The Apple iTV Experience

Current predictions:

  • Apple will launch a new iOS based device priced at $99
  • The iTV will only have 16Gb of Flash based storage
  • It will mainly stream content from a local computer or the cloud
  • It’s only capable of 720p as opposed to 1080p
  • Apple is negotiating 99 cents rentals, down from $1.99 to $2.99, or even higher for HD. This will also apply for iPhone, iTouch, and iPad content consumption.
  • The device will have a built-in camera, or will be able to connect to one and run FaceTime.
  • iOS will run apps
    Extending on this last point: Apps … brands, marketers, advertisers, or any experience designer, this is the big question … How will they work? Can you run existing apps in the big screen? but if you do, the big screen is not multitouch, damn, it’s not even touch! You will need a special control just to point and click …

So perhaps you can’t run the same apps in the big screen … and you know, maybe it’s better if we don’t … the screen apps are content companions … the main purpose of the TV is not to run apps, but apps are there to extend and amplify the experience of TV content consumption.

Apps could run on sidebars, overlays, show and hide, or a number of different visual options; but in order for them not to be dump widgets — i.e. a weather widget — they will need to be connected, obviously, but also have contextual information of the content you’re watching. Imagine apps that allow friends to chat about content, possibly with FaceTime, but also interact with other friends watching the same show … enable co-watching experiences. Leave timestamped messages into content, or be pre-loaded with metadata about the content and let you explore more info about actors, places, sets, products … even let you click to buy the products you’re watching … The possibilities are endless.


Viral Video Friday - Gillette

The week’s viral video friday goes to Gillette. Released this Monday, has quickly ramped up to 3.3 million views and 100,000 facebook shares. As part of an ad campaign for Gillette, in what was designed to look like an unscripted moment, Roger Federer serves a tennis ball across a room and it knocks a bottle off the top of a film crew member’s head. Then Federer repeats the trick.

Most comments in the Youtube channel argue whether it’s true or fake … no one said anything about Gillette, nor the video really ties into the brand on any way …

Best comment was: “I was pretty sure it was a fake but I analysed it on FC Pro. If you go frame by frame you can clearly see the faint yellow trail of the ball which in the end hits the bottle on the guys head. First I thought he hit the ball wide, left of the guy but you also can see that there are people standing, which made me wanna check it. So I’m very positive that it’s the real thing.”

Really nicely done. btw, Federer is a beast and I really hope he wins the US open again.


Official Facebook Places Video

Check out the official teaser video for Facebook places. What I really love about it is that it maps exactly to SapientNitro’s PoV on the space-time continuum for experience mapping; in layman terms what we believe is that every moment should cross space and time. A moment crosses spacewhen multiple people in different locations can live the same moment .. for example, you share a live video feed, lifecast, share status updates, photos, and your friends all over the world can interact with this content in real time. A moment crosses time when you can geo-tag content and you can interact with the same content any time in the future when you’re in the same location … or if your friends visit the same location, can could see your previous experiences in that place.

Everything we do, we do with a mindset of digital amplification through space and time … and Facebook places is just, exactly, that. This can really be huge.

Why to Check In? by Facebook.


Facebook Places Live

Earlier today Facebook finally announced the official launch of Facebook places. Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, and others covered it live, but if you missed the announcement, here’s what you have to know.

BTW, one thing no one is talking about yet is Places within the Graph API. You can query recent checkins by users, pages, places: GET https://graph.facebook.com/[place/Page/user_id]/checkins

That alone is SO powerful!

Anyways, starting today, you can immediately tell people about that favorite spot with Facebook Places. You can share where you are and the friends you’re with in real time from your mobile device.

Checking In with Friends

Ever gone to a show, only to find out afterward that your friends were there too? With Places, you can discover moments when you and your friends are at the same place at the same time.

You have the option to share your location by “checking in” to that place and letting friends know where you are. You can easily see if any of your friends have also chosen to check in nearby.

To get started, you’ll need the most recent version of the Facebook application for iPhone. You also can access Places from touch.facebook.com if your mobile browser supports HTML 5 and geolocation.

Go to Places on the iPhone application or touch.facebook.com site and then tap the “Check In” button. You’ll see a list of places near you. Choose the place that matches where you are. If it’s not on the list, search for it or add it. After checking in, your check-in will create a story in your friends’ News Feeds and show up in the Recent Activity section on the page for that place.

Places is only available in the United States right now. But we expect to make it available to more countries and on additional mobile platforms soon.

