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Our MWC 2017 predictions

MWC is one of the biggest shows of the year. It’s the time when the big device makers come together in Barcelona to one up each other with their latest shiny black rectangles.

In recent years, announcements have been spread out either side of the show to avoid the huge volume of news and get some clear air. So, whilst Samsung’s S8 is coming post show and LG’s G6 has already peaked its head out from behind the curtains, there’s still loads to see.

Here’s what we expect to see, want to see and what we think has no chance of making an appearance.

A sure thing:

We’ve already seen LG’s G6. It’s touting an unusually tall screen with an 18:9 aspect ratio, expect to find out why at their conference on February 26th.

Sony are announcing a whole suite of devices, covering everything from budget phones through to top spec flagships like the Xperia XZ.

Huawei too will be updating their flagship P9, we assume P10? Last year they focused on a unique Leica camera that combines a B&W camera with a colour shooter for better photos. The P10 will push this even further.

Motorola are also announcing some new devices with a press conference scheduled for the Sunday before the show.

My personal favourite is that we’re expecting new Nokia phones! Specifically, an Android flagship with some strong specs that they (and I) hope can bring them back to the fore.

Hoping for:

Bendy phones. Every year someone shows off a new foldable screen prototype, this year we want to see someone be mad enough to put it into a real phone.

More Daydream. Right now, there are only two devices for Google’s Daydream platform – the Pixel and Moto Z. We’d love to see some more to go alongside the super comfy view headset.

A phone with decent battery life. It’s been said by enough tech reporters, but we’d love to see someone ship a phone that doesn’t sacrifice battery life to be just a bit thinner. Who can do an Apple and have the ‘courage’ to do that?

Don’t expect:

Modular devices. I think we can all agree that modular devices aren’t a goer. The G5’s strange removable bottom panel has already been confirmed to be removed from the G6. If Motorola’s Z is seeing a similar pick up of its accessories, we think it might be bye bye Moto for the Moto Mods platform.

Micro USB ports. It’s all about USB C now, and for any manufacturer to release a flagship with the old port would just be embarrassing.

Most importantly, don’t expect to get away with not eating ham. Iberico for days in Barca. It looks to be an exciting show; we’ll check in again in a couple of weeks and see just how right we were.

Te veo en españa!

 


#DynamoDoes CES 2017

Ah, CES – another January, another batch of exciting tech, another return flight with broken bodies (but thankfully, not spirits).

Some things don’t change, but often the lineup of Dynamo attendees does – this time, it was Heather and myself taking up the challenge of dazzling lights and sleepless nights.

Here’s our highlights from the show this year – sadly, getting sprayed with champagne by Lil’ John at Hakkasan didn’t quite make the cut, mostly because Heather is intent on sending him a dry cleaning bill…

Concept Cars

The Mercedes Benz EQ concept car

Top billing had to be, much like 2016, automotive tech. CES has, for the last couple of years, been touted to overtake industry events such the Detroit Auto Show, and 2017 was seen by many as that tipping point. NVIDIA were the stars of the show here, making waves with their partnership with Mercedes on the concept car EQ (pictured), which drew crowds thanks to its sophisticated blend of electro wizardry and aesthetics.

NVIDIA also showcased their partnership with Audi, and revealed their joint commitment to delivering a self-driving car by 2020, complete with fully integrated AI and facial recognition. With many other companies reluctant to commit to a delivery date for their concepts, this partnership boldly revealing such a close date has showed us that the true ‘cars of the future’ are much closer than previously imagined.

Homer, you were ahead of your time, buddy.

World’s Fair

This year saw a much more global feel to previous shows, with 41% of companies exhibiting hailing from China. In addition, this year all Chinese companies weren’t confined to a specific section of the show floor, but rather all booths were intermingled. Also, CES 2017 saw a large influx of French companies, with around 240 hardware companies from the region showing their wares, and actually making up a third of the population of Eureka Park. The trend of growing international diversity year on year at the show is a fascinating development, and from an agency perspective, certainly creates ‘areas to watch’ in terms of innovation and exciting new businesses.

