Category: Innovation


The Future of Smart Packaging: “Freshness Label”

freshness label - smart packagingThe packaging industry is developing smart new packaging solutions for the retail market. Especially for fresh product a smart label or a digital display integrated within the packaging could show the consumer the freshness and quality of the product. A milk package could show you when it is not a good idea to drink it anymore.

Another example is this hourglass-shaped freshness label for meat products (designed by To-Genkyo). The label contains special ink that changes its color based on the amount of ammonia emitted by the meat (the older the meat, the more ammonia it releases). Like an hourglass, the bottom half of the label “fills up” as the meat ages. Consumers can judge the product’s freshness at a glance.

When the meat is no longer suitable for sale, the ink blocks the barcode at the bottom so that it cannot be scanned at the cash register.

Smart Packaging Freshness Label

The Freshness Label was presented at the Good Design Expo known as one of the leading design events in Asia. The event showcases thousands of well-designed products under consideration for the year’s Good Design Awards. Over 2,000 items ranging from consumer electronics, automobiles and furniture to office equipment, building designs and sporting goods were exhibited at this year’s event, which was held at Tokyo Big Sight in August 2009.


What eBay’s decision to sell Skype means for the future of VOIP?

Skype eBay Deal Internet auction and services company EBay Inc has reached a deal to sell its online telephony unit Skype to a group of private investors, the New York Times said, citing two people briefed on its plans.

Andreessen Horowitz, a new venture capital firm headed by the Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, is likely to be among the investors in the group, the paper cited the people as saying. London-based Index Ventures and Silver Lake Partners may also be involved in the deal, one of the people told the paper. The paper added that the value of the deal, which is likely to be announced later on Tuesday, had not been disclosed. EBay spokesman Alan Marks declined to comment on the report.
In May, EBay Chief Executive John Donahoe said a valuation of $2 billion would be low for Skype.

Since eBay bought Skype, the company did not announce major developments nor any innovative new products or services. May it is because of the structure of the size the institution “eBay” has become. Skype was not the leader of digital innovation since years. Thus it has always kept their loyal customers and delivered very good quality of service.

From my point of view there are three key opportunities in the VoiP market for Skype:

1. Reach: Skype is the biggest Online Social Network, twice as big as facebook, but they do not use the full potential of the SNS (Social Networking Software), yet. There are many opportunities to develop new applications, open APIs or useful functions to use Skype as a Social Network.

2. Global telecommunication: Since the start of Google Voice a huge discussion is going on about the future of telecommunication. The network operators such as AT&T or Deutsche Telekom and mobile network operators are getting under pressure because customers can change and manage several telephone number very easily. I think now it’s time for such a service and to roll-out a mainstream VoiP Service like Google Voice – this could be easily realized by Skype as well. Don’t you think?

3. Speed & Innovation: Since the company would be kind of “independable” again. The speed of innovation and business development would be increased rapidly. The goal of the investors might be to really strengthen the company. May be they are also looking to get the global VoiP leadership and then partner or even sell the company again to a major player. Thus this speed and acceleration of innovation might be something very healthy for Skype and I am already thinking about what they could develop for us loyal users.


Next big thing: Market for electronic paper to hit $9.6 billion by 2018

Sales of electronic “paper” displays such those used in the Kindle and Sony Reader will approach $10 billion by 2018, up from an estimated $431 million this year, according to a report released today from DisplaySearch, a technology research firm.

ePaper Market 2009 - 2018

“E-paper displays are taking off with consumers due to their low power consumption and ease of reading, especially in sunlight,” Jennifer Colegrove, DisplaySearch director of display technologies, said in a statement.

Colegrove said the popularity of “green” products is expected to give digital paper a sales boost. Consumers who cringe at throwing away newspapers and magazines can read articles guilt free on devices with e-paper, which sip less power than back-lighted LCD displays.

Video Interview showing some new ePaper devices:

As a result, annual sales of digital book readers are projected to zoom from 1 million units in 2008 to 77 million in 2018.

Because of their thin profile, electronic paper has been embedded in items other than readers too, including magazines, credit cards, store-shelf tags and even clothing.

Via LA Times.


WEF’s Welcom is the most exclusive Online Social Network

The World Economic Forum is developing the most exclusive online Social Network, called WELCOM. The name is an acronym for “The World Economic Leaders COMmunity”. The community will inhabit the top 10.000 world leaders, executives, managers, CEO, politicians, visionaries and movers and shakers. The social network will offer many collaboration and communication tools, such as contacts, groups, chat, mail, video call, file sharing etc. So many conversations will happen behind a big “digital security wall”.

