The holiday sales season is fast approaching and the competition for the premium gift of the season just got a bit more complicated. Most people assume that the premium holiday gift battle this year will be between Xbox and PS4. But, some new competition has just entered the picture that may steal some of Xbox and PS4′s holiday sales, and it is not a console…
I don’t write a lot of articles about products, especially if someone sends me some uninspiring unsolicited press release. So, please don’t bother.
Instead, I’m always looking around as I travel around the world speaking at various events, teaching classes, and working with clients, for interesting products and services that highlight key principles of innovation that people might find inspiring, or extract insights from, or possibly just to learn something from.
It doesn’t mean that when I share something it is the newest, or even the best, but because there is something interesting to talk about and to consider in the context of our own businesses.
The thing that I came across this morning that I want to share and talk about are the new Anki Drive race cars and track that will be on sale for this holiday season at a $199 price point in various places including the Apple Store.
Here is the promotional video for the Anki Drive AI and iPhone controlled racing cars:
Why are these interesting and potentially threatening to the Xbox and PS4?
First, the reality (especially in this economy) that many families either can’t afford something like the Xbox or PS4, or if they can afford gifts for the holidays in this price range, they can probably only afford one this expensive, so as parents consider (and possibly even kids) what gifts are going to be under the tree, menorah or other holiday device, parents that choose to buy Anki Drive cars are likely doing so at the expense of an Xbox or PS4 sale. Is this competition that Microsoft or Sony are considering or planning a response to?
Second, with kids becoming more sedentary and in possession of more and more electronics, parents are second-guessing the wisdom of purchasing a game console, and instead focusing increasing energy on trying to get their kids back outside into the REAL world.
Personally, my own daughter is entering the phase where she is really into video games, particularly National Geographic Kids’ Animal Jam and so I’m using that passion as an opportunity to engage with her in a father/daughter project to start teaching her digital media skills on a blog we launched called Animal Jam Fun (@animaljamfun), but at the same time we try to get her outside with her friends, doing activities, and even on a rainy day we try to do REAL things like playing board games, reading, etc.
My experience is of course my experience, but it is not unique. Many parents are having these conversations with themselves about how much electronics usage is healthy, and many may be second-guessing bringing another electronic device into the house that requires the kid to spend hours more staring at a screen.
Here is a video from Apple’s WWDC where they were shown off for the first time:
Now while the Anki Drive cars do involve kids staring at their smartphone, they also require them to engage with the real world at the same time.
And that’s what makes the concept so interesting…
This trend of merging the digital world and the physical world already exists of course, but it is only going to grow stronger and become more widespread. So while real world product creators must remain aware of potential digital competition, digital product creators must also always remain aware of physical competitors, but now both digital and physical product producers must also consider what kinds of intersections between the physical and digital world they should be either looking to create yourself, or to consider the possibilities of in their scenario planning.
What scenarios can you imagine in your own business that would combine the real and digital worlds?
And I’m curious, what’s on your holiday shopping list?
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Braden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B pull marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He is currently advising an early-stage fashion startup making jewelry for your hair and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.