, mobile-oriented navigation device for drivers that mines the data provided from its 47 million members to create its maps. With mapping services among the five most-used applications on smartphones, owning a mapping service that allows for personalization will give Google a key advantage, especially in mobile ads, and boost its position within the social mapping space.

For Google, acquiring Waze also means keeping arch-rivals Apple and Facebook at bay, not to mention eliminating what could have been an imminent threat to its native Maps application.Continue reading...

follow the money

FICO on Location-Based Marketing: GPS Data Supports Omnichannel Analysis

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 14, 2013 03:15 PM

As retailers increasingly leverage location-based marketing to predict customer behavior and influence purchasing decisions, the result is more sophisticated data about who and when to target — and what offers to make.  

“Collecting GPS data is becoming quite pervasive. Using the knowledge of where a customer goes, which path she travels and how much time she spends at various locations can improve the quality of customer interactions and types of marketing offers and increase the likelihood that she’ll redeem an offer,” writes FICO’s Shafi Rahman and Amit Sowani.

FICO, founded in 1956, introduced analytic solutions including credit scoring, predictive analytics and business rules management and optimization, now used by most of the world's top banks, leading insurers, retailers, pharmaceutical businesses and government agencies, as well as managing the personal credit health of millions of individuals. 

The organization identified some key steps in location-based data collection:Continue reading...

Checking in: Technology gets territorial

Posted by Emma Cofer on November 10, 2010 01:00 PM

Commander Douglas H. Wheelock of NASA’s Expedition 25 is the mayor of space. It’s all his—because when he rocketed up to the International Space Station, he unlocked Foursquare’s NASA Explorer Badge and staked his claim.

Remember when the only way to pinpoint your location was to find the “you are here” label on a public map? Those days are long gone—now, with geolocation technology, anyone with a web- and GPS-enabled mobile device (read: everyone) can identify and broadcast her whereabouts to the world. And even though many are still trying to get the hang of hanging out your geo shingle everywhere you go, it’s getting increasingly gauche not to.Continue reading...

Unilever follows you home via GPS

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 2, 2010 01:00 PM

In a high-tech twist on promotional prizes, Unilever’s Omo detergent will hide GPS devices in 50 two-pound boxes for Brazilian consumers to buy and take home. The campaign seeks to boost sales of a new stain-fighting version of Omo. It also has elicited privacy concerns from online readers.

The tracking devices are activated when shoppers lift the boxes from the supermarket shelf, and Omo’s agency Bullet – who came up with the innovative promotion – can then track buyers to their doorstep. Each "winner" will be given a pocket-size video camera and invited to an all- expenses-paid day of Unilever-sponsored family fun. The promotion builds on the brand’s international "Dirt is Good" positioning by adding, “Try Something New With Omo.”

The fifty boxes are spread around Brazil in 35 cities and according to Fernando Figueiredo, Bullet's president, “the nearest team can reach the shopper's home "within hours or days," and if they're really close by, "they may get to your house as soon as you do.” If a box is tracked to an apartment building, the device enables the team to go floor by floor in search of the unwitting consumer.

A dedicated website, (Portuguese for "try something new") launches in August and will post photos of the winners, their locations, (approximately), and video of the Bullet-Omo teams in pursuit – arriving at unsuspecting consumer’s doors.

Some analysts have criticized Unilever and Bullet for pushing the privacy envelope.

"Anything can happen," commented Figueiredo. "We have to be innovative, but we don't know what reaction to expect from consumers. It costs more than a traditional promotion and is riskier because it's never been done before, but it's worth it. We believe in using new technology for promotional marketing."

Whether this will go down as a successful use of technology or a creepy stalker moment remains to be seen. What’s your take?


brand roadmaps

TomTom Needs Direction In The Navigation Category

Posted by Sara Zucker on December 16, 2009 09:18 AM

The unofficial Apple weblog reported recently that GPS software and hardware maker TomTom has cut prices on its iPhone navigation application. The widget assists drivers with turn-by-turn directional mapping -- as long as you don't live in Canada.

Engadget revealed that the app now costs $49, well down from the original price of $99. Black Friday saw TomTom doorbuster models selling for $59, while refurbished high-end GPS devices were below $50 on eBay.Continue reading...

black friday

Florida Wal-Mart Shoppers In GPS-Device Smackdown

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 27, 2009 02:40 PM

Finally, the reports of a Black Friday fight are coming in. What were the Florida Wal-Mart shoppers fighting over? GPS devices:

"People were gathered at the items they wanted to buy. The customers claim the person at the GPS location, started selling the devices before 5 a.m. and they started a brawl... In Seminole County, another fight at a Walmart ended with three law enforcement agencies responding. According to WKMG, the Seminole County Sheriff's office, Lake Mary Police Department and the Sanford Police Department were all called out to the Walmart around 5 a.m."Continue reading...

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tech wars

Google Finds Its Way To Dismantling GPS Brands

Posted by Abe Sauer on October 29, 2009 12:12 PM

Are you a brand owner or manager? Are you worried Google may soon make your brand irrelevant? No? Are you sure?

When Google announced its mobile phone navigation service on Wednesday, shares of heretofore strong GPS brands like TomTom and Garmin drove off the cliff. A cliff that, thanks to GPS, they should have seen coming. Why? Because Google's service is free. Google plan for monetizing the GPS service seems to be -- surprise! -- selling advertising.

The GPS brands are trying to do... something. TomTom released a branded GPS iPhone app. The company claims it has been downloaded 80,000 times. Though, bad news for them, Google says it will make its maps, now only available for the Motorola Droid, available for iPhones and other devices soon. Garmin introduced a widely panned hybrid GPS-cellphone called a "desperate move" by analysts.Continue reading...

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