The smart ice cubes that tell bar staff to order you another drink

The cubes alert bar staff when your drink is empty and brings you a refill.

Many of us are aware of the concept of the Internet of Things, a system in which everything – from your smartphone and self-driving car, to your smart TV and fridge – is connected to the web. It’s an exciting proposition – a world in which your car can alert your house that you’re on the way home, triggering the heating to be set just right, flicking on your living room lights and queuing up your favourite Friday night playlist.
But what if you’re out with friends? Well, the Internet of Things might be about to disrupt a bar near you – and solve a problem you’re likely to have faced time and time again.
MARTINI, the world’s leading vermouth and best-selling sparkling wine maker, is trialling the MARTINI Smart Cube.
The concept is simple. A barman places a MARTINI Smart Cube in your drink when serving. The ice cube-shaped device, which is 3D printed, then bobs around until your drink is finished, at which point it senses the lack of liquid and alerts the bar staff, ordering you a fresh glass.
The technology is based on Apple’s iBeacon technology – a software protocol that allows a hardware transmitter, typically with Bluetooth low energy connectivity, to broadcast a notification to nearby devices. In this case, two liquid sensors recognise when they’re no longer submerged, triggering the drinks order to be made. Using Aerogel – a technology built by Nasa – the temperature of the cube is kept cool, while staying buoyant.
The MARTINI Smart Cube also sends the bar staff an indication of how far the drink is from the bar, so they can deliver the drink without fuss. As soon as the drink order is automatically sent to the bar ordering system – via an iPad Pro – the bar staff know immediately where that drink needs to be delivered.
The result? No more tearing yourself away from that all-too-rare catch-up. MARTINI Smart Cube will do the ordering for you. And there’ll be no more drink mix-ups either. Each cube has its own unique pulsing colour combination, so everyone knows exactly which Martini & Tonic is theirs.
But it’s not just a crowd pleaser. In the future, MARTINI Smart Cube might track your alcohol consumption, keeping you informed about how much you’re consuming. It could also alert you if your drink has been tampered with.
We’ll raise a glass to that.
Video below:
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Via: Wired 

Mobile World Congress: What the Advertising Industry Learned reports The Guardian

As the sun sets on the Barcelona event for another year, what do the announcements and innovations mean for the ad industry?
More than 100,000 delegates from 204 countries attended Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, while 2,200 companies exhibited their wares.
So what were the important announcements from MWC 2016? In the lead up to the event, virtual reality (VR) was expected to make a splash, while many were hoping for insight on hot topics such as adblocking, internet of things and data security. We spoke to four MWC delegates, including Nick Halas, Head of Futures at Posterscope, on what they thought of the event and what the innovations might mean for the future of the advertising industry.
Nick Halas, head of futures at Posterscope
In spite of the plethora of new mobile device releases and mass media frenzy over VR, in fact the evolution of IoT [internet of things] was the trend at this year’s MWC that may hold the most for out-of-home (OOH) advertisers. The mass market is gearing up for connected cars, like Huawei and Audi’s new partnerships, wearables and home security. It’s essentially becoming every connected device you can think of – including those that are innovative but in my opinion somewhat creepy, like the Sony Xperia Ear.
There’s a tidal wave of change that IoT is bringing with it, and it’s promising to be transformational for everyone involved in the OOH ecosystem, particularly for the digital out-of-home sector. We’ll be seeing greater collaboration with digital and mobile campaigns, both as an extension network and as a platform for the delivery of dynamic personalised messaging.
Additionally, it will enable advertisers to better interact and engage with consumers via beacons, image recognition or device pairing. This will extend into CRM and payments, such as Visa’s expansion of its Visa Ready program, and even possibly directly with vehicular movement as both connected cells – the car and the poster site – will be able to communicate with each other.
To read the full article in the Guardian  click here
Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

