Smartphones

Kontor, “Back to Vinyl” Smartphone App.

In an ever increasing digital world bridging the gap between analog and digital can be tough. Coming up with a direct mail piece that grabs the attention of time starved creative directors can be just as hard if not more so. The video below actually dropped on YouTube back in May, but I just got an email about it last night from a friend. Kontor Records, the worlds largest dance label wanted to promote the new Boris Dlugosch to ad agencies.

Rather than send them a promo CD, or an email with a link to MP3 tracks on the album, they created “Back To Vinyl”, a physical record that you play with your smartphone. Housed in a well designed sleeve, that folds into a physical record player, “Back To Vinyl” generated some impressive results for a direct marketing piece. It actually got 71% of the recipients to scan the QR code and activate the player. From that they got a 42% click through rate to the Kontor online store. Not bad at all for direct mail.

The Growing Mobile Video Explosion

Yesterday Facebook, owner of Instagram announced they were adding video to the popular image sharing software. This is probably to counter act Vine from Twitter. Both services now offer users the option to upload 15 or 6 second video clips respectively. The addition of video to Instagram helps to solidify the ever growing presence of video on the internet and mobile devices.

Mobile Internet specialist Skyfire has produced a new infographic that details the various challenges facing mobile operators looking to make mobile video work efficiently and effectively.

“Who’s in Charge of Managing the Mobile Video Deluge?” by Skyfire looks at the different ways in which mobile operators and content publishers view video traffic. At the same time it also casts an eye over the potential ways by which current trends could meander in the not too distant future.

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iOS7 Panoramic Backgrounds.

Apple is set to release the latest flavor of iOS later this summer, and it is packed with all sorts of new features. One of the features that is a bit of a gimmick, but still pretty fun is the panorama background images. In iOS 7 you can use any panoramic photo as a background that will scroll as you move the phone, creating a floating background that feels a bit more alive and dynamic. The video below shows it in action.

Get Off Your Butt and Move.

mask175In the last year, there has been huge growth in wearable technology that communicates with your smartphone, or computer. Juniper Research predicts 70 million wearable devices will be sold in 2017, a rise on the 15 million sales expected in 2013. The majority of these devices are dedicated to health and fitness.

Fitness app Moves wants to offer a cheaper alternative to buying accessories that often cost upwards of $100.00. The iOS app does this by not requiring login details and allowing users to track walking, running, cycling, or other forms of exercise by simply keeping there phone with them.

Moves uses the “storyline” feature to track your location and compile activity to a digital diary using categories like work, gym, home, and pizza joint to let the user know if they are hitting their goals or slacking off with a high calorie, low activity lifestyle.

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It has a really nice interface and feel to the app. The graphics are clean and easy to understand. The feature set is solid without being to much. The app really wants to log your daily activity without trying to overwhelm the user with unneeded features.

Move Features
• Automatic Tracking: Records daily walking, cycling and running.
• Places: Recognizes places in your daily life.
• Storyline: Visualizes your day in an easy-to-read timeline.
• Routes on map: See the paths you took.
• Pedometer: Counts your steps, so you can set simple goals.

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Since the app launched in January it has been downloaded over 1 million times. An interesting fact about Moves is, last week the app tracked users running the equivalent 10,000 miles in one day.

 “Fitness tracking has become more and more important for people who are fitness enthusiasts but also the type of person who may not got to the gym or run every day. Moves is a must-have download for both types of people.”

Sampo Karjalainen, ProtoGeo Founder

iOS vs Android, The App Arms Race.

Here is an interesting little infographic for Friday. Trademob has put together a coparison between iOS and Android  to see which platform really is the best for app marketers. The infographic compares the two competing operating systems looking at their user demographic, number of apps available, speed of revenue growth, smartphone market share and tablet market share, to see which OS comes out on top. Is it just me, or is this starting to feel like the “Mac vs Windows” wars of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s? Hmmm, either way, its interesting information.

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Volkswagen Smileage.

The Smileage app for Volkswagen while a very cool marketing tool, has the potential to be one of those apps that floods social media like Facebook and Twitter. It has the potential to be an app that gets blocked by everyone that hates apps like this.  With that said though, the video sure makes it look fun, and I do like the idea of an app that lets you record your road trip in a social fashion.

Powered by Google Maps and developed in partnership with Deutsch LA, The The Smileage app syncs your phone with your car, can connect in multiple drivers, allowing them to combine, photos, milage, checkins, comments fist bumps, and more. All of this helps to calculate your Smileage score.  Click here to pre-register.

Scout Security, Good Looking Protection.

Having a security system for your home is one of the many necessities of modern life. It might not stop a break in, but it greatly reduces your chances of being broken into. I have a love hate relationship with mine. I love that I have it. I love that my iPhone can access it at anytime. I hate that it’s expensive. I hate that it required a contract with a hefty early cancelation fee.

Scout from Sandbox Industries is a new kind of alarm system that features next generation home security technologies, is modular, has no contracts, monthly fees, and can be taken with you when you move. This sleek modern system comes in two form factors. One blends in, the other stands out. They both utilize the latest in security technology, and are smartphone enabled. Scout has a great look to it, its easy to install, and the basic kit is only $120.00

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Scout is what happens when a hardware hacker, a designer, and a developer are put on a crash course with the current home security industry. In the summer of 2012, our office was filled with capacitive touch experiments, advanced sensors, and motion-tracking displays (plus we were looking an excuse to buy a drone; we’re nerds). When one of our team members went to buy a security system for his house, we realized how big of a gap there was between what we had in our hands and what’s available to the general public.

The reality is that home security companies have been filling their beige boxes with the same dated technology for the past two decades. That would be fine, of course, if their prices were coming down. But you can’t even find the pricing on most of their sites. When you finally schedule a “technician” to come out, the pitch you get is pretty unbelievable. You’ll hear all about 36-month contracts, land-lines, hard-wired equipment, installation fees, monthly fees, and upwards of a thousand dollars in hardware – depressing stuff.

Once we saw behind the curtain, it was no surprise to us that only 18 percent of homes in the USA have a home security system. It’s a miserable process with no alternative. Enter Scout: we bring you the latest in technology and modern design at an affordable price. Everyone deserves to be protected
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