Marketers and businesses have used visual content to bring visibility to their brand for it’s effectiveness with consumer engagement. In this article, we explore the scientific reasoning behind this determine and how we can apply this psychology to create top-notch marketing content.
Content posted with colored images produced 180% more engagement. Customers are 85% more likely to purchase your product after watching a video about it. It’s no wonder then that social media platforms are becoming more and more visually-oriented, such as Instagram, Facebook live, Snapchat and YouTube. Lucky for us as marketers, this opens up a big opportunity to engage with our customers and show off our products and services. But in order to maximize our effectiveness, we need to truly understand the psychology behind it and how the human brain works. So why do we love visual content so much?
Although we have 5 senses, our primary sense that is used to make sense of our world is sight. Simply put, we interact with our world through looking. Which is why 90% of the information that is transmitted to the brain is visual. This is what our brains are made to do and have done since day one. When we are first born, we immediately begin seeing things and are able to retain and make sense of that visual information right away, but we don’t learn to talk or read until much later.
Since our brains are made to be visual, and by the time we are “consumer-age,” our brains are able to process this visual information at an alarming rate. In fact, we process visual content up to 60,000 times faster.
And we don’t just process more, faster. We also retain and remember visual information far better than text, which the average person will only remember 20% of.
Color is very powerful to the human brain and our emotions. Have you ever seen one of those viral videos that documents the reaction of someone that is color blind seeing a new color for the first time? It almost makes the viewer want to cry with joy!
But here we are, left wondering why is colorful so powerful to us?
There are two primary components of the eye that allow us to capture visual information to send to the brain. Rods and cones. The cones are responsible for color, and were developed to help us stay away from danger, particularly poison. So color really taps into our “lizard brains,” making it an extremely powerful tool for our survival. And although it has been a long time, these innate and instinctive behaviors don’t just simply vanish from humans. A recent study from the University of Berkeley, California concludes that we do still have strong negative and positive associations of color. While some of these will differ from the individual’s personal experience, the following can be generalized: Blues and greens are associated with nature, good health and cleanliness, white, along with blue is also associated with ‘freshness’ and clean living, and browns and certain shades of yellow evoke negative connotations (because these were colors we wanted to generally avoid while foraging for food – and we still dislike them thousands of years later).
You know that feeling when you abruptly see something move out of the corner of your eye? It might give you an eerie feeling because you can’t tell who or what it was. Our heads immediately snap to the direction of the movement.
Rods, which capture peripherals and movement in our eyes. According to this article, “these rods in our eyes are more sensitive to movement for one very good reason, perhaps the ultimate reason – to keep us alive.”
Movement is so powerful to us for the same reason as color – it taps into our lizard brain for survival instinct. So when we see movement, it will capture our full attention and keep it, until we know it’s no longer a “perceived threat.” So if you are constantly changing the movement and information coming in, you will hold attention.
Our human brains are extremely complex. So complex, that they are simple. Or rather they simplify everything that they can in order to process complex information more efficiently and rapidly. Essentially, our brains identify and create shortcuts for us to make everything seem more simple.
So as much as our brains need stimulation, they really crave simple ideas and simple tasks where we can create these shortcuts. A shortcut for our brain is visual processing, because it is able to process that information much more quickly and with less effort. In fact, it only requires 50% of our brain to process a visual advertisement. This is also why public signs so often have a distinct look and portray information visually. Yes, it breaks down the language barrier, but it also makes things more efficient. Just imagine you’re driving and a sign reads “watch out, upcoming road will be windy and have a lot of turns.” You might pass that sign before you even read it all! Or you could just have a visual of an arrow and turns like the one below.
And this is exactly why we always say “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
Perhaps the one thing that the human brain loves more than visuals are emotions. Reading facial emotions is universal according to this science brief by the APA. While we can experience emotions through text, we are true experts at reading facial expressions and emotions. “One of the things we are watching from day one is faces. Babies, even before their eye muscles are capable of focusing, still turn and face their mothers. We are hardwired to seek out a round object with two dark bands (one for the eyes, one for the mouth) even before we can see them clearly.”
Reading emotions visually through facial expression is one thing. But we also have the ability and oftentimes will feel that emotion in one of three ways. 1. Nostalgic – when we see an expression on another’s face, we often remember a time when we felt that emotion too, 2. Imagination – we will imagine ourselves feeling a certain way too, or a uniquely human characteristic 3. Empathy – we truly feel the emotion of that other person.
Other visuals also play a role in emotions, including color. For example, if we see a picture of someone with a slight smile and a white background, it will not be as emotionally powerful to us as an image of that same person with a background of the blue sky and a bright yellow sun.
Now that we truly understand the science behind our love of visual content, we can apply this knowledge to developing more effective digital marketing strategies and better content. Here are some points to consider:
The human brain’s obsession with visual content has driven the rise of visually-oriented social media channel. This has opened the doors for companies to promote their products in a visually engaging manner, to audiences across the globe. But due to the short life of every Instagram Post, or Boomerang video, it’s crucial to get the very most out of each advertisement or content post. And after reading this article, you now understand the science behind how to capture the attention of and win over your customers. Use this knowledge and the ideas provided to create captivating visual content that is sure to fuel your marketing strategy and convert customers.
Recent trends suggest that Disruptive campaigns are now becoming the new normal in the advertising industry globally. The case is not different in Nigeria, where advertisers are combining both technological innovations and experiential marketing alongside conventional/digital media platforms to not only advertise their products but to engage their audiences on personal levels.
