“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One ring to bring them all…” taken straight from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. That is exactly what Apple is doing with their new “iRing” that acts as a motion controller to watch television on their “iTV”. Rumor has it that this new accessory will allow their users the ability to control the TV set by just pointing at the television.
Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets believed that the “iTV” will come with a “mini iTV” screen that will allow users to view content on a smaller 9.7-inch display — the same diagonal screen size as a full-size iPad. Though this 2 for the price of 1 may seem unrealistic, as a consumer I would definitely be interested in getting these devices. Imagine never having to pick up the remote since it’s on your finger. The days of misplacing the remote or the battery dying out will be a thing of the past.
Stay tuned my technology friends….
For the next 1 ½ years, NASA is adding the very addicting online game “Angry Birds Space Encounter” to their lineup of cosmic wonders in hope to attract the younger generation. The goal of the huge interactive exhibit is to allow kids to experience the creation of their own design of the game and play it at the station. “This could be a great venue for getting some physics and getting some math and getting some science into something that has the connotation as just an empty brain-draining video game that sucks out the creativity from the minds of young people,” Astronaut Donald Petti a chemical engineer told The Associated Press at the grand opening.
We are slowly losing the battle for economic dominance in comparison to our fellow counterparts around the world. Researchers from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) from Paris stated that China’s economy will be larger than the combined economies of the Europe countries by the end of 2013, and will overtake the US by the end of 2016.
If you think that’s huge, they also believe that by 2025, the combined GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of China and India will be larger than the combined GDP of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, US and Canada.
What this could mean for the US is that while the GDP will continue to grow by 3% each year for the next 5 decades, Inequalities will still persist, even though people in the poorest countries see their income quadruple by 2060, with those living in China and India seeing a more than a seven times its increase. This was their prediction on why China is being viewed as the best economic country in the world.
While experts feel that these rising imbalances could undermine growth, countries may change their direction by re-evaluating its current process on how they handle labor and production regulations. Ultimately this effects how businesses handle their employees in their respected parts of the world.
As consumers continually wait for the anticipated smart watch to emerge from Apple, rumors are now spreading that Samsung is also in the race. As Apple’s biggest competitor in the Smart Phone Market, Samsung has stated that they have been in their labs devising a plan to create the next highly contested gizmo in the industry.
In the past, a wristwatch was merely a simple device that told the time, but now several big players such as Google and Microsoft along with Apple and now Samsung are introducing much more than timepieces.
Though no company has provide a deep dive in what their product will be doing, Its exciting as a consumer to see if these big rig companies can make smaller devices with the same functionalities as the tablets and smart phone do now.
Some key highlights of the advanced watches in their time were Casio’s calculator watch in the 80s, the heart rate monitors for fitness in the 90s, and more recently the Wimm One Watch, that gets updates from WiFi on the hour; the MetaWatch, that allows its wearers to get email and SMS alerts; and Sony’s SmartWatches that offers applications for music, emails and browsing social updates.
In any Industry, marketing plays an essential piece to informing your consumers that you are here.
An article written by Scott Gillum “How Marketing Impact Sales Performance” states that some of the key functions of Marketing are:
Increased opportunities in sales due to marketing support – In short, by having effective marketing support, it will aid in consumer’s awareness of the product or service available.
Sales Coverage – Consumers are often asked where they saw the ad within a set range of time (90 days). With effective marketing activity, sales will increases the larger perception range of the product or service. In return, it allows the sales to understand where the market trend is and who is responding to their efforts.
Sales enablement – Finally, marketing identifies any shifting in the consumer’s buying patterns. Effective marketing strategy can classify consumers based on competitor pricing and target market. This give any industry leader the ability to review their own products/service and see if they can match or beat out everyone else in their vertical.
Target announces its partnership with Fast Company magazines to sponsor a competition for the best mobile app or mobile website for the retailer.
Developers that are able to become finalist can earn $10,000 for their prototype with the winner being compensated for the amount of $75,000. Target will then work to bring that concept to life. Casey Carl SVP of Multichannel and President of Target states “Innovation is core to Target’s culture and strategy, and we are always looking for new ideas to enhance the shopping experience for our guests. We’re proud to partner with an innovative publication like Fast Company, and we can’t wait to see what the developer community brings to the table through the Retail Accelerator.”
