The Next Evolution of E-Commerce-Smart TV

The rapid development of mobile technologies has enriched the notion of e-commerce and expanded the 'place' of purchase and revenue streams for merchants. Consumers can now shop and pay not only in a shop, but also at home, work, on the bus, and on the hoof. The smartphone and m-commerce have in that manner blurred the limits between the on- and offline worlds.

Time has become an extremely valuable commodity, and to a considerable degree defines the choice of products, services and retailers. Convenience is another significant factor for consumers. Experts say that TV commerce (or t-commerce) is an area for the new smarter shopping and a path for merchants to engage with consumers in new ways.

Connected TVs or smart TVs, which have functions such as connection to the Internet and streaming, are becoming standard among TV brands. According to some industry sources, the penetration rate of connected TVs was 20% in 2010, and will increase up to 50% in 2013. In addition to that, such platforms as Google TV, Apple TV, and Roku for viewing video on demand (VOD) are getting increasingly popular. Television is therefore entering an entirely new era, bringing more opportunities for advertising, marketing, revenue generation, and viewer participation. What are the key features of t-commerce?

    Making purchases. T-commerce solutions allow TV-viewers to respond directly to offers delivered on the screens of their TVs, and instantly purchase products by using their existing remote controls and set-top boxes.

    Request for information. T-commerce apps enable TV viewers to request more information on products, services or events directly from the content they are watching on the television with a few simple clicks on the remote control.

    Voting and polling. T-commerce solutions provide additional opportunities for the viewer to interact with programs, advertisers, and networks. Thus, viewers can vote on their favorite shows, programs, news reports, game shows, sporting events, etc.

    The immediate response. The instant feedback from the viewer means immediate response for the merchant. Businesses gain thereby valuable customer data for further research and targeted marketing.

The paradigm of t-commerce has the potential to change TV sets into a powerful business tool enabling merchants to conduct business over television. T-commerce makes it possible to reach new and existing customers through increasingly popular Internet-connected TVs and set-top boxes. The entire shopping can be performed with nothing more than a series of clicks on the remote control. Consumers usually respond very positively to businesses that take the time to understand their needs and offer excellent customer service.

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With over 15 years of experience and over 300 professionals on board worldwide, Elinext Group is a global supplier of IT solutions for various industries, including advertising, accounting, banking, education, finance, healthcare, hospitality, real estate, retail, tourism and others. Elinext companies specialize in custom software development, mobile development, web development, TV app development and game development.

Latest Trends in Smart TV - Could Apple Win?

Smart TVs are television sets that can retrieve content from the Internet and offer built-in applications for streaming music and movies, apps for social networking, apps for news, weather, sports, games, YouTube and more. In addition to using apps, one of the most appealing factors for tech-savvy consumers is voice activation technology to control TV sets.

According to DisplaySearch, a leading provider of reliable information about the display-related industries, connected TVs are forecast to grow to over 123 million shipments in 2014 (at a 30% compound annual growth rate). The market is now developing beyond mature regions like Western Europe and Japan. Emerging markets play a major role in this growth. With the improvements in the broadband infrastructure, the adoption of connected TVs is a natural next step in TV feature innovation. Eastern Europe is expected to grow from 2.5 million connected TVs shipped in 2010 to over 10 million in 2014. In addition to that, 33% of flat panel TVs sold in China in 2013 will have the Internet capability.

DisplaySearch also forecasts that the connected TV market will become fragmented and increase in complexity. One group of TV sets is supposed to feature basic video on demand and appeal to consumers who expect television to remain a passive experience. Those who want something more substantial will find interesting other TV sets offering configurable apps, sophisticated search and navigation engines, as well as advanced user interfaces.

The main contemporary connected TV platforms include Samsung Smart TV, LG Smart TV, Mitsubishi Stream TV, Panasonic Viera Connect, Sony Bravia, Toshiba NetTV, Apple TV, Google TV, TiVo, Liberty Global's Horizon and Yahoo! Connected TV. Samsung, with around 20 million apps downloaded by the end of January 2012, is the segment leader, followed by Panasonic and LG.

However, the biggest shake-up in the television industry is going to cause Apple's much-talked-of TV set. It promises to revolutionize television like once the iPad hit the market. Steve Jobs was quoted in his official biography saying that he "finally cracked the case" of an integrated TV. The new iTV (alleged name) is expected to be completely easy to use, seamlessly synced with other Apple's devices and with the iCloud. At the moment Apple with its $99 set-top box Apple TV seems to be doing very well, with 2.8 million units sold in 2011.

