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September 08 2011

10 Free Mobile Apps to Kick Off the Football Season

football image

It seems odd to turn on the TV and already see large, heavily-padded men running around a well-manicured field with pigskin, but NFL opening day is already upon us. It’s hard to believe that the summer has passed so quickly and we’ll soon we watching football games with autumn chill in the air and hot chili on the stove.

The 2011-2012 football season, like every other, will be rife with excitement, drama and some damn good plays. In preparation for what’s sure to be another great five months of pro football, the following 10 mobile apps will keep you informed and prepared to savor everything the upcoming season has to offer.


1. Yahoo Fantasy Football




Ah, Fantasy Football. The relentless (and time sucking) hobby of many who aim to create the ultimate roster of players. There are a couple of Fantasy Football leagues out there, but Yahoo’s is one of the most popular. This mobile app provides live scoring, roster management and the ability to add and drop players with a few clicks. Also available on Android.


2. ESPN Score Center




ESPN Score Center is an easy, go-to resource to get immediate access to scores in real-time from the NFL and any other league that tickles your fancy. You can personalize which teams you’d like to receive push scoring alerts on and keep track of breaking news and analysis. Also available on Android.


3. NFL Mobile




NFL Mobile provides iPhone-toting Verizon users with any and every NFL detail at their fingertips. This app offers live audio of every game, real-time stats and network coverage of the live Thursday and Sunday night games. NFL Mobile will also provide comprehensive draft coverage and alert users to when their prospects are selected. Also available on Android.

Note: NFL Mobile is only available to Verizon customers.


4. NFL Message Boards Huddle Up




You have plenty of opinions on the way your team is playing, but what are other fans thinking? This app gives you the opportunity to read up on more than 100 NFL message boards and see what kinds of predictions people are making for the season. The app even includes Twitter feeds from major national media and fantasy news outlets so you have full visibility on real-time comments.


5. NFL '11




NFL ’11 is the official app of the league and gives you a full schedule of upcoming games and up-to-date developments of any team you want to follow. You can preview all teams’ news or you can filter specific teams you are interested in. It also gives you full pre-season and regular season game schedules for every team in the league. Also available on Android.


6. Air Horn




There’s no mistaking the blaring call of an air horn. This app simulates the sound pretty well, allowing you to cheer even louder when your team scores the winning touchdown. Just don’t hold the phone too close to anyone’s ear. Also available on Android.


7. Super Bowl Winners




It seems the entire season builds up to the Super Bowl. As huge as it is, can you really remember who won last year or the year before? How quickly we forget. For a quick and simple guide on past winners, check out the Super Bowl Winners app.


8. Sports Venue Finder




If you’re getting tickets at a stadium you’re not familiar with, Sports Venue Finder is a simple app that lays out the seating map for many venues and stadiums in the country. There aren’t any super cool graphics, but a visual map of the section layout can be helpful when you’re trying to figure out which section to buy or to find out where you’re sitting.


9. Tailgating




Gearing up for the big game is so much better when you’ve got your tailgate on. Nothing says football more than an outdoor grill, a well-stocked cooler and lots of excited football fans nearby. This app provides you with a checklist of everything you need to have a successful tailgating party. There are predetermined lists of things you need and it also provides suggestions on what food you should bring.


10. Kluckr




If tailgating is too ambitious for you, use Kluckr to keep things easy and find the nearest chicken wings locale. This handy app is great to have, in season or out, and uses GPS to find the closest restaurant selling wings. There are categories you can sort by (atmosphere, heat, value, distance), as well as user ratings. The Kluckr database currently has about 20,000 locations and is continually growing.

Image courtesy of Flickr, MandaRose

More About: apps, football, Mobile 2.0, mobile apps, sports

For more Mobile coverage:


How One Mobile Startup Plans to Connect Music & Location


The Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Series is supported by Diet Coke®. Now, the drink that helps you stay extraordinary brings you extraordinary people. Find Diet Coke® on Facebook for access to a whole lot of extraordinary.

As any music lover can tell you, tunes and location are often tied closely together — every landscape has its own musical mood. For the last six months or so, renaissance man Steve Jang has been tapping into the location-based craze, allowing any music fan with a phone and an inclination to share their musical journeys with SoundTracking.

For those still stuck in the dark ages — you know, sharing filtered snaps and pics of your food — SoundTracking is an iOS app that allows users to share songs (either via search, music recognition or what’s playing on one’s iTunes) with location and a photo attached.

Mashable spoke with Jang about how the app came to be, his inspiration and his myriad stitches — none of which were inflicted in the line of entrepreneurial duty.

Name: Steve Jang

Company: Schematic Labs

Year Founded: 2010

Fun Facts: I co-produced music videos for The Strokes and J Dilla, and have produced DJ battles and showcases for more than 10 years. I’ve been a skateboarder and surfer for more than 20 years and have had more than 150 stitches and 20 staples in my body. I learned how to program in PASCAL in 1987.

What inspires you?

I find a ton of inspiration in industrial design. I’ve always been fascinated with the emotional power of a great industrial design. I can tell you what my first Sony Walkman, my first surfboard, my Braun shaver, and my first iPod not only looked like, but how they felt in my hands for the first time and what kind of emotions I experienced as I used these imaginative, simple and man-made objects. For example, I collect vintage radios and recently refurbished a 1958 Clairtone wood stereo console, and it was that work that actually influenced some of the UI elements of the SoundTracking app.

What is your vision of success?

When I visualize success for our company, I see us working together, designing and building great products that make a lot of people very happy, including ourselves. I’ve seen teams of really smart, talented people get steered into building products that they don’t enjoy themselves and I think it’s important to not only enjoy what you do, but also love the product itself for what it does. For our first product, the SoundTracking app, we’re really excited about giving people a powerful and authentic emotional experience using their mobile phone, around sharing the music that moves them and connecting with the world via the songs and artists they love. If we can accomplish that, then we’ve done something really cool.

What about your startup idea was game-changing?

My co-founder and I started the company because we were excited about creating new social experiences using the mobile form factor, sensors and social software. With regard to SoundTracking, I think the innovative thing we did was to rethink, from the ground up, how to build a social music service designed specifically for mobile devices and combining pre-existing technology and features to do so. We combined search, music recognition, geo-location and photo capture to create a totally new way to share your music moments in the familiar form of a playable music postcard. We have some other mobile product ideas beyond music that we are excited about as well.

