Unsweet Tweets Defeat.
At Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Me., admissions officers are still talking about the high school senior who attended a campus information session last year for prospective students. Throughout the presentation, she apparently posted disparaging comments on Twitter about her fellow attendees, repeatedly using a common expletive. Perhaps she hadn’t realized that colleges keep track of their social media mentions. Of 381 college admissions officers who answered a Kaplan telephone questionnaire this year, 31 percent said they had visited an applicant’s Facebook or other personal social media page to learn more about them — a five-percentage-point increase from last year. More crucially for those trying to get into college, 30 percent of the admissions officers said they had discovered information online that had negatively affected an applicant’s prospects.
Virtual Just Got Real.
Remember that old A-ha! video from the '80s where the virtual cartoon character eventually breaks through the wall separating his world from reality? Well... MIT has demonstrated a "Dynamic Shape Display" that can physically change shape to render 3D content. As Fast Company reports, the display is called inFORM, and it's a large surface that sits atop a series of pins, actuators, and linkages. By moving each actuator, inFORM can move the pin it's attached to up or down, allowing for a wide range of interactions. A projector mounted above the surface provides context to the shapeshifting pins, giving them color and highlighting depth. In a video released by MIT, the table is shown moving a ball, mirroring a book, displaying 3D charts, and giving an extremely visible smartphone notification. Soon, you'll be able to "reach out and touch someone" (or something) from anywhere on the planet. A-ha!
Mobile is Eating the World.
Mobile growth is explosive, and there's no end in sight. As laptop and PC sales are cannibalized in favor of phones and tablets— and as penetration grows— it's only going to become more so.
Your Next Smartphone: a TV?
Most companies are going in the direction of turning your smartphone into a TV. Microsoft is going the other way: they want to turn your TV into a smartphone. The Xbox One has a trick that few non-gamers know about (and no, it's not this trick.) The One has a feature called HDMI pass-through, which allows you to plug your satellite or cable box into it and run your entire television experience through the filter of the Internet-connected, Skype-wielding, fantasy-sports-playing, Xbox One.
Google Goes Human.
Google has built an empire with a search engine that answers your questions, and now the company hopes humans can do the same. Google on Tuesday announced Helpouts, a new tool that connects users via live video chat with experts who can help them with questions about home improvement, cooking or even medical advice. Helpouts serves as a Google-vetted marketplace where approved companies such as Sephora, One Medical and Rosetta Stone can offer their services to interested parties in real-time over live video.
The King of Teens.
Twitter has overtaken Facebook as the social media network that is most important to teens, according to research. Twitter is the new king of teens, with 26% naming it as their "most important" social site. Only 23% said Facebook was most important, down from a high of 42%. But Twitter should not become complacent, the report suggests. That's because Instagram has rocketed in popularity with teens. 23% said Facebook-owned Instagram was their #1 choice, up from 12% a year ago. The maneuvering suggests Facebook was right to acquire Instagram as a backstop against losing younger users to competing, simpler networks.
Do You Take Your Coffee Tweet?
A tweet can be used to share links, media, and status updates. But could it soon be used to share Starbucks coffee? That's the promise of a new partnership between Twitter and Starbucks which enables gift certificates to be exchanged via tweets. Called the tweet-a-coffee program, the service allows for spur-of-the-moment acts of generosity between friends, with little to no friction: Just tweet at another Twitter user in order to give a $5 digital eGift hassle-free. It's certainly a novel marketing tool. But the larger significance here is how companies like Starbucks are gradually beginning to see Twitter as a potential ecommerce platform.
Theft Pays Off.
Take-Two has announced that Grand Theft Auto V generated approximately $800 million in sales worldwide during its first 24 hours on sale, the highest first day retail sales of any title in the history of the company and the Grand Theft Auto series. Consumers around the world gathered in anticipation to be among the first to experience the evolution of this remarkable series and in North America alone, more than 8,300 stores opened their doors at midnight to welcome fans.
© dieste, inc. 2013