The 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place 6-9 January in Las Vegas, Nevada. Describing itself as “the global stage for innovation”, already reports are trickling in concerning the latest exciting developments in consumer electronics.
It seems there is much to write home about. Sony have announced the return of their Walkman, whilst the Type C USB 3.1 Reversible USB Cable is sure to be the sort of invention that’ll make us all wonder how we ever got by without.
But from a digital marketing perspective, of particular interest is a device called FlapIt. Whilst it’s not about to cause a revolution, it looks as though it might bring an element of analogue retro charm to the world of social media.
What is FlapIt?
FlapIt is the first ever physical counter that can be connected to 11 major social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Yelp, and Instagram. It displays online statistics, in real time and in the real world, on an analogue display that’s inspired by the sort of flapping 60s counters that used to be found in airports.
For fans of design and clunky analogue technology, FlapIt is sure to be irresistible. But this groovy device – and there really is no better word to describe it than “groovy” – offers so much more than retro appeal.
As FlapIt explain on their website, nearly 2/3 of customers are more likely to trust a business with a social media following than a business without one. The FlapIt device, they say, is designed to make it easier than ever before for customers to connect with businesses on their social media platforms.
Displaying online popularity in offline environments, FlapIt sets out to encourage customers to interact and engage with your business on social media. In doing so, they may leave positive online reviews on such sites as Yelp, and increase your shares on such platforms as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The really clever bit is that these good reviews and high share counts, both of which are strong trust signals, can then be displayed directly in your business premises, be it on the front desk of a hotel, or by the cash register of a shop. This will give your business instant and undeniable credibility, which FlapIt believe may serve to boost your sales and increase the number of regular customers who frequent your business.
The central idea behind FlapIt is that everyday consumer behaviour is effortlessly transformed into an effective business opportunity, and that’s a very good idea indeed.
By the looks of things, FlapIt works right out of the box. So long as the device has access to an AC power supply and a 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n network, FlapIt can be placed anywhere – be it in your shop’s window, or on the wall of your hotel or restaurant.
Once installed, all you have to do is connect to the “flapit” network, before logging into your “flapmenow” account. This will sync your device with your existing social media platforms, and before long your online trust signals will have their own solid real world presence.
FlapIt will be available in Spring 2015, and will cost around £200. Whether it will prove as effective as promised remains to be seen, but at the very least, it’s sure to look absolutely fabulous.