What was the pivotal point in your early startup days?

We’re still in our early days, since we just launched six months ago, but I can think of two moments that really stand out. The day Matt Paul (my co-founder) and I had built the first functional prototype on an iPhone was an important day. When your first prototype performs that one basic function and you say “it f**king works!!!”, that is the most pivotal point in the early days of a startup. The second point was when we hit 250,000 users after just six weeks — it was clear that we had struck a nerve with our app idea and dropped all other prototype ideas.

What was the biggest challenge you faced with your startup?

I think the biggest challenge is always prioritizing the different steps you feel are all absolutely essential to building out your vision. It’s funny because everything seems crucially important when you’re looking ahead from step one in a young startup. Paradoxically, you have to be both wildly ambitious and steadily patient to a certain extent as you try to design, build and ship, often at the tip of an extremely huge iceberg of awesome and totally amazing things you’d like to build.

What are the biggest influences on your business model?

I think we’re squarely in the quadrant of products that are simply just trying to build a great service that people understand, love and use frequently. From a historical perspective, I think there are a lot of great learnings from the Google model. They built a singularly great search engine and developed a business model that allowed them to efficiently connect companies that provide products or services relevant to what people were actually searching for. It was not an obtrusive way of creating a business model, rather it was actually additive in terms of the quality of user experience.

We’d like to figure out a similar way of creating a business model that generates revenue in a way that our user community actually appreciates. In these early days, we have begun testing in-app payments in the form of a song purchase button at the peak of excitement when a user views a soundtrack post they love. We’re seeing 10% conversion after someone taps that buy-a-download button, which is promising but still just early data.

How did your social network of peers influence your business?

It’s been super helpful to have a group of product-knowledgeable and articulate peers to rap with about your vision and question your assumptions and ideas. For SoundTracking, we stand in a Venn diagram of mobile, social software and music, so I make sure to include friends from those fields in our beta test group and advisor list. I’m also an advisor and early investor/shareholder to some great startups developing mobile products, such as StackMob, Animoto, StumbleUpon and Uber, so I learn a great deal from those entrepreneurs as well.

How does your startup utilize social media?

For us, social media is not only important in terms of the typical word-of-mouth and user feedback benefits, but also for measuring actual user behavior data beyond the SoundTracking app’s boundaries. One of the popular uses of SoundTracking is to share your music moments and opinions of songs to friends on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. We can see how they share these posts into their feeds, how their friends and followers react, and the traffic flow between our services. Currently, we are seeing great reach for SoundTracking on those three services, with more than 8 million daily impressions posted, and then we can compare that to the amount of measurable activity data that is happening within that social media platform and within our own service.

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?

Try to work with people that are extremely smart, talented and ambitious. If they are missing any of those three attributes, it will show immediately in a startup. If they have all three, they will make a huge, positive impact on not only product execution, but also your startup’s vision. And absolutely don’t BS yourself — make sure you work on a product that you truly love, not that you just kind of like and think “makes a lot of sense.” Think of it as a long journey in a small boat with a few people across a wild ocean. You want to make sure you have the best sea-mates you can depend upon and a destination that is worth the fun, but tumultuous journey.


Series Supported by Diet Coke®

The Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Series is supported by Diet Coke®. Now, the drink that helps you stay extraordinary brings you extraordinary people. Find Diet Coke® on Facebook for access to a whole lot of extraordinary.

More About: Extraordinary Entrepreneurs Series, Mobile 2.0, music, soundtracking

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September 07 2011

How and Why Consumers Choose a Smartphone


The Consumer Trends Series is supported by CBS Interactive, which helps you find the perfect audience with a network of #1 sites like CNET, CBS.com, CBS Sports and GameSpot. For more, visit CBSInteractive.com/ideal.

It’s no secret that smartphone usage and adoption is exploding, not only in the United States, but across the world.

Mobile phones continue to be one of the biggest drivers for innovation in technology. Moreover, technology like NFC and mobile apps are fundamentally changing the way content is distributed, consumed and created.

In fact, the market has finally evolved beyond the point of whether or not a consumer will buy a smartphone. Instead, the question becomes, why do consumers choose one phone over another and how are they making those decisions? Research firm Mintel released a report that takes a high-level look at the various factors that influence smartphone adoption and consumer purchases.


Most Upgrade-Worthy Features


Mintel puts adult smartphone consumers into two categories: Smartphone upgraders and replacement buyers. Because smartphones cost roughly four times as much as feature phones, users that upgrade to a smartphone are having a big impact on the mobile phone sales market as a whole.

What differentiates the mobile phone market from other consumer electronics and personal computer segments, however, is the speed at which users replace these devices. In Mintel’s consumer survey, 24% of respondents who own a mobile phone say they replace their phone at least every other year.

So what features drive users to upgrade their device?

  • 4G — It’s hard to overstate the promise and potential of 4G. While blanket network adoption is still a few years away, 4G is already proving to be an alluring opportunity, especially for smartphone users in major cities. According to Mintel, 16% of cellphone owners said that the next phone they purchase will support 4G.
  • Video Calling — Video calling might finally go mainstream, thanks to the smartphone. While 15% of Mintel respondents said that they were interested in making video calls, only 10% said they would change phones to get that feature. Fortunately, front-facing cameras have become the de facto smartphone standard, and services like Skype are expanding their slate of supported devices.
  • Large Screens — Bucking the trend of nano-sized electronics, smartphone screens keep getting bigger and bigger. In fact, 27% of Mintel respondents wished their phone screens were larger. The 4″ smartphone screen is quickly becoming standard — and case leaks suggest that Apple might even be increasing its screen size with the upcoming iPhone 5.
  • GPSLocation based services like Foursquare might not be fully mainstream, but 52% of smartphone users used their phone’s GPS feature to get directions in the last 30 days.

Where Are Consumers Buying Phones


Now that we know why consumers are buying or upgrading their phones, where are these purchases being made? As with other types of commerce, cellphones are increasingly purchased online. Between 2009 and 2010, the share of phone purchases made via the Internet increased 4.6 points.

The reason that more consumers are turning to the Internet is twofold. First, the best promotions for phones are found online. Rather than trying to barter with the commission phone rep at Costco to get a better plan or phone price, users can just log in to Amazon.com and shop. Second, buying online is a lot more convenient in many cases than waiting to be helped at the local carrier shop.

