CES News and Notes: Bioworld, Beauty, Wellness and Soccer
Among the developments we saw and discussed on the first day of CES, as brands showed new technologies and marketing approaches, in some cases setting the stage for potential licensing efforts down the road:
Bioworld Readying Licensed Smart Wallets
Bioworld is readying a small collection of licensed “smart” wallets for delivery this fall that feature its Bluetooth-based Foundmi technology, as it continues to build out the One61 Studios Division, Bioworld’s Michael Donato told us.
The company has developed prototypes using 10 different licenses;; the Foundmi feature lets users locate lost items within a 100-foot range via a free smartphone app. One61 showed wallets (which will be priced $59-$79) under Harry Potter, Rick and Morty and other licenses.
Bioworld launched One61 Studios at CES last year and initially built the Foundmi technology into Bluetooth-equipped tags under a range of Marvel, DC Comics, Warner Brothers and other brands.
The tags and smart wallets are in addition to smart watches containing fitness trackers and other features, each tailored with content from a specific license through content. For example, in-game awards in Bethesda Softworks’ Fallout 76 also show up in the fitness tracker when the user achieves a new level or reaches a goal. The smartwatch line will be extended annually using 3-4 properties, including Harry Potter this year, says Donato.
Bioworld hasn’t been alone in introducing trackers and other fitness gear featuring licensed entertainment. Fitbit sells a Vivofit Jr. 2 tracker that contains licensed Disney characters.
“We really want to focus on launching watches and wallets” tailored to film and game releases and shows like Comic-Con, says Donato.
In addition to developing its own technology, Bioworld also will seek partnerships as it moves to expand One61 into other categories.
Beauty Abounds in Vegas
Beauty products supplier Coty, in partnership with software developer Baracoda, unveiled an augmented augmented reality (AR)-based smart mirror under its Wella Professionals brand for hair salons. The mirror, built
around Baracoda’s CareOS operating system, allows customers to “try on” different hair colors live and features video capture to give them a view of the proposed style. The CareOS app, which will be available later this year, is a free download, allowing smaller salons to offer the same service with a tablet or smartphone.
Other beauty-related products being showcased at CES include Proctor & Gamble’s Olay “Skin Advisor platform,” La Posay’s “My Skin Track pH” device, and Sakar launching a hair dryer under Unilever’s Tresemme hair care brand.
REP Seeking Long-Term Commitments for Soccer Deals
REP Worldwide — the agency formed a little over a year ago by NFL Players inc., U.S. National Women’s Team Player Association (USNWTPA) and Women’s National Basketball Players Association — has signed about a dozen licensing agreements for the USNWTPA in the run up to this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup France, NFL Players Inc.’s Steve Scebelo told us at an NFLPA reception during CES. Among the new soccer licensees is Player Tokens, which developed digital collectible tokens for each of the team’s 26 players. As it strikes new agreements, REP is seeking longer term deals in the 2-4-year range, that take them well beyond the upcoming high-profile tournament. “We are not going to sign a six-month deal, so if you are coming in, we are glad you are part of the enthusiasm but we need some commitment,” says Scebelo.
Black & Decker Into Wellness
Stanley Black & Decker’s (SBD) Security Futures incubator group showed the Pria by Black & Decker Home Care Companion, an automated medication management system that features voice control. With a free smartphone app, caregivers can monitor a person’s medical and health care schedule. The Pria, which contains a mirror with a built-in camera, also has a container for scheduling 28 doses of medication through a system that provides reminder alerts and dispenses at proper times. SBD is currently developing Pria internally, but is weighing licensing for other products under the brand, says SBD’s Jonathan Ryan. The Pria product ($499) will launch in March through several retailers, including Best Buy, says Ryan.