The digital and real worlds are coming closer and closer to colliding each day. This has incredible implications for anyone trying to communicate and engage with an audience. As tech developments continue in the AR field, content creators will be able to merge the digital and real worlds in more intuitive ways. This will drastically alter what we can do as we create communications, promotional experiences, events, websites and apps. Now we have to tools to guide people through spaces, show them products in their homes and get them to interact with brands face to face. The best part is that we don’t need to convince them to get expensive devices or learn new technologies. All we need is to repurpose a device they are already using: their smartphones.
Major changes are coming to AR development with Apple releasing ARKit (a set of tools that enable developers to create augmented reality apps.) Apple is already developing AR as a feature for their maps. Imagine what you could do to guide people through a space.
Google has also been exploring AR with Project Tango. This project seeks to develop mobile devices that can map indoor spaces and to know the location of the device within that space using sensors. This project aims to integrate your body and movements, as well as, your surroundings into its simulation; changing the way we interact with physical spaces.
As Apple and Google develop their technologies, brands have also been exploring the use of augmented reality to engage their audience. Here are some examples:
Ikea is making the most out of this technology allowing people to virtually place objects into their spaces before buying them. Customers will be able to take a photos of their room and use the app to place a photo-realistic render of an Ikea product into their space. They have partnered with Apple in the use of their new AR tech and it is said to be so precise it will show how the product’s size and lighting will look.
L’Oréal has several apps that let people try makeup on their selfies before trying the products. They are also working on some in-store AR applications, installing AR at beauty counters in stores. This gives them data on the kinds of products people are buying as well as how the interactions affect their purchase decisions.
CEDAR POINT THEME PARK
Cedar Point is taking a more playful approach and has included AR in their app creating The Battle for Cedar Point experience. People visiting the park can join different roller coaster-themed clans and compete by scanning the park with their smartphones. The app transforms the physical park into a video game and changes the way attendees interact with the space.
What is the coolest AR experience you’ve seen or had?
Keeping up with all the latest tech and social media updates is not an easy task. Most of the time your devices are updating without you even realizing it. Companies such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook are constantly evolving and stealing each other’s ideas in order to stay on top. Here are the latest updates for these social media platforms:
Snapchat: Snapchat has been under a lot of pressure after finally going public earlier this year. Instagram and Facebook have been on their tail mimicking almost every move Snap has made. Because of this sticky situation, in order to stay relevant Snapchat has made some major updates to their platform.
1. First, Snapchat is now letting you create your own custom Geofilters inside the app. Within the app there is a creative studio that lets you customize the Geofilter with themes, text, stickers, and of course, your Bitmoji. Once the filter is created it can cover the total area of an event or up to an entire block. Prices start at $5.99 and increase with the size of the area and the amount of detail within the filter. Not only has Snapchat made it easy on the users, it made it easy to take your event or party to the next level…..For only $6.
2. Snapchat is also now letting you become a stalker without any of the ramifications. Yes, that’s right. The newly introduced Snap Map lets you see exactly where your Snapchat friends are around the globe in real time. So if you want people to constantly know where you are, or maybe you’re just interested in seeing what your ex-girlfriend has been up to, this update was made for you. If you’re not one of these types of people that’s okay too. The update lets you have the option to be on “Ghost Mode,” meaning your Snapchat friends will not be able to locate you at any time.
3. Snapchat has also released custom stories, which are exactly what they sound like. Custom stories are perfect for trips, events, and parties. Snap lets you decide who is allowed to view the story, as well as who can add to the story. Of course you are able to add your Geofilter or location.
4. You are now able to attach a website or link into your snapchats. When viewing a snap there is now an option to “swipe up” which will take you to Snapchats internal browser. From the internal browser you are able to go to the attached link. What does this mean? Now you can share funny websites or memes with your friends through Snap. Celebrities and businesses are using this to advertise their brands and sell their items.
1. Instagram has recently introduced a number of added features to live stories. Everyone knows live stories are all the hype nowadays and Insta is making it even easier. User are now able to replay the live stories just in case you missed out on something. Additionally, users are now able to reply and comment on the live videos. In order to avoid cyber bullying, Instagram added a feature that allows users to block or hide any offensive content.
