It’s that time of the week again… Friday! And that can mean only one thing… digital story time! Make sure you’re full to the brim with digital news by checking out our pick of some of the most interesting, informative and entertaining digital marketing stories of the week. Read more by clicking on each story’s title.
George Hurrell, Digital Designer
So, some people think Augmented Reality is a dead dog, and some didn’t even see it getting off the ground. With so many new technologies becoming available so quickly these days it can be hard to judge which the general public will get on board with. Then there are those technologies that just aren’t quite ready, whether it’s because of the technology itself needing to develop further, or because people aren’t ready to accept and use it.
I’ve always liked the idea of AR and I believe that when it fully takes off it will have the potential to have some amazing applications. Until then, you can try Suwappu for the iPhone. Still in prototype stage, the project is based around woodland creatures that talk to one another when you watch them through your phone camera. This might sound pretty basic and possibly not that interesting but the real-world characters take the form of some really funky toys that you could just see lying about on the desks of ‘creatives’.
There are loads of possibilites:
“Seeing the two characters chatting, and referencing a just-out-of-camera event, is so provocative. It makes me wonder what could be done with this story-telling. Could there be a new story every week, some kind of drama occurring between the toys? Or maybe Badger gets to know you, and you interact on Facebook too. How about one day Deer mentions a new character, and a couple of weeks later you see it pop up on TV or in the shops.”
Matt Webb, CEO of BERG London
The unique thing about this type of AR is that you don’t point your phone at a QR code or shape on a piece of paper, it instead recognises the faces of the characters. And there’s scope for the storytelling aspect which could be updated weekly, daily or even faster. So while you’re working and your woodland friends are quietly stood on your desk, who knows what they’re getting up to in their own little AR world!
Paul Mallett, Managing Partner
No, I don’t either. I spent most of my time dancing in West Country fields covered in Facepaint and saying things like ‘Wow, look at this (pointing at water bottle), it’s like totally amazing how the water just sits there in the bottle’.
Anyway, along with the growth in outdoor recreational pursuits, there was a bit of an upsurgence of jangly pop music. And chief amongst the janglers – well chief amongst the people ‘who copied the La’s’ - were The Stone Roses.
Cue, a 20 year reunion….
Cue, a load of people in their 30s and 40’s waxing lyrical on Facebook…
Cue, a perfect moment for one of Facebook’s new functions to kick in.
Facebook’s new algorithm merely notices that a load of people are talking about the same thing and, hey presto, aggregates all the stories into a single story. But that’s not all, it also includes a handy link to the relevant Facebook fan page!
….It’s like Paul Daniels is literally running Facebook.
Simon Marshall, Digital Account Director
Whilst I was excited to find out about the new features in the latest Android mobile operating system showcased with Samsung this week, I wasn’t so excited I’d stay up to watch the live press conference that started at about 2am BST. So I was looking forward to finding out a little more as the presentation was made public later in the week.
Anyone with any interest in mobile devices will know that Apple just released their latest handset (the iPhone 4S) and with it, a new version of the iOS, v5. So it was even more interesting to see how their biggest rival squared up with their latest offering, Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich (if you’re wondering about those weird codenames, Google have been naming versions of their mobile operating system after sweet snacks using incremental letters of the alphabet).
There are a handful of Android 4.0 features that I think are really innovative;
• Facial recognition unlock – unless a thief has a particular likeness to you, there’s no way they’re going to be able to unlock your precious Samsung Galaxy Nexus. (Although in the presentation this didn’t seem to work.)
• Access notification and access to the camera right from the lock screen – both really useful features.
• Multitasking is nothing new on Android, but the way you access and manage running apps has been overhauled and improved.
• Native screen shots (nothing new but often really useful – especially for those of us who build, develop, test or plan mobile apps).
• Redesigned native apps; improved browser, email client and calendar.
It’ll be interesting to see how some of these features develop when manufacturers start to apply with their own UI’s over the top of Android 4.0. And, of course, how Apple, Microsoft and RIM respond with their next releases.
The full release presentation can be found on YouTube.
Jim Wheatley, Head of Technical & Scoping
Earlier this year Google announced the unsettling news that their self-driving car had been set loose on real roads and cities, clocking up tens of thousands of miles without anyone realising. Combining data gathered from Streetview with artificial intelligence, the cars can navigate and negotiate bustling cities, traffic and pedestrians with ease.
Channel 4′s Brave New World with Stephen Hawking had a great demo of this on Monday night, showing the car navigating a driving course at high speed as well as going out into traffic. Amazing stuff!
The creators’ aim is for all cars to one day be self driving, creating a traffic jam and accident free world, leaving drivers safe to shuffle on their berrys without fear of crashing (the recent outage actually caused a drop in road accidents) – sounds great and it should pee off Jeremy Clarkson, which is always good.
Now if they can just give it a camp English personality, a watch/radio interface and a turbo boost button, I can don my black leather jacket and begin my one man crusade to champion the cause of the innocent.
Tim Downs, Head of PR
You know how loads of bands that were really big in the nineties have all started making comebacks? The Stone Roses (as we mentioned earlier), Steps, Boyzone, etc. Well there was another four piece (alright five piece for the diehards) from that same decade that was bigger than all of these put together, and they are making their own comeback in the most unexpected way.
These renegades aren’t holding press conferences or being feted by the media, they are using digital and social media to spread their message virally. And their message is spreading every day right in front of your very eyes without you even knowing.
All it takes is a simple piece of body modification and it’s like the heroes in half shell never left us. Ladies and gents we give you… Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses. Look around you, they’re everywhere…