Reach Out and Touch Me

By Kelly Gerrish

A new 3D interface allowing users to make selections by touching the air has been developed.

Dubbed the ‘floating display’, it uses a 3D camera and specially designed glass to create an interactive 3D illusion. Light is run through the glass which bends it upwards and projects it out as a real image.

Developers believe it offers a more hygienic and secure user experience and could be used in the future at cash machines.

Watch this video to learn more about the new technology.

Could you see this technology working in the real world or is it just a gimmick? Despite assurances from the creators that it is 100% secure, I’d be worried that there would be too much potential for error to use for banking. Let us know what you think by commenting below.

How to Gain Opt-Ins

By Kelly Gerrish

The average consumer will receive a whopping 9000 email marketing messages this year– approximately 25 per day. It’s impossible to read that many and quite frankly, who would want to? More often than not, we hit delete without even opening. Far too many companies bombard potential customers with ineffective emails, causing us to disengage and unsubscribe. We want to streamline our inboxes to the information we really want.

Next year, new EU data protection laws will mean consumers have to opt in to marketing messages instead of the current opting out. But according to new research, we may be more reluctant to do that.

These eight tips will help you encourage your customers to opt-in and stay in.

Opt in

1. Define the value
What’s in it for me? As a potential customer, unless what you’re offering is relevant and important to me, I don’t care. If I don’t care, I’m more likely to unsubscribe.

2. Provide communication options
A ‘one size fits all’ approach weakens your company’s value proposition. Make it easy for consumers to choose the type and frequency of communication.

3. Start a conversation
Make it clear you want to listen and encourage feedback. Invite customers to join a conversation geared around their evolving needs, not a monologue.

4. Establish a clear path to opting out
Customers are far more likely to start a relationship with you if they know they have the power to end it someday. Make it clear how to do this from the initial contact to build trust.

5. Remember your brand
Often opt-in screens and messages are unbranded and feel disconnected from your brand identity. Provide a thoughtful opt-in experience that represents you, not a cheap imitation.

6. Don’t nag
Send an offer once and don’t repeat. If I’ve read the initial offer, I don’t need to be told again and again. Don’t bombard customers with the same information.

7. Keep it simple
Collect only key data that will help you deliver a better customer experience. Lengthy forms with irrelevant fields are annoying and create suspicion as to why you want that information.

8. Listen and learn
Companies who embrace social media can react quickly to capture organic opportunities for opting-in. Twitter is a great tool for creating more engaged relationships – a compliment on here can be seen by the world so be prepared to act on it.

Homes Becoming Smarter

By Kelly Gerrish

We’ve all been there. Picking up dinner in the supermarket only to get home and discover you’ve left a vital ingredient behind because you thought you had it already. But what if you could prevent that with a simple text to your fridge?

LG’s new HomeChat service allows consumers to control their household appliances via text message. Fridge owners need never forget an item again with a helpful camera that documents what’s on the shelves every time the door is opened. In addition, the in-built Freshness Tracker will alert users to items nearing their expiry date.
Other items in the range include a washing machine that can be remotely activated to start a washing cycle, and an oven which provides recipe suggestions and pre-heats to the appropriate temperature.

The technology is currently only available in South Korea, but there are plans to extend to the US and other markets soon.

You can read more about the app here.

What do you think about this new technology? Does it offer a new level of convenience or is it just a gimmick? Let us know by commenting below.

Facebook Goes Virtual

By Kelly Gerrish and David Flynn

Virtual reality might finally reach the mainstream after Facebook spent $2bn (£1.2bn) buying a manufacturer of futuristic headsets that take control of a person’s vision.

Oculus is the maker of the distinctive Rift headset, which looks like a giant pair of diving goggles. When strapped onto a person’s face, they transport the wearer into a world of new experience. There is a screen for each eye, displaying high-resolution video generated by a computer.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said he’s going to “make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a courtside seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting a doctor face-to-face – just by putting on goggles in your home.”

This technology opens the door to a new world of interaction in communications, media, entertainment and education and raises the question ‘what else is possible?’ Hover boards and time travel may not be that far away.

Read more about virtual reality and let us know what you think by commenting below.