Here are three Screenshots of the WEF WELCOM platform:




Description at the Website of the World Economic Forum (WEF):
WELCOM is a powerful new online communication and collaboration space designed specifically for the world’s top decision-makers. With a range of innovative tools for locating and accessing expertise, sharing knowledge, and meeting and working with peers, WELCOM empowers a multistakeholder approach to addressing the most pressing business and global governance challenges.


The Status of the Mobile Web with Michael J. O’Farrel

I met Michael J. O’Farrel for an interview about the Status of the Mobile Internet in Toronto, Canada.

Michael is Chief Marketing Officer at Zameen Group and Vice Chairman of ooober; as well as a strategic advisor to mobigenics, Graham Sanborn Media and The Centre for Creative Communications at Centennial College. He is Chair of the dotMobi Advisory Group and co-author of the Wiley publication Mobile Internet for Dummies.
Michael is also Advirsor to the @mocom2020 Projekt:


iPhone 3GS is out

New iPhone 3GS with 7.2Mbps HSDPA, improved 3 megapixel camera that also does video at 30 fps

twitter iphone 3GS
Apple iPhone 3GS


Watch Apple’s presentation at WWDC09 with live video

I am just following the WWDC presentation by Apple on live video and twittering about it at

uStream Apple


GM and Segway develop future car for Megacities

GM Segway future car conceptGM and Segway developed a two-seater electric car to debut in NYC in 2012.

US carmaker General Motors is joining with scooter maker Segway to make a new type of two-seat electric vehicle. The prototype, which will be debuted in New York, is aimed at urban driving. GM aims to start making them by 2012. The vehicle, named Puma, has a top speed of 35mph and can go as far as 35 miles on a single charge. It will use lithium-ion batteries. GM, having been bailed out by the US government, is looking to smaller vehicles to secure its future.

Puma stands for personal urban mobility and accessibility.

GM has already received at least $13bn in aid from the US government and seems likely to enter bankruptcy. It is looking to more environmentally-friendly models as consumers have abandoned their expensive trucks and cars. “We are excited to be working together to demonstrate a dramatically different approach to urban mobility,” said Jim Norrod, chief of Segway. Segway introduced its personal transporter in 2002 and has sold more than 2,000 in the UK. They are capable of speeds up to 12mph and cost £4,795.
The personal scooters came to international prominence when US President George W Bush fell off one while on holiday in 2003.

Via BBC.


A better Street View comes from China

I just read “A better Street View comes form Canada” at ReadWriteWeb and I had to think back to a meeting I had in Shanghai, China, last year with an innovative StartUp.

City8 offers a much better quality, zoom function and interaction. The StreetView has been created using high resolution photography. City8 has already digitalized most of the big cities in China and is expanding its service rapidly.

The technology and the team surprised right away when we visited them during the Trend Tour for our client. It seems to be even better than the Canadian Street Maps.

See an Shanghai Street View in the streets of Pudong:

City8 StreetView Pudong Shanghai China


“Rock star physicist” Brian Cox about achievements & problems at CERN

Interview with the creative physicist Brian Cox the latest achievements and problems at the Altas Project at CERN. He also talks about the famous “hover board” (from the movie back to the future).

Watch his speech at the TED Conference.


CondéNet starts innovative ePublishing format for Vogue and Vanity Fair

As promised I had been at CondéNet today for an interesting interview with Marc Hoenke, Country Manager Germany. Vogue and Vanity Fair launched a new format for parts of their online website.

Interview: Marc Hoenke, Country Manager Germany, give insights, backgrounds and an outlook of their new project

See it in action: Marc Hoenke gives us a tour through the new online magazine.


Exclusive: Media-Innovation through glossy online magazine?

Media-Innovation? High gloss Online Magazine?
Today, Condé Nast starts an innovative new project in Germany. The websites of Vogue and VanityFair get a new glossy online magazine. Brands like HERMES and HUGO BOSS love this new format and placed ads in the first issue. Marketing executive can finally place their full-page ads like in a normal fashion or lifestyle magazine, but in combination with the interactivity of the web.

But how useful and intuitive is such a “Media – Miki” in reality?
I will ask this question today at an exclusive interview with the creators of the MIKI, IntelliMedia and Condé Nast.
The full interview and more reviews will follow later. But I will be giving live updates “on the go” at my Twitter Channel:

Vogue Medien-Innovation MIKI ePublishing



The WEF Technology Pioneers 2009

The World Economic Forum selects a few companies to become Technology Pioneers.
I met Rodolfo Lara Torres, Head of Technology and Knowledge Integration at the World Economic Forum, at Le Web 2008 in Paris and talked with him about the latest developments at WEF.

Tech Pioneer are those companies who are working on technologies and innovation that have the potential to change the world. The WEF screens the market worldwide to find the most innovative companies and selects around 30 companies every year to become Tech Pioneer. The WEF started in 1999, so this year it is the 10th edition of the Award.

