Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thinking and Designing Outside the Box

MANHATTAN today faces some real challenges as it expands into existing and new markets worldwide. When we began to update MANHATTAN packaging, we believed it was best to start where consumers make decisions – at the shelf.

First, we visited retailers, examined displays and collected competitor packaging from North America and Europe and compared it with MANHATTAN in a simulated retail setting. This global assessment enabled our design and marketing teams to identify visual and functional gaps and define objectives to make an impact in the marketplace. We then shared what we learned with consumer packaging research and design partners who specialize in positioning brands for growth. Their expertise and insight are helping us quickly develop and refine concepts into production-ready prototypes. So what can you expect?

• Increased visibility. If it’s unseen, it’s unsold. It’s time to bring MANHATTAN out of the shadows. The “black box” will be replaced with bright, high-contrast colors and less-obstructed product views.

• Improved “shopability.” We need to break the “big brand” block and increase the likelihood of being shopped at the shelf. A more modern look will get the attention needed to engage and persuade more buyers.

• Simplified messaging. Single, strong product statements and visual cues will replace bullet strings and over-complicated specifications. Consumers want to connect with an experience that’s easy to understand, buy and enjoy.

When will we deliver? We’re on track to reveal the new MANHATTAN package design later this year at the 2011 International Distributor Conference in Essen, Germany. Select products in new packaging will ship as soon as the fourth quarter and all products will have the new design by the end of the year. We’re confident that the new package design and your support will give us the power to transform MANHATTAN into a world-class contender.


Friday, April 1, 2011

How Can You Improve Web Cam FPS (frames per second)?

To say that video calls and video conferencing are on the rise is a huge understatement. Today alone, more than 405 million people have Skype accounts. I can attest to this boom, because I too have become an avid Skype user. The question I hear many people asking is, “How can I improve web cam FPS?” Two major determining factors to take into consideration:

  1. Computer hardware •Computer hardware is obvious, but should always be considered when evaluating FPS. Your CPU (processor speed), video card, memory and Web cam will all have a major impact on FPS. A computer with a faster CPU, a higher-end video card, more memory and an HD Web cam is going to perform better than a similar computer with inferior components. These are all upgradeable components, but the cheapest thing to do would be to upgrade to an HD Web cam.

  2. Available bandwidth • You should always take into consideration the available bandwidth. This is always a major factor and will have drastic effects on FPS. A computer operating on a dedicated T1 is going to have a much higher FPS than one connected through a dial-up modem. Always make sure you have the maximum available bandwidth to achieve optimal FPS.
Luckily, there are some other minor ways to improve your video call/conference that will not cost you a dime!

  1. One factor that laptop users may not always think about is power source. If you are using your laptop, you should always make sure you are plugged into an outlet/power. This is one factor that many people may overlook, because it is not obvious. Typical laptop default settings are usually set to conserve battery life when the laptop is not plugged into an outlet. One of the ways this is achieved is by limiting CPU power, which will have a detrimental effect on FPS. If you are operating a desktop computer, this should not be an issue. Otherwise, always be plugged into an outlet.

  2. Always clear the cache in your Internet browser. This will help “clean-up” your computer so it will run more efficiently.

  3. Use a direct connection to the router you are using via your Ethernet port, versus connecting wirelessly. A wired connection should always be faster than a wireless connection.

  4. Shut-down all other programs and just run the application for your video call/conference. This will allow the computer to dedicate all resources to the video call/conference.

  5. Wear solid colors, limit your movement and have good lighting (but not a direct light source).

MANHATTAN offers a complete line of Web cams that will help you achieve your maximum FPS. For a complete listing please visit For maximum FPS I would recommend trying one of our 2 HD web cams.