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  • Posted by: Katie Conneally on Friday, January 17 2014 04:05 PM | Comments (0)
    PulseWallet

    We’ve looked at how companies are naming some of the biggest trends in technology, but what about the names for everyday products? This year’s CES was a treasure trove of technology that stands could impact on our day-to-day lives. With many names leaning toward the descriptive, it’s clear that companies are prioritizing making it easy for their audience to get what they do, even if the product isn’t as simple.

    Our smart phones have almost become a part of us, so it’s no surprise that many companies launched products for mobile phones at CES. Take Prong, whose PocketPlug is a case for your iPhone that plugs directly into the wall for easy charging, no pesky USB cables needed. The name itself is descriptive and alliterative, making it fun to say and hard to forget.

    One of the more fun phone accessories launched this year was TYPO, a physical Blackberry-esque keyboard for your iPhone. As a play on “typing” the name speaks to the function of the product, and as a real word; TYPO suggests that it helps users avoid exactly what the name describes.

    The smart watch is at the crossroads between mobile accessories and wearable technology. The original Pebble launched at CES last year, and a new version was announced this year: the Pebble Steel. As the name promises, the Pebble Steel offers high-quality materials, enhanced durability, and more of a metallic look. We don’t often see companies name to materials in the tech space — it may be shortsighted with such a quick pace of innovation and changes in manufacturing — so we’re curious to see how long the Pebble Steel will last.

    Outside of the mobile space, everyday products for the home took the stage. Clio, from ClearView Audio, is an “invisible” speaker for the home. Like the design, its name has the ability to blend into your life with a very human and familiar tonality; it sounds identical to the human name “Cleo.” Clio also evokes clarity, both of the sound and of the device itself, and is a suggestive and coined name that works well for the product.

    And the craziest thing that has the potential to become a part of your daily routine? That’s PulseWallet from Fujitsu, a cash register that scans the veins in your hand to collect payment. Another real word composite name, it taps into everyday terminology to tell you what it does, and uses friendly language to make something futuristic seem not that far out.

    Knowing this, if we had to venture a guess at what Samsung executives might name their new 85-inch bendable TV, we’d lean toward the descriptive. It gives them a chance to define the product in their own terms, and can tell users what to expect from something they haven’t seen before.

    Katie Conneally is a Consultant, Verbal Identity at Interbrand New York.

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  • Posted by: Lucas Piazza on Monday, January 13 2014 01:20 PM | Comments (0)
    DOT Image

    The new year kicked off in Las Vegas with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) – an event that convenes the world’s leading technology brands for days of press conferences and product launches, providing insights into the future of the electronics industry. We watched with awe as Samsung unveiled its bendable TV, LG announced a service allowing users to text their home appliances and Pebble revealed Steel, its sleek new smartwatch.

    However, what we didn’t observe demands equal attention; that is, brands that promote truly sustainable, practical solutions for consumers and our environment, rather than just mere wonderment. Some brands continue to lead the conversation, such as auto brands, Toyota and Ford, who displayed fuel cell and solar powered vehicles, respectively, and Intel, whose CEO announced the brand’s commitment to conflict-free minerals in its processors and urged other tech giants to follow suit. But, these represented an exception rather than a rule.



    In Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2013 report, technology companies claimed six of the ten top spots, demonstrating this sector’s burgeoning importance in consumers’ everyday lives. It is time for these highly influential technology brands to capitalize on an amazing opportunity to introduce innovative products that offer consumers control and convenience, while protecting our planet, and advance the broader conversation around the environmental benefits of technology. The opportunity is too great not to.

    Machine-to-machine technology (M2M) connects appliances and infrastructure and allows them to communicate with one another in a growing connected ecosystem; the technology that took center stage at both last year’s and this year’s CES. With an estimated market potential of $19 trillion, this Internet of Things excites brands and investors alike. At the same time, this technology offers unimaginable environmental benefits, a fact that is often ignored in the current conversation.

    In a recent study, AT&T and the Carbon War Room found that global greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced 9.1 billion metric tons by 2020 through rapid deployment of M2M technologies. These innovations could touch the most energy intensive industries, including energy generation, heating and cooling systems, transportation and agriculture.

    Imagine a world where all the vehicles on the road can communicate with one another, allowing them to travel more closely together and reduce accidents. Such is the promise of automotive brand Nissan, who recently announced multiple autonomous vehicles ready for production by 2020. As this technology proliferates and safety increases, cars could travel in caravans and be made with lighter materials, both of which would improve efficiency.


