Tag Archives: technology

Delivery Direct to Your Car

Have you ever had a problem with delivery of packages? Have you been a victim of ‘porch pirates’ stealing packages before you get home? If so, then you may like the new option for Amazon’s in-car package delivery, placed securely in your trunk or back seat. The service is available to Amazon Prime members who have an active GM OnStar or Volvo On Call account in 37 cities across the U.S.

It seems pretty easy. Using an Amazon app, the customer inputs the information about their car (must be a 2015 or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, or Volvo). For each order, the customer selects a delivery to their car, receives a notification when the delivery is on its way, and another notification after delivery is completed and door/trunk relocked. Delivery people use the car’s assistance services to locate the car and unlock it.

The car delivery service only works for vehicles parked in lots that are easily accessible. It won’t work for parking garages or gated communities. And, if you’re worried about damage to the car, Amazon even said that it will take care of a broken window or lock that happens as a result of the delivery.

Go ahead and order – there are a lot of delivery options, including porch, office, in-home, locker, and now, your car.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the topics of package delivery. Has anyone had problems?
  2. Show the Amazon information and video about car delivery: https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=17051031011
  3. CNET video: https://youtu.be/8bZfZZJ7Q4Q
  4. Video of customer testimonials: https://youtu.be/w4akHn0jQCc
  5. Poll students: Would they use this service?
  6. Discuss the importance of clearly defining a target market.
  7. For in-car delivery, what is the target market?
  8. Divide students into teams and have each team develop a target market profile. Include demographics, psychographics, behaviors, values, attitudes, etc.

Source: CNET, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Detroit Free Press, other news sources

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Snapchat’s New Spectacles

Remember Snap’s Spectacles? Launched in fall, 2016, Spectacles were fashionable sunglasses that could record 30-second videos with a 115 degree lens. The specs were $130 and initially sold only through fun, bright yellow, SnapBot kiosks placed around the U.S. There was a lot of hype and fervor from teens to procure the sunglasses and post their videos. Roughly 220,000 Spectacles were sold, but only half of the owners used them after the first month, and Snap took a $40 million write-off after making too many. But, the company learned a lot from its first foray with Spectacles, and is now ready for the next iteration.

So, get ready for Spectacles Version 2. The new glasses are priced at $149.99 and have a number of new features and improvements over version 1. The case is smaller and handier to carry around, and it charges the glasses up to four times. The glasses are lighter and more comfortable and the field of vision has been reduced to 105 degrees. In addition to video, the glasses now take photos – which of course can be posted online.

Colors are new and more neutral with two lens versions, and the pairing process is much simpler than version 1. High quality photos and fast downloads improve the overall user experience. The glasses are now water resistant and can even take photos underwater. Spectacles are now on sale in the U.S., Canada, U.K., France, to be followed by 13 more European countries.

Fortunately, no more SnapBot vending machines to limit purchases – it’s easy to buy since all that’s needed is to go online to Snap to purchase. It really is a wearable camera.

Go ahead – smile, you’re on Spectacles!h

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the strategy that Snap is using to position itself as a camera/hardware company rather than a social media company.
  2. Show the Web site: https://www.spectacles.com/
  3. Show a product review video: https://youtu.be/DRqZoINHCwM
  4. A short product video: https://youtu.be/Qpbyj-hz05s
  5. Pricing is usually a complex topic. Discuss the six steps for pricing (determining objectives, estimating demand, determining cost/profit relationships, select price level, set list price, and make adjustments).
  6. Discuss the various pricing models in class: demand-oriented, cost-oriented, profit-oriented, and competition-oriented.
  7. What price strategy is Snap using for Spectacles version 2?
  8. How does this compare with version 1? Will this be successful?

Source: Constine, J. (26 April 2018). Snapchat launches Spectacles V2, camera glasses you’ll actually wear. TechCrunch.

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World’s Safest Bike – By Toyota

Consumers expect cars to become safer every year. But what about bicycles? Shouldn’t those become safer as well? After all, bikes are more common than cars, and riders are a lot more vulnerable to accidents. An estimated 45,000 bikes are involved in accidents each year, and more than 1,000 bike riders die every year from these accidents. (While this is a not as many as the more than 37,000 people who are killed in automobile accidents each year, it is an alarming number that deserves attention of all bike riders and corporations.)

Toyota shares the concerns of bike riders and is using the new safety features from the Toyota Camry to help provide riders with safer cycles. In a partnership New York-based Priority Bicycles, Toyota helped to create a prototype bike that includes sensors to detect objects and alert riders to danger through a multi-colored light panel. Using more than 500 feet of cables, along with Lidar sensors connected to a display on the handlebars, the bike alerts the rider to activity in front, behind, or to the side of the bike. When a dangerous situation occurs, the lights turn red; yellow is cautious; green is safe. The headlight on the bike also automatically moves up and down as the bike pace changes, increasing visibility farther out as speed increases.

The best part – a button on the bike blasts out the sound of a Camry car horn to announce its presence!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: How many ride bikes routinely? Who has been injured by a car while riding their bike?
  2. Show a video of the bike: https://youtu.be/TQ-0zoSmyMs
  3. Priority Bikes’ Web site: https://www.prioritybicycles.com/
  4. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for launching a product.
  5. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  6. Divide students into groups to work on this exercise.
  7. Have each develop an innovative tactic that could be used to promote car safety features.

Source:  Beltrone, G. (5 April, 2018). How to promote Toyota Camry’s new safety features? Build the world’s safest bike. Ad Week.

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