A new season, a new appearance, an international approach! With pride I present the first international version of Mensmerk.nl, in the domain ErwinVanlun.com. With many new functions, with much new content, and especially a completely new image. An image that very much is part of me. An image that really feels like: ‘that is me’! I think I have been able to combine my personality, my competence, and my ambition, in one website. A site that took 9 months to develop, a site various people have helped me build, and an site I am proud to present to an international public. In this posting much more detail, but of course you can just read the next postings. At this site after all I will closely follow the developments in media, marketing, en brands. That stays the same! And it keeps going. Every day.
Dutch realtor ERA organizes several Open House Tours a year. On that (Satur)day, people can see houses without an appointment. Starting this year, they can search for houses on the internet, and then download the addresses of their interest in their TomTom navigation system (em, Dutch). This way the dialogue with our home coaching brands also spread over several displays. In the future our home coaching brand will always be with us, and will help us to find great houses, to get the living comfort we like, to design the house the way we like it. Now we still need to download things, later just saying ‘that’s a great house’ will be sufficient to get the home coaching brand going. Then we will photograph the house with our mobile phone, get a video presentation on TV, and get an interactive presentation in 3D through the PC. Everything connects to each other. The mobility coaching brand, TomTom in this case, will then make sure we get to our destination without a hassle.
Through readmymood people can now add a flower to their website or web log, which automatically displays their mood. This is based on the word choice in the texts. My blog at the moment of writing has a high score on ‘angry, sad, businesslike, and male’, and less high on ‘happy, cheerful, emotional, female, and in love’. Therefore a somewhat plain flower, which can be totally different tomorrow. That’s why I keep a small archive of the flowers in the extended posting. The latest analysis can also be seen at the Readmymood site, and these often are much more colorful.
This development shows how we get better and better at the automatized reading of emotions. It already happened in ‘text mining’ and ‘voice mining’, based on which customer care centers can predict the behavior of consumers. Now it is also available for the consumers. Social coaching brands will assist us in anticipating the emotions of the other, and earlier or later they will be better at that than the average person. Maybe we will call that ‘emotion mining’. A related development already is called ‘facial coding’. This type of brands then will be essential for functioning in society. As essential as the phone is today. This development contributes to that.
Google buys American company GrandCentral. This is a free web service through which registered users get one phone number, which they then can connect to all their business and private telephone numbers. On a website the user can program what incoming phone call has to be connected to what device, and which ones eventually could directly end up in a voice mailbox. (em, Dutch). We slowly work towards one virtual mailbox in which text, speech, and video come together. Dependent on who sends a message, where we are, and what we feel like, we come ‘live’, we send a message, or don’t answer at all. Thus not only spammers don’t really get a chance any more, neither to stalkers and companies who make unwanted phone calls. For brands it will be the art to get onto the list of ‘trusted relations’. The coaching brands will be the ones to master this art into the finest details.
Ex tennis player Boris Becker here demonstrates an interactive shopping window of fashion brand Ralph Lauren. At this life-sized screen people can browse through the collection (ut) Now we browse through the collection. In the future we will be able to virtually walk around in the shop, to get an idea and maybe even make a choice. Now we still have to stand outside, later we will have shops with lots of virtual fitting and feeling rooms (feel the fabric), in which all our senses are stimulated so we feel comfortable while ‘fitting’. It is also possible to do that 24 hours a day, a little less comfortable. You have the choice. This goes that direction.
People appear to even in the virtual world create a natural distance to other people. They also remain sensitive to subtle cues like eye contact. In one study, participants moved their avatars back if another character stood too close, even though the space violation was merely virtual. The researchers say our brains are not specialized for 21st-century media (al). We make the virtual world as real as possible, and within that world we just act like people. All emotions we feel, all expressions we show, everything we say, all the behavior we show, and all contacts we have, follow one rule: people will behave exactly the same in the virtual world as they do in the physical world. This research proves that again.
On this screen called MegaPhone, it is possible to play games with lots of people at the same time. You connect to the game by calling a number, after which you can immediately start the game without downloading software. Just by touching numbers at your phone. See the video below. It is also possible to give speech commands (ug). And thus all screens and display slowly but surely all get connected. Now through special applications, in the future we will be able to get all content on our display by just pointing our mobile phone to it, and giving a spoken command. And should the display be too small, we just rummage about for the content with our hands, and ‘throw’ it onto a bigger screen. Until we are happy. We are in charge.
