SAN FRANCISCO, CA, JANUARY, 2016 – Doculus announces its plans to work with tech giant Microsoft Corp., signifying a milestone in the company’s journey to redefine the document reading and review experience on mobile phones. The partnership enables road warriors like sales and business development professionals with Microsoft Office 365 and Doculus to review documents such as sales contracts and business agreements faster than ever without a need for an Internet-connected computer.
In just five years time, up to half of all business professionals could be working remotely, away from the convenience and comfort of formal office spaces. While there is excitement to the notion of a roaming work-life, a staggering 92% of the workforce says they don’t feel productive when in transit. Clearly, there are still some key challenges that must be addressed before business professionals venture out into the wild, mobile phone in hand.
Road warriors know the frustrations of working with documents on the road only too well. At the end of the quarter time is of the essence and most of them are out of the office closing deals. At this time, the ability to review comments and redlines in a sales contract before passing it along to the corporate attorney or client becomes very critical. With today’s tools you can’t easily scan through comments and redlines, and pinching to zoom leaves you having to scroll line by line, which could take many painful hours. The reality is, an Internet-connected computer is the only viable option to view the updated sales contract and this is often far from convenient.
With Doculus, you can quickly read, review and reply to documents across multiple formats, including Microsoft Word and PDF. Road warriors can discover content through the automatically created, mobile-optimized table of contents. All parts of a document can now be examined in detail, from the titles to sections and exhibits, tables, images and charts. Tables can be sorted and filtered, allowing for easy extraction of information to zero-in on what’s really important. In addition, the Doculus – Office 365 integration allows you to access all your documents stored in your Office 365 account right inside Doculus along with a streamlined workflow for invoking Microsoft Word for editing.
“To truly solve the problem of contract reviews on mobile phones, the entire experience needs to be reimagined,” says Rob Howard, Director, Office 365 Ecosystem, Microsoft. “The tool needs to allow for fast review of edits with the ability to jump across sections and exhibits.” Doculus provides such a tool. A variety of apps exist for viewing documents on mobile, but no other app has enabled users to fully delve into sales contracts and business agreements in a way that makes it possible to quickly review lots of comments and redlines across a long – for example a 50 page – document on a mobile phone.
“Doculus has created the next-generation intelligent document reader for road warriors. We have reimagined how documents can be presented on mobile phones. With the power of the integration with Microsoft, we are now fully equipped to bring our tools to the global sales, business development, and corporate attorney audience,” says co-founder and CEO Varun Parmar.
Doculus is focused on dramatically improving the document consumption experience on mobile devices. Its mobile app allows for the fast, yet detailed reading and reviewing of documents, particularly contracts and sales agreements on the go. Doculus was founded by a team of document and cloud collaboration experts and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – ESPForMe has announced its official launch, the new search engine uses a unique predictive algorithm which allows users to surf the web without clicking and offers free advertising.
Miami, Florida – MIA Collective, a leading producer of digital business and technology events in Miami announced today that Citi and arago will be the co-host partners for Sime MIA summits taking place on December 2, 2015, as part of the global digital conference.
WASHINGTON – BuildQuorum today launched its new public participation platform, opening a new channel for citizens to interact with their political representatives online.
BuildQuorum enables people to meaningfully engage with the policy making process by collectively expressing their wishes, interests and concerns. BuildQuorum was created as a forum for the online political community to incite and encourage discussion, interaction, and participation.
“One consistent theme among the hundreds and hundreds of people I talked to during the course of my campaigns was frustration with the process and a feeling that they weren’t being heard,” said Sean Bielat, founder and CEO of BuildQuorum. “Far too many Americans feel that their only participation in the political process is voting and aside from that, special interests control the agenda. I want the average American to act as his or her own ‘special interest’.”
BuildQuorum offers a medium through which citizens show support for causes they care about through an online message that is sent directly to the appropriate representative. More importantly, users can create their own topics, which may be more personal to them or their community, and send them directly to politicians.
