Are bingo players skewing the gaming stats?

Today, gamers are a difficult breed to identify. It used to be that you’d be pretty safe assuming that most gamers were male and, quite often, loners. They’d choose time in a darkened room gaming by themselves than taking part in real life. However, according to a report into online habits and gaming that was brought out this year, this stereotype of a gamer no longer applies.

For a start, gamers are no longer predominantly male. A report by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) in the UK looked at the gaming habits of 4,000 people, as a representative sample of the gaming population in the UK. Far from being in the minority, 52 per cent of the gaming population in the UK is female. That’s a 3% increase since 2011.

But does that mean to say that all those women gamers are playing games such as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare or Grand Theft Auto V? Probably not, but who can say for sure? What the report does suggest is that more and more people are gaming on their mobiles and the kinds of action / shooter games mentioned above aren’t what you’d usually play on a mobile. More than half of the respondents to the IAB survey stated that their preferred gaming platform was their mobile, with 25% saying they played games on their mobiles every day.

gta1
by  Ferino Design 

You can see the appeal of playing on a mobile as opposed to playing on a console. The games on mobile devices are generally those that require no learning curve to get started; puzzle games like Bejewled and gambling games such as bingo or roulette available at the likes of Fabulous Bingo and Cheers Bingo. Some of the gambling games are even free to play. If you click here for free bingo games at Costa Bingo, you’ll see that many of the games can be played on the mobile, too. All you do is download an app and start playing. For a person who doesn’t have time to play a disc-based game, five minutes of fun on a mobile game can be a perfect alternative.

The favourite video game genres listed in the IAB report put the trivia/ word/ puzzle games as the most popular (33%). These were followed by action/ shooter/ adventure games (18%), role-play and strategy, sports and gambling (10% each), simulation (8%), racing or driving (5%) and fitness or music games (3%).

With so many people playing on their mobiles, should they really be categorised as gamers? Would ‘casual gamer’ be a more appropriate term? In a way, yes, but then again why can’t they be included with the ‘core gamers’? They’re still playing video games, even though few of the mobile games resemble anything you’d play on a console.

But when you read that the numbers of older female gamers are soaring in reports like the one from the Internet Advertising Bureau, you have to take these stats with a pinch of salt. They may be ‘gamers’ for the sake of the stats, but it would be better to specify what kind of gamers they are.

Preparing your business for Christmas shoppers

christmas shoppers

Festive shoppers provide many retailers with a much-needed financial boost. During this busy period, companies can see sales soar. However, if you want to make sure your business capitalises on the Christmas shopping frenzy, some savvy planning is required. These top tips should help you to achieve your goal.

 

Improve your in-store experience with free WiFi

One key area to consider is WiFi. Only a few years ago, the notion of providing mobile web access to shoppers was alien to many retailers. However, shrewd companies are increasingly switching onto the benefits of offering their customers free internet. After all, many people now consider their smartphones and tablets to be essential shopping companions. According to a recent report entitled ‘The Wireless Nation’, a quarter of consumers would leave shops if wireless connectivity wasn’t available. Luckily, it’s now straightforward to provide your customers with free WiFi. Public WiFi specialists such as Airangel offer competitively priced solutions.

As well as improving your customers’ in-store experiences, these WiFi solutions can help you to gain valuable insights into consumers’ shopping habits and preferences. By choosing the right package, you can access detailed user data and analytics. In turn, this can help you to tailor your offerings to your target market more effectively.

 christmas laptop readyGet your website ready for the festive season

Given the rising importance of ecommerce, it’s imperative that your website is up-to-scratch too. An increasing number of people are opting to do their shopping online and you may miss out if your site doesn’t meet shoppers’ high expectations.

Think about creating festive landing pages and generating seasonal blog posts. Also, if you’re expecting many more people to visit your website in the run-up to Christmas, get in touch with your hosting company to ensure that your site will be able to handle the rise in activity. The last thing you want is for your website to crash during the busiest time of year.

 Stock up

 Now’s the time to start building up your stock levels too. If all goes to plan over the festive period, your sales will rise and so you must ensure you have enough stock to meet this spike in demand. Think carefully about what is likely to sell well over Christmas. Consider previous years and also pay attention to market trends. There will always be some guesswork involved in deciding how much stock to buy in, but by being measured and tactical in your approach, you can reduce the likelihood of major errors.

