Tuesday, November 30, 2010

iPad Only Magazine

Richard Branson has beaten other established business leaders in the publication world by launching the first iPad only magazine.

The magazine, called Project, will likely be released on iTunes and will focus on technology, entertainment, entrepreneurship, and promises to be "within shouting distance of the cutting edge."

Via - Fastcompany

Volvo No Longer Wants To Be "Premium"

Volvo should no longer be lumped into the premium category, according to the wishes of CEO Stefan Jacoby.

It's not that the cars aren't good, but according to recent reports in British publication Autocar, Jacoby thinks it sends the wrong message. "It sounds like a pricing strategy, and it's got an expensive ring to it", the Volvo CEO was reported as saying.

Going forward, it would appear that the new brand strategy will see Volvo emphasising its unique Swedishness to stand apart from the competitors in the premium automotive segment. With aggressive targets of 800000 units per year by 2020 penciled in as the benchmarl - double current sales volumes for the brand - a little differentiation can't hurt, surely?

Via - AutoCar

Monday, November 29, 2010

Having Fun & Changing Behaviour

VW's Fun Theory campaign is based on the premise that in order to fundamentally change the way we do things, we need to first experience the alternative - and the best way to get people to actively participate and attempt new things is to offer them a fun way of doing so.

The campaign which broke last year resulted in a massive viral effect and as the culmination of the campaign, VW have identified the winning Fun Theory submission and turned the idea into reality.

This time, the challenge was to make driving the speed limit rewarding, and Richardson's idea was a speed camera lottery - below is the video of the camera in action.

Via - YouTube

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cadillac Concept Runs On Air

Cadillac's Aera Concept is a futuristic 2+2 luxury tourer with a 3D lattice frame structure and a pneumatic drive system running on compressed air.

The Cadillac Aera Concept won the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show Design Challenge, tying with Smart and beating entries from seven other auto-manufacturers including Mercedes-Benz, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Maybach.

The GM Advanced Design is said to have won the honor more times than any other design team; with the Aera being GM's third victory since 2005.

Via - Concept & Design Car

How The Rich Plan On Spending This Festive Season

FastCompany surveyed some respected business leaders and trendsetters for their holiday wish lists.

Interesting to see that while luxury is still the name of the game for some, a few others would settle for more philanthropic uses of their money. Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco, for instance have asked friends to make a donation to charitywater.org. Allegedly a $20 donation can give one person clean water for 20 years.

Click here to see the entire slideshow as featured on FastCompany

Audi To Lead Premium EV's By 2020?

By the year 2020, Audi hopes to be the "leading premium seller of electric vehicles," Franciscus van Meel, the automaker's manager for electric mobility, told AutoWeek during a recent technical workshop at the company's headquarters in Ingolstadt, Germany.

In addition to launching a number of hybrid vehicles (including the A8 and Q5) over the next few years, Audi plans to debut a plug-in hybrid in 2014. Audi's board member for technology, Michael Dick, further added that by 2020, he wants to see the automaker's internal combustion engines improve efficiency by 30 percent, with 5 percent of the brand's lineup to be purely electric.

Commentators believe that the spearhead of Audi's electrical drive will be the Audi e-Tron, which made it's debut in 2009 at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Via - Auto Week

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

World's First Ice Touchscreen

Nokia brings the world's first ice touchscreen to life.

What started out as a "playful experiment" for Nokia's team has resulted in an interactive device that gives us a glimpse of what can be achieved when it comes to interactivity in the future.

Below is the video, which offers a short explanation of the technology behind the innovation and reminds of the MIT Sixth Sense as featured on TED.

Cool Hunting For GAP

Trend website Cool Hunter has collaborated with retailers GAP to open up a new pop up store in NYC for the up-coming Festive Season.

The store will
feature locally-sourced goods with Cool Hunting set to feature hand-picked items using the same principles—innovative design, artisan craftsmanship, social and environmental consciousness—that mirrors the website's editorial content.

Via - Cool Hunting

Cadillac Concept - Small Yet Luxurius

The Cadillac Urban Luxury Concept , recently unveiled at the L.A. Auto Show, is filled with technology meant to make a car that's no bigger than a Smart Car feel spacious on the inside.

