Samsung

Samsung Unpacks 36 Million Viral Views on YouTube.

The power of viral. The video below dropped less than a week ago on YouTube and it already has more than 36 million views. No it doesn’t use some magic formula, and no it wasn’t lucky. It went viral because it plays off of the genre of “unboxing” videos that are all over the internet, and because the production value of the video is rock solid. When combined with the Samsung brand, the nostalgia that surrounds some vintage tech, and the possibility that you might see some piece of unreleased gear, things get a bit nutty.

“From the release of the SH-100 mobile phone in 1988 to the first wristwatch phone. The World’s smallest TV phone to our first MP3 phone. We introduced the S Pen with the Galaxy Note series and paved the way for Phablets. We’ve even climbed mountains to make the first 3G call from Everest. Gone underwater to test the ability of the Galaxy S5 and curved glass to create the first dual edge screen smartphone.

Wherever there’s a barrier, we see it as an invitation to go further, together.

Who knows where progress will take us.”

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“Beyond Nature” with the Samsung NX30.

For whatever reason, as of late I have been on a kick about gear, budgets, and what you can create with everything from bare bones to big budget. The video below from  was shot on location in Bolivia and Chile on a Samsung Galaxy NX30 with just 3 lenses.  I know there is more gear involved. Things like tripods, extra batteries, memory cards etc, but the total cost of the entire kit was probably less than $2500.00 total. The results however look like they were shot on a much more expensive camera rig, which brings me back to “These days you don’t need the most expensive gear to get insanely great results.”

15 Years of Apple Home Pages.

So Apple stock is down today, and everyone is acting like the world is ending. Frankly I think everyone is going through a “Chicken Little” syndrome and running around shouting “The sky is falling”.  Apple’s stock dropped ten percent, but it is still a thousand times better than it was 20 years ago. And while Apple is selling less computers, they are selling a ton of phones, tablets, and other devices. And yes Samsung is taking a bite out of Apple’s cell phone  market share, but it doesn’t mark the beginning of the end for Apple.

I’m not an Apple fan-boy by any means but the fact is they do make a superior product that exemplifies good design, easy of use, and seamless compatibility with all Apple products. So before everyone freaks out and sends Apple to it’s premature grave, take a look at 15 years of Apple home pages, and take note of all the killer products they have released in that time.

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/choehn/15-years-of-applecom-15990876&#8243; title=”15 Years of Apple's Homepage” target=”_blank”>15 Years of Apple's Homepage</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/choehn&#8221; target=”_blank”>Charlie Hoehn</a></strong> </div>

Time For a “Touch Skin”.

I like watches. The craftsman ship that goes into a fine time piece like a Rolex, Tag Heuer, Pannerai, or Patek Phillipe is truly outstanding. I also like my smartphone. Now the craftsmanship that goes into the smartphone isn’t the same as a hand made watch, but the design experience that goes into the user interface, form factor, user experience etc. is every bit as detailed. As far as I am concerned on the iPhone it is.

Over the last decade or so, watch sales have declined, and the watch industry blamed mobile phones as the number one culprit. Who needs a watch when your phone has a clock right? The good news for watch makers is, watch sales are on the rise, and that leads me to the “Touch Skin Watch” designed by Niels Astrup.

Touch Skin was awarded the third place prize in the Samsung sponsored 2012 Design That Performs competition, and rightly so. Building off of the reality that the classic analog face of a watch or clock is universally embedded within the cultural consciousness of almost every society in the world, Astrup used it as inspiration for the Touch Skin Watch. This watch gives the end user an analog experience without giving up the modern touch screen functionality of a smart phone. The watch comes with skins that can be downloaded to the watch, allowing the OLED screen to be customized to meet the needs of the individual user. The design of the watch is clean and classic keeping true to it’s analog roots.

Touch Skin weighs around 80 grams, and features a 16GB micro SD RAM which is upgradable. The prototype watch runs on a multi-core ARM or Nvidia Tegra Type II/III processor. The watch’s face is covered in 0.46mm thick Gorilla glass which covers the 16 million color multitouch screen. The case is made from anodized aluminum with the bracelet  constructed from natural FSC-certified rubber.

