STATE OF AMERICA
15 Ways Technology Makes People Look Weird – After spending five years studying gesture interfaces at Near Future Laboratory, researcher Nicolas Nova noticed consistent trends in the ways people positioned themselves when interacting with technology. His findings highlight awkward, unnatural ways people bend their bodies in order to accommodate technology. A partnership with the Art Center College of Design illustrates the results of Nova’s study in a free ebook titled Curious Rituals. The catalog of social gestures is spot-on and includes “The Periscope” which can be seen at any concert venue where people hold their smartphones in the air, as well as the “Halfway Courtesy” which refers to headphone users who remove only one of the two earbuds when a brief encounter occurs. In addition to describing new physical gestures, Nova also takes a look at the social pressures driving such behaviors and offers insights into how designers can benefit from these social dynamics. If you want to read more about Curious Rituals, download the free ebook here.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
Majority Of Young People Sleep With Their Phones, Even Though They Shouldn’t – If your phone wakes you up in the morning, it may also be keeping you up at night. A 2008 study funded by major mobile phone makers, and conducted through a joint venture by Wayne State University in the U.S. and Karolinska Institute in Sweden, showed that people exposed to mobile radiation took longer to fall asleep and spent less time in deep sleep. The need to check in at all hours of the night or wake up to the sound of a text message is extremely disruptive to people’s sleep. There’s even an increase in the amount of teenagers who respond to text messages in gibberish because they are physically responding while still asleep. Even though studies show that heavy cell phone use is linked to sleeping problems, stress and depression, a quarter of young people feel they must be available by phone around the clock. According to a 2012 Time/Qualcomm poll nearly 3/4 of young people people from the age of 18 to 44 sleep with their phones within reach. The number falls off slightly in middle age, but only in people 65+ is leaving the phone in another room as common as sleeping right next to it.
Starbucks Newjacks “Nemo” – Newsjacking is quickly becoming a necessary marketing tool. Real-time monitoring and engagement means that brands are now reacting to breaking news as quickly as traditional news. Starbucks took the timely news event of the “Nemo” snowstorm and successfully combined it with specific, targeted locations in the Northeast in order to increase relevancy. Hours before the Feb. 8th blizzard took hold, Starbucks rolled out geo-targeted Twitter and Facebook ads with a “Snow Day Motif.” Later, consumers in markets where the weather had forced their local Starbucks to close down received geo-targeted free coffee offers on their social media networks. “We huddled with our corporate leadership over the weekend to pull the free-coffee offer together,” said Alexandra Wheeler, Starbucks’ vp of global digital marketing. “We worked quickly on the creative and targeting, while putting paid amplification behind it.” Newsjacking is an attempt to stay relevant, and perhaps the next evolution of social media relevancy includes a combination of timeliness and geo-targeting.
WAT-AAH! Brand Lets Kids Market To Other Kids – WAT-AAH! positions itself as the first premium water brand by kids for kids. Rose Cameron, a former advertising executive, could not figure out a way to get her kids to cut back on sugary soda and drink more water. The WAT-AAH! brand was born when Cameron’s two sons told her that water was boring, and she realized that kids needed water to be “cool.” Cameron tapped into her children as an informal focus group to begin her brand of fun water. Both the name and the logo design came from her sons, and WAT-AAH! was born out of her kids screaming “water” to help inspire her. All aspects of the brand, ranging from the style of the bottle to the black and neon colors, were chosen by her kids. The brand started in 2008 and was originally sold door-to-door to delis in Cameron’s neighborhood in TriBeCa. Now, WAT-AAH! is giving Pepsi and Coke a surprising source of competition and is available nationwide in schools and at grocery stores like Whole Foods.
ON THE RADAR
Follow This: @projectglass – In addition to releasing a new demonstration video for Google Glass, Google also announced that they are looking for bold, creative individuals who want to give feedback and be part of shaping the future of the product. To apply, follow @projectglass and tweet an application of 50 words or less along with #ifihadglass. Those selected will have to pre-order a Glass Explorer Edition for $1500 and attend a special pick-up experience in New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. Learn more here.
Try This App: Pheed is a mash-up of every popular social network including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr. It launched three months ago and its current base of a million users – which according to Forbes is mostly teenagers – are allowed to curate their own channels with everything from text, photos, videos, live chats, and audio clips. Pheed also gives notable users the option to charge for content. Keep an eye on this social network to see if it develops into the next platform of choice for celebrities and brands with exclusive, must-have content.
Try This Site: If you need help fi lling out your Oscar ballot, check out this site which Google set up to help enhance your Oscars viewing experience. Visitors can use insights from Google Trends and see if the most searched-for nominees of 2012 line up with the actual Oscar winners. The site also includes movie and celebrity knowledge graphs, an interactive map that shows where your favorite nominated movies were filmed, and even a helpful Year In Review video of 2012’s top movies.