Tecmark at CES 2012: Day 3 Onwards

Having now returned from CES 2012 in Las Vegas, I’ve had time to reflect on what we saw and learned during the past week’s exhibitions, events and after-parties.

Despite the enormous volume of new technology launched at the event, Tecmark’s main reason for attending CES was to discover new trends that will impact our Mobile and Digital Marketing business.  Reassuringly, mobile phones have penetrated every corner of CES across all technology sectors.  From in-car technology through home appliances and entertainment products, mobile phones and in particular the Android operating system are almost omnipresent.  For many, the mobile phone is the portal to the digital world and CES demonstrated that this trend is only continuing to grow.

When Tecmark started developing mobile applications and mobile-optimised websites a few years ago to complement our marketing services, we felt that technology and digital marketing were becoming ever more closely linked and that our continued success in fields such as SEO and online advertising would hinge on our ability to understand and take advantage of the new ways in which we access the internet and content in general.  CES 2012 has only strengthened our conviction in this strategy.  We’ve returned to the UK with increased confidence and plentiful ideas – accompanied with severe sleep deprivation as well…

On the mobile side of things, our main take-aways from CES are that Apple continues to be a thought-leader in the field with Android’s new Version 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) demonstrating Google’s renewed effort to catch up with Apple’s iOS and show that Android can be both beautiful and functional.  While Android has become very close to iOS, Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system, with its Metro interface, is giving users something different to consider – a fresh perspective.

An Intel engineer demonstrates their reference tablet running Windows 8

Despite having a large exhibition stand to promote their new devices, RIM (BlackBerry) failed to have any significant impact at CES in my opinion. Instead, it made up part of the background ‘noise’ at the event behind the other major exhibitors at the event that delivered meaningful announcements that captured our imagination – Intel, Microsoft, LG and Motorola to name a few.  BlackBerry’s new launches appeared to have less impact at the event than a dancing robot unveiled by Justin Bieber.

Grown men battle for photos of Justin Bieber at a Robotics demo

Microsoft Windows 8 was shown on several devices on the event and we have to admit it looks pretty awesome.  As Windows 8 platform rolls out towards the end of this year with the obvious advantages to businesses using Microsoft software throughout their organisation, BlackBerry’s long-serving USP of enterprise-grade email support starts to look a little weak alongside their otherwise uninspiring product range.

Predictions for 2012

Based on what we’ve seen at CES 2012, I offer the following predictions for the coming year:

  • Microsoft becomes cool again: Now that Microsoft have realised the importance of satisfying both the consumer and enterprise markets, Microsoft Windows 8 will allow Microsoft to ‘turn the corner’ and re-establish itself at the forefront of the technology marketplace with a renewed brand that resonates with the cool kids and IT Pros alike.
  • x86 vs ARM: The battle between the rival x86 (Intel) and ARM processor technologies will reach boiling point this year.  Intel’s new x86 (traditionally used in desktop PCs, but now poised for release into the mobile market) and the competing ARM technology (used in most mobile devices including Apple’s iPhone and most Android devices) will push the boundaries of what is possible on a mobile device. They’ll allow users to run enterprise-level software programs on their mobile and tablet devices.  The distinction between a mobile device and high-powered desktop PC will be increasingly blurred and for many people the need for multiple devices will be a decision of screen size alone rather than capability or performance.
  • Android takes over the world: Android will grow exponentially across a multitude of devices (not just mobile phones) as manufacturers take advantage of the openness and zero-cost of the platform.

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Tecmark at CES 2012 – Days 1 and 2

The first few days of Tecmark’s visit to CES 2012 in Las Vegas have been amazing. We’ve tested some great new technology including the latest mobile phones, 3D TVs, smart home appliances and robotics. We’ve heard great keynote speeches from Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Intel President Paul Otellini and Paul Jacobs, Chairman of Qualcomm. We’ve also been lucky to sit in on some more intimate discussions about the future of the technology ecosystem with Google’s Eric Schmidt and Tim Baxter from Samsung, as well as a great discussion about the future of mobile with an interesting panel including Heroes actor Greg Grunberg, Samsung’s Esteban Contreras and photographer Chase Jarvis amongst others.

CES 2012 LVCC North Hall

CES 2012: LVCC North Hall – one small section of the 20+ exhibition areas across Las Vegas this year

3DTVs at CES

One of the most impressive demonstrations of new technology at CES 2012 is LG’s range of 3DTVs.

Personally I’ve never been a big fan of 3DTV, but LG’s new 55″ OLED TV has completely changed my view. The clarity of the picture was unbelievably good, and the 3D experience was truly awesome. Several of the people standing next to me actually reached out to grab hold of objects projecting out of the screen, as if they couldn’t believe what they were seeing could be anything but real, physical objects jumping out from the crystal-clear OLED screen.
Nearby LG’s demonstration models of the new 55″ screens was an enormous 3D experience made up of hundreds of screens.

