Tag Archives: technology

Farewell to the iPod

The iPod is officially dead. Yes, you read this correctly. After 16 years, with more than 400 million units sold worldwide, Apple has pulled the plug on the iPod Nano and Shuffle, removing the product line from its online stores. To many people, the iPod was a revolutionary device. The portable device with its iconic white headphones enabled people to take their full music library anywhere, giving listeners control of playlists and music.

iPod launched in 2001 with a unit holding 5 GB of data for $399, quickly followed in 2002 with a 10 GB unit at $499. Things really changed when Apple launched the iTunes Music Store in 2003, setting off a landslide in music downloads as well as music piracy concerns. In 2007, Apple launched the iPhone, which included capabilities beyond just making phone calls, incorporating music capabilities in the phone.

How many iPods have you owned?

R.I.P. iPod. You changed the world of music.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
  2. Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various products and services into each stage.
  3. Next, discuss the iPod and it’s journey through the product life cycle: http://www.macworld.com/article/1053499/home-tech/ipodtimeline.html
  4. Show Apple’s online store: https://www.apple.com/. What product line is missing from the store?
  5. Poll students: Who had an iPod? What do they use now for music?
  6. Show first iPod commercial: https://youtu.be/mE_bDNaYAr8
  7. Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.

Source:  Wired, other news sources

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Robocop in Dubai

In what may be the world’s first Robocop, an autonomous robot policeman has reported for duty in Dubai on public streets. This is just the start: Dubai has plans to make 25% of the city’s police force robotic by 2030.

The 1.7m high Robocop weighs approximately 100kg. An embedded touchscreen on its chest allows people to report crimes and pay fines for traffic violations. It also includes facial recognition functions to identify a person’s emotions and facial expressions, and can change its expression and greetings to help put people at ease. Facial recognition technology helps police officers identify and catch offenders. It can also broadcast live video feeds in times of emergency.

Robocop can communicate in six languages, including Arabic and English. And, lest you think Robocop isn’t friendly, it can shake hands and offer salutes. Robocop can also chat and interact with people, helping to put them at ease.

And of course, Robocop links to social media such as Twitter, just like everyone else!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss with students the role of robots in society and business. What are their ideas on how robots could be useful? Harmful?
  2. Show Robocop video: https://youtu.be/sA9OiALxdZg
  3. Show PAL Robotics Web site. It includes a series of videos of different robot products: http://pal-robotics.com/en/products/
  4. Divide students into teams and have them discuss legal and ethical considerations of Robocop.
  5. What are their recommendations?

Source: Newsweek  

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Technology Embedded in Daily Life

If consumers were asked what are the top companies embedded in their daily lives, most would quickly list the top five as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. These five companies are counted among the world’s most valuable companies, worth trillions of dollars collectively. (Apple, alone, has a market capitalization of $800 billion, plus is rolling in billions of cash.) Four of these five companies are all in the top 10 most valuable global brands, with the fifth company ranked as number 15 in the 100 list.

Think about it:  how do we shop, do research, write documents, and stay in touch with friends, family, and world events? What devices do we reach for and carry around continually? It would be difficult for today’s consumers to imagine a world without the technology from these companies. And it has all happened relatively quickly.

What do you use every day? And, can you do without it?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the role of technology and branding in today’s world.
  2. Poll students about the technologies they use the most. Tally the votes and see if their top companies matches the ones in this article.
  3. Break students into five teams: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft. Have each team research facts about one of the companies.
  4. Show the global brand value: http://interbrand.com/best-brands/best-global-brands/2016/ranking/
  5. Have each team debrief the class as to the importance of its technology.
  6. Which company would students give up? Why?
  7. Which company would students keep the longest? Why?
  8. Finally, discuss factors that make these companies successful.

Source: New York Times

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