Many people believe that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory has to be modified, as Wi-Fi or internet access becomes a basic need in our lives.
How about some free Internet browsing with your ice cold beverage? Coca-Cola and British Telecom are teaming up to test out Wi-Fi-enabled vending machines in South Africa, hoping to bring invaluable online access to some of the poorest communities in the world. The scheme will start in two locations to begin with before rolling out further if it proves a success.
There is no charge or purchase necessary to take advantage of the Wi-Fi. Why Coca-Cola is doing so? We may have a guess.
In 4Ps model, a good location (Place) is very important. However, with Wi-Fi, the vending machine doesn’t need to be located in the best location at an expensive rent, because people themselves will try approaching to the machine no matter where it is.
- Name your own price
Remember the case we learn about Radiohead’s album? Although the Wi-Fi of vending machine is free, but some people may feel that it’s more reasonable to buy one or two Cokes, in return for the Wi-Fi service they enjoy.
- Corporate Social Responsibility
The sites chosen for the launch of the free Wi-Fi service are close to schools and communities which are strategically chosen as“free Wi-Fi will enable students and school children in the area to increase their knowledge through research while also giving entrepreneurs and small business owners in the community the opportunity to manage some of their business aspects online”.
But some people are also wondering if scammers will set up lookalike fake hotspots to steal data. Additionally, they also doubt how much traffic these hotspots can handle.
What about the future? In my own opinion, if the Coca-Cola vendor machine with Wi-Fi is installed in a store which promises not to sell Pepsi any more, it may be a win-win for both Coca-Cola and the store.
What do you think of this IT transformation? Will they succeed in putting a same machine in your own country, and how?
The first shipment sold out within six hours. A single piece touted to $700 in the United States. This seems to be “iPhone style” but it recently occurred in the BlackBerry consumer market. Yes, it is BlackBerry.
Perhaps the former CEO of BlackBerry, Thorsten Heins, could never imagine that an American who is native of Jiangsu Province and was born in Hong Kong successfully brought the resurgence to BlackBerry only one year later. Though there is still a long way to go, the hope and possibility now are hold in BlackBerry itself.
Some may say the Passport brings this “luck” to BlackBerry, but you can never deny that the rapid changing cognitive judgments of the smartphone by the consumer market aspect in recent years is the driving force behind the BlackBerry.
Juniper, a market research firm, launched a report about smart phone in September this year. It said the global smart phone shipments would reach 1.2 billion units in 2014, an increase of 19 percent compared to 2013. The phone priced at 75-150 U.S. dollars, which is defined as “low-cost” smart phones, and the phones less than $ 75, defined as “super cheap”, are maintaining sustained growth in sales. Even in developed markets where smart phones are “unlimited” close to saturation, the high-end suppliers still get a big market by the consumer group who want to enjoy the “ultra-luxury” goods.
It is worth mentioning that the users who are carrying two or more smart phones are gradually increasing. And in the selection of the second phone, consumers pay more attention to personal definitions, matching index and cool extent, indirectly ignore function, price and brand, and other basic selection requirements. For example, the big screen design trend is more suitable for consumers to show themselves, to be distinctive from other people. That is why the purchase progress is becoming more emotional rather than rational. Like the BlackBerry Passport, which is easily to label users as emphasizing the security and highlighting the individual characteristics, its user base is consistent with the high demand of design and style but low returns of the functions. Meanwhile, consumers will look for brands and products that matches with their own social values to show their tastes. Many companies use this “weakness” of consumers when they are designing the products to obtain a reputation and distinct image. And that is totally different from the last smart phone generation, “emphasizing the functions”, like Panasonic and SHARP phones which are out of fashion for today.
Thorsten Heins announced to own RIM (Research In Motion) and officially changed its name to BlackBerry on BlackBerry 10 Experience Conference in early 2013. Thorsten Heins said they were “re-invent” the RIM company. Yes, as for smart phones, they are also being “re-invented.”
