QR codes are pretty much everywhere we look nowadays. Whether it is on products, in stores or even at the gas pump there is always something to scan. If you have a smart phone you can walk up to one of these codes and use it to download information, coupons and advertisements. It’s a super convenient way to store and transmit data by request, but there is something else on the horizon. It is called the Rectenna. It is an inexpensive device that uses radio waves as a power source and transmits data to a nearby NFC device (like a smart phone).
This is not a new invention by any means. Rectenna have been around since at least the 60’s. The name comes from the fact that the little device contains both an antenna and a rectifier which converts alternating current into direct current.
A study was done to see how much Rectenna would cost to produce. The results were astonishing. They could be produced in volume for less than a penny a piece. That makes them even less expensive than radio-frequency identification tags which do something similar, and as we all know corporations look for ways to cut expenses especially in the economy we live in today.
Of course, if your phone doesn’t have NFC technology then you wouldn’t be able to communicate with the Rectenna. Your phone has to emit radio waves if the Rectenna is going to convert it to direct current and transmit the data. That means if this technology takes off you can expect more and more smart phones to start being designed for NFC.
It really is all about cost. Since Rectennas’ are inexpensive to produce they stand to get a strong foothold in the market. There are already products on the market that are taking advantage of this technology. For example, it can be used in object finders. The labels have built-in chips and antennas that sit flat on whatever you want to be sure not to lose them. An NFC phone can send radio signals that bounce back from the object by helping you to be able to locate it.
Expect to see more Rectennas’ and NFC products in the future as word of the savings gets spread around. In the mean time you will just have to keep scanning codes with your phone to get the information you want.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on September 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm, and is filed under Technology in Society. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
If you have ever cared for a puppy, kitten, or other cute infant animal then you know the effect it has on a person. The little fuzzy thing absorbs your existence. You stare into it’s eyes, feed it, coddle it, watch it explore and play. It quickly worms its way into your heart. We spend tons of cash on making sure our little pets grow up healthy and have all their shots. You desire to keep it safe.
So why do helpless critters have this sort of control over us and how we’re willing to spend out time and money? Why don’t ugly animals have the same effect on us? Most Americans won’t even bat an eye at running over a possum—because they just aren’t cute. Think about babies though. If babies weren’t so adorable would selfish humans be willing to turn our lives upside down for years to raise a child? Would we get out of bed when they cried in the middle of the night? Would we change their diapers and not get upset when they puke on us? Cuteness is a survival tactic.
As far back as 1949, a zoologist purported the idea that babies have just the right features to inspire us to care for them. Things like a tiny nose, eyes that take up a large portion of the face, and bobble head doll proportioned craniums drive us wild. We just can’t help ourselves. Whether you believe it’s clever design, or a convenient accident, cute babies help the species survive.
This makes sense with human babies, but why do we feel the need to take care of animal babies as well? Many animal babies have the same physical formula. Their heads are too big for their bodies. They have cute little noses. Their eyes appear huge.
WWF and other animal protection organizations capitalize on this. Their symbol for years has been a panda with its great big eyes, tiny nose, and enormous head. People throw all kinds of money at organizations like this.
The Japanese have capitalized on this as well. Cute animated girls with eyes that take up most of their faces just adore viewers. Exaggerated head size and miniscule noses cap off the cuteness trifecta and make these cartoons irresistible to boys and girls alike. Hello Kitty products bring in a fortune in sales.
Of course, the cuteness doesn’t last forever. The cutest baby can become the ugliest adult, and adorable baby pets can become an aggravating headache once all the proportions balance out. But cuteness gets us to give up our time and other resources until the little cuties are old enough to fend for their not so cute adult selves.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on August 31, 2012 at 2:48 pm, and is filed under Branding. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
What if your little one could have her own email address, safe from scams and spams? Maily, a free iPad app, gives your kids their first email address, controlled and monitored by you. Now your children from the age of four can connect to any family member or friend with the touch of a picture.
The creators of Maily, Raphael Halberthal and Tom Galle, came up with the inspiration behind Maily when they were watching some young children use technologies such as iPads and smartphones. They were astonished at how easily the technology came to the kids, and they realized that no one had yet invented a safe and easy way of communication for kids to use. They began testing and developing Maily, with an eye on what an email application for a child as young as four needed to be. Tom and Raphael say that the process was exhausting and long, but throughout the developmental stages they continuously received emails from kids offering encouragement. The creators say they were amazed at children’s level of understanding of the entire email concept, including receiving or sending emails. The finished product, Maily, offers kids a fun, safe and secure way to stay in touch with family and friends.