Users can then choose the legislators whom they want to contact, be it anyone from members of Congress to state legislators, and then send their message directly to that person.
Unlike other petition sites such as Change.org, BuildQuorum users can actually send emails and messages directly to their target representative, rather than showing their support with just an online signature that doesn’t have as strong an impact.
Improving public participation in lawmaking has been a hot topic this year, and the Obama administration initiated its U.S Public Participation Playbook in February 2015. However, according to Cornell University’s Regulation Room e-community initiative, a successful public participation system must address three main barriers to citizen engagement in rule-making:
- Lack of awareness – people are unaware that they are legally entitled be a part of the process.
- Information overload – voluminous and complex rule-making materials are incomprehensible to many.
- Unfamiliarity with how to participate effectively and the means of participating.
“We created this platform to engage the public in politics and law-making and created an online community for discussion and debate,” continued Bielat. “By definition, a “quorum” is the minimum number of representatives required to discuss a legislative matter. The digital age offers us new opportunities to voice the opinions of the many, rather than the selected few, which should be taken into consideration before any decision is made.”
More than just another petition website, BuildQuorum aims to build an inclusive social network built around politics, political interests and real social issues. Users can log in via the website, or by using their Facebook details.
The whole system is designed with ease of use in mind, allowing users to become a part of the network, and make their opinions known in just a matter of minutes.
Created by Sean Bielat, former congressional candidate (2010/2012) and founder of Oneclickpolitics.com in 2014, BuildQuorum was made as the tool to give power back to the people by connecting citizens to politicians and letting them express ideas about the issues most important to them. Large organizations and lobbyists have access and resources to mobilize popular support, but the average person struggles to have his or her voice heard. BuildQuorum aims to bridge this gap and offer real opportunities for public political participation in the digital age.
PLAYGround Digital announces that PLAYMessenger is the only app for iOS and Android that provides children ages 4 and up with the tools and safeguards that enable them to chat safely online. The app, which is leading the way in the relatively new territory of mobile communication for kids, lets children talk with their friends and family through SMS, email, and group chat – under the strict supervision and approval of their parents.
PLAYMessenger is a versatile communications tool built from the ground up with the needs of kids and their parents in mind. Like other messaging apps, users can send texts, photos and voice notes to the people who are important to them. Where PLAYMessenger really stands out is through its layers of security features that ensure kids are kept safe and preserve parents’ peace of mind.
While anyone can sign up, users are unable to share information that identifies them personally, such as email addresses and phone numbers, which safeguards children from predators. Parents can review, approve or block any of their child’s contacts through the PLAYMessenger MyKids section, as well as monitor all messages that have been sent and received. Using the app’s Trust Mode, parents may turn any aspects of the chat on or off, depending on the level of freedom they wish to grant their child. Additionally, AI-powered language filters can detect inappropriate language, instances of bullying and stop this negative content from reaching the user. It also notifies parents if their child repeatedly attempts to send bad language. A report button allows children to register inappropriate or bad behaviour directly from the chat screen.
Moreover, users can only send photos, voice messages and texts if they have been verified through a third-party children’s online privacy company PRIVO–a PLAYGround Digital partner. PLAYMessenger comes with a bank of approved words and phrases, which limits communication between users who have not been authenticated by the company.
Despite the fact that 56 percent of children between the ages of 8 and 12 own a smartphone, most chat apps are not appropriate for children to use. Popular messaging app Kik, for example, is aimed at users 17+ and photo messaging app Snapchat is only recommended for users over the age of 13. Neither app has safeguards put in place that would allow young children to use them safely. PLAYMessenger is the only PRIVO partnered, COPPA compliant app option that prioritizes children’s safety.