More about BlackBerry Passport: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/10/blackberry-passport-review-when-the-best-youve-got-isnt-good-enough/
Unless you spent your summer in a yoga retreat that restricts any contact with the world, you will have come across the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’. When accepting the challenge, one is expected to throw a bucket filled with ice water over one´s head within 24 hours and post a video of it on social media and donate money to people who suffer from the Amyotrofe Laterale Scelerose (ALS) disease. This formula became a viral hit and raised some $115 mln in two months. This compared with $19,4 mio in in 2013 has to be described as a great success. (ALS Association, 2014)
The impact of the challenge has not passed by unnoticed. Marketers from all over the world gasped at the Ice Bucket Challenge success and reach, and would love to copy such a great example of “going viral”. Different parts of the hype are being analyzed in order to be able to copy the success; the form of the challenge, the celebrity endorsement, the velocity of reaches multiplication and so forth.
In order to obtain the reason of its success one should look at the different components of this hype. To start with, the definition of “going viral” comes from “virus”, which we all know as the small infections agent that can attack all types of organisms. Likewise, online content can spread just like a virus if people become inspired to share it. This impact of the online content is usually stimulated by elicited emotions that encourage the viewer to want to spread it forth, so they can relate with other people on the topic and discuss how they feel. (Moreau, 2014)
Furthermore, a list of tips for having a piece of online content to “go viral” can be taken away from the Ice Bucket Challenge:
- Identify a clear goal/cause. The Ice bucket challenge message was simple and clear; post a video of yourself pouring a bucket filled with ice water over your head.
- Get people involved. By accepting the challenge, one was expected to nominate at least three other people to do the same for ALS. The velocity of the spread was therefore built into the message.
- Make it fun and easy. Because one is aware of discomfort of ice water poured on you, and the courage it takes to do it, people are curious to watch their friends doing it. This connected the audience with the ALS brand on a human level.
- Get the timing right. The challenge was launched at the beginning of the hottest summer months and lasted until the temperature dropped below a level at which ice water is a welcome refreshment.
- Add urgency. One is expected to execute the challenge within 24 hours, which adds a dynamic aspect to the content.
- Understand the drivers and hurdles of sharing. Sharing the content that has to go “viral” must be as easy as possible. Smartphone videos via social media enabled effortless sharing. (Bethell, 2014)
- Add emotion and appeal to their nobler feelings. By accepting the Ice bucket challenge, many felt like they had done something right. Moreover, there was the peer pressure of the challenge, since this challenge was not just for fun; it had a serious request – donate to the ALS association!
My question to you is: with so much misery in the world – what´s the next magic viral campaign?
ALS Association. (2014). Ice Bucket Challenge – The ALS Association. Opgehaald van ALS association: http://www.alsa.org/fight-als/ice-bucket-challenge.html
Bethell, G. (2014, 09 2). ALS ICe Bucket Challange: Lessons Learned about Viral Marketing. Opgehaald van Digital Clarity: http://digital-clarity.com/the-als-ice-bucket-challenge-what-to-learn-about-going-viral/)
Moreau, E. (2014). What Does it mean to Go Viral Online? Opgehaald van About Technology: http://webtrends.about.com/od/howtoguides/a/Viral-Online.htm
Imagine, in the nineties, there is a man, let’s say Mr Apple, who walks through thousands of streets, putting in millions of personal cd-boxes the new album of U2, just for free! It would be the new president for sure, maybe even the new god.
But times have changed…..
I think it was a big surprise for apple too, anyway they are not often booed, but this time they bought something and give it away for free. They thought they did something good. But instead of “thank-you’s” it turned out in a PR disaster.
Of course I am talking about the fact that apple puts the new U2 album “songs of innocence” to all users its “new purchases” in iTunes. For iTunes users who have turned on “download automatically new purchases” the album appeared directly in their music folder.