    Or, in the future your fridge alerts you when your spinach is about to spoil and conveniently provides a recipe using that produce. Not only will you have a delicious meal, but you have also eliminated potential food waste.

    With these benefits so readily available, why aren’t brands touting their products’ environmental benefits? It deserves acknowledgement that CES is a tech nerd’s heaven. Attendees wish to see what is sparkly and new, not what is necessarily the most environmentally friendly. However, promoting environmental benefits is absent across all conferences and big tech reveals.

    It is a brand’s responsibility to use this global stage and their influence to educate consumers about these benefits and drive demand. In fact, a study even found that almost two thirds of consumers expect companies to lead solutions that improve the environment – an unrealized opportunity to promote technology products that already include these benefits.

    Some in industry could profess ignorance of these impacts altogether, but in the contemporary Information Age it is unimaginable that a brand wouldn’t understand the environmental benefits of their products when that same information is so readily available to consumers. Rather, it’s likely they are making a strategic decision not to promote these benefits for fear that doing so would make them more susceptible to criticisms of greenwashing – a criticism they are not prepared to defend against.

    What the world needs now are truly innovative products that offer solutions to one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century – protecting our planet in a time of unprecedented global growth.

    Companies must first embrace sustainability as a key component of their brand and challenge others to do the same. Today, brands that are rising leaders in sustainable practices, such as HP and their Living Progress platform, started with a sense of humility and admitted imperfection at the onset, which was greeted with encouragement rather than skepticism.

    These companies continue to demonstrate their commitment through transparency and clearly articulated future goals. This model can serve as a guide for technology brands as they seek to spark their own industry conversation around the environmental benefits of new technology.

    Lucas Piazza is an Associate Consultant, Strategy, at Interbrand New York.


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  • Posted by: Interbrand on Tuesday, January 7 2014 06:19 PM | Comments (0)

    Our social listening experts and on-the-ground Interbrand team are monitoring the interwebs and live press conferences at CES 2014 this week to bring you the latest product launches and innovations from the world's leading technology brands. Check out our recap of the biggest connected ecosystem stories and latest tech gadgets, live from Las Vegas, and follow @Interbrand on Twitter as we follow the buzz from Las Vegas this week. Stay tuned for news about how brands are forging connections, making consumers' lives better in the car and at home with wearable health trackers, and more.

    Samsung looks to partner brands to create a truly connected home - Yes, Samsung's 85-inch bendable TV sparkled, but its announcement of the "Smart Home" demonstrated the brand's understanding of the connected ecosystem's importance. Although this concept isn't first to market, Samsung's single platform will connect all smart devices and home appliances, allowing consumers to monitor and control every aspect of their home from any mobile device (phone, wearables, etc.). Initially, Samsung plans for the app to only work with its own products, but the brand understands that its future success relies on partnering with other brands' devices, as to create a truly connected home for consumers. [Engadget]

    AT&T Creates a "Smartphone on Wheels" - At the AT&T Developer Summit on Monday AT&T's announcements included the Drive Studio, a collaborative garage where partnering automakers will engage with the AT&T Drive technology to create a safe "smartphone on wheels," as Fast Company puts it.

    Text your appliances what to do with LG's HomeChat - LG's HomeChat app introduces a new level of consumer convenience and control. With an app that allows users to text their home appliances from anywhere, the sky's the limit: ask the fridge if you are out of milk while at the grocery store or start a wash cycle before arriving home from vacation. [CNET]

    Wearable Health Gadgets Off To a Running Start at CES - Wearable technology brands like Nike and Kolibree are improving lives in a growing market, connecting health-tech devices used across life spaces. We're looking forward to seeing the impact of these brands in 2014. [brandchannel]

    Intel Brings "Human-Like Senses" To Devices - Intel's RealSense technology aims to make tech feel more "human-like" through voice, touch, gestures and 3-D notebook cameras. [Forbes]


    Sony reveals its fun side with wearable tech - Demonstrating the brand's latest vision centered around "play," Sony announced the SmartBand, a gadget that captures not only physical motion, but emotion as well. This device will monitor consumers' daily activities and visually represent them in the Lifelog app, allowing users to reminisce about their past and plan for the future. [CNET]

    Monitor grilling temps with iDevices - iGrill2 serves up a little help in the kitchen for the grill master of the house, allowing you to monitor your meat's progress on the grill from your smartphone. Never overcook your steak again! [CNET]

    To learn more, please contact Andrea Sullivan, Chief Marketing Officer, North America at asullivan@interbrand.com. To subscribe to The Connected Ecosystem: Interbrand at CES, please click here

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