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Lab Team

Recent Posts By Lab Team

MWC 2017: The AI-Powered, Connected Cars Of The Future

February 27, 2017 By Lab Team

What Happened
Monday marks the first day of the 2017 Mobile World Congress (MWC), the world’s leading smartphone trade show. As with the previous years, a slew of new mobile and portable gadgets are introduced, and the Lab team is on the ground in Barcelona, Spain, scouting for the latest trend in mobile technologies. Today, however, it is the futuristic smart cars, not the shiny new phones, that stole the show.

Ford announced a partnership with Vodafone at its press event that will lead to 4G modems being built into a select range of its upcoming vehicles in the European market. The modem will bring 4G LTE connectivity over Wi-Fi, with up to ten devices able to connect at once, effectively turning those Ford models into a media hub on wheels.

Moving beyond connectivities for existing models, Roborace drew a lot of eyeballs at the Mobile World Congress today with a stunning self-driving race car. The British company behind the robot racing series unveiled Robocar, the world’s first AI-powered, self-driving electric race car. Powered by Nvidia’s Drive PX2, an open A.I. car computing platform, the Robocar can reach an impressive top speed of 199 miles per hour.

French automaker Peugeot took the AI solution one step further with the debut of its Instinct concept car, an autonomous car designed to drive differently according to reading your mood and needs. The car is connected to Samsung’s Artik cloud service, allowing it to gather data from other connected devices, such as your calendar schedule or your heartbeat rate from a smartwatch, in order to determine between four driving modes: drive boost, drive relax, autonomous soft, and autonomous sharp, to provide the most suitable driving experience.

What Brands Need To Do
In line with what we saw two month ago at this year’s CES, major advances in AI and machine learning has supercharged the race of developing autonomous cars among automakers this year. For brand marketers, AI is what will power the future of brand-customer interactions as the core of the post-smartphone computing. AI evolution is set to bring an influx of additional media time once self-driving cars can free our eyes from the road. While it is still a few years off till the technology fully matures, it is never too early for brands to start thinking about how to conquer this new media space.

Another important capability that AI will unleash for all brands lies in dynamic creatives that can deliver personalized user experience based on data and user input. Brand marketers need to consider how they can leverage their customer data to provide personalized experiences with the help of an AI engine.

 


Sources: as linked in the article

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MWC 2017: Samsung Redesigns Gear VR And Reveals New Controller

February 27, 2017 By Lab Team

What Happened
At a press conference hosted yesterday in Barcelona ahead of this year’s Mobile World Congress, Samsung announced some noteworthy news about its Gear VR headsets. The Korean mobile giant debuted a redesign of the Samsung Gear VR that not only makes it work better with existing Samsung handsets but also prepares it for the upcoming Galaxy S8 phones.

More importantly, the new Gear VR headset will also come with a new controller that includes touchpad and trigger, in addition to the motion sensors. Equipped with a touch-sensitive touchpad, the controller enables users to navigate the VR interfaces in a faster and more convenient manner. The control also comes with a trigger at the bottom for playing video games.

Besides the VR updates, Samsung also unveiled two new tablets and a new class of two-in-one laptop-tablet device.

What Brands Need To Do
Samsung Gear VR remains one of the most popular mobile platforms for virtual reality at the moment. And this refresh in headset design and new remote controller significantly improves the user-friendliness and adds to its interactivity.

As the hardware continues to develop, VR and 360-degree content is quickly emerging as a medium that brands should explore to attract consumer attention with innovative storytelling. In order to capitalize on the booming popularity of the immersive medium, brands should take a cue and start developing VR content that truly enhances brand messaging and contributes to the campaign objectives.

How We Can Help
Our dedicated team of VR experts is here to guide marketers through the distribution landscape. We work closely with brands to develop sustainable VR content strategies to promote branded VR and 360 video content across various apps and platforms. With our proprietary technology stack powered by a combination of best-in-class VR partners and backed by the media fire-power of IPG Mediabrands, we offer customized solutions for distributing and measuring branded VR content that truly enhance brand messaging and contribute to the campaign objectives.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Lab can help you tap into the immersive power of VR content to engage with customers, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: VR Focus

 

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Google Assistant Coming To More Android Phones

February 27, 2017 By Lab Team

What Happened
Google is expanding the reach of its voice assistant service to a lot more devices as it continues to compete against Amazon’s Alexa in conquering the emerging conversational market. Starting this week, Google is starting to roll out Google Assistant to every Android phone, 6.0 and up, for U.S. users.  The voice assistant feature was previously confined to the Google Pixel phones and Google’s smart speaker Home. Google says the gradual roll out will take weeks and will replace the existing “OK Google” voice command features on many Android phones.