3DTV at CES 2012

Huge 3DTV Screen at the LG Stand


Huge 3D TV Screen at the LG Stand (2)

Innovative Workstations

An interesting new idea from the Canadian company MWE Lab is a great office workstation comprising of a very comfortable chair combined with ergonomic components to hold a computer, keyboard, mouse and monitor. The whole thing is powered and fully customisable and boasts an integrated Bose sound system. Sitting in the chair felt like being in my own little bubble and I can imagine the focus and concentration this workstation would offer. I think some of the Tecmark developers would kill for one of these.

Innovative workstations at CES 2012

Kevin testing MWE Lab's Emperor office workstation


Motorola made an important announcement during the Intel CEO’s keynote on Tuesday, confirming a multi-year strategic alliance with Intel which means Motorola phones will be making use of the new Intel Atom mobile-optimised CPUs in the near future.

On Motorola’s stand was a selection of their new devices. One of the most impressive was the new Motorola Droid Razr.

Motorola at CES 2012

Testing the new Motorola Droid Razr at CES 2012

The screen’s clarity was phenomenal and appeared to be easily as good as the retina screen on the iPhone 4. Motorola have also customised the Android OS on their latest devices to include some features unique to Motorola. One of the most impressive new features is called Smart Actions and allows the user to create ‘rules’ to customise the phone’s setup according to changes in the phone’s status or location, for example. One potential use of this system is to have the phone automatically turn off non-critical services such as Bluetooth when the phone’s battery goes below 10%. The user can create any rule they like, giving them total control over the device and enabling the device to become much smarter than the average smartphone. Smart Actions is one example of how manufacturers choosing Android as their OS are differentiating themselves not only from competing platforms such as iOS and Windows Phone, but also from other competing Android platforms. In Motorola’s case, they are trying to stand out from Samsung, HTC and others in the crowded Android marketplace.
Intel have been slow to enter the mobile sector with their processors, but CES 2012 marks their arrival. Their chips appear incredibly fast with powerful graphics capabilities and extremely low battery usage compared to other existing phones using rival processors such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon CPUs.

Intel at CES 2012

Intel demonstrator shows their demo device taking burst of 10 high-quality photos in under 1 second

Intel demonstrated their own ‘reference design’ smartphones and tablets running Android 4.0 (codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich). We put the devices through their paces and they were incredibly slick. Lenovo’s K800 will be the first smartphone to use Intel’s new Atom mobile chip and will be available in China in the next few months. Intel’s partnership with Motorola, which is now part of Google, suggests that the three companies are forming a strong strategic bond designed to compete more effectively with Apple who, despite being absent at CES 2012, clearly remains the benchmark of quality in terms of hardware, software and the ecosystem bringing the user experience together.

Electric Powered Delorean

We’ve seen so much already at CES 2012 that it isn’t possible to cover everything in this one blog post. One final area worth mentioning, though, is the innovation in renewable energy with many solar power and other clean power alternatives being demonstrated this year. Outside of the exhibition halls are solar-powered mobile phone charging stations which came in very handy. NRG, a solar power company, brought an electric-powered Delorean with them to promote their clean energy initiatives.

electric delorean at CES 2012

Electric-powered Delorean at NRG's stand

The Evolution of ‘Smart’

Although discussion of the technology ‘ecosystem’ and the launch of ‘ultra-books’ (slim laptops) have dominated much of the show so far, in my opinion one of the most interesting trends is the possibility for all electronic devices to evolve ‘smart’ capabilities in an always- on, always-connected environment. Some examples at CES include home appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines running the Android OS, giving them the ability to send notifications to their owner’s smartphone. The possibility of every electronic device communicating its status and location to the cloud would save us time and energy, and significantly change the way we live our lives. Although we’re not there yet, this appears to be direction many companies we’ve spoken to at CES are heading. In particular, Google are very strongly positioned to sit at the epicenter of this future world, due to the openness of their Android operating system which can lend itself to much more than just smartphones, as we’ve seen this year at CES 2012.

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Puttluck ‘One of the Best iPhone Sports Games of 2011′

Puttluck features alongside Fifa and Tiger Woods as one of the best iPhone sports games of the year!

During 2011, one of the many apps launched by Tecmark was Puttluck, a gyroscope based golf game.

The app was widely praised, featuring as Pocket Lint’s app of the day and scoring a respectable 4/5 on their review. It was also covered by Loaded, the Mirror and featured on the Gadget Show, amongst others.

And as the year draws to a close and the ‘best of the year’ type round ups start appearing, we’re thrilled to see Puttluck featuring! Pocket Lint has featured Puttluck on its ‘Best Sports Games for iPhone’ roundup alongside Fifa, Tiger Woods, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 and others.

If you haven’t tried Puttluck for yourself yet, you can download it from iTunes.

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Scott Hague Completes Skiddaw Challenge

Tecmark’s Channel Partner Manager, Scott Hague has successfully completed a walk up England’s 4th highest mountain, Skiddaw, in aid of JDRF.

At Tecmark, we’ve been carrying out Internet Marketing activities for JDRF for several months now and have all come to know and appreciate the research the charity carries out into diabetes. So we all gladly sponsored Scott and sent him off up a mountain with a pat on the back!