“There is a major concern among parents that children using messaging apps like Kik and Snapchat are vulnerable to outsiders,” said CEO and PLAYGround Digital Co-founder Danish Ahmed. “Frighteningly for parents, there are numerous cases of kids being asked to meet up with Kik users, and it’s all happening without their knowledge and outside their control. We realized when parents complained to us about the problems and concerns they have that a solution did not yet exist. It’s exciting to create solutions that actually are useful and can have a positive impact on society.”
Moreover, as part of the app’s educational experience, PLAYMessenger has partnered with “McGruff the Crime Dog” to provide children with McGruff emojis and safety advice within app.
“The company’s objective is not only to provide parents and children with a safe way to communicate online, but also to educate children to the potential dangers of instant messaging, and to provide them with the tools they need to become informed digital citizens,” adds Ahmed.
PLAYGround Digital was co-founded in 2014 by Danish Ahmed. The company is creating digital training wheels for kids and ensuring that parents and children have the educational tools to grow up with technology safely and to become responsible digital citizens. PLAYGround Digital’s unique innovations and partnerships place them at the forefront of an industry in its infancy: communication apps for children.
Kansas City – Hallmark’s Gillham Studios is unveiling its 105-year-old art collection and making it available to the general public for both private and commercial use, which comes after nine months of digitization and a period of beta testing.
The Hallmark archives were founded by J.C Hall in 1910, with the aim of recording the history of greeting card artwork. Since its inception, the collection has grown in size and variety, and includes more than 1 million pieces of original artwork – some of which date back as far as the 1700’s. A team of Hallmark’s designers have selected more than 125,000 pieces from the vault, focusing on those cards that have utility, historical value, and artistry. The royalty-free artwork is now open to the public to download, use, and repurpose, and thousands more pieces are being added every week.
Unlike many established image banks, Gillham Studios does not just offer photography; it centers on original art and design, with sets of unique illustrations, lithographs, postcards, lettering, and patterns. These pieces can be used for designs on physical objects, for online designs, and printed materials. Users can search for individual pieces, or browse the themed collections – all of which have been carefully put together by designers.
“We like to think of our collection as being by artists for artists,” says Gillham Studios General Manager, Christopher Shaw. “This is one of the reasons we introduced a Featured Artist section to the website. People want to see how their art has been created and by whom. This not only gives our clients a fascinating insight into the history of the pieces they are purchasing, but the chance to find a whole range of similarly styled pieces as well.”
Like most online art and design resources, the company offers various licenses (Basic $____/month and Extended $____month). Both Basic and Extended licensees may use the images for physical products and printed items, websites and digital products, and attributed editorial usage, as well as for personal and non-commercial use. In contrast to most image banks, Basic License clients are granted the same image rights as Extended License clients – only with certain limitations on the number of images they can print.
The artwork is downloadable in RAW format and Adobe Photoshop files for reasons of quality and versatility – no matter what user license is held. This means that clients can manipulate their images; designers and artists are free to change colors, orientations, and styles as they see fit – making the images their own. Furthermore, the format allows images to be published and printed anywhere – including on physical goods, such as fabric, murals, mugs and pillows. On the contrary, most stock photo websites tend only to offer images in a lower quality and far less malleable JPEG format, which can only be used online.
“At its heart Hallmark sells art and has done so for over a hundred years. We might be an old company providing a nostalgic look back American culture, but by stepping into this marketplace with the Gillham Studios’ collection, we feel that we are offering something new to artists, designers and everyone else,” adds Shaw.
Hallmark Inc. was founded in 1910 by a teenage JC Hall, with nothing but a couple of shoeboxes full of postcards – and a lot of ambition. Today it remains a private company and is valued at $3.8 billion. Hallmark’s products are available in 30 languages and can be found in more than 100 countries around the world. Hallmark’s Gillham Studios has just made available its vast artwork collection to the public, allowing designers and artists to download, repurpose, and use the art in almost anyway they see fit.
