Tag Archives: augmented reality

Digital in the real world or the internet of things, Augmented Reality, RFID and Mobile

27 Jul

I’ve been doing a series of Augmented Reality meets RFID meets mobile workshops and seminars recently and thought I’d share the slides.

The good thing about this type of work and technology is that it slowly gets us away from the idea of “digital” being a distinct or separate medium. I think the problem is that once again we have allowed a useful encapsulation term – digital, social media, networking, UGC or earned media etc. – that we can use to explain a philosophy to clients to hijack the agenda. We labelled ourselves in the early days as a way of selling our services but the legacy is that we have encouraged people to think of it as a channel.

The new technologies are almost unrecognisable to the old 800×600 microsites that were a product of those cool, first generation “digital new media agencies”. Just like no-one thinks we are operating in a world of “new media” any more, we should stop thinking we are operating in a channel/sector called digital or social media.

It is just the reality of experience and marketing. It is what real people are doing now.

Augmented reality future of mobile search and other AR applications

15 Jun


Back in summer 2008 I wrote a whitepaper for some of our clients about Cloud and Crowd based creativity and the need to break digital out into the real world away from screens and desks. Back then I included an image by the excellent Petit Invention as a concept vision for the future of mobile search.

Technology moves quickly and a couple of months later there was already a working prototype in the form of Wikitude AR Travel Guide. Using the Android OS on the G1 phone…

“users may hold the phone’s camera against a spectacular mountain range and see the names and heights displayed as overlay mapped with the mountains in the camera. Users may look out of an airplane window to see what is down there. Users may walk through a city like Seville, Spain, holding the phone’s camera against a building and Wikitude tells what it is.”

The application shows that augmented reality can go beyond the initial wow factor (and the peering around the back of an A4 print-out pointed at your webcam while trying to see something on your screen) and the Second Life comparisons.


IBM’s Seer Android Beta produced to support it sponsorship of the Wimbledon tennis tournament also shows a commercial application going beyond “marketing fluff”. Using it, visitors can find facilities on ground (locating the nearest restrooms), but more impressively, they can “point the phone at a tennis court, find out the court number and also who’s playing and more crucially, who’s winning”.

Once AR comes to the iPhone properly in an easily accessible form then I think we’ll see a whole new level of usage. The 3G S’s compass combined with Google Latitude and Wikipedia overlays would definitely add up to a powerful and socially changing experience.

Priority Mail’s AR Box Simulator also points at a future for an entertaining application usage but in the meantime here is a collection of 10 augmented reality campaigns that are much more in the fun and novelty area.

It was bound to happen eventually…a holodeck?

16 Apr

caveSc-Fi has inspired some great technology in the past and now the people at EON Reality have trumped some of the augmented reality experiments out there with their iCube. Their other experiments are great inspiration for those of us on a “screens are boring” kick on a grey Thursday afternoon… 

I can’t wait for my jet pack.

Orange Drum Machine is Eyeblaster Campaign of the Month (No. 2!)

9 Mar


Orange Drum Machine

Orange Drum Machine

I’m pleased to say that our recent Drum Machine campaign for Orange has won us our second Eyeblaster Campaign of the month.

The challenge was to bring engagement and playfulness to direct response digital advertising making it more entertaining and memorable. The Orange Drum Machine campaign was based on the insight that Orange is offering a fantastic package for digital music fans. What can you do while waiting for your new Sony Ericsson W595 with free speakers AND a free USB drum kit to arrive?  Why not start practicing your drumming?

The creative, which targeted consumers on music and games related sites, challenged people to play an in-advertising drumming game and – because the Wii has transformed gaming from simply pushing ever-increasing numbers of buttons – we even offered people the chance to play using their webcam. The result is less a piece of advertising, more an engaging, entertaining application people get to star in. So get waving those arms.

Congratulations to Jim & Jacob for nursing the creative idea through to fruition, Matt and Andre for their great flash work (and Andre’s great demo that got me thinking) and Shirin, Amy, Priya and the Orange team for their production and trafficking skills. And some CD/Planner/whatever who had an idea was spotted nattering on the Eyeblaster Blog again about “Less advertising, more entertaining applications“.

Oh, and if you didn’t see our previous winner Emirates Miles Better it is here…

7. Augmented reality/digital magic (2009 Trends)

20 Feb
Lego's Augmented Reality Point of Sale un its 

Lego's Augmented Reality Point of Sale units

Augmented Reality – the manifesting of virtual 3d objects into the real world via cameras or projectors – is probably one of the biggest buzzwords among digital creatives at the moment with the examples of Boffswana and GE’s Smart Grid site definitely inspiring the imagination and offering up a new tool with which to play.

However, if Augmented Reality is going to be more than “the next PaperVision” and liberally applied in inappropriate places then it is worth considering as one element in an overall movement – the move away from screens.


