Tag Archives: design

The Brief Life of Quibi

Did you ever use Quibi? Do you even know what service Quibi provides? If your answer is “no” to either of these questions, then you are likely among one of the many reasons the video service shut down after only six months.

Quibi was developed as a streaming video app from Hollywood studio executives and offered entertainment and news in 5-10 minute lengths. It launched in April 2020 with the intent on challenging the streaming players. Quibi (which stands for “quick bites”) was designed for short viewing times in the “in-between moments” of life.

While the pandemic caused a number of issues for the company (since we were all now at home with devices, instead of on the move), it was only one of a series of missteps. Viewers couldn’t connect Quibi to their at-home TV, could not share programming, and had limited videos from which to choose. Quibi also had a lot of competition, including free services from YouTube and other platforms. Advertisers were also underwhelmed and experienced difficulties.

Although the app was downloaded an estimated 9.6 million times, and an estimated 90% of viewers left after the free trial period. The monthly service cost $4.99/month with included ads, or $7.99/month without ads. That’s not a bad price, but viewers saw it as one more monthly service to add on top of current streaming services from Amazon, Netflix, Apple, Disney+, and more.

Bye, Quibi.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Who knows what Quibi did? Who used the service? Who subscribed beyond the free trial?
  2. Show Quibi’s site (it may not last long): https://quibi.com/
  3. News video of Quibi’s demise: https://youtu.be/tEfx_MxEXq4
  4. Discuss the components of an environmental scan: technology, social, competition, regulatory, and economic factors.
  5. Divide students into team. Have each team do a brief analysis of Quibi and the environment and develop a SWOT analysis.
  6. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle.
  7. Draw a product life cycle on the board and discuss the stages and marketing objective. What did Quibi’s PLC look like?

Source: AdWeek; New York Times; The Verge; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Spot, the Robotic Dog, Now Prowls the Floor at Ford

Spot, the robotic dog from Boston Dynamics, is now prowling manufacturing plants for Ford Motor Co. Ford calls the dog “Fluffy” and it doesn’t act as barking security guard, but rather is helping to map and update engineering plans at several manufacturing facilities. Fluffy wanders the 2-million-squar-foot transmission plan floor with its digital engineering handler, using laser scanning and imaging to produce detailed and accurate maps that Ford engineers can use to revamp the facility.

You may have heard of Spot previously as one of Boston Dynamics intriguing robotic lines. Boston Dynamics now sells Spot for $74,500 (for commercial purposes only). Since September, Boston Dynamics has sold or leased more than 250 Spot robots. Spot is typically used in construction or the electric utility industry, but was also recently used at a hospital’s emergency department to help assess patients with Covid-19.

Spot weighs 70 pounds and is equipped with five cameras that give it 360-degree vision to avoid obstacles and travels at 3 mph for several hours, constantly gathering data (without needing dog treats or a place to pee). The nimble robot is able to navigate tight spaces that the average-sized person can’t reach. It can climb stairs, cross metal grates, and keep its balance on slippery surfaces.

At Ford, Fluffy scans the plant in half of the time as needed by humans, and significantly reduces costs while maintaining accuracy.

But can it fetch the newspaper?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the concepts of products, product line, and product mix.
  2. Bring up Boston Dynamics’s Web site: http://www.bostondynamics.com
  3. More videos can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7vVhkEfw4nOGp8TyDk7RcQ.
  4. Show a video of Fluffy at Ford: https://www.wsj.com/video/the-robot-revolution-is-happeninglike-it-or-not/33C97F82-2E8B-4371-B635-C3DE3E375671.html
  5. Have students develop a marketing campaign to sell Spot to businesses.
  6. Finally, make sure to watch Spot dancing to Uptown Funk! https://youtu.be/kHBcVlqpvZ8

Source:  Boston Dynamics; Engadget; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Google’s new Pixel 5

Ready for a new phone? Just the thought of researching new phones and then paying hundreds of dollars more can give consumers a headache. Google seems to be paying attention this fatigue and is making its phones a little simpler and a little less expensive.

It seems like Google is responding to pandemic economic concerns and is pricing its phones in a comfortable middle ground. These products seem made for watching TV or listening to music at home, all without needing to shell out a thousand dollars for a new device. [A Google executive stated that “The world doesn’t need another $1,000 phone right now.”]

The new Pixel phones are priced a bit differently than the past. For example, last year’s Pixel 4 pricing started at $800, but the new Pixel 5 starts at $700. There is even a lower-priced model called the Pixel 4a5G that is priced from $500 – $600.

The Pixel 5 eliminated facial recognition to unlock the phone (good for mask-wearing users!), as well as radar technology that recognized a user waving a hand over the phone, and telephoto and zoom lenses. But on the other hand, it added a larger battery and ultralow-power mode that lets the phone run 48 hour on a charge. The screen is larger and users can wirelessly charge other devices by laying them on the back of the phone.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: What phone do they have? How long have they had it? Are they going to buy a new phone in the next few months? Why or why not?
  2. Video of Pixel 5 phone: https://youtu.be/twNDke-cfv4
  3. Show Google’s new phones: https://store.google.com/product/pixel_5
  4. Discuss competition: Who are the direct competitors for this product?
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team do a chart of a different brand of phone, including features and pricing.
  6. What are the points of difference between the various phones?
  7. How much does pricing matter?
  8. How much do features matter?

Sources: Associated Press; New York Times; Washington Post; The Verge; other news sources

 

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