Spray it Forward: Kenneth Cole Taps Google Glass for Good Deeds Campaign

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 5, 2014 03:55 PM

Combining wearable tech, a modern "stand-up" guy and a pay-it-forward ethos, Kenneth Cole's "Man Up for Mankind Challenge" asks men to perform a "gentlemanly deed" every day for the next three weeks—21 Days, 21 Deeds—in return for eligibility to win a Mankind toolkit valued at $1,000.

While Diane Von Furstenberg was the first fashion designer to put Google Glass on the runway, as she did during her New York Fashion Week show in 2012, Kenneth Cole is aiming to be Google Glass fashion pioneer of another sort, but featuring the app in a campaign for its new Mankind fragrance. (L'Oreal, meanwhile, is using the device internally, as a teaching tool for its network of stylists.)

Once Kenneth Cole's augmented reality app is downloaded, users of the geek chic wearable computer will receive an alert in their viewfinder with a reminder of that day's deed, such as the gentlemanly “offer to carry a lady’s bag,” “buy a stranger a coffee,” or “donate old clothes to a local shelter.”

They're being encouraged to snap and share photos of themselves in action on a dedicated site and to tweet their deeds during the three-week challenge with the hashtag #manupformankind. Non-Glass wearers can participate using a smartphone or digital camera, too.Continue reading...


Microsoft Kinects with Retail at NRF '14

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 16, 2014 06:26 PM

The National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention and Expo, aka, “Retail’s BIG Show,” turned out to be the perfect showcase for an unlikely retail advocate: Microsoft's Kinect. demonstrating its ability to engage consumers in a retail setting.

The brand's gaming system was repurposed to show retailers how Kinect could interact with consumers by showing them virtual, personalized demonstrations of trying on clothing or testing out products in-store.

The brand partnered with other tech companies to demonstrate the system's broad capabilities, including NEC Corporation of America's "smart shelf" app that tailors messages on digital signage to shoppers using Kinect for Windows. Analytics help determine key factors such as age, gender and level of engagement.

It “provides unprecedented actionable insights for retailers and brands at the point-of-purchase decision,” said Allen Ganz, senior account development manager at NEC. So far, Bloomingdales, Coca-Cola, Mattel, Nissan and Pepsi are using Kinect for Windows in retail environments.Continue reading...


Try On Virtual Makeup and Pay With Your Hand with Retail Tech at CES 2014

Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 8, 2014 06:41 PM

Traditionally the International Consumer Electronics Show is an event that offers a glimpse of the future in technology from a consumer perspective. CES 2014 is no different—but it wasn't just a glitzy keynote by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer that was creating buzz. Also on display were several technological innovations that suggest a whole new retail world is right around the corner.

For one thing, retail will literally get a facelift with the new "3D Augmented Reality Makeup and Anti-Aging Beauty Mirror" (quite a mouthful) from ModiFace. This gadget lets consumers at cosmetics counters simulate makeup products—blushes, lipsticks and eye shadows—and anti-aging skincare effects, such as dark spot correction, facelift, browlift, cheek volume enhancement and jaw contouring. The consumer simply stands in front of the Beauty Mirror and uses a touchscreen to work magic in real time and in full 3D. The technology works both on a stand-alone store kiosk, or as an app that can be used on a smartphone or tablet.

"Our new 3D Beauty Mirror is a marketing breakthrough for retailers and beauty brands, particularly for cosmetic counters," says KyungMoon Lee, ModiFace Executive Director of Engineering, in a press release. "It's not only a try-before-you-buy tool in the store or at home, but also a way to capture consumers' interest as they walk store aisles."Continue reading...

tech innovation

Marriott, Valpak Take Advantage of Augmented Reality Marketing Opportunities

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 17, 2013 06:27 PM

Among marketers, augmented reality is becoming almost pedestrian. Two diverse brands, Marriott and Valpak, have both incorporated it into recent campaigns.

Marriott is pairing a futuristic redesign of its hotel lobbies, replete with tech-enabled work spaces, with an AR ad in Wired magazine, part of its Travel Brilliantly campaign that is “re-imagining the future of travel."