With Maily, kids can get five fun tools to spruce up their messages and backgrounds: paint brushes, pencils, stamps, backgrounds and photos. Children can easily use the pop-up menu to access these fun accessories. Kids can use the pencils to write their messages using their fingers while the paint brushes and stamps can be used to let their imaginations go wild. There is a large variety of backgrounds for your child to choose from, including over 30 themed stamps like dogs, planes, space rocket backgrounds, and even paper effects. Kids will be able to design their own kid-themed backgrounds for their messages using these fun tools. Maily also works with the iPad camera to allow kids to insert their own pictures into their messages.
Parents control who their child contacts with their new email, and how they do it. Kids are limited to sending and receiving messages from parent approved contacts, and an email can be sent to the parent that includes a copy of the child’s messages for approval before being sent or received by Maily.
Using the email app is simple: your child taps the picture of the recipient; the email will automatically be addressed to the recipient using whatever name you have chosen, such as Grandma or PopPop. The child writes his message and sends it to the recipient, who receives it in their normal inbox. When replying, the recipient uses the Maily dashboard to choose kid friendly backgrounds and animations to add to their messages, which are then sent back to your child’s Maily address.
Currently Maily can be downloaded for free, but it is possible that future versions of the app will come with a virtual store for parents to purchase new tools and features for their child’s Maily account, like sound, video, new brushes, and even a second account. Maily may also have, in the future, some selective ads that would only be seen by the parents on their Maily dashboard.
Fun, easy to use email for kids—Maily offers children the coolest email features in a setting secure enough to make parents happy, too.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on August 14, 2012 at 7:09 pm, and is filed under Technology in Society. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Whenever a medical question arises, most people will automatically turn to Google to try and find the answer. However, there is a much better alternative, according to California based health startup, HealthTap.
Last year the Palo Alto company created a platform which connected over 12,000 doctors throughout the United States that were ready and willing to provide written answers to questions about medical issues at no cost. This network of medical professionals is available online or via a mobile app.
CEO and co-founder of HealthTap, Ron Gutman, explained that with the significant updates to the service announced recently, including the ability to pay a small fee to privately message a specific specialist, they were “bringing the house call back.”
Ron Gutman has been involved in the consumer health industry for a number of years in a variety of roles. As a graduate student he was responsible for a health and well-bring program for employees being implemented by his university. He also has prior experience as CEO and founder of Wellsphere, a health 2.0 site.
Gutman has long since understood that health care is moving to mobile devices and the internet. People want the convenience of consulting with a real person wherever they are, from the home to the coffee shop. He said that HealthTap’s aim is to be the go-to source for immediately available and reliable health information, and to do this through real doctors and specialists.
“DocScore” helps find the right doctor
The significant changes being made to the system mean app users can search 112 medical specialists, filtering by speciality, availability and location if they wish. For a charge of $9.99 they can then send a targeted and secure private message to the specialist of their choice, including the ability to attach images, lab tests, and any other information they wish to send so the doctor has the fullest picture possible of the patient’s condition.
The advantage of the new feature for the specialists is the ability to offer promo codes for new and existing patients.
Users also retain the free option of putting their question to the general network of doctors to find an answer if they don’t wish to pay.
With research showing the average co-pay to be $29, following a wait of 20 days according to a 2009 survey of family physicians, HealthTap’s service looks to be a very attractive alternative to a traditional visit to the doctor’s office.
Medical Information is HealthTap’s realm, not online medicine
Providing better access to quality health information is the main intention of HealthTap according to Ron Gutman. The network of doctors do not diagnose conditions, nor do they prescribe medication through the system, unlike the Ring-a-doc service. This approach should allay the concerns of doctors about liability issues, as well as enable the service to operate in every state.
As well as the new private messaging feature, let’s look at a few of the other new features that are available:
– The “DocScore” is essentially a ranking algorithm assigned by HealthTap. It’s primarily based on information about the doctor that’s publicly available, such as which medical school they attended, how many years they’ve been in practice, and their residency. Other data points, as well as reviews by their fellow doctors, are taken into consideration. The review system is implemented by way of feedback from other doctors whenever one of them responds to the questions of anonymous patients.
– Users are now able to follow doctors, so they can easily see future comments made by them. This enables patients to keep up with relevant information concerning their issues and/or any other topics they’re interested in.