Still, what’s interesting about the growth trend for online phone sales is that major retail chains like Best Buy and Walmart are also experiencing increased activity on their websites. Carriers themselves are also getting in on the online action.

Google famously tried to launch its Nexus One smartphone without any retail presence. This strategy failed, and with the Nexus S, Google took a more traditional approach to retailing, partnering with Best Buy, as well as offering phones online.


Comparing Brands and Users


Unsurprisingly, Google and Apple are the biggest names in the smartphone space. With Android, Google has leapfrogged the competition in terms of market share, but Apple continues to be the most popular device maker.

When it comes what types of users flock to different platforms, consumers aged 18 to 24 are more likely to own an Android device, whereas consumer 25-34 are more likely to own an iPhone. Consumer over 35 are more likely to own a BlackBerry. When it comes to desire, however, nearly every age bracket most desired an iPhone. The one exception? Consumers 55 and up. They want Android. The BlackBerry might not be the most desirable phone on the block, but it maintains a big lead in households with at least one child.


Are We Mainstream Yet?


Smartphone adoption is increasing, but there are still some factors that prevent the sector from taking over cellphone ownership as a whole. As we’ve reported in the past, not everyone owns a smartphone.

Older consumers, particularly those in the Baby Boomer generation, are more likely to be uninterested in owning a smartphone. For many individuals, the value add and need just isn’t there. Mintel sees this as a huge opportunity for marketers, and we agree.

Still, as technology becomes more affordable, connectivity becomes more ubiquitous and ownership becomes more expected, smartphone ownership will make its way into the mainstream.


Series Supported by CBS Interactive

The Consumer Trends Series is supported by CBS Interactive, which helps you find the perfect audience with a network of sites starting with CNET, CBS.com, CBS Sports and GameSpot – to name a few. To see how our exclusive content, video and mobile can help you engage with your ideal target, visit CBSInteractive.com/ideal.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, franckreporter

More About: Consumer Trends Series, smartphone

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September 06 2011

You Can Compose Nokia’s New Default Ringtone


Nokia’s instantly recognizable default ringtone has hardly changed since its 1994 release. Now, the mobile giant is ready to make over the simple tune. This time, Nokia wants you to be the composer.

“The tune should be fresh, expressive, original, creative yet distinctively a Nokia Tune,” Nokia says.

Think you can pull it off? In addition to creating the next Nokia anthem, the grand prize winner will receive $10,000. Nokia will also give consolation prizes of $1,000 to five runners-up.

Entries must be submitted by Oct. 2. The five entries with the most public votes, as well as an additional five entries selected by a panel of judges will enter the finals. The judges will choose the grand prize winner.

The new Nokia tune will come in a selection of Nokia devices released in 2012. Nokia expects the selected tune to be available on about 100 million devices.

To participate, head on over to nokiatune.audiodraft.com and create your Nokia-inspired masterpiece or vote for other entries.

More About: contest, Mobile 2.0, Nokia, Nokia tune, ringtone

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:


September 05 2011

Google Engineer Proposes Using Google Maps [PICS]


A woman — armed with a Nexus One and the Google Maps mobile app — recently completed a scavenger hunt in New York City that led to a very special prize: a marriage proposal.

Google software engineer Ari Gilder orchestrated the “ultimate romantic scavenger hunt” for his girlfriend, Faigy, to ask for her hand in marriage.

“On the road to ‘The Big Question,’ I wanted Faigy to visit places around New York City that were filled with memories of our relationship,” Gilder wrote on Google’s blog. “I used My Maps to plan out the route — from the Trader Joe’s we shop at on the Upper West Side, to Magnolia Bakery where we spent part of our first date, to Hudson Bar & Lounge where we enjoyed a night of dancing, to Carnegie Hall where Faigy once surprised me with tickets to a Beethoven concert, all the way to the lighthouse on Roosevelt Island where we went on our second date.”

At each of the six locations, a friend handed Faigy a red rose, took a picture (see gallery below) of her and reminded her to use Google Maps to check in to the venue. When Faigy checked in to a location, a custom app Gilder and fellow Google engineers built asked Faigy to input a password based on questions the stationed friends asked.

“When Faigy entered the password, the app would automatically initiate walking navigation to the next location,” Gilder said. “When she got to the checkered pin that marked her last destination, her seventh and final rose also came with a question — but this one was from me, and it wasn’t any ordinary question. I’ll leave it to you to guess what her answer was!”

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Geekiest Marriage Proposals

This is by no means the first time someone has used technology to propose: In January, a Cincinnati man used Groupon to get engaged. Last fall in San Francisco, a man leveraged Twitter, Foursquare and live streaming mobile service Qik to propose. Other people also have used social media outlets — a tweet on Twitter, a checkin on Foursquare and Google’s Street View — to put a ring on it.


"Faigy & Ari's Engagement Route"





Faigy at Carnegie Hall





Nexus One





Google Maps Mobile





Time to Propose




Images from Google Blog

More About: Google, Google Maps, location-based, Mobile 2.0, Nexus

For more Tech & Gadgets coverage:


September 03 2011

39 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed


Summer may be lazing into fall, but we’re just ramping it up! Brought to Mashable readers exclusively, we bring you the weekly roundup.

This week seems to have a peculiar culinary theme, so we’re going with the flow. Two of our editorial picks involve browser cookies and Facebook tips for restaurants. Now that you’ve got the munchies, fix yourself a plate and kick back this weekend with our favorite features.


Editors’ Picks



Social Media


5 Android Apps to Turn Your Phone Into a Mobile Document Scanner


This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

Even if you’ve done everything you can to banish paper from your office, those little white sheets can still creep up on you.

You’ll want to digitize those crinkly analog fugitives post haste, but you may not be keen on splurging for a scanner — especially when you’re only taming the occasional receipt or intake form.

The solution — wait for it — could be in the palm of your hand. Your Android smartphone has all the photographic and processing power you’ll need to snap up those docs and get them into the cloud where they belong.

Here are a few mobile document scanning solutions we put through their paces.


1. CamScanner




CamScanner is a breeze to use, and you can test out the free version via the Market link above. Snap a photo of your document and pull up the cropping tool. The app will auto-detect the edges of the paper, but the slick drag-and-snap guides will help you fine tune the dimensions.

The processing enhancements are smart, and will compensate for low light and bad focus reasonably well. Though the app generates a cropped and toned image, it will also hang onto the original photo -- handy, in case you accidentally cropped your boss' name off the letterhead.