Los Angeles, CA. – Bespoke furniture creator of the future, Joybird, has launched a new wholesale division. Catering to the company’s trade and wholesale members, this development will provide quick furniture shipping of Joybird’s customized furniture to clients in the continental U.S.
Ordering bespoke furniture is traditionally a time-consuming, cumbersome, and expensive process. By partnering with Joybird, furniture wholesalers can make the process easier and more enjoyable for their customers. With thousands of wood stain, fabric, and leather choices – including kid and pet-friendly options – the Joybird wholesale division fills a void in digital furniture making by allowing conservative customers to touch and feel the furniture before they order. Joybird now has permanent showrooms in Showplace Center High Point, North Carolina, and World Market Center Las Vegas, Nevada. The company is looking to foster and strengthen long-term relationships.
“There is no reason a customer should ever be unhappy with their furniture purchases,” says Joybird Co-founder Josh Stellin. “That is why we are launching this new division, which is based on customer feedback and market demand – we feel that now is the appropriate time to open our product line to expand into wholesale trade and design trade.”
Unlike their rivals, Joybird can deliver six of its most popular collections (in no fewer than eight different fabrics) to wholesale and trade customers within two to three weeks. This is possible because Joybird operates with a vertically integrated business model, so it controls its own supply chain from start to finish. In addition, the team offers extensive customer support, and if customers can’t find their perfect fabric, they can send in samples of their own preferred material (COM/COL).
Other Joybird perks include private label, branding and marketing support, and the ability to drive traffic through brand recognition, as well as a tiered discount system. Trade customers can also rest easily in the knowledge that Joybird’s designs are well-received in the marketplace, with more customers making multiple purchases in single visits to Joybird’s website. Over the last six months, the average spend has increased by 35% to more than $2,100 per order.
Joybird’s success stems from the fact that it provides greater convenience than traditional bespoke manufacturers, without sacrificing craftsmanship. Joybird has also gained ground by targeting millennials, who are driving a movement towards “co-creation” and customization.
“Millennials want to have the freedom to design their life at any time they want, without having to take their eyes away from their digital devices,” adds Co-founder Alex Del Toro. “They take pride in the beauty and comfort of their spaces, have very specific tastes, and like transparency. This is exactly what we offer: the freedom to create.”
Joybird is a Los Angeles based bespoke furniture maker, founded by Alex Del Toro, Andres Hinostroza, Chris Stormer, and Josh Stellin. Joybird provides step-by-step assistance to help customers design their own unique furnishings and offers extensive customer support. The business has its own factory, based in Tijuana, Mexico.
The event will focus on the intersection of behavioral economics and User Experience Design (UX) – a topic of importance in the Miami startup ecosystem. Participants will discuss diverse subjects related to the two spheres and examine how organizations can leverage new research and the latest tools to apply cutting-edge UX design in their own fields.
Speaker Dr. Stephen Wendel, Head of Behavioral Science at Morningstar, will talk on behavioral economics and the psychology of judgement and decision-making. Dr. Wendel will show how cutting-edge research is currently being applied in consumer products to help users take action in their lives – such as Jawbone UP and Clocky. Participants will learn how user habits fit in with product design, and how UX designers can make the user’s “path to action” more efficient.
This is the first event in Miami from the Action Design Network, which has monthly Meetups in five other cities – Washington DC, New York City, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco – and will provide local entrepreneurs and organizations with the chance to connect.
“We’re excited to come to Miami to share our knowledge and expertise with local organizations,” says the Action Design Network’s President, Dr. Wendel. “The use of behavioral economics and psychology in product design is still a new area to many. We hope that the event will inspire new initiatives and encourage further innovation in UX design.”
Host of the event, Rokk3r Labs, is the world’s first cobuilding platform – and a driving force behind Miami’s burgeoning startup ecosystem. They execute company building and innovation for organizations through the use of “startup cells”, which align strategy and technology experts around entrepreneurs and organizational needs. An additional focus on leveraging exponential technologies enables Rokk3r Labs to increase speed-to-market.