Eureka Park

Although the LVCC played host to the household names and multi-million dollar projects, Eureka Park was, personally, the most exciting part of the show. Cool new ideas – some frivolous, some with potentially useful global impact – were in abundance, with smaller, eager teams excited to show off their game-changing concepts. The techniques each company adopted (in some or all cases) in order to stand out as the next big thing can be broken down into simple categories:

  1. Pushing the capabilities of a current technology e.g. enhanced graphics, improved UI, use of peripherals (particularly in VR, with the use of haptics)
  2. Modifying a current technology to produce different user cases, and subsequently, our understanding of said technologies’ potential eg. a fireplace controlled by music – music driven objects are nothing new, but to be seen with fire was quite the thing, and certainly got us thinking about more capabilities of sound-driven technology
  3. Creating a visual, product driven solution to a previously nebulous concept/software driven project, thus driving forward consumer understanding – a great example of this is in the below picture, which we’ll leave you with. I jumped out of my skin when I saw this 3D face scanning booth (and the people at the booth got a good laugh at my expense).

Proving that heads on spikes that can be futuristic as well as historical.

We all know about face scanning, but to see a very realistic head on a spike is both disconcerting and intriguing – especially when you realise the model it’s based on (and the creator) is there watching your reaction! He was nice enough to pose for a photo though, so I didn’t feel completely embarrassed.

So we’re already looking forward to next year’s show now, and whether we’ll be driving more underwater 4K cameras, or learning more about pyjamas that energise you while you sleep, I’m confident that whichever capacity we’ll be attending in, and whoever we’re working with, it’ll certainly be memorable (apart from the blurry evening parties bit).


There’s a new Dynamo in town…

After over a year’s worth of planning, structuring, form-filling, preparation, site visits, meetings, and everything in between, Dynamo is ready to welcome its new little sister – and she has a sunny Californian accent.

With US native Heather and myself making the move from London, Dynamo will be opening its brand new offices at GSVlabs in the gorgeous Redwood City, California. This puts Dynamo in the heart of Silicon Valley; which seems fitting, given our clients, experience, and expertise with tech start-ups.

GSVlabs, our new home, is about 25 minutes south of San Francisco, and prides itself on being a campus of global innovation, hosting tech entrepreneurs, acceleration programs, and key industry events. We couldn’t really have asked for something more ideal!

The US expansion has been a long time coming for Dynamo. We’ve always adopted a Silicon Valley mentality here, with the company operating in a style more akin to Google than what you would see in a typical UK office, albeit with our own quirks. We pride ourselves on creativity, innovation, drive, charisma, and getting the best results, and we see the ‘Dynamo way’ of doing things as key to the success of this extension.

This move is of huge benefit to our clients too. We work with so many companies in the US, so to have a team on the ground here is a no-brainer. Also, we pride ourselves on the fact that Dynamo has become a centre of excellence for crowdfunding, which is an area dominated by innovative West-Coast start-ups. Now we get the added bonus of more face time!

Everyone in the office is excited about this. Heather is from the Bay Area, she’s been back and forth between Cali and London for months now getting this all set up. The fact that she gets to be settled, amongst journalists and companies she has befriended over the years must be a joyous feeling. I’m excited to be taking up a new challenge, and putting my PR skills to the test in a different environment – as well as getting to meet all the people I’ve been mostly on email and phone with for so long. The team is excited – they’ll have somewhere to visit, and it means extra support for clients in different time zones. It really is win-win all round.

The next few months promise to be exciting for Dynamo, so we’ll be sure to check in with y’all with a progress report.

(Although I did promise my mum I wouldn’t start saying “y’all”).


How the PR Dynamos survived CES 2016

This was my first year attending CES, and as a PR who has previously helped clients plan for the show, I had heard all kinds of stories from people about the madness of CES. It definitely didn’t disappoint. CES 2016 was bigger than ever; more than 170,000 attendees (a stat provided by a very knowledgeable cabbie), a huge amount of automotive tech announcements, and a generous helping of virtual reality demos (including this).

Four Dynamos in total attended the show, and I was lucky enough to be front and centre on the booth of our client, Jide Technology, showing off Remix OS. For those who have never been or for those who are interested, here are a few tips/tricks/stories of how we survived and made a success of CES 2016.

