Tag Archives: Wifi

Is Public Super-Fast WiFi the Poison Apple?

LinkNYCWith crazy-high download speeds being provided as an alternative to mobile data while you traverse city blocks, it might seem like the connectivity gods have answered our prayers. Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal found that she could download a 2-hour film weighing 1GB in a mere 45 seconds while standing near one NYC’s WiFi booths – part of LinkNYC. Having such incredible speeds as pedestrians will do wonders beyond causing the increased annoyance of “pedi-pileups” while distracted walkers screech to a halt to respond to texts, emails and now, videos.

While LinkNYC/CityBridge is just the latest to join Google, Boingo and others to provide really fast municipal or public connectivity wherever you are, its business implications on the growing Internet of Things is huge. Rather than requiring data access for every device – like what’s in play now – we’ll be able to leave our devices on Wi-Fi only and still have full functionality for a fraction of the cost. For those who bought Family packages from T-Mobile or Verizon and used up half of the accounts on their multiple array of devices, this allows them and everyone else to take on more mobile products that require connectivity without having to worry. Certainly, this changes the economics for the consumer, the data seller and the product/app distributor…

What we will have to worry about – and what Stern does a solid job of laying out options to protect against – is the increased opportunity for hackers to access our information. Whether by faking-out our devices or purely taking advantage of our protective naivete on these networks, there will be hundreds/thousands of ways to gain access to our hard-won stuff (files, photos, messages, posts, passwords, fetishes – whatever we’ve deemed necessary to save on our devices) while we walk the streets.

But, knowing how much this connectivity can help us live our lives, we can gain a small bit of insight on how to protect ourselves from Stern. And, while it’s odd that we might have to pay to protect ourselves from free offerings, it will hopefully be worth it in the long run. Just be sure to have someone test the (big) apple before you take a bite.

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We See The Future And It Ain’t So Far Away

The following campaign blurb was really exciting until the third line where it describes throwing a consumer on the top of a van:

The makers of Stride gum will go to extreme lengths to have consumers upgrade to Stride 2.0. Stride’s CEO, a human billboard at a mall, accosts a consumer unwilling to upgrade his gum. The CEO hops on a skateboard and chases the young man throughout the mall, eventually catching him and throwing him atop a waiting van. After switching the gum, the CEO hops into the van, driven by snowboarder Shaun White.

Stride is usually pretty good at being ahead of the curve technology-wise (incorporating color QR codes early-on) so I was assuming they were doing the same here.  The thing is, it was all just in a video created by JWT NEW YORK. And it did not happen in a real environment like I was hoping.

I thought they had taken the step that might have been thought of as Science Fiction Fantasy when the billiboards were interacting with consumers in the film, MINORITY REPORT.  That fantasy is absolutely doable now with the progress in RFID, displays, bluetooth, wi-fi and cloud-computing.  You can see elements of it in place in Japan and you will see more of it here when Apple incorporates RFID in iPhone 5.

Companies have made good use of RFID on a limited scale for marketing with the strongest example being the Israel Coca-Cola Village event last Summer that incorporated Facebook. That experience made it simple, immediate and cool to share socially, but there are so many opportunities to build a phenomenal narrative and emotional connection with consumers in the near future.

In simplest terms, imagine that the Stride video was cut into pieces so that consumers could feel that they were the ones being followed through a mall like the Culver City Westfield – where the video was actually filmed.  As the user with an RFID transmitter passed by the specific displays, the videos could be presented progressively – taking them through the narrative.  Certainly, within the next 6-9 months, those folks who have the RFID transmitter would be the most likely to like and engage with the guy pestering them – they just don’t seem like the types who would get annoyed by it.  As part of the experience, there would hopefully be kiosks that allow interaction – whether just posting to FB or registering to get a coupon sent to their email or SMS.

This really is not so far in the future – with a number of groups already developing the technology.  It just takes a strong advertiser with the correct target audience (like Stride is going after) to pull the trigger smartly.  It can be done on a small scale in strategically placed locations.  But, don’t forget to get all your ducks in a row to have your PR and Digital teams ready to pounce and leverage all the buzz, video, etc to turn it into something much bigger than a local execution.

Also, don’t forget to credit Scarlet Strategic with the idea.  Better yet, come to us and we’ll execute the whole thing for you!