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At Mercedes augmented-reality lets gestures communicate

Some weeks ago, we have discussed the opportunity for car manufacturers with in-car internet access that KPMG sees as the “norm” in the near future. If this is to come true, then concepts like the Mercedes’ Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience (DICE) is not far of, and the car windshield might get potentially more impact in terms of delivering essential contextual driving information.

The system was shown at CES for the first time and seems not to be too far away bearing in mind that we have seen smart windows from Samsung that become TV screens. Wether this is fiction or reaality soon, I definitely like the idea and the vision that Mercedes has…

The car manufacturer envisions complete new data transfer through windshields like seeing who is driving in front of you or getting relevant traffic data or restaurant tips. What sounds promising, might also become a challenge for the driver who needs to avoid being distracted by all that data. The Mercedes concept touches all new technology options that we know from smartphones and tablets in favor of gesture-based controls that communicate information while driving.

“With the DICE sculpture Mercedes-Benz provides a visionary perspective on how the vehicle becomes an intelligent mobility partner in the future. For this Mercedes-Benz uses a combination of Augmented Reality and natural gesture control to realize a completely new form of communication between people and their environment.”

Well, just have a look and decide if you like it or not..

Samsung unveils the new of the old future generation of TV

We have seen films in which James Bond (or his “friends”) stands in front of tranparent TV screens, planning to save or change the world. We have seen Minority Report where Tom Cruise catches whoever and whatever in an impossible mission which becomes mission possible before it even happens. And we have seen visions of future screens here and here.

These were films. Are we living in this cinema world soon…?

Well, this “Smart Window” technology Samsung which is being promoted at CES 2012 is somehow groundbreaking and breathtaking. Lovely Ashley Esqueda is definitely real and checks out the new Samsung technology at their booth with a little demo of the window.

Would you want that “Smart window” in your living room where you can switch from looking out at the blue sky and watching Roger Moore or Samantha Morton at the beach? Or would you just be happy to have one more free wall without a black screen? I would.

PS: And if this is going to be the future, then I doubt the Accenture study forecast that states consumers will buy fewer TVs. How about you…?

Big Tech Players New Year's Resolution 2012

What are the plans of the big tech players for 2012? Nitrozac and Snaggy have some great thoughts and ideas, well at least they suggested that this could be their visions, or let’s say their resolutions, or what ever you want to call it. Maybe you want to add something…?

The near future of Augmented Reality (AR) and QR codes

Augmented reality (AR) has a glorious future according to a new market research published by MarketsandMarkets. It will be interesting to see which role QR codes play in that future as more and more technologies arise.

The new market research report “Global Augmented Reality (AR) Market Forecast by Product (HMD, HUD, Tablet PC, Smartphone) for Gaming, Automotive, Medical, Advertisement, Defense, E-Learning & GPS Applications (2011-2016)” states that the total Augmented Reality applications market will be growing by over 95% from 2011 to 2016. The research sees it reaching a market volume of $5151,74 million.

According to Comscore research almost 10% of all smartphone users have scanned QR codes in June this year. The interesting fact is that most users scan their QR codes from home (57,4%). In public only 20% use those QR scan options from outdoor advertising or in public transport.

Although screen technology (smartphone, tablet and eye-wear) is still in its infancy concerning AR, and also facing some challenges, the Universities of Washington and the MIT see a better future on the experience horizont. Especially, the head up and head mounted displays have become mature, finds the study. Leading and growing in use are online apps, gaming apps and GPS apps. So far, campaigns like the following by MIRAT Paris work on the basis of QR coding…

But what kind of Augmented Reality technologies are rocking the transformation from the physical to the virtual world, or shall we say to the mobile world?

Some months ago, we only had browser technology like Layar and Wikitude. Today, companies like Tesco are experimenting with other capabilities in their retail shops. For a long time, we had to use QR codes or trigger points to initiate some activity with AR technology.

Layar’s latest innovation called “Vision” is another reason why QR codes are becoming uncool. Vision is a tool that lets advertisers and content owners integrate Augmented Reality ads in publications. As an example you may watch the Dutch magazine Linda how the technology works…

Some other technology innovations are also evolving that might catalyze the technology shift in the AR sphere. Here are three of them…

Aurasma
The Aurasma technology -unlike the GPS based technologies Layar (until the Vision version) and Wikitude that merely recognizes what someone has tagged as locations or places- is a new generation augmented reality browser. Aurasma recognises images through cameras in a way search engines recognise words. The browser then creates so-called 2D or 3D „Auras“ which show animated audio-video content. Just watch some examples of Aurasma campaigns.

blippAR
With blippAR the whole advertisment becomes the response tool. It is enough to simply point in the direction of the ad with the app. Still, the awareness challenge needs to be solved. And, the need for a specific browser to use the technology. See some examples of blippAR usage. At the moment you can even participate in the interactive blippAR campaign “escape the map” by Mercedes Benz.

Printechnologics
Printechnologics is based on Touchcode carrier technology. It contains a blind or transparent code which is embedded via invisible data storage development inside print products like carton, foil or simply paper. Printechnologics turns the AR identification around as you lay the paper on top of the tablet or smartphone, and not the other way round. And you don’