Of course you can talk about privacy in this case, or if U2 is still “cool” enough and about the missing remove-option in the first days, but that was not the base of the disaster in my opinion, however it reinforced the problem. But U2 was searching for an alternative business model for selling their music, by protecting their music from free streaming and downloading. More implicit Bono reacted with: ‘We’re not interested in free music – we think music is undervalued.’ Apple took the bait and paid U2 more than a 100m dollar for (1) the new album and (2) an apple marketing campaign with U2 in the lead. (http://www.independent.co.uk, 2014)
The created business model was well suited with the music industry and with iTunes, but they forgot one factor: the customers.
Apple had already missed the boat with regard to music streaming in the first place. Therefore they bought “Beats by dr. Dre”, with its, “beats music”, streaming content Last may.
Yet, apple did not realize that the customers don’t want one specific album for free in a folder somewhere. Especially not when they have to pay individual for all other albums. They want all music, and by all music I mean all music, for free and without storage, like YouTube, Spotify or Deezer. And maybe, maybe they want to pay a little user-ease fee.But, they don’t want to pay for the music itself anymore.
Then there comes up the most important question for information goods like music nowadays: will there ever be a business model that fits all stakeholders’ needs as in the time of Mr. Apple?
Sherwin, A (2014) How the most generous giveaway in music history turned PR disaster, in: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/free-u2-album-how-the-most-generous-giveaway-in-music-history-turned-into-a-pr-disaster-9745028.html.
Arthur, C (2014) How to take this strange protest over Apple’s giveaway of the U2 album, in: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/sep/21/u2-album-protest-apple-free-download,
Nowadays, with the rapid development of modern technology, human beings can basically do everything we want in our daily life from use a tablet to reserve a dinner to pay your cheque by just tab your phone for a few minuets. Technology takes over major jobs which belongs to us and dramatically shaped our lifestyle and behavior. However, you may argue there are still some stuff need us to do and will never be replaced. For example traveling. How can you experience Paris without going to Paris? How can you say you visit Ibiza without getting wet?
Well, Marriott hotel might have a solution for you and have high chance to apply it in the future.
The American diversified hospitality company recently team up with Framestore, a British leading visual effects company created a 4D virtual reality travel teleporter. According to Marriott,“this is a brand new way to feel like you have traveled to far coners of the world without living home.” To make the teleporter feels as real as being there, British visual effect company shoot 3D 360 videos and then create photo real CGI versions of traveling destination. Of course, only intergrade 3D effect is definitely not enough. Visual stimuli is just a part of project, that special teleporter the British team designed is also able to deliver sensory inputs to your entire body. Generally, you can feel sun on your face, wind in your hair, sea spray hitting on your skin and even ground rumbling under your foot. This system will try to fool your sensory organs from eyes to foot as much as possible so that provide you a good traveling experience just like your real travelling.
Start from the US, the travel teleporter will be present in different Marriott hotels all over the world. You may check their website and start to plan your first visual vacation.
Marriott hotel, the teleporter,
Bike is a part of the daily life for many people in the Netherlands and of course for students. It is cheap, easy to park, healthy for many reasons, but is it safe? How many of the readers of this post have the habit of wearing a helmet when cycling? I guess that the group is really small and I am not a member of it too. Assuming that the knowledge about the risks of not wearing a helmet are popularly known, what makes us hesitate? As a member of the group, I can list some of the basic reasons: 1) The space that is needed to store it 2) Its bad impact on every kind of headdress 3) The awkward feeling when you wear it.
If your motivation of not wearing a helmet is listed above, then the invisible helmet may be your solution.
The product is called Hövding (Head or Chief in Swedish) and the idea started out in 2005 when Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin, 2 friends from the University of Lund, were preparing their master thesis. The enactment of a law in Sweden on mandatory helmet use for people under 15 years old was their motivation for this product. They wanted to create a helmet that people willing to use for many reasons apart from the mandatory nature of this law.