CES – It's No Longer Purely About The Technology

The annual supershow that is CES 2015 finished on Friday (9th January). True to form, a tidal wave of technology was unveiled across the spectrum, including the mandatory oddities like the Selfie Brush and the Sexfit.
Of the range of tech innovations showcased, that will have a much wider influence on our interaction with advertisers and brands, a few were worthy of particular attention from an Out Of Home (OOH) communications perspective:
The Tech
Wearables and watches              
With the exception of Sony’s SmartWatch 3 Steel Edition and the very affordable Alcatel OneTouch watch there was an obvious lack of smartwatches at CES this year, whilst everyone waits for Apple to do the hard-sell first.  There was no shortage of other wearable techs on display however. These were mainly focused on fitness tracking, ranging from the traditional looking Withings Active to updates on existing exercise bands and even a Swarovski crystal studded bracelet.
As these devices mature it is interesting to look at what functions are surfacing as being important to consumers and how advertisers may leverage this.  If counting steps on a daily basis through a fitness tracker becomes commonplace, there’s the potential for an obvious new metric for measurement. Starting your car from your watch could save valuable seconds, and perhaps pressing the button to park your car could also order and purchase your favourite coffee so you can simply collect it, without having to queue. There really is no better time to get your mobile app beacon enabled, ready to be triggered through OOH.
The Internet of Things
One of the big themes at this year’s CES was the kit that takes information about the world around you and your actions in it, and turns it into data. Increasing numbers of consumers’ smart devices will become connected, extending into gadgets such as doors that lock themselves, thermostats that program themselves, cameras that monitor your home for intruders and even coffee machines that allow you to make a freshly ground mug without having to leave your bed.
Broadly known as The Internet of Things (IoT), this presents a huge opportunity for global brands, with the likes of Samsung and Sony outlining plans to dominate the ever increasing ecosystem of ‘things’ in 2015 and beyond. The opportunity for the Out of Home industry is colossal. We’ll soon be surrounded by more data opportunities from an increasingly connected consumer, alongside data from connected homes and the infrastructure which exists out of home. This will create numerous location specific data trails which have the potential to enhance the planning of OOH media and effective creative treatment.
We believe live data sources will continue to be integrated into DOOH content to make it more contextually relevant, and platforms such as Liveposter will make it easier than ever to aggregate real world data from the IoT into DOOH advertising.
Driverless cars are here
2015 was the year that Marty McFly travelled to in the film ‘Back to the Future’. Whilst we can’t yet buy food hydrators, hoverboards or flying cars, car technology was one of the big talking points at CES 2015. BMW, Mercedes and Audi all unveiled visions of their automated cars at the show this year. But automated driving technology embraces more than just a futuristic vision of people sitting in the back seat of a car being driven around – although a driverless Audi did make a spectacular 550 mile drive from San Fransisco to the CES venue in Las Vegas.
Automated driving is likely to have a big impact on OOH. A recent study from Posterscope introduces the new smart car ecosystem and considers how smart cars will collect and generate data that can be used for greater OOH targeting. If automated driving ultimately makes roads safer, we may also see current restrictions loosen around the use of animation on digital roadside screens, allowing for more creative opportunities across one of the largest DOOH environments.
Implications of the latest technologies
Technologies like these hold huge promise for consumers and advertisers alike, but beyond the technologies themselves, there are important and far reaching indications for both. CES is no longer just a place to launch technologies, it has become increasingly about consumers themselves.
The event has outgrown the historic definition of ‘just’ an electronics show; it’s now so much more. Whilst its raison d’être remains to showcase consumer technology, perhaps more crucially CES delivers an annual benchmark of how consumers adopt new behaviours enabled by these technologies.
In the not-too-distant past prodding and swiping a screen was something that earned you strange looks, likewise for talking to a TV or device. Neither seems out of the ordinary today of course, but these new behaviours were first showcased to attendees at CES shows decades ago.
It is the evolution of behaviours towards mainstream adoption, as observed through the dipstick of past CES shows, which should be of most interest to advertisers, not the technologies alone. So with this in mind, and looking beyond the technologies on display to the implications for brands and advertisers, we believe a few key mainstream behaviours will emerge in 2015 for brand consideration:
Actively quantifying our lives
Generating, analysing and understanding personal data such as the number of steps taken or calories consumed, for example, will become accepted and commonplace.
Do think about how data could influence OOH campaign planning, creative content and location selection. Your audience is comfortable using data, so you should be too.  Be careful not to over personalise and fall off the creepy cliff however.
Controlling the real world with our mobile devices
Speakers, heating systems and light bulbs are just a few of the connected devices already present in homes across the country. As more everyday appliances get connected this form of control will move from desirable to expected in the lives of consumers.
Whilst it’s important to understand the role OOH media can play in influencing these new on the go behaviours and mobile interactions with your OOH advertising, IoT is already up and running;  So it’s important to be aware that the internet of things is now about more than your toaster talking to your watch.
 Emerging acceptance of automation
Consumer opinion and attitude has changed drastically in the last year. Driverless cars have moved from a futuristic outlier at CES 2014 to a mainstream component of the show within just one year, highlighting a general acceptance of the automation of simple (and not so simple) tasks by machines.
Whilst industry accepted the value of automation decades ago it has taken much longer for the benefits to be transferred to our everyday lives – and whilst it’s important to consider how consumers will spend their time as a result of automation, experts at CES say ‘don’t worry,’ we are ‘decades if not centuries’ away from robots taking over the world!

Internet of Things Brings Opportunities for Brands

The media landscape has just got used to owned, earned and paid media, but is it now time to get used to non-media turning into media too?
The Internet of Things, where everyday objects and devices communicate with each other, could transform our toasters, cars and thermostats into ad opportunities.
When Google predicted a world where ads appear on “refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses and watches” in a letter to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, many media ears pricked up.
Already, devices such as Google’s Nest and British Gas’ Hive thermostats and Philips’ Hue light bulbs are controlled by mobile apps. The next stage of the Internet of Things would be to create a protocol allowing the devices to interact with each other.
How wide-ranging this will be is open to debate, but the direction of travel is set. If objects can collect data about how their owners use them, this will produce invaluable insights into people’s behaviour for marketers. Brands could put ads on those objects or use insights from the data to post personalised ads on smartphones, TVs or tablets.
Andy Hobsbawm, the founder and chief marketing officer of Evrythng, believes the Internet of Things offers a “tremendous media opportunity”. He notes that, as objects become networked, interactive and trackable, they will inevitably become media with “digital interfaces” for personalised content, services and experiences.
He adds: “As with any media, there’s also a challenge in extracting new intelligence from the data generated by billions of these objects coming online. Without a common standard, the opportunities could be limited.”
Some fear this could lead to a dystopian future of spam ads that misinterpret data and serve up irrelevant and inappropriate advertising.
As Dan Kirby, the chief executive of Techdept, says: “The data created by your ‘things’ communicating means amazing insights into consumer needs. This gives marketers a great deal of power, but power that has to be used responsibly. The opportunity for tone-deaf ads – imagine your house burns down, and up pops a message: ‘It seems you need a new sofa!’ – means it could undermine as well as empower a brand.”
There is no doubt that the data from smart devices could offer a huge source of insight for companies, governments and agencies alike. According to Chrissy Totty, the head of innovation at Vizeum, the increased understanding about individuals’ movements and behaviour will enable “hyper-local, hyper-relevant” messages. However, this requires data to be shared between organisations, in partnerships such as the one recently struck between Posterscope and EE.
“Without sharing, the data will be proprietary to those who have created the devices and the opportunities will remain limited,” Totty says.
“The more invisible the Internet of Things becomes, the less aware consumers will be about the amount of data they are generating and who has access to this.
“Agencies, media owners and brands all need to stay on the right side of the ‘creepy line’, to quote Eric Schmidt – respecting our traditional value exchange with the consumer. Advertising, however smartly targeted, will still need to add value to the consumer and be something they knowingly opt into.”
Via: Campaign Live

Cisco Launches Connected Billboard in San Francisco

Cisco has placed an Internet-connected billboard on Rt. 101 near San Francisco International airport that will deliver specific messaging based on a driver’s speed in order to highlight what it calls “the Internet of everything.”
Cisco and its agency, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, have been working for nearly a year on the idea and it could have bigger implications for outdoor advertisers looking to deliver more customized messages.
Cisco and Goodby designed the billboard so that a message is delivered to the board based on how fast a driver is going. They set four speed ranges with four different messages. For example, if a driver is moving under 22 miles per hour (which is highly likely in the area) they will see a message stating “The Internet of Everything is changing this billboard based on your speed. So you see only what you have time to read. Sorry about the slow going.” At the bottom of each billboard is the Cisco logo and tagline “Tomorrow starts here.” The faster the speed, the shorter the message.
Via: Ad Age