The Head Down Revolution

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If you live in a major metro market, then you know what it’s like to walk down the street and see 90% of the people with their heads down buried in their phone. I was one of those people, until I found myself standing in the middle of the street in Manhattan writing a text and nearly getting hit by a taxi. From that point on, I made sure that I was always looking up. But I am definitely in the minority. And this post is not about the safety, or lack thereof, when it comes to texting. It’s about how marketers can capitalize on this Head Down Revolution.

According to Statista, the U.S. mobile phone penetration has reached 81%, representing 223 million consumers. And those consumers spend an average of 4.7 hours per day glued to their smartphones. More importantly, is the role that texting now plays in our everyday lives, especially when it comes to marketing. For an eye-opening example, texts have a 99% open rate compared to 20% for email*. Pretty amazing, huh? Now I imagine that smartphones are currently in the midst of fine tuning their hardware to introduce features that can block such correspondence. But who knows when that will come?

So until that day, marketers have a humongous opportunity to take advantage and focus their outbound efforts on the behaviors of the smartphone user. A behavior that is now second nature, and while receiving a text from a brand may seem like a nuisance at first, it is certainly less of one than an email. Also, if you’re sending info or content that isn’t selling, but more serving them something of value, then you’re more likely to be able to maintain that dialogue.

And isn’t a dialogue what we want? It opens the door, and leads to traffic. And when you have enough traffic, ultimately it will lead to transactions. It’s this approach to marketing, partnered with the aforementioned tactics, that can build the awareness and engagement you’re looking for.

Now how about a little “social experiment”: The next time you’re walking down the street, take note of how many people’s’ heads are down. It truly is a sight to see. Just think, those eyes could be engaged in your brands message. And if the message is “timed” to when your customer is in the market for a new product, it becomes relevant and timely — a very powerful combination.

*Credits: Jack Loechner — Editor of The Center for Media Research; SinglePoint; Statista

Ultimate Gadget For Designers And Artists

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We’ve witnessed a lot of innovation in the tech space over the past few years from mobile devices to computers. In most cases, the hype surrounds around Apple and Samsung. But, today, HP is gearing up with innovation from the future and, they call it HP Sprout.

The HP Sprout is an intriguing 23 inch Windows 8 desktop computer with a projector that scans physical items and turns them into digital in a few seconds and allows you to manipulate the images using your fingers on a touch-sensitive mat. Think of like placing an object on front of your computer and in just few seconds, you have the object in the screen ready to be used for design purpose. How cool? This exactely what the Sprout lets you do. Beyond that, there’s also a wireless keyboard and mouse for more traditional navigation if needed. Get to know the Sprout beyond words by watching this amazing video below.

Sprout debuted November 9th and can be ordered on the HP website.

What Sparks Our Fire: A device that has the power to change the way people create.

Are you excited about the possibilities Sprout holds for creators?

The Cup That Knows Exactly What You Are Drinking

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Health-related gadgets are all the rage these days, from smart wristbands to apps that track what you consume. Those devices focus mainly on monitoring your exercise level and/or allow you to manually enter the food you consume in order to track the nutritional value. But, what we often forget is what we drink may be more important to our health than we think. According to the National Health and Nutrition Education Survey, beverages are the number one single source of calories and sugar. So, tracking you beverage intake throughout the day can translate to big changes over time, and transform your life.

This insight alone has led the team at Mark One, to create a new device, called Vessyl, a revolutionary product that can accurately identify your drink, tell you how many calories you are consuming, let you know how hydrated you are, and alert you when it’s time to drink again, based on factors like body weight and activity level. In a nutshell, Vessyl is the other half of the fitness equation. So, how does it work?

The cup uses advanced sensors to determine the molecular composition of any liquid poured into it whether it’s coffee, beer, vodka, tea, etc. It can even recognize brands and flavors. For instance, it can tell you the difference between Pepsi or Coke. In addition to displaying calories information and name of beverage on the the cup, all data will be sent into a smartphone app through bluetooth where you can check how much calories you’ve just sipped, how much remains in the cup and other nutrition and health details.

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Vessyl comes in three colors – white, grey or black. The cup is a 13-oz mug made of glass-like material and is easy to carry around.The sliding lid of the cup is spill proof and it has a non-stick interior, making it easy to clean. The battery live is last five to seven day life for 60 minutes wireless charge. Vessyl can be pre-order from company’s website, with an early 2015 ship date.

What Sparks Our Fire: A device helps us make healthier and more informed decisions of what we drink.

Will you let Vessyl become your new life companion?

Meet The World’s First Digital Suitcase

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The suitcase industry has been stagnant for decades, until a group of geeks that share a passion for travel, technology and design decided to re-imagine the luggage for the modern traveler. Together, they created Bluesmart, a small carry-on piece that includes several smart features. The luggage works paired with an app you can download on your iOs or Android device. Once the app is downloaded, travelers can track their bag proximity, digitally lock and unlock it and check the bag’s weight, all on their phone or tablet. But most importantly, users can charge their phone 6 times over with a built-in battery. Take a closer look at the bag in the video below. The project was successfully funded on Indiegogo and you can pre-order it here.

What Sparks Our Fire: A smart suitcase solves all the problems of the modern day traveler.

Do you think Bluesmart will be able to change the way you travel? Share your thoughts.

Faster Note Taking Tailored To You

If you have a smartphone, you’re most likely typing fast and while doing so, you may have fell victim to autocorrect failures. Luckily, there are apps out there to help you avoid such typo mistakes. Our favorite so far is Swiftkey, a free predictive keyboard app for Androids and iOS that helps you type faster on your phone or tablet. It works by replacing your on-screen keyboard with one that adapts to the way you type. What is magical about Swifkey is it uses algorithms to learn your personal writing style and uses all information gathered to fix typos by suggesting your next word for faster and more accurate typing.

What Sparks Our Fire: An app that makes it easy to create and communicate on mobile.

Would you download Swiftkey?