Blowing everybody away this weekend, Sony unveiled their full-powered Ultrabook that is the size of a quarter. I’ve mentioned here before how Intel has been trying to get the word out and Sony has done it majestically with its Vaio Q product. As stated in the post title, this product that is smaller than a Tic-Tac box is sure to make Sony a winner and bring Ultrabooks to the forefront of every consumer’s mind.
Something must have been happening this weekend for a number of technology companies to launch products with Q at its core. The other big one is the Quest option for Google’s Map product. Oddly launching on a Sunday, users were able to find a button for Quest in the upper right corner at maps.google.com after they entered the address. By doing so, the service provides a wonderfully simple 8-bit chroma version of the map (of course, this is all in honoring the game, Quest). As you can see in the map of my neighborhood, it does me a huge service by pointing out the things that are most important – a park, a diner and a mexican restaurant that has live music six nights a week… Oh yeah, and the schools that my daughter will not be attending for Elementary and Middle schools.
And, of course, I know this is all for April Fool’s Day – I recounted some from last year in my post on Friday. The thing is, there are some strong opportunities to market products and have an eye on the future with some of the pieces that were joked about. The Google piece above was just one of MANY things the Google folks offered up – April Fools has seemingly become their most holy of holidays. The Quest piece is what seems to have gotten the most buzz (I was sent something about it by 10s of people directly and its been written about everywhere) but they have also done things like offer: every single movie ever on DVD to your door (from YouTube); change the weather to serve your needs; auto-driving NASCAR race-cars; tracking traffic to your sites from other planets;
and, the Googlers from Oz announced their new Google street cam placed on Kangaroos’ heads. Of course, this would never fly in the States because some boneheaded legislator would find something wrong about it – and that wrong bit would have nothing to do with cruelty to animals.
But let’s get to the good stuff. And by good stuff, I mean things that could leverage the fun to possible sales instead of just something to take up excess free time on the job. In the UK, Firebox.com has announced the availability for pre-order on Personalized Fireworks.
They even go so far as to offer the following caveat:
- Best viewed from a distance of 10km
- Make sure the box is facing in the right direction and check all commercial flight patterns before lighting the fuse
- Once lit, retreat to a safe distance of 200m
- Display last approximately 5 seconds
- In some cultures may lead to idolatry
It really gets me that I have to check all commercial flight patterns and that there is not a chance in hell that I will be able to get 200m away, let alone get to the requisite 10km for optimum viewing. But, in all seriousness, I bring this up because their product page is surrounded by all the products that they really do offer. Yes, their product is funny and they certainly had some fun with it, but they are able to then leverage the traffic to drive awareness and, hopefully, sales at the same time.
Also in the UK, mobile provider O2 announced a new phone with a humongous battery that would last for 1,000 hours of talk time and 92 days of stand-by. Sadly, the phones are not that comfortable when kept in your pocket –
but the key thing here is that O2 does actually have a product named On and On. If someone were to look for that, it would show up on the home page of O2 as their unlimited package. Again, a good example of something that could drive to more business.
Toshiba got some buzz for its response to Apple and their Patent prowess. In order to move away from the rectangular tablet, they devised a “Shapes” line where the tablets are anything but rectangular.
I look at this as something that could get people thinking about the future possibilities for technology. So, even though it might not lead to other sales, it does something for the better good, beyond making a joke.
There are probably hundreds more of these things that appeared at larger or greater scales. If Intel and Sony were smart, they would look to parlay any interest in this obvious joke product of the Sony Vaio Q to illustrate that the Ultrabook product is still quite sweet. Again, leveraging these things against actual product sales is all about keeping the conversation going – unless, of course the conversation veers to a funny recent post on the Sony Vaio Q YouTube page that laments, “WOW THAT WOULD REALLY SUCK FOR WATCHING PORN.”