We are constantly hearing rumors related to the expected Apple's product, its features, price, and release date. CLSA Group views Apple TV hardware as a 2013 event. According to the estimations of ITG Industry Investment Research, the new iTV set could increase the company's market cap by 10%, or $60 billion. Apple, already the world's most valuable company, has recently hit the $600 billion level.

Analyst Peter Misek from Jefferies, a global securities and investment banking group, doesn't expect the device to be called iTV. He suggests the new television could be called "iPanel" which can reflect its potential as a hub for gaming, media and more. The iPanel name also follows the "iP" format of other Aplle's products, like the iPod, iPhone and the iPad. However, it is just a guess from the analyst. Misek expects that an Apple television will have a $1,250 average selling price.

The success of Apple's products, like the iPod, the iPhone, and iPad, are much about the design. The iTV (let's take this name) is supposed to have superior quality and excellent design. The list of possible features includes the following ones:

    An aluminum construction;
    FaceTime video calling;
    Siri-based remote voice control;
    42-inch HD screen;
    iOS operating system;
    iCloud support;
    Control from the iPhone or the iPad;
    Access to Netflix, YouTube, Flickr, etc. (same as on the existing Apple TV);
    Content sharing and media streaming from Apple's devices.

Obviously, we'll soon witness the appearance of a new smart TV from Apple that is going to bring new changes to the TV market. And, yes, Apple may win!

Industries and Technology Areas:

Industries: mass media, television

Technology Areas: Smart TV, connected TV, Smart TV applications, TV application development, software development

Elinext Group

With over 15 years of experience and over 300 professionals on board worldwide, Elinext Group is a global supplier of IT solutions for various industries, including advertising, accounting, banking, education, finance, healthcare, hospitality, real estate, retail, tourism and others. Elinext companies specialize in custom software development, mobile development, web development, TV app development and game development.

Be Smart About Assigning Sales Territories

Planning equitable territory distribution may cause sales managers their worst headaches. So much is at stake but so much is open to dispute. How can you keep your sales team challenged and happy while at the same time making the most of the opportunities?

Here is one approach that covers all the bases while helping to take controversy out of the equation.

1. By deal size.

Big deals are the most appealing to sales because they have the highest deal numbers. But it is the small and mid-size deals that form the bulk of a sales team's revenue. And they are usually on a faster sales cycle and easier to get. Assess your team members' strengths... who are most effective with high-powered decision-makers and who are most effective at working with buyers of lesser priced offerings... then assign them accordingly.

2. With reliable data.

Know your customers, their business and their potential. All this requires data... a lot of it. Make sure you have a system that gathers data that you care about and then analyzes data in a way that you can use.

3. With a fair mix.

Be sure you offer a sales territory mix that provides some variety. If you give all the urban sites to one team and all the rural locations to another, there is no balance. And you will be measuring not the salesperson's ability but the territory's potential. Each team should have the challenge and the pleasure of working in a diverse environment.

4. With some flexibility.

Using a system to segment your territories is an impartial way to assign them. But then give your sales team managers some latitude. Within their territory, they should be able to adjust the players and tweak the assignments. Don't take away all their authority. They should have a stake in the game and use their knowledge of their own team members and of their territory customers to make some choices about who can best serve whom.

Take the serious headaches out of sales territory management by deciding what criteria you want to use and then finding a software program that will give you the data you need and slice it in a way that helps you make sound decisions. Then make sure the data feed is accurate and updated on a regular basis. Remember that in the final analysis, it is people who sell to people. Machines can help us look at situations with objectivity but it is the savvy sales manager who knows his team and his territories best.

Three Simple and Fun Ways to Teach Your Kids About Money

I can't emphasize enough how important it is for kids to learn about money-not just what they can do with it, but also the best way to use it. There are so many opportunities for parents to point out simple concepts of how to use money to their kids. Teaching your kids how to be money smart is the first lesson on how to be successful in life.

Here are the three simple and fun ways to do that:

Teach your kids the concept of budgeting:

If you ask a five year old how many fingers they have on one hand, they're happy to tell you by counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 before telling you five. If you ask them how many on the other hand, they start counting again. They do this so many times that they start to get the concept of math. Learning math starts with the concept, and the same is true for learning about finances. I know some adults who don't know the concept of financial budgeting, and that's where their problems start.

You don't have to make it complex. You can make a game out of it. List five things they enjoy, like shopping for something they like, eating something they like, or going somewhere fun, with the cost for each one. Then give them enough money for only three of those five things. Explain to them that they have money for three, so they should select three - it can be all from the same category or different categories. Let them decide.

Later on, brag about them making the right decision with budgeting their money, so they can be proud of themselves for being money smart.