– HealthTap now provides a secure digital health file, enabling users to store documents like test results, vaccination, and other records, even if the information was not actually exchanged between them and one of the doctors.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on August 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm, and is filed under Technology in Society. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Google+ is about having great conversations, finding fascinating posts, and displaying appreciation by adding a comment or a +1. A person can even share new things such as videos, photos, or links.
Google+ can be a great way for businesses to gain more clients a business can put videos of what their company does considering most people are visual learners.
Google+ can also be local. Here are a few things that Google+ can do:
- Get recommendations based on your circles, your past reviews, and your location.
- Publish reviews and photos of your favorite places.
- Read Zagat summaries of user reviews.
- Find reviews from people you know and trust highlighted in your search results.
A business having Google+ can help people see how their business runs from others that have worked with them before. A business that has good reviews could benefit from this.
Last week Google+ started a new social network called “Events.” Google+ Events is a great way to help invite people to their events online. This is a great addition to the Google+ platform.
When the Event is made inside Google+, a business will have to fill out some basic information that Google will need to know. Google wants to know how many products are in one place like Google Maps, Google Calendar, Google Place or local, and YouTube. These features will help keep Google+ on track with what the business is doing and whom they are reaching.
As part of the Event being visual, a business can add their own top image—this is called the Event Theme. These Event themes are good enough to draw people in, but the Advanced Options for the Events gives the business the option to add their own Video on YouTube with the URL link.
After the video is added on YouTube, it becomes an implanted part of the Event. When viewers go to “open the Event Invitation” the video embed opens. To know that a business has the right tab open, there will be a net “unfolding graphic” effect added by Google+ with the blue tab. The video is there to help excite viewers about the upcoming event.
Using Google+ Events will help get more people interested in the company. Plus they will be able to see what upcoming events the business is offering. By having the video linked to YouTube this will help reach potential clients to a business.
Google+ Events allows a business to invite anybody in his or her Google+ cluster or anybody else a business likes by email addresses. This is great because it’s not limited to just the current Google+ users.
Google+ can help a business in areas that will keep them reaching different people every day. Businesses need to make sure that Google+ is one of their social networks, because without it, their business is not taking the next level to be successful.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on July 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm, and is filed under Social Media. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Google Analytics allows a company or a person to see where your audience comes from and see how they interact with your site. In addition, the company can set up goals that match what their social media sites want to reach with Google Analytics.
The great thing about Google Analytics is that it can identify valuable insights to your audience and what keeps them coming back.
Google Analytics is available for many social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and others. This can increase the number of people visiting your site every day.
Here are few tips to help your company/business get started on Google Analytics:
- Getting started – first you would need to pick the most recent version of Google Analytics. To do so, all you need to do is login into your Google Analytics account and click the new version on top left of the screen.
- Identify your main traffic sources– a business needs to know what social media sites they want to use and send the most traffic to those sites.
You don’t want your company having various sites up. The best decision would be to pick the top three sites you want to draw the most attention to.
- Create Advanced Segments: Once a company has narrowed down their main social media sites they can create Advanced Segments for those websites. By doing this, it will improve the traffic and individually analyze an audience.
The company can also set up several Advanced Segments while comparing and contrasting them to see the difference between the main three sites they chose.
- Twitter Traffic Segment: a company can also create a specific Advanced Segment account for Twitter to see how it relates to Facebook and Google+.
To do so all you have to do is click on Advanced Segments from any Google Analytics report and click the New Custom Segment button.
Then add the name of the site that you wish to choose and include as many sources that contain a filter for twitter, for example: tweetdeck, Hootsuite, twitter.com, and so on.
By adding these filters, a company can see where the traffic matches. Google Analytics will automatically insert the filters using an autocomplete function.
- Facebook Traffic Segment: you do exactly what you did for Twitter except you find filters for Twitter they are for Facebook. So the Facebook filters will include: facebook.com and m.facebook.com. This will have control over the traffic coming to the company’s Facebook account.
- Google+ Traffic: Google+ is run the same way as Twitter and Facebook, but simpler. It is easier because Google+ only needs one filter. Google+ sends all the traffic from plus.url.google.com and that’s it. You might see some trafficking from google.com but don’t add it because it’s something different and won’t work with improving the audience.
With these few simple steps to jump-start Google Analytics a company/business will understand how to traffic more people into their social media sites. It’s important to manage Google Analytics; it creates a stable way of having insight to who the audience is and how they can be reached and entertained.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on July 13, 2012 at 3:05 pm, and is filed under Social Media. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
People assume that YouTube is just for watching their favorite videos and watching people do outrageous things. However, that is not necessary true. There are a lot of business benefits when it comes to YouTube.
