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The age of the Smart Home is now

The age of the Smart Home is now

The vision to interconnect your washing machine, refrigerator and even your windows by an internet connection, may soon be built into your next home. True control the of your home’s operation from your smartphone is rapidly approaching.

The redefinition of objects changes not only the form but the function of an object. It tandem, the modifications change the home from a static object into an interactive reflection of your life. In one example, the deadbolt for your front door has been computerized. The metal key is often gone and access has become a relative commodity. Owners can now control who has access, where and for how long right through a mobile app.

Over the past decades, what was seen as fanciable dreams is now being engineered into reality. The ideas of books and TV shows like “Star Trek” continue to find a growing place in our lives.

The bringing together of multiple devices in your home, working in tandem, is soon to be a reality. It requires an openness of spirit and vision in the manufacturing sector. “Without this kind of openness,” Samsung CEO BK Yoon stated in a recent keynote presentation, “there won’t be an ‘Internet of Things’ because the things will not fit together.”

What is the ‘Internet of Things’? It is a realm, in the near future, where multiple household items hold as valid a place on the Internet as do your smartphone and computer. In a few short years, it is widely proposed that many of the items in our homes, those we now see as independent and isolated, will all be interconnected.

When it comes to our homes, many believe the issue is a matter of redefining our vision of the world around us. To meet this challenge, Apple has embarked upon Homekit. This framework is designed to provide developers the tools “…for communicating with and controlling connected accessories in a user’s home.”

The market has been defined by our dreams, needs and technologies. As time quickly passes, we will see the marriage of what we once thought of as static and isolated. The idea of how and what we define as ‘home’ will quickly shift, as developers continue to provide us more control over our living spaces.

What is Native Advertising?

What is Native Advertising?

Consumers have become increasingly adept at either ignoring or electronically blocking advertisements from their screens. To battle this trend, “Native Advertising” was created to grasp the readers’ attention. This is the practice of crafting a SEM (search engine marketing) advertisement to look specifically like the content already on a site.

This advertisement is often added into a news feed, blending in with the endless stream of stories from that day’s events. In this way, the advertisement tries to slip past the reader’s defenses, in the area of the web page readers often see as reserved for “real news content”.

This type of advertising is dressing a paid advertisement in the “clothing of content”. Often you will see this if you read a newsfeed, such as Yahoo! News. In their newsfeed, you’ll see a long line of stories. Interspersed with the news articles, there will be great articles and content pieces, with interesting headlines and eye-catching images. All look like original content, but state that they are “promoted by” or “sponsored by” a particular company. This is the separation between sponsored advertising content and news content.

Mashable promoted an article touching on summer music playlists created by a new upcoming pop group.

For those interested in that pop group or in music, in general, this would probably look worthy of reading. Compare this article to an advertisement that interrupts your browsing experience by flashing on the side of your screen or that makes you click out into another window. The native ad experience is executed by “cloaked choice”, not by force.

While native advertising is a popular option, it does have it’s setbacks. Traditionally, news articles are not directly sponsored by an advertisement. However, the ads do often closely surround the news. There is a level of trust that goes into visiting a website and reading content that you believe has been placed there by journalists. These are reporters who value your readership.

If that relationship is tainted by paid advertising, it can taint that brand, but more importantly, it could damage the trust the consumer has for that site. The site must balance the funds raised by the advertisement against the cost of the consumer’s trust.

The future of data cookies could be on a restricted diet.

The future of data cookies could be on a restricted diet.

Cookies have long been at the center of software developer’s diets (that’s data cookies). In order to gauge the appetite of the public, developers track user’s digital behaviors. Cookies have been the default bit of tracking code inserted programs of all sorts, in order to read the digital footprint of a consumer.

While this has been wonderful for the marketer and business person, many consumers have found the “tracking from the shadows” to be an intrusion into their private lives. As technology continues to evolve, we’ve seen how cookies have been used.

