Monthly Archive for May, 2008

Nine digital trends of the future

Really interesting presentation from Steve Rubels, more detail here and here.

Cut and Paste feels like the most obvious trend to me and the one in least doubt. Unless Digital Agencies begin to embrace the open-source nature of the internet on behalf of their clients, no one will appreciate the enormous benfits of what doing so are.

.car Evolution

(Disclaimer: I am personally involved in the development of Fiat’s digital presence with my work at AKQA)

BMW and Crysler DO NOT GET IT! (read the comments).
Gearing up for the .car Era | Autopia from
Ford sounds like it’s right behind them

It’s interesting to see how Fiat are describing and marketing their Blue&Me technology.
blue_me_fiat_500.jpg (JPEG Image, 475�316 pixels)
They seem concerned about the detail, which is always a good sign. They offer Blue&Me EcoDrive as standard and have Nav and Map add-on features.

Fiat EcoDrive is described in greater detail here, but essentially it measures your driving style irrespective of the car you drive. It puts everyone on a level playing field and gives them tips and suggestions on how to improve their driving style, saving them money by lowering their fuel consumption.

It’s a niche, but interesting, concept and importantly it’s engaging whilst not being disruptive. EcoDrive promises to ‘teach drivers how to go greener’. Drivers can fit whichever navigation system they choose to the car, rather than being tied down to a locked-in version, suceptable to bugs and poorly executed updates.

I’ll be interested to find out how drivers communicate between their car and their desktop computers to make intelligent use of all the data that’s captured and (possibly sharing that information within a community???), but it strikes me as a far stronger proposition than attempting to steal a march on the SatNav’s out there like TomTom and in the US, who only last week announced that they were opening up their API to developers.

What do you think? Do you want to watch YouTube in the car? Is being online important?? Is this running before you can walk or a bold move?

AdiColor – new Adidas viral ad

This is a great viral that communicates the message brilliantly:

Thanks to Chris Brogan and Paul Isakson.

It manages to fuse the brand’s objectives with those of the artists featured very nicely.

Nothing’s Impossible

Flickr Photo Download: That's impossible.

Thanks to Mathoov on Flickr and DidYouEverNotice.

Light writing

Came across this article which led me to these guys: Lichtfaktor.

Lichtfaktor have created a “Hungry Catepillar” animation for Blue Peter:

More of their work can be found here, here and here.

To make your own follow some basics:

Use a tripod.
Set the exposure to around 10-30 sec. or longer.
Do your writing.
Set the camera’s ISO to 100 so as not to over expose.
Close your aperture as much as possible.
If there is still too much light you might have to use a nd-filter.

…and experiment…:)

How long before the agencies come knocking on their door for an ad…? Or worse still nick the idea and do it themselves?

10 mobile apps of the future

Google has announced the 50 applications that have won the first round of the Android Developer Challenge.

ReadWriteWeb have listed their favourite 12 here. Chris Andreson commented on one application, Enkin, which wasn’t mentioned by ReadWriteWeb, who have been contacted by Google personally.

Here are 10 that I’ve found most interesting (in no particular order):

Beetaun project
Beetaun is a social network based around geographical content created by people and for people (from your neighborhood, from your city, from your country, from all over the world). By Sergey Gritsyuk and Dmitri Shipilov.

City Slikkers - Pervasive Game on the City
City Slikkers is a Pervasive Game (alternatively Location Based Game) which takes place in the real-existing city. It is designed to connect a large number of players through-out the world and change the way the surroundings are seen. The central idea behind the concept is to give people the opportunity to symbolically interfere with the everyday urban environment and come into contact with previously unknown people.

GolfPlay - Personal GPS Caddie
GolfPlay’s objective is to give support to all the real time necessities of a golf player during a game, using GPS location and an online querying site where it is possible to access to their game statistics, tournament creation and a social network to exchange impressions with other users about the sport that links them: golf.

