My Blog is Dead …. Long Live my Blog! #SocialSelling

blog-pic-b2cPublished my first blog on the 25th February 2014, following that I’ve publish 65 posts.

My objective was to get read, never thought I would get some many followers, retweets and meet so many interesting people. Back then I didn’t really understand what community meant, I do now.

But the time has come to move on. Wednesday 5th August, will be the day I cut new blog and a new adventure.

I’m hoping you will stick with me.

SP_the_aft_lounge_03socialsaleslounge.com Will be the same me, writing about Social Selling and as I’ve always written. No fluffy, meaningless slogans, but real solutions you can implement to over achieve your number, quicker.

In addition, I’m going to invite the people that influence me to guest blog.  (If you are interested in guest blogging then please contact me tim_hughes1@hotmail.com )

There is a new Twitter handle @SocialSalesLnge to support this community, and you can still find me at @Timothy_Hughes

My partner in this new adventure @Mbrit will make his own contributions as well has support the venture from a technical nature.

Do hope we can count on your support.

 

Tim Hughes is a Social Selling Innovator and Pioneer his blog has become a reference point for Sales People throughout the world to get hints and tips to get into Social Selling; Newbies and Influencers alike. Tim’s 27 years as a quota carrying salesperson, means he cuts the fluff and speaks in a no nonsense style. The blog is not about slogans but about how you can use Social to allow you to over achieve your quota, quicker.

Tim Hughes is a Speaker and Blogger on Social Selling and be can be contacted @Timothy_Hughes or Tim_Hughes1@hotmail.com or contact me at LinkedIn

 

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My Blog: Review: Chargifi – Wireless Charging of Mobiles #wirelesscharging @chargifi

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Mobile being charged

Review: Chargifi – Wireless Charging of Mobiles

Dan Bladen Founder, came up with the idea of Chargifi while he and his wife were on a 6 months tour of South America and India.  “Have you noticed” Dan said to me that “Starbucks becomes the meeting point for westerners? You go to get some WiFi, charge your phone and get a cup of coffee”.  And in that statement he had explained, Chargifi.

Slave to the Cable

Any smart phone owner (like me) is a slave to the cable.  I have to carry one with me at all times and I know were all the power points are in the cafés I visit.  Or lack of power points more likely!

But let’s stop and think for a moment. Moving forward into the wearable market; watches, glasses, clothes are just around the corner.  How will you charge them? The Motorola watch, for example, has no charge points.

Chargifi – How Does it Work?

Chargifi Phones

List of supported devices.

Chargifi is a charge spot on a table.

Dan demoed it to me.  I downloaded the app, (I have an iPhone so it needs an a credit card size adapter) inserted in the phone. (Other phones, see list of supported phones do not need the adapter.)  You place the phone on the charge spot, there is a start button on the app, press that and you start charging.  As simple as that.

You then either press the button again to stop charging or just walk away. If like me you are environmentally aware, then you will be relieved to know that the system will detect there is no phone and therefore switch off.  No phone, no charge.

For iPhone users the adpaation is a credit card size insert, cost is £10. Dan agreed this would be a sponsorship opportunity for a company to allow them to be sold for free.  It is expected that the iPhone 6 will support wireless charging as standard.

 

Business Plan – How Does Chargifi Make Money?

For this to work, the phone has to be placed on the charge spot. The Business Model does require a person to put their phone down while in the Café and while I often Tweet and drink coffee, there are times I talk to people and put my phone down.

Once you put your phone down the retailer has a platform!

For example, phones can have localised messages pushed to them, offering to the customer coupons / special offers. The retailer can also sell on the ad time, for example, O2 might be offered a 4 second Ad spot when you leave. This Ad could cover the retailer’s costs, making the spot self financing.

Benefits of Chargifi to the Retailer

Benefits to the retailer is more footfall, increase in dwell time (this is sometimes good – I’ll come onto that) and the retailer gains insight of their customers.

How the Retailer Gets These Benefits

Retailers are able to push messages to their customers. The specials of the day or a room service menu, for example.  Retailer may also want to push messages based on the time the person has used the charge spot.  For example, if somebody has been on the charge spot for 20 minutes you can push them a 10% off a muffin offer.  If this is not redeem in 10 minutes then you can switch the charge spot off.