Perhaps, advertisers have realised that reliance on conventional media and regular media messaging techniques can only go so far in driving brand expectations, which includes market penetration and gaining market share. They do not want to wait for audiences to return from a 9-5 job, then tune in to their favourite TV or Radio program, before catching the advert messages. Chances are that these audience might be tired and miss the show entirely or even skip the advert, as technology has made it easy to do so.
Now advertisers are going the way of innovative, penetrative and experience oriented marketing. These in many cases needs a fusion of conventional media and technology to make it quite disruptive and attention grabbing.
In an audacious move, Johnnie Walker, a leading Whisky brand, during its #ISeeYouLagos campaign, in commemoration of Lagos at 50, did the unusual with a disruptive activation at the Admiralty Lekki tollgate.
They flipped the script on Out of Home (OOH) adverting. Where a billboard advertising Johnnie Walker’s Lagos at 50 message is necessary and still effective, it is also likely to be ignored or missed by the millions of people who ply the toll gate, but paying for toll fees for drivers which allowed free flow of traffic has done much more for Johnnie Walker’s brand visibility. By way of innovation what Johnnie Walker has done was unusual and created a more memorable marketing experience for existing and new audience.
The campaign went viral; a priceless commodity in marketing communications. Many that experienced it could not stop talking about the “nice gesture” from Johnnie walker.
Posterscope, the OOH agency, that conceived, planned and executed it, described it as “an integrated out-of-home media campaign that showcased how a combination of digital out-of-home with experiential, mobile and social media can deliver earned reach many times the worth of paid media.”
Naturally, other brands will emulate this trend and this is one way to gauge its effectiveness. Pepsi has done the same with its #NoShakinCarryGo hour! From the early morning of August 11, to 6pm, it was a Zero toll at the Lekki Tollgate.
Digitally, advertisers are exploring highly targeted and effective Geo fencing technology. This is arguably the most disruptive tool for advertisers at the moment. This location-based mobile phone advertising technology targets users based on specific geographic areas and demography.
Using a filter, it tags all the smart phones in the area to acquire the required demography. Advertisers can now customize messages to specific audiences with high impact.
in Nigeria, Strata Media Limited is pioneering a Geo fenced ad campaign for Mall for Africa. This campaign that is running at Mbolaji Anthony and Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos is seeing people around that area at scheduled times receive ad notifications persuading them to do their shopping at Mallfor Africa. What this means is that anyone within these areas are compelled to view these messages. As intrusive as this method is, it is gaining popularity fast due to its accuracy in targeting the right audience and it is expected that other brands will latch on to this soon.
For advertisers, these innovations are just ways to counter the clutter of messages that are competing for the attention of audiences from different sources every day.
While Brands will continue to utilize traditional media, however, the race is on for strategies that are innovative and capable of making audiences stop and ask questions about what they are seeing and to go a step further by participating.
When it comes to video marketing, many businesses start creating video content without a clear and consistent strategy. This leads to their video getting lost in YouTube and other search channels. Here we offer seven valuable tips that will help elevate your video production to the next level.
It’s important to focus on high production values. Editing techniques such as the quality of the transitions and graphic overlays will make all the difference to the finished video. Develop a strong title sequence, and create a watermarked logo to display in the corner of your screen. Make sure the music is consistent with what the video is about, and ensure that each section of the video is relevant.
Videos under three minutes long tend to get the most engagement, so keep your videos short and to the point. If you’ve got a lot to say, why not break your video up into several segments? Brevity is key with video, so think of the one takeaway message you’d like viewers to take from your film and then chop out any unnecessary content.
Creating a great opening to a video is what keeps the viewer engaged, and watching until the end. Think about how you can position your video so you don’t lose viewers after the first twenty seconds. Will you start with a bold statement? Will you open the video with dramatic music or a dramatic scene? Try and grab the viewer’s attention so it makes them think or question what’s next.
Creating a video is one thing, but getting it out to a wide audience is another. Make sure that your viewers see your video by including relevant keywords in the title and in the description. Don’t be too generic – add in some longer tail keywords and some more descriptive words, so that viewers who are really interested in the subject matter will be able to find your video.
A strong title is important because it affects the viewer’s decision to click on your video in the first place. Make sure the video title is engaging, yet uses your primary keywords. Titles such as ‘Why I …’ or ‘Ten ways to…’ get good engagement because it encourages the viewer to find out the answer and click on your video.
Make sure your video message is clear and consistent throughout. A good way to ensure this happens is to write a storyboard before you begin filming. Get a piece of paper and down one side, list the timings of the video. On the other, write down what we’ll see on the video, and if there is any narration to go with it. This provides structure to the video, and you’ll be able to see if there are any sections that don’t fit or are not needed for that particular video.
A call to action is really important because it inspires your viewers to take the next step. Once they have finished watching, what do you want them to do? If it’s visit a website, include your URL at the end. If it’s download a brochure or call you, make sure you show that on your end title screen. The call to action doesn’t need to be too obvious, but it should be clear to the viewer that this is the next action that they should take.
Get in touch to find out how we can help you achieve your online marketing goals.
So much can happen in the world of technology in 10 years, our tech-habits have come on leaps and bounds since 2007, and now dominate the way we live, from the way we communicate, do business and shop. With such an expansion in technology, there have been hundreds of new roles created that whole industries are based around that were unheard of a decade ago.
Uber was founded in 2009 and has already been hailed as one of the world’s most valuable start-ups at $62 billion. Although we had cabbies 10 years ago, we certainly couldn’t see where their location via our phone, pay without using cash and give them a rating. Uber has created thousands of job opportunities for people across the world and now it’s working on creating even more with recent expansions such as Uber Eats. While Uber’s headquarters are based in California, people from more than 400 cities in 70 counties can become Uber drivers. With 8 million users and over 160,000 drivers world wide – that’s a lot of jobs created as a result of an app! Uber has become such an intrinsic part of city life, and it’s difficult to imagine the world without them.
