Google Arts and Culture Team Launches Virtual Exhibition to Showcase 3,000 Years of Fashion

Google Arts and Culture Team Launches Virtual Exhibition to Showcase 3,000 Years of Fashion

Project We wear culture is in collaboration with 183 cultural institutes
The project will showcase 3,000 years of the world’s fashion and style
It can be accessed via website & Google Arts and Culture app
Technology giant Google’s Arts and Culture arm on Thursday launched a new virtual exhibition project that will showcase 3,000 years of the world’s fashion and style, the company said in a statement.

The project ‘We wear culture’ is in collaboration with 183 renowned cultural institutions from around the world, including India, and will let people explore the history of clothes dating as early as 3,000 years ago from the ancient Silk Road, to the courtly fashion of Versailles, to the unmatched elegance of the Indian saree.

“We invite everyone to browse the exhibition on their phones or laptops and learn about the stories behind what you wear,” said Director of Google Arts and Culture Amit Sood in a statement.

“You might be surprised to find out that your saree, jeans or the black dress in your wardrobe have a century-old story. What you wear is true culture and more often than not a piece of art,” Sood added.
The online project includes collections from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and varied weaves from across India, from Gharchola to Patola to Temple to Ikat sarees, as it traces the story and importance of Indian textiles from ancient sculptures, the company said.

It also showcases designs from north-eastern India including the weaves of tribes such as the Nagas, Meitis and the traditional attire from Meghalaya called ‘Dhara’ or ‘Nara’ worn by the Khasi women.

The project also includes icons and trendsetters like Alexander McQueen, Cristobal Balenciaga, Audrey Hepburn, Christian Dior, Helmut Newton, Irving Penn, Yves Saint Laurent, Manolo Blahnik, Gianni Versace, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Balmain, Miyake Issey among others.

Fashion and textiles enthusiasts can explore over 400 online exhibitions and stories sharing a total of 50,000 photos, videos and other documents on world fashion, on the project’s website and through the Google Arts and Culture app on iOS and Android.

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Tags: Google, Google We Wear Culture, Internet, Apps


Price Chopper Celebrates 5 Years of Insights Community

Northeastern grocery chain Price Chopper has been working on positioning itself as a more customer-centric chain in recent years, whether through rebranding its private label or revamping its namesake banner and its marketing materials under the new Market 32 fresh-focused format. Critical to the  grocer’s efforts in this space is its insight community, which is about to celebrate its fifth year of operation.

The Schenectady, N.Y.-based grocer’s Food for Thought community is powered by the Sparq 3 engine from Vision Critical, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based provider of cloud-based customer intelligence platforms. The customer intelligence platform introduces the concept of Relationship Memory, which offers the ability to connect what retailers already know about their customers with attitudinal data collected from an insight community, and to use that information to learn more, faster than ever.

Here’s how Relationship Memory works: A grocer invites customers to join its community and build a profile. It then connects that profile to transactional and behavioral customer data, searches and recalls what it already knows to ask more focused questions, and engages members in ongoing activities to uncover attitudinal insight. Afterward, it learns more through smarter reporting and analytics, and then shares findings with memorable and impactful reports and stories.

But the makeup of the community wasn’t ideal when Sam Trimboli took it over in 2013. As consumer insight specialist with Price Chopper, he noticed that the community wasn’t focused on all of the right people: The previous consumer insights department originally set it up with the intent of talking to just the “very best” customers.

“I changed the makeup of the community to … also [have] representation of middle-of-the-road customers or not-so-great customers,” he tells Progressive Grocer. “I wanted to do that because it’s definitely very important to know what the people who really love us think, but it’s also equally important to know what the people who don’t love us as much think, because that’s a huge opportunity for us to better meet their needs.”

Currently, Food for Thought boasts 5,000 members who can be called upon for any insights needed, from assisting with explaining the inexplicable – like when a separate tool shows low scores in customer perception of produce – to one-off ad hoc stories asking something simple such as “What tools are you using to buy groceries that you weren’t five years ago?”

“The best thing is that it allows us to make decisions a lot quicker than we would be able to in a more traditional approach to research,” Trimboli says. “For example, I could send out a study about something, and two days later, I could have 1,500 or 2,000 responses, which is really great if you want to find out insights really quickly.”

These insights have been used to help the grocer:

  • Improve marketing materials – In 2015, Price Chopper began its massive project to rebrand stores under the Market 32 banner, a new format offering healthier food choices and a better shopping experience. In tandem with that effort, the grocer decided to revisit its flier design, as a huge part of its customer base – especially Baby Boomers – still use flyers regularly. By engaging the community, Price Chopper determined what should and shouldn’t be in the flier, and has generated a 5 percent increase in customer traffic since the relaunch.
  • Successfully launch and relaunch brands – The Market 32 rebrand left Price Chopper with an opportunity to re-examine its private brands and consider rebranding them. Feedback from Food for Thought members revealed that an earlier version of the company’s brand caused some confusion, leading decision-makers to uncover more effective ways of communicating the new brand, tweaking packaging and messaging, and then launching the new brand in 2016. Early results show accelerated growth, with one line of snack items, for instance, enjoying a 7 percent sales increase post-rebrand.
  • Identify unmet needs – New product ideas at Price Chopper are inspired by a deeper understanding of the customer journey. For instance, the insight community recently revealed that many shoppers, particularly Millennials, find cooking with certain types of meat intimidating. In response, the grocer’s meat department piloted a meal kit type of product enabling shoppers to get a ready-to-cook meal in a complete package.