“The Action Design Network’s event in Miami is a signal of the upward trajectory of Miami’s startup community,” said Nabyl Charania, CEO of Rokk3r Labs “Anyone interested in the intersection of design and science will gain value, and we are proud to be hosting the first event that will expand the expertise and thought leadership within Miami’s startup ecosystem.”
The Rokk3r Labs hosted Action Design event will take place at 6pm on Tuesday, September 1, 2015, at 1680 Michigan Avenue #815, Miami Beach, FL. Sign ups can be made on the Action Design Miami Meetup page.
About Rokk3r Labs
Rokk3r Labs is the best place in the world to launch companies that change the world. It is a platform for investors, entrepreneurs and organizations to increase value, mitigate risks and stay at the edge of innovation. With a focus on leveraging exponential technologies and implementing new-age methods of raising capital, Rokk3r Labs is harnessing global collective genius to cobuild companies that change the world. Currently, Rokk3r Labs has a portfolio of 25 companies that are cobuilding to disrupt various industries. To learn more, visit www.rokk3rlabs.com
About The Action Design Network
The non-profit Action Design Network was founded in December 2012. The network has more than 3,500 members across six cities in the United States and promotes the use of psychology and behavioral economics in product and UX design.
In addition to monthly events around the country, Action Design hosts an annual conference that brings together leading behavioral researchers and practitioners to share lessons and learn how to best apply behavioral lessons to product design. This year’s conference is on November 2, in Washington DC. More information will be available soon at www.designforaction.org.
New York – Recently is launching its new iOS app and personal photo magazine subscription service for $8.99 a month ($7.99 when you invite a friend). The app is free to download and paying subscribers receive 100 of their latest iOS camera roll photographs in an eco-friendly, high-end magazine that is delivered directly to their home.
Recently is the only mobile-to-magazine subscription service available in the App Store. With an estimated 880 billion photographs taken on mobile phones a year, this service provides users with the best of both the print and digital worlds. It pairs the ubiquity and convenience of digital mobile photography with the valuable tangibility of high-quality, printed photographs. Recently also provides subscribers with the ease of a fully automated one-click ordering process — users simply tap to upload their photos and their personalized magazine will be delivered.
Recently is designed to complement existing photo apps that save images to the camera roll. Subscribers are sent reminders when their magazines are about to go to print, and they only have to tap upload to start the automated process. Alternately, users can edit their magazines if they wish by swiping and dragging images into place.
The concept was developed by Scott and Elizabeth Valins, a husband and wife team, whose lives have revolved around photography since they first met in line at B&H Photo Video in New York City. A commercial filmmaker and an art director respectively, the Valinses both have a passion for integrating the digital world with printed media. After Elizabeth suffered an extremely serious health scare, the pair decided they wanted to design an app that would help people celebrate and remember every precious moment with ease.
“Mobile digital photography has increasingly become part of our culture,” says art director and Recently Co-founder Elizabeth Valins. “We’re taking more and more snapshots of our experiences, our important moments, and our everyday lives. The problem is, our pictures disappear almost as quickly as publish them on social media. Recently gives us an opportunity to remember with something that we can physically hold in our hands.”
“The social-photo industry is huge; Facebook has over 1 billion members, SnapChat up to 200 million users, and Instagram more than 300 million people,” adds Valins. “We’ve built Recently to work with these services and give people the opportunity to turn the digital world into a tangible one again – focusing especially on the thousands of photos they don’t want forgotten, buried in an endless camera roll or publicly posted to a Facebook feed.”
Recently was founded in 2015 by husband and wife team Scott and Elizabeth Valins. With backgrounds in commercial filmmaking and art direction, the pair set out to pursue their passion; helping people remember their precious moments. They created an app that integrates mobile digital photography with a personalized monthly magazine subscription service.