tech in the spotlight

Wearable Baby Tech Aims to Bring Piece of Mind to New Parents

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 13, 2014 01:42 PM

While adult consumers wait around for the ever-elusive iWatch, kids already seem to have a full offering of wearable devices at their fingertips.

In fact, infants are privvy to the ultimate wearable device: Rest Devices' Mimo Kimono. The onesie keeps track of a baby's respiratory rate, body temperature and activity level, which is all fed to an app for parents. Despite the $200-plus price tag, devices like the Kimono are the new rage in the fast-growing infant wearables space, according to the Wall Street Journal

Another startup, Owlet Baby Care, has a $250 smart sock coming to market in October that tracks a baby's oxygen saturation and heart rate, which is also fed to parents via a smartphone app. According to the Journal, there are more than $300,000 worth of pre-orders for the smart sock.

But wearable baby monitors aren't just for parents. Educational-toy manufacturer LeapFrog recently unveiled its own wearable-tech device for children, the LeapBand. Set to go on sale in August, the band works much like Nike's FuelBand and Adidas' miCoach, and is able to track a child's play activity and encourages them to keep moving with 50 different games and challenges, CNN reports.Continue reading...

kiddie brands

Paul Frank’s Julius Swings for Primetime

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 20, 2011 12:30 PM

Julius the monkey is an unparalleled soccer player, (as seen above) and like others in his league, is now preparing for his Hollywood debut.

Saban Brands, the Haim Saban business that last year bought Julius and his creator, Paul Frank Industries, has begun pre-production on a Christmas television special for 2012, featuring Julius and his buddies. Touted as combining the heart of Modern Family with the spirit of The Simpsons, the holiday special is being produced by Mike Reiss, Emmy-winning producer of The Simpsons.

Since Los Angeles billionaire and entertainment mogul Saban bought Paul Frank Industries last year for $50 million, the quirky, wide-mouthed sock monkey’s star has been steadily rising.Continue reading...

Changing the Amazon wipes up the competition

Posted by Peter Cenedella on November 8, 2010 11:00 AM

It was a story right of out of the Web 1.0 1990s: Marc Lore and Vinit Bharara, childhood buddies from New Jersey, launched a specialized e-tail site, raised $59 million from investors, and skyrocketed to success. 

Today, the foray into deja-vu-point-oh comes to a fitting end, with its sale to mega-mammoth online retailer

Amazon is reportedly shelling out $540 million to buy Quidsi, parent company of both and Like many a dotcom entrepreneur past, Lore and Bharara will have their cake and eat it too, as reports say not only will they pocket millions in cash, but also are slated to sign multi-year deals to stay on in key managerial roles.

Last year, Amazon spent approximately $900 million to acquire, the shoe e-tailer that has built a loyal customer base by offering unparalleled customer service and easy return policies. Likewise, focused on differentiating themselves with the kind of, ahem, back-end service that, some feel, is lacking from the increasingly monolithic Amazon shopping experience. Continue reading...

trademark wars

Lego Hits Trademark Brick Wall

Posted by Abe Sauer on September 16, 2010 12:30 PM

As Facebook continues its drive to own the term "face," one toy manufacturer is seeing red over the failure to trademark its brand's iconic calling card. The European Court of Justice has denied Lego's appeal of a 2004 ruling determining that its red building brick is ineligible for trademark protection.

With a "baddie's" name straight out of some kind of children's fairy tale, Lego rival Mega Brands had challenged the trademark request. Lego will not be able to build a further case as the ruling is conclusive.Continue reading...

chew on this

Baby Carrots: The Original Orange Doodle

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 31, 2010 11:00 AM

As America's nutritionally-challenged youth head back to school, an initiative led by Bolthouse Farms is taking on the junk food industry with a killer snack food alternative – carrots. Baby carrots actually. In this corner – the $18 billion dollar salty snack food industry; and in this corner – the $1 billion dollar baby carrot world.

As back to school marketing takes over America, 50 carrot growers are joining Bolthouse in the first ever baby carrot marketing campaign.

Spending some $25 million dollars, according to USA Today, the war chest is funded by "A Bunch of Carrot Farmers," the tongue in cheek name adopted by U.S. carrot growers in the battle for kids’ lunch boxes and vending machine snack choices vs. packaged snack food marketers.Continue reading...

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