 Get creative with your promotions

 Promotions will prove crucial too. You’ll need to prepare in advance for the post-Christmas sales and you might want to begin your promotions early. By offering special deals in the run-up to December 25th, you may be able to steal a march on your competitors. For example, you could give out coupons for the January sales with each purchase or offer buy-one-get-one-free deals on certain items.

If you do run promotions like these, be sure to advertise them online and in your store.

Spend some time on your shop display

 It’s also worth spending some time creating the perfect shop displays. This can entice more consumers through your doors and increase the amount of time people spend in your store. If you’re not the artistic type, pay a specialist to come in and arrange your decorations for you.

As well as crafting appealing displays, think about the positioning of your stock. Make sure your bestsellers are situated in prominent places. Meanwhile, place cheaper items that consumers may buy on impulse near to your paypoint.

By following tips like these in the run-up to Christmas, you stand to make the most of this busy shopping season.

 

 

Why be the same as everyone else – Huawei Ascend Mate7

With Christmas around the corner, we’re so excited that Huawei offered us their Ascend Mate7, so let’s have a closer look at the large-screen smartphones for this jolly shopping season! Here’s a simple video comparing the latest offerings from the top three smartphone manufacturers: the Apple iPhone6, the Samsung Galaxy Note4 and the Huawei Ascend Mate7.

Hope this video can show you that there are still quite a few brands out there that are worth exploring. Why be the same as everyone else? It’s time for you to find out for yourself and get that shiny new gadget in time for Christmas!

In collaboration with Emerse

Are we all moving to smartphones for our gaming?

As smartphones become the phone of choice for most mobile users and you can definitely see why as they are a Personal Computer a Camera, Sat Nav, internet browser, games consul, Social Media platform and oh yes of course you can make still make a phone call on them.  How is all this tech in your pocket affecting the way we access and play games and how is the gaming and app industry reacting to this.

We have all been waiting in a queue or on a train or bus and looked up to see virtually everyone either on social media or playing a game and not only have the new range of smartphones made this easier but developers have also created games which are mind blowing, I mean we are talking console quality a far cry from the first games of snake and roll the dice. (If you can remember that far back).

Of course we have the ever increasing online gaming world which has taken the games like roll the dice to a whole new level with companies like Casino.com offering the ability to play your favourite casino games win money and all while waiting for the bus, with games like BlackJack, Slots and even roulette on your phone we are really being spoilt for choice.

candy crush

Most Android games offer a free version which is great although you do find there are in app payments which gives you additional access within the game, like the ability to add extra lives and levels or special features games like Candy Crush had become extremely successful with this business model.

Of course you have the more adult games which range from driving games like Crazy Taxi City Rush to Modern Combat 5: Blackout which as the name suggests is a combat game. These games are really more in depth and this is where you feel the consul games coming to your smartphone.

modern combat 5 blackout

Smartphone games for me are split into two camps the games that are great for the commute you know the ones you can just dip in and out of like the angry birds/bad piggies and the adventure or walk through which you can lose yourself for hours like Sky Force 2014 /Plants Vs Zombies.

So whatever you are doing and how much time you have you always have your smartphone and a game or app which is going to be right for that moment, the only problem you have is which game or app to choose, not a bad decision to have.

The Evolution of Wearable Technology

Despite their continued popularity, it appears that smartphones may soon be replaced by another high-tech group of gadgets.

Over the past eight years, the wearable technology industry has evolved from simple devices used to track movements to fully-functioning computers that can be worn on the wrist or face. While consumers are understandably excited about these new innovations, wearable tech is beginning to give some businesses pause as they work to refine their BYOD strategies.

As these products grows more and more accessible to the average consumer, it will be interesting to see where the industry will go next.

For more information on the evolution of wearable technology, check out the infographic below:

Shoretel_GuestGraphic_300dpi-01 (2)

Graphic provided by ShoreTel, Inc.

 

The Evolution of the Security Landscape

Businesses used to rely on mainframe computers to store all its data, these mainframes were relatively easy to prevent unauthorised access just using encryption software and physical security with the firewall controlling access to and from the mainframe.

While businesses still use mainframe computers they are unable to secure the information in the same way and data clouds are now used as part of the modern data centre.  As data is now spread over multiple locations and can be accessed through the web from anywhere in the world this opens the door to hackers as this cloud storage could open security holes.