How does this helmet actually work? It is based on the same concept of operation of a car airbag. It has the shape of a scarf, with the difference that it has a small built in canister filled with compressed air. A smart sensor detects the acceleration which is caused when a collision happens, and triggers the decompression of the air into an airbag that covers the biggest part of the head. The whole process is a matter of milliseconds and guarantees the security of the cycler.
There are two main reasons that this project took about seven years to reach the production level. Firstly, to ensure the proper functionality of the product, the team had to simulate all known accidents. Secondly, they had to address to an investor for the funding of their project. They attracted venture capital funds that amount to about 10 million dollars.
The product is available to order through their site but they also cooperate with retailers in 9 different countries. The team tries to combine the characteristics of a sophisticated high tech product and those of a fashion product. The only drawback may be the price which is €299, reasonable enough considering the features of this product.
• Hovding Airbag for Cyclists. (2014, 10 9). Retrieved from http://www.hovding.com/
• The Invisible Bicycle Helmet | Fredrik Gertten. (2014, 10 9). Retrieved from Vimeo.com: http://vimeo.com/43038579
As pointed out in many articles gamification is a trend that started creeping into every aspect of our lives. You can lose weight, do shopping or just plainly play online games that encourages you to continue engagement by using game mechanics. But also gamification is more and more adopted by businesses. In the most cases this is to strengthen brand loyalty and improve customer engagement. But why should gamification be a good idea particularly for the finance industry? Because people hate banking. Most people don’t have a warm feeling in their heart when they think of managing their finances. To most of us it is a boring and unloved chore. Yet everyone has to do it. Given these preconditions banking activities scream for including a little more fun to become more exciting and enjoyable.
But not only bank customers could benefit from a little more fun. According to BBVA, demographic data backs up the idea of gamification being an effective means to attain a customer group that financial service providers are particularly interested in. 53% of gamers are between the ages of 18-49 and 55% play games on mobile devices, the future face of financial institutions.
Current examples of gamification applied in banks show basically two different approaches – using games to deliver financial education to customers or providing rewards and applying game psychology to increase costumer´s product and service engagement.
One example of the first category is the game 56 sage street from Barclays. In this free online game, situated in an interactive virtual city, players learn basic money management and life skills, working their way up levels by mastering life lessons and making wise financial decisions. There is also games out there just for children like the Great Piggy Bank Adventure®. This for example, is supposed to teach children the importance of wise financial planning and key financial concepts as inflation or asset allocation. Apparently something that is deemed to be very important to learn at the age of four.
An illustration for the second case is the BBVA Game. This game wants customers to create a profile and make financial operations online, watch videos or answer questions about BBVA. Doing so will gain you points that can be exchanged for online music or videos or other awards like lottery coupons to win tickets for the Spanish Football League.
Whereas these examples sound somewhat entertaining for costumers there are also critical voices raised against following the gamification trend in the finance industry. Some argue that mixing a game into business that should be taken very seriously just won´t be widely accepted by clients. Finances are a quite sensitive matter and introducing playful concepts to deal with money might undermine banks reputation of being a thoughtful and earnest partner. As the reluctance to adopt gamification concepts in Northern American banks exemplifies, this notion currently still seems to prevail in the majority of banks.
What do you as a costumer think? Would you engage in or promote educational banking games or playful quests for banking rewards? If so, which concept would you think will be most successful in the future? Or do you think that banks should waive this trend and stick to being serious because that´s what you expect from someone who is responsible for managing your finances?
Negative comments on social media can be very harmful to the reputation of a company and ultimately affect the bottom line. Hence, I would like to argue that as the use of social media increases, the need for companies to engage in social media with an adequately trained response team becomes increasingly important. Luckily more and more companies have been doing this, the question however remains is how to do this properly and effectively so it can ultimately add value to the business. One example of a company doing it right and striking the right tone is the Dutch airline company KLM. One of their passengers (Remco) posted the following message to KLM:
“Dear KLM, Thursday December 4th, I’ll be flying to Miami (flightnumber KL0623), I thought I would just let you know that this’ll be my birthday, just to give you the time for the proper arrangements (festoons, songs etc.) I’ll see you Thursday!!”
