In the beginning, there were products and services, and some were good. Fewer became trusted brands, but those that did enjoyed unquestioned loyalty supported by a simple yet effective marketing engines built to reach people in mass quantity. The formula worked for decades. An empire was built on the shoulders of Madison Avenue and expanded globally. It is an empire, which still exists today, though arguably it’s a diminished version of its former self.
Yesterday, Pew Internet and American Life Project (in collaboration with Berkman) unveiled a brilliant report about “Teens, Social Media, and Privacy.” As a researcher who’s been in the trenches on these topics for a long time now, none of their finding surprised me but it still gives me absolute delight when our data is so beautifully in synch. I want to quickly discuss two important issues that this report raise.
We’ve already seen one mobile app that rewards kids for keeping parents updated as to their whereabouts and well-being, but Evado Filip takes a different approach. Earlier this year the London-based company launched VIVOplay, a wearable mobile communications and location device designed to help families stay connected.
Watch-sized VIVOplay uses a combination of GPS, WiFi and GSM technologies to let parents and kids easily get in touch with each other whenever they need to. Featuring location and date/time/alarm features built-in, the water-resistant device lets parents send short messages to their child, such as ‘dinner is ready’. With the VIVOplay’s calling functionality, meanwhile, parents can designate five predefined numbers via the parental mobile app that accompanies the device, thereby limiting the numbers their child can call. Parents can also create safe zones and get notified when their child strays outside them; baby monitor functionality is available as well. Last but not least, an emergency button gives parents a way to instantaneously broadcast their child’s location to all five pre-programmed numbers, and to record all sounds around the device.
Evado Filip explains: ”VIVOplay delivers all the benefits and independence of a cell phone and minimizes the concerns that keep parents from buying mobile phones for children aged 5-12. VIVOplay is flexible enough to be worn as a wristwatch or fit into custom accessories to meet changing tastes and keep it from getting misplaced.” The video below explains the premise in more detail:
Evado Filip is gearing up to launch VIVOplay early this summer; no word on pricing so far. Eventually, however, the company sees a broader range of applications for the device, such as keeping the elderly safe as well. Safety-minded entrepreneurs: One to get involved in?
Spotted by: Alexia M
Continuing from our previous post, let’s look at two P’s of world-changing brands: power and permission.
Queuing is more often than not an annoyance for consumers and can also be bad for business. Estonian startup Qminder has already offered one option to help customers avoid queues, with its number allocation app that alerts them when it’s their turn to be seen. Our latest spotting is Australia-based ExpressQ, which enables event attendees to pre-order and pre-pay for food, drinks or merchandise for easy collection on the day.
Event organizers can set up a food and drink menu or item list prior to the occasion, which consumers can then log onto through the ExpressQ app. There, they can reserve the items they want and pay for them. Customers then receive a QR code unique to them, which they can either print off or simply load on their smartphones to show to vendors when it’s time to pick up their goods. Since the items were pre-ordered, organizers should already have everything they ordered to hand. Businesses can set up a separate sales point for ExpressQ customers, meaning the even those in the regular queue benefit from reduced lines. The video below explains more about the service:
ExpressQ helps businesses provide a more efficient service at their event, while consumers don’t have to endure a long wait that can cut into the time they spend enjoying it. One to replicate in your part of the world?
We’ve already seen an iPad app that lets consumers seek guidance from the masses on design plans for their homes. Now taking that crowdsourcing premise a step further, Italian CoContest is a site through which homeowners can set their own design competitions, getting architects to challenge others for the chance to work on their renovation projects.
Homeowners with renovation to be done begin by launching a contest on CoContest, specifying not just the work to be done but also the specifications, deadline and any cash award. Architects around the world can then compete by submitting their proposals. “This is a worldwide solution,” CoContest says. “Why not obtain a Scandinavian design for your house in New York directly from a Swedish architect, or a Japanese touch in your London apartment from an architect based in Tokyo? With CoContest, you can.” In any case, at the end of the contest, homeowners can view all potential solutions and choose a winner, ranking the best projects by marking them with stars. From that point on, the contest becomes public and is viewable by all users. The video below explains the premise in more detail.
CoContest can be particularly useful for real estate firms seeking a new outsourcing channel for low-cost projects, as well as for “junior architects who want to emerge,” the company notes. Architect and interior design entrepreneurs: one to get involved in?