Monthly Archives: March 2011
If you’re among the many marketers trying to grasp the game-changing impact of Xbox’s motion-controlled add-on Kinect, you’re not alone. Even Microsoft didn’t realize what it had on its hands. When launching in November, Microsoft predicted sales of 3 million units by the end of 2010. Instead, the company sold 8 million in two months and recently entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest-selling consumer electronics product in history. For brands, the excitement is just beginning — and so are the challenges.
In addition to sensing motion, Microsoft’s newest periphery for the Xbox 360 recognizes voices, captures facial expressions in real time, and can even tell players apart. It’s arguably the biggest advance in mainstream digital interface design since the widespread adoption of the computer mouse in the ’80s.
Kinect and its underlying PrimeSense technology promise to open new doors and could explode our conceptions of what’s possible online. Today’s online world remains governed by the conventions of preset hyperlinks and point-and-click devices, but over time, those constraints will be shattered. The popularity of touchscreens on smartphones and tablets suggest we were already headed in this direction. Marketers may play an important role in determining how quickly Kinect technology crosses the chasm from hardcore gamers to mainstream adoption.
The Engagement Potential for Brands
Big brands, including Burger King and Samsung, jumped in first with Kinect gaming promotions. But the marketing potential of Kinect extends far beyond video games. In the near term, marketers could leverage Kinect technology to create eye-opening trade show displays and in-store promotions. Freed from the gaming console, the technology can draw people into an immersive, interactive experience.
Innovative web-based applications will also be worth considering as the technology reaches a critical mass of 15% of households or users, a point at which adoption rates tend to accelerate.
With Avatar Kinect, Microsoft will soon move into augmented social media. Microsoft’s plans for the new technology clearly go beyond gaming. And Kinect’s controller-free environment should appeal to casual gamers, not just the hardcore console jocks, which will heighten appeal for mass marketers. Indeed, the pitch to advertisers from Microsoft is that women, younger children and tweens are “joining in the fun” with Kinect. Most importantly, perhaps, the price is relatively inexpensive; approximately $150.
In the future, it’s conceivable that consumers scanned into the system could theoretically interact with three-dimensional models of products. Why couldn’t Ford, which recently launched an exclusive Xbox campaign for its C-MAX, put consumers behind the wheel and let them take the newest model for a spin?
For catalog clothing brands, the ecommerce implications are immense. Why couldn’t Eddie Bauer let consumers try on clothes virtually? In the travel industry, the applications are even more numerous — a walking tour of the cabanas at Club Med, anyone? And with the capacity to scan an entire room, why couldn’t The Home Depot let customers design the layout of new kitchen cabinets or Ikea showcase sofas within digital models of consumers’ living rooms?
Peak Expectations Meet Practical Challenges
Marketers have tremendous opportunities to differentiate themselves from their competitors in this new environment. Yet they also face the challenge of developing those experiences without instructions or precedents.
Before agencies and developers can create the architecture of this new world — and customized applications for brands — they must first study what makes the new technology tick, which is why developers have been so busy “hacking” Kinect.
The development tools for Kinect are still fairly immature at this stage, but they do provide enough capabilities to build some interesting applications. As more work is done to support these tools by Microsoft and the larger development community, the possibilities for Kinect will grow exponentially.
Do you dance better than Kylie Minogue ? Watch this !
Guinness World Records, the global authority on record breaking, today confirm that the Kinect for the Xbox 360 is the Fastest-Selling Consumer Electronics Device.
The hardware, that allows controller-free gaming, sold through an average of 133,333 units per day, for a total of 8 million units in its first 60 days on sale from 4 November 2010 to 3 January 2011.
The sales figures outstrip both the iPhone and the iPad for the equivalent periods after launch.
Gaz Deaves, Editor of Guinness World Records 2011 Gamer’s Edition, said: “The sales figures here speak for themselves. We can confirm that no other consumer electronics device sold faster within a 60-day time span, an incredible achievement considering the strength of the sector.”
The new record will be included in the next Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition, which recognises record breaking achievement in the world of videogames. The current Guinness World Records 2011 Gamer’s Edition is available in both book and eBook versions at http://gamers.guinnessworldrecords.com.
See below first press coverage in Belgium:
Best Workplaces rankings are part of the largest study of workplace excellence and people management practices in Europe, reflecting the workplace experience of over 1.1 million employees across Europe.
According to the organizers a “great place to work” is one in which you “trust the people you work for, have pride in what you do, and enjoy the people you work with.” Co-founder Robert Levering put forth this definition in his 1988 book, A Great Place to Work: What makes some employers so good – and most so bad, based on interviews with hundreds of employees at dozens of companies. Twenty-three years later the same definition holds true.
Microsoft Belgium has been in the list since 2003 (except 2005/6 when we didn’t participate) and we’ve been able to maintain a top position in the list for all these years.
These are the 2011 laureates and winners:
Fewer than 500 employees
2 SAS Institute
3 Accent Jobs For People
5 Mars Belgium
8 CTG Belgium
9 Secretary Plus Management Support
10 Plus Uitzendkrachten
More than 500 employees
1 Schoenen Torfs
4 McDonald’s Belgium
5 FedEx Express
6 Dow Corning
8 Partena Ziekenfonds & Partners
9 Cisco Systems Belgium
10 CenterParcs De Vossemeren & Erperheide
The jury rapport says this “Microsoft pays particular attention to ‘the New Way of Working’. The central idea behind the ‘New World of Work’ is that Microsoft focuses its business philosophy on the freedom to work whenever and wherever you want. This is based on core values such as management by values, flexibility, a culture of trust and empowerment. Microsoft does this to tackle the mobility problems and the expectations of new and current generation of employees on work/life balance. Microsoft was one of the parties that was responsible for launching the first national homeworking day in 2010.”
Nice coverstory in Vacature/Références on Best Employer.