Ellen, Senior Account Manager

Flat(ish) shoes, lip balm and Diet Coke – these are probably the most important things for me, in that order, whilst at CES. The show is spread out over several locations including the main convention centre and The Sands which is adjoined to The Venetian Hotel. You’ll be doing A LOT of walking over the three days of the show hence the flat(ish) shoes, and thanks to the air conditioning and desert air expect your skin to dry out so stock up on lip balm and moisturiser. The Diet Coke is because I don’t drink coffee and I need some caffeine after the long days and nights.

post-2016-ces-neeo

Other than that, I find it really useful to have plenty of time with the client, in this case NEEO, before the show kicks off so that they are comfortable with exactly what is going on, when and where. If your client doesn’t have a booth at CES but still wants to attend, I’d definitely recommend exhibiting at events like ShowStoppers or Pepcom within CES.

Finally, make sure you find the time to have fun and explore Vegas! CES can be intense so make the most of being in Las Vegas and check out the many hotels and shows.

Heather, Vice President of North America

Ellen’s definitely right about the chap stick, and as my Mom would say, make sure you drink lots of water. Again, this comes back to CES being held in the middle of the desert, and although you might have had a big night before, it’s likely dehydration that is causing the headache.

post-2016-ces-city-scape

About that big night before… it’s probably best if you try not to book briefings in the morning and also encourage your client to keep important business meetings for the afternoon. The likelihood of someone not turning up is very high while at CES, both because of big sponsored parties and late nights working.

Paul, Co-Founder and Co-CEO

During the day at the show, forget about sending any emails. If you’re trying to get in touch with someone, use an app like WeChat or WhatsApp – chances are most people use either one of these. Towards the end of the show, expect many meetings to be at best tired, at worst people simply won’t turn up so do take into your planning no-shows.

post-2016-ces-nvidia

Owen, Senior Account Executive

Preparation is always a key part of supporting a client who is attending CES and setting up journalist briefings in advance is one part of that. Though it’s not until you’ve waited in line for a taxi or shuttle bus for 30 minutes and ran to your next client meeting that you realise appointments quickly go out the window. Add this to the huge space that CES controls across Las Vegas and you’re left with a jumbled schedule. The key? Be flexible, and make sure your client can be too. If that fails, there’s always the excellent Monorail:

post-2016-ces-monorail

Oh and although phone signal is generally non-existent in the convention centres, bring a portable battery with you for those times when you are able to connect to free hotel Wi-Fi.

All in all, CES 2016 was a fantastic event to attend. It was a great opportunity to finally meet an international client whom I’d been working with for some time, to speak to a huge number of journalists, and to see some of the industry’s latest and greatest products.


Canonical picks Dynamo to take Ubuntu to consumers

We’re delighted to announce our latest client, Canonical. We’ll be working with them to bring Ubuntu, one of the biggest names in open source software, to a wider audience.

The leading OS for PC, tablet, phone and cloud, Ubuntu’s open source software platform is used in consumer and B2B areas. Often used as an alternative operating system to Windows or Mac, Ubuntu is the world’s most popular open source OS for both development and deployment, from the data centre to the cloud.

Dynamo will advise on events and opportunities that highlight Ubuntu’s many use cases to a consumer audience and focus on expanding awareness of the number of different platforms it runs on.

Caroline Tarbett, PR and AR Manager at Canonical, said:
“We picked Dynamo because they nailed our brief, understood our challenges and most closely match us in terms of culture and outlook. We have a huge opportunity to bring the Ubuntu brand to a broader community of consumers and Dynamo is the agency best suited to help us achieve this.”

Paul Cockerton
Paul Cockerton

IFA 2015 In A Nutshell

IFA sometimes feels like Groundhog Day. The beginning of September always brings with it a wave of new consumer technology product launches and clearing up rumours, which makes it a busy time for tech fans, allowing IFA, Europe’s largest consumer electronics exhibition and the smaller cousin to CES in Las Vegas, to dominate global tech news during this time.

As electronics companies wrestle to position their products in the forefront of consumers minds, here’s a quick roundup for those who didn’t quite convince their boss to book them a flight to Berlin.

Advancement in 4K

Moving beyond your television, 4K is now becoming the next big thing in smartphone technology.