YouTube is designed to share videos with all different types of people across the world that they wouldn’t be able to reach on their own. With that being said, what if a business could broaden their horizons into branching out to people using videos? I guarantee there will be more people interested in their business and what their videos are about.
Most people are visual learners, so why not give them a sneak peek into a business and how it is run. It will show them where there money is going and how the company is run. Plus, it will bring more attention to the business as well.
Here are a few tips into using YouTube for a business.
- Make the video informative. You want to make sure that the audience is captivated by the video and the information will be useful to them. There’s nothing worse than watching a video that doesn’t make sense or doesn’t help them in any way.
In addition, whomever the company chooses to work on the videos needs to be trained in doing so. This will benefit the company in promoting their videos.
- The layout should be designed well. A nice layout will draw more people in. For example, when a video has pictures, make sure the pictures are in HD. This will make the pictures pop from the screen.
Another thing is to make sure that if someone is speaking on the video, that it’s nice and clear. You don’t want a muffled voice that nobody can understand.
- Integrate entertainment into the video. The best way to get people interested in a video is to plug in entertainment. If a business puts funny ads into a promotional video then it’s more likely that the video would go viral.
Having a video go viral means a lot of people will be able to watch the video and will able to share the video on their other social media sites.
YouTube videos are not hard to make or to upload. However, the video needs to be a good product to make sure the business is getting the right type of attention that it needs.
The main objective of this blog is to give insight into how YouTube can be a great asset into helping create a bigger market for a business. Most people don’t think that YouTube is right for a business, but I beg to differ. With all the great information that I supplied for you, there is no way that a business can’t thrive off of YouTube.
Just make sure that you follow the tips and keep any open mind!
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on July 5, 2012 at 5:39 pm, and is filed under Social Media. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Are you one of those people that have different social media accounts that can sometimes be too overwhelming to check? If you answered yes, then this is the blog for you!
Many people/business have various Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin, FourSquare, and other accounts for their business or personal use. With so many accounts for a business or a person to take on, it can get very frustrating. To solve this problem I want to introduce Social Media Platforms. Platforms are designed to take on multiple social media sites combined in one easy website or app.
These platform sites give people the opportunity to not only check different sites in one, but also cut the time in switching from one site to the next. The top 5 social media platforms that are well known to use are:
- Flipboard is a beautifully designed app that is best to use on an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or even an Android. This app gives a new meaning to multiple tasking.
With a magazine outline, countless layouts of content, and a smooth interface, this app is one of the best to manage for numerous accounts.
And the best part about this app is that it is free for users!
- Glossi is a more visually appealing website that fits more to a person’s style. The website is amazing and well-executed to make sure people are integrated by their layout, which a person can pick based off of their preference. When you first get on the website you have to request to be a part of Glossi. Then Glossi will get back to you with the request. It doesn’t take that long for them to respond back.
The cool thing about this app is that with the different social medias tied into this one app, it has diversity with each site. So Facebook will be designed differently from your Twitter, and you can create how you want it to look. The cost is free!
- RebelMouse is of the latest platforms to make their way onto the scene. For right now this platform only has Twitter and Facebook, but once it gets established, it will have more sites within a few short weeks; others social media sites should be up and running.
The app is more hands on and can be customizes to however a person wants their RebelMouse to be. The cost of the basic version is free; however if one wanted to have their own URL, it would only cost three dollars a month.
- Hootsuite is created for business or personal use. Like the other platforms, this media site gives the choice of using several different tools to create the perfect profile.
At first sight the dashboard or homepage can be overpowering, but once you get the hang of it, it can be fairly easy to use. The cost of the basic interaction with the 5 social media sites and the two RSS feeds are free. Nevertheless, with the pro account and unlimited social profiles, it will cost 9.99 a month.
- Flavors.me was discovered later on the down the line. This platform by far is one of the most experienced sites. You can have videos, music, photos, and updates on 35 different sites. It is unique and very convenient if one is running a larger business.
For a basic account, the cost will be only 20 dollars a year. With 222 different fonts and 7 layouts, you can’t go wrong with this price.
So now that you know a little bit more about social media platforms, it will be very beneficial to get started. Any of these websites will relieve stress, help with time, and help a business become more knowledgeable about the different social media sites. So sign up today and have your problems go away!
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on June 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm, and is filed under Social Media, Tablets and Apps. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Today, numerous brands jump on the bandwagon of mobile marketing. When it comes to this kind of marketing you cannot avoid the most exciting current social media: Foursquare. For those who don’t know, Foursquare is a location-sharing mobile application that allows users to “check-in” to venues and share their check-ins with their social networking friends.
