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.

Dear Santa, I Have Needs.

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and you know what that means… it means the holiday shopping season has begun with “Black Friday” deals erupting everywhere. I’m not participating in any of that nonsense. For the last 7 or more years I have done almost all of my Christmas shopping online, and probably will again this year as well. That doesn’t stop you however, and that is why I am posting my top ten wish list for Christmas 2010. Feel free to purchase any of these items for me.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF2 is the World’s smallest and lightest compact system camera with a built-in flash. Replacing the popular GF1 model, the new GF2 is 19% smaller in size and 7% less in weight than its predecessor, thanks largely to the introduction of a touch-control interface via the 3 inch 460,000-dot LCD screen. The DMC-GF2 also offers full HD movies at 1920 x 1080 at 60i (NTSC) / 50i (PAL) in AVCHD format with stereo sound, a new Graphic User Interface, a 12.1-megapixel Live MOS sensor, Venus Engine FHD image processor, expanded ISO range of 100-6400, a built-in pop-up flash and Dust Reduction system. If you don’t want to use the LCD screen for composition, an optional electronic external viewfinder is also available ($200), which slots into the external flash hot-shoe on top of the camera. The camera comes in Black, Silver, Red, and White. Prices range from 600 to 750 bucks depending on where you buy, and the accessories you get with it.

Olive O2 Multi-room player and olive Music Server


Olive makes some of the best digital music systems in the world, and this is a set up I could love. But with steep prices, I am counting on one of you to buy this for me this year. The multi-room players run $599.00 and the Olive servers run from 1000 to 5000 dollars depending on storage, Olive ripping your entire CD collection, pre-loading music etc. Speakers aren’t included so if you want to pick up a couple decent pairs I wouldn’t mind at all.

Eames Lounger and ottoman

I figure this Eames Lounge Chair with Ottoman would be an awesome addition to my living room. What better way to relax than sitting in this chair with my feet up listening to my new Olive sound system while checking out the photos I just shot on my new camera. Well I can think of a few additions that might help.

Charbay alambic whiskey release ii

This is hands down the best whiskey I have ever tasted, and at $329.00 a bottle it should be. Using original pot heated distilling methods Charbay took 3.5 weeks of 24/7 distilling, working in shifts to check on the Pot Still every 3-4 hours. (One of the main reasons nearly all whiskey is column distilled.) to make this hand crafted whiskey. It is so smooth and flavorful you have to taste it to believe it. Distilled from “Low Wash” beer this whiskey has  a flavor that really allows the hops and barley overtones to come through. And yes I would drink this while sitting in my new chair listening to my new sound system, while fiddling with my new camera.

Samsung UN55b8500 Led backlit LCD Tv.

I figure if I am sitting in my Eames lounger sipping on whiskey, listening to my new sound system and checking out my new camera; I should have the TV going so I can stimulate even more of my surroundings with additional visual overloads. And what better way to do that than with one of the TV’s that C-Net says has the best picture of any TV they have reviewed. This 55 inch backlit LED/LCD TV boasts a 2 millisecond refresh rate clocking at 240 Hz. It has a contrast ratio of 7000000:1, and is internet connected.

“It costs a mint, but Samsung’s local dimming, LED-based UNB8500 series delivers the best picture quality of any LCD we’ve tested.” C-Net

Cartier Santos 100 Chronograph Black Dial Watch

All of this sitting and relaxing might have a tendency to lead to an abundance of sloth, and I am not the kind of individual that likes to sit around or be late. what better way to keep track of time than with this Cartier watch. The Santos features a titanium satin coated ADLC case with a black toile de voile bracelet. The bezel is constructed from stainless steel and titanium. It features a black dial with sword-shaped hands and Roman numeral  markers around the outer rim. The Chronograph features three sub-dials displaying: 60 seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours. The self-winding automatic movement guarantees I’ll never be late.

Hermes Blake Loafers

Thanks to my new watch I won’t be late, but that doesn’t mean I won’t push my departure to the last-minute. With all this good stuff why would I even want to leave my house. None the less I know I am going to have to venture out at some point, and I might as well sport some fine shoe leather if I do. That is where these hand stitched Hermes loafers come in. My feet will be swathed in the finest of calfskin, cushioning each step as I race out the door for my flight to Monaco.

Best Made Axe

I don’t want you all to think I am some sort of sissified dandy, so I think it’s important that I request some manly gifts that exude luxury, yet hold on to that utilitarian function that I also covet. This is where the Best Made Axe comes in. Whether I am chopping down a tree, splitting logs, or killing zombies, nothing does a better job than this axe. Constructed with a hand painted and polished 30″ hickory helve topped off with a 3.5 lb fine grain steel bit this axe means business. Very manly, kind of designer. Either way its 400 dollars worth of zombie splitting goodness in your hands.

Raleigh Denim Jeans

Using an axe requires a solid pair of jeans. No self-respecting lumberjack would be caught dead wearing anything but denim when cutting down trees with their Best Made Axe in hand. These are not your ordinary machine-made jeans. Each pair of jeans from Raleigh Denim is handcrafted and sourced in North Carolina, made from White Oak Cone Denim, hand signed and individually numbered. Frankly I think I’d look good wearing these while sitting on my Eames Lounger, checking the time on my Cartier watch, sipping my Charbay whiskey, Listening to my Olive sound system, watching my Samsung TV, while taking pictures of my Hermes shoes.

If you wish to purchase any of these fine gifts for me, shoot me an email and I’ll give you my mailing address.