Little Magic Books get funded, a tea machine that costs $13k and Val & Alan’s birthdays

May is always a flat out month of fun in my world – projects are either starting or winding up in the lead up to the new financial year, Alan and I both celebrated our birthdays and it’s Mother’s Day (a double-whammy of pressies is always appreciated).

I’m delighted to announce that a Kickstarter project I backed has successfully achieved its financial goal. I’m one of 226 people who can’t wait to see Little Magic Books come to life – an interactive children’s book powered by your smartphone.  Amazon sells more ebooks than physical books, so bridging this gap for the digital native is really important for the future of books.

Enjoy Ian’s first issue. Bye! Valentina

best of me

Trackable Trails

Skiing at Thredbo last year, I tried out their new mobile app, which in addition to tracking the balance of your ticket payments, leveraged the GPS function on my smartphone to measure the number of runs, maximum speed and distance travelled each day. After reviewing the results at the end of the first day, I found myself eager to better my top speed and increase my skiing distance. Essentially, being trackable changed my behaviour.

Since then, we’ve seen a huge growth in wearable technology, of which perhaps the most well know is fitbit and Nike Fuelband. My smartphone came equipped with the S-Health app, and Facebook recently purchased Moves as an expansion into the wearables space. Startups such as Misfit Wearables have ambitions for the intersection of fashion and wearables.

Ripcurl has just announced what they claim is the world’s first GPS surf watch. Like the skiing app, it tracks number of waves, maximum speed, distance surfed and offers the ability to sync the statistics to the website for analysis. Mick Fanning was wearing the watch last month when he won the Rip Curl pro at Bells Beach.

Research and my own experience concludes that measuring performance seems to motivate you for performance, so expect more brands to look to embrace this technology as a tool for consumer insight and engagement.

Coke’s Storytelling journey

Late in 2011 Coca Cola released a 2020 content strategy, which planned to leverage the opportunities in the new media landscape which they hoped would transform their marketing activities from creative excellence to content excellence.

Coca Cola Journey was a core pillar of this strategy, and this article takes a look  into the Coca Cola newsroom.

Last year, the digital magazine published 1,200 articles and attracted 13.1 million visitors who averaged an impressive 4:40 time spent per article!

Value of Mobile Shopping

US Healthcare retailer Walgreens recently did a trial of iBeacon. The iBeacon technology is being used as part of a bigger in-store mobile coupon initiative that lets consumers digitally clip coupons and redeem them via a barcode on a smartphone.

The idea is that iBeacon will help consumers remember old coupons that they may have saved a couple of weeks ago from the app.

What they have found is that mobile app consumers found that the average in-store, online and mobile shopper spends six times more than the average store-only shopper.

Learning languages made easy

If you’re interested in learning Spanish, French, Italian, German or Portuguese, then Duo Lingo is for you. This cool free language app has been voted Apple’s App of the Year and Google Play’s Best of the Best (which says a lot!). It’s so simple to use and if you’re receptive to gamification, then practising against the clock and leveling up will reward yourself nicely. Give it a try.

Robotic Workforce

We know that robots are replacing many jobs in manufacturing, and here’s a fascinating video of how Amazon’s Kiva robots manage inventory in their massive warehouses.

Amazon also announced a partnership with Twitter that allows users to add products to their shopping carts by tweeting a special hashtag.

Bits & Pieces

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