Social Media Managers
10 years ago, most people didn’t even know what social media was, never mind that you could build a career around it. Social media has become such a key part of our lives after Facebook was launched in 2004, everything changed and social media platforms have been growing and developing ever since. Social media has become a key method in reaching a wide audience, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram offer a wide range of opportunities to business, assisting in building relationships with their following, creating brand awareness, and attracting potential customers. Most brands now will hire a social media manager to create strategies and manage their social media channels.
Similarly, to Uber, although in 2007 we, of course, had B&Bs, Airbnb allows hosts to state that their spare room is available for 3 days between X date and X date. Airbnb has nearly a million listings in 33,000 cities it is a rental service which matches hosts with people looking for a place to stay. Airbnb allows hosts to utilise their spare rooms for more than just collecting dust – like an ad-hoc guest house. There are hundreds of articles online on how to be the perfect Airbnb host and while it may not be many people’s main source of income, it has definitely created a market. You can now even host your neighbourhood, by letting your community know that you’re available to host their space, doing all the related admin and reaping the rewards so now you don’t even need a spare room to become a host!
Cloud Service Specialist
A decade ago if someone told you they worked in the cloud, you might have wondered what on earth they were talking about. Cloud computing has been around in some shape or form since the early 2000’s but has really taken off in recent years. The term ‘cloud computing’ first entered the technical lexicon at a google conference in 2006 and has become part of the digital vernacular ever since. Cloud computing is synonymous with online storage and the sharing of data and cloud storage specialist are experts in all things cloud related and can range from database managers, engineers, and strategists for storing and indexing huge amounts of data. Cloud computing has transformed the way business is conducted allowing for increased collaboration and the ability to scale up or down to respond to changing market conditions. With the emergence of cloud computing there has also been a spike in number of cloud-based security jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago, from cloud email security roles to cloud security architects who work on keeping your data safe and secure – 10 years ago there simply wasn’t the need for these jobs, oh how things have changed.
YouTube Content Creators
From beauty bloggers talking about make-up in their bedrooms, short films, to vlogs, creating content for YouTube is now a full-time career, with the most successful YouTube stars earning millions of pounds through advertising and sponsorship deals. In the past 10 years YouTube’s popularity has increased so much that millions now choose to watch their favourite YouTube stars instead of television. The digital age has created an increasing amount of non-traditional jobs, and YouTube content creators appear to be one of the most lucrative.
Remember a time before apps? When software on your phone was clunky and all your phone could do was take a grainy photo, and play snake? Today apps have become an essential part of our lives from getting us from A to B, organising our diaries and creating shopping lists, it’s difficult to image life without them. Half the world’s adult population now own a smartphone so the need for apps and their developers is huge. The iPhone has now been around for ten years and thanks to the Ios app store thousands of jobs have been brought into the digital economy.
Driverless Car Engineer
Now this job does sound like it belongs in the future, but driverless cars are here and if Silicon Valley gets its way it won’t be long until most vehicles have empty driver seats. While driverless cars may take over some jobs such as taxi drivers and couriers they’ll also create roles such as engineers and software developers who will design and maintain these vehicles when they become increasingly in demand in the not-so-distant future. It’s predicted that driverless cars will create 320,00 UK jobs and add a huge £51bn a year to the country’s economy, so get ready to become a back-seat driver.
Whilst drones have been around for years, they’ve only really come into vogue commercially within the last couple of years. Drone operators are now and established job with even some American colleges offering entire courses dedicated to studying drone operation. If you think that operating drones is the career for you, you’ll be delighted to know that they pay isn’t too shabby either with an entry-level drone operator salary starting at $100,000.
Millennial Generational Expert
Yes, that’s right a millennial generational expert is a real thing. Millennial generational experts are consultants that help companies to gain a better understanding of their changing workforce. Companies from every sector and size now face the challenge of recruiting and developing young professionals who have a different set of priorities from the parent’s generation. Companies want to build a workforce who will maintain loyal to their brand especially for a generation who see
User Experience Designer
Now that we live in an age where everything is digital, but most people aren’t aware of the process behind developing these products, this is where user experience designers (UX) come in. UX designers ensure that the interaction between websites and their users is as smooth as possible. Due to the digital-centric world, we live in it is a necessity that websites are incredibly user-friendly so that even those with very little technical knowledge are able to navigate their way around a website and have a stress-free experience.
Republished from lucidica.com
It’s that time of year again – Christmas is still reasonably far away and Easter is a distant memory. But something else is there to rupture the silence; the iPhone 8 rumours. Being its 10 year anniversary, the iPhone is set to be the most talked about product of September. Although this feels like a usual fire drill to most of us, it seems like Apple are hitting their heads against some pretty sturdy brick walls this year (and so will you be, once you see the price).
Image Source: http://ow.ly/8jUq30bPDyD
According to rumours, Apple may need to push the initial release date back by a couple of months because of supply issues and technical drawbacks. Although Morgan Stanley has tried to confirm that there is no delay for the original September launch, it still can’t be excused as a possibility. This could possibly be down to the change in overall body design, which is rumoured to be a mixture of glass and steel (like the iPhone 4). Other problems that have been stabbing Apple in the back are things like the fingerprint recognition, which is said to be proving extremely difficult as the home button is being removed. Because of this, the new design suggests that apple is trying to integrate the fingerprint recognition into the display, which would improve the overall utility of the phone. Others have suggested that the fingerprint recognition feature will appear on the back of the device, as it is on the concept image above. Us Lucidicans feel like having the feature on the back would be a bit of a design flaw, as the size of the phone would make it difficult to unlock your phone without dropping it, but that’s just us.
