Well it’s the end of a lovely short four day week and time for us to see you off into the weekend with our regular roundup of some of the digital stories that have tickled our fancies this week. Have they tickled yours? Let us know in the comments bit at the bottom.
Leah Kayles, Social Media Editor
Google CEO Eric Schmidt reckons us Brits are falling behind when it comes to digital development, thanks to our education system. Pointing to the split he belives exists between ‘luvvies’ and ‘boffins’, Schmidt said he was ‘flabbergasted’ that computer science was not a compulsary subject in UK schools and believes we should return to the Victorian ‘glory days’ when art and science were closely linked.
The Google boss made his comments at the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. What do you think? Should skills like software development and progamming be taught as standard in our schools? Are we at risk of falling behind the rest of the developed world and, as Schmidt put it, throwing away our “great computing heritage” if not?
Andrew Brown, Creative Director
It started as a Post-it space invader made by an employee at Ubisoft in the central business district in Paris that spawned a whole internet meme, but it turned into a battle between the games giants and neighbouring BNP-Parabis. With pixilated characters bigger and better than the previous the two companies engaged in la guerre des Post-it, a battle which spread across the suited and serious offices of central Paris.
But the war was declared potentially over with Ubisoft’s three storey Ezio, the assassin from their Assassin’s Creed franchise – I guess there was no way the games giants could be beaten by stuffy bankers.
George Hurrell, Digital Designer
The future is here, now. Remember the crazy touch screen antics in Minority Report back in 2002? Almost 10 years down the line and we have ‘Mill Touch’, a rear projected, 5x3’ interactive touch screen made entirely of switchable glass. I’s been created to showcase and celebrate just over 20 years of cutting edge design and visual effects work from The Mill.
The technology behind this beautiful, interactive exploration of their work combines ‘cinder’ software and infra-red infused switchable glass along with a tool built specifically to illustrate the quality and quantity of the Mill’s post-production work, namely, the Mil Lens, allowing people to reveal the before and after footage in real-time.
The Mill have been responsible for some of the great adverts over the years and also work in films. As a brief reminder they have been involved in projects Like the Honda ads, Sony ‘colour’ adverts, Nike, the list goes on.
You can watch a full in-depth, technical ‘Making of’ (videos and content) with information on software and hardware.
For those who are just interested in what it is and what it does, see Mill Touch – Behind the scenes.
Gaby Ferry, Senior Online Insight & Visibility Manager
Which world event would you think would break Twitter records?
Well royal weddings, natural disasters and the overthrow of dictatorships are seemingly inconsequential when compared to events from Sunday’s VMA’s. Beyoncé has announced she is pregnant. Yes pregnant. With the singer’s slightly unusual declaration to the show’s 12.4 million viewers “I want you to feel the love that’s growing inside of me!” and a rub of her tummy, Twitter went into overdrive with users posting 8,868 tweets per second. That’s a lot of people using Twitter to share “Beyonce’s pregnant – it’s destiny’s child”.
The previous Twitter record had been held by women’s world cup final with Japan’s penalty shoot out win over the USA with 7,196 tweets per second usurping the previous record set by Japan on New Year’s Eve in 2010 with 6,939. News of March’s devastating tsunami in Japan was shared via 5,530 tweets per second and the death of Bin Laden in May generated more than 5,000.
Mark Kelly, Digital Solutions Director
Cadburys has just teamed up with augmented reality technology provider, blippar, to let consumers play games that only spring into life when you point your Smartphone (with the bippar app installed) at selected product wrappers. With around a third of the UK adults now owning a Smartphone, AR technology, as a way of increasing brand interaction and/or product sales, has the potential to be ‘mass market’ .Which now makes it of interest to FMCG marketers.
The novel thing with blippar is that you don’t need a QR code or barcode on the packaging – a good camera grab of the packaging itself will kick an ‘event’ in to life (in this case a game but it could be a video etc). Not that using AR in packaging is new – see Doritos in 2009 – but this ‘markerless packaging ‘ approach and the link to such a huge brand is interesting.
Mobile Marketing gives more detail on the new initiative for Cadburys:
“A free smartphone app that converts real world images, products and adverts into instantaneous virtual experiences, has launched…. Cadbury has used the app to create an Augmented Reality (AR) game that anyone with a smartphone can play. With blippar installed on your handset, you point your device at one of several Cadbury products, including Dairy Milk and Twirl among others, and the introductory instruction screen of ‘Qwak Smack’ appears on your screen as if stuck to the bar.”
I’ve followed various AR initiatives from the likes of Total Immersion for a couple of years so I was curious about this and gave it a whirl (or Twirl). I have to say I found it a bit frustrating. The camera grab isn’t that smooth, you have to really hold still to get the pack captured and the game itself is kind of hard to play (yeah, I know that’s the point of games) whist holding the phone in one hand.
So for me this is still at the gimmick end of what AR could do. But maybe I’m being overly harsh (before the chocolate kicked in), it’s done really well and I’m not dismissing AR in marketing, a lot is still being worked out and it could be a great marketing device. Actually as blippar has got AR into the mass market it’ll provide a real test for the adoption of AR for these type of interactions (away from geeks and early adopters only). And no additional codes needed on the packaging is noteworthy; as is the easy social sharing element in the app (you can send your scores screen grab straight to Facebook).
Would it make me buy more products to try other games? Maybe not, even if the ultimate prizes include tickets to the Olympics. But applications like the Oyster Card service that blippar have set up, where you can see timetable and maybe service change notices may be more useful (although you could just go to a mobile site on your phone and check?).
Anyway, buy chocolate, play games, see what you think.