So being able to secure a network is so much more complex due to all the devices we use to access the data.  The traditional style firewalls are no longer truly effective as the mainframes are not holding all the data so a new approach to IT security must be now part of any serious business strategy.

Mark Davenport from Dell Security Solutions talks about the diversification of hardware in the workplace and how this is relevant to IT Security.

Geeks & Bingo. It doesn’t add up

Geeks in denial tend to work in marketing – which sounds like it should be flighty and creative but it’s not. Marketing is 100% about data; and everybody knows geeks need data like fish need water. Marketing geeks immerse themselves in rapturous floods of Demographics, econometrics, CTRs, and SEOs; they measure CRM in CPT and steer e-PR by TGI. Numbers, number, numbers, it’s always about the constant flow of acronyms and numbers.

But here’s the thing. For all the science and the data some marketing still works better than others, and sometimes no-one knows quite why.

Why should meerkats be good for selling car insurance? Why is fruit good for IT? What has a magic snow queen got to do with bingo?

Some questions defy rational explanation.

Case study

Here is a case in point. Winner Bingo is one of the fastest growing websites of its type. It offers number-based games of chance to players with the possibility of cash returns. Its webpage is explicit about this and suggest that as much as £1 million could be won. This is a rational and logical appeal to the interests of its potential users. Research data would have pointed in this direction.

bingo

So why the snow Queen? Who at any point said anything about a snow queen?

But it’s not just the snow queen. If you are unmoved by Her Royal Snowiness there are plenty of bingo games from Winner Bingo which are centred around completely different themes; there’s Hallowe’n, Deal or No Deal, Marine Mayhem and countless others. Some of these defy any rational explanation whereas others relate to things which are topical or seasonal.

Yes, they are all slightly Kitsch in a mock primitive cartoon-style, and yes they all carry enthusiastic calls to action – ‘play now’ – in bright and uplifting colours. So playfulness and immediacy and reassurance and familiarity are all bundled together as part of a package. But is this really what the marketing geeks have generated on the basis of their extensive qualitative and quantitative market queries? Have they factored in three percent positivity for a postmodern shade and a five per cent margin on the Snow Queen’s crown?

There is no formula for this.

And this is a Steve Jobs infused, geek shaped crisis. Customers like some strange stuff. Marmite would not exist if it had been tested in a scientific research setting. Instead it would be – rightly – banned under the Geneva convention; the Volkswagon Camper van would have been sent back to the factory for a decent engine… you get the picture. But these car-crash successes lead to some important and revealing questions.

Research Questions

Question: Why is Winner Bingo doing such great business?

Answer: Because people like it.

Question: Why do they like it?

Answer: Because they do.

Question: Who could have predicted that?

Answer: Insufficient data.

Geeks in marketing frequently find themselves in danger of being outed by this implacable market logic. Their solution is brilliantly conceived and ruthlessly pursued. It is the highpoint of their geekiness and a lesson to us all. What do they do?

They collect more data.

It is a perfectly self-sustaining spin – a reverse Catch 22. But the truth is that as in bingo, so in marketing – sometimes the right numbers just don’t come up.

Hi Fi Sound With A Multi Room Speaker

Hi Fi Sound With A Multi Room Speaker

Wireless Speaker System SC-ALL3

sc all 3 speaker

I have finally got my hands on the new wireless speaker system from Panasonic the SC-ALL3.  My first impressions are that it is fairly heavy weighing 2.5kg so your not going to want to carry it around with you.  Also the design is functional over a work of art but I think what Panasonic are trying to achieve here is a well designed functional speaker that is extremely clever and practical.

Measurements W – H – D (9-3/4 x 5-5/32 x 6-3/32 inch) (248 x 131 x 155 mm)

If you want to check out all the specs just head over to SC-ALL3 Specs

music in every room sc all3

All About the practicality and the sound

So we have established that this SC-ALL3 speaker has been designed for audio and this is where it certainly comes into its own as a truly multi room speaker system.  I was really pleased with the sound from this speaker the sound is deep and strong and certainly has enough oomph for any house without the sound distorting or sounding too thin at low volumes.

The speaker features a technology called Qualcomm® AllPlayTM   which basically means you can play different music in any room you have a speaker or the same music played over all the speakers.  This is done using your WiFi network and controlled from your smartphone or tablet.

