Archives for November 17, 2009

Planet 9 aims RayGun at iPhone

“We’ve overcome huge hurdles associated with the creation of global 3D models and delivering a responsive, entertaining platform that’s easy to use,” says San Francisco, Calif.-based Planet 9 Studios.

The navigation and social networking software developer is now offering RayGun for the iPhone. The RayGun platform is a 3D social network allowing users to chat, explore, locate and interact with realistic avatars and actual 3D cities on a mobile device using GPS locations. Users can jump to their location, navigate through real cities, chat with friends and share geo-located photos, the company says.

With RayGun technology, developers and device manufacturers have a ready-made, real world platform that changes the way people look at the world.

The technology is now used by companies such as Boeing, General Dynamics and Denso for simulation, navigation and location aware visualization and analysis.

A demonstration video is here.

Kids can learn cameras by building one

The Computer Vision Lab at Columbia University is developing a camera kit with which kids can learn photography.

The BigShot will expose children to fundamental concepts in optics, mechanics, electromagnetism, electronics, image processing, and the physiology of the human eye, the researchers say, to draw them towards further learning in math and science.

bigshotThe camera kit contains parts ready to be assembled. The finished camera is powered by a battery or by spinning a crank.

Optics options will include normal, anamorphic, and stereo prism.

The lab is now testing prototypes of the kits.

Retail reward programs gain traction in recession

In light of the recession, consumers are leaning on loyalty programs to stretch household budgets further by earning rewards for their purchases. Research shows U.S. consumer participation in rewards programs has increased by nearly 20 percent since 2007. In fact, nearly one-third of consumers rate retail rewards programs as “more important” during the recession.

Sears and Kmart are expanding their rewards with the new ShopYourWay Rewards program. Customers now have a new way to shop as they can accumulate and spend rewards, receive bonus rewards and special storewide promotions at Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears Holdings retailers – Kmart, Sears, the Lands End store at Sears, and

“In this economy, Americans are looking for new ways to get the most out of their money,” said Mike Gatti, executive director, Retail Advertising and Marketing Association. “Giving shoppers the option of receiving rewards or bonus points absent of credit cards will likely make a lasting impression.”

ShopYourWay Rewards allows customers to earn rewards toward purchases regardless of their method of payment – cash or credit. The rewards are issued within 48 hours of earning and there is no threshold that needs to be met in order to receive rewards. The rewards are stored on the ShopYourWay Rewards Card and members can redeem rewards where and how they desire. While many loyalty programs are tied to credit card purchases, Sears and Kmart recognize the importance of giving its customers the choice to shop their way and still earn benefits.

Consumers can register free at any Kmart location or online to begin accumulating rewards. They will receive a ShopYourWay Rewards card immediately when they enroll in a Kmart store and receive their card via mail when they enroll online. Each time a customer shows their ShopYourWay Rewards card with a purchase, card holders will earn one percent in rewards as well and are eligible for storewide bonus rewards.

Take a moment to learn how you can market your business with gift certificates in today’s PMA Marketing Moment

Gift certificatesPMA_Marketing_Moments_low are powerful marketing tools, and Mark Klostemeyer, MCPF, of Design Frames, Falls Church Va., says every independent shop should be using them. In today’s PMA Marketing Moment, he explains how and when they should be used – and offers a great tip for making presentation folders.

Fujifilm forms Fujifilm North America Corp.

Fujifilm Holdings America Corp., Valhalla, N.Y., announced, effective Jan. 1, 2010 it is creating a new organization, Fujfilm North America Corp., which will merge Fujifilm U.S.A. Inc. and Fujifilm Graphic Systems U.S.A. Inc. Also, Fujifilm Canada Inc. will become a subsidiary of the new company as of April 1, 2010.

“The creation of this unified organization will enable us to build a stronger presence in the North American markets and realize greater collaboration between businesses,” said Ryutaro Hosoda, President, Fujifilm Holdings America Corp.“Most important, it will allow us to serve our customers even more effectively and efficiently by taking full advantage of the skills and knowledge of our people.”

Fujifilm North America will bring together five operating divisions: photo imaging products including digital photo processing equipment and services supplying commercial and consumer customers; graphic systems products and services supplying the printing industry; consumer digital cameras; motion picture films; and the Canada Division operating asFujfilm Canada Inc. which markets multiple Fujifilm products.