The main criteria for the Tech Pioneers are
1. Innovation: Is the technology new?
2. Impact: Which impact will this technology have on business and society?
3. Sustainability: Will the company exist in the long-term, too?
4. Not a Member of the WEF already.

The award winners will be integrated in the activities of the World Economic Forum and will be invited to events, such as the Annual Meeting in Davos.

Rodolfo explains a lot of very innovative companies come from emerging markets like India, Africa or China.
He also sees a major Trend of the combination of Health and Technology, like chips inserted into your body.
And by the way, Google won the award in 2001.

The World Economic Forum has announced 34 visionary companies selected as Technology Pioneers 2009 for their accomplishments as innovators of the highest calibre, and whose technologies will have a deep impact on business and society.

Company Profiles

Continue Reading..


Martin Varsavsky about the status of Wifi Network FON

Interview at the Monaco Media Forum with Martin Varsavsky, Investor and Founder of FON.

Martin told me that there are more than 300.000 FON Wifi Hotspots worldwide which makes FON 10 times larger than T-Mobile Hotspots. FON Germany is developing slower than other countries due to the german mentality. Martin says that “sharing” Wifi might not the right slogan in Germany. He is suggesting to change the marketing message to “Make money with your Wifi” or “Save money with your Wifi”. He also talked about the new Fonero Router 2.0 for hackers and developers.


Esther the Astronaut!

Video Interview with Esther Dyson about her current “Astronaut Training” at Star City, Russia. She is reporting about her experiences and the hard training at Space Adventures on her Flight School Blog.

Interview filmed at the Monaco Media Forum 2008 at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel.


Getting Ready for the Monaco Media Forum 2009

Tomorrow I will be at the Monaco Media Forum 2009… you can follow me on Twitter during the day and I try to blog a summary at the end of the day.

Here are some more Infos about the Event:

The Third Monaco Media Forum will take place from November 12-14, 2008 at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort in the Principality of Monaco. Some 300 of the world’s key players in both new and “old” media – CEOs of global media groups, financiers, digital experts, entrepreneurs, senior journalists, academics and bloggers – will convene to discuss and debate the digital revolution and its impact on the new media landscape. The discussions take place in the midst of unprecedented technological and financial disruption.

Already one of the world’s key media get-togethers, the MMF is sponsored by Google with the support of the Principality of Monaco. As part of its support, Google will be providing a designated YouTube Web site to showcase the event. The MMF is co-produced by PublicisLive and Monaco Mediax with additional support provided by MMF partners. Partners include Accel, Lenovo, NewspaperDirect, Press Display, Publicis Groupe, and Vivendi, along with Media Partners including News Corporation,,, and YouTube.

The Monaco Media Forum 2008 is chaired by HSH Prince Albert II, and co-chaired by the following distinguished media leaders:

Nikesh Arora, President, EMEA Operations and Senior Vice President, Google
Jean-Bernard Levy, Chairman and CEO, Vivendi
Maurice Levy, Chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe
Ruigang Li, President, Shanghai Media Group
James Murdoch, Chairman and CEO for Europe and Asia, News Corporation
Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment & NBC Universal Television Studio
Niklas Zennstrom, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Joost & Atomico

The theme for 2008 is “Media Everywhere: Thriving on Disruption” and the program covers a broad range of today’s most critical issues, to be discussed in plenary sessions including:

State of the Mediasphere
The Rise & Rise of Distributed Media
Open Mobile
Big TV in a YouTube World
Think Locally, Act Globally
The Two-Way Audience
Networking Music
Internet 2018: The Road Ahead
The Revolution Will Be Streamed
Some Rights Reserved
The Digital Imperative
The Money Crunch
Shock of the New: Building the Next Disruption

In addition to the plenary sessions, there will also be a series of presentations and demonstrations involving cutting-edge new technology.

On the occasion of MMF2008, Prince Albert will bestow the 2nd Monaco Media Prize, awarded for “innnovative use of media for the betterment of humanity.” Last year’s winner was Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury.

“The Monaco Media Forum is a unique occasion, a serious debate about the future of media with Monaco as a magnificent backdrop,” says John Rossant, Executive Chairman of PublicisLive, co-producer of the event. “The 2008 Forum will be especially fascinating and important, given the extraordinary events which have been taking place in the last few weeks and months.”

“This great event is important for Monaco, when the Principality becomes a capital of global media,” says David Tomatis, CEO of MonacoMediax.

For more information, go to


300+ Cases & Examples of Social Media Marketing

Due to recent Social Media Marketing projects at Ahead of Time we did a screening of relevant Social Media Marketing Campaigns, Cases & Examples. Here is a list of more than 300 companies who are active in the Social Media landscape.

The list was started by Peter Kim and I added a few cases.