Automakers Build Showroom in an App – – (Owned Media)

Automakers Build Showroom in an App –


VENICE BEACH, Calif. — Automakers trying to reach young buyers face a conundrum: How do they sell a car to people who stay away from a showroom?

Jonathan Alcorn for The New York Times

Morris May, founder of Specular Theory, displays an augmented reality car model on an iPad.


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“They won’t come into the stores to educate themselves,” said Peter Chung, general manager of Magic Toyota and Scion in Edmonds, Wash. “They’ll do that online.”

More than half of the younger buyers surveyed by, a car-buying site, said they wanted to avoid interacting with dealership sales representatives.

In response, automakers like Cadillac and Toyota are starting to embrace technology that tries to take the showroom to the buyer. Known as augmented reality, it embeds images and videos in a picture on the user’s smartphone or tablet. The result is a far more detailed view of the image, often in three dimensions with added layers of information.

For example, when Cadillac introduced the ATS last year, it created a campaign in cities across the country that allowed observers to point an iPad at a chalk mural and watch the car drive through scenes like China’s mountainous Guoliang Tunnel and Monaco’s Grand Prix circuit. The goal was to grab the attention of potential buyers, especially younger ones, who would not normally think of Cadillac when researching new cars.

Later, Cadillac added the technology to its print advertising, pointing readers to download the brand’s smartphone application to view a three-dimensional model of the car. The app allows users to zoom in on the car and turn it 360 degrees by swiping their finger across the screen.

“It’s obviously different than going to a dealership, but at least it’s enough to engage with the vehicle in an environment where they’re comfortable,” said Arianna Kughn, Cadillac’s social media manager.

Audi has used the technology in its brochures and instruction manuals, while Toyota added it to a campaign with the computer-generated pop star Hatsune Miku to interest a younger audience in its 2012 Corolla and to increase the number of downloads of the automaker’s shopping app.

Other businesses are seeing an opportunity as well. Metaio, a German software company with an office in San Francisco, has worked on projects for Audi, Volkswagen and Toyota.

Specular Theory, based here in Venice Beach, is using Hollywood production techniques to create renderings that allow users to open the doors of a car that is not really there, peer inside and roam around, or take a test drive, merely by running their fingers over a phone or tablet screen.

Its founder, Morris May, is applying the expertise he developed over 20 years as a graphic designer on movies like “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones” and “Spider-Man 2” to redefine the way people view cars in the showroom, online and through mobile devices.

“We’re changing the way people experience cars,” Mr. May said, as he used his finger to open the car door of the virtual model displayed on his iPad, revealing the interior of the car, including the dashboard, steering wheel and texture of the seats.

Augmented reality to the uninitiated may seem like a bizarre sci-fi plot device but is actually accessible to anyone with a smartphone or tablet. Mr. May turned on his iPad and pointed the camera at a piece of paper that looked like a camouflage print, which concealed the code for what is called a target image. He trained the lens on the image and a three-dimensional car appeared on the tablet screen.

The technology offers cost savings to automakers. Traditionally, they spend millions when marketing a new model, on photo shoots or building a “cookie-cutter configurator” that changes the car’s colors or features on a Web site, Mr. May says.

When a new model is introduced, that work is scrapped, and the production team, which includes photographers, Web developers and media buyers, starts anew.

As an alternative, Specular Theory uses an automaker’s computer-aided design data to create material that is consistent across Web browsers, phone and tablet screens and showroom floors, where dealers can project and modify life-size, three-dimensional car models.

When an automaker makes a minor change to, say, the tailpipe of next year’s model, Specular Theory can eliminate the time and money spent creating a new campaign by tweaking data from the marketing materials.

Mr. May’s model uses the weight of the car and the tension of the springs to calculate how it drives, controlling the car with a joystick.

Specular Theory, which started six months ago, is still in its infancy but has landed Autodesk, which makes three-dimensional design software for a variety of industries, as a client.


he automakers’ move mirrors a trend across the retail industry, as smartphones become widely available and augmented reality evolves to a sales tool from a novelty, said Ken Nisch, chairman of JGA, a retail design and brand strategy firm based in Southfield, Mich.


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“We’re seeing some major moves from retailers like Macy’s and Nordstrom,” Mr. Nisch said. “In the next year or 18 months, we’ll see a lot of momentum” in augmented reality used in marketing.