No word about this watch going into production, but I hope this guy fires up a Kickstarter campaign to get it rolling.

Touch Skin is the ultimate digital accessory – A touch sensitive watch that combines tradition and transcendence via classic minimalist analogue watch design.

Touch Skin fits in neatly with existing gadgets and is thought of as an accessory that can follow you in all situations of your daily life. From the morning when you wake, customize the look of the watch to match your dress code with the build- in watch designs. If you are not satisfied you can always connect the watch to your computers Bluetooth and download new skins or design your own from the Touch Skin App. Touch Skin is notseen as a smartphone watch, however future skin development opens up to this direction.

Prisma from Toncelli = Want.

One of the things that has always bugged me about our house are the Ikea cabinets that were used in the kitchen. There is nothing really wrong with them, I just want something with a better fit and finish. We haven’t pulled the trigger on a kitchen upgrade yet for a couple of reasons, one of them being finding the right look for the house and extremely open floor plan.

The current kitchen setup is a large white island with a black Paper Stone counter. It is void of hardware, and the glass cook-top disappears into the surface creating a large black area floating in the center of the room. There is a single wall of cabinets that run floor to ceiling behind it. The kitchen is minimalist, clean and utilitarian.

Today, while browsing through Toncelli’s website I came across the new kitchen designs for 2012 and saw something I really like. Something I would install in my house in a heartbeat. Toncelli’s new PRISMA line. This is a high-tech kitchen with a minimalist aesthetic, great geometric lines, high-grade surfaces and finishes, and remarkably similar to what already exists in my home.

PRISMA is simple, modern, and dynamic, with revolutionary technologies provided by Samsung (the funny thing is, that sure looks like an iPad in these photos not a Samsung tablet) . Prisma was designed in collaboration with user experience design firm Experientia from Turin. This partnership has resulted in a series of surfaces that create a “prismatic” composition that transmits an immediate sense of weightlessness, emphasised by the lights that illuminate the pieces from below. The invisible handles, which include a vertical version for the refrigerator help to minimize the look of Prisma giving it a sculptural quality.

The counter surfaces are an interactive workbench that features a Samsung touch-screen computer, with an internet connection for constant updates to content from a programmed menu.

Size Does Matter: An Infographic.

Apparently size does matter. At least in terms of click through rates on mobile devices it does. According to new data that came out toward the end of 2011, there is a direct correlation between mobile advertising Click Through Rates and screen size.

When advertising is accessed on a tablet, the click through rate is almost triple of the same ad viewed on a smartphone screen. The biggest winner with all of this is the iPad. No surprise that it receives an almost 10% increase averaging 9.61% overall.

The infographic below shows a detailed view of click throughs based on screen size.

“Developers are facing many challenges when it comes to the monetisation of mobile apps, as the pay-per-download model is only really financially viable for major publishing houses. We noticed a very interesting correlation between screen size and CTR which shows the importance of supporting tablet devices that have larger screens such as the iPad, Blackberry Playbook or Samsung Galaxy Tablet if developers want to maximise their revenue earning opportunities.” Offer Yehudai, president of inneractive.

Here’s an infographic with more…

NFC and Your Mobile Phone, Doesn’t Simply Mean “Payments”.

If you are involved with technology, content creation, marketing or advertising, you have probably heard of “Near Field Communication”. Actually, if you watch the news or listen to NPR, you have probably seen, or heard about it because of Google’s “Google Wallet” which is now being tested in select U.S. cities.  NFC has been around for sometime, and handset manufacturers like Nokia have actually been embedding the technology in their handsets since mid 2006, although you wouldn’t have found any of those phones on sale in the U.S. outside of an importer. So why is NFC so hot right now? Because there are tens of billions of dollars in mobile payment revenues riding on it. And now with handset manufacturers, teleco’s, payment companies, marketers, advertisers, and other key players on the same page, the doors have opened and NFC-enabled phones are starting to show up in the U.S.A.