Users collect badges and points and they can even become mayor of a place (if a person has checked in the most in a particular venue). The person can add some new friends who have checked into the same place or share tips and places that they would recommend. After checking in to the venues the users can leave feedback about the place. This can be helpful to encourage people to visit.
Since Foursquare was released, this application has encountered wonderful success. Why? Well, in this younger generation the majority of people carry around their cell phones, which gives people access to find the newest and hippest spots. Imagine pedestrians having your brand in their hands; you (the company) will have already changed the pedestrians mind in checking into your business.
The question now is “how do we use this simple application for our business?” First of all, you must let people know that you are going to use Foursquare as another media to engage and connect with our customers.
The simple way to do this is to post about it on your social media sites like Twitter or Facebook. On Foursquare, you need to claim your venue and start interacting with your audience. You can start by implying these seven easy steps:
- Having access to your customer’s information: You will know who they are and where they are. In addition, this information will help you target your customers better.
- Give your customers some rewards: Discounts, coupons/gifts, or free products (if they become mayor). They will just have to present the mobile reward once there. This will encourage the other users to enter your place because it makes it seem that company cares more about their consumers.
- Give customers information about who you are what your company can provide.
- Proposing a deal to clients: Asking them to put up a picture and in return they will have a gift or a prize.
- Promoting an event on Foursquare to attract people to the venue.
- Creating bonuses for loyal Foursquare customers: This will prove that regular clients come into your place and promote you as well advertising your company. Those customers will build your reputation.
- Creating discounts by groups: Customers can be rewarded if they bring new clients into your venue.
All these tips will benefit the customer and the company.
Recently Foursquare has been updated, which has helped attract more participants. Indeed, the newest version of the application is focused on interactions. The update also has better features.
The new features include:
- Likes and dislikes. You’ll see when friends like a page. The most check-ins will have the most “likes.” The places with the most likes will most likely establish a good reputation
- “People talk about.” This feature groups the feelings or thoughts about each venue.
Now Foursquare is integrated on Facebook and we can see numerous statuses about check-ins and the comments you or others post. This method will help your place to be well-known by a larger audience (Facebook users).
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on June 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm, and is filed under Smartphones and Apps, Social Media. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
Mobile payments may become the predominant method of payment in the future, replacing cash and bankcards.
According to the Pew internet study, Mobile payments will be ubiquitous in 2020 and 65% of those polled believed people will use their smartphones as their main method of payment by 2020. Both customers and businesses are embracing innovative payment methods. Eventually, mobile payments will become a more convenient alternative to credit cards, cash and checks.
Why do we have to keep carrying money or heavy coins in our purse or in your pocket when we can make payments through our smartphones? Today it is almost impossible to find somebody without a phone; combining phones and process payments seems like a logical solution to help with this, Facebook decided to simplify mobile payment by:
- Making it easier for developers to add payment options on mobile web apps
Today people are able to use Facebook Payments to monetize their apps. The process is very simple. Users who want to pay for virtual or digital goods in a mobile web app open the payment window and confirm their purchase. This two-step process is new. Before, the flow for mobile payment counted a total of seven steps with a verification message. This made it less convenient for consumers and businesses. This changed after the annual Mobile World Congress where they announced an improvement for payments. By simplifying the payment process, Facebook could see an increase in mobile payment transactions and become one of the top mobile payments platforms.
- Allowing marketers to have the option of buying mobile-only Facebook ads
Previously, Mark Zuckerberg has been wary of mobile-only Facebook ads. Facebook has since decided to change their mind and embrace the technology. Since February, Facebook already has mobile advertising where marketers can advertise. They’ve updated their process with a new Facebook mobile ad product, which is designed for marketers who only want to buy mobile ads. They can sponsor stories and pay posts to get more visibility in people’s new feeds.
Even if it is trendy and popular, it is important to remember that 75 percent of people (4.5 billion) in the world still don’t use smartphones. Many people are asking why people are focusing on a mobile payment experience in which not everybody can actually participate.
Despite this, competition for this space is set to increase. Google and Apple are already trying to enter the space and Paypal and FourSquare have already gained significant traction so we don’t know what the future will be for Facebook mobile payment. However, we will wish them better luck than their ill-fated IPO.
|No comments||This entry was posted by EIC Social Media Team on June 19, 2012 at 8:16 pm, and is filed under Usability. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|