2. Location Stories and Story Links are two other new and interesting features. When posting a story there is now an option to add your location in which people are able to click on and see similar posts that have used that same location. There is also now a way to add a link into your story (though mostly for businesses or bloggers) if your trying to direct your followers to a specific site.
3. Instagram has also added Hashtag Stickers as well as additional Selfie Filters. Like I said before, Instagram is doing all they can to wipe Snapchat off the grid, and these features are their latest attempt.
1. Facebook has altered a lot of their advertising practices in terms of placement and formatting. They also now offer users the option to pay a fee in order to optimize their post in order to reach the right audience. They will also implement sticker click-bait rules that will apply on the site.
2. Facebook Live is also going through a reboot. You are now able to have private conversations simultaneously while broadcasting a live video. This means if you and a friend are both watching the same Facebook live stream, but are in different locations, you have the option to create a private chat room where you and your friend can hash out their differences.
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We’re living in an age of disruptive business. First, Uber changed the way drive, then AirBnB changed the way we travel. Now, these six start-ups are breaking through in their respective industries with innovative solutions to our everyday needs. From digital pill bottles to self-brewing beer machines, these futuristic inventions are bridging the gap between science fiction and reality.
Described as a “fit bit for cars” Dash is a tech device that monitors user driving and vehicle health needs. It’s designed to help save money, improve safety, and save time. The product combines a mobile app with a hardware device to provide real-time feedback on driving, vehicle diagnostics, navigation, and trip logs. Since its trial in 2015, over 250,000 drivers have been using dash in the U.S.
If you enjoy eating out at the price of packing a lunch, then MealPal is the app for you. This startup service allows members to order lunches from local restaurants, skip the in-store line, and pay under $5 for each meal. Cross your fingers that this service is provided in your city because you can save up to $600 a year on lunches with a subscription.
Praised by Richard Branson as the “most disruptive startup in the beer space” MiniBrew is the world’s first all-in-one beer brewing machine. Consisting of a digital appliance, a fresh ingredient pack, and a mobile app, MiniBrew allows consumers to design and create a variety of beers from virtually. Whether you’re looking to replicate a flavor you tried once in a bar or discover a new beer that matches your mood, this product is the perfect way to express your inner-hipster.
#4 Bump Mark
Designed to reduce food waste and keep consumers informed, Bump Mark adheres to food packaging and alerts consumers when food is going bad. Once the small sticker product is attached to any container, it reacts to the conditions inside. Consumers will know their food has gone bad if the Bumb Mark begins developing a bumpy texture.
Babylon Health is eliminating all of the time-wasters and hassles of the healthcare industry. With their mobile app, users can book face-to-face consultations, ask medical questions, conduct health tests, check clinical records, and even monitor health indicators such as pulse and blood pressure. While other healthcare apps simply match users with doctors over the phone, the Babylon Health app utilizes artificial intelligence to make predictions, prevent illness, and provide solutions before symptoms progress.
Here with the latest in smart technology, AdhereTech has designed a pill bottle that alerts patients to take their medication. AdhereTech recognized the extremely common problem that patients often forget to take their medicine, so they created this simple solution. Although the product itself is small, it’s saving the industry billions of dollars in follow-up care and intervention.
My good friend Mr. Frank Sinatra once sang, “Frosted window panes, candles gleaming inside. Painted candy canes on the tree. Santa’s on his way. He’s filled his sleigh with things, things for you and for me…” but even Santa has a budget, am I right? To get the most out of your holiday shopping this year, you should consider taking a look at our compilation of apps and websites equipped with the best deals and holiday steals. So, you savvy shopper you, I invite you to read on and take some notes…without further ado, please enjoy FLIRT’s Holiday Shopping Edition!
Don’t you just love discounted gift cards? It’s like finding that Christmas cash you stashed away 2 years ago in an envelope under your iHome Dock (*cough, cough* I found $200, winning). Raise is a mobile app and accompanying website that allows you to buy and sell retail gift cards. It’s free to list, and you set your own prices controlling how fast or slow your cards sell. So why not try it out and buy your male teen cousins gift cards to Subway and/or Chili’s, considering you most likely have no idea what to get them.