Enkin Blog: After the Challenge
Enkin introduces a new handheld navigation concept. It displays location-based content in a unique way that bridges the gap between reality and classic map-like representations. It combines GPS, orientation sensors, 3D graphics, live video, several web services and a novel user interface into an intuitive and light navigation system for mobile devices.
Demo video here.

With Eco2Go you can Reduce your carbon footprint. Eco2go finds and suggests public transit alternatives for your trips – right on your phone.
Inspire others with your stories, join the eco2go network to build a global community around sustainable living – you’re not alone!
Offset your footprint. Eco2go calculates the carbon output of your trips and lets you offset it with carbon credits as you go.

PedNav - RouteMe² Technologies
PedNav™ is an application that helps you plan your activities efficiently when moving around and interacting with an urban environment. Based on the information you provide, and on the schedules of venues and transportation, PedNav creates a personalized “itinerary”: a time-orderly list of events for the day, specifying when to go where, and how to get there.

Pocket Journey: Know Anywhere
Pocket Journey is a mobile application that connects your location to the voices of a global community of artists, historians, architects, musician, comedians, and others so you can quickly know everything about anywhere.

Wikitude takes advantage of geographical information contained in Wikipedia articles. There are about 350.000 Wikipedia Places Of Interest (PIs) to download, split up in many categories and more than 10.000 POI files.

Automatic barcode recognition using onboard phone camera using ZXing library
Shows CD, DVD, or book cover along with detailed reviews from
Searches over a dozen stores, both online and brick+mortar
– Highlights brick+mortar stores that are nearby, with option to call the store or get directions
– Links to online storefronts to buy online from the phone
Tracklisting for CDs, along with option to play sample tracks right on phone
For books, searches local libraries to see if they have a copy
Video Demo here.

A biometric authentication system for Android. This application features iris recognition and can act as a password safe and provide single sign-on for other Android apps. Jose Luis Huertas Fernandez.

Google Android vs. Apple iPhone
These are all Android applications and I think there’s a couple of reasons why.

The iPhone SDK is currently stifling development:
– The iPhone SDK doesn’t (currently) allow applications to run in the background.
– The iPhone SDK doesn’t (currently) let applications talk to each other.
– The iPhone (currently) has no GPS.

The above examples highlight two things:
– How important GPS and location context will be.
– How important it is to have applications running in the background.

I’ll have a follow up post on why the iPhone doesn’t allow applications to run in the background and the complexity of the situation.

Mobile applications vs. Branded utilities
These examples show just how quickly mobile application development is moving. It will be interesting to see how brands get involved in marketing and partnering with some of these developments in order to ‘own’ these new spaces currently being developed.

I don’t think there’s a way for digital agencies to compete in bringing similar products to market for their clients within the budget and at the speed a smaller development team can unless something radically changes in the way in which they finance such projects.

If anyone knows of any other mobile applications worth mentioning, please leave a comment.

Google Android has promised to ship before the end of the year with T-Mobile and Sprint already lined up to offer carrier packages.

Flame Flute using Rubens Tube

I love this example of the Rubens Tube:

I can see lots of ways of using this in an interactive way. Imagine using proximity, force, mind manipulation as a sound wave – there are loads of possibilities.

A speaker pointed at each of us

Hypersonic sound kinda scares me and yet I can think of about a hundred amazing ways to use it. Definitely one that’ll change the way we live. More here and here.


Off the back of my last post on Microsoft’s Touch Wall and my slightly off-topic update dealing with OpenFrameworks, these are the two guys behind OF:

Theodore Watson (
Zach Lieberman (

United Visual Artists ( are also using it heavily.

Image taken from Theodore Watson’s latest work, Funky Forest: An interactive ecosystem

Microsoft Touch Wall

Edging closer to a touchscreen in every home.


…and then I clicked on another interesting link to ‘Lux’ a Mac verion of the same…

It’s built using OpenFrameworks and it all has been run and developed using Flash. The developer who created it is Christian Moore. He’s been interviewed by Gizmodo here.

Open Frameworks is a C++ cross-platform library for visual experimentation interfaces…It’s awesome for really processor intensive stuff.

Definitely going to get the gang looking into this in the near future.

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