What does the future of Passenger Experience look like?

It is found within the culture of Zodiac Inflight Innovations.

It’s no surprise that on-demand entertainment has become such a cornerstone of our culture. It’s personal. And it’s available anytime and anywhere — even 35,000 feet in the air.

But while flying and on-demand entertainment are enthralling experiences/technology, the websites for IFE (Inflight entertainment) providers are hardly what you’d label “captivating”. Which is why we wanted to change that perception with the complete overhaul of the Zodiac Inflight Innovations (Zii) website because this company, it’s core, is the epitome of captivating.

Our goal was to make a website that’s as entertaining and as captivating as the products and services that Zii provide to airlines and passengers all over the world. So, we immediately decided to simplify the site. That meant ditching the dark color palette in favor of a lighter one, as it would open up the design as well as lose the sterile tech feel that plagued the previous iteration, as well as implementing full-bleed imagery throughout the site. This simplified, clean design ultimately makes the site and Zii appear more dynamic, cutting-edge and engaging — just as a provider of entertainment should appear. Click here for our case study and let me know what you think!

 

Mozilla’s new logo: An example of the power of the community for which they serve

Disclosure: Mozilla is a partner of The Buddy Group. We proudly support certain internal product, communication and creative opportunities as needed. Proud to support the mission and ethos for which it stands. 

Mozilla has changed. So have we, the user. One thing that has not changed however is the respect they show their users in everything they do.

Last year Mozilla embarked on the most unique, eye-brow raising, risk/reward endeavor I have ever seen a brand take. Not only were they going to re-brand Mozilla for the next generation of innovation but they were going to tackle it in a way only Mozilla could tackle– open, honest and ready for feedback. They opened the process to the community and through the process earned our respect for taking a road less (if not ever) traveled on this scale.

We, as a company, with all our spirit and gusto to be mavericks and push clients outside of their comfort zone, remained glued to our social streams waiting for what would be next.

What came out of it is fascinating, right and admirable.

Rather than recap every step myself, I turn it over to Adweek and Mozilla’s own voice which did a great job of keeping a running log of the process.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!


As written in ADWEEK: For the last six months, Mozilla has been working on a brand identity upgrade, and it’s kept a running log of this process. But it also took it one step further, releasing open-source guidelines for anyone who wanted to jump in and help compose a new logo and visual cues.

“Rather than conduct a brand refresh behind closed doors, we just thought maybe there’s a better or different way to do this,” Mozilla creative director Tim Murray said in August.

http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/mozilla-open-sourced-parts-its-new-brand-identity-heres-how-went-175636

Idiot Proof Appliances 

http://readwrite.com/2017/01/11/whirlpool-ces-2017-dl4/

People who struggle with frozen pizza and microwaveable food instructions will be happy to know that Whirlpool unveiled a selection of kitchen appliances able to cook your food without pressing any buttons.

Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas, the appliances include a double-wall oven for $2,600, a microwave for $1,000, a gas range for $1,800 and an electric range for $1,700. All appliances work with iOS and Android devices.

See also: Intel launches modular Compute Card at CES 2017

All four appliances connect to Wi-Fi and are able to understand instructions from Whirlpool’s Scan-to-Cook mobile app. All the homeowner needs to do is scan the instructions and send them to the appliance, which will begin cooking at the right temperature and time.

Whirlpool already has a few compatible products, including DiGiorno Pizza and Alexia frozen fries, but for the price of each appliance you would expect more.

All work with Amazon Alexa

All Whirlpool appliances will receive Amazon Alexa support as well, letting homeowners set the oven to a certain temperature or turn the microwave off without entering the kitchen.

Bringing the kitchen online may help the poorest of home cooks out, but we doubt any of them will want to spend more than $1,000 just to make sure they don’t overcook frozen fries. That said, a few Reddit commenters have made the argument that this could be useful for those that typically forget how to cook or when to turn off the oven when inebriated.

Whirlpool expects to start selling the appliances in the summer.

ALLIANCE allows for synchronization and more

Wireless connections within the Internet of Things may soon rival the capabilities of wired systems, based on new standards being released by Wi-Fi Alliance.

The new standard, called TimeSync, is a Wi-Fi feature that brings precise timing and synchronized operation to wireless devices by aligning them to the same internal clock. It was introduced at CES, just concluded in Las Vegas.

