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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

The QR code is no longer a term that makes the majority of people go, “Say what?”

Now it’s the term that makes people go “You  mean those little barcode thingys… right?”

As a growing digital trend, it’s growth has been much slower than others and has yet to really catch on at a societal level. Brands have yet to realize its potential from an engagement and advertising standpoint.

But the other day, I ran across an ad campaign for different iPhone apps. The blog I found them on dubbed themphygital,” which later research explained as physical to digital engagment. The ads are simple print ads, but they creatively inspire you to pull out your phone, scan the very nontraditional QR code, and download the app.

Ever since the QR code started to become a more well-known tech term in society, I’ve wondered when the concept of using it for advertising was really going to catch on. No one seems to have really mastered it yet, but when someone does, I can only imagine the effects it is going to have on mobile engagement with brands. It will be interesting to see where this idea of “phygital” advertising can take it.

 

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The next era of television is not necessarily all about the television. Or at least live television, that is. It’s online. It’s interactive. And one of these days, chances are it will be entirely social. If the television takes the path that every other form of technology seems to be taking these days, it’s an inevitable result.

How often do you watch live TV?

I don’t that often. When I have a break from school before work or I’m taking a break to watch dinner, I may flip on the TV to fill the silence. It’s not planned, and I watch whatever is available to me. But when it comes to the programs I like to watch on a regular basis, I’ll rarely watch the episodes live. Most of the time they don’t fit into my schedule. Other times I don’t want to watch commercials. And that’s where my DVR and the internet come into play.

Now the DVR is a handy tool, but it has it’s limitations. The fact that if recording two shows you cannot watch any other channel live is a huge one. It is for this reason I also choose to turn to the internet for TV. Online programming is a godsend for when you can’t watch a show or forget to record it. I’ve come to the point where I absolutely rely on the internet to have my shows if I forget to DVR them.

Which brings me to my next question — why would a company that so regularly offers online programming suddenly take it away? ABC has always been a company that has put their programming online in a timely and reliable manner, but this season they have chosen to make the season finale (of all episodes!) unavailable online. This is irritating to customers and is hurting the brand. Especially when they have developed an iPad app dedicated to online viewing, and I, the consumer, have grown accustomed to being able to watch what I want, when I want, in the comfort of my bed.

When will TV go social?

It’s an inevitable fact that social is where television is heading. ABC is already one of the brands leading the way. With the development of their Grey’s Anatomy iPad app, they have left something to be desired for every show.

An app that syncs to the show, gives you extra facts, let’s you answer polls, and prompts you to tweet about what you’re watching — that’s pretty cool. I fell in love with it the first time I used it. It was like magic — I made a comment about liking a song and, Bam!, there was the name and the artist (although I’m sure it was planned and not responding to my voice). With devices like iPhones, iPads, Androids, etc., this is the beginning of social TV. It’s only a question now of — where’s it going to go next?

What do you think?

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Recently I’ve started to wonder what I would do without my iPad. It’s taken over many of my laptop’s functions. I read books on it, watch TV, read magazines, and play games. It functions as a stereo and a planner. The amount of apps in the app store makes the possibilities endless. We truly are entering what I am dubbing the “Tablet Generation.” Welcome to the future.

I’ve added two apps this week that really have changed the way I think about my iPad. So read and listen, and then go download them! 🙂

Time Warner Cable TV

This app makes the money I pay for my cable bill every month that much more worth it. All you need is a Time Warner account and your wi-fi connected through a Time Warner cable modem, and you can stream live cable TV onto your iPad. Although it doesn’t support all the channels that come on your regular TV, they offer all the main channels including ABC, ABC Family, FOX, MTV, and Bravo.

Living with two roommates, sometimes having channel preference on the TV is hard. Now I have a TV in my room whenever my roommates are already watching TV or just don’t want to leave my comfortable bed! This app is free in the App Store.

Cosmopolitan Showcase Edition

This is the first magazine for iPad I have ever downloaded, and I was blown away by the awesome features included in the app. Everything was interactive– only a couple features were static articles. Advertisements were turned into “Cosmo Boulevard” where you are taken down a virtual street and each window encompassed a different advertised product. There were also links to the brands’ site and a button to like the product on Facebook.

One of the coolest interactive features was the fitness page. Each workout technique includes instructions and a video to show you how to perform it. There’s even a place for you to keep track of the amount of sets of each exercise you’ve completed.

This app is available in the app store for $2.99. This is less than the cost of one issue of the magazine, and it will be updated once a month with new content from the latest issue.

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I’ve never been a person to criticize my body or think I’m overweight. But then again, I’ve never been a person to watch what I eat or work out on a regular basis. But recently, with spring break coming up in three weeks (eeeeek!!), I can’t help but look in the mirror and really miss my dancer’s body. When I danced in high school, it was about my senior year that I was probably in the best shape of my life. I was thin and toned and could probably do more stomach crunches then than I could do jumping jacks now.

But, let’s face it. I’m a college student so consumed with school, an internship, and 3 organizations that can barely find time to hit the gym. And when I do find that time, I’m so exhausted I’d rather just take a nap.

My new year’s resolution this year was not to lose weight, but simply to be healthier. The idea was that by being healthier, the slight weight loss would come to. It’s the middle of February, and I’ve finally started to get going.

What I want to do is not only eat healthier, but eat less. No, I don’t mean going anorexic. I mean watching portion sizes and not snacking 5 million times a day. I’m the type of person who loves to eat (what can I say, I’m Italian!), and most of the time I will keep eating until I’ve put myself in a food coma and there’s no more food on the plate in front of me. I also enjoy eating when I’m bored. Chips and salsa are a staple in my apartment.

So I’ve taken on a low-calorie diet, which is helping me realize that I can eat smaller portions and still be fully satisfied at the end of a meal. And helping me do this is my new favorite app, Lose It. It tracks the food you eat and the exercise you get in, and gives you a baseline number of daily calories allotted depending on the amount of weight you want to lose each week. Best part about it is that it is free from the iPhone app store.

Here’s a screen shot of the food log. It’s super simple to read and keep up with all day.

So here’s to resolutions and having them finally kick in a month and a half late!

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