The display is looking like it’s going to include a 5.8 inch display with 5.15 inches of usable area. The rest of the display is said to be used for the virtual buttons that replace the home buttons functionality.
As for the camera, it looks like most rumours are pointing towards a 12MP primary camera with a 4k display, along with the Apple A11 chip and a plastic OLED screen. One thing that Apple fanatics will be happy to know is that the lightning connection port will be here to stay; for the next iPhone installation, at least. Many believed that the USB-C connection port would be the lightnings replacement, but rumours suggest that we don’t have to worry about adding yet another Apple product to the graveyard (like the 30-pin).
The words ‘wireless charging’ are being thrown around all over the show, so it’s easy to assume that the newest installation of the iPhone will have the option to include just that. It’s not new technology for phones to have wireless charging (LG Nexus 5 in 2013 was the first), so it’s quite possible that Apple may decide to take this route as a luxurious extra (probably costing you a kidney).
Finally, we come to the star of the show – the price.
Just as expected, it’s through the roof (so your heart shouldn’t stop this year), but you still might need to pick your jaw up from the floor. Coming in as the most expensive phone in the world, the iPhone 8 will come in two capacity sizes: the 128GB which can be yours for $999 (£766) and the 256GB is likely to weigh in at a teeth-shattering $1,099 (£851), as suggested by Simona Jankowski from Goldman Sachs.
I’m sure that as time goes on leading up to September, many other rumours will come out the woodwork just like they always do. It’s always rather exciting to hear what Apple have to say (whether you’re a fan of their products or not) around releases
Reposted from lucidica.com
Elon Musk recently explained at Code Conference why he believes we’re all living in a simulation. His argument that such a simulation is possible is based on the exponential developments in video game graphics: “If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, even if that rate of advancement drops by one thousand from what it is now. It’s a given that we’re clearly on [that] trajectory.”
Whether or not you believe simulation theory is true, it’s hard to deny how much the gaming world has changed—even in the last decade.
Watching the new sci-fi short “Adam” by Unity makes this even more evident. Unity is one of the most popular multiplatform 3D game engines on the market. They made “Adam” to showcase Unity’s newest capabilities. And it lends a little more credence to Musk’s opinion about the trajectory of gaming graphics—the visuals in “Adam” are amazing.
“Adam” was rendered in real-time at 2560×1440 resolution using an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 graphics card on Unity 5.4 with a new cinematic sequencer tool. Additionally, according to Unity’s website: “ ‘Adam’ also utilizes an experimental implementation of real-time area lights and makes extensive use of high fidelity physics simulation tool CaronteFX.”
An excerpt of the demo premiered in March at the Gamers Development Conference and a playable demo was made available at Unite Europe early last month. The general public should also receive a playable version soon, with no specific date announced yet.
Unity’s website claims they intend to “democratize game development and level the playing field for developers across the globe.” “Adam” showcases the peak of what is possible today. But it’s even more fascinating to imagine what will be possible ten years from now as tools like Unity become more ubiquitous, virtual reality becomes inexpensive and widely available, and mainstream internet tech can handle real-time massively multiplayer online games in VR.
Want to see what decades can do for game design? Look at this image series of game graphics in 10-year intervals and watch this newly-released comparison of the original Doom against the newest one via IGN.
Looking forward to 2017, one of the major technological trends is the sharing eonomy. As a kid, the sharing economy meant trading sports cards or Pokemon cards. In the modern day, technology has leveled up peer to peer transactions. With the rise of apps like Uber or AirBnB, the sharing economy has elevated crowd sourcing to new levels allowing greater personalization of travel as well as greater economic efficiency. For marketers looking for an edge, the increased rise of the sharing economy provides not only an excellent model but also excellent opportunities.
What Is The Sharing Economy?
Not unlike trading cards as children, the sharing economy is borrowing or renting an asset that is underutilized by the owner. As kids, the economic growth arose out of the card received for the card not wanted. As adults, the economic growth is getting money for the location or object not being utilized to its fullest. For example, the AirBnB model allows people to rent rooms that are otherwise empty to people who need them. There is a supply that meets the demands. Unlike trading cards, however, the new sharing economy has grown predominantly in response to technology that connects people internationally who have diverse needs.
Travel Will Be A Model
Although the sharing economy discussions tend to focus on travel, marketers in all areas can learn a lot about how to utilize the peer to peer transaction model for their own products. Most notoriously, AirBnB has taken the lead in connecting peer to peer transactions. Although hotels are predicted to dominate the industry, peer to peer platforms will likely open up longer term stay options for many people. AirBnB and Uber have managed to gain large market shares by connecting individuals who are looking to swap resources and needs. Peer-to-peer marketing, based on the same principals as peer sales platforms, provide expertise, real conversations, and originality that better brand a product. Marketers can help connect individuals using sharing economy concepts.
On-Demand Apps Will Redefine Customer Experience
As people are more likely to try to lower costs in a fluctuating economic environment, on demand apps will continue to drive the sharing economy. People want to be able to do what they want, when they want it, and do it together. For businesses to follow the sharing economy’s on-demand model, they need to change their app development plans. Increasing end-user engagement leads to new ways to market a product and new revenue channels. By leveraging APIs, this digital automation can help promote a business as well as increase income.
