Last night at the Mobile World Congress kickoff in Barcelona, Mozilla unveiled some new news about Firefox OS. In addition to showcasing demo experiences, they also debuted the new brand platform and expression, which we’ve been working on with them since last summer.
Based on the idea that Firefox OS is a catalyst for individual and collective progress, the new identity reinforces that the brand is going to new places and spaces by literally unleashing the Fox, symbolizing the freedom that more people will have to take advantage of the full power of the web.
The visual expression is based on the principles of being bold and dynamic yet simple and straightforward with a friendly, human spirit. These same principles guide the brand and product messaging and reflect the overall experience upon which Firefox OS is built.
With the world gone mobile, Wolff Olins is happy to have played a role in helping Firefox create an operating system brand that isn’t restricted by current technology ecosystems and empowers people everywhere to blaze their own trails, amplify their voices and transform the future.
You know the little kick of dopamine you get whenever your phone buzzes with a new text message? Imagine what it would be like if you were the thing buzzing. In the future, a magnetic marking on your arm, stomach, finger or fingernail might be able to alert you to a new text message, call, calendar alert or low battery warning.
According to Digital Spy, Nokia is filing a patent for a new “vibrating magnetic tattoo” that will do just that—an interesting project among a growing number of investigations into “haptic” (or touch) feedback in mobile devices.
Their patent application details stamping or spraying “ferromagnetic” material onto your skin and then linking it to your phone. Based on your phone’s commands, the material would vibrate with “one short pulse, multiple short pulses, few long pulses… strong pulses, weak pulses and so on,” according to the filing.
Cambridge-based Zoran Radivojevic and Piers Andrew are the inventors, along with Finland-based Jarkko Saunamaki and Tapani Jokinen.
There’s obvious value in creating #useful experiences that enrich customers’ lives, and being the first in your sector to do it. But is this truly useful? Similarly to the “Face Unlock” system in Google’s latest Android operating system, your magnet tattoo could be used as an identity check, like a magnetic fingerprint. In a very noisy place, where you risk not hearing your phone, this technology would certainly make you aware of it. In quiet places, it could also be less disturbing than the sound of your phone vibrating.
Of course, once you tell your friends about your new magnetic tattoo, ignoring their calls will become all the more incriminating.
What do you think? A #useful innovation or an uncomfortable intrusion?
With yesterday’s formal introduction of new RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, the Canadian smartphone maker has officially declared the start of its uphill battle with the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft. The most valuable weapon in this fight? Brand. Here’s why.
A decade ago, Blackberries were only ever seen clipped to the belt loops of corporate suits. Blackberries meant business and all of RIM’s research, products, and marketing were focused around that idea. Superior product specs ultimately drove sales.
But then America entered the “crackberry” era. As RIM’s smartphones grew more mainstream —the result of blurring lines between leisure and business, otherwise known as #Bleisure— more and more people became familiar with the technology. Then demand moved beyond professionals as everyone from college students to teenagers with delusions of grandeur started adopting Blackberries. (I remember my teenage sister begging our parents for one, even composing a handwritten argument detailing all the ways the phone would ostensibly improve her life).
RIM had trouble truly reacting to the new expectations of these shifting audiences: WORK + PLAY, UTILITY + FASHION. While the company released new phones to try to feed the momentum, their internal culture was still rooted in the past, hindering their understanding of what people wanted from their technology. Without a clear position in this new world, Blackberry didn’t stand a chance of making the best future-led phones for anyone.
Meanwhile, their new breed of customer had little connection to the brand beyond its product. Many fled when shinier phones emerged from brands that represented a specific lifestyle choice and communicated social capital. Apple = sexy design. Android = geek chic. As a result, RIM continued to lose smartphone market share and their shares fell 75% in 2011.
If RIM is to keep the Blackberry from going down as a pop-culture fad of the 2000s, they’ll have figure out what makes it unique in the eyes of their new buyer and thoroughly embrace that spirit. They need to determine what RIM now stands for (figuratively), inside and out. And they need a reason to exist in this new world, where people of all ages are increasingly mobile and connected.
If this vision is solidified and shared, RIM will be able to innovate with a purpose. They’ll start to build a product ecosystem with features that people can’t live without and over time, their authentic brand will resonate. Only then will RIM have set the Blackberry back in motion.