This type of synchronization would enable properly synced audio and video playback wirelessly across a full surround-sound system, according to Kevin Robinson, VP of marketing at Wi-Fi Alliance.

“As Wi-Fi becomes more firmly planted in the connected home space, it is growing from simply delivering Internet connectivity to connected devices to now moving into the interconnections between the components themselves,” Robinson told the IoT Daily.

“Part of the reason Wi-Fi has been as successful as it has is that it’s a very flexible and capable platform for other technologies, other ecosystems, to build on top of and it really allows industry to continue to innovate on top of this very capable platform,” he said.

Bringing a cross-brand standard to wireless devices is the goal and Wi-Fi Alliance plans to launch a certification program for device manufacturers to integrate the TimeSync capability into their products later this year.

The Alliance now has more than one flavor of connectivity tailored to different use cases.

For example, Wi-Fi ac, which was updated in mid-2016, is designed to deliver Internet access to wide areas and multiple devices simultaneously. An example Robinson referenced was a recent implementation of Wi-Fi ac access points throughout Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, which brings high-speed Internet across the entire stadium.

On the other side, Wi-Gig, which was launched in October 2016 and was shown in products at CES, brings short-range, but very high performance speeds. This type of connectivity can enable wireless virtual reality experiences.

The TimeSync feature is not intended to act as a type of connection, but rather as a coordinating layer that can enable better experiences, according to Robinson.

“One way to look at it is it’s an ingredient that will help other technologies in applications perform better,” Robinson told the Daily.

“TimeSync would allow you to create that precise coordination between various devices, whether it’s a VR headset, speakers in the room or a wireless headset,” he said.

Wi-Fi Alliance also plans to launch an indoor location-tracking capability later this year, which would operate similarly to GPS with accuracy within a few feet.

There are currently 8 billion Wi-Fi devices in active use, according to Robinson.

 

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/292636/new-wi-fi-standard-syncs-home-devices-in-real-time.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=readmore&utm_campaign=99529

BREAKING— I have returned from CES 2017 without a cold!

BREAKING— I have returned from CES 2017 without a cold! Each year CES typically leaves its attendees with a version of the funk that typically takes you down upon returning home. Here is to a healthy, funk free, 2017!

This year marks my 16th year attending CES, the default event for those who create, sell and market the technology in our personal lives. Each year I write up a post on the best things I have seen. This year, I am going to shake it up because times, they are changing…

Over the last decade, I have made it a point to drive to Vegas for the event. It proves to be a great plan as the meeting rooms, dinners and meet-ups tend to be spread out in multiple hotels or restaurants. It also serves as a great tool for reflection as the 4-5 hours is often plagued with poor cell service and true quiet time.

So, on my drive home I asked the question (to myself)…

Where is it all going?

To best answer this, I thought about the evolution of the CE (Consumer Electronics) industry over the last 17 years.

Since 2010, CES has been mostly about displays, plastic, hard drives and processors. From ultra flat monitors to tablets, innovation was best observed in the physical products on the floor. Booths were constructed with items spinning under spotlight and demonstrations meant people picked them up or watched their 4k brilliance.

If you follow the trades (and mainstream media) you heard that Amazon stole the show this year with Alexa. You also likely heard people say that they didn’t see anything that wowed them. Well, both are correct. However, I think this is not the full story…

The next 5 years or so will feel like nobody is innovating because innovation has always been measured in physical product. More and more “things” are being connected and as a result, the physical is becoming software enabled. As things become connected, it will be hard for them to be MORE connected. Thus, the innovation we are going to see and need to be better at managing will be in the ability for companies to understand customer needs and create a personalized experience IN or AROUND the products for which they produce.  This will appear more as incremental innovation to outsiders but it truly is the holy grail of innovation.