Bitcoin Will Be A Catalyst For Click Throughs
For years, bitcoin was considered the golden unicorn of the internetBitcoins are an unregulated currency created through anonymity on the internet and act as the first entirely decentralized peer-to-peer payment network. In essence, bitcoin is the definition of fiat money. Large numbers of users determine how valuable the credits are, giving them a sense of community value, then store them in digital wallets and use them as payment for goods and services. In the last few months, bitcoin value has risen steadily as investors try to protect their money from unstable markets in the wake of political shifts. With this rise of bitcoin’s social acceptance, performance marketing and affiliate programs are also seeing a rise in use. Bitcoin purchases reward any transaction with a percentage approach. For marketers, this can mean providing rewards for clicking through to a site or completing specific actions.
Blockchain Technology Will Transform Digital Marketing
Similar to a database, blockchain is the bank of bitcoin. In essense, people using bitcoin created encrypted data “blocks” that use cryptographic validation to link themselves together. Although blockchain stores bitcoin value, acting similar to a bank, its decentralized nature makes it the foundation of an economic sharing economy. Blockchain technology, and its rise due to the increased use of Bitcoins, can help decentralize the advertising world allowing better metrics. With blockchain technology, central authorities will no longer disrupt displaying ad networks, marketers can beat online ad fraud, and digital currency will allow for payments to be processed without a third party taking a percentage.
As people embrace the sharing economy, true peer to peer transactions will continue to grow in viability. Looking toward 2017, the sharing economy acts as a model of business success as well as a tool formarketing success.
There are so many tech products in the market we can barely keep track of them. Some of them have pushed the boundaries so far that you won’t believe they exist. So here are top 5 unbelievable gadgets.
SmartMat | Yoga Instructor
SmartMat is an effective yoga trainer built that voices for your yoga exercise. The intelligent pressure detection system inside the mat calculates your position and orientation on the SmartMat and passes those pressure points to evaluate the next step.
Naked | 3D Fitness Tracker
Naked may look like a mirror, but it’s a health status scanner and 3D fitness tracker. It evaluates your fitness level, by generating a 3D image of your body and measuring how your workout is affecting different areas of your body like your abs, arms, thighs and so on. It also features an integrated smartphone app so you can keep track of your progress including your measurements, fat percentage, and weight.
MyFox | Security Camera
There are many types of home security systems, however, a few of them specialized in childcare and MyFox is one of them. MyFox security camera has a built-in motion detector to inform you of any intruders. It can directly connect to your phone and show whether your children are being playful or naughty.
One X | Fitness Tracker
One X is an amazing gadget that helps you check the oxidative stress on your body by simply scanning your palm. Just place your palm in the scanner for 20 seconds and One X will acquire your bio-feedback, which you can then track over days, weeks, and months. See, when you are able to measure your anti-oxidant protection level, you can excel in daily work without feeling weary at the end.
Odin | Laser Projection Mouse
Odin is the world’s first laser projection mouse. It projects a touchpad and the two mouse buttons in a square space on any surface, when you move your fingers on the laser projection area, Odin intelligently transcribes those coordinates with the screen. Odin conveniently helps you operate much faster without putting a strain on your wrists.
This is all for today, tune in next time for more!
Do Nigerian tech startups stand a chance of success? Nigeria already has several successful startups in a variety of technology niches ranging from entertainment to digital payment processing to computer programming. Andela, a startup focused on nurturing African talents in computer coding is one of the prominent Nigerian tech startups making global headlines. As such, Andela’s story shows Nigerian homegrown startups stand a chance of success.
But is it easy to succeed in Nigeria? The Nigeria market presents startups with opportunities and challenges in almost equal measure. The country’s population of more than 170 million people is a huge market for startups to target and monetize. Then there is the rapidly growing internet penetration, with more than 48% of the population having access to the internet. More than 92% of Nigeria’s population now has mobile phones, with smartphones penetration reaching more than 30% of the population.
While deepening internet and smartphone penetration are expanding the technology consumer market in Nigeria, the country’s tech startups are held back by several challenges. Power is one of the major problems. Not only are many parts of the country lacking access to mains power supply, but even those parts connected to the national grid still face problems of erratic electricity supply.
This problem is forcing startups to divert the money they would otherwise use to spur growth into buying power backup systems. Not only does acquisition of alternative power systems such as generators require huge upfront investment, but they are also costly to run, thus resulting in liquidity shortage problems that in the end cripple many promising tech startups.
Though there are multiple challenges for Nigerian tech startups to confront, there is a chance for smart entrepreneurs to succeed in this market. But success in a challenging market such as what Nigeria presents requires a clear vision and thick skin on the side of the entrepreneurs. Besides the infrastructural challenges, Nigerian tech startups must cope with growing competition in domestic and global technology arena. But having a clear vision is one of the ways to stay competitive.
Nigerians want solutions to their problem. Identifying the problems to solve, developing an action plan and executing that plan are the keys to success in emerging markets. Any startup should strive to understand its target market. Success is almost guaranteed for Nigeria startups seeking to solve people’s problems. These opportunities exist in healthcare, education, retail and finance sectors.
Getting it right in a developing market
In a developing economy such as Nigeria, tech startups can succeed quickly by developing platforms that are user-friendly. If it is an e-commerce site, product discovery and checkout should be hassle-free. In a country where internet data is still priced expensively, no one wants to waste time on a site that takes them round in cycles and consumes their precious internet data. As such, the more sharply focused and simplified a platform is the more it is likely to appeal to more users.
One of the major problem areas for Nigerian tech startups is funding. Many brilliant startup ideas have perished mainly because of a lack of financial resources to turn the dreams into reality. However, while venture capital investors are beginning to pour their money in Nigerian startups, it is still important for entrepreneurs to be careful. While a lack of funding can kill a vision, toxic investment is equally dangerous for startup survival. As such, an entrepreneur should make sure they understand the terms of the investment and that the investor shares their vision.