The app has built-in integration with Google Docs, Box.net and Dropbox, but for the less fancy among you, it's easy to pipe scanned docs straight into email.

The main issue we encountered was with PDF creation. The original image is stored as a JPEG, but the option to convert it to a PDF simply opened the phone's default PDF viewer. The file is viewable, but we found no apparent way to save or share.

The paid version promises to make things easier in this department, but you should see how the free version performs on your device before purchasing.

Price: Free / $4.99 for full license and features


2. Document Scanner




This app scans directly to PDF with ease. The interface couldn't be cleaner, and while the cropping tools aren't as snazzy as CamScanner's, they get the job done.

There are image enhancement features, but in our testing, they weren't as precise as CamScanner's.

Document Scanner also lets you upload directly to Google Docs, DropBox, and Box.net. It even has Evernote integration -- a nice touch. Scan multiple pages in succession and email them to your heart's content.

The trial version will only last you seven days, but that should give you the time to decide if you're ready to throw down four bucks on the real deal.

Price: Free / $3.98 for full version


3. Droid Scan Pro PDF




Droid Scan works similarly to the aforementioned apps with one exception -- it'll send you out to the system camera to grab the image. No big deal -- in reality, the other apps are simply wrapping the native camera with their interface.

Once you're done shooting, Droid Scan picks right back up where you left off and gets down to image processing quickly.

The app has smart edge detection, intuitive (if small) color and contrast controls, and a final menu that lets you select the docs you want to save down as either JPEGs or PDFs (though PDF functionality is only available in the paid version).

Price: Free / $4.99 for PDF functionality


4. Scan to PDF




Scan to PDF scores big on interface simplicity. It's easy to start scanning or adjust the settings right from the first screen.

The app jumps over to the system camera by default (though you can adjust this setting), and offers great image processing and enhancement, even in low light.

The cropping function is intuitive but can be awkward -- rather than dragging and snapping at the corners, you'll have to pull the edges. Occasionally, your fingers will run out of screen or they'll accidentally drag the entire frame away from the edge. However, This quirk is far from a deal breaker, and the excellent gallery viewer more than makes up for it.

The free version of Scan to PDF does it all, but if you like it and use it regularly, you can show the devs a little love with a $.99 upgrade.

Price: Free / $.99 optional purchase for a job well done


5. PDF Scanner




For those looking for the dead-simple option, PDF Scanner is the way to go. This no-frills app cuts right to the quick.

Add pages by hitting scan. The camera viewfinder that appears has no buttons, so you'll have to just tap the screen to focus and snap.

The camera makes use of your phone's flash, which is helpful when scanning in low light. But be sure to frame and focus your image carefully because there's no crop or image enhancement here. Snap away until your document is complete, then email the PDF to its destination.

Regrettably, there's not trial version of this app, but if you're looking for a way to generate PDF scans quickly and easily, have no qualms dropping your coin here.

Price: $1.99


More Small Business Resources From OPEN Forum:


- 15 Keyboard Shortcuts To Enhance Your PC Productivity
- 5 Services For Building Websites On A Budget
- 10 Accessories To Boost Office Morale
- Top 5 Foursquare Mistakes Committed By Small Businesses
- How To Use Social Media For Recruiting

More About: android, business, Mobile 2.0

For more Mobile coverage:


August 27 2011

Touchanote Brings Evernote to Life With NFC Tags [VIDEO]

Mix an edgy consumer NFC idea with $55,000 in prize winnings and the support of Evernote’s fast-growing & well-financed platform, and you might have a soapbox stand tall enough to capture the world’s attention.

This is the position that startup Touchanote finds itself in after winning Evernote’s developer competition.

Founder Hamid Zaidi wowed attendees and judges at the Evernote Trunk Conference with an Android application that stores links to Evernote content on physical NFC tags (see above). Create a link to an Evernote note and slap an NFC tag on any object you’d like. Then, simply touch your device to the tag to open your note.

Touchanote, says Zaidi, who spoke with Mashable in an exclusive post-win interview, proffers a right-here, right-now consumer use case for NFC technology.

Much ado is being made about NFC-enabled payments, but the infrastructure and business adoption required to support payments is likely still two years out, he says. “Meanwhile, millions of lonely NFC phone users out there are excited to use the technology now,” says Zaidi. “We want to be the face for the consumer-driven NFC market.”

Touchanote is like a backup disk for your brain: Evernote serves as the memory bank and NFC markers make for physical placeholders that route you back to important information. Instructions or passwords stored on tags stuck on associated objects make for practical use cases. Tags on photo frames, however, could call up more memories in digital photo form.

The application connects the digital and physical realms in a way that brings Evernote CEO Phil Libin’s vision of a “trusted second brain for all your lifetime memories” to fruition.

Touchanote has received an encouraging post-victory reception. The application launched on the Android store last Thursday and users have already ordered 500 tags — tags are sold in 1, 10 and 25 batches for $3, $10 and $20 respectively.

The startups biggest challenge, says Zaidi, will be to meet demand with enough tags, which are supplied by a third-party manufacturer. He doesn’t seem to the think that the lack of NFC-enabled devices for sale will work against the company.

“This is a tangible market that people have disregarded,” he says, citing a forecast that more than 40 million NFC phones will ship this year. “I think that is a huge and blank canvas.”

More About: evernote, nfc, Touchanote

For more Startups coverage:


Why QR Codes Are Here to Stay [OPINION]


This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.

Hamilton Chan is CEO and founder of Paperlinks. With the free Paperlinks iPhone app, featured previously by Apple as the #1 New & Noteworthy app, consumers can scan and view QR code content with a native app experience. Paperlinks also provides a powerful platform for generating QR codes, hosting content and tracking their performance.

If you raise the subject of QR codes among tech early adopters, you are likely to elicit a passionate response. Some people think QR codes, those scanable black and white squares on everything from billboards to product packaging, are on an unstoppable growth trajectory, while skeptics are quick to dismiss them as a fad.

This reaction is common whenever new technology formats or standards are being decided upon. Pundits want to exhibit their knack for predicting the future and stakeholders (of which I am undeniably one) want to make sure their format wins out. The general public, meanwhile, tends to lay in wait for a particular format to show dominance.

QR codes, in particular, make great fodder for debate because the codes are inherently big and ugly. So far, they have not experienced the same popularity in North America as they have enjoyed abroad, in part because many consumers are still getting used to seeing these codes and figuring out what to do with them.