The first big announcement started at the end of last year when Google and Samsung dropped the news about the Nexus-S. Now other manufacturers like Nokia, HTC, Motorola, and Blackberry have all chimed in with commitments to release NFC enabled phones in the next year. Even Apple is hinting that NFC might be included in the next generation iPhone. If you look at the numbers and the surrounding research it suggests that 30% of all mobile phones shipped worldwide will be NFC-enabled by 2015, which seems like a fairly conservative prediction since by the end of 2011 more than half of all phones sold will be smartphones. So what does this mean to all of us, both consumer, and content creator/advertiser? Quite a bit.

Right now when you hear “NFC” it is usually associated with mobile payments, and this is really where people are pushing the technology.The ability to pay for things with your mobile phone and potentially replace credit cards is arguably the most powerful and transformational aspect of the technology,but it is not NFC’s only use. Right now mobile marketing is the fasts growing segment of the advertising industry.NFC has the potential to create newer, richer ways of connecting target audiences with a brand, and this is very appealing to agencies, marketing firms, their clients and you the consumer. Imagine being at your favorite store, and seeing an NFC enabled sign for a new product. By simply tapping your phone in a designated area of the sign, you are taken to a micro-site for the product, or you are given specific details, or you can see the product in a 360 degree view.This is where things get interesting and revolutionary. Mobile users don’t have to install an application, and hope it works since NFC is embedded in the phone itself. Is this the death of things like QR codes? Not immediately, but eventually.

In a recent article for Mobile Market Watch by Mikhail Damiani, he talks about how RMG Networks, a place-based media network with hundreds of thousands of digital screens across cafes, health clubs, airports, airplanes, pharmacies, and casinos announced the launch of mTAG, an NFC-enabled platform allowing users to tap their phone to discover relevant mobile content associated with the on-screen creative at their current location. This is huge. It’s like Yelp, or Foursquare on steroids. Google is also jumping on the trend by rolling out NFC enabled Recommended on Google Places window stickers in a test they are conducting in Portland Oregon. Those Google stickers, communicate localized information about the venue you are at. Rich detailed information designed to extend the overall user experience.

As for you the consumer, NFC marketing has some advantages over current mobile application based marketing. Like I said before you don’t have to download and install anything on your phone, you don’t have to enable GPS, and NFC doesn’t collect personally identifiable information about you. In addition, after you leave the NFC enabled area, you won’t have any form of advertising pushed to you on your phone. Because NFC has such a low power draw, it can remain on all the time in the background, with no noticeable impact on battery life. And all interactions are fully opt-in and secure – the only way you will receive anything, is if you proactively tap your mobile phone on the designated area. Because of all of this, marketers and advertisers will have the ability to micro-target specific locations and the audience in those locations who are most interested in the offer – thus, any such engagements are more relevant and valuable. Over the next couple of years as NFC handsets become more common, NFC based campaigns will evolve in both their creativeness, and usefulness. Instead of simple messaging, the advertisements will provide you with immediate offers, relevant information, special deals, and a rich deep user experience.

Right now there is a short window of opportunity for advertisers. The ramp up and acceptance for mobile payments is going to take some time, which gives us about 12 to 18 months to play. Hopefully your first introduction to NFC will not be a mobile payment, but instead will be a rich media experience delivered to the palm of your hand.

This type of introduction to NFC is going to be essential to the success and sustainability of NFC’s use as a marketing/advertising tool.  Americans really are creatures of habit, and if their only connotation of NFC is paying for things, it’s going to be difficult to convince them that tapping their phone for entertainment content will be as valuable if not more so won’t result in a payment transaction. In addition the content is going to have to be easy to engage, and provide value to the person opting in, especially if they want continued or return engagement in the future.

I think the next 18 months is going to be extremely interesting for the NFC world, and I expect to see a lot more engagement with it as we move forward.