Nigeria is a promising technology market and homegrown startups have an advantage if they can cope with infrastructural challenges, offer the solutions the people want and avoid the pitfalls.
Toy gadgets bring an enjoyable aura to our homes. They can never replace real pets or be as cute as real puppies, but Domgy is here to change things a bit. Domgy is a cute robot toy by Roobo that service as a homing device and a communicator. It is a smart electronic dog that doesn’t require feeding, walking or nurturing.
Unlike other consumer robotic toys, Domgy is both functional and fun. Here are some of the best Domgy features of this cute robotic dog.
Domgy’s designed is inspired after puppies, very cute looking and useful at the same time. The body is made up of durable fiber touch sensors so when you pat it, it responds with lovely reactions. There are two wheels under each of the arms and on underneath the main body. The rotating neck and hinged arms allow a variety of motions.
There are many ways you can interact with it. Clap to call Domgy and tell it to take your photo or record a video. If you want to call a friend, it has all your contacts so phone calls, messages, and even video calls are just a voice command away. Domgy comes with a remote control so you can manually control it as well for accurate motion. At certain times you even don’t have to interact with it, it comes to you. For example, it can wake you up in the morning so you don’t have to use annoying alarms.
Smart Communication, Homing Device
This amazing toy dog connects to your home appliances like TV, printer etc. So it can stream videos directly to your TV, mirror its screen or in and show you photo gallery. Domgy can also upload your photos and videos to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Want to listen to music, just tell Domgy which song.
Domgy patrols your house when you sleep. Its built-in motion sensor detects any suspicious activity in the house. The AI software of the gadget helps it capture and archive various events like who visited your home. Its face recognition feature creates a list of the visitors and shows them to you by name and warns you if an intruder comes into your home.
What More Can Domgy Do?
Domgy is more than it appears on the surface, but you have to bring it home to discover its advanced home monitoring, entertainment, and other AI features. The price has not been revealed, but it is coming soon!
Communications Trend Limited (CTL) has become the first pay-Tv provider to take advantage of Conax’s improved content security platform offered as Contego-as-a-Service (CaaS). The Nigerian pay-Tv provider is hoping to enjoy a wide range of competitive advantages following its adoption of CaaS.
CTL is banking on the adoption of CaaS to boost its service offering in the 12 Nigeria cities it currently serves. Commenting on the adoption of Conax’s CaaS, CTL’s COO, Ofem Ekapong Ofem, said that their philosophy is that quality television services inspires educational opportunities. That explains why CTL is not afraid to invest in new technology geared toward enhancing the viewing experience of its growing number of subscribers.
CTL has been using Conax’s solutions since 2003.
Conax said the upgrade will enable CTL to move to a platform that is more robust, flexible, scalable and secure. The content security provider also sees CTL differentiating its offering from the competition through the move. By differentiating its offerings, there is an opportunity for CTL to not only secure its existing revenue base, but also expand it is it grabs market share from the competition.
CTL is promising its customers enhanced pay-Tv programming. Mr. Ofem said the move gives them access to technological tools for the future. CTL, the owner of CTL Cable TV, is moving to CaaS at a time when the shift to service-based business models is on the rise globally because of its economic benefits.
For instance, Conax says that CTL is set to enjoy lower capex and reduced platform operational complexities with its CaaS solution. As such, CaaS provides CTL with an opportunity to increase internal efficiency and position itself for long-term growth.
With the technology that CTL is acquiring from Conax, the pay-Tv will offer its customers a streamlined experience cross multiple devices and technologies.
A survey carried out by Research and Markets and released in 2015 showed Dstv, owned by MultiChoice, as the dominant pay-Tv provider in Nigeria. Dstv controlled almost 48% of Nigerian pay-Tv market as of the end of 2014.
The report further revealed that the vast majority of Nigerian households at 85% still rely on the free-to-air terrestrial television services. That indicates a massive growth potential for pay-Tv providers in the Nigeria market.
Total television penetration in Nigeria stood at 56.6% (17.85 million households) at the end of 2014. However, pay-Tv subscribers in Nigeria numbered 3.63 million in 2015 and the number is projected to grow exponentially to 7.52 million by 2021.
The growing industry requires a versatile platform that can not only keep up with the competition but also win the competition. Conax believes its CaaS can help pay-Tv providers attain their dream in the fast-growing and competitive Nigeria pay-Tv market.
Having won the heart of CTL with its cloud-based content security platform, Conax can now target other pay-Tv operators in Nigeria interested in modernizing their platforms and kicking out operational inefficiencies.
Outside CTL, other potential users of Conax’s cloud platform in Nigeria’s rapidly growing pay-Tv market include HiTV, Consat, Daarsat, Metro Digital, Montage Cable Network, MyTV and TrendTV.
The latest data from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that mobile number portability (MNP) activity is on the rise in the country. That is an indication that a growing number of mobile subscribers in Nigeria are taking advantage of the MNP scheme to switch providers at will to enjoy service variety without much inconveniency.
NBS numbers show that incoming and outgoing MNP activities in 2Q2016 totaled 122,110. Incoming NMP activities were 61,754, suggesting an increase of slightly more than 12.5% compared to the same quarter last year.
On the other hand, outgoing MNP activities in 2Q2016 rose 13.9% over the same quarter last year to 60,356 in the latest quarter.
Nigeria started implementing mobile number portability in 2013 to a huge sigh of relief for mobile subscribers given the long period of waiting. MNP enables subscribers to switch service providers without losing their phone number. For business customers, the simplicity of shifting providers has eliminated the usual costs of updating business letterheads, cards and advertisement whenever there is a change in network provider.
