Funky & Amazing Food Service Bot

Yesterday’s BrandSquare newsletter featured this amazing innovation in food preparation, packaging and serving that was originally covered in FastCompany:

No idea what the technology costs at scale, but you can see this radicalizing foodservice and small-batch food manufacturing. For more cool hunting around brands, packaging, design and marketing, subscribe to BrandSquare and follow BrandSquare on Twitter.

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Is Social Gaming the Future of Employee and Customer Engagement?

According to a May 2011 study by IPSOS conducted for Saatchi & Saatchi, gamification may have an important role in transforming consumer behaviors into new brand loyalty and employee communications, incentive programs and training. Some of the top-line findings:

  1. Ban it or exploit it?
  2. 50% say they play social games at work–guys more than gals 53%/39%–and Tablet owners more than smartphone owners (68%-54%).

  3. Are you as engaging as a game? 57% play social games to pass time when bored–implication, make the workplace and communications more engaging
  4. Give a break or take a break? 39-40% game when alone or in need of a “mindless” break respectively
  5. What motivates: “Discounts” are most compelling incentives for winning a challenge followed by “Social Action” and “Points toward Loyalty Program.” 25% said “Status in Community” was a compelling incentive.–wonder if that would change if bonus compensation and advancement were tied to it?
  6. Express your inner goodness to win: 18-24 year olds most likely to take a salary reduction to work for a socially responsible company.

Here’s the study:

Thoughts?

Weekly Round-Up 6/13/2011

Most of the attention was about WWDC and Apple’s announcements although we should probably mention something about Groupon’s IPO Announcment:

And now a little bit about Groupon IPO plans to raise $750mm. Some highlights from filing:

  • 7,000 employees and 83 million subscribers in 43 countries
  • $714 mm in revenue up from $30mm the year before
  • With claims of a frothy valuation, not surprising to see All Things D report on the Groupon reporting “Smack-down” following the IPO announcement
Closing with a fun little conceptual hack worthy of a big Apple announcement week. This “invisible phone” uses hand gestures and a depth-aware camera to interface with your smartphone–essentially allowing it to sit in your pocket or purse.

Weekly Round-Up 6/5/2011

It was largely the week of the API for us.

Speaking of killer apps and creativity, something about virtual world hopping into real world engagement pretty much ensures virality on YouTube–4mm views and counting for this top-app, Angry Bird in a T-Mobile video:

Weekly Recaps 5/30/2011

Google Wallet by far the biggest announcement to date this year with potential impact to create massive disruption due to:

  1. Android platform integration and influence on handset manufacturers–could be fairly easy for Google to make an Operating System specification require NFC on all future phones for common functionality and it’s 50% of all the world’s smartphones or 1/3+ of all sets globally running Google Wallet by end of 2013
  2. Trusted partners–they’re taking an ecosystem approach which will invite in more “wallet” use cases, partners, etc.–it won’t be just about giving Apple 1-click access for content, which has proven to be compelling enough for 200-million people so far. This will be about speed, content, access, etc. and will be marketed by some serious players in Telco, Payments, retail and more.
  3. NFC+a number of other Google innovations like Goggles, Voice Search, Voice, etc. will make the current state-of-the-art being talked into happening, QR Codes, look as dated as dial-up modem. Nostalgic but useless because they ask too much of users to really be great.
  4. Probably the biggest part of this announcement is how further enables the co-opetition between Google and Amazon to move from online to offline ubiquity–something I’m calling Googlezon. Keep an eye on all the way these two are exploiting the strengths of their combined platforms to win back share, utility and time with consumers from Apple. It’s really amazongle.
Here are the announcements and some related links:
Related: “Why would you buy an Android phone anywhere but Amazon?” Includes HTC Inspire for $30 w/contract.

Weekly Round Up for 5/23/11

Social Media

  • Social media has a secret weapon: Email. Thoughts from Union Square Venture Partners’ Fred Wilson. I agree with his conclusions and will raise the issue one-better. Social|Local|Mobile programs require an armada of traditional media and channels support to succeed—from POS and advertising support to sales support, email marketing and more. So, the rise of these new media doesn’t have to spell the end of traditional marketing; in fact we’ll need more not less of those disciplines and artisans around
  • 15 marketing and social media trends of 2011 – by Rohit Bhargava; mid-year & how are they holding up so far?
  • Learn about some LinkedIn Lessons
  • AdWeek did a fluff-piece on Klout, a company that rates the influence of tweeters by 35 attributes including tallying retweets, responses, Facebook likes and click-throughs to produce an influence score. Not much in the article about the nuance and opportunity Klout represents, but it’s a company worth serious consideration
Shameless Self-Promotion

Technology

In case you missed it, each of the individuals called out above–Fred Wilson, Rohit Bhargava and Steve Rubel all deserve a click and Twitter follow.