This does offer advantages over a conventional Bluetooth connection as you can only connect to one device with bluetooth and if you are walking throughout your house there is always the possibility of getting out of range.

Summary

So the SC ALL3 is practical looks good has a multi room function and only costs £230.  So if you are in the market for a multi room great sounding speaker with plenty of punch that can be controlled from your phone the its definitely worth checking out the Panasonic SC ALL3 multi room speaker.

Technics to be re-launched

Also Panasonic are set to re-launch the Technics range and this was the make of my very first serious separates system so I very excited to see what this brings and I will of course be hoping to test this soon.

 

7 Revolutionary Home Smart Devices

7 Revolutionary Home Smart Devices

home devices

It’s amazing what a little ingenuity can do to regular household items. Just add Bluetooth and Wi-Fi specs and everything is literally transformed.  So what are the latest smart gadgets available for today’s modern homes? Take a look at these top 7 items:

1.   Doorbot Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Doorbell

MSRP: $199

wifi doorbell

Pranksters beware: the days of playing ring and run are over! The new Doorbot Smart Doorbell isn’t your standard run-of-the-mill doorbell. It features an adjustable video camera with night vision and runs off of a Wi-Fi Internet connection. Doorbot allows you to remotely see and talk to visitors at your front door via a smartphone or tablet.

2.    OKIDOKEYS Classic Smart-LockMSRP: $199

door lock

The OKIDOKEYS smart lock allows you to lock/unlock your home doors via both iOS and Android smartphones. What’s great about this specific device is that you can customize how you want your door to be unlocked; it even allows several hands-free modes.

And if you are worried about security, don’t be. It’s built with an advanced encryption technology that is comparable to military security. The smart lock also has a built-in alarm that goes off with any forced tampering. You can select to receive notifications on your Internet-enabled device whenever the door is unlocked—regardless of your physical location.

3.    Belkin WeMo Light Switch

MSRP: $49.99

light switch

Ever wish you could turn off the lights without having to get up or cross the room? That’s exactly what the Wi-Fi enabled Belkin WeMo does. Using your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, you can remotely turn your lights on or off and also set them on a timer. The only real requirement for the WeMo switch is that it works with just one-way connection lights and needs a neutral wire.

4.    P2P Smoke Detector Wi-Fi Wireless IP DVR Digital Video Recorder Camera

smoke detector

 

It’s not a real smoke detector, but a well-hidden Wi-Fi DVR digital video camera with video capabilities. When so many things can happen these days, it’s nice to have home monitoring surveillance.  The camera features an AVI video format/VGA resolution of 640 x 480 and has a digital signal. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android phones.

5.    Perimeter Technologies Wire-Free Wi-Fi Dog Fence

MSRP: $329.95

wifi dog fence

As any dog owner knows, fences are expensive— even if you go with an electric fence. But now, things have apparently changed with the Perimeter Technologies wire-free, Wi-Fi dog fence. How it works: transceivers link the dog collar to a wire-free “smart” station. It safely reinforces the established property boundaries and tracks your dog’s location. If something were to happen, notifications are sent to you via text or email.

6.    WallyHome Water Leak Detection System

MSRP: $299

water leak

The WallyHome Water Leak Detection system detects water leaks, humidity levels and the temperature within your home. Sensors transmit the data to your smart device via push notifications, email or text. What it essentially does is prevent large problems, such as mold, from happening. The detection system features both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology.

7.    RainMachine – The Forecast Sprinkler – Smart Wi-Fi Irrigation Controller

MSRP: $249

rain machineThis device has several useful purposes: 1) monitors the weather with 7-day forecasting and 2) enables outdoor sprinkler programming. The end result allows you to conserve on water consumption— since it automatically adjusts the sprinkler based on the weather forecast (obtained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).
The device featureses a 6.5” touch screen and wirelessly connects to iOS and Android devices via an easy-to-use App. The sprinkler can control up to 12 different zones and the unit is resistant to outdoor weather elements.

If you are looking to revamp how your home operates—both inside and out; these seven devices will do just the trick. Modern and practical in nature, these devices do much more than look cool.

Andrea Fisher is a digital marketer and content specialist for Cable and Internet Bundles. She has been published in a variety of publications, including the Chicago Tribune and Business Insider.

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