The Top Virtual Reality News for Brands

Virtual Reality for Brands

It has only been a few weeks since we last discussed Virtual Reality (VR), but boy – have things changed! It seems like not one day in the last month has passed without The Lab coming across a headline with the words "Virtual Reality" prominently displayed.  

From new players on the scene to reimagined headset designs, the information can be overwhelming. Here, we provide a summary and analysis on the VR news you should be paying attention to most.  

Battle of the Realities

Battle of the Realities

As the ultimate seeker for all things innovative, Alcone’s The Lab jumped on the opportunity to attend this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held annually in Viva Las Vegas, Nevada. Never heard of CES? Do some light Google searches and you’ll soon discover why this is THE tradeshow to end all tradeshows. We’re talking over 180,000 people from all over the world coming together to witness, play with, and purchase the latest and greatest technological products produced by today’s leading masterminds and brands.

Well, with day one officially coming to a close, I found myself reevaluating my support and appreciation for virtual reality (VR). Yes, virtual reality. We’ve discussed this immersive media before and it’s essential to dissect the growing trend once again.

#CES2016: The Tech That Wow'd

Four days, approximately 55,142 steps, and a whole LOT of “wow’s” later, I’m back in sunny California after attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. CES brings out the best of the best in tech innovation. From human carrying drones to Bluetooth-savvy pregnancy tests (you heard me!), it’s nearly impossible to narrow down a top three, but I’m up for the challenge and you, my readers, deserve an inside look at this year’s most talked about convention. So here it is…a breakdown of the tech that wow’d me at CES.

Why You Should Invest in User Experience (UX)


Have you ever seen ads for airlines advocating that their customers are #1 and bragging about their VIP experience? Later you proceed to go on their plane and sit in their small seat, shoved between two people snoring loudly who take up all the arm space, along with no power plugs around to charge your phone. Then a flight attendant magically appears with a tiny packet of snacks and a drink while giving you a superficial smile - which annoys you way more than it should versus if you expected this experience? I experience this every. single. time.

Virtual Reality: How It Can Work for Your Brand

Alcone created the Retail Innovation Lab to keep a pulse on how emerging technology and innovative thinking are being used to transform the retail activation landscape.

We routinely attend conferences around the country that allow us to physically interact and engage with the market’s most recent innovations.  In early November, a few of us attended thinkLA’s 2015 Trends Breakfast, that provided more than just coffee and bagels, but also some valuable information and several Google Cardboards.  Read more to get our take on the emergence of Virtual Reality (VR) technology.

Netflix & Chill: How One Brand Used Viral Content to Captivate Consumers

What will the Internet come up with next? This year, the phrase “Netflix and chill” entered the vernacular of virtually everyone. Shortened from “Would you like to watch Netflix and chill out?,” this once innocent invitation to come over and watch movies somehow devolved into a not-so-subtle way to request an intimately casual encounter.

A New Take on a Window Display

As an agency focused on retail innovation, Alcone is constantly searching for new ways to advance our in-store displays. However, one of the problems we face is establishing a successful window display. Likely, if you use a window display, chances are you won’t be able to see whatever product is inside because the poster will be blocking the view. You also can’t project moving images onto glass while seeing what’s inside because the light will just shine through, deeming the projection useless. A team at MIT has come up with ingenious technology to solve these problems.

Snapchat: A New Frontier

Snapchat exemplifies an ever-changing sphere that is social media in the 21st century. Whereas Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram represent various degrees of a semi-archived virtual existence for users looking to document their thoughts and memories, Snapchat is the pinnacle of being "in-the-moment", with its messages gone in the blink of an eye.

The Lean, Mean, IPhone Cleaning Machine

At the beginning of August, an online shopping site based in Korea called Gmarket (that boasts, "The #1 Korean Shopping Site") came up with an idea for an in-store promotional piece for coffee shops. Months of planning ultimately led to the development of an odd device-a smartphone-sterilizing toaster.

The toaster, which materialized with the help of British product design company Kinneir Dufort, uses UV lights to clean phones in a matter of minutes. Designed to cultivate interaction between people, the Green Toaster can accommodate cleaning two phones at once, thereby allowing it to fit seamlessly into coffee shop conversations.

Soofa: The Solar-Powered Bench Coming to a City Near You

Solar power isn’t exactly new but using it to charge phones in public spaces? Now that’s something on the rise. Let’s face it-pretty much everyone is attached to their phones, and who hasn’t faced the inevitable desperation from a drastically low battery (that dreaded 1%) with no place to charge?  Fear no more-meet Soofa.  Soofa is a bench with solar powered phone charging capabilities.  Brilliant!