Customer Insight and Privacy

Each retailer gets a dashboard where they can see a profile of the customer using the Charge Spots. For example; male of a certain age, attended your cafe for a certain amount of time. You can also see the previous places they have visited. BUT (and Dan emphasized this) the use details, name, email are kept private.

“Fair Trade” Data

Before anybody writes to me and says how dare they share my data with anybody?
Question: Did you really expect to get a charge point for your phone in convenient place for free?
Dan describes this as “Fair Trade” data; you trade some anonymous data for the convenience of having a free charge spot for your phone.

How it’s being used – Some Use Cases

The obvious usage right now (I was sitting in Moosh In Carnaby Street charging my phone as Dan talked to me.) in Cafe’s, pubs, restaurants etc.

Dan tells me that Hotels in Dubai are seeing this as a great “wow” way to provide added value to their customers. They see offering a chargifi spot on the best side table as a great customer experience opportunity. The room service menu could be pushed to the phone, for example.

The Technical Stuff

Mobile D

Mobile being charged.

There are 3 are three competing hardware standards for sensors (think VHS, Betamax here…), which are

  • Qi – Built into phones
  • PMA – you need a case for this – not build into phones
  • A4WP – you need a case – not built into phones

Dan explained that Chargifi is an app so can be standard independent and can adapt to any change in standard.

The Future

Dan hopes that in October he is able to roll out charge points that go through thicker materials, this will enable charging multiple devices per spot. In a pub for example, a group of friends can all charge at the same time. Next year he hopes to roll out the ability to charge laptops and tablets.
Dan said to me, “Wouldn’t it be great if you could turn up at any country without the need to know what power adapter, you need. Just put your phone on the bed side table and it’s charged.” I agree, that would take a lot out of the aggro of organising a holiday.

To that end Chargifi have already sold licenses to operate Chargifi’s IP and brand in the UAE, India, Singapore & Hong Kong with plans to rollout in Russia, Malaysia and the US later in the year.
While it’s early days, Dan has a clear road map for development and while things are still in early adopter mode, with the Internet of things (IOT) and wearables, there is a clear need to leave the cables at home and this is clearly a great example of the possible disruption to electric power provision ahead.

Update

Mobile TSince writing this blog the US TSA have stated “Powerless devices will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. The traveler may also undergo additional screening.” There also has been major press coverage on the BBC, Sky and newspapers.  As always the Devil is in the Detail and the current message from the US is that devices need to be charged 25% and above.
Having the ability to charge phones etc at the airport while in transit could make a difference if you fly or don’t fly. On the basis you may have used the device on the flight you could be stopped making a transit and sent home.
Dan points out that Chargifi could soon be available in a number of UK airports and in Dubai and already set to launch in Belfast City Airport in the next few weeks.

Some of the “buzz” on Twitter, this has been provided by Chargifi.

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 14.08.06 Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 14.08.12

My Blog: Product Review; EXCLUSIVE Update: Launch of the iPhone App Manything – Stream Video over the internet to Pc or iPhone

Manything-CamRight3-Cropped

Photo of iPhone on stand showing the ManythingApp

The Idea – What is Manything?

Think we can all sympathize with James West CEO of Manything.  He’d had a break in and his pride and joy; bike had been stolen.

The answer seemed obvious, buy a WiFi camera, set it up and in the future no more break ins.  He purchased a WiFi camera and after he spent a day trying to set up the camera, he gave in.  He decided to research the subject and found the such cameras were either too technical to set up or required propriety hardware.

Then there was a “light bulb” moment.  Surely he should be able to use a standard camera, iPhone, iPad for example (there are 700 Million of the worldwide and therefore approx 700 million video capable iOS devices) and be able to stream video over the internet.  Even store the video in the Cloud.

 This is how he came up with the idea for Manything – https://manything.com/

 Version 1 of Manything and Use Cases

The first phase of the development created James’s vision enabling a standard iPhone iPod or iPad camera to  stream video into the cloud.

It’s been used for home security, holiday homes, small business, watching pets.  A school has used it so pupils can watch eggs hatching streamed over the internet.  In another blog I go into the test I undertook with my parents, my father having Dementia.

I’ve put some use cases at the end of this article.

 Launch of Manything 2.0

 Talking with Jo Santander, Marketing Manager, the company has just launched an enhanced version that hit the Apple Store  Thursday, 26th June.  This new version has come about based on user and market feedback.  The app having a number of advanced features added  that allows it to leapfrog over Dropcam type products.

