Tag Archives: product development

Meet Pixy – Snap’s Flying Camera

It’s spring! Birds are flying! So are drones! What?!

Well, if you look up and see a flying yellow saucer-type of thing hovering nearby, don’t worry. It’s not an invasion by aliens. It’s only a friendly flying camera-drone from camera company Snap named “Pixy.” No more of that “who has the longest arms?” awkward stretching to get everyone in the frame. Now, just launch the bright yellow flying puck from your hand to take lots of photos and videos.

Pixy is now available for purchase online from Snap for $230. Unlike the larger drones, Pixy is small and light, and works without a controller. Take it on a picnic and carry it in your pocket. Immortalize the day by selecting one of its four pre-programmed flight modes and launch away.

Pixy even sounds friendly with its quiet propellers. A full battery charge should give five to eight short flights (10-20 seconds). Extra batteries are $20 and a portable dual-battery-charger sells for $50.

And if you like to take a LOT of photos, Pixy shoots up to 100 videos or 1,000 photos stored on a 16GB drive. The photos may not be high quality, but it is a fun way to capture moments. Images are synced to Memories in Snapchat.

(It may be small, but it is still classified as a drone under FAA regulations and operators are required to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate (.)

One caution ~ be careful in the wind! (And by trees, too.)

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Show Pixy website: https://pixy.com/
  2. Also show a WSJ video on how it works: https://on.wsj.com/3LvdIGS
  3. Poll students: Who would be interested in buying a Pixy? How much would they spend?
  4. Competitor Air Neo: https://airselfiecamera.com/
  5. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  6. For Pixy, divide students into groups and have each group work on any/all of the six steps.
  7. When setting the price level, assign each team a different model to use (demand-oriented, cost- oriented, etc.).
  8. Debrief the exercise. Compare the various pricing models and discuss advantages/disadvantages of each.
  9. Optional: FAA Drone Pilot Certificate site: https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial_operators/become_a_drone_pilot/

Sources:  Heath, A. (28 April 2022). Snapchat’s flying camera. The Verge.; Stern, J. (28 April 2022). Snap Pixy review: A mini-drone to take selfies for you. Wall Street Journal.; other news sources.

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Consumer Electronics Show 2022 Tackles the Future of Tech

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is one of the largest and most influential showcases in the world for introducing innovative technology products from around the globe. Even during the ongoing pandemic, the Las Vegas-based show brought in nearly 45,000 attendees to the show floor. Plenty of people also ‘attended’ online with companies showing both concepts and real-life products. Attendees arrived from 119 countries to engage with emerging technologies and products across 11 different indoor and outdoor venues.

A diverse group of 2,300 companies (including 800 start-ups from 19 countries) showcased the latest innovations in the metaverse, NFTs, cryptocurrency, sustainability, wellness, transportation, entertainment, robotics, automotive, consumer goods, and more. And while the metaverse may be mostly just a concept today, CES illustrated how the building blocks it needs are already around, including blockchain, cloud, AR, VR, 5G, and more.

The show also provided looks at products in the marketplace as well as products-yet-to-be-launched in categories including:

  • Wellness and beauty
  • Smart devices for the home
  • Content creation
  • NFTs and crypto
  • Healthcare
  • Shopping and ecommerce
  • Artificial intelligence
  • eSports and sports tech
  • FinTech
  • Food tech
  • Pet tech
  • Workplaces
  • And of course – robots!

One of my personal favorites – BMW’s color-changing car!

What’s your favorite innovation from CES?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:  

  1. Discuss the purpose of CES show and how innovation fits into it.
  2. Also discuss the use of trade shows and exhibits as part of a marketing plan.
  3. Show a summary video about COVID-19 products at CES from the Wall Street Journal – CES in photos: https://www.wsj.com/story/ces-2022-in-photos-a-strange-time-for-the-worlds-biggest-tech-show-a247b630?mod=djemfoe
  4. Additional summary videos can be found on YouTube, such as: https://youtu.be/GAzygeV_AsM
  5. View the CES Web site: https://www.ces.tech/
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team select a product featured at CES.
  7. Instruct students to research the products online, and define a target market for the product?
  8. Which ones do they think will be winners in the marketplace? What products miss the mark?

Source:  C/NET; TechRadar; The Verge; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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Look – up in the sky – it’s a blimp!

How did you travel on your last vacation? Probably via car or airplane. Are you ready for another way to travel? Then perhaps it’s time to consider blimps. We’re used to seeing blimps in the air as floating billboards used to advertise brands (Ex: Goodyear Blimp). But, blimps – also known as airships – have more utility than just advertising. Several companies are now exploring the use of airships for passenger travel and other uses.

Marketing passenger travel by airship will be tricky though. Airships have a negative stigma attached, and have not been used for passenger travel since 1937 after 36 people died when the Hindenburg airship burst into flames shortly before landing. It was a horrific event that still lives on in memory.

Today’s airships promise to be quite different though. They have the ability to fly for days using helium to stay aloft and can takeoff and land without a runway. Airships are also more environmentally sustainable with fewer carbon emissions than airplanes, plus the interiors are spacious and quiet.

Several companies are exploring new technologies and use of airships. One of those, OceanSky Cruises, compares the travel to that of a cruise ship, but must faster. The airship is 320-feet long with guest cabins, restaurant, and bar. Since it flies at lower altitudes than airplanes, it boasts floor-to-ceiling windows for viewing the landscape. A North Pole voyage is planned for 2024 – at a price tag of $232,845 for a two-person cabin!

How would you like to travel by airship?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Start by discussing current ways to travel. What are negatives and positives of each mode?
  2. View OceanSky’s website: https://www.oceanskycruises.com/
  3. A video of the new airship can be seen at: https://youtu.be/QuM-gFJRhlY
  4. If students are not familiar with the Hindenburg disaster, show a video of the event: https://youtu.be/A7Ly1Oh-xvs
  5. Divide students into teams: Have each team identify the constraints that might keep people from using airships.
  6. What adjustments are needed in marketing airship travel versus airplane travel?
  7. Have each team develop a marketing campaign for the new flights.

Source:  New York Times

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