The Black Friday catalogue days are quickly coming to an end, so how else can you keep up with retailer’s savings? Well of course, my dear shopper, you use DealNews! DealNews is a website that emails you the best deals available from all across the Internet. The experts only list products that are at the lowest price and offered from reputable companies. It’s the thrill of the shopping chase, but you actually get good deals – shop smarter, not harder.
Coupons in the 21st Century
Who remembers sitting at the kitchen table cutting out coupons from the Sunday paper insert? Or in my case, watching Nani snip away at the vitamins, popcorn, and frozen TV dinners, buy one, get one free deals. Save time and hand cramps with SnipSnap, the app that saves any printed coupon to your mobile phone. Simply snap a photo of a printed coupon and be amazed as SnipSnap recognizes the text and images while converting it to a digital, mobile-ready offer. In addition to uploading your own deals, you can browse the database to discover featured offers from select retailers. Discover it, snip it, redeem it!
The holidays give an extra reason to be romantic (hint, hint: Peter, I want a puppy). So why not Spoil that special someone with beautiful gifts and same-day delivery from anywhere in the United States with just one click? Spoil is the simplest way to give; the app is available at the App store and with just a few taps, you can send anything from macarons and champagne to mystery boxes. Try it out and (*wink*) you’re welcome!
Shopular is an app that finds daily and weekly deals based on your favorite stores. This app is special in that it uses location-based notifications to send relevant deals to your smart phone the second you walk into the store. Users choose which deals they want to see and can simply redeem their coupons right from a mobile device. Shopular also offers consumers a community to interact and share saving tips and tricks with to enrich the entire experience. I, for one, would like to see a Black Friday deal on Burberry coats…Nordstrom, I’m talking to you.
There you have it, savvy shopper – you made it to the end. I hope you gained a lot of relevant information that will help you maneuver the holidays. Check back next time for another edition of FLIRTcasting! Take it away Frank.
I’m sure you’ve noticed the emergence of students with backpacks on street corners, traffic-inducing school buses, and Halloween decorations at Walgreens, you know what that means? Yes, it’s back to school season! It’s the highly anticipated time of year where we all become swamped with work and wonder, how will we manage everything? Lucky for you, we’ve designed a compilation of smart phone apps developed and in development that will help you balance life’s daily turmoil. So sit back, relax, and let’s get a little Zen talking about this “soothing” technology.
For Your Mind: It’s important to read up on the news each and every morning, but who really has time to flip through every article? Zolt is an app that supplies you with 60-word summaries of major news stories. Best part? The more you use it the more personalized it becomes. It’s a tailored news feed created just for you. Keep it simple, and be in the know.
For Your Stability: Are you a planner? If you’re a part of the event industry then of course you are! We can all agree that sometimes it’s a little hard to balance everything we have going on, let alone know what everyone else is up to. Check out Tweek, it’s an app that allows you to share and assign tasks with your colleagues, family, or significant other. Since everyone is on their smartphones all the time anyways, try taking a digital approach to getting work done.
For Your Body: Setting aside time to go to the gym can be difficult and anxiety-provoking. That’s why there’s Kenzai, an online health platform that pairs professional workouts with a weekly nutritional plan. You can take the app-equipped program anywhere and have 90-day access to professional trainers, nutritionists, and a supportive community. The work week may be busy, but no one can judge you from your living room, it’s a plan you can actually stick with!
For Your Heart: Humans are explorative creatures (the end.) But really, we travel to find ourselves, to lose ourselves, and to see a different way of life. Basetrip is a website and developing app that puts your journey angst to rest by gathering travel details on countries from all over the globe. Simply select where you’d like to go and be amazed by all the weather reports, electricity sockets, currency, tipping recommendations, dial tones, and many more helpful materials. What’s the official language of Mozambique, you may ask? Portuguese, of course!
And Just Because You Deserve A Giggle: Whether you’re a professional photographer or not, we all enjoy taking pictures with our friends, families and yes, pets. PictoGif is an app that enhances your pictures like no other. Snap that picture of Muffin, your cat, and watch her transform into a hilarious gif. You can share it with friends, and who knows, perhaps she will be the next viral sensation.
We hope you feel a little more at ease, and remember balance is essential to a healthy and happy life. Check back next time for another edition of FLIRTcasting!