In my opinion, there is little question that these real-world hyperlinks are increasingly going to be part of our reality and everyday life. Although QR codes won’t be the only technological option for hyperlinking in the real world, I believe they’ll soon be recognized as one of the best-suited options to connect items in the physical world to the Internet.


Why Real World Hyperlinking Is on the Rise


If there is one thing that can be counted on in our technological future, it’s that information will continue to become more widespread, available and relevant. The Internet will expand from a network of computers to a network of everything, with interactivity pre-programmed into nearly every object we use.

There’s no doubt that QR code traction in the U.S. is on the rise. Evidence has been shown in a number of recent market reports, including a study by Mobio Technologies Inc., which reported a 9,840% increase in QR code use for the second quarter of 2011 (compared to the same time last year).

Even a recent annual report from Gartner, a market research firm, puts QR codes on the “slope of enlightenment” when it comes to mainstream adoption of the technology. Further adding to the evidence, comScore reported that in June of this year, more than 14 million Americans scanned a QR code, representing more than 6% of the U.S. mobile population.

It may take some time before we switch to scanning objects for information, but this direct relationship between an object’s online persona and the consumer will ultimately make life easier. Run out of razor blades for your shaver? Scan a real world hyperlink on your can of shaving cream and order more blades.


What Skeptics are Saying


Despite the mounting evidence that QR codes are here to stay, many skeptics still believe this technology is no more than a shiny new marketing tool with no future. These are the three arguments I’ve seen repeatedly:

  • QR Codes are just a transient technology: It’s true that there are many alternatives to QR codes and, as our world increasingly becomes interconnected, there will be a variety of technology options for businesses to choose from. This assumes that one technology will take over the market. It’s more likely that a suite of options will be available to businesses and marketers seeking to leverage the mobile web. Different applications will demand different technologies, and no single hyperlinking technology will be suitable for every marketing application. The main advantages of the QR code are cost, simplicity and ease of implementation. QR codes provide no incremental cost to an agency already printing or selling ads. QR codes, however, deliver greater engagement, quantifiability and potential mobile commerce opportunities. Alternate technology options (such as Near Field Communication chips) are still a ways off from being as widespread and accessible as QR codes.
  • More work with little to no payback: Yes, in order to read a QR code, consumers first need to be able to identify what a QR code is and how it works. They then need to download a QR reader app, if they do not already have one, in order to read the code. Once the code is scanned, however, the potential payback for consumers is vast and limited only by one’s imagination. Whether it’s access to exclusive content, deals, promotions or discounts, companies have a number of options to reward their consumers for scanning.
  • It doesn’t solve consumer problems: There are two types of technological innovations: Those that solve consumer pain points in an existing market and those that provide an entirely new approach toward everyday life. QR codes are a new approach that ultimately simplifies the way mobile users can get information. While it’s just as simple to look up information on the mobile web, savvy businesses are realizing that one of the main benefits of a QR code campaign is to provide their mobile customers with instantaneous access to something that is unique and can’t be accessed in another way.

Conclusion


Whether you are a fan or critic of QR codes, one thing is certain: Real world hyperlinks are here to stay. QR codes are just one of the many linking possibilities, but they are popping up everywhere – across all verticals and businesses of all sizes. The popularity of QR codes will continue to gain momentum. Moving forward, the catalyst for their success will ultimately lie in the creative ways they are implemented.

Marketers have the ability to reach their mobile customer base in a way that wasn’t possible before. They need to reward consumers for helping blaze this new trail. The results will be captivating.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, youngvet

More About: business, Mobile 2.0, Opinion, qr, qr code, Tech

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August 26 2011

Hurricane Irene: How Mobile Carriers Are Preparing Themselves — and You

mobile phones

As the East Coast prepares for a battering from Hurricane Irene, mobile carriers are staying on their toes to keep their networks operating.

As of Friday afternoon, there have been no reports of systems affected by the storm on the East Coast. However, Wednesday’s earthquake in Virginia showed how networks can go down due to an influx of calls, even when systems are not damaged.

The carriers all offer tips to minimize your disconnection during the storm: Be sure to fully charge your phone before the storm hits. Store your phone and other electronics in a dry place. Text messages are more likely to go through than voice calls. Call through an internet supported service like Skype when possible. Email and social networks may be an easier way to stay connected.

While you’re following that advice, here’s how the four main providers are gearing up for the storm themselves:

AT&T:

  • AT&T FamilyMap and AT&T Navigator can be used to provide evacuation routes and track family members’ mobile devices in case of separation.
  • Capacity is added to wireless networks to accommodate increased volume.
  • Backup generators are stored in safe locations for immediate use following the storm.

Sprint:

  • Portable generators are prepared near network towers and switches.
  • Resources are waiting outside of Washington, D.C. to aid first responders and public safety officials.
  • 25,000 fully charged Sprint and Nextel Direct Connect phones are available for rent during disaster events.

T-Mobile:

  • Portable, fueled backup generators are ready to be deployed.
  • Engineers are on-call with repair equipment along the seaboard.
  • Cells-On-Wheels are prepared to provide wireless connections in the worst hit areas.

Verizon:

  • Central network offices have backup generators to ensure land lines operate when power goes out.
  • Trucks and emergency equipment is being removed from low lying areas.
  • Emergency relief kits are prepared to ease power restoration.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, HelleM

More About: cell carriers, Hurricane Irene, Mobile 2.0, verizon

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July 19 2011

HOW TO: Launch a Mobile Campaign for Non-Profits

mobile giving

Text message campaigns are fundraising miracles. They allow almost any cellphone user to instantly turn his or her support into a donation.

These paper-free, link-free, check-free campaigns rid the donation process of several steps that may dissuade donors from giving. If you’re a small non-profit, a mobile campaign could be your dream come true. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to navigate the mobile-giving world.

We spoke with Jenifer Snyder, Executive Director of The mGive Foundation, an organization which claims to oversee 85% of all mobile giving campaigns, and rounded up some essential tips for non-profits hoping to start their own text-based initiatives.


1. Know The Rules


The mGive Foundation has some pretty rigorous standards in order to approve organizations. Among the eligibility requirements, organizations must have 501(c)(3) non-profit status, file a form 990 demonstrating an annual budget of at least $500,000, have been in operation for at least a year and report all of its expenses to the public.

