Yesterday, I attended MacWorld with Ryo Akasaka & others from Stanford’s human-computer interaction program. It was an interesting show–more like a focused street fair than a true convention, but two pieces of software caught my eye.
CoBook is (yet another) app which tries to tackle the address book space–something that’s really necessary, once you get beyond managing a few friends and family members in Address Book.
It clearly is a piece of beta software–it crashed quickly while indexing my contacts, and doesn’t have a tear-away option, so you can’t see contacts while in another program–but it does a lot of things right, starting with baked-in Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter integration to match what’s done on iOS devices, really easy note-taking to remember context, and syncing with most of OSX’s default software. Which, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to include Exchange. Still, they’re planning to launch a full version soon (~$25), and I’m looking forward to it.
Soonr is a cloud document sharing service, which is interesting … but I was particularly excited by Soonr Scribble, an app they apparently just released at MacWorld (now on iOS). It lets people write on a wide range of documents–not just PDFs, which seems to be industry standard.
I’m a little concerned that it requires a Soonr account, which starts at $99/year, but I could still imagine it as a boon to college students and consultants, for mark-ups and note taking on the fly. It also makes a stylus a much better option, though I’d recommend avoiding the Griffin.
Apparently Coke had some bad experiences with barcode scanners in the early days. Coke Zero resulted in a swiss army knife, and Diet Coke resulted in a pink pillow. They didn't call out the scanners by name, but I fear we were one of these. I think we've improved since then.
I spent the first half of this week at the National Retail Federation’s BIG show, in New York City. About 25,000 people were in attendance, including representatives from most major retailers and companies trying to sell solutions to these retailers. I managed to attend a few presentations, including a keynote by Bill Clinton, and culled some interesting points:
90% of buyers would use buy-online & pick-up-in-store later, if available, says @NCR
I’m not sure if “buyers” is an important distinction vs. shoppers.
95% of all retailers have only a single store, says @EliseDG90 I wonder what percentage of retail stores are part of a single location retailer though
90% of people trust brand recommendations from friends, says @HubSpot … which explains why people are optimistic about social shopping. Interestingly, a number of other presenters suggested shopping was only a semi-social activity (vs. shopping at the mall today with friends) because you all have separate screens, even if you share some limited information
Mashable reported that consumers don’t like to shop on branded apps, and instead shop online. I’m not sure where applications like RedLaser fall here, however–it isn’t a branded app (like Walmart’s app), but it certainly isn’t browser based shopping either.
PayPal’s Sebastian Taveau (@frogtwitt) noted that 25% of shoppers searched for retailer information , 10% compare prices and review … but 78% actually buy online. How can we get consumers doing more research online? How much of this is because people go directly to destinations sites (like Amazon)?
It looks like Foursquare is moving to take on Yelp more directly--I just got this notification, pushing their recommendation service. If only they'd first fix their notification clearing code. Getting the iOS red "new notification" icon to go away is harder in 4Sq than any other app.