What Brands Need To Do
This roll out will no doubt get Google Assistant into the hands of more mobile users and further familiarize mainstream consumers with the rising AI-powered conversational services. With Alexa dominating the IoT devices at this year’s CES and more and more brands embracing virtual assistants and chatbots to improve customer service, brands need to start developing a conversational strategy to figure out how conversational interfaces may improve your customer experience.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The “Miller Time” Alexa Skill we developed with Drizly for MillerCoors Lite is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Ars Technica

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Google Taps NBA For Original VR Show, Debuts Its First VR Series

February 24, 2017 By Lab Team

What Happened
Google is coming out with more VR content initiatives as it continues to build out its content offering on its Daydream VR platform. Last week, the company announced it is working the NBA to launch a virtual reality app for Daydream. The main content that this new VR app serves will be an original talk show series called House of Legends featuring former NBA players. Additionally, Google also debuted its first episode of its VR series created in-house. Dubbed Google Immerse VR, the series set to leverage the empathizing power of virtual reality to explore the nuances of race, diversity, and identity.

What Brands Need To Do
As Google continues to build out Daydream’s content library to attract VR content creators and consumers to its VR platform, brands can also leverage this initiative to make their VR content stand out on Daydream VR. A month ago, Google opened up Daydream to allow all developers to create and publish Daydream VR apps via the Play Store, giving brands a way in to get on the platform. Early-adopting brands, such as Marriott and Mountain Dew, have been leveraging VR and 360-degree content to offer customers a powerfully immersive experience, and more brands can benefit from exploring this emerging medium to keep consumers engaged and entertained.

How We Can Help
Our dedicated team of VR experts is here to guide marketers through the distribution landscape. We work closely with brands to develop sustainable VR content strategies to promote branded VR and 360 video content across various apps and platforms. With our proprietary technology stack powered by a combination of best-in-class VR partners and backed by the media fire-power of IPG Mediabrands, we offer customized solutions for distributing and measuring branded VR content that truly enhance brand messaging and contribute to the campaign objectives.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Lab can help you tap into the immersive power of VR content to engage with customers, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Engadget & The Verge

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How Hyatt Leverages Snapchat Spectacles For Branded Content From Employee POVs

February 24, 2017 By Lab Team

What Happened
Hyatt becomes the latest brand to embrace Spectacles, the camera-equipped connected sunglasses from Snap Inc., for creating marketing content. As part of its global campaign “World of Hyatt,” the international hotel chain has given away eight pairs of Spectacles to employees at different hotel locations around the world to produce branded video content from their unique POVs. The content they produce will be shared internally as well on Hyatt’s social media channels selectively.

What Brands Need To Do
Previously, Toyota and L’Oreal have also tapped Spectacles to produce branded content. Hyatt’s approach differs from those two brands, which both handed the Spectacles over to social influencers at their respective events, in that it has a broader, international perspective and focuses on capturing the normal, day-to-day happenings at Hyatt properties around the world. Spectacles are great at capturing the kind of candid, off-the-cuff moments, in a circular format that is especially suited for Snapchat but can also be posted to other social channels. Brands wishing to add more authenticity to their branded content and enrich their Snapchat video content should consider using Spectacles.  

Beyond content creation, the popularization of Spectacles also signals that we are approaching an age where cameras are increasingly becoming one of the primary input sources of our digital life. Beyond Snapchat, Mastercard is now allowing app users in Europe to authenticate their payments with a selfie, and the Hawaii Tourism Authority recently launched a digital campaign that uses facial recognition technology to create personalized travel recommendations and offer tailored travel packages. As these examples indicate, the surging prominence of visual input is set to bring a new set of opportunities and challenges that brands will need to learn to navigate in order to adapt to the shifting consumer behaviors.

 


Source: Business Wire

Header image courtesy of Hyatt’s YouTube

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