Teach kids about saving:

Follow the same game in #1 above, but give them a little extra - but not enough to buy or do the 4th thing on the list. They probably want to spend all the money and they will try to see how they can do it. This is the best time to teach them about saving. Tell them that saving some of their money is a wonderful and smart thing to do. Get them a jar or a piggybank of their own to keep their savings in, and encourage them to keep adding to their piggybank, or money jar.

Difference between need and want:

Make it a game again. For the duration of a month or a week, tell them that they only can buy things that they need and not want. Every time they want to buy something with their allowance, ask them if they want it or if they need it. Most probably they'll say they need it, so ask them to tell you the reasons behind their need and work with them to understand the difference between need and want. It's okay to buy things that you want and not need - most of us do, but it should be clear to know the difference in situations where our budget is tight. Believe me, a lot of adults don't know the difference, so it's a good lesson to learn at young age.

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Some Smart Apps for iOS

With its easy-to-use interface, amazing features, and rock-solid stability, iOS has gained reputation as the best mobile operating system. It has also been regularly updated to integrate new features. iOS is very friendly not only for the users but also for the developers and no wonder it has more than 500,000 apps at present. Let me introduce few smart apps now.

oneSafe: This is the app you should get, if you are concerned about security and privacy of your data in the iPhone. oneSafe helps users in protecting their documents with passcodes. It has pre-designed templates to let them add details under a variety of topics such as email accounts, Facebook accounts, credit card, banking, insurance, travel, contact, notes, IDs, licenses and computer accounts. Images, PDF files, Excel sheets and Word files can also be added to this safe. However, while launching this app for the first time, users can set only a four digit number as the passcode. It is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad and requires iOS 3.0 or later. It costs USD 0.99.

Fluke HD: It is an iPad board game that comes with five board layouts and can accommodate up to six players. When they are alone, users can play against the iPad or join the online players as it has OpenFeint and Game Center integration. If the users are familiar with board games, they would need no guidance to use this app. After launching it, they need to select the number of players, input their names and choose tokens to enter into the game. Users need to roll the dice to roll it and move the tokens accordingly to reach the end of the board. If the developers could add a board with snakes and ladders, it could impress the users who love to play it in the traditional way. Fluke HD is compatible with iPad and requires iOS 3.2 or later. It costs USD 0.99.

Jumpy Horse: This game lets players be a lovely wild horse that can run, buck and jump free. They need to tap on the horse or tilt the iPhone to make it jump and throw the cowboy. Users can start the game by touching the horse and as the game progresses, the cowboy would know how the horse behaves. Therefore, users need to act smart to make the horse throw him. They also need to let these horses pasture once in a while. Jumpy Horse lets design their own place by arranging the obstacles. This game would look even better, if the developer could tweak the interface a bit. Jumpy Horse is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad and requires iOS 4.0 or later. It costs USD 0.99.

Mobile applications make smartphones work smarter and I think these apps are really smart in their categories. As you have noticed, all these apps cost just USD 0.99. This is a great deal for the ad-free apps, so try them now!

Author bio: Steve August is an iPhone app review expert and Chief Editor of AlphaDigits (, a website that publishes Android app reviews and iPad app reviews. Developers can contact him through AlphaDigits to get their apps reviewed.

Level Up Fast and Smart Using a World of Warcraft Guide

A lot of World of Warcraft gamers are spending several hours building their character into an ultimate fighting weapon. Some are even purchasing game guides to get ahead of other gamers. Many believe that a strategy guide is only good for leveling up but this is not always the case. The game has so many different aspects and a good strategy guide should cover them all. Even small things like running back to corpse or dying must be taken into account too. Do you realize that every time you die, it can take minutes running back?

If you wish to level up faster while saving time, a game strategy guide could help you then. You will need tips and tricks on how you can make gold, what professions you should master and train in, where vendors are and obtain inside information regarding other game areas.

Manipulating the Auction House

Do you know that if you utilize an add-on, particularly the Auctioneer add on, you will be able to manipulate rates in the auction house? This is true! And there are certain ways in which you can do it. Even if you can do this with almost all items, a few of them will not be sought after at all times. A World of Warcraft game guide details how you can make an item price for only 35 percent of the market value.

On the other hand, this kind of strategy guide will also discuss how you can fundamentally day trade as well as sit before the auction house selling and purchasing for profits. It may sound crazy but this is the kind of strategic game that does not end. It is equivalent to real life in a dream world, and having a game and strategy guide on hand can help you make gold so easy.