Touchscreens replace all the interior controls, thus allowing the dashboard to be far more compact. To make it easy to enter and exit the car, both doors scissor open.

The car would be powered by a hybrid powerplant: a turbocharged 1.0L three-cylinder engine that has brake energy regeneration similar to that in the Prius. According to Cadillac, based on their prototyping models, the car would fetch a fuel economy of 4,2 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 3,6 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway.

Via - Autoblog

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mercedes Benz Attempts To Understand Premium Aesthetics

Mercedes Benz's latest attempt at understanding premium aesthetics saw the German automaker collaborate with a group of scientists equipped with camera-equipped glasses and exposed a few test subjects on a quick walk-around the new CLS.

Below is the video of the "experiment" with some surprise findings on what attracts you to the opposite sex for your interest as well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A New Way For Brands To Use AR - Powered By Google

Google Goggle's visual search app is innovating ahead with marketers in order to turn visual search results into immersive online experiences.

This is especially exciting for brands in a country like SA where back-ends to regular augmented reality campaigns are usually complicated and often prohibitively expensive as Google has done all the work for you!

Via - Fastcompany

Device For Elegant Tyre Changing

Remi van Oers, a student at the Design Academy Eindhoven, came up with a clever solution for those who find tyre changing experiences distinctly un-premium.

A new rethink in car jacking devices resulted in a self-inflating jack that looks like less of a tool than a new Apple device.

It could be a nice value-add for auto-manufacturers to offer as an extra for products that are more female orientated.

Via - Fastcompany

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Aston Martin Cygnet Unveiled - At Harrod's

Upscale retailers Harrod's have partnered with another iconic and quintessentially British brand in the form of Aston Martin, with the motor manufacturer unveiling and displaying their latest premium city car in the retailer's shop windows.

The production ready prototype of the Aston Martin Cygnet will remain at Harrod's in London until the 11th of December this year, with final production set for the beginning of 2011.

Via - Luxist

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Premium Lounge The Aston Martin Way

Aston Martin has opened a by-invitations only club at The Prime Society in Singapore's Dempsey Hill neighborhood.

The lounge features custom tables made from authentic Aston Martin wheel-rims as well as large prints of a variety of Aston Martin cars. Elsewhere you’ll find martini glasses named after some of the marque's most famous models and private lockers where members can lock away their personal belongings.

The lounge has also partnered with premium liquor brands such as the Bollinger champagne house (a first in Singapore) while Macallan is the signature whisky at the venue.

Via - Aston Martin Club

iPhone Movies In 3D Made Easy

The clever Japanese have made watching 3-D movies possible anywhere, as long as you have an iPhone/iPod Touch - without the need to wear the embarrassing 3D glasses.

Media artist Jitsuro Mase invented a simple attachment that clips onto your device which instantly gives you the power of 3-D films in the palm of your hand.

Via - Fastcompany

Ralph Lauren Reinvents Fashion Show

We all know that premium brands constantly need to innovate themselves in order to differentiate themselves in order to provide more reasons for people to believe in their brand.

Below are two of Ralph Lauren's latest efforts, which David Lauren, son of Ralph, has described as "game-changing".

The result features Architectural Mapping and augmented reality in order to bring an almost 4D effect for viewers, resulting in an engaging and innovative way of showcasing the brand in a new light.

Via - NY Times

Audi's Potential Supersedan

According to Germany's AutoZeitung, Audi may have plans to make use of the Porsche Panamera platform to produce an all new 4 door super sedan.

Commentators have dubbed the new car as the A9 for now and reports are that the new Audi flagship will be offered with a choice of either rear-wheel drive or the familiar Quattro all-wheel drive setup, the Audi A9 would also be available as a petrol-electric hybrid. The power output could climb to 500 horsepower.

It will be interesting to see whether the new addition to the Audi stable proves it's worth in time, with so many high-end models already being occupied by the likes of the updated A8, as well as the new A7 which is also on it's way.

Via AutoZeitung