SalesForce, supplier of web based CRM-software, a year ago started Idea Exchange, a website on which users can leave ideas for product improvements. Users can vote for each others ideas by simply clicking ‘promote’. The most popular ideas thus appear on top of the list. Meanwhile a lot of experience has been gained with this. SalesForce discovered that ignoring these suggestions can be very bad. The most popular ideas you need to adopt, or negative attention will be your share. In the latest version of the software, 42 ideas from Idea Exchange have been incorporated (em, Dutch). Brands experience a brand coming out. Brands become more open, more transparent, and the border between consumer and producer completely disappears. The involvement with the brand gets much bigger. Bigger than ever before. This is a great example that shows the way for all brands.
Cinema owner Path now also offers the possibility to reserve films, watch trailers and see what movie is shown where, through your mobile phone. When you send the text message FILM to 4443 (in the Netherlands), Path Mobiel sends a link to an application which can be installed in one click (em, Dutch). Brands will be available on demand. Now we still have to send a text message. In the future we will call ‘Path’, and we will directly be able to ask Path our question while sitting in a restaurant: ‘are there any good movies shown in the neighborhood within the next hour?’ ‘Good’ then will be interpreted based on personal preferences, ‘the neighborhood’ is determined based on the mobile phone and your GPS location, and the system in itself will add: ‘and which still have seats available.’ Now still in an application, in the future it will be supported by the most important visualization of the brand: the brand agent. Thus, slowly but surely a real dialogue comes into being. This is a small step in that direction.
Vodafone started offering landlines in the Netherlands this week. This is part of the development in which telecoms operators and cable providers transform from service providers (telephone and televisions) to access providers: transaction brands which connect devices, whether business or private, directly to the virtual world. Big screens, small screens. Displays in the car, displays in the office, displays in the walkway. Our home network, our car network, or personal area network. Access providers connect it to the world. Once a device has access, literally everybody can use all services like speech, video, or gaming. Paid or unpaid. Who we get our services from, a totally different story, can come from anywhere in the world. In the future we won’t have a wire giving us access to services: through a wire (or a wireless connection) we will have access to one big virtual world in which we can do anything we like. Vodafone anticipates this development.
French newspaper Les Echos after a pilot is the first newspaper in the world to offer a subscription on e-paper, electronic paper. This ‘paper’ is in a thin holder, the iLiad, made by Dutch company iRex Technologies. It is sharper than paper, and it doesn’t use energy once the page is loaded. This device has a wireless connection to the internet, so that it can be updated continuously. A year subscription to L’Echos’s service, including an iLiad, costs 769 euros (am, Dutch). Thus a new display providing access to the virtual world grows. Now it is still expensive, later we will only have the e-paper in our hand, we will fold it and put it in our pocket, and it will be very cheap. Now it is aiming at news, later we can do anything through this thin display. Now in black-and-white, later very sharp in color. Slowly we will see this display appear in our surroundings more and more. It now starts in France.
In HTC‘s new phone (TyTN II) a standard application has been added: ‘WorldCardMobile’. This application makes it possible to photograph a business card, which then is automatically scanned and saved in the contacts (mc, Dutch). This way the mobile phone more and more becomes a screen over the virtual world. Now you still need to start an application, later the business card will automatically be recognized as soon as you move your mobile over it. Then you won’t even have to push a button any more. The is the next step, which will apply to all things we see, and it marks the beginning of a completely new world.
This screen not just reacts to several fingers at the same time, it also makes it possible to travel in time (fc, Dutch). Thus the virtual world further extends its time dimensions. We will go back to the past, meet people who lived there then, and meet other time-tourist to point out details to each other. For example the original Heineken logo on a traveling horse and wagon. And we can also travel in the future. To get involved in tomorrow’s developments, in concrete or less concrete future plans of other people. Now on a screen, later also projected in our glasses, accompanied by sounds if we wish. The future gets closer step by step.
Through Google Earth it is now possible to fly around in a fighter jet. After clicking Ctrl+Alt+A (or Command+ Option+ A for mac) the simulator starts. In the picture the 3D image of the Kurhaus in Scheveningen (the Netherlands) you can fly around with the jet (dc, Dutch). We keep copying the physical world. In the future we will fly over a soccer stadium somewhere in the world, we will see a soccer game being played at that very moment, we will see our friends, make contact with them, and - even stronger - they will see us fly by through a special projection in their glasses. Maybe with a banner behind the jet: “Happy Birthday!”. Things become sillier, and more fun at the same time. This is a small step in that direction.
Alice is the new provider for Internet and calling (dc, Dutch). Brands more and more often use personal names and (sometimes real, more and more often artificial) characters to give their brand a brand personality. A personal name strengthens this feeling. This is an example of that.