Terms and Conditions May Apply

screengrabIn a perfect world, you would be able to download an app equipped with settings that delay unwanted messaging. Unfortunately, that would defeat the marketability of the product and the companies’ ability to collect data about its customers. It feels a little creepy to watch the ads on my browser change according the last sites I’ve visited or know that every time I’m on Facebook, a sponsored or ‘recommended’ ad is being added to my feed without my permission. Given the data gathered by the Pew Internet Research Project (2012), I’m not alone in my apprehension:

  • 54% of app users have decided to not install a cell phone app when they discovered how much personal information they would need to share in order to use it
  • 30% of app users have uninstalled an app that was already on their cell phone because they learned it was collecting personal information that they didn’t wish to share

How often has this happened to you? When you tweet or Facebook, how often do you disable the GPS capabilities? Given the basic stats, one thing is clear – disclosure. I think information should be simple and obvious when it comes to mobile privacy. The EULA (End User Licensing Agreement) that’s often written in legalese at lengths that are more than most of us want to scroll almost need to be presented in video or infographic format to be fully understood. 

Social networks connect so easilty to mobile devices and can parse your contacts and other personal information. Although you get a notice about this from mobile versions of Facebook, are you really made aware of the extent your information will used? What does it mean really when it says, “Facebook would like to post on your behalf?”

For me it all comes down to disclosure. With the stats given above, I wonder how many of those companies track or evaluate the number of times their apps are uninstalled?


BOYLES, J. L., SMITH, A., & MADDEN, M. (2012, September 5). Privacy and Data Management on Mobile Devices. Pew Research Centers Internet American Life Project RSS. Retrieved May 8, 2014, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/09/05/privacy-and-data-management-on-mobile-devices/


An iBeacon and a dream

From 9to5mac.com

I had a dream once that involved someone driving onto the parking lot of a store. Once they enter the lot, their phone dings with a message welcoming them to the business and giving them the option of learning about deals and specials before they even leave their car. Upon learning of the iBeacon, it would seem that dream has become reality.

According to 9to5mac.com (2013),  you can think of iBeacon as GPS for indoor locations, your phone able to pick up the iBeacon transmissions and work out where it is with a high degree of accuracy.

You step inside Walmart and your shopping list is transformed into a personalized map, showing you the deals that’ll appeal to you most. You pause in front of a concert poster on the street, pull out your phone, and you’re greeted with an option to buy tickets with a single tap. You go to your local watering hole, have a round of drinks, and just leave, having paid—and tipped!—with Uber-like ease. Welcome to the world of iBeacon (Lovejoy, 2013).

Developed by Apple, Inc., the technology works on IOS devices. While a special transmitter can be purchased to set up a beacon in a certain location, any IOS device – there are nearly 200 million of them – that is properly configured can be used as a beacon. The marketing implications of this type of technology seems immeasurable. It would allow an unprecedented level of consumer engagement if planned properly. The fact that Apple owns the patent for this technology means selling a boatload of iPads. Applications of the technology include MLB stadiums and retail stores like Macy’s.

If you were a retailer and could communicate with your customers based on where they are in the store, what would you say? Would you be bold enough to place a beacon near your competitor’s store? The iBeacon changes the game.


“4 Reasons Why Apple’s iBeacon Is About to Disrupt Interaction Design | Design.” WIRED. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.

Lavars, Nick. “iBeacons installed at MLB stadiums for a better-connected fan experience.” Gizmag | New and Emerging Technology News. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.

Lovejoy, Ben. “iBeacon briefing: What is it, and what can we expect from it?”9to5Mac. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.

“The Open Secret Of iBeacon: Apple Could Have 250M Potential Units In The Wild By 2014 | TechCrunch.” TechCrunch. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.

The rise of the Nabi

nabiIn a World…no, seriously. While the name might sound like an undiscovered population or country, Nabi is the name of a new tablet made just for kids. When I first learned of the device, I wasn’t even watching one of the first commercials they did – I heard it and was intrigued. The marketing team at Nabi did their homework. It was the most sweet, endearing voice you’d ever want to hear. Check it out:

It was ingenious on their end when it came to branding. The key words they used in the commercial – connection; not just a tablet, a friend – are words that their key demographic will pick up on. The self-titled everything tablet is aimed at kids 3 – 13+ and offers different versions of the device based on age. The Nabi website gives you a snapshot of the different types of models available and includes an area to track progress of skills learned. A wise move on their end was the area where parents can log in and manage the account.

Developed by the parent company Fuhu, this use of portable media is sure to revolutionize the way kids will consume information far into the future. Named one of the Fastest Growing Companies by Inc. 500 and Number One Most Promising Companies of 2014 by Forbes, the company has definitely secured a niche footprint.

There are a few arguments on both sides of this story as to whether this will become harmful in the long run. In a report by the Center on Media and Human Development at Northwestern University (Pearson, 2013), parents of young children do not regularly use technology to educate their kids, they also don’t appear to find it particularly harmful. More than half of the parents said computers and mobile devices had neither positive nor negative effects on their children. Parents were more critical of video games, and more than half of the parents surveyed said that technology does hamper physical activity.

Another report by the Pew Research Internet Project shows that there may be an amalgamation of positive and negative effects of new technology on future generations (2011) because they are so hyperconnected.

I’m not sure what to make of it yet. There isn’t a lot of research available when it comes to new media and technology. It would appear that the caveat to innovation is not knowing how it will affect us in the longrun. What was your life like before the flash drive?

Millennials will benefit and suffer due to their hyperconnected lives. (n.d.). Pew Research Centers Internet American Life Project RSS. Retrieved March 24, 2014, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2012/02/29/millennials-will-benefit-and-suffer-due-to-their-hyperconnected-lives/

Pearson, C. (2013, June 4). Kids’ Media Use: Parents Still Reach For Toys, Books Over Technology, Report Says. The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 24, 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/04/kids-media-use_n_3385556.html

World, meet______________________.


Have you ever dealt with who you really are? How true are you to yourself when everything is ideal? I’ve learned that diversity and friction can be great self awareness tools. It’s not until your patience is tested that you find out how much of it you have. Adversity can be looked at as a way of discovering something about yourself that you didn’t know before. How can you know how much passion you have for something if it doesn’t try you from time to time? Often in relationships, we don’t find out what our mates are made of until we’ve experienced or endured a hardship with them. Did they comfort you/did you comfort them? Did they try to help you solve it/did you help them?

I’m learning that the point at which you feel like walking away is the point in which you need to hang on…