Two new shifts present another set of changes for the evolving diet of consumer information:

  1. Mobile devices offer a limited use of data tracking. The major problem with mobile cookies that they are not universal. They cannot be applied everywhere.
  2. Upgrades in the next iOS operating system will allow consumers to block cookies. Adblocking is coming to the iPhone with iOS 9. Consumers will be able to block advertisements from hitting some of the major web pages. What this means to advertisers and the finances of the digital ecosystem still remains to be determined.

Although the function and face of cookies continue to shift, the end purpose of tracking consumer behavior will never end. As we see these two trends take hold, new courses of consumer tracking are sure to evolve.

If you are interested in defining your mobile dreams, contact Colure’s Project Managers to describe your project.

U.S. Women’s Soccer Team enjoys a Ticker Tape Parade in New York City

Thousands of soccer fans flooded Manhattan today for a the city’s first ticker tape parade for an all-female sports team. As the US Women’s Soccer Team passed down NYC’s ‘Canyon of Heroes’, many renamed the trek as the ‘Canyon of Heroines’.

The list of ticker-tape parades in New York City has been reserved for those who have made significant contributions to the nation. The tradition started with an impromptu parade in 1886 for the dedication of the Statue of Liberty. Other celebrants include Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, John F. Kennedy, the New York Yankees and Mets, and the Crew of Apollo 11, the first men on the Moon.

Colure joins with New York City and the rest of America as we celebrate this fantastic win for American Women’s Soccer! Congratulations to the team and to their supporters! Job well-done ladies!

Social media provides an opportunity to express your thoughts

Social media provides an opportunity to express your thoughts

Due to social media, a single person’s comment, tweet or like can be amplified on a global scale. No longer are you speaking into an empty space, that voice can be heard around the world.

Since the dawn of time, the way in which people interact and communicate continues to change. For July 2015, the top three social media outlets are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. People share their thoughts in various social platforms. With each form of social media, there is a different purpose, a separation between audiences.

In the world of business, understanding your company’s audience leads toward building a better business. In 2013, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth released a study evaluating the social media activities of the Fortune 500 list members. The study found that 77% of those companies are tweeting and 70% are on Facebook. There has been a heavy increase in blogging since 2008.

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” – Francis Bacon (1560-1626)

In 2013, Oreo Cookies capitalized on an unscripted moment in life. Over 111 million people were captivated, as they sat watching live TV. During Super Bowl XLVII, the stadium lights at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana went black. The power went out – the game came to a screeching halt. Within moments, a wise advertising professional sent out a tweet that captured that moment for their own corporate gain. Oreo sent out the now infamous “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet.

Social media has allowed customers and companies to communicate to each other, directly through a simple comment. Consumers demand companies be responsive to the concerns of their consumer base. Social media has made it easier for people to express what they like and what they don’t like. Being responsive to their customer base is now the expected norm for any company of any size.

Study confirms Americans’ Internet usage headed toward market saturation

Study confirms Americans’ Internet usage headed toward market saturation

The Pew Research Institute has released an analysis of Americans’ internet usage spanning the past 15 years. The study shows our collective internet use pointing toward an end goal of total market saturation. As Pew looked across all demographics lines, they saw two key points:

  • All groups were steadily increasing the level of internet integration into their lives.
  • The rate of increase varied between groups.

Starting in 2000, Pew conducted 97 studies examining how American adults use the internet in various facets of their lives. Amongst the data, four key data points displayed usage within certain communities:

  • Age: Young adults showed the highest level of usage, but senior citizens demonstrated the highest rate of growth for usage within their age group.
  • Education: Adults who are college educated are more apt to use the internet. However, those with less than a high school diploma have shown a steady increase in usage.
  • Financial: Family households with a yearly income above $75,000 reflect a 96% usage rate. Families with annual incomes below $30,000 reflect a dramatically lower usage rate, but that number is steadily increasing with the use of smartphones.
  • Ethnic: English-speaking Asian-Americans reflect the highest usage by ethnicity. All other ethnicities reported lower rates, but all showed proportionally consistent growth.

During the life of this study, Americans have consistently demonstrated a demand to integrate the internet into their lives. If consumer trends continue, we should see this trend of internet access entering more corners of our lives.