Monthly Archives: November 2010

Want An iPod Nano Watch? So Does Everyone. Idea Poised To Be New Kickstarter King

We’ve talked a lot about Diaspora, the open-source Facebook-alternative, in recent months. One of the reasons for that is the massive success they had raising money on the crowdsourced fund-raising site, Kickstarter. The project raised over $200,000 from nearly 6,500 backers in just 39 days. Now a new project has already blown that tally out of the water: an iPod nano-based multi-touch wristwatch.

Scott Wilson, the founder of Chicago-based product and design studio, MINIMAL, set out with an idea: to create two watch enclosures for Apple’s latest iPod nano. He wanted the TikTok to be a low-end model ($35) and the LunaTik to be high-end ($70). So he put his project on Kickstarter with a goal of raising $15,000. So how is he doing?

Well, he’s raised $341,895. And he still has 22 days to go.

Wow.

Wilson’s project has not only blown past the high-profile Diaspora one, it’s poised to demolish the all-time funding leader, the Save Blue Like Jazz movie. That project raised $345,992 when it closed on October 25. Wilson’s project should pass it tomorrow, if not tonight after I publish this post.

And with good reason. While the idea is a simple one (Apple CEO Steve Jobs even joked about such an idea on stage to highlight how small the nano is), but it’s something a lot of people clearly want. The project has 4,636 backers so far. And the video Wilson made to accompany the project (below) looks quite a bit like an Apple-produced video.

Wilson had a goal of shipping the TikTok by late December and the LunaTik by mid January. At first, money was the issue. Now it seems as if demand may be the bigger problem. (To be clear, given the prices he’s selling these for, the iPod nano is not included.)

Again, the project still has 22 days to go on its funding run. I have to imagine it’s going to shoot well past $500,000, putting it far atop the Kickstarter Hall of Fame.

Want An iPod Nano Watch? So Does Everyone. Idea Poised To Be New Kickstarter King.

Qype Raises €6.5m |

User-generated local review site Qype has raised €3.5m (£3m) from Vodafone Ventures and a further €3m from its existing three investors, Advent Venture Partners, Partech International and Wellington Partners.

Launched in March 2006, Qype’s communication platform offers user-generated reviews and recommendations of places, events and experiences. Qype covers more than 158,000 European towns and cities and has 17m unique visitors per month.

Qype enables users to search for and read trusted reviews about a venue or experience – from restaurants and bars to gyms and childcare. Qype’s iPhone, Blackberry and Android apps enable users to read and add reviews on their phone and use the app as a satnav to guide them to their chosen location. Since 2009, almost 1m people have downloaded the Qype mobile app in different European countries. Its benefits include the support of multiple languages to allow users to tap into local knowledge when abroad, and a five=star rating system showcasing the best places nearby in just one click.

The additional funds will be used to develop Qype’s mobile business. A result of the new agreement will be that a co-branded version of the Qype product will be pre-loaded on supported Vodafone Blackberry and Android handsets. Qype says this is a significant deal, covering Vodafone’s core European markets, including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands and Ireland.

“Qype has emerged as the leading local reviews site on the web in Europe,” notes Peter Barry, head of venture group at Vodafone Ventures. “In the recent past, we have seen Qype rapidly scale its presence both on the mobile and beyond Europe. We are delighted to back a key player in the location-based services and user reviews arena, and we are looking forward to helping Qype accelerate its mobile business further and ultimately adding value to our customers.”

via Qype Raises €6.5m |.

Hertz breaks multichannel location-based campaign to increase car rentals

The Hertz Corp. has partnered with HopStop for a major online and mobile advertising campaign spanning both companies’ operations in London, Paris, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Washington.

Global car sharing club Connect by Hertz and HopStop, a provider of pedestrian navigation and mobile transit services, are teaming up to help city dwellers get around more easily and cross-promote each other’s digital platforms.

read more here >>>>

Patent Office Agrees To Facebook’s “Face” Trademark

Facebook is just a payment away from trademarking the word “Face.” As of today the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office has sent the social networking site a Notice of Allowance, which means they have agreed to grant the “Face” trademark to Facebook.

All Facebook needs to do is pay the issue fee within three months of today and the “Face” trademark will be issued and be published in the official USPTO gazette and everything.

For all intents and purposes today’s status update bodes well for Facebook’s hold over “Face” usages in “Telecommunication services, namely, providing online chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among computer users in the field of general interest and concerning social and entertainment subject matter, none primarily featuring or relating to motoring or to cars.”

While it seems so bizarre that a company should have the right to trademark a word as common as “Face” apparently the USPTO isn’t at all disturbed (what’s with the “related to motoring or cars” restrictions?). Something tells me Facebook won’t have any problem forking over the cash.

Update: A commenter points out that aside from the issue fee, Facebook will have file a Statement of Use and use the trademark on its own in commerce before it has actual legal claim over the word “Face.” Right now it only uses the word “Face” in conjunction with “book,” but that will have to change if it wants to have any right to the trademark.

Apple Launches ‘iAd,’ Mobile Ad Platform for iPhone and iPad | ClickZ

Apple has announced it is launching an in-app mobile advertising product, dubbed “iAd,” which it says will enable advertisers to provide far more “engaging and emotive” experiences to users, while more successfully remunerating developers. The ad formats will function on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and newly launched iPad product.

Speaking at a press event in California this afternoon, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the new ad platform, which he said will be “built in” to the new iPhone operating system, OS 4, which is due to be released this summer, and rolled out to the iPad in the Fall, according to live reports.

Apple will sell and serve the ads itself, with a simple 60/40 split in favor of the application developer. The platform is likely to make use of technology from mobile ad network Quattro Wireless, which it acquiredin January. Ads will apparently make use of HTML5, but the company did not provide any details on how ads would be sold, tracked, or measured.

During the event, Jobs demonstrated a range of example ads from brands such as Disney, Nike and Target. Clicking through on banner-like placements embedded in a news application launched the advertiser content, which essentially took the form of mini branded applications in their own right, featuring video, games, and other interactive content.

Jobs continued by saying the company’s intention is “to change the quality of the advertising” currently available on mobile devices such as the iPhone – which he said “sucks.” He also said he aimed to provide ads with greater “emotion,” while retaining the interactivity that has become synonymous with digital and Internet advertising.

Apple Launches ‘iAd,’ Mobile Ad Platform for iPhone and iPad | ClickZ.