The walk, which took just over 5 hours, took Scott to an altitude of 2,761 feet. So far, he’s raised £525 for the charity and you can still donate here.

Congratulations, Scott!

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Tecmark Shortlisted for 7 at the UK Search Awards

We’re chuffed to bits to have made the shortlists for 7 categories at the forthcoming UK Search Awards.

We’re up for:

  • Best Agency
  • Best SEO Campaign (for icelolly.com)
  • Best PPC Campaign (for sunsave.com)
  • Best Use of Search in Travel (for icelolly.com)
  • Best Use of Search in Retail (for fawkes-cycles.co.uk in collaboration with Citrus Lime)
  • Best Blog  (for 8ball.co.uk blog)
  • Best Integrated Campaign (for 8ball.co.uk)

You can see all the shortlists here.

We’re up against some tough competition but are all thoroughly looking forward to the awards ceremony at the Emirates Stadium on 3rd June.

Keep your fingers crossed for us!

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Tecmark at the Empire Big Screen Event

In August, Tecmark had the pleasure of working on a iPad app that featured in Paramount’s stand at the Empire Big Screen event at the O2 arena in London. We worked alongside SML Marketing & Events and Global.

The app was inserted into the stand and gave visitors an interactive experience enabling them to view trailers, photos, cast content and many more features for new and forthcoming releases such as Cowboys & Aliens, Super8, Tin Tin and Puss in Boots.

The stand featured “real life” cowboys and cowgirls, they ran competitions throughout the three day event. It attracted some big crowds – particularly when the cowboys burst into song.

It was an absolute pleasure to be a part of the event and to be involved in the app development. And here’s a couple of piccies:

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UK Mobile Internet Statistics – August 2011

uk mobile internet statistics august 2011
In January 2011, we released version 1 of our own analysis into UK mobile web traffic.

The data illustrated a massive 4000% growth in the proportion of UK web traffic accounted for by mobile devices, the number having jumped from 0.02% in September 2009 to 8.09%. We also found that Apple far outperformed Android and Blackberry and anticipated a further increase in mobile web traffic in the coming months.

6 months is a long time in mobile and we have revisited the data and updated our findings up to the end of July 2011.

The Data

We used data from the same sources as in version 1. The figures are taken from Google Analytics, from several different UK websites in several different niche areas. This gave us between 1.5 million and 2.4 million total web visits (the vast majority of which were UK) to work with.

This quantity of data gives us a in depth insight into how quickly mobile web traffic is growing and in addition, the different web devices accounted for this growth.

Key Mobile Web Traffic Findings

The complete PDF is available to download at the bottom of this post. But here are the key points.

  • Mobile now accounts for 12.59% of UK web traffic.
  • This figure has increased month on month since March 2010 – 17 consecutive months of growth.

uk mobile internet statistics august 2011

  • Apple still accounts for the lion’s share, with 58% of mobile visits coming from iPhones and an additional 17% coming from iPad devices.
  • Android has experienced quick growth in terms of the proportion of web visits it accounts for. In January, Android made up just 10.6% of mobile web visits. This has since increased by over 37% – in July 2011, 14.6% of mobile web visits were accounted for by Android devices.
  • Blackberry is experiencing a decline. In January, it accounted for 6.1% of the web visits in our study. In July 2011, this figure was just 3.5%, illustrating a decline of 42%

Mobile Internet Statistics

You can download the complete PDF here: Mobile and UK Web Traffic August 2011

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Latest mobile gaming website live

Mobile Slots 4U is an all encompassing site for Britain’s mobile slot industry, providing visitors with reviews and help guides for first time players, all from an unbiased perspective.

When approached with this project, we needed to design a site that could accommodate the amount of content Mobile Slots 4U provides their visitors with on an ongoing basis. Inspired by the sleek look and feel of the always evolving world of mobile technology, we also wanted to reflect the style of the latest mobile apps in the design of the site.

Merging these two necessities gave Mobile Slots 4U the capability to give their visitors a comprehensive education on everything one needs to know in the mobile gaming community, while at the same time providing them with a visually entertaining learning experience.

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The Power of Thor is Live!

At Tecmark, we’ve been working in collaboration with the Picture Production company on an augmented reality app that puts the Power of Thor right on your smartphone!

The Power of Thor has been developed for Paramount Pictures to support the launch of their latest blockbuster film, Thor. It combines video, animation and special effects with your smartphone’s camera to let you unleash the power of Thor’s hammer and open a portal to another world! You can then upload the snaps to the Power of Thor website and share with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

We’re delighted with the finished product, which is now live and available for free download! You can get the Android version here and the iPhone version here!

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We’ve Moved!

Tecmark’s Manchester office has moved! Our Manchester team is now enjoying rather spectacular views from the 15th floor of 111 Piccadilly (just by Piccadilly Train Station).

We’re not totally finished with the setup yet…. but here’s a sneak peek of our shiny new home!

We’re rather enjoying the view….

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