The Head Down Revolution

Woman on city street looking at smartphone

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

The Future Of Wearable Tech And Fashion

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The world today lives in fear of technology taking overparents complain of their kids being glued to their electronics, websites and advertisements can be tailored to your preferences and location in real-time, and sci-fi movies depict robots whose artificial intelligence is dangerously self-aware. The introduction of “wearable tech,” accessories with electronic capabilities, represents a shift toward compromise: items that both serve to be both functional and convenient, like the introduction of the hotly-marketed Apple Watch or Disney‘s $1 billion investment in the creation and integration of all-access “MagicBands” in their Disney World park in Orlando.
However, as wearable tech becomes more commonplace, functionality and convenience are simply not sufficient selling points by themselves anymore. Now more than ever, as exemplified by brands like Apple and Tesla, there is heavy emphasis on gorgeous product design, and companies are quickly learning to capitalize on it. While wearable tech has existed since the 1961 development of an accessory that helped gamblers cheat at casino games, the trend of marrying fashion and technology has only recently emerged. Designers have now begun releasing their own lines of accessories for the tech-savvy, like Rebecca Minkoff‘s line of wearable techmobile phone chargers and notification chips disguised as normal braceletsat New York Fashion week this past spring, or French designer Pauline Deltour‘s “Fine” collection of tech accessories, which include a Bluetooth speaker, portable phone charger, and USB keyring that are designed to mimic the beautiful designs of early 20th century Parisian vanity objects.
fine

French designer Pauline Deltour’s “Fine” collection

The key to the success of these items, it seems, is not necessarily the introduction of a new device, but instead seamless integration. Consumers have demonstrated an interest in devices that keep them connected, but are aesthetically appealing as well. A demand for consumer electronics with a degree of artistry has driven the creation of things like Ringly, a cocktail ring that alerts the wearer of push notifications on their phone, or Cuff, a bracelet that doubles as an emergency signal. These companies advertise their products as “wearable tech that you want to wear,” desirable for fans of technology that find devices like Google Glass lacking in style, and bringing new meaning to the words “by design.”
What Sparks Our Fire: Companies that are dedicated to both purpose and beauty, making “wearable tech” truly wearable

The only Credit Card you will ever need

plastc-social-bgWe run just about Apple everything in the Canopy office and we aren’t shy about coveting just about all-things-Mac, but after all the excitement and now extended delays around Apple Pay we’re reluctant to admit, that it might be time to search for alternatives. Apple Pay is encouraging people to leave their credit cards in their wallet and pay for goods in stores using an iPhone, we found Plastc, a sort of electronic credit card that can do about just the same.

But how much technology can you fit into a 0.8-millimeter-thick credit card?

Well, a lot. Not only can Plastc store credit cards, it can also show loyalty and gift cards. How does it work? It is simple. It works with an app that enables you to quickly swap out cards, add new ones, and track your spending. Plastc itself stores up 20 cards but the app can hold an unlimited number. On Plastc, you can switch up card details through the e-ink touchscreen panel. And it is quite secured with PIN, photo ID, proximity alerts, and ‘Return Me’ mode and If stolen or lost, you can remotely wipe your data.  The card is rechargeable and last 30 days once fully charged but it locks in your default credit card if uncharged so you can still use it until you charge up again. So, if you are looking for a simple and elegant way to store your many credit & debit cards, loyalty and gift cards, access cards and more in a single, minimalist card, and say goodbye to your bulky wallet, Plastc could be the way to go. The card would be available in summer 2015. You can get more info on their website.

What Sparks our Fire: a credit card that gets a lot smarter.

Are you ready for the future of payments with Plastc? What are your thoughts on digital wallets

An Object Of Desire: Elemoon

10636749_264615793729578_2573413548389599085_oWearable tech bracelets are often known to be rather bulky and downright ugly but not this time. Meet Elemoon, the jewelry that combines technology and style. Elemoon is a techy and pretty LED bracelet for the fashion conscious. Elemoon changes color to match your outfit, notifications, has step tracking (like fitbit), displays time and you can even use it to find your phone by swiping the bracelet when sync and it will make the phone emit a sound alert. You can also design individualized icons that light up when various contacts call or message you. For instance, set a heart when your boyfriend calls. Isn’t it fabulous. Inside Elemoon are an array of 75 brilliant LED lights that helps the accessory be colorful and stylish. In terms of battery usage, the magnetically charged device can last from one day to one week depending on user habits. We think the concept of Elemoon opens up the wearable market to a more fashionable crowd.  So, if you think Elemoon is something you could benefit from, visit the website now to pre-order to benefit from great deals.

What Sparks Our Fire: customizable jewelry that syncs with you

Would you consider bringing stylish technology to your wrist everywhere with Elemoon?

Translate Any Text Using Your Phone’s Camera

camdictionary-476551-1319696805We’ve all been stuck at least once in our life in a totally unfamiliar language environment. At these times, even our smartest-smart phones are rendered useless, unable to type the word we needed to translate because we did not have the local language characters on our keyboard, leaving us feeling lost. Since we love to share useful apps, we found CamDictionary by IntSig Information Co.,Ltd, a snap translator on the go, and an indispensable travel tool. Believe it or not, your phone’s camera can translate. In few words, CamDictionary is a professional instant translator application for Android and iOS devises. It supports 36 languages that the app can translate on the fly instantly. All you need to do is snap a picture of the text you want to translate and the app will do the rest in real time and you even have the option to hear the pronunciation. Isn’t that magical?

What Sparks Our Fire: an ingenious app that makes our life easy by enabling us to quickly and easily translate languages.

Are you ready to never get lost in translation with CamDictionary? Let us know your thoughts on this app.