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Rocketeer Charity: Pencils of Promise

This month, Rocketeers are supporting Pencils of Promise, which is a non-profit organization that builds schools in the developing world.  As of 2013, the charity has built over than 150 schools throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Pencils of Promise believes every child should have access to quality education. They create schools, programs, and global communities around the common goal of education for all.  Need, sustainability, cost efficiency, impact and commitment are all taken into account when picking a location for a school. The facilities are built with local labor and material. The charity also supports projects through ongoing education programs, curriculums, scholarships, sister programs. Local staff are provided with professional development training to grow as professionals and take on leadership and mentor-ship roles. 

Quick Stats: 

  • 100% of online donations goes directly to their programs on the ground.
  • Teachers enrolled in our teacher training program attend school with 97% frequency
  • Our scholarship students progress to secondary school 2X more than the regional average

This organization was chosen by Mike LeDuc who said, “This organization is important to me because it helps provide an education to children around the world who would be unable to break out of the poverty cycle. I personally know the power of education to improve lives.  I became aware of this cause because my Yoga instructor Tracy Carruth mentioned the book “Promise of a Pencil” during one of her classes. I read this book at it inspired me to help raise money to build a school.”

For more information, visit http://pencilsofpromise.org 

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Six ways virtual reality can be used in the enterprise

Let’s be honest, virtual reality is not all fun and games.  VR is breaking into the enterprise.  When you think virtual reality, you immediately think entertainment and games.  Now, thanks to the recent buzz around Oculus VR, we are eagerly anticipating a major impact on the enterprise in many different ways.

At Bottle Rocket, we are actively working with large brands to build VR strategies for use in numerous ways ranging from safety in the enterprise to brand engagement.  Check back early next year to see several fully deployed solutions for major brands.  We’ll be able to discuss more in the next few months. 

Here are six ways virtual reality can be used in the enterprise:

Data Visualization

Sensors are everywhere these days.  With massive amounts of data being collected every second, we must find new ways to distill it and understand its value.  VR creates a very immersive way to surround yourself in data instead of looking at the same old 2D charts and graphs.  From geological surveys to medical visualization, VR can provide a new perspective on how we interpret and manipulate data. 

Hazardous Training

A common challenge for high-risk industries such as fire safety, mining and the military is how to provide safe safety training. Virtual reality simulation allows for the development of expertise, quick problem-solving and decision-making under stress without the trainees being in harms way.

Product Simulation

Virtual Reality allows users to have a natural interaction with a virtual product to determine out how to optimize product performance, test design principles, safety, and more.   This interaction in turn allows for more communication between departments.

Virtual Collaboration

What about your average office worker? Employees can now collaborate by sharing presentations and documentation virtually rather than printing, emailing or projecting in a meeting room.  Picture an office where everything is available in VR and desks and common areas are completely clutter free.

Education

Today's students are learning in completely connected environment but, with constant contact comes constant distraction.  VR provides a new way to immerse students in learning.  Imagine following George Washington into battle or taking the role of Neil Armstrong during the first moon landing.  They are virtually on-site making decisions and learning from them.

Socialization

In virtual worlds, people can create avatars and socialize in a way we have never seen.  From the virtual boardroom to the bar, a wide range of networked experiences will form the metaverse of virtual human connection.   

According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the virtual reality market is expected to grow to $407.51 million and reach more than 25 million users by 2018.  Bottle Rocket has been hard at work with clients, internal labs and partnering with Samsung and Oculus.  We see an amazing trend.  (Source)

We can't wait to share what we have been working on with a select number of premium brands.  Contact us today to learn how Virtual Reality can streamline your business. 

Contact us

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Apps for Your Personal Safety

While it’s not a topic that we often want to think about, violent crimes and attacks happen every day throughout America.  This month, Rocketeer LB Herbert shared her six years of martial arts experience by teaching a basic self-defense class at Bottle Rocket.  LB helped prepare us in case a situation arises where we need to protect ourselves. 

Since not everyone can attend a self-defense class, we thought we’d share some mobile apps (from other developers) that may help victims call for help and stay safe.

                                  

Even if you are just out for a walk or run, the free Watch Over Me app will make sure that someone knows where you are.  The app leverages the GPS in the phone to track your location during a set period.  If you don’t check in safely at the end of the timeframe, set emergency contacts are notified immediately.  If you feel unsafe, shake your phone to trigger an alert along with turning on the phone’s camera to record what is happening.

A similar app is the free BSafe app, which enables you to set up a “social safety network.”  Besides the location monitoring and check-in features, BSafe also provides the ability to tell individuals in your network where you are at that moment or sound a siren.  You can also make a “fake call” to yourself, simulating a phone call from a selected contact – its even handy for getting yourself out of a bad date! 

If you aren’t sure when you will be walking in an unsafe situation or can't remember to turn on a safety tracking app, the $1.99 app SafeTrek can be used in times when feeling unsafe.  Opening the app and holding down on the safe button while walking, passively connects to the police.  Once upon reaching safety, you then release the safe button and enter a 4-digit pin code.  If releasing the safe button and not entering the pin code, the police are then notified of your location (from phone’s GPS), your name and that there is an emergency. 

If you need to alert those around you that you need help, the free My Panic Alarm sounds an instant alarm.  Whether it’s a potential illness or violence, just tap an icon to sound a loud alarm, flash bright colors and a “Please Help” message.

While out at night or in an unfamiliar territory, keep your mobile phone with these apps readily available and keep alert!

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Bottle Rocket Kicks Off Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Today Rocketeers wore pink to show their support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM).  When gathering for a photo, Rocketeers shared the stories of love ones who have been impacted by breast cancer.  It was hard to find someone in the group not touched by this disease.

 Bottle Rocket Breast Cancer Awareness

Over the next few months, Rocketeers across the organization will continue to show their support by participating in several events:

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Dallas on October 18

The “Rocketeers for the Cure” will be walking to honor loved ones and to raise funds.  To learn more about the team, visit: http://dallas.info-komen.org/goto/bottlerocket

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day in Dallas from November 7 – 9

This “Rocketeers for the Cure” team have been training for months to prepare for the 60-mile walk over 3 days across the DFW area.  The 3-Day requires much commitment and passion for the cause – and that’s exactly what our Rocketeers are bringing!  To learn more about the team, visit http://www.the3day.org/site/TR/2014/DallasFortWorthEvent2014?pg=team&fr_id=1861&team_id=240621 

Later in the month, we will continue to share apps and initiatives for NBCAM. 

So put on your pink and raise awareness for breast cancer!

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Starwood Hotels Showcased in Apple's Keynote Announcing iPhone 6, Apple Pay and Apple Watch

We were thrilled to see our partners, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, featured in the most recent Keynote from Apple. If you missed the news, Starwood showed off the ability to skip the check in line and even skip picking up a key. The Apple Watch can be used to open your hotel room door. How cool is that? Once again, Starwood demonstrates they are the most innovated and forward-thinking global hotel company.

If you missed the keynote, you can find it here...

 

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Judy Johnson, director of product innovation for Dallas-based app developer Bottle Rocket, thinks a lot of people are approaching the idea of the second screen completely wrong.

“Up until now, [second screen] has been mobile,” she said Oct. 20, speaking during a second screen panel at the Digital Hollywood conference. “Now, we’re seeing any screen can be the second screen.”

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