Digital Business Newsletter Edition 12

After pausing a little while with our Digital Business Newsletter, we are now back on track, with even more exciting innovations from all around the globe. These range from a musician who invented an extraordinarily creative pricing model for music purchases to an applications store which will allow you to customize the dashboard of your car according to your own needs and finally to a glance of what the future of newspapers might look like.

Scaled prices sells music
Complex deluxe versions of music albums are so yesterday: the new trend is scaled advertising. The star drummer John Freese (Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails etc.) is using a clever price model with the release his new album. The cheapest version costs $7 and the most expensive weighs in at $75,000. The range of special offers available increases with the price. For the most expensive version of the album, the fan will also get a special EP composed about him, can go on tour with Freese and is allowed to take one of his drum sets home.

Using your phone as a wallet
At Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, concepts are currently being developed under the guidance of Zhiyun Ren to transform the phone into a wallet. The idea is to use phones for e-ticketing to order, as an example, public transport tickets. Phones could also be used as an alternative to the ubiquitous cash cards to make payments at various points of sale. For these developments, Ren uses the possibilities available from the successor to the SIM standard UICC (Universal Integrated Circuit Card), which opens up new opportunities in the field of mobile payment.

Niiu – the future of newspapers
Enthusiastic newspaper readers will soon be able to use the website to compile their own, personalised newspapers from their preferred daily papers. The newspaper will have about 24 pages and will be printed according to readers’ wishes and delivered to them at home. So far, this project includes the German dailies “Tagesspiegel”, the “Frankfurter Rundschau” and the “Märkische Allgemeine”, as well as two Russian papers; seven more are set to follow. Social network sites are also involved with Niiu: by using a Facebook application, personal news can be incorporated into the newspaper.

Applications for the car
The company Hughes is planning to give drivers the opportunity to install software into their car’s dashboard. One application will allow the user to open his car from his iPhone and give him instructions via the internet, while another one warns of the dangers lurking in the driver’s blind spot. The service is due to start in 2010, although there are no limits to the developers’ creativity.

Easy online shopping with Fruugo
Fruugo is a Finnish shopping portal which aims to make international online shopping a good deal easier. Buyers need no longer worry about language, currency conversions, shipping and payment methods, as Fruugo will adapt them for each country. This will enable suppliers to offer their goods throughout Europe and thereby reach even more customers. At the same time, customers will get the chance to meet and chat with friends online via the website, as they do with other social network sites. The overall result should make internet shopping more fun and allow people to find new products.

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