At the root of the interest among automakers is the wish to reach young buyers, who spend a lot of time looking at images of cars online, said Stephen Gandee, vice president for mobile and emerging technologies at, a car-buying site. Much of the research in buying a car is done online today, and not just among young buyers. But automakers and dealers want to create a deeper connection.

“The emotional side of shopping — you can’t beat pictures,” said Mr. Gandee, who is helping oversee the redesign of’s Web site to try to capture more of the emotional and visual appeal of the car-buying experience. He said the site expected to have its own augmented reality prototype by next year.

Dealers are trying to change the way they communicate with a generation of car buyers who prize information and speed over the personal connection dealerships offer.

Many younger buyers no longer even test-drive a car before buying it, said Mr. Chung, the general manager of Magic Toyota and Scion. Instead, they read reviews and add features to their vehicle online before going to the dealership with the exact model and price they expect shown on their smartphone.

That is one reason Mr. Chung and other car dealers expect augmented reality to serve as a powerful selling tool in place of a sales associate.

“The consumer is no longer coming in and looking at 10 colors,” Mr. Chung said. “They’ve seen all 10 colors online and know what they want.”

Why People Watch Video On Smartphones – Business Insider

Why People Watch Video On Smartphones – Business Insider.

This chart comes from Business Insider Intelligence, a new research and and analysis service focused on the mobile and Internet industries. Sign up for a free trial here.

Video consumption on mobile phones has grown faster than PC video or tablet video in the last year, and 41 million people in the U.S. already watch video on their phones. That contradicts the views of doubters who thought phone screens were just too small for video, or that wireless networks would never support it.

Why are people watching video on their phones?

They do so for many of the same reasons they play games or listen to music: to relieve boredom or fill time.

And, much as many of us already do with music, smartphone owners use their devices to watch videos they had planned to watch beforehand.

According to the survey from the IAB and On Device Research, some video views are spontaneous, triggered when smartphone users come across video on topics, stars or brands that they already know they like.

There is a common denominator to smartphone video — most sessions are short. Only 40 percent of smartphone video sessions globally are over ten minutes in length, according to Ooyala, a global digital video streaming platform.

“The vast majority of people are still snacking on video with their smartphones,” Ooyala CEO Bismarck Lepe told us. The company forecasts video consumption on smartphones will surge by a factor of 10 in the next five years.

Chart of the day shows that smartphone videos are often watched to fill time, april 2013

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Springer génère plus de revenus sur le Web qu’avec ses journaux, Actualités

Springer génère plus de revenus sur le Web qu’avec ses journaux, Actualités.

Les ventes numériques de l’éditeur du « Bild » ont dépassé le milliard d’euros.

Siège d\'Axel Springer à Berlin. - Reuters

Siège d’Axel Springer à Berlin. – Reuters

Axel Springer, le premier éditeur de presse européen, tire profit de sa stratégie résolument axée sur le numérique pour compenser le recul de ses journaux imprimés. Depuis dix ans, la maison mère du quotidien populaire allemand « Bild » investit lourdement sur Internet. Elle a notamment acquis, le site d’annonces immobilières ,, le recueil de recettes de cuisine en ligne, ou Résultat : pour la première fois, les ventes des médias numériques du groupe allemand ont dépassé l’an dernier celles de ses médias nationaux traditionnels et franchi le seuil du milliard d’euros. «  Un tournant  », pour son patron Mathias Döpfner.

En 2012, les médias numériques ont enregistré un chiffre d’affaires de 1,2 milliard d’euros, en hausse de 22 % grâce à la consolidation de nouvelles activités, mais aussi à une augmentation de 25 % de leurs recettes publicitaires. Le segment, qui coiffe également les sites Web des journaux du groupe, a vu son résultat opérationnel bondir de 54 %, à 243 millions d’euros. Par comparaison, les journaux nationaux ont enregistré un chiffre d’affaires de 1,1 milliard, en recul de 3 %. Affecté par la baisse des revenus de distribution et des recettes publicitaires, leur résultat opérationnel a perdu 9 %, à 256 millions. Signe de ce déclin, « Bild Zeitung », qui reste le journal le plus lu d’Europe, a vu ses ventes se réduire de 6 %, à 2,7 millions d’exemplaires par jour.