        The first major feature is that you are no longer restricted to looking at your clips on the web from a PC.  You can do this from device to device and even have multiple cameras onto one device.  James showed me how he has multiple cameras outside his home all accessed from his iPhone.

       Other enhanced features include:

  •           Sensitivity Threshold – This allows you to define how sensitive the camera is to movement and before switching on.
  •           Detection Zones – You can zone out certain areas on the camera to detect motion.  For example, the bottom third of the screen if you were using the camera for security and wanted to zone out movement from a dog.
  •           Push Alerts – The system can be set up so that as soon as it detects movement it is able to send you an alert to an iPhone / iPad or an email.  The email can have a thumbnail of the video should you want it, the email will have a thumbnail and link to the clip in it.
  •           If you are concerned about battery life, there is a graceful fail over as the software will move from video to stills if the battery starts to run down.

The Competition

There has been a lot of talk about Dropcam recently, especially after it’s purchase by Google.  Manything has a number of unique selling points over Dropcam, such as – stills only mode, can stream over cellular if WiFi fails,  sensitivity thresholds, motion detection zones, adjustable video quality, fail over to stills if you lose all connection..and of course, no upfront cost!

 The Future

After my post on the 27th June, I was embargoed to mentioned a new release (8th July 17:00 UK time).  Manytime users can now set up simple “If This Then That” recipes to communicate with popular locations apps and home automation products.  As a Tech blogger this is pretty exciting as it is “the start” of the Internet of Things (IOT), sometimes called the Internet of Everything (IOE).  That is when “everything” is connected to the internet.

Great practical example would be, use Manything as a security camera on your holiday home, it detects movement and switches the Philips Hue lights on.  Or if your Nest Protect detects smoke, IFTTT will get Manything to send you a video of what happened.

Reading from the press release, Manything also allows the user to set the system up via Siri before leaving home.  I’ve not tested this so cannot say how well it works.  Any user of Siri will know it can be temperamental.

 Pricing Plan

Currently the service is free, but the plan will be to charge for “advanced” usage, the current view is that they will be half the price of Dropcam.

 Business Plan

 Currently Manything is self financing the company plans on approaching VCs later this year

 Decided to put this out before the test because of the imminent launch of the new version.  New week I will go through my test of the product or the test I ran with my 80ish old parents to see how easy Manything is to set up and use.

 Use Cases

Small Business

“Hi Joanna-we’ve been using this app for a month or two and love it! I tell everyone I know about it, too! I’ll post a link later today on The Scoop Facebook. Thanks to Manything, I can sleep at night!”

News article here

http://www.kxly.com/news/spokane-news/looking-to-cut-down-on-crime-theres- an-app-for-that/25611044 

Pets

 User from Milwaukee

“We always suspected one of the dogs were getting on the counter and stealing food. Thanks to your awesome app, we setup a sting operation and captured Sebastian “Bas” in the act (he had been doing this for nearly 10 years)

We love the fact that Manything records the video, allows us to see live feed from our other iDevice while we’re out. The online tools to create clips and share with our friends on facebook is awesome! We love manything, users for life :)”

http://clips.manything.com/z4kcy4x5y611yvi 

Childcare
 
 “I’m using Manything because I’m babysitting my friend’s daughter. I leave the iPad set on Manything as she is sleeping in another room so I can watch her and also give my log-in to my friend so she can check in on her too! 🙂
 
Educational for children/ wildlife
 
“I rarely take the time to respond either positive or negatively to a web site or service. But for Manything I will certainly make the exception. I think you have a fantastic product and a great educational tool. I recently discovered your site on a random search, installed on my IPhone and now recommend you to everyone I can.
My first experience was installing the IPhone next to a birds neat my children had been watching for days. I assumed the worst for the bird eggs, only to be surprised on Mothers day by 3 robin hatch lings first feeding.
I have shared the clip (http://clips.manything.com/l2duoqsv0d5f80k9 ) with the teachers at my children’s elementary school”
Time-lapse
Manything stills mode and can ale be used to make time-lapse, a great way for capturing events over a longer period of time
Busted
This is mine so not sure if it counts! I use Manything to check that my daughter gets home from school okay, it was also a great way to catch her red handed with the cake tin!