Importance of gold

If you have not determined by now, the currency used in the game is gold. You need it to get new gears, weapons, potions, ports, enhancements, supplies and many others. Given that you can farm everything but the time value you invest in is not worth it. It is advisable to take into account all the things that can let you gain gold and what things are only obtainable with gold. By learning some World of Warcraft strategies on how you can increase your gold fast, you can get money that will let you purchase several things. You just have to be careful though.

Rearing Smart Kids With the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet

Because of the advancement in technology, children as young as two and three have now shifted their interest in visual media from watching television to playing with a tablet or an iPad. These technologies have helped teach children about letters, numbers, and even problem solving skills through the applications that parents can download on their device. But, the problem of most parents these days is that they experience difficulty in regaining their device especially when they need it for work or to check an important email. In order to solve this, parents can turn to the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet. In having their own device, kids can freely enjoy their educational games without having to go through the struggle of getting their parents'.

There are plenty of ways by which parents and teachers can maximize the benefits of this device to help educate their child to the fullest. With over a hundred games and applications available on the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet, preschool kids will definitely have an exciting time playing and learning at the same time. These applications are designed to suit the learning styles and interests of many children which parents can look into to determine the ones that their child can enjoy best.

The LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet has a 5 inch display and is light weight which is fit for children. The touch screen makes it very easy for kids to manipulate making it easy for them to shift from using an iPad to their own LeapFrog Learning Tablet. Children have a large space to draw, read, write, and play their games. Similar to the iPad and tablet, it also has a built-in camera for pictures and videos and a microphone which can be used for the different interactive applications and games. Through videos and photos, kids can make their own story board or movie using the applications available on their tablet.

It has a 2GB memory for the application storage. The downside of the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet is that it uses 4 AA batteries which will run out of power if kept on for a long time. But, parents can opt to use rechargeable batteries and have extra batteries handy every time. Some parents also wish that the LeapFrog Learning Table would have Wi-Fi to provide a wider scope of learning for bigger kinds. But since it is not Wi-Fi capable, parents are assured that their children are able to explore their tablet in a controlled environment.

There are many advantages that the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet can offer for children. It is very ideal for children of ages 4 to 7 because of the smart games that can be placed on the tablet depending on the age and interest of the child. Its durability is a very important asset of the tablet especially if it is for younger kids. When the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet is purchased, parents can also encourage their children to utilize the stylus included to develop the writing skills of the child. This ensures that their fine motor skills and cognitive skills will all be developed with the constant use of the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet.

Game Based Learning - The Smart Way to Impart Learning

Game based learning is a medium of imparting learning through the use of smartly designed game applications on mobiles and internet. This is basically designed balancing the subject matter training with game play, so that learners/players can learn as well as apply the knowledge gained in real world situations. Friedrich Schiller had remarked in his famous essay, "humans are only fully humans when they play", this might be the root behind game based initiatives.

Learning does not just mean memorization, rather it involves the entire process of acquiring skills needed to respond aptly according to the need of the situation. Games have a fantasy element, as a result of which, players can be engaged in a learning activity through narrative. Performance based training is accomplished through games, and that is both motivating as well as effective.

Mobile learning refers to educational training delivered via mobile based m-learning applications. M-learning hardware comprises not only conventional mobile phones, but also includes net books, tablets, hand-held PCs etc. This kind of learning integrates education to the daily life of individuals, enabling it to be more authentic and long lasting. Moreover, one has the luxury of learning-on-the-move, so that means learning no more needs long hours inside classrooms listening to boring lectures. Game based learning can be accessed via various m-learning devices from anywhere at anytime as per the user's convenience.

This novel approach of learning benefits not only learners but educators as well, by extending the limits of their classrooms and removing physical boundaries. Education is not a rich man's luxury any more; use of cloud based m-learning applications ensures that anybody present in any part of the globe can gain access to the vast world of knowledge just at the touch of a button.

One more advantage offered by game based learning and an m-learning application is that it is not dictated by any fixed curriculum. One can learn about any subject at any time from anywhere using the application, he finds most entertaining and useful at the same time. Working people can also learn new skills at their own convenient timings and ride up on the career ladder.

There are many parts of the world, which still lack the basic infrastructure like good schools and colleges. People of such areas can gain access to education, via m-learning applications if successful collaborations are planned between the e-learning providers and the administration of the region.

M-learning applications provide an interactive platform to the educators and the learners alike, enabling learning to become an exciting experience. Exchange of information definitely adds to the knowledge, without the boredom associated with rote learning or prescribed textbook oriented education.

In a nutshell, it can be said that game-based learning has allowed unveiling new frontiers in the field of education, making it more flexible, entertaining, and lively. Learning can now go beyond geographical barriers and reach anybody, who has an inclination to learn and has a mobile in hand.