Apple is in the works to try to re-invent time, literally. There have been speculations on how the new “iWatch” would redefine the use of this basic but important device. The company has gone as far as filing scores of patents that include the word “wrist”. In their bat cave, there are rumors that Apple head designer Jon Ives has been working with 100 product designers on the new invention.
So what can we as consumers hope to see with the new iWatch? Well aside from telling time, speculation features include the ability to check map coordinates (great for trips and outdoor events), along with the normal features you would see in a normal watch like pedometer, heart rate monitor. The 2 features that will really set this apart from any others is the capability to download other applications and make phone calls.
Now before you go trading in your smart phone, keep in mind that there are some issues that may go along with these great features. 1 – Battery life. Unlike your current watch, the iWatch requires a lot of battery to handle all these upgrades. Apple doe use a device (iPod nano) that may have the same functionalities that can be altered a bit to power the iWatch but there has not been a concrete answer on how it will support functions the same way the smart phones do. 2 – Upgrades. Think back to the very first iPhone and all the issues that came with the first model. It may very well take 4-5 version upgrades before we could see a very cool device.
One thing is certain; Apple will break barriers again if they are able to pull this off. Best known for their innovation, this product will not only be a hit with a lot of loyal Apple brand followers, but would definitely increase their target market if its as good as we think it will be. Stay Tuned!
An article from governor.ny.gov highlights the recent partnership between International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) announced by Fortune Magazine as one of the most innovate companies in 2012, and New York’s Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to help High School Students graduate with an Associate’s Degree in a special field.
Gov Cuomo stated that education is one of their greatest resource and economic drivers. Their partnership with IBM will better enable the state to invest in selected school districts throughout the state and prepare students, starting in high school, for high-skill jobs in fields such as manufacturing, technology, finance and health care. The article also states his vision (Gov Cuomo) to greatly improve NY’s work force and help their students find jobs directly out of college.
The Governor’s Executive Budget proposal includes a $4 million increase for the Early College High School program (ECHS) – which will fund 10 special programs that incorporates a six year program combining high school, college and career training. The training will prepare students for a high-skill, high-demand career in a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math).
Along with IBM, are other businesses that will partner with each of the participating high schools and colleges to provide guidance on workplace training. These will include mentoring on special skills to guide the students and prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow’s economic challenges.
It’s sad news for employees of the biggest US bank, JP Morgan when they announce on Tuesday that they are cutting 4,000 jobs this year to reduce their expense by $1 billion dollars. In addition, Marianne Lake, the bank’s new chief financial officer, stated that the company will also be raising its interest rates by 1 percentage point, and conclusion of expensive litigation related to the mortgage crisis – would boost the bank’s net income to their goal of $27.5 billion over time.
Though there have been progress made to slowly boost their bottom line, The company must still be wary after recently laying to rest the $6bn in trading losses racked up by a London-based trader nicknamed “the whale” from the prior year.
It’s understandable that business is business. Shareholders must be paid and the company (JP Morgan) must always look to their best interest, however think about those who had no options to find a better solution due to the results of poor investments. How will we as a community judge big banks like this ethically?
A recent report done by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) in cooperation with ForeSee states that there is an increasing customer satisfaction with e-commerce website from 1.2% to 81.1% based on ACSI’s 100-point scale.
Claes Fornell, an ACSI Founder and professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business states “E-commerce is maturing, and even the smaller companies are improving, keeping up with or sometimes surpassing larger, more established companies. The e-commerce landscape changes faster than more traditional industries and the rules can be rewritten by new players or new technologies, like mobile. Disruption will always be a part of e-commerce, but innovation will likely keep the sector near the top in customer satisfaction.”
Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee states that “Brick and Mortar retailers are not conceding to online retailers like Amazon. Instead they are investing heavily resources in providing a better experience for their customers, providing more evidence that competition is good for the consumer.”
“After dropping 14% drop last year, Netflix remains the lowest scoring company in e-commerce. However, Netflix knows that access to content is key, and creating exclusive content and a franchise that will help it secure a loyal following is a unique approach,” said Freed.
Freed commented that going mobile will reshape e-commerce while bringing a bigger impact to consumers especially if they travel frequently. Hotels and airlines are attempting to assert more control over their own business relationships with their customers, fragmenting the online experience that may do more harm than good.