2010 will be a transformative year for technology

IPG Emerging Media Lab's 2010 Trends We believe 2010 will be a transformative year for technology that will likely impact the consumer experience dramatically for the next decade. Not since 1999 have consumers, techies, and marketers had so many reasons to celebrate. That was the year we began to see unprecedented broadband growth, the year the first mobile data network hit (in Japan), and we saw Google take its first steps (founded just four months before start of 1999 – VC funding came in 1999), not to mention the introduction of P2P (with the founding of Napster).

2010 promises to be even more explosive: The products and solutions coming to market in 2010 will impact the way we interact with our mobile, PC, and content devices for years to come.  Here are seven reasons to believe: Continue reading “2010 will be a transformative year for technology”

Welcome to CES: Utility now trumps gadgets

CES 2010: Utility trumps gadgets On the first day of CES, I took a preliminary walk around the show floor as the booths were getting set up. I threw out my jaw yawning (no joke). It’s not that there wasn’t pretty neat stuff – it’s that the show as a whole was broken this year.

The killer feature across many big brand consumer electronics this year, from car to TV to toaster, is utility. “What can this device do for me?” As devices become connected, they increasingly compete on licenses, partnerships, and “the could” – not on the physical hardware. This was the elephant in the room this year. Netflix or Yahoo! widgets will sit on nearly every device, and yet neither company has their own presence at the show. Google revolutionized the mobile industry, and while Android makes a very strong presence, the big G isn’t around (even now that they have become a mobile retailer). Continue reading “Welcome to CES: Utility now trumps gadgets”

Google just changed the wireless game

Google changes the game for mobile (Google)At the Android press event this morning, Google turned the wireless industry on its head.  On the surface, it looked like Google only introduced a new (albeit very slick) phone, the NexusOne.  But below the surface, there’s a lot more going on.

The centerpiece of the event was the Nexus One phone.  Slightly thinner and lighter than the iPhone, the Nexus One boasts a 1GHz Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm (the fastest mobile phone processor on the market), a 5 megapixel camera with LED flash, dual microphones for noise cancellation, and my favorite bit of all, a 3.7 inch 480×800 OLED screen.  This phone is a powerhouse, and while some in the industry are looking at the current carrier exclusivity of T-mobile (currently the 4th place carrier in the US), it makes a lot more sense when one considers that they just upgraded their network to 7.2 Mbps 3G, twice the speed of AT&T’s current network.

But this barely scratches the surface.  Continue reading “Google just changed the wireless game”

Best of ’09: Smartphones killed the email star

Best blogs of 2009 From our 2009 best-of the IPG Lab blog series:

Email marketers are in a dire situation. Many of them don’t know it yet. One of the major activities for smartphone users involves checking email. For marketing emails, while the current best practices dictate formatting emails to support both text-only and HTML email clients, the HTML versions don’t scale well to smaller devices. This is a big problem.

Thing is, as smartphones get smarter, more and more are working to support HTML emails in their email clients. The iPhone is a great example. Any email marketers reading this should find someone with an iPhone, and pull up their emails on it. If they’ve been using text only, with a graphic here or there, it should look alright. But if they’ve established a graphical header, or formatted the email with a fixed width, the text should be just about impossible to read right now.

Read more.

Three reasons Android could terminate Apple

Best blogs of 2009 The smartphone market seems to be shoe-in: Apple has got momentum in the space reminiscent of their takeover of the MP3 player market years prior with the iPod. Despite this momentum, the discerning media planner working on mobile for six months out should take note – Google’s Android is poised to crash Apple’s party.

Android Clones: While the iPhone had Chinese imitation devices, Android will literally have a clone army. The open source system will live on a handful of devices by the end of this year, and dozens of devices by the end of 2010. So while the system seemed to languish when the only Android device was the G1, with phones like the HTC Hero and myTouch 3G, Android will traverse carrier networks and handset manufactures. Continue reading “Three reasons Android could terminate Apple”

Mobile visual search – GetFugu or get Google?

Visual search on mobile phones - GetFugu or get Google?As mobile continues to develop, the world of search on mobiles is heating up. Recently, Google launched Google Goggles, an experiment from the search giant in visual search. The Lab reached out to their partner GetFugu to find out how Google’s release changes the landscape in respect to GetFugu’s visual and audio search product. Rich Jenkins, EVP of Biz Dev and Co-founder got back to us with these answers.

The Lab: To what extent does GetFugu see Google Goggles as a threat?

Frankly, we don’t see them as a threat but more as an affirmation of the value of our platform and the consumer-appropriateness of our technology.  The Google environment is really the same old search results environment simply reached another way.

Brands still have to fight through all the clutter just differently.  Getfugu gives brands and consumers a direct link to each other and circumvents the noise inherent in search results.  We like to call it “Direct Connect”.  Our technology is unique in the way we help brands and consumers share in a fun, dynamic and interesting environment. I suppose if you want an antiseptic consumer experience then they are a threat.

The Lab: What are the key differentiators between GetFugu’s solution and Google Goggles in terms of the underlying technology? Continue reading “Mobile visual search – GetFugu or get Google?”

How games support personalized narratives

How games are supporting personalized narratives (iStock and EA)Column originally featured on MediaPost

Online content, as it becomes increasingly interactive and tailored to the individual, faces a problem: How does it deliver an individual experience and still contribute to a cultural identity?

We have a human need for joint attention. When we see something cool, we point it out to a family member or friend. When we see a movie we really like, we — unprompted by the studio — tell our friends to go see it, too. We crave a shared cultural identity.

We also like personalization. We want content that is tailored to our interests, and the “choose-your-own-adventure” type of storytelling resonates quite well with audiences. We’re especially seeing instances of the latter in gaming. But this concept of personalization seemingly operates against the need for joint attention. So how can the two needs both be satisfied? Social frameworks seem to be key. Read more.

Google brings AdMob under its umbrella

Google buys AdMob (Scott Beale, Laughing Squid, via Flickr)Huge news in mobile today: Google just announced an acquisition of AdMob, the ad network which was the first to serve in-app ads on the iPhone. This deal makes a lot of sense, and is going to impact long standing changes to mobile advertising. It also affirms Google’s position in mobile as a dominant force. Here are four reasons why:

King of the hill: Google was getting into in-app ads, but there was already a powerhouse in that space – AdMob. Rather than competing for market share, this acquisition will position Google as the leading provider of in-app ads. Considering the Lab’s position that “the mobile app is the new webpage,” the overall share of impressions will continue to trend toward applications (though AdMob also has a considerable presence in the WAP world as well).

Continue reading “Google brings AdMob under its umbrella”

Video game consoles amp up the video

Gaming consoles amp up the video (IPG Media Lab) Column originally featured on MediaPost

Game consoles are continuing their stealthy takeover of the living room. We’ve been seeing this trend for a while, but the pace is accelerating as the holiday season approaches.

The PlayStation 3 is going Netflix next month. The second console to get the streaming video service, this added functionality should help the PS3 sales for the holiday (which are already predicted to be high due to the lower price point of the PS3 Slim). The solution currently works using a disc shipped out from Netflix, though it’s been confirmed that eventually a native client will be released. There are still rumors of a similar disc-based approach coming to the Wii.  Read More.