« Nous avons eu raison sur presque tout, sauf sur une chose, a déclaré Mathias Döpfner. Nous avons pensé que les choses iraient plus lentement. Nous allons donc être encore plus radicaux sur le numérique. » Le groupe, contrôlé à majorité par la famille Springer, veut fonder lui même des marques Internet, sans toutefois abandonner la croissance externe. Il examine de près le dossier du site d’annonces allemand scout24, que Deutsche Telekom pourrait céder. « Si c’était à vendre, nous n’aurions d’autre choix que de regarder », a indiqué Mathias Döpfner, estimant toutefois exagérée la valorisation de 1,5 milliard d’euros qui circule dans la presse.

Péage bien accepté

Tout en accélérant le pas pour investir dans le numérique, le groupe veut poursuivre la restructuration de ses activités traditionnelles, notamment en multipliant les synergies entre ses différentes rédactions. Cet effort conduira à des charges exceptionnelles et une baisse du résultat opérationnel en 2013. Jan Bayer, membre du directoire en charge du journal « Die Welt », s’est par ailleurs montré satisfait du péage introduit en début d’année sur le site Web du quotidien conservateur. « Les premiers résultats sont très encourageants », a-t-il affirmé, constatant une bonne réaction à la fois des lecteurs et des annonceurs.

Le groupe de médias a enfin salué la loi allemande sur les droits voisins, connue sous le nom de Lex Google . Celle-ci doit être approuvée début mai par le Bundesrat après son vote par le Bundestag, vendredi dernier. « Pour accéder à nos textes, les gens devront payer quelque chose », s’est réjoui Mathias Döpfner.

One Of The Biggest Stories To Watch In 2013

One Of The Biggest Stories To Watch In 2013.

For years, people have been predicting the death of Microsoft’s Windows dominance. And in the last two years, it’s finally happened. The rise of iOS and Android have made Microsoft’s operating system significantly less important.

Luckily for Microsoft, this hasn’t meant the death of its business overall. Thanks to the strength of its Office franchise and its Servers and Tools business, Microsoft is still very healthy.

But, there’s no escaping that Windows is what drives the whole company. CEO Steve Ballmercalls Windows, “the heart and soul of Microsoft from Windows PCs to Windows Servers to Windows Phones and Windows Azure.” And that heart is beating a little bit more weakly today than it was in say, 2005.

This chart from Asymco earlier this year illustrates the decline of Microsoft’s Windows monopoly as Apple has risen. There are other illustrations of the same thing here and here.

Going into 2013, this will be one of the major stories to watch. Microsoft released Windows 8 in an attempt to reverse the decline of Windows’ importance. It has touch elements which are meant to mitigate the rise of the iPad, and Android. But so far, it’s off to a slow start. Can Microsoft reverse it in 2013? Or is this time different? Are we really, finally, seeing the end of Windows?

Les tablettes, les cadeaux stars de Noël – High-Tech – Actualité –

Les tablettes, les cadeaux stars de Noël – High-Tech – Actualité –

lundi 26 novembre 2012 à 14h06

Il devrait se vendre autant de tablettes de que téléviseurs en décembre, cette année, selon Gfk. Elles rapporteront autant que les PC, tandis que les smartphones confirment leur place de cadeau numéro un.

© Thinkstock

Pour la première fois, les smartphones devraient être les produits high-tech qui cumuleront le plus de chiffre d’affaires à Noël, selon le baromètre de Gfk. Selon les panels distributeurs de l’institut, quelque 2,2 millions d’unités devraient être vendues sur le seul mois de décembre, pour un chiffre d’affaires attendu à 420 millions d’euros. En décembre 2011, les smartphones se classaient déjà en première position des ventes en volumes, mais c’étaient les téléviseurs qui généraient le plus gros chiffre d’affaires.

Cette année, les TV reculent d’un cran en 3e position des ventes en volumes, et en 2e position en valeur, tandis que les téléphones mobiles classiques, numéros uns en volume il y a deux ans, arriveront en 2e position en volumes.

Mais l’évolution la plus significative se fait sur les tablettes. 11e en volumes et 4e en valeur en 2011, elles arrivent cette année en 3e position des prévisions de volumes et de chiffre d’affaires. Elles devraient ainsi rapporter autant que les PC portables (hors netbooks). “Il se vendra sur ce mois de décembre autant de tablettes que de télévisions, soit 1 million d’unités. En décembre 2011, il se vendait une tablette pour trois téléviseurs. Leur chiffre d’affaires sera équivalent à celui des micro-ordinateurs portables, soit 330 millions d’euros TTC”, précise François Klipfel, directeur général adjoint chez GfK Consumer Choices.

