It’s that time of the week again… Here’s our pick of some of the digital stories that have grabbed our attention here at Brass Agency, including self-publishing games, Men in Black 3: merging social with film, virtual reality and infographics of the week. Enjoy and comment!
Andrew Brown, Creative Director
On-demand publishers like Lulu are helping to revolutionise the world of book publishing, allowing us mere mortals to publish everything from coffee table photo books to children’s picture books or even our own novels. It’s the magical combination of advances in digital printing technology and access to these services through the internet that makes this possible. But this marriage of manufacturing and home publishing is only in its infancy. With the prices of 3D printing falling faster than the value of Facebook shares there are whole worlds of home manufacturing opening up.
One company taking advantage of this is Game Salute. At a time when casual games companies like Rovio and Zynga are falling over themselves to cash the latest million dollar cheque, Game Salute has got its sights on revolutionising the usually pedestrian world of table top board games. The trick? To use the latest technology, combined with expertise, to provide tools and services that allow businesses, publishers and individuals to realise their own board game creations.
Games Salute is on track to release approximately 500 products in 2012, turning the $2billion industry on its head. Ironically enough some of the best ways its services are being used is in the translation of mobile games into board games. Expect iOS favourites like Rune Raiders to be available with little plastic pieces, dice and fold away board in stores soon!
George Hurrell, Digital Designer
‘Virtual reality’ has been around for many years now and was where I first remember seeing a crazy headset, and not hand held controllers, to play/experience virtual reality. Virtual reality never seemed to catch on but crazy gaming based headwear has continued to prevail in various guises.
Inventors, scientists and developers have been looking at technology surrounding mind control or the ability to control objects, whether it’s a child’s train set or a wheelchair for people with severe disabilities. We’ll there’s a new contender on the block; Mindwave: a mobile brainwave headset for mobile games. So along with your Bluetooth headset you can wear this piece of kit and look uber cool! The headset measures brainwaves from your forehead and changes them into electrical impulses. Apparently the technology does really work and it can detect concentration, meditation and blinks.
I guess I’d have to try it first before I could give it a rating, and at £130 for the headset it certainly isn’t cheap, but what price can you put on thinking you have telekinetic powers… right??
For a full in-depth article click this story’s title.
Simon Marshall, Digital Account Director
Whilst this isn’t a particularly innovative idea in itself, (we’ve all seen Microsoft’s Surface demoed and I’m sure there are loads of doctors who use tablets to store and access information on the go) this ‘digital anatomy table’ caught my eye as it makes great use of a big touch screen user interface and powerful graphics.
It’s basically a life-sized ‘visualisation table’ for the medical community, and probably better for the more squeamish medical student. The form factor offers a more realistic, life-sized experience, something you just can’t get with a tablet or hand-held device. It also lets you see angles and areas of the subject that you wouldn’t normally be able to see using real cadavers.
As I started Googling around this subject I saw a few examples of augmented reality medial learning tools, but nothing-mind blowing (yet). It makes me wonder what other teaching tools could be (or already have been) virtualised for enhanced learning. Next stop… holocadavers!
Jonathan Price, Senior Account Manager
With the latest instalment of Men in Black 3 fast approaching, this story caught my eye.
The last Men in Black film was released some ten years ago, meaning that the producers had to find innovative ways for the franchise to reach out to brand new viewers. One such solution has arisen in the form of a 14-year-old blogger known only as “Bug Eyes126”.
The blogger has built up community of over 100,000 fans, the self-titled ‘MI Believers’, on his Facebook page, by posting blog entries and videos to TheMenInBlackSuitsAreReal.com.
Bug Eyes126’s online activity has culminated in a video showing the MIB knocking at his door delivering him the infamous black suit, plus a cameo in the new film (out this Friday).
As Mashable says, this is one of the first times a marketing campaign has been directly tied into a film like this.
Is everyone else as bored as me of infographics? Everyone’s jumped on the band wagon and there’s been a glut of very poor infographics that don’t actually tell you anything. Endlessly vertical scrolling monstrosities that just take away your will to live.
This week, I saw two infographics that I actually liked:
Periodic Table of SEO Ranking Factors – it’s actually useful!
The Social Media Ecosystem – kinda useful if you find lots of apps that you’re not already using, but it’s purpose is mainly to demonstrate that keeping on top of the fast-paced social media world is tricky sometimes.