With Sony showing off their new line of Xperia Z5 smartphones, of which there are three, the Z5 Premium boasts an eye-watering 4K (3840×2160) screen for those times that you really want to show off your ludicrously high definition screen to friends and family. Are they waterproof you ask? Why yes, yes they are.

Wearable technology still a safe bet

With exciting new smartwatches being announced from the likes of ASUS, Motorola and Huawei, the name of the game this year is having a round face and a more luxurious quality.

Samsung show a clear step forward with their seventh version of a smartwatch Samsung Gear S2. Allowing for a round display and two models, Samsung is trying to punch with the likes of Apple in the space which might prove difficult as the Apple Watch was highly prominent on the wrists of those attending.

While you were sleeping

One trend that is appearing at IFA this year is the use of technology to track your sleeping patterns by placing devices in bed with you and watching you sleep (ala the Samsung SleepSense).

SevenHugs is a good example of this new trend as they are showcasing their hugOne device that allows the entire family to monitor their nightly escapades, humidity, temperature, and air quality.  The hugOne then gives the user a clear tracking method to move users to a informative and restful nights sleep.

Who took home the prize?

While Sony dominated conversations in the Press Room with their Z5 Premium phone, it was Apple who took the prize even though they don’t have a presence at IFA, as talk of their upcoming announcement next was the topic of choice.

This might be an indicator of the what people thought of the large announcements this year, and perhaps the word “lackluster” was used in various conversations, but it seems although Apple might not attend IFA, they don’t have to in order to be news.


Dynamo wins Best Global Consumer PR Launch award

Winning Best Consumer Launch at the internationally esteemed PRWeek Global Awards 2015, last night we walked away with the gong for our launch of The Micro 3D Printer.

Dynamo’s strategy for the PR launch included careful refinement at all elements of the communications campaign, from pledge level strategy, page creation, video production through to identifying audiences most likely to buy, and the media to reach them.  In the run up to launch we demonstrated the capabilities of the 3D printer in a fun and unusual way by printing chocolate moulds of media titles and logos, including Popular Science, Wired and Engadget, amongst others.

Achieving global press, broadcast and social media coverage, The Micro hit its $50,000 target in just 11 minutes (making it the fastest funded Kickstarter to date) and went on to raise $1m in 25 hours, faster than the Pebble Watch (28 hours).

On a night that recognised talent and global PR campaigns from around the world, it was an honour for our work to be shortlisted alongside Toyota, Procter & Gamble and Ford, and a great achievement to win the best global consumer launch for 2014.

 

 

Will Thompson
Will Thompson

Mobile takeaways from #MWC2015

This week nearly 2,000 companies exhibited at Mobile World Congress, the annual shindig for all things Mobile which takes place in Barcelona every year. Dynamo had a team on the ground working and networking, and a team supporting from our UK HQ. Now that the doors are close, here are some of the top trends we spotted this year.

Flat pack your PR

This year’s surprise entrant was IKEA announcing a range of furniture with wireless charging, and Google announcing (in a limited form) they were now going to become (as well) a wireless carrier. Many of the news announcements had been predictable, but to get the best out of these events it’s good to allow some wiggle room and react on your feet with PR.

Super Sunday

Typically now, the day ‘before’ the show is one of the most important for PR as big brands try to take over the show by releasing before the noise of the show floor becomes too much. This year, Qualcomm made a mistake by trying to bus journos out to the F1 testing race course, and unfortunately most journos stayed closed to the Fira where most of the big events were happening.

Heavy Metal

Many Android phones look pretty similar but this year saw Samsung copying HTC’s unibody design and introducing a ‘curved’ phone. Anyone remember the Nokia banana phone? Anyway, the move away from cheap plastic into premium feeling phones is a good move for any smartphone company wanting to stay at the top table.

Wearables, Nearables and Hearables

MWC was as much about everything connected to mobiles, as the devices or networks themselves. Pebble announced a smart strap (beating Kickstarter records at the same time), and there were plenty of  3D printers, VR headsets and connected cars all making headlines. We love Huawei’s smartwatch which we think will give other manufacturers a run for their money.

Paul Cockerton
Paul Cockerton

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