The Ford Vending Machine

Alibaba and Ford have signed a deal to build a vending machine for cars in Guangzhou, China. The vending machine has a capacity of 42 cars and allows prospective buyers to book a three-day test drive before they buy. All the prospective buyer needs to do is select the car model they’re interested in, put down a deposit electronically via the Tmall app, schedule a pickup time, and snap a selfie so that the vending machine can recognize them when they pick up the car for a test drive.

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I-VIE the Watson Assistant from IBM

The war of the digital assistants just got a new entrant. IBM has recently revealed the Watson Assistant, that is designed for enterprises to use with their customer-facing applications. The video below shows some of the use cases that make the Watson Assistant I-VIE seem like an enhanced version of Alexa and Google Assistant put together, that eventually hopes to be more like J.A.R.V.I.S. from Iron Man.

What this reinforces is that while Alexa and Google Assistant have momentum with consumer use cases, enterprises have strong interest in having more control over the customer experience and data. So it comes as no surprise that Amazon introduced Alexa for Business in December 2017 and set its sights beyond the kitchens and bedrooms.

The battle for enterprise assistant market share is shaping up to be every bit as competitive as the current war for consumer voice assistant users.

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Pizza Hut lets you order pizza from your shoes

Pizza Hut is the official pizza of the NCAA, a men’s basketball tournament known informally as March Madness and played each spring in the United States.

For last years tournament Pizza Hut created the world’s first shoe that ordered a pizza. Now to celeberate their second year as the official pizza of the NCAA, Pizza Hut, Droga5 and the Shoe Surgeon launched Pie Tops II, a limited-edition high top shoes that not only utilized your geolocation to order the current Pizza Hut deal at the press of a button, but also allowed users to pause the game while they received their delivery.

A TV ad has also been released to highlight the new pause feature of these newly relaunched Pie Top shoes…

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Dolce & Gabbana fly drones down the catwalk

Marketing is one of the most creative and toughest industries in the world. Each day, companies are seeking new ways to attract attention and to mesmerize possible clients into becoming loyal customers. At Milan Fashion Week on Sunday, Dolce & Gabbana stunned the watching crowd with a memorable opener that replaced human fashion models with drones.

The drones were made to carry Dolce & Gabbana’s latest range of “Devotion” leather handbags as part of its fall and winter collection. Around seven copters hovered along the runway, each with a Dolce & Gabbana handbag dangling beneath it.

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The Kentucky Flying Object

In its latest marketing effort to appear hip and tech savvy, India’s Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) created the “Kentucky Flying Object” a.k.a. “KPO” that could be created from select boxes of the chain’s newly announced Smoky Grilled Wings.

The limited edition boxes are available in ten selected cities from today 25th January to tomorrow 26th January. Every customer who orders the Smoky Grilled Wings, will not only get their spicy chicken wings, but also a fully functioning mini-drone.

Lucky customers who receive the special boxes can look up the instructions to assemble the drone at www.kfodrone.com.

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Voice Chocolate

In the last 15 years, voice communication traffic has fallen by about half, mainly due to the impact of messaging apps. Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile phone company, sought a way to remind people of the wonder of communicating by voice. So with their agency Hakuhodo, Docomo came up with a new way to reacquaint people with voice communication.

On Valentine’s Day they enabled women in Japan to use their smartphones to record their voices and transform their message into chocolate patterns. Then with the help of Mont St. Clair, the most famous patisserie in Japan, they delivered the custom chocolates to the men they love. Recipients in turn could then use a special app that recognized the AR markers in the chocolate to play back the voice message from their smartphone.

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BMW Christmas Safety Card

To wish their customers a new year of safe driving, BMW together with ad agency AIR and electronics company Selectron created a Christmas card that was meant to be hung in the car.

A micro sensor was built into the card to measure the driving behavior and react with a spoken message (Ho! Ho! Hooo! Just like Santa!) when the car was driven unsafely. The sensor measured the G-forces and reacted when the car accelerated too much, or when it braked or drove too quickly through bends.

These limited-edition Christmas cards were sent to members of the BMW M League who recently bought their car and participated in the BMW Track Days.

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The hardest karaoke song in the world

Iceland has recently launched a new tourism campaign which via a catchy karaoke song called “The A-Ö of Iceland”, challenges tourists to get to grips with its notoriously difficult-to-learn language. Working through the 32 letters of the Icelandic alphabet, the song covers common words and phrases in the language.

Performed by Icelandic comedian Steindi Jr, the song, The A-Ö of Iceland, helps teach the difference between a torfbær (turf house) and a bílaleigubíll (hire car) and why you should always remember to take your sundskýla (trunks) to the sundlaugar (swimming pool).

The Iceland tourist board has also released the below video of tourists attempting to sing along…

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The Nike NBA Connected Jersey

To provide a radical new fan experience, Nike and the NBA have unveiled the Nike NBA Connected Jersey, that via an iOS NikeConnect app provides the wearer an all-access pass into the world of their favorite team and players.

To enable this new exprience each adult-sized Nike NBA Connected Jersey will now come with an embedded NFC chip that will launch real-time team and player content such as pregame arrival footage, highlight packages and top players favorite music playlists – all on the jersey owner’s mobile device. Additionally during the season, a wealth of exclusive offers and experiences will also bring fans closer to the game they love.

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