KLM responded: “Thanks for giving us a heads up Remco, our party department has been assigned to it directly. The first idea we came up with, if it is fine by you, is to change the flightnumber to KLRemco’s-Bday-flight. With respect to the songs: do you have any special requests? We’d like to wish you a good flight and we are honoured that you decided to celebrate your party with us!”
Now that we have seen a good example of a social media response, the question remains, what are the characteristics of a good social media response policy?
In my opinion empathy is required in order to match the tone of the response with the tone of the person who initially wrote his question or complaint. When a mismatch occurs frustration might build with all its consequences. A client may become so angry that he uses Facebook or Twitter to publicly bash the company he or she is dealing with. As a result the company may face reputation damage.
Another aspect that I believe is important is timeliness. The social media response team should react to posts in a timely matter. Being too late to respond can also invoke negative responses with brand reputation damage as a potential consequence.
Furthermore, I believe effective communication is essential. The social media response team should be able to articulate their messages clearly and concise. Especially when using a medium like Twitter where the amount of characters is limited.
These are basically the characteristics I came up with, but I am curious towards your opinion and your contributions.
Despite the huge success of the instant-messaging application Whatsapp, Google is working on her own instant messaging application. This instant messaging app should go into a competition with Whatsapp, the biggest player in this section. In March 2014, more than 475 million people used Whatsapp as his or hers messaging application.
Google is working on this new application and should be launched in 2015. This application will not have any connection with other Google applications, so a Google account is not necessary. Also it will be free to use. Google is planning to launch this application in India and other emerging markets, because of the scale and the scope of the market. India is expected to be the world’s second largest smart phone market after China in 2019.
Remarkable, is the fact that with this application Google wants to compete with Whatsapp, bought by Facebook about eight months ago. This instant messaging application will give a new dimension to the rivalry between Google and Facebook. First these two giants were battling on social media (Google+ vs. Facebook) and search engines (Google vs. Graph Search) and now Google wants to battle on instant messaging. Why want Google take part in this, on first sight, impossible mission? Is it so important for them to compete and to win over Facebook?
In my opinion, this battle is impossible to win for Google. If you ask ten people, to name a few competitors some competitors of Whatsapp, nine of them will know none of them. In this market it is a case of network effects. People are now using Whatsapp, so I am going to use it too, otherwise I cannot communicate through instant messaging with my friends. On the other hand, Google is big and smart enough to know where they are getting into. Also the fact that if they can launch this app successfully in India, they already have a huge part of the users pie. What do you guys think of this new launch of an instant messaging application? A hopeless mission, or a smart move in this rivalry between these two giants?
I read an article about the legalization of Airbnb in San Fransisco. Airbnb is an online marketplace for private accommodations. There were some tiffs with landlords, some lawsuites and some fines. Because where hotels and bed and breakfasts for example, have to deal with a lot of rules and laws to conduct business, private house owners do not have to deal with these kind of problems. This makes the competition unfair from business perspective. Because it seems clear the Airbnb competes with hotels. This is not the only sector where online platforms try to connect buyers and private sellers. Many websites make it easy to sell your stuff without taxes or dealing with regulators. I make use of these websites myself for example Marktplaats.
But the problem arising with these changes is the indistinct line between hobby and business. Another article (dezaak.nl, 2014), one of many, is about hobbyists who earn a lot of money with these online market places but do not report this income on their tax statement. In my opinion these hobbyists are disadvantaging taxpayers. The judge seems to agree with me in this article because the person ended up paying a fine. My point is that the online market places make it really easy and relative innocent to conduct fraud. I think the regulators or market places should carry the responsibility to make people aware of this. However this is an complicated case to work this out, regulate it and apply it to practice.