Read More


Coke + Village + Teens + RFID = Influence

This is a smart move on Coke’s end. Everyone knows that Coke mainly targets teens, and what if instead of marketing to teens, you get teens come to you, promote you, share, chat, and advocate your brand? Dream came true …

Coke organized this experimental amazing hangout villa they called The Coca Cola Village. They’ve been doing it for a few years, or at least I found videos from 2008 and 2009.

This year’s was a little different though, an Israeli agency called E-dologic — part of Publicis, extended the event in effort to bring the Facebook “Like” to the real world. Not only they invited thousands of teens who talk about this through traditional word-of-mouth, but they used the Facebook Presence-like concept where they distribute teens a wristband, they link it to their Facebook account, and the village automatically digitalize, archive, organize, and share their experience. It makes it easy to re-live the fun, read the comments, see their friends, share activities, and for Coke? instant-massive-ultra-influencing system that leverages teens to promote Coke’s brand among their circles.

Really nicely done. As expected, Facebook will keep penetrating the real-world. Next efforts will probably use the open graph to describe more precise locations and describe relationships among people, places, and objects.


SapientNitro at SXSW 2011

It always amazed me how SXSW calls for speakers about 11 months in advanced and has to lock down all sessions 6 months in advanced. Of course there could be some timeless sessions that will always make sense, but it’s hard to know how topics will be relevant 9 months from now … With that said, SapientNitro submitted 19 visionary topics that I think will make great sessions; some returning speakers (including Freddie and myself) and some great new speakers.

It’s great to see so much variety of expertise: creative, strategic, business, technology … from SapientNitro, Government Services, Financial Services, and from so many different people like our CCO, Business Lead, Creative Directors, Technology Directors, developers, and even recruiting. Tells a lot about the diversity, multifariousness, mixture of SapientNitro‘s capabilities and expertise.

Please read below and provide feedback or questions on these topics … what else would you like to see us cover? If you like a topic please take the time to follow the link and vote for it to make sure we have the opportunity to share it with you.

Bringing the Love Back to Brands by Gaston Legorburu

Technology has liberated the dialog between brands and customers, sating consumers’ love of sharing, connecting, raving, venting… But in many ways, it’s also driven isolation as we press “skip intro” to proceed to our desired action. In this discussion, Gaston Legorburu, SapientNitro’s worldwide chief creative officer, will explore the unique paradox that technology has introduced to the consumer/brand relationship. From isolation to sharing, technology is driving a massive social revolution. Learn the art of combining design and engineering to create relevant experiences, experiences that transform barely personable brands into “builders of moments.”

Location-Based-Services is so 2010 - Behold Context-Based-Services by Rob Gonda

Defined as using large mashup of data services to enable amazing experiences through mobile devices. What’s not digital nowadays?! Mobile is replacing the pc and becoming that unique personal technology gadget that no one lives without — and with it, comes connectivity, content, productivity, and entertainment. The magic is that mobile links the gap between digital and real world, extending experiences, and more importantly, making is easy, simple, and intuitive. Foursquare and Gowalla gaining momentum, Twitter added Places, Facebook launched their location based service and integrate with the Open Graph, Google “Me” relies on Latitude, location-location-location. But checking-in requires too much effort… Location will evolve from a reactive engagement to a proactive engagement … background services will be always-location aware. Apps will automatically react to actual location, history, friends, places, and a new set of data source mashups such as weather, humidity, light sensitivity, noise ambiance, and more. If you want to get inspired by innovations galore, this is a session you can’t miss.

Found the Crystal Ball - Unveil the Future by Freddie Laker

The world is evolving at an amazing pace and if companies want to keep up they need to evolve too; but evolution is not a simple concept; what are the right choices? where should you invest? what do your customers want, and what are your competitors doing about it? The best VC firms in the world cannot predict the future, but a good understanding for trends, culture and behavioral shifts, technology advancements, brand evolution, micro and macro economics, and having insights on R&D and new product launches. The best brands in the world excel in designing amazing experiences. Loyalty driven through rewards, direct response advertising, and frequency / reach is a concept of the past. Loyalty is a consequence of providing great experiences across any touchpoint with the brand. What if you had a crystal ball that hint you on upcoming trends that will drive and set customer expectations? Good news, we found it!

Read More


Twitter Launching Official Tweet Buttons

Twitter just launched their official Tweet this button — about time … it comes in three versions (110×20, 55×20, 55×63) with five different settings for customization. You can set the URL obviously, the Tweet text default, via @SapientNitro or some user, related, and count box position.

You can embed with an iframe or embed with a JavaScript hosted at Twitter that will style a pre-determined class in a link. Pretty straight forward of course; how much can there really be for a simple Tweet this button.

You can see it server directly from Twitter here.

Step-by-step instructions by Mashable:

Read More