But what if you don’t have a half a million dollar annual budget, or can’t afford mGive’s $499 monthly fee? There are now solutions for smaller non-profits with shorter histories. MobiPledge is designed specifically for small non-profits, for example.

Another option is to start a text-to-commit program using a text marketing service like Momares. While it doesn’t offer the benefits of direct donations attached to constituents’ phone bills, it is a way for smaller non-profits to create fundraising opportunities through mobile.


2. Build Your Foundation


Successful mobile campaigns can do much more than just text subscribers and ask for money. Before you can think about fundraising, you need phone numbers. Use all of your existing platforms to ask your community for their phone numbers. If you already have a strong database, great; but you should always be thinking about new ways to gather this information. Think about asking through direct mailings or via your social media accounts. Add a widget to your blog or website where your community can opt in to mobile alerts.

Once you’ve collected a large group of phone numbers and organized your lists, you are ready to kick off your campaign.


3. Engage


Further develop a relationship with your subscribers. Don’t send an immediate request for money without first explaining your organization and your mission. You can start by appealing to your subscribers emotions and latch on to the things they’re already thinking about (like a special event or holiday).

Tennyson Center for Children, a Denver-based non-profit for at-risk teens, ran one of Snyder’s favorite campaigns. After building a list of numbers, they sent a text on Valentine’s Day saying “Happy Valentines Day! Our Hearts are with you and you have all of our Hearts.” Later that month, they asked for a $10 gift. Tennyson Center for Children increased their annual budget by 8.7% after integrating mobile into their organizations’ infrastructure.


4. Think Big


Big events with big audiences are the best opportunity to solicit text message donations. Because text campaigns seek micro-donations, the moment your non-profit has its largest captive audience is best time to launch a campaign.

One of the first successful instances of a text donation campaign was during the 2008 Superbowl, when United Way asked for a $5 donation via text message to help prevent child obesity. Since then, mobile giving has been integrated into other major events, like the New York Center for Autism’s Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education in partnership with Comedy Central. For example, when actors Olivia Munn and Will Forte came onstage in the same dress, audience members could vote for best dressed. There was also an ongoing poll as to which type of milkshake — chocolate, strawberry or vanilla — should be poured on John Hodgman’s head. Each text response made a $10 donation to the autism center. By the end of the night, the event raised $130,000 just from those texts.

Don’t worry if you lack the scale of the United Way (and the budget to buy a Superbowl commercial) or the celebrity connections of the New York Center for Autism. There are ample opportunities non-profits with fewer resources to capitalize on crowds — high school sports games, county or town fairs, and fundraising galas are ideal times to recruit excited donors.


5. Think Outside The Box


Mobile campaigns can do much more than just solicit donations. Mobile is a great channel to find volunteers for specific events or inform people about a rally. Organizations can also text bit.ly links to more information about their programs and where their work is being done.


6. Don’t Oversaturate


One of the biggest challenges in today’s market is the risk of oversaturation. While we might ignore emails in our inbox, text messages generally have a better conversion rate. Snyder claims that 85% of text messages are read within 15 minutes of being received. This means that there is a higher chance your audience will read text messages you send their way.

Snyder warns her clients to strike a balance between engagement and oversaturation. The worst thing that could happen after you’ve acquired mobile subscribers is to drive them to unsubscribe. This can happen if your messages become overwhelming and unwanted.

Try to limit donation inquiries to once a month, followed by a message of appreciation to those who donated. Beyond that, only send one additional message each month, such as acknowledging a relevant holiday or event at your organization.


7. Know the Limitations


Mobile campaigns are usually simple, but that can be a mixed blessing. The no-fuss nature of mobile communication means it can be more difficult to collect additional information about individual donors. Most mobile campaigns also don’t allow donors to select how much they want to give. While this sets a minimum (usually $5 or $10) for donations, it also limits larger donations, unless users want to text you 100 times.

We’ve weighed the pros and the cons and offered some tips, but we’d love to hear your thoughts on mobile giving campaigns. What are your own success stories? How has mobile made a difference in your organization? Let us know in the comments below.


Image courtesy of iStockPhoto,Uros78, via Flickr, kurichan*

More About: charity, how to, Mobile 2.0, non-profit, SMS donation, social good, text message donation campaign, text-to-donate

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Alfred the iPhone Robot Tells You Where To Eat, Drink & Be Merry


Your mobile phone can do just about anything. Now, your iPhone, with a little help from a robot named Alfred, may finally help you answer questions such as “Where should I eat?” and “What should I do?”

Alfred the robot is a Knight Rider-inspired character who lives inside the just-released iPhone application of the same name from startup Clever Sense. Teach him a little bit about your tastes, and he acts as an omniscient being who recommends — with confidence — nearby bars, restaurants, coffee shops and night clubs that you might like.

“Wherever you go, you need other entities who know you, who know your taste and who can actually provide you with highly curated personalized recommendations, just like a friend would do,” says Clever Sense co-founder Babak Pahlavan.

“What if users had these AI elements, elements that could actually learn about the places that you like for different purposes and then have them do the work for you?,” he adds. This is Alfred, says Pahlavan, which he describes as a Pandora for the real world.

Clever Sense, founded in 2008, spent more than two years building an artificial intelligence engine that can trawl the web for place data, as well as understand and describe places the way humans would. The end result is an interest graph for places that powers Alfred’s brain.

“On average,” Pahlavan says, “for every single place in our system, we have 200 to 400 attributes already discovered, based on how people talk about them.”

For the iPhone user who turns to Alfred to discover a new place to eat, Clever Sense’s artificial intelligence engine almost guarantees several solid suggestions.

During a demonstration of the application, after telling Alfred a few places I already enjoy, he was then able to make spot-on recommendations as to where I should I grab my next drink, coffee, lunch or date night dinner.

Alfred knows the context of your situation, including time of the day and location. He can also tell you what’s good and what you’ll want to avoid — information he gleans from reading through all the available Yelp reviews and plucking out the most pertinent details — at each venue.

“It’s like having a trusted personal robot at your disposal,” Pahlavan says.

Eventually, Alfred will work with your Foursquare checkin history for more fine-tuned place recommendations, as well as work across even more verticals — hotels, spas, wine, hair salons and so forth. Then, Alfred will even start suggesting targeted daily deals, predicting deals that you may actually want.

Mountain View-based Clever Sense, a startup that focuses on combining artificial intelligence and machine learning for its “serendipity engine,” has raised $1.6 million in Angel funding.