 

We are in for an era of innovation where consumers buy and recommend based on a product or services ability to “fit them” or “adapt to their needs”. How and where they find out that these features fit them is more important that going to see a product on a shelf at Best Buy. These experiences will carry the innovation banner forward for the years to come.- my 2017 prediction

 

I saw this first hand this year in several instances. Most impressive was the demonstration of Comcast’s Xfinity network customer experience. The super smart, customer focused team at Comcast welcomed me into their suite at Venetian and offered a tour of what will be rolling out to all their customers in just a few months. Sure there was a box on table but the presentation was nearly 100% about the experience and the ability for the customer to control what mattered to them most. For example, Xfinity customers will soon be able to create profiles for their family members on their network allowing them to monitor, report and establish boundaries. This is great for families with kids who have personal devices but also the avid streamer who may be looking for better performance in their streaming.

xfinity-smarter-ecosystem.pngxfinity-smarter-laptop.png

 

xfinity-smarter-parental-control.png

They have streamlined the onboarding process too, demonstrating that innovation doesn’t have to be wrapped in hard plastic. The new experience will be automatically enabled in the first half of 2017 for the approximately 10 million existing Xfinity Internet customers who have a compatible Xfinity Wireless Gateway. That number is expected to grow to more than 15 million by the end of the year as Comcast’s new Advanced Wireless Gateway becomes available to customers. This Advanced Gateway is capable of delivering up to nine gigabits per second over Wi-Fi within the home, supports voice, home monitoring and automation applications and will be the device Comcast uses to make one gigabit per second Internet speeds available across its entire service area.

My hat is tipped to the Comcast team for the fortitude and courage to show up at CES with commitment to the customer experience. Your investment there will win over those markets where you compete against outdated providers. Now, if only you offered your services in Orange County, California!

The number of connected devices is expected to rise from 10 to 50 devices by 2020. However, we are in for a period of time where “The Bigs” and “Start-Ups” alike will compete for your spare change via features that enable a more relevant, useful and personalized experience rather than push more product. Sure we will see people replacing physical items (Dishwashers, Cars, Toasters, etc.) with a new connected version but the idea that we will have tons of new devices in our home in addition to currently non-connected devices is likely a fallacy with the exception of companies like SEVEN HUGS.

  • The Bigs: Will compete with a value proposition of an Ecosystem of products that work together. Their typically closed system (think Apple) will begin to turn people away as consumers are more and more wanting things to work together regardless of the platform.
  • The Start-Ups: Will deliver against niche experiences and gain market share because they deliver amazing experiences that serve a specific persona’s needs. They will of course be gobbled up by a Big in the future but until then, they will blaze trails at a pace only a smaller, nimble company can and a pace that consumers have grown to expect.

Stop looking for the new plastic on the shelf and start looking for the features that make it all “work for you”.

Personalization is going to change consumer expectations, security, user interface design and content delivery. As it pertains to the working world, Intel’s Brian McCarson calls this- Phase Two of the Internet of Things. The use of data to create a more optimized, personalized and relevant experience.

One size fits all will never work again- thankfully. We are in for an era will brands and manufacturers are going to be looking to consumers to help shape (real-time) the features, functions and experience with preference, data and feedback. 

I am excited for a great 2017 filled with innovation, personalization and better customer experiences.

Pete

 

2016 Tech Year in Review

Dec 30, 2016 9:00 AM EST
AMAZON.COM INC
-15.28
AT CLOSING, DEC 30TH
749.87 USD
ALPHABET INC-CL A
-10.43
AT CLOSING, DEC 30TH
792.45 USD

⇑  THE GOOD  ⇑

 

▲ Tech Superpowers Eat the World: For the first time this year, technology companies at times held each of the top five spots of the world’s most valuable public companies. The combined market value of tech’s Five Fab — Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc., Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc. — was $2.4 trillion as of Dec. 27, or more than 11 percent of the S&P 500’s value. That means tech superpowers are inching toward the 16 percent share of the S&P 500 they held at the peak of the tech bubble in March 2000. The bad news: Big Tech’s growing power makes them a target of politicians worldwide.

Tip Top Tech
The five biggest tech companies’ share of S&P 500 market cap
Source: Bloomberg
Note: Companies listed from highest to lowest market cap.