Consumers can scan the ad with the Blippar app to view a video that show's the hotel’s innovations. “More than just a picture, this campaign truly captures the look and feel of the Marriott brand,” Lisa Hu, VP/GM Blippar told Mobile Marketer. “For a hospitality brand, video is the perfect way to showcase the sights and sounds of vibrant cultures that are paired with a welcoming place to stay. Marriott chose to utilize their unique video content in order to bring the augmented reality experience to life.”

Mobile video is performing well as an engagement factor according to a recent Unruly report that saw click-through-rates for mobile video ads triple in the last year.Continue reading...

digital moves

Volkswagen Fine-Tunes Auto Repair Service with Help From Augmented-Reality App

Posted by Dale Buss on October 2, 2013 06:08 PM

Every automaker wants to make it easier, cheaper and more fun for customers to visit dealer service departments. In this era of pretty much equalized quality levels for cars, such aspects of the "customer experience" are one way that brands can still stand out from one another.

Strike a blow for Volkswagen in that regard. Dealership employees now are moving closer to using "augmented reality" to service cars, with the introduction of a system that is set to be demonstrated at an augmented-reality conference in Munich next week, according to Advertising Age.

The initial MARTA app will be for the 2014 XL1 hybrid diesel that VW debuted earlier this year. It's a limited-production, technologically advanced car that is due out next year.Continue reading...

tech innovation

Era of Wearable Computers Seems Imminent as Apple, Google Explore Ideas

Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 11, 2013 02:45 PM

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died before seeing two of his big ideas – an iCar and an iWatch – become reality. But word is that one of those visions may be coming to fruition in the near future.

The computer giant “is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass,” according to The New York Times. The watch will have some of the same functions as a smartphone, but the bulk of information about the gadget – when it might appear, cost, features – remains a mystery.

“Apple’s certainly made a lot of hiring in that area,” Sarah Rotman Epps, a Forrester analyst who specializes in wearable computing and smartphones, told The Times. “Apple is already in the wearable space through its ecosystem partners that make accessories that connect to the iPhone."

She cautioned that an iWatch probably wouldn't be landing on store shelves anytime soon, though.Continue reading...

digital moves

Move Over, NikeFuel: Disney Launches MyMagic+ Wristband

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 7, 2013 03:18 PM

Just as CES is getting underway in Las Vegas comes word that Disney is considering getting into the video-game-console market. UberGizmo reports that Disney has patented a gaming console that “will focus on providing a 3D augmented reality experience with its titles, similar to what the Nintendo 3DS does.”

While a video-game world of Disney is still a (new and improved) Fantasyland scenario, the estimated 30 million people that will pour through the gates of Disney World this year in Orlando will find themselves in a more game-like experience.

That's because Disney's digital marketing mavens are introducing a new method of payment and admission to ease navigating the park's attractions and venues: a bracelet called MyMagic+.Continue reading...

kidding around

Untoys for Tots: Inspiring Kids With Augmented Reality and a Cardboard Box

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 11, 2012 09:54 AM

Last year, Americans spent nearly $135 billion on gifts during the holiday season, with video games ranking most popular for kids. So this holiday season, Energy BBDO and Xi Chicago decided to remind kids the simple joys of play with the opposite of a video game: a cardboard box. 

Remember Caine's Arcade, the touching video of a boy who made a cardboard arcade in his dad's used auto parts store in East Los Angeles? Cue "Mister Imagine's Toy Store," a pop-up shop selling nothing but cardboard in Chicago’s Wicker Park, to promote real play and creativity, as part of the Chicago Children’s Museum’s current “Unboxed: Adventures in Cardboard” exhibit.

As Adweek notes, “Children can select a box (a donation is requested) and then head to the art room to create their own unique creation. If kids are having trouble figuring out what to make, they can step up to an augmented reality station and see options appear on their box, ask a handy art facilitator on staff, or simply look around at the stunning artworks that make up the decor.”Continue reading...

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