More About: Alfred, artificial intelligence, Clever Sense, iphone app, machine learning, Seymour, startup

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4 Ways In-App Purchasing Will Change Mobile


The Mobile App Trends Series is supported by Sourcebits, a leading product developer for mobile platforms. Sourcebits offers design and development services for iOS, Android, Mobile and Web platforms. Follow Sourcebits on Twitter for recent news and updates.

Over the last few years, in-app purchases have become an increasingly common way for mobile app developers to enhance their mobile products and services.

Most prominently available for iPhone and Android, in-app purchases often seen as an alternative to the rising trend of in-app advertisements.

For many mobile developers and users, in-app purchases — and micro-transactions in general — are going to change mobile. We’ve highlighted some of those changes and offered up some examples already in the marketplace.


1. New Business Models


One of the most exciting aspect of in-app purchase features are the additional income streams or even alternative business models that app developers can derive from the feature.

As an example, iOS developer Smule first released Magic Piano for iPad as a paid app.

A year later, when the company released a version for the iPhone, the app itself was free, along with a few songs. Each Wednesday, additional songs are released, from popular artists like Lady Gaga, Jason Mraz and Britney Spears, that users can purchase using a type of custom currency known as Smoola.

Smoolas are sold in packs starting at $1.99 for 160 Smoolas and tracks range between 25 and 75 Smoolas each.

This type of secondary currency has already proved successful for game makers like Zynga on social web platforms. On the mobile side, one of the highest grossing games for iOS is Capcom’s Smurfs Village, despite the fact that the game itself is free.


2. Easy Access to Additional Content


Perhaps the most frequent use of in-app purchase is in adding additional content to existing applications. We frequently see this in games, where additional level packs can be added to a game and purchased by the consumer after the fact.

The net effect is that the game or app maker doesn’t need to release a brand new app just to add new levels. Plus, users get access to fresh content, prolonging the value of a game or app.

PlayFirst, Inc.’s Dash series of games for iOS takes advantage of the in-app purchase feature to add additional levels and scenarios to its games. Titles like Cooking Dash [iTunes link] sell for $2.99 and additional venues (consisting of 10 levels) sell for $0.99. These venues are added over time and keep users coming back to the game.


3. Offering Add-on Services and Features


Another frequent use of in-app purchase is the add-on services or features model. Similar to the additional content model, users can “unlock” or gain access to additional features in an app by way of in-app purchase.

This can be anything from some additional features or tools — say the ability to backup to Dropbox or better push notifications — and updates can also remove in-app annoyances, like advertising.

An “ad-free” option is frequently used by app developers that want to offer users a full-featured app experience, but still want to give users the ability to choose to opt out of advertisements, for a price.

The Iconfactory’s popular Twitterrific Twitter client for iOS uses both methods. The app itself is free and works with one Twitter account and has limited advertisements. For $4.99, users can purchase the premium version within the app which removes ads and and gives users the ability to use more than one Twitter account.

This is a great way for users to sample an app and then, if they find they need more advanced features, make the decision to enhance it using in-app purchase. Unlike the “lite” model sometimes employed by app makers, adding features and add-on services via in-app purchase doesn’t require the user to download yet another app and re-enter their settings.


4. Selling Physical Goods


Of course, mobile in-app purchase doesn’t have to be limited to digital goods. Physical purchases can be made using a mobile app, too.

Sure, traditional e-commerce sites like Amazon, NewEgg and Target all have in-app purchasing for physical items, but what about smaller developers who might only have a few items available?

The iPhone app Lifelapse is designed to take an image from your phone every 30 seconds, creating a time lapse-like effect of your entire day. The company also sells a companion physical case, called the Lifepouch to better aid Lifelapsers in capturing their images and events.

To facilitate sales of the Lifepouch within the app itself, the developers found a way to integrate their existing Shopify store into the app.

Lifelapse says that 20% of Lifepouch sales come from within the in-app store, which shows how powerful it can be. The company also blogged abut how it went about integrating the shop into their app and even provided the code on Github.


Your Thoughts


App developer and users, let us know how you are using in-app purchases. Do you find value in the model and what are the best practices you have discovered for gaining sales? Let us know in the comments.


Series Supported by Sourcebits

The Mobile App Trends Series is sponsored by Sourcebits, a leading developer of applications and games for all major mobile platforms. Sourcebits has engineered over 200 apps to date, with plenty more to come. Sourcebits offers design and development services for iPhone, Android and more. Please feel free to get in touch with us to find out how we can help your app stand apart in a crowded marketplace. Follow Sourcebits on Twitter and Facebook for recent news and updates.


More Mobile Resources from Mashable:


- 5 Innovative Mobile Marketing Campaigns to Learn From
- Native App vs. Web App: Which Is Better for Mobile Commerce?
- The 3 Most Effective Approaches to In-App Advertising
- 5 Mobile App Trends You Can’t Ignore
- How HTML5 Is Aiding in Cross-Platform Development

More About: in-app purchases, Mobile 2.0, Mobile App Trends Series

For more Mobile coverage:


Nokia Sea Ray Running Windows Phone 7 Caught on Video


Nokia’s first Windows Phone 7 handset, codenamed Sea Ray, was captured in a in a minute-and-a-half long video running Microsoft’s mobile operating system.

Nokia still has a long, hard road ahead before it actually releases a WP7 device, but it’s making progress, perhaps even faster than expected given this new video.

The video, unearthed by wpcentral, apparently leaked from a factory in Hong Kong or China. It depicts Nokia’s smartphone (which, contrary to initial reports, does sport physical buttons) as it goes through several WP7 menus, followed by a very short glimpse at the phone’s camera operation.

A very similar-looking device was shown in June at a presentation by Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. That video shows us quite a bit more of the phone’s features and functions, but this latest one gives the entire thing a more realistic feeling.

Check out the video below and tell us what you think in the comments.

More About: microsoft, Nokia, Sea Ray, windows phone 7

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What Happens When Your Phone Is Lost Or Stolen [INFOGRAPHIC]

If you’ve ever lost a phone or had your mobile device stolen, you probably have a better understanding than most of the costs and vulnerabilities involved.

Your contacts, your login credentials, perhaps even your banking data is “out there,” and it’s up to you to try to lock it down or get it back. But the fact of the matter is, most of us are pretty lax about mobile security until something bad happens.