▲ Advertising Becomes a Two-Horse Race: Alphabet’s Google and Facebook are popular destinations for billions and their technology makes it easy for carmakers and detergent companies to pinpoint the right people for their product pitches. As a result, the two gobble a combined 58 percent of all the advertising purchased in the U.S. online or on mobile phones. With Google and Facebook as the only companies generating significant digital ad sales, every other company dependent on advertising — from TV networks to news organizations — is rethinking existing business approaches.

google fb ad spend-01

▲ Amazon’s Ambition Knows No Bounds: It became clear in 2016 that no industry should be free from Amazon paranoia. It’s a giant retailer of every product and service, a growing entertainment power, and a would-be transportation giant that aims to control land, air, sea and new horizons. In an example of the impact Amazon’s ambitions can have, its Amazon Web Services cloud business — a type of computing Amazon created from nothing 10 years ago — made up more than 100 percent of Amazon’s total operating profit in the third quarter (after accounting for international losses), and it’s not an exaggeration to say AWS has changed the direction of both Amazon and the tech industry.

▲ China Tech Flexes Its Muscles: China’s tech giants Baidu Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. are unimaginably big and broad, cutthroat competition has honed the next-generation stars such as Didi Chuxing, and many novel tech ideas born in China are being copied elsewhere. China’s tech powers are extending their advantages at home and stretching into other parts of the globe, though few have made major inroads into the U.S. yet.

Internet Tidal Wave
China’s roughly 700 million internet users are double the population of the U.S.
Sources: International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report and database, and World Bank estimates; Bloomberg Intelligence

▲ Television Finally Meets Technology: Television’s dominance of Americans’ leisure time and advertisers’ wallets has peaked, and changes are slowly coming to the fundamental nature of TV. Commercial-free binge watching on Netflix, the popularity of nontraditional video on smartphones and the development of new types of online TV services are reshaping entertainment. Will digital “television” simply replicate the TV we’re used to or become something else entirely?

Changing the Channel
Online pay-TV services like AT&T’s DirecTV Now are estimated to reach nearly 15 million subscribers by 2020, according to UBS estimates
Source: UBS

⇓  THE BAD  

 

▼ Apple Hits a Wall: The decade-long era of Apple’s impossibly fast growth and profits came to an end. Apple’s revenue fell this year for the first time since 2001. The company can’t outrun a changing market for smartphones globally, and it continues to grapple with government resistance to its power on issues such as law enforcement, taxation and manufacturing.

No Longer Defying Gravity
The last time Apple’s annual revenue declined was 15 years ago
Source: Bloomberg
Note: Data for fiscal years.

▼ Startups Reckon with Austerity-ish: After two years of seemingly limitless funding for young technology companies, there was a marked retrenchment this year. Money invested in tech startups remains historically high but is on track to decline materially from 2015. Smartly, many private tech companies started to manage for profits — or “profits” — instead of straining to grow at all costs. Otherwise the fallout from the investment pullback could have been much worse.

Pullback
Amount invested in companies backed by venture capital
Source: CB Insights
*Data through Q3.

▼ No Mercy for Yahoo and Twitter: Internet companies have to keep growing, or they die. Yahoo Inc. and Twitter Inc. in 2016 each went through protracted sale efforts — Yahoo found a buyer, Twitter didn’t — and had to deal with the punishing effects of disappearing growth in revenue and users.

Growing Pains
Revenue growth is diminishing for Yahoo and Twitter. Change in revenue from a year earlier:
Source: The companies
Note: Yahoo’s revenue excludes commissions paid to web-search partners.

▼ Batteries Had the Worst Year Ever: Samsung was forced to end production of its Galaxy Note 7 after reports of fires or explosions caused by faulty batteries. The U.S. also forced a recall of hoverboards because of overheating batteries, and Apple dealt with battery life hiccups for its new MacBook Pro line. The (sometimes literal) battery flare-ups in 2016 show the fragility of one of the essential components of computing in everything from smartphones to driverless cars.

Look Out Below
Quarterly revenue for Samsung’s mobile division took a dive in the latest quarter, hurt by recalls to its Galaxy Note 7 phone.
Source: Bloomberg

▼ Old Tech Shrinks: The technology industry is brutal to its stragglers (see Yahoo and Twitter above), and that meant painful job cuts in 2016 at some old-guard companies. IntelCorp., Cisco Systems Inc., HP Inc. and others continued to cut back — in some cases drastically — to offset falling revenue or to shift resources away from declining businesses.

Pink Slip
Legacy tech companies had some major layoffs in 2016
Source: Bloomberg

 

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the authors of this story:
Shira Ovide in New York at sovide@bloomberg.net
Rani Molla in New York at rmolla2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.net