The iRobot Ava 500 ($2,500 a month) is part of that change, making it possible to work from anywhere and still be seen in the office — just make sure you’re decent from the waist up. A collaboration between iRobot and Cisco, it features a rolling base with a 21-inch HD screen, video camera, and WiFi connectivity (so your colleagues can see you and you can see them). You control it from anywhere using an iPad, enabling you to catch up with coworkers at the water cooler or attend a board meeting, all without leaving your apartment, or putting on pants.
LAST NIGHT I BECAME HIM AND HE BECAME ME, HAAAAAAAA
“As long as there is life, there is a potential; and as long as there is a potential, there will be a success! You will sprout again when cut down! You will rise again even when you fall!”
When T-Mobile was prepping the news of its unlimited international data plan, announced Oct. 9 in New York’s Bryant Park, the fourth-largest phone carrier was looking for a global celebrity who could communicate such a compelling new offering.
An initial conversation with Roc Nation co-founder/president Jay Brown less than two months ago quickly yielded a multi-year deal with Shakira. The Colombian superstar performed a set of her hits to a crowd of 8,000 fans and T-Mobile customers, promising to “shake things up” as part of her new partnership with the phone company.
So, might Shakira and T-Mobile pull a Jay Z and Samsung? Peter Deluca, T-Mobile’s senior VP of brand and marketing, tells Billboard, “She has a new single and a new album coming out, and we’ll be partnering with her to bring that music to our customers in new and different ways.” Shakira added in a statement, “Today is all about bringing the world closer together,” Shakira said. “I’m excited to partner with T-Mobile and look forward to being able to share my music in new and innovative ways.”
While details are still being ironed out, Deluca says T-Mobile has plans to feature Shakira in upcoming advertising campaigns for both general and Hispanic markets. But she won’t be a typical “spokesperson” in the vein of, say, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, who was a prominent T-Mobile presence in the early to mid-aughts.
“We want to leverage her and her personae into a campaign that makes sense for us and for her,” Deluca says. “We also want to be involved with her [Barefoot] Foundation and philanthropy goals and how she sees the world — we have a lot of interest in helping get that message out also. It’s a very collaborative process, and we’re super excited to be working with her and her team. She really is involved with everything — which is rare, I can honestly say.”
As part of the Shakira partnership, T-Mobile announced it will be expanding its unlimited data coverage to more than 100 countries for its Simple Choice customers, beginning Oct. 31, with a global flat rate of 20 cents per minute for roaming voice calls. Look for a significant marketing push, too, from T-Mobile — the phone carrier was ranked one of the fastest-growing U.S. ad spenders by Ad Age for 2012, with a measured ad budget of $1.1 billion, up 27% versus 2011, according to the Ad Age Data Center.
Shakira isn’t the only Latin pop star with a multi-year mobile phone deal. In May,Jennifer Lopez became a partner in Viva Movil, a venture with Verizon Wireless aimed at Hispanic consumers with retail stores in New York and Los Angeles as well as online hub.
I NEED TO CHEK THIS OUT
The resort, built on the edge of the Taihu Lake in Huzhou, boasts a unique shape, that of a giant horseshoe. The exclusive hotel targets the affluent business class. Apparently, the shape of the resort was inspired by the traditional arch bridges, key elements of the traditional Chinese architecture. The location was also strategically chosen, Huzhou being famous for its traditional ink paintings.
The Sheraton Huzhou Spring Resort will put at your disposal (starting December) 321 spacious guest rooms, including 44 suites, 39 villas and access to the hot springs. The edgy hotel features also several restaurants, conference rooms, a ballroom and even a wedding centre. It’s iconic shape reflects beautifully into the still waters of Taihu Lake and evokes the memorable traditional bridges. The project was completed by the Beijing-based architect Ma Yansong of MAD architects.
Wine merchant Le Clos unveiled a Balthazar of Château Margaux 2009 at the cost of $195,000, making it the world’s most expensive bottle of red wine to ever be retailed. Le Clos is the exclusive partner selected to offer the Château Margaux Balthazar, which is on display at Le Clos’ flagship store at Dubai International.