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June 5, 2014

The internet of things and the place of Brands: Interview with Matthieu Pascal of FrenchFuel.fr

Posted by chm

If you follow the news of our agency on social networks, you may have seen our “Look at the future” video. More than just a movement, innovation is a great pool of opportunities for brands to offer their consumers new and memorable experiences.

To better understand how connected bracelets, drones, smart cities, 3D printers and Google Glass can be put to the service of brands, we spoke with Matthew Pascal, editor of www.frenchfuel.fr, the top information source in France on the entire NIKE connected range. For 2 years this sports and digital enthusiast has shared his pleasure in running and not hesitated to decrypt the latest innovations in mobile and wired technology.

dogband

Dogband, myth or reality?

There can be no doubt that innovation is a bandwagon that advances quickly. Very quickly. So fast, that even if some predictions could raise a smile, we can no longer allow ourselves to be surprised. The proof is when we asked Matthew if the Dogband could one day have a place around the neck of our “dog runner”: Connected bracelets for dogs already exists, a U.S. startup called Whistle has developed a sensor for measuring activity and the health of your dog. It won’t take long for the trend of quantifying yourself to be replicated with animals.”

Show me your wrist, I’ll tell you what kind of consumer you are.

Check out the forearms around you – connected bracelets and other “activity-trackers” are popping up everywhere. Some play the card of ultra-precise measurement, while others have more of a reminder function, where the social value dominates. “There are many types of tools that meet the different needs of different consumers” says Matthew. Indeed, market leaders such as Fitbit Flex or Nike+ FuelBand does not address the same audience or the same uses. “The Fitbit Flex accurately measures steps taken and distance traveled as well as calories burned with a view to be more active and improve personal health. The social dimension is much more important with a Nike+ FuelBand which encourages daily sharing of results with friends. The FuelBand is aimed at a younger and more athletic audience, not necessarily too concerned with calorie intake.”

Smart & Quantified, the enhanced body

Indeed, the Quantified Self movement is well established for many years and has already invested in sporting events such as the Paris 10 Km run. Besides connected bracelets, watches also have the wind in their sails. “Connected watches or SmartWatch will make noise in 2014 with many more powerful models, one after another. The market for wearable electronics represents significant opportunities for manufacturers looking for a sales explosion.” More than just technology enthusiasts, consumers are constantly looking for experiences that simplify their lives and feed their passions and their topics of conversation: “Many of us would love to be able to call or visit their favorite applications from the watch or bracelet. It will even happen one day that the phone as we know it will become obsolete. I think a mix of SmartWatch and connected bracelet will manage to conquer the masses, combining design, technical features and ease of use.”

Connected objects, when brands get involved

But lets not get too excited – if connected objects are the innovation of recent years, not all brands will create their own bracelets, watches or even glasses. Yet they can position themselves in this universe and create experiences with high added value for users. In any case, time is not standing still, if you want to exist and make a difference: “It is true that the more we advance the more the big brands will be difficult to dethrone. I am sure that Apple and Samsung will strike a major blow in the coming months and will make everyone aware of connected.” Indeed innovative brands have understood and some have recently illustrated this by combining their expertise to support a premium experience as Jaeger LeCoultre and Aston Martin that transform their customers into real James Bond. In the same spirit the car manufacturer Mercedes and Pebble, the brand born on kickstarter, presented at the last CES in Las Vegas a watch that delivers information such as fuel level, opening doors or vehicle location.

In another area, Oreo already deploying an ambitious social media strategy raised spirits at the last SXSW where the biscuit manufacturer used food printers to allow visitors to create their own personalized printable cake in less than 2 minutes. In Emakina we are not at rest, with the Karl Lagerfeld concept-store  “Karl’s Booth”, which has fitting-rooms connected to the customer community, or with Bavaria where the beer-pullers were converted into machine and in digital, by our teams!

And you? What do you think of today’s innovations and the experiences of tomorrow?

A big thank you to Matthew for his answers and his perspectives on connected devices. To locate and follow his latest news, join the page Facebook and Twitter account or visit his site: www.frenchfuel.fr

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