🛒 Smart Shopping Carts, Apples Grand Plan, and Spotifys Marketing Mistake
Never send random USBs to people!
Greetings friends! Here we are in the last few gasps of 2019, ready to meet the new year, and the new decade. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, but I really hope that 2020 heralds a throwback to the clothing styles of the 1920s.
It’s been fun 80’s and 90’s, but it’s time to throw it back to some classy clothes. Eh?
If the 2010 decade was a time of the Smartphone, I believe the 2020 decade will bring us deeper into AI, AR, VR, and the connected smart home.
If you’d have told me back in 2010 that I’d have a smartphone in 2019 with 12 Gigs of ram and 4 cameras, I would have been slightly skeptical. I think we are going to be shocked by what advancements we see in this decade, especially in the realm of AI.
So - let’s get to today’s topics
Smart Shopping Carts - Coming Soon?
You’ve probably heard of the Amazon Go stores, the ones with all the cameras that watch you and what you buy? They’re pretty neat - the idea of not having to wait in line to check out is awesome - but the privacy concerns are there. Will Amazon give me discounts on Avocados because it saw me pick a few and look at them? It’s a good question.
However, there are a few startups trying to apply this idea of convenience to the humble shopping cart. By adding a screen, cameras, sensors, and a weight scale to a shopping cart, they can make shopping trips just as convenient as the Amazon Go stores. It’s also a lot cheaper to make a smart shopping cart for a big store than try and apply the Amazon Go formula.
Take a moment and imagine the following scenario with me. It’s the day before Thanksgiving and you’re trying to get your shopping done for the big feast. You grab a smart shopping cart and make your way through the store, scanning your items as you go. Before you leave the store, you use Apple/Google Pay or a credit card to check out directly from your shopping cart. You skip all the people standing in line and leave.
Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it?
Here’s a quick little video by Caper AI.
Caper AI and Veevee, two of the startups working on this technology, have high hopes for its application in retailers across the nation. Veevee even hopes to send coupons and deals directly to the consumer’s shopping cart. For example, say you’re walking by the avocados. The cart knows that it’s by the avocados, so it offers you a BOGO deal. Boom. You buy some avocados with the coupon that’s floating before your eyes. It’s a lot less privacy invasive than a camera making that decision.
I could talk about the applications of this technology (the AI capabilities, Deep Learning) for hours, but for now I’ll leave you with a few links for you to check out at your convenience. 😀
Apples Grand Plan?
There’s rumors floating around that Apple might be planning some big changes with their satellites. According to a little article I found in Fast Company by Michael Grothaus, Apple could be planning to bypass carriers completely - and use satellites to deliver service to your iPhone.
That’s right - no more T-Mobile, ATT, Sprint, or others. You’d buy your iPhone from Apple, and a monthly service plan too.
Apple becoming its own space-based ISP isn’t that far out of an idea. The company has increasingly made moves to design and control every aspect of its products. This started years ago with Apple making its own custom A-series silicon for its iPhones and iPads instead of relying on off-the-shelve CPUs . . . By creating its own data delivery system, Apple could give its customers a more uniform experience across its devices, as well as create another recurring, subscription-based revenue source. (Source)
Think of how much you or a friend you might know uses Apple. There’s the iPhone, Mac, IPad, AirPods, Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple TV, FaceTime, IMessage - the list goes on and on. Why not bypass carriers all together and deliver service in house? It’s not that crazy.
Depending on how the service works, it could be a way better alternative than using a Carrier. Cell towers lose power, get destroyed in storms, and service is spotty in rural areas. A satellite solves some of those problems (and brings others to the table).
Check out the article here.
Spotifys Marketing Misstep
As you know, the number one rule of USB’s is that if you don’t know the USB, don’t put it in your computer. You never know what kind of virus could be lurking on it, ready to make your computer about as useful as a clay brick.
Spotify decided it would be a good idea to send out USB drives to Journalists to promote a new podcast. Over at TechCrunch, they took the following precautions.
Concerned but undeterred, we safely examined the contents of the Spotify drive using a disposable version of Ubuntu Linux (using a live CD) on a spare computer. It was benign and contained a single audio file. “This is Alex Goldman, and you’ve just been hacked,” the file played. The drive was just a promotion for a new Spotify podcast. Because of course it was. (Source)
It was a clever marketing idea - but not a safe one. The security precautions it raised has probably gotten more attention than the actual podcast promotion.
This little story brings up an important question that all marketers need to keep in mind when coming up with campaigns. How will people receive this? Will they appreciate it, or will they use it as a lesson for “what not to do” such as Peloton’s Christmas ad.
We have to scream and shout to get people’s attention in this manic over advertised world. We have to be unique and stop people in their tracks - but we have to test our ideas with normal people and gauge their reactions. We have to find out what some of our customers think before we press the “Launch” button. Spotify’s little USB promotion is a prime example of how we can get lost in the cool idea and forget the consumer.
Read the article below for some more details!
The Land of Random
🔌 The Portapow
Remember when I talked about the importance of not plugging your phone into random USB ports when you need to charge? Here’s a cheap little gadget called the Portapow that you can buy on Amazon to protect your phone when you feel like you have no other choice but to use that random port.
Feather Icons - Open Source and Free!
Need some free icons for your next project? This cool site has over 200 free ones. It’s a pretty neat little project. Check it out! You can download all of them at once if you’d like.
Horta Cafe - The Coolest Container Project
I know, I know - I’m obsessed with buildings based on shipping containers. You just have to check out this little cafe in Brazil. It’s so cool!
Burger King pulls a Stunt
Burger King hid McDonald’s whoppers behind their burgers in a bunch of ads this year. It’s a hilarious little dig at the size of McDonald’s burgers and seems to prove their point. Check out the video!