Category Archives: Technology

Digital V Retail

According to comScore data, online retail sales in the US on Black Friday on November 23 topped US$1 trillion for the first time ever as an increasing number of consumers used the internet to do their early holiday shopping. Similarly, during China’s Single’s Day, celebrated earlier in the month on November 11, sales volume at, the country’s biggest online store, reached a record high of US$800 million in just eight hours of trading.

On the surface this would tell us that traditional retail is under serious threat as more and more shoppers opt for the convenience of online buying. But a closer look suggests that the battle between traditional and online retailers is altogether more complex.

Undoubtedly, the role of retail stores is changing, although this can depend on both the product and purchasing considerations. Convenience is still a huge factor in purchasing decisions. Just look at a market such as Hong Kong where ordering your shopping online is no more convenient than popping into the seemingly endless supply of shopping malls and street-level retailers. Likewise, for high-value purchases – a motorcycle or a guitar for example – traditional retailers are still crucial: it is about having an experience and perhaps weighing options later, even if the final decision is made online through an eCommerce platform. If anything, it is probably the purchases that are medium-value and non-urgent that will add redundancies for to retail stores.

What is changing, though, is that the purchasing focus will be on not only buying into the products, but also the ideas behind the brand. It might be about immersing yourself in adidas and their world in-store before making a decision to buy. In these situations, the people who staff these stores will still play an important role: think about buying a dSLR, or better yet, a new running shoe – you want the best advice in addition to the online reviews.

One direct consequence of this is that brands will need to work harder at providing a retail space that is engaging enough to encourage consumers to forgoe their online sites. And it is not only the likes of Apple that are doing this. Look at Citi, which has created some very different experiences for its stores around the region. They don’t even really look like banks, and generally end up where banks aren’t.

Bricks and mortar retailers are not going anywhere yet. Indeed the more savvy brands are investing heavily in both the online and offline experience and realise that a combination of the two will be a strong business driver. A number of luxury brands — a sector that was at one point highly resitant to online properties — are showing how important it is to be able to blend experience with convenience. Cartier and Burberry are good examples. The consideration and purchase decision making process has changed dramatically. The purchase elements like trust, convenience and reputation are the same, but the way we get there has changed. Now, more than ever, it is about knowing your product and your audience.

Originally posted at Weber Shandwick.

Why Apple wins, why Nokia loses

Reviews: Nokia, HTC & Apple

For the past two months I’ve been with out my trusty iPhone. And sure, a devastating issue for anyone addicted to being validated (Twitter) and minutia (Facebook) of daily life.

But what an eye opener. I tried both the HTC Nexus One and the Nokia N8.

Let’s start with Nokia.

Now, I’m am (was) a big fan of Nokia ever since m first 3210, my 8250 and most recently my Nokia e61i. All great phones on some great software for their time.

But Nokia, how dare you ever consider the Nokia N8 a touch screen mobile phone. I honestly would rather to have an ice pick through each hand than use this pile of plastic rubbish, ever again.

Trying to make Symbian a touch screen operating system is like using glue to hold steel together. It was not, and still isn’t designed for the intuition of a total-touch screen device.  No clear user paths, poor interface, no battery life, crap email functionality, and data input (the linchpin of access devices) is an utter nightmare.

The HTC was better, but still, the Android OS gave no sense of “environment” the same way iOS does. You don’t really feel like you belong anywhere. I found everything clunky and the touch was very unnatural.

So, here I am, back at Apple. Where they look at the massive crack in the screen and pull my customer record. And guess what? They reward me for my loyalty (read occasional fanboyism). They replace my phone with a complimentary device and send me away happier than ever.

Great phone, supported with amazing customer loyalty recognition. If only other phone companies could get this right.

I know why Apple are winning, I know why I’m an advocate of what they do.  But I don’t know what Nokia were thinking.


5 iPhone Backgrounds

iPhone Background - Text Me


I just created a bunch of iPhone backgrounds. They might be terrible. But hear you go. Continue reading

10 ways to save your iPhone battery

How to save battery on the iPhone

Turn off 3G to save your iPhone battery

You know the situation: it’s not even midnight and you’re waiting from a call from the girl you just met in the last bar, and your iPhone battery reads 20% and flicks red.  Over the past couple of years I’ve worked out a list of 10 key adjustments to ensure you can get the most out of your iPhone battery.

The most under-utilised is turning off your 3G – saves heaps of battery. And will help you at your next festival, next meeting or next road trip.  Also – not listed is: buy a watch! And stop using your iPhone as a watch and turning it on and off all the time! Continue reading

Cochlear Implant: Reaction of an 8m/o baby

Science, Technology should just be about this

Everything else seems trivial.

Closing the Digital Divide

Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology

Through innovation in technology we can be more connected to our physical world, we can be more connected.  Rather than being machines, sitting in front of other machines.

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iPhone App: Sleep Cycle

Bio-alarm clock for iPhone

I’m not one to really rave on about iPhone apps – but this really got my attention.  Sleep Cycle is a ‘bio-alarm clock’ now available on the iPhone.

Using the sensitive motion sensor in the iPhone it measures how deep your sleep is (e.g. deep sleep versus REM-sleep or dream-sleep).  What’s more is within the half-hour window before your set alarm time, it will  so that you’re in the lightest sleep – and hence feel more rested than waking from a deep sleep.

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History of the Internet

History of the Internet from PICOL on Vimeo.

Found it. Shared it.

Find it. Share it.

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Google Earth: Prado Art Collection

This is a breath taking example of art and technology. Beautiful. Oh what stories this could tell.

Guest post:

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Vodafone meets Mobile the clear winner

Just announced: Vodafone and today announced a partnerships that will see Vodafone customers to integrate with the social networking music site. This is a great.

So where do you get it?

The application is first available to download from at, to selected Nokia handsets including the N95, N96, N78 and 6210 (other handsets will be available too soon too).

This is a great move for as I firmly believe that this will make the service not only more accessible but just as or if not more relevant that Apple’s Genius.  The key problem with Genius is the fact I can’t see, comment or interact in anyway with my friends and other people interested in the same music I am.

Personally: As my profile becoming more and more complete, and as Sonixtrip prepare for our first EP release, and most importantly: as the mobile becomes the most personal and highly engaged device — this is the start of a very rich, always accessible and social interaction between web, mobile and the user.

Excited much?

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