Take a look at this data — all about how and where mobile devices are lost and stolen and what happens to them afterward — from mobile security company Lookout.


[source: MyLookout blog]

Top image courtesy of iStockphoto, ms_seal

More About: infographic, lost phone, Mobile 2.0, mobile security, stolen phone

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July 16 2011

46 New Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed


Get ready for Mashable‘s weekly roundup! This week, we’ve performed original Google+ analysis, prepared you for the Mac OS X Lion release, and pointed you toward the best fictional Twitter accounts. We’ve celebrated startups and mourned space shuttle finales.

So review the list of important resources you may have missed over the past week. Tune in for more great stories and tools coming at you sooner than you can say “Spotify.”


Editors’ Picks



Social Media


For more social media news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s social media channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.


Tech & Mobile


For more tech news and resources, follow Mashable’s tech channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.


Business & Marketing


For more business news and resources, you can follow Mashable’s business channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.


 

Image courtesy of Flickr, webtreats.

More About: business, List, Lists, MARKETING, Mobile 2.0, social media, tech, technology

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The Rise of Mobile In-App Ads [INFOGRAPHIC]


If mobile apps are all the rage, then mobile in-app ads are causing rage.

In one recent example, the popular franchise Angry Birds saw in-app ads added to its HD version, and fans and players were in an uproar over the change.

But like them or not, mobile marketers are turning more attention toward in-app advertising. Right now, in-app ads account for around 5% of mobile ad spending, and that number is only expected to rise over the next few years.

One of the reasons in-app ads are taking off is their effectiveness. In spite of the fact that the majority of 18-34-year-olds actively dislike mobile in-app ads, the majority will also be able to recall those ads at a higher rate than the ads they see while browsing the mobile web.

SEE ALSO: 5 Tips for Better Advertising in Mobile Apps

And for app makers, the ads are a good bet, too. After all, Angry Birds publisher Rovio says that by the end of 2011, it’ll be making $1 million each month from in-app ads on the Android platform alone.

While we’re hoping to see better in-app ads as the ecosystem becomes more sophisticated, it’s interesting to monitor in-app ads in today’s relatively nascent state.

Click to see larger image.

Top image courtesy of iStockphoto, DougSchneiderPhoto

More About: advertising, MARKETING, Mobile 2.0

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July 15 2011

QR Code on Tombstone Creates Dynamic Memorial [PHOTO]


When Yoav Medan’s mother Judith passed away in June, the Israel-based medical technology executive couldn’t decide what he wanted to write on her tombstone. After deliberating with his family, Medan decided to turn to technology for the answer and attach a QR code to the grave in Haifa, Israel.

Scanning the QR code leads visitors to a tribute website that Medan has setup and plans to evolve with stories and photos from his mother’s life. “I [didn’t] know what we wanted to write [on the tombstone] and it will never be everything for everyone. By having something that is dynamic and can extend over time, we can capture it,” he told me this week in an interview at TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Over time, Medan hopes the QR code and memorial site will help create a lasting history of his mother that will live on for generations. “I was most concerned about 20 or 40 years from now, how will she be remembered … [I wanted to put] what’s in our memory into a place that doesn’t forget,” he said.

The QR code itself is a laser engraving, filled with a black paste, and sits behind a piece of glass on the tombstone. “The guy who built the tombstone, he wants to make a business out of it,” said Medan.

He think the idea could catch on based on the feedback he’s been hearing. “People identify with this way of keeping the memory of someone and actually making it dynamic and evolving with time as you remember more,” he said. The QR code-enabled tombstone adds a new twist to the growing number of services we’ve seen emerge that are designed to help us decide what happens to our online identity after we die and create digital tributes to our lost loved ones.

What do you think of this way of remembering your loved ones? Let us know in the comments.

More About: death, Mobile 2.0, QR Codes, TED, ted global

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July 14 2011

Jawbone’s Next Frontier: Improving Your Health


Jawbone, the wireless gadget maker known for its headsets and more recently its speakers, is moving into a new area: health. On Wednesday, the company announced UP, a bracelet that connects to a mobile app to monitor your diet, sleep and exercise and make actionable recommendations.

The company is being coy on the details of the product, which will launch later this year, but Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman sat down with Mashable at TED Global in Edinburgh, Scotland to discuss the vision behind UP.

Rahman notes the opportunity is largely a result of today’s lifestyles, with diseases that we contribute to causing (like diabetes and heart disease) now occurring with more regularity than communicable diseases (at least in the U.S.). The solution, he says, needs to be something that seamlessly integrates into our busy lives. “You have to make it easy. I need something that works in the context of my lifestyle and tells me what to do,” he said.

To that end, the UP bracelet will automatically track your sleep patterns, movements and nutrition and provide that data to an app that in turn monitors and makes recommendations for improving your health. The first version, however, will require you to attach your bracelet to your phone to transfer data.

There will also be some social hooks. “To me this is the killer app for social because if you look at the motivation statistics, we get motivated and demotivated by the people around us,” Rahman said.

From its description, UP appears to be a competitor to devices like the FitBit, though it would seem the device’s form factor — a wristband you put on, wear 24×7 and forget about — as a differentiator. Rahman said, “[I’m] not super familiar with a lot of those products. Our focus [is] how do you get something that someone will always be on and use … not try to replace their watch or change behavior.”

The company will have a big warchest with which to go after the health market. Earlier in the week, Jawbone announced a fresh $70 million round of funding from JP Morgan, bringing the Jawbone’s total funding to $170 million.

Image courtesy of James Duncan Davidson / TED

More About: fitness, health, jawbone, TED, ted global

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Netflix Coming to Nintendo 3DS Thursday


Nintendo 3DS owners will get a free app Thursday that will allow Netflix members to stream movies and TV shows on the device.

Taking advantage of the device’s 3D capabilities, Netflix will also offer an additional library of movies that will be available in 3D.

To be able to use the app, customers will need to have a broadband Internet connection as well as a Netflix-streaming subscription, which starts at $7.99 a month. Parental control settings on the Nintendo 3DS will also work with the Netflix app, and parental control settings for the Netflix account will also apply.

Recently, Netflix sparked controversy by turning its unlimited DVD and unlimited streaming services into two separate plans, which will increase the total price for some users by 60%.

The app should become available in Nintendo’s eShop sometime today.

[via Kotaku]

More About: console, Mobile 2.0, Movies, netflix, Nintendo, nintendo 3ds

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