I am curious what you think about the line between hobby and business regarding online market places? What measure could be used to decide whether this income should be reported to the tax authorities? And where is the distinction between hobby and business, using this measurement scale?
Despite the huge technological advancements we have seen over the past years, the television still remains the main focus point of living room entertainment. While visual and audio quality have improved a lot, the content we watch (e.g., games, movies, TV shows) remains boxed in the frame of the display, thus restricted by the physical size of our screen. The whole experience is limited, as an entirely virtual world is trapped in the television, completely ignoring our physical environment (Jones et al., 2013).
Now imagine the following scenario. You sit down in your living room to play a video game on your television. When the game starts, the room magically transforms to look like a cartoon, matching the shading in the video game. The colors of the room become super-saturated and cartoon edges appear on your bookshelves. You come across an enemy in the game and suddenly a streaking bullet flies towards your character and then out of the television. The enemy throws a grenade towards you. The grenade rolls out of your television, bounces off your coffee table and explodes in your living room, throwing shrapnel across your bookshelf. The entire living room appears to shake as you take damage from the explosion.
So how can we make this scenario happen? How can we take our living room entertainment, especially our gaming experience to the next level? Microsoft has been working on a project which has the answer to these questions.
IllumiRoom is an idea created with the purpose of extending the visual experience outside the television screen. It uses the television to provide a traditional, high-resolution gaming experience and a projector, designed to cover a wide area of the surrounding physical environment. This projector provides low-resolution information for the user’s peripheral vision, which can negate, include or even augment the physical environment, thus enhancing the content displayed in the television screen (Jones et al., 2013). Such visualizations are called peripheral projected illusions by the project designers.
In that context, IllumiRoom can change the appearance of a room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view and enable entirely new virtual-physical gaming experiences. And of course it does not assume the physical space around the display to be a white flat projection screen. The system is designed to capture the appearance and geometry of the surrounding room (such as furniture) and use the information to create novel, interactive visual experiences (Jones et al., 2013).
After the presentation and very good reception of the idea in 2013, and despite the fact that there was no commercial use of the system yet, Microsoft decided to take the design one step further. So this year, to be specific a couple of days ago, they presented IllumiRoom 2.0 or RoomAlive as they called it.
This new prototype is based on the idea that with gaming experiences, bigger is often better. So what RoomAlive does is that it transforms any room into an immersive, augmented entertainment experience and enables users to naturally interact with augmented content in their everyday physical environment (Jones et al., 2014). To achieve this, apart from the projector used in the IllumiRoom, it uses a wide range of depth cameras, or procam units. By tiling and overlapping multiple of these units, RoomAlive is able to cover the room’s walls and furniture with pixels. It also tracks the user’s movements and dynamically adapts the gaming content to the room. Combining these features, the users can touch, shoot, dodge and steer virtual content that co-exists with the physical environment.
While Microsoft’s explorations are performed in the context of interactive games, the same or similar illusions could be used to enhance movies and television content. If they ever achieve to turn this project into a commercial product (obviously now the costs are extremely high), we will be able to take the step into a new era for gaming and entertainment in general.