NMP has increased competition among services providers, thus inspiring innovation that is leading to quality services for the subscribers.
Etisalat counted for the highest number of incoming porting activities on its network in 2Q2016. Incoming porting activities on the network of Etisalat in 2Q accounted for 57.8% of the industry total.
In contrast, MTN, the leading mobile network in the country, accounted for the least number of incoming porting activities on its network in the quarter. Incoming porting on MTN’s network accounted for 4.67% of the national total. However, the actual number of porters moving to MTN’s network more than doubled between 1Q2016 and 2Q2016, increasing to 2,878 from 1,353 between the quarter. On year-over-year basis, the number of incoming porters increased 31.6%.
On its part, Globacom accounted for 6.29% of incoming porting activities in 2Q, though the number of actual porters on its network decreased almost 34% between 1Q2016 and 2Q2016 and increased 6.61% between 2Q2016 and 2Q2015.
Incoming porting activities on Airtel’s network were few compared to its rivals in 2Q2016. The carrier registered a 0.03% uptick in the number of incoming porters on its network.
Globacom registered the largest increase in the number of porters exiting its network. Outgoing porters on Globacom’s network rose 76.4% QoQ and 47% YoY in 2Q2016. Some 12,614 subscribers ported out of Globacom’s network in 2Q2016 compared to 7,152 outgoing porters in 1Q.
Etisalat also recorded a significant increase of outgoing porters at 59.44% QoQ and 28.9% YoY. Outgoing porters on Airtel’s network rose 32.1% QoQ and 26.1% YoY in 2Q2016. However, on MTN’s network, outgoing porters declined 13.3% QoQ and 9.3% YoY.
NMP activity in 2Q2016 did not change the outgoing porting ranking of Nigeria’s four leading carriers.
For providers, porting affects subscriber retention. As such, it puts pressure on network operators to offer competitive services to avoid massive subscriber outflow. But the competition is benefiting subscribers who enjoy competitive voice, text and data rates as carriers undo one another to keep hold of subscribers who migrate to their networks from rival’s network.
Nigeria is looking at technology as a sector with massive growth potential in its economy. Shortage of IT literacy and lack of adequate government supports for IT innovation have kept Nigeria from achieving its full technology potential.
However, things are set to change soon or later. The federal government of Nigeria has drawn a plan that will see 400,000 youths equipped with technology skills that they can use to innovate and make the country competitive in the global technology scene.
The training of the youths is being done partnership with Google and a host of other major tech companies. Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, revealed the plan to train 400,000 youths in technology at the launch of Google Digital Training for Youth Empowerment.
According to Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the minister of Science and Technology, Nigeria scored 2.8 out of a possible 7 to rank at position 117 out of 140 countries in Technology Readiness ranking in the Global Competitive Report for 2015/2016. That signals the country’s upside potential if the government can increase its investment in and support for tech literacy and innovation so that the country can not only cut reliance on other tech producers but also export its technology for foreign exchange earnings.
The VP Osinbajo said that the government is looking to establish two major tech hubs in Lagos and Abuja. There are also plans to set up six regional hubs in Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones.
Whether in Abuja or Lagos or the six regions, the VP said the hubs will be properly equipped for capacity building.
The plan for tech hubs across the country can be seen as recognition by the government of the role technology and innovation can play in transforming Nigeria economy.
Nigeria’s economy has entered into recession mode, following a 2.1% of the country’s economy in the June quarter. That marked the second quarter in a row that Nigeria economic contracted. Nigeria is feeling the heat of the slump in crude oil prices. The country relies on oil money for 70% of its national budget. Oil also contributes 90% of Nigeria’s foreign earnings. The IMF predicts that Nigeria’s economy will shrink 1.8% in in 2016.
By building more local technology capacity and inspiring innovation, Nigeria can fire its economic growth and diversify its sources of revenue for a more resilient economy.
Given the efforts that startups are already making in Nigeria technology sector, it is welcome news that the government has plans to train thousands of youth in technology studies, a move that should support rapid industry growth and diversification.
VP Osinbajo said that each of the hubs to be set up across Nigeria will be focused on producing relevant technology and solutions that encompass a wide range of economic sectors. Some of the sectors targeted by technology innovation are education, healthcare, government services and renewable energy.
To signal government’s commitment to improve the country’s IT literacy and innovation, the VP said that a budget has already been allocated for training of 65,000 Nigerian youths in hardware and software skills, ranging from the basics to the more sophisticated skills.
All eyes were firmly on the Google I/O as we all anticipated the ingenuous products and gadgets that are showcased annually on this platform. It is an annual 3day experience that lets developers launch products and services. Google I/O 2016 was marked by the virtual reality feud that is just going on. Google jumped in with their Google DayDream VR butting google on the Map as a force to recon with, now along with Occulus with their Occulus rift and HTC’s vive. Google also threw in their new Android operating system, the Android N and products like the Google home, Allo and Duo just to mention a few. Google CEO Sundar Pichai definitely made a mark this year just having been put in the position not long ago. I sampled a couple of products just to give you the taste of the Google experience on that weekend. The virtual reality war looks to have already sparked and this is definitely going to be one to watch all this year. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait.
The fuss is over, well since the android series came out. First of all, this will be the first android version that the community is involved in naming, but eventually it will be Google’s decision to choose the name among the suggestions. Speculations however, are that Google will name the OS android N and that’s it. Well, we have to wait and see. Apart from the name, android N is full of better security features and other updates that everybody will love. Google has always been keen about the quality of android and how the security protocols are designed and the Android N doesn’t disappoint.
