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[infowar.de] Coladose mit Handy und GPS
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Das ist echt der Hammer:
Soda Can Spies
Plus: Technology People Love to Hate
May 14, 2004=97 In this week's Cybershake, we take a look at how one
soda company has added a high-tech twist in the war to win over more
cola drinkers. Plus, editors at one magazine try to figure out which
gee whiz gadget still gets our goat.
Summer is just around the corner and as thoughts turn to vacation and
recreation, Coca-Cola has a nifty game of "hide-and-seek" it wants to
play with soft-drink consumers.
For its latest sweepstakes, the beverage maker has hidden
specially-marked soda cans among the ordinary cans of cola in its
cardboard-cased "multipacks." But once consumers find the right can,
the game turns where the hunter becomes the hunted. In order to
deliver the prize, Coca-Cola has to find the winner. And it does so
with the can itself.
Each winning can, which has the same heft and weight of an ordinary
pop can, is really stuffed with the electronic guts of a cell phone
and Global Position System (GPS) tracker. On the outside of the can
are a button, microphone, and a tiny speaker.
"What you do is press the big red button and start the game in
process," says Brian Troxell, director of engineering and technology
at Airo Wireless, the Atlanta-based company that designed the
high-tech promotional cans.
The red button activates the phone to call a special hotline where
winners learn of their prize, which can range from a 2005 Chevrolet
Equinox sport utility vehicle to vacation packages to home
entertainment systems. Then they must agree to being tracked by the
GPS and carry the winning can until one of five national "search
teams" locates them.
"[Contest officials] will remotely activate the GPS system inside the
can and they will have a search team that will deliver the prize right
to you, whatever you're doing, where ever you are," says Troxell.
The GPS technology can track winners to within about 50 feet of
anywhere in America and the search teams can surprise winners with
their prize anytime within a three-week period of getting the call
from the can, say Coca-Cola officials.
As an added bonus, consumers and players can monitor the progress of
the game by logging on to the contest's Web site
(www.unexpectedsummer.com) which will track each winning can as they
are discovered and called in to the contest's headquarters.
Good thing, too, since finding one of these high-tech cans will be
like looking for a needle in a haystack. The company will have about
only 100 to 120 of these high-tech soda cans hidden away in
specially-marked multipacks at retail outlets beginning May 17.
But the company says a larger number of other, lesser-valued prizes
will also be offered as part of the promotion. The key to those
trophies: Soda cans with decidedly low-tech peel-off labels.
Technology We Love to Hate
Cell phones, PDAs, computers, voice mail, e-mail, high-definition TV
sets =97 which high-technology gadget do Americans really love to
loathe? That's what the editors of Discover magazine wanted to find
With the help of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, the magazine conducted a survey among 1,000 people about
annoying high-tech gear. And the results, says Stephen L. Petranek,
editor in chief of Discover were eye-opening.
The No. 1 most hated gadget: The cell phone.
"People feel like they're tethered to them, that [other] people can
find them when they don't want to be found," says Petranek. And
"people use them inappropriately in restaurants or [at] movies."
Computers also rank pretty high in annoyance.
"We poll our readers and about 96 percent of them have computers,"
says Petranek, "And 90 percent of them don't like their computers. I
think people are getting very frustrated that, like cell phones, they
don't work like they're suppose to. The software is getting more and
more complicated and its harder for them to find their way around it."
Age plays a role in what makes the love or hate list.
"Eighty percent of teenagers like e-mail and voice mail," says
Petranek "About 40 percent of adults =97 about half =97 like e-mail and
But the roles are flipped when it comes to cashless transactions.
"Adults seem to be reasonably comfortable with using credit cards and
debits cards. And teenagers are not," says Petranek. "Only a quarter
[of teens surveyed] like them and feel comfortable of using them." The
reason, he speculates, is that youngsters fear their spending may
spiral out-of-control if they're using something other than "real"
cold, hard cash that lines their pockets.
But the survey found that it isn't just new technology that bothers us
either. Some say they still hate decidedly "mature" technology, too.
"Almost one in four said they don't like television," says Petranek.
"And people don't like vacuum cleaners because vacuum cleaners are
just as hard to use as they were 50 years ago. Vacuum cleaners should
float across the floor or like [robotic vacuum cleaner] Roomba do it
And that points to the hope of "new" technology, says Petranek.
"No matter how you cut the figures, people do not =97 by and large =97
like technology unless it completely disappears and does not get in
the way of their lives," he says. "Eventually, the new technology gets
new additions made to it, new inventions piled on top of it, to make
the new [seem] like old technology so it doesn't get in the way [of
how we want to do things].
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