Get a sneak peek of the two projects:
Jones, B.R., Benko, H., Ofek, E. and Wilson, A.D. (2013), “IllumiRoom: Peripheral Projected Illusions for Interactive Experiences”, http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/illumiroom/IllumiRoom_CHI2013_BJones.pdf
Jones, B.R., Sodhi, R., Murdock, M., Mehra, R., Benko, H., Wilson, A.D., Ofek, E., MacIntyre, B., Raghuvanshi, N. and Shapira, L. (2014), “RoomAlive: Magical Experiences Enabled by Scalable, Adaptive Projector-Camera Units”, http://delivery.acm.org/10.1145/2650000/2647383/p637-jones.pdf?ip=220.127.116.11&id=2647383&acc=OPEN&key=4D4702B0C3E38B35%2E4D4702B0C3E38B35%2E4D4702B0C3E38B35%2E6D218144511F3437&CFID=581742302&CFTOKEN=90305801&__acm__=1412847756_d269bac028ac0fcb203ef216cbccbed2
As an enthousiast about marketing and advertising I follow the website Adweek, where creative and innovative ads are discussed. Ads which are linked to big sports events like the Super Bowl always get a lot of attention, as well as other big brands who have a big advertising budget. However, smaller brands also feature on this site and sometimes they can do things totally different. Earlier on this week I came across the video below, which is an ad of a Swedish company who had launched a new shampoo. The high-tech billboard which is placed in the subway and displays a woman’s head. When the train arrives the woman’s hair is blown aside, as if she was there in person. The ad was scheduled for only one day, but because of the amount of attention it gained, the advertising agency decided to display it for five more days.
After the succes of this ad, another interactive ad was placed in the same style. However, this ad has a different twist, as it ends with the girl’s hair being blown away, leaving only a chemo balded head. There were debates about the legitimacy of this ad, however it is still very interesting to think about this new way of making ads. Information about the environment is used to create an interaction as people get more engaged with the ad. If this technology would become more widespread and cheaper to implement, it could change the current business model of the billboard industry. Think about ads who get toggled when people walk by and therefore attract way more attention than the normal billboards. This would require a good information model, which is easy to implement and can react on changes in the environment. Will we see ads like these in the Netherlands as well in the near future?
After placing a man on the moon in 1969 and decoding our brain in 2014, there is one little thing that humanity has not solved yet through the endless means of technology: a decent video streaming device for the television.
Since content streaming through internet started back in 1995, one would assume that by now, streaming on-demand video on television should be as normal as picking up the phone but the market is showing otherwise. Here’s a very incomplete list of the options: Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Philips Smart TV, UPC Set-Top Boxes, Xbox, Playstation, Samsung DVD-players, Roku TV, Roku 3 and Chromecast. One could also hook up their personal computer to the television, learn to use torrents and be done with it for once and for all, but apparently there is a market.
So much choice, so many options but which one is the best? None. As long as the video content providers do not give out all of their rights to a single platforms, all platforms will always be lacking. We do not want to bore you with a detailed comparison of the entire market but what we can do is highlight two products that at least hold the possibility to one day become the holy grail for TV On Demand Video Services.
First, there’s Roku. Roku is a box connected to your internet, connected to your TV and controlled with a remote. By now, it has 1,800 channels in its portfolio and with its cool Wii-like pointer control provides for a half decent user interface. A cool new mini-jack plug for the remote also gives your headphones a new dimension of mobility. Even though this all seems nice and well, there’s still a substantial amount of content not available. This may seem trivial but it does mean that you will have to switch devices, which is exactly the thing that this was meant to stop. As long as this does not work, I’ll still be zapping channels, downloading torrents, re-watching shows on my set-top box, and looking at Youtube through my Xbox.
Then there’s Chromecast. For a buck and a dime ($35) it will make any computer-like device a remote. That’s right, your laptop, your PC, your tablet, your phone and probably soon your watch. The idea is that you cast the content you’d play on any one of your devices to the Chrome dongle (5cm including the HDMI plug), and will show it in full view of your blinking 42-incher. Sounds great right? First you’ll need that content on your own devices though. Even since the Software Design Kit of Chromecast was made public half a year ago and over 10,000 apps have been created for it, only a limited set of content is actually castable. Great idea, definitely, but I am still switching.
Considering the major epochs of technological development we are going through, this one shouldn’t be so hard to solve… Right?
For Further Reading:
Imagine, you really like the sport section of the AD, the science section of the Volkskrant and you think NRC has got some great columnists. In this case, you’ll end up buying 3 newspapers. While, you’re only interested in a couple of articles. Don’t despair! Read More…