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Posts Tagged ‘technology’

Hey, Ladies: Now You Really Can Make ‘The Girls’ Talk…or Tweet

Nestlé Tweeting Bra2In the classic American date movie Die Hard, Bruce Willis opined that “technology stopped with frozen pizza.”

After seeing this story on Mashable, we think he may be onto something – iPods, Pads and Phones notwithstanding, this is a cup of insanity.

This one goes out to the ladies [cue classic soul music and the lava lamp] as we introduce the Tweeting Bra.

[Record scratches. Lamp hardens and catches fire.]

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Did Google Maps Make Us Lose Our Minds?

The public can relax now. The Google Maps app is here, so we can all rest assured that we’ll know exactly where here is once again.

But that whole Apple maps debacle was scary, wasn’t it? Though we appreciate that Apple CEO Timothy Cook acknowledged the mistake and owned it, he left the public asking one collective, exasperated question: Where are we?

The public outcry over Apple’s failed attempt to replace the functional and beloved Google Maps revealed something very telling about people today: we’re no longer as resourceful as we once were. Though technology is designed to make our lives easier, it also has a way of disconnecting us from the real world.

When, exactly, did the public forget how to get from point A to point B? The Google Maps app, of course, is a godsend for those stubborn men who refuse to ask for directions, but when we no longer need the kindness and patience of a stranger to point us in the right direction (or the brainpower to establish our own bearings), we’re losing something as a society.

The iPhone’s ability to always let us know where we are has caused us to lose a sense of who we are.

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Crack the Code: Pitching Tech and Startup Stories

With the media echo chamber focusing on the same top tier tech companies, startups have a harder time getting noticed. But at least now your client’s company doesn’t have to be from Silicon Valley to gain media traction. New York’s own Silicon Alley has attracted increased attention from tech reporters, due in part to the success of startups such as foursquare and Fab.com. As Devindra Hardawar, national editor for VentureBeat, said, “Now what’s happening in New York has become fascinating.”

Hardawar appeared on a panel at a PCNY event on Tuesday that also included NYC-based editors and reporters covering the tech and startups beat from GigaOM, Mashable, Business Insider and WNYC’s New Tech City morning radio show. The event was a follow-up to a June PCNY panel centered on mobile–and this time the topic was breaking through in the complex tech and startups space.

Recent stories the panelists wrote or produced should give PR pros some hints about the angles that hook them. Ki Mae Heussner, staff writer for GigaOM, focused on content hackathons as the future of textbooks. Alyson Shontell, an SAI editor for Business Insider, wrote about the size of startup companies’ user bases and whether ten million is the new one million when it comes to users. WNYC’s New Tech City radio host Manoush Zomorodi produced a segment featuring reporters learning to code. As Zomoradi observed, “their visits to different code training venues added texture and flavor” to reflect the reporters’ experiences.

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Ikea Drops ‘Augmented Reality’ Catalog

Remember the halcyon days of 2002, when the holographic touch-screen special effects of Minority Report seemed like a glimpse into a fantastically distant future? Well, this week we took a step closer to that new (virtual) reality thanks to Ikea, those Swedish kings of meatballs and particleboard.

After a big buildup, the company finally dropped its new high-tech holiday catalog, created by Philadelphia’s Brownstein Group and cheerily titled “Celebrate Brilliantly“. We’re generally skeptical of “interactive” products, but any catalog that allows “users” (not readers) to pull down a virtual shade and play with various living room arrangements earns our tentative thumbs up.

For a refresher, here’s the promo video that the company released this summer:

Augmented Reality Becoming An Option For Consumer Engagement

Emerging technologies such as augmented reality are on their way to transforming how we conduct business, according to John Havens, SVP, Porter Novelli. He spoke at Business Development Institute’s Mobile Social conference on Wednesday in New York.

Havens said some of these seemingly futuristic capabilities have actually been around for a while and have been more widely used in other countries.

Corporations have been featuring augmented reality, which can be accessed on a laptop, webcam, or mobile phone in many creative ways. The capabilities include enabling customers to solve a variety of problems.

Augmented reality also allows for a more direct level of engagement with consumers, and represents another platform for PR professionals to consider using on their clients’ brands. Havens predicted that the “utility and ease of use will lead to rapid adoption” of these cutting edge techniques, but that privacy issues will have to be addressed. Read more

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