Weekly Round-Up w/o 5/16/11

Social Media

Your Content

Trend Lunch

Each month Anthem San Francisco hosts a Trend Lunch to share trends in culture, marketing and design. Here are some highlights  from last week’s lunch:

Miscellaneous


Weekly Round-Up 5/9/11

Social|Local|Mobile –SoLoMo

  • Groupon’s fast ascension to establish and lead the deals space is challenged with the introduction of Facebook Deals and other established incumbent entrants such as Yahoo! And AT&T Interactive.  Where Groupon has to rely on paid acquisition for new email and socialgraph distribution to drive demand and activation, Facebook Deals owns those channels for 600mm worldwide. Hard to compete with “free” or sunk costs. Other Incumbents like Yahoo! And AT&T Interactive can leverage sophisticated email marketing intellectual property and systems along with other forms of communications and relationships built into their existing businesses.
  • Here’s how Facebook’s thinking about deals—something between friends
  • Facebook begins paying users to watch advertisements because of low banner click-through rates.
  • Today, 17% of mobile users are using location-based apps, or 70mm+ of projected 2011 smartphone & tablet users.  Half of these people are concerned about privacy, but can these be mitigated by greater transparency, utility and even value-exchange dynamics we’re seeing from the deals space?

BTW, note how the linked article decries “only 17%” using LBS–it’s amazing that nearly 20% of an enormous installed base are already here and growing. New behaviors and media used to take decades, then years and now months to create. Little perspective.

  • R/GA’s Richard Ting weighs in on the cleverly named “New Social Media Splinternet”—while we’re big fans of Richard’s thinking, we respectfully disagree about holding off on experimentation with emerging platforms or that marketers lost their shirts as some platforms failed to emerge to scale. Ping us if you’d like to see our applied strategies for evaluating emerging media and its fit for your brand, strategy and objectives
  • Social-Loco 2011conference was in town last week. We’ll work on a more comprehensive recap shortly, and in the meantime, here are slides used to frame one of the great panels from the day:

In Other News: Apple

Fitness

  • Make sure to turn it up a notch on your next run.  According to both Medincine & Science in Sports & Exercise and Ultimate Bootcamp, sprinting burns more fat than running longer–fits the theme from fast-spaces to fast companies to leaner start-ups; super performance is built into speed.

Weekly Round-Up 5/02/11

Shameless Plug

  • For more about Social/Local/Mobile, see us at the Social-Loco Conference—I’ll be speaking on the “Big Brand” money panel.

Entertaining/Inspiring

  • Wrap your mind around this:  Escher’s Waterfall has our mind boggling!
  • Check out Little Thor, a miniature hero who gives this year’s favorite Super Bowl character, Little Vader from the Volkswagen commercial, a run for his money.
  • Will Turnage, VP, Technology & Invention for R/GA, shows off a shirt he hacked for a South by Southwest session.  This shirt not only flashes when he taps his phone through a Bluetooth control, but also lights up when someone tweets his twitter handle.

AppNation

  • AppNation brought the growing consumer application trend to the forefront of the minds of all those who were fortunate enough to attend.
  • Drew Ianni, Chairman of AppNation, joined us at Anthem Worldwide in San Francisco to share his view-from-the-top of the Apps Ecosystem.

Mobile

State of Mobile Video-Research Round-Up

I’m speaking on the state of Mobile Video for marketers today on a panel at AppNation in San Francisco. I hope to have a video of the panel to share later this week and in the meantime, wanted to share some of the public sources–in addition to  custom data from syndicated research services–of information on this subject. When the only barrier to a market is speed we can have every confidence that Moore’s law will cure that issue.

Already Akamai reports Korea has the fastest Mobile internet connectivity averaging 17+mps speeds. As we heard from Jimmy Kim, CEO of Nexon in Korea, (19:19 timecode in video) “I have 70mbs dedicated to my home. When I come to the United States I go crazy looking for WiFi, dropped calls.” At these kind of speeds people know you’re lying when you say you got a dropped call. Imagine what that means to the richness of content available at that speed and higher. It means you can download an iPhone/Android screen optimized full-length movie in under 45 seconds. It means you can experience mid-core gaming with intense graphics and concurrent connectivity with others. It means a more satisfying, rich experience. And much, much more profitable as a result, btw.

Here are some the publicly available sources and if you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to invest an hour watching/listening to Mary Meeker’s overview presentation below:

Embedable reports:
  • Cisco Global Mobile Video Report:
  • KPMG’s Mary Meeker’s report:

Watch Jason Spero, Mary Meeker and Matt Murphy share their insights and data on Mobile Video–well worth the hour to watch:

  • Rhythm Newmedia’s Q2 2010 report
  • Kevin Shatzkamer of Cisco’s Q&A on Mobile Video
  • Chris Barraclough’s Telco2.0 Mobile Video Overview for Operators

Seen anything else that should be included? Please add your sources to the comments below.