Big Shadow campaign in Tokyo

As Russell Davies as pointed out – screens are boring. People are used to screens and digital creative is definitely not “new media” anymore. It has to compete with the production values and impact of film and PS3 graphics. Creating a great website these days is the norm, it is the raised bar we need to all sail over. But when we land on the other side we can often face audience indifference. It is still a site on a screen – be it desktop or mobile – it is still in an expected context.

Digital experiential, or real world digital, or digital installations, or whatever you want to call it, is a great leap forward in our approach to brand experiences. Whether it involves playing Snake on the side of a building, a virtual skateboarder in the streets or giant shadows in Tokyo, interactive experiences in a shared, real world context offer the potential for digital creative to equal and surpass the “watercooler effect” and shared experience of TV.

  • Changing from Graphical User Interface to Tangible User Interface transformed gaming and opened up a new, inclusive audience. New ways of interacting means new people interacting. Even 3D gaming now offers a more solid and imersive experience.
  • We can break out from behind the screens to create shared experiences in unexpected places. It has the watercooler effect that mass TV once had.
  • Live experiences have immediacy and a sense of unrestricted/unfiltered connection and control, they don’t feel as fake or manipulated as traditional marketing. Even in the case of the Saturn installation at Wired NextFest in 2006, a product demo – what would normally be a carbooth at a trade show – becomes an immediate and imaginative experience.
  • As Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” – we need to bring back the wonder of the early days (70/80s) where things felt new, not old and jaded.
  • McLeod Mirror by Barbarian Group

    McLeod Mirror by Barbarian Group

    Digital experiential work embodies what is best about interactive creative – its ability to bridge the gap between engagement, entertainment, demonstration and learning, its need to create new experiences and ways of doing things, its ability to draw together skillsets from art and product design to create objects of value and beauty that can be fun like the McLeod mirror.

  • We need to offer a shared, perception changing experience; offer an experience that people can participate in, use and break out into the real world.

Update – Seminar and workshop on Augmented Reality, RFID and Mobile

Back to…2009 Interactive Trends

2009 Interactive Creative Trends

17 Feb

Predicting trends can be notorious woolgathering for creative and strategy folk, often coming across as a mix of someone guessing the end of a detective thriller while taking a peak at page 400 in a choose your own adventure novel. But when you’re confronted with the annual “What’s next?” question it is a chance to alchemise some of the gold you’ve been thinking about into the base metal of Keynote slides.

Over the last month I’ve been sharing some thoughts about Interactive Creative – plus things we’ve been playing with and developing, as well as great stuff other people are up to – with our clients and other colleagues in the industry, and its been good to get some insight into what they think is going on.

Obviously the forthcoming “Second Great Depression” and the potential of +3million unemployed people is the elephant in the room.  Interactive can’t live in isolation and 2009/2010 is going to be extremely challenging; every day sees more pessimistic news that tends to render any predication optimistic.

Despite this there is the potential for great work to break through and enter popular culture/social currency – to effect real change. As the economic pressures increase and budgets get tighter, then the old faithful building-block plans of tired techniques can no longer be justified as effective. It becomes more vital that we create work that is not another microsite contribution to the marketing web.

The new work does require a confidence and realisation of how the web really works, and it is this work that I’ve been calling Brand Reality Creative. It is the work that will hopefully be the norm when we emerge back to growth in 2011/12.

But before I post again about Brand Reality Creative I thought I’d share some of my notes/slides about 2009 Interactive Creative Trends. Like I said, Interactive can’t live in isolation so I’ll start with some of the things from the “real” world…

  • Consumers trading down
    • But using brands & technology to provide access to the things and habits we traded up to during the age of excess. GDP down 3% and consumer spending down 2.6% as employees are “much more cautious” – stats and understatement from Ernst & Young Item Club
  • Cheap is in (not frowned upon)
    • Loyalty is not abandoned but based on rewards and value exchange rather than brand image
  • Home as sanctuary
    • Home entertainment, nostalgia and trust, “staycations” (a dreadful word that hints at local breaks rather than expensive trips), back to basics and security
  • Room/need for playfulness
    • As a relief but not excessive due to “the guilt & hangover”
  • Firmware/software updates
    • Not expensive hardware upgrades which can be put off but cheaper and more fun
  • Technology a source of escape
    • Fun and interactivity embraced by marketing as the added value rather than expensive extra features/materials. Playfulness means being hands on and having control…
  • People want to retrench & be in control
    • They see the trouble we are in as being caused by “other elites”, the bankers, politicians, and hedge-fundes they do not understand

In light of these wider world trends here are the 7 Philosophies/trends/technologies (and some examples of how they are already happening) that I think seem to offer the most hope and potential…

Seven Interactive Creative Trends for 2009

  1. Clouds and Crowds
  2. Further Convergence
  3. Play is social in the mainstream
  4. Sitting back with broaderband
  5. The semantic web & social periphery
  6. On is off/Off is on
  7. Augmented Reality/Digital Magic

The detail follows over the next day (and I promise I’ll fill in all the example links and pictures this time…soon)

Next… 1 Clouds and Crowds