Ultimately, the Food for Thought community has helped the grocer develop a better relationship with many of the 5,000 members – superfans or not. According to Trimboli, his interactions with these people is what grew his survey response rate to 53 percent over the years.

“I think a lot of that has come from just over time, being able to put kind of a face behind Price Chopper,” he says. “In a lot of communications I do with community members, I’ll even include my picture like I’ll sign my name. It’s not just like you’re talking to a faceless corporation, and I’ve found that to be really good at driving up overall engagement and participation.”


App Store New Year’s Day Purchases at Record $240 Million; Over $20 Billion Paid to Developers in 2016

App Store New Year's Day Purchases at Record $240 Million; Over $20 Billion Paid to Developers in 2016
App Store purchases topped $3 billion in December
Developers have earned over $60 billion since 2008
The App Store offers 2.2 million apps in total
Apple on Thursday announced that the New Year’s Day 2017 was the biggest day ever for the App Store, with nearly $240 million (approximately Rs. 1,630 crores) in purchases worldwide on that day alone. That hints at robust sales of Apple devices during the crucial October to December quarter, ahead of Apple’s earnings call later this month.

The Cupertino giant also announced that developers earned over $20 billion (approximately Rs. 1,35,895 crores) in 2016, up over 40 percent from the year before. Holiday spend was also at record levels, Apple said, with purchases from the App Store topping $3 billion (approximately Rs. 20,381 crores) in December.

“2016 was a record-shattering year for the App Store, generating $20 billion for developers, and 2017 is off to a great start with Jan. 1 as the single biggest day ever on the App Store,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing. “We want to thank our entire developer community for the many innovative apps they have created – which together with our products – help to truly enrich people’s lives.”

Apple also announced that since the App Store launched in 2008, developers have earned over $60 billion (approximately Rs. 4,07,687 crores) across iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac platforms. Since Apple keeps 30 percent of most App Store revenue, passing on the rest to the developers, that means lifetime sales on the App Store have now topped $85 billion (approximately Rs. 5,77,515 crores). China App Store revenue in 2016 saw ‘record’ 90 percent year-over-year growth.
The App Store offers 2.2 million apps in total, up over 20 percent from last year, and is available in 155 countries. iPhone and iPad customers grew the App Store’s subscription billings significantly in 2016, to $2.7 billion (approximately Rs. 18,347 crores), up 74 percent from 2015.

Apple also announced that since iOS 10 launched in September, developers have shipped over 21,000 iMessage apps to send stickers and collaborate with friends.

Analytics firm Flurry estimated that Apple accounted for 44 percent of device activations during the holiday period, a healthy figure, but down slightly over the previous two years.

For the latest coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, visit our CES 2017 hub.
Tags: Apple, App Store, Apps, App Store Purchases


WhatsApp Used to Send a Record 14 Billion Messages on New Year’s Eve in India

WhatsApp Used to Send a Record 14 Billion Messages on New Year's Eve in India

WhatsApp Used to Send a Record 14 Billion Messages on New Year’s Eve in India
3.1 billion images, 700 million GIFs, and 610 million videos were sent
WhatsApp recently rolled out the ability to share GIF images
WhatsApp has more than 160 million monthly active users in India
On New Year’s Eve, 14 billion messages were exchanged through WhatsApp in India, 32 percent of which were in some form of media – photos, GIF images, videos, and voice messages, the Facebook-owned instant messaging app said on Friday.

The number of messages shared on the platform on New Year’s Eve is even higher than the last record set during Diwali when 8 billion messages were sent in one day, WhatsApp said.

A total of 3.1 billion images, 700 million GIF images, and 610 million videos were sent on WhatsApp on the occasion. WhatsApp has more than 160 million monthly active users in India.

Interestingly, WhatsApp only recently rolled out the ability to share animated GIF images on the platform. WhatsApp for iPhone got the feature back in November, while WhatsApp for Android got the feature in December. Android recently also got the ability to stream shared videos, letting users view videos before they were downloaded.
Last month, a major new feature was reportedly spotted in the WhatsApp for iPhone beta – the ability to revoke and edit sent messages. Several other messaging apps offer similar features, and their addition to WhatsApp will certainly be well-received. Also spotted was the ability to preview shared archive files.

Notably, WhatsApp stopped working on older versions of Android, iOS, and Windows Phone on December 31. Devices running on Android 2.2 or lower, iOS 6 or lower, and Windows Phone 7 are no longer supported by the app.

Written with inputs from IANS

For the latest coverage from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, visit our CES 2017 hub.
Tags: WhatsApp, WhatsApp India, Apps, India