Wearables are on the rise in recent days. Did I say rise? Underestimates, sorry. There is a wearables war booming in the tech world. We are talking about Google and Facebook moving daily to impress and create experience. First, you probably want to know about Google’s efforts in these fields so ladies and gentlemen, Daydream.
Google decided it was time they jumped into a virtual reality game, and jump they did. Google launched the Daydream VR this year and it is just out of the world. The software and hardware have been made by Google itself. It dived in with might. The virtual reality comes with a headset that is connected to the lab developers who are still coming up with content to make you daydream as you’re supposed to. During the I/O conference they showcased this piece with YouTube and a pancake flipping game. This was a great start because the response was just awesome, giving the VR a great head start and thus we will be waiting to see what Bring and his team of geniuses work on. We all know Google has the element of surprise you can’t explain, but you still love it.
Google has been working with wearable for some time now, actually first starting with the google glass. It got a response that was promising but critics came on equal measures with the critics hitting the glass in terms of prices, saying it was too expensive and then the aspect of look, people looked like cyborgs. But it’s just opinions, what can you say.
The war now is between Facebook, HTC, Samsung, Sony, Microsoft, Google among others. Facebook has just acquired a virtual reality company, Occulus and is looking to face the competition head on. Google, however, is not taking this threat lightly, as a matter of fact, we have seen them gearing up to make more cool stuff to help them keep up with the heat. HTC’s vive has been the most impressive in my case. It has been designed by HTC in collaboration with Valve. Equipped with 70 sensors, a 360 degree head tracking and a 90 Hz refresh rate, this is the best I have seen. However to be fair, the Oculus rift has almost the same features, great engineering, however it lags behind the Sony PlayStation VR. However, they are still working on better prototypes.
Who is winning you may ask, well, let’s give it time, trust me the winner always shows up. Maybe to make this more exciting let me put my money on HTC. They never disappoint.
So after Amazon launched Amazon echo, we were all waiting to see what kind if crazy Google was working on, sure enough, they came up with a competing product, Google home. A Bluetooth speaker equipped with the google assistant lets you check up your schedule, mail and other stuff you may need to. They did not mention the retail price, but since it is a competing product, we expect that it is somewhere close to the price if the Amazon echo.
Duo and Allo.
Say hello to the Google FaceTime version. Duo call is a google initiated application that allows you to video chat with people. Well, I know what you are thinking, it was about time. Google has launched this service to simply create the experience of video chat in the hardware products they make. With the showcasing at I/O conference, the public got to experience what this product is all about.
As if Duo was not enough, Google has taken a step ahead by actually introducing Allo. Allo is a messaging platform aimed at giving you the kind of experience you can’t get from anywhere. To tech analyst, it looks like this move will kill hangout, but it’s a win-win for Google. A better product means excited users, all this just shouts PROFITS, and experience of course.
This year Google has just taken the game to another level and at the same time proving that it’s in this market not only to stay, but to dominate. Android enthusiasts are definitely looking for what the company has in store next time. The guaranteed thing is just the same experience, full of zeal and fascinating engineering.
Alcatel had been in the VR business since it first unveiled its smartphone-based VR headset, but the tech company’s latest wireless virtual reality device drops dependency on phones and develops and inbuilt hardware for computing.
Alcatel’s Vision VR headset is its official entry into the VR race. It is worth noticing that Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are run by PCs while likes of Samsung Gear VR and like the earlier Alcatel VR device are driven by smartphone. The company’s latest virtual reality gadget is standalone, which puts it next to other wireless VR headsets like Intel’s Project Alloy.
So today we will be reviewing Alcatel Vision VR and some of its best aspects that might give other standalone virtual reality gadgets a run for their money.
VR Vision Display
The Vision boasts two 3.8″ AMOLED screens with a display capability of 1080 x 1020. As mentioned before, the newest Alcatel VR headset doesn’t need smartphone placement. The best thing about the display is that it is fully covered, blinding your eyes from the ‘window effect’ observed in some low-end VR headsets.
Alcatel Vision Design
Inspiring a new type of VR headset model, Alcatel has dropped the side straps that cupped the head from both sides and instead employed a single overhead strap that perfectly sits on your skull. The entire device is essentially white in color and feels light compared to some other virtual reality headsets. Like its predecessor, the Vision is designed to lock your face completely, leaving no slit-spaces so you get an immersive VR experience. A battery has been integrated into a module on the back side of its structure which also embeds headphone jacks. Thankfully, the front piece is spacious enough to accommodate glasses if your lenses previously didn’t let you wear a VR headset.
The latest Alcatel Vision VR headset connects to the internet via Wi-Fi, which not surprisingly is again a borrowed feature from Alcatel smartphones.
The headset is not fully available and all the reviews available on the internet are based on the prototype. So we will reserve our vote till the final piece comes out and hopefully it will come out victorious. Some hands-on reviews have reported some sort of blurriness because the screens are far apart from the eyes, but we can’t be too sure because according to other users the imagery is perfectly vivid and clear.
For a standalone VR device, the Vision is well-equipped with a powerful octa-core processor and 3GB of RAM. It comes with 32GB storage while the sensors include an accelerometer, gyroscope, and a proximity sensor. Alcatel says its battery can last up to 3 hours before per charge before it starts dimming off.
Alcatel Vision VR headset Release Date
The Vision will be available in stores by the end of 2016 costing around £425-510, $560-670 or AU$740-890. That is not cheap but it is less than some other VR headsets in the market. Alcatel says that there will be at 100 VR optimized videos and over 50 games at the time of its launch.