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tech innovation

Intel's Latest Advancement? A Talking, Tweeting Robot

Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 21, 2014 10:28 AM

C3PO will soon have some buddies. C3PO, the human-figured robot from Star Wars, was a vision of a seemingly faraway future when Episode IV was released in 1977. But now, less than 40 years later, a rush of robotic friends are hitting the market.

Honda has Asimo, while Softbank just debuted Pepper, calling it the first robot that could respond to emotions. Now Intel and Trossen Robotics have partnered to create Jimmy, a 3D-printed, open-sourced robot that Andrew Alter, chief engineer for Trossen, says “can walk, he can talk, he can tweet, he can take pictures.”

The hope is that other developers and engineers will use the framework of Jimmy to create their own robots. Consumers can simply download apps for what they would like their Jimmy to do. Intel will release a second version of Jimmy later this year for around $1,600 and launch an app store as well, according to Bloomberg.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Malaysia Airlines, Apple, FedEx and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 17, 2014 05:51 PM

TOP STORIES

Malaysia Airlines experiences another tragedy, with attack on flight MH-17 killing all onboard.

Apple beefs up female leadership by naming Blackrock cofounder to board.

FedEx indicted for role in distributing prescription drugs to web pharmacies.

Alibaba eyes September IPO.

Starbucks promotes Fizzio soda as Teavana iced tea gets a TV commercial.

MORE BRAND NEWS 

Allstate teams with Kristin Chenoweth.

Amazon, Carnival and YouTube among best-perceived brands (per YouGov).

eBay sales show impact of data breach as site settles with LVMH over Louis Vuitton fakes.

eHarmony teams up with Limp Bizkit’s Fred Durst.

GM to use bankruptcy as a shield against recalled vehicle claims.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: LEGO, Tesla, Walmart and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 8, 2014 09:09 AM

TOP STORIES

Crumbs Bake Shop closes its doors.

Greenpeace criticizes LEGO tie-in with Shell with LEGO-animated short film.

Samsung warns of slumping profits on weaker demand as it looks beyond hardware.

Tesla sued in China for trademark infringement.

Walmart embraces smaller store formats. 

IN OTHER NEWS:

ADM buys Wild Flavors.

Abuelo’s refreshes menu and look for 25th anniversary.

Air New Zealand pulls in-flight safety video featuring scantily clad models.

Herb Allen’s Sun Valley media mogul conference kicks off.

Alibaba sees red flags raised by deals by founder Jack Ma.Continue reading...

sustainability

How Ford, Intel and McDonald’s Align Sustainability Perception and Performance

Posted by Paola Norambuena on June 30, 2014 06:47 PM

At the June 24th New York City launch of the Interbrand and Deloitte Best Global Green Brands 2014 report, the theme, the Power of Participation, highlighted the most important aspect of sustainability: that the challenges we face—climate change, water crisis, resource depletion—are challenges we face collectively. And it requires collective action.

With Ford replacing Toyota as the #1 brand on the study, Susan Rokosz, Senior Environmental Engineer at Ford Motor Company, took the stage as part of a panel to discuss a critical aspect of the ranking: the alignment between performance and perception.

Even when people are provided with sustainable product options, “Consumers only see a Ford.” Which is why Ford’s commitment is at the very complex, global supply chain level—recognizing that this is where collective action matters a great deal.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: Apple iWatch, Bezos Defends Amazon Fire Phone and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 20, 2014 07:30 AM

TOP STORIES

At Cannes Lions, Unilever CMO Keith Weed bans word “consumer” in people-first focus; Beats CMO explains Apple acquisition; Facebook’s Sandberg promises no ads in messaging; Microsoft launches suite of ad targeting tools; and Google, Publicis and Conde Nast announce “La Maison” content partnership.

Sprint moves closer to $40 billion T-Mobile financing, as T-Mobile CEO apologizes for insulting rivals.

Apple's looming smartwatch will reportedly include 10 sensors to track health and fitness.

American Apparel CEO ouster could trigger loan defaults.

Amazon Fire Phone described as "chocolate ice cream" to WSJ by Jeff Bezos, who also defends move to New York Times.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Adobe turns iPad into drafting board with smart stylus.

Ben & Jerry’s is releasing Saturday Night Live-themed flavors.

BMW aims to make the MINI more masculine in China.

Cadbury customizes chocolates based on Facebook preferences.

Cheerios considers reviving 1980’s campaign to promote new dayparts.Continue reading...

corporate citizenship

Silicon Valley's Biggest Brands and Investors are Getting Behind Diversity

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 18, 2014 01:58 PM

With corporate citizenship, gender equality and diversity the name of the game nowadays in the corporate ecosystem, one must wonder if the bigwigs throwing support behind these movements are actually walking the walk. 

That's unfortunately not always the case when it comes to the billion-dollar brands in Silicon Valley, including Google, Yahoo and Twitter. 

“Out of 36 executives and senior officials in the United States, Google reports exactly one African American and zero Latinos," the San Francisco Gate reports, according to Google's first-ever public diversity report. The report showed that women occupy just 21 percent of leadership positions and 17 percent of tech jobs at the company. Google has no female executive officers and only one woman on its senior leadership team.

In reaction to Google's transparency, Yahoo released a similar report on Tuesday, revealing that just 23 percent of people in vice president roles or higher were female, including CEO Marissa Mayer. Yahoo, mirroring the tech industry as a whole, is dominated by white and Asian males and among tech staff, the male-female ratio is 85 percent to 15 percent.Continue reading...

brand news

Brand News: FIFA, Facebook, Starbucks and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on June 12, 2014 09:05 AM

TOP STORIES

The 2014 World Cup kicks off with a memorable moment as embattled FIFA head Sepp Blatter says his "mission is not finished."

Facebook gives marketers more access to your data.

Amazon launches Prime music service in US today. 

Starbucks to offer wireless phone charging with Duracell.

Twitter fights TweetDeck hack (make that accident) as C-Suite shake-up rumored.

MORE BRAND NEWS

Alibaba's 11 Main: US shopping site or R&D experiment?

Apple's influence extends to white being most popular car color.

AT&T accuses Netflix of "double-talk" over Comcast and Verizon.

Google now owns a satellite, and a platform to connect businesses with customers. 

HP takes a crack at reinventing the computer.Continue reading...

sonic truth

Coca-Cola's World Cup Ad: How Sonic Branding Can Fuse Utility and Emotion

Posted by Craig Stout on June 6, 2014 04:32 PM

No one argues with music’s power to elicit an emotional response. Yet brands so often fail to use audio to emotionally connect with customers. And as the Internet of Things becomes a reality and machines need to communicate with their human counterparts, sonic branding is more important than ever. 

As a part of being the brand's FIFA World Cup sponsorship, Coke released the “Happy Beep” video, using the brand's iconic five-note audio mnemonic to turn everyday beeps of a Brazilian grocery store's checkout barcode scanner into a moment of surprise and delight. It’s difficult not to smile as the familiar Coke musical notes, which also played a role in its 2010 World Cup campaign, materialize.

But sonic branding goes beyond audio equivalent of visual logos and advertising. It’s not just the NBC chimes, Justin Timberlake’s  “I’m Lovin' It” jingle for McDonald's, or the MGM lion’s roar. It is about managing the ecosystem of sonic elements that a brand has at its disposal—which is only going to increase as everything gets connected. These sonic elements can make experiences more intuitive, navigable and aid awareness of a brand’s presence. To see something, we need to be looking where as we don’t need to be actively listening to hear.Continue reading...

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