Les perdants de ce Noël devraient être les disques durs externes, selon Gfk, victimes du streaming et du cloud.

Most TV, Tablet Interactions Involve Another Screen – eMarketer

Most TV, Tablet Interactions Involve Another Screen – eMarketer.

Simultaneous device usage high among owners of multiple screens

With a sizeable portion of the US population now in possession of multiple media devices, including TVs, computers, smartphones and tablets, maintaining a multiscreen presence is a mandate for marketers.

But establishing a multiplatform presence extends beyond the obvious need to reach consumers across individual devices. Second quarter findings from Google and brand consultancy Sterling Brands showcased the opportunity to connect with consumers simultaneously on multiple devices.

In fact, more than half of all media interactions involving one screen coincided with the use of another. Devices most often used for entertainment—TVs and tablets—saw the greatest simultaneous usage: 77% of all TV interactions among US connected device users—defined as consumers owning a smartphone, PC and TV—occurred alongside another device, as did three-quarters of all tablet interactions.

Simultaneous Usage of Select Devices According to US Connected Device Users*, Q2 2012 (% of total interactions)

Simultaneous usage was more task-based than entertainment-focused. Emailing, internet browsing and social networking were the most common multiscreen activities, a good sign for the many TV marketers whose calls to action point consumers toward browsing and social networking sites, capitalizing on common user behaviors.

Leading Activities While Using Devices Simultaneously According to US Connected Device Users*, Q2 2012 (% of total interactions)

Apart from simultaneous usage, the study also looked at sequential usage—the transitioning from one device to another. The vast majority (90%) of respondents used a combination of screens over time to accomplish tasks such as emailing, researching or shopping, with 98% of transitions from one device to another occurring in the same day. This points to multidevice usage having a significant role in the typical purchase process, something neither brand nor direct-response marketers can ignore.

Among US connected device users who moved from one device to another, they most often did so to browse the internet (81%), social network (72%) or shop online (67%). How a consumer began the online shopping process, however, depended on the device used. PC and laptop users more often typed the URL directly into a browser than smartphone users (50% vs. 36%). Smartphone users were more inclined to begin their shopping session on a search engine (30% vs. 24%) or a social networking site (25% vs. 16%).


Samsung a vendu plus de 10 millions de Galaxy S3: L’Echo

Samsung Galaxy S3
Samsung Galaxy S3 (Photo credit: Stereopoly Blog)

Samsung a vendu plus de 10 millions de Galaxy S3: L’Echo.


Le succès du nouveau smartphone du géant de l’électronique dépasse celui des Galaxy S1 et S2. D’ici la fin du troisième trimestre, Samsung mise sur la vente cumulée de 18 millions de Galaxy S3.


Le géant sud-coréen de l’électronique Samsung Electronics a vendu plus de 10 millions de son dernier modèle de téléphone multifonctions, le Galaxy S3, depuis son lancement il y a près de deux mois, selon l’agence de presse Yonhap citant dimanche un responsable du groupe.

“Il apparaît que les ventes cumulées ont dépassé les 10 millions”, a indiqué J.K. Shin, en charge de la branche communications mobiles chez Samsung.

Le mois dernier, le responsable tablait déjà sur ce niveau de ventes pour la fin juillet. Il avait alors expliqué que le Galaxy S3 recevait un accueil plus positif que les deux modèles Galaxy précédents, les S1 et S2, depuis le lancement commercial en Europe, au Proche-Orient et en Asie du sud-est le 29 mai.

Le sud-coréen, en concurrence frontale avec l’américain Apple et son iPhone donnant lieu à des batailles judiciaires dans plusieurs pays, publiera ses résultats trimestriels à la fin du mois de juillet.

• Début juillet, le groupe prévoyait un bénéfice d’exploitation de 6.700 milliards de wons (4,75 milliards d’euros) pour son deuxième trimestre 2012, soit une envolée de 79% sur un an grâce aux ventes de son nouveau smartphone. D’ici la fin du troisième trimestre, il table sur la vente cumulée de 18 millions de Galaxy S3.

Sur les trois premiers mois de 2012, Samsung a livré à ses détaillants 43 millions de téléphones multifonctions, contre 35 millions pour Apple, 11,9 millions pour Nokia et 11,1 millions pour Research in Motion, connu pour son BlackBerry, selon une étude du cabinet ABI Research publiée mi-juin.

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