Rut: The simple, three letter, somewhat crude word has a pervasive impact. I find myself in a rut each October; it’s a pattern I’ve come to identify, manage and eventually break through. Maybe it’s prompted by the end of the beach season, the back-to-school hustle, a shift from vacationing to business trips, or the shorter days. Indeed, it’s a dull and unproductive pattern that impedes productivity. However, the break through tends to be game changing. Businesses are not immune to this cycle; the TV and mobile industries fall into and, occasionally, pull out of similar doldrums.
Living in an always-moving ever-connected city, it’s easy to expect that connectivity is as accessible as a picking up a pack of smokes at the gas station. But the reality is there remain numerous places across America where the dream of a connected world is merely a vision of the future...
Over the past few years I’ve tried my fair share of smartwatches in various shapes and sizes, but none lasted on my wrist for more than a few days. The use case wasn’t compelling enough to justify the wrist space, particularly as each and every one of the devices felt like a compromise between tech and style. Ugly may be too strong a word, but certainly – for me at least – they did not look elegant or classy.
I’m not sure it’s possible to work in the technology sector without sitting through an industry presentation where the speaker engages the audience by discussing how many steps their fitness tracker recorded that day. We’ve all been around fitness tracker junkies; those that find solace in reaching their daily goal, and those that always seem to be a few steps behind...
Back in December 2013, a few brave NPDers ventured out into New York City’s chilly Times Square to find out what people thought about the newly launched smartwatch. Would the men and women of New York have any interest in this new-fangled device, or was it really just the domain of the tech-evangelist? The feedback was interesting with women in particular professing a desire to buy such a device. The people we asked saw the device as a time-saver, since it would save them from pulling their phone out of their bag to check the time. Yes, it’s true; the “killer app” for the smartwatch was tracking time, itself.
Pokémon Go has swept the nation and beyond to become one of the most downloaded apps within the first week of its launch. Based on the concepts developed for Niantic’s Ingress game, which has a strong cult following, Pokémon Go has brought location-based augmented reality to the mainstream consumer market with a vengeance. In the name of research (ahem), and perhaps because it sounded fun, I was an early adopter. With friends and family signing-up quickly, I knew there was no way I could resist the urge to go Pokémon hunting.
While I cover cutting edge categories such as digital video distribution and home automation, many who know me realize my category expertise only rarely translates into being an early adopter tech consumer. As a leading indicator, I still drive a car with roll down windows. But...
I remember getting my first cell phone like it was yesterday. It was my 15th birthday and the phone I was thrilled to receive was dumb, heavy and oh so cool all at the same time. Thirteen years later, I’ve had my share of ever-evolving phones from the Motorola Razr, to the very first iPhone, and so on. I have games galore, messaging apps and yes, I can still make the occasional phone call. And yet, has the phone lost its cool factor?
There is a perception that viewers are cutting the cord in droves, similar to the chopping down of Truffula trees to produce Thneeds. I, a tree hugger, am becoming a cord hugger, though a far cry from the Lorax of the cable industry. In this regard, my TV habits represent the majority as cord cutting is just starting to proliferate. This is my story; one about switching from Fiber Optic TV and re-subscribing to cable despite much consideration around cutting the cord.
I love free stuff — free samples, free trials, and who doesn’t like a free lunch? By reaching out to folks like me, Amazon Prime has engaged droves of online shoppers via free two-day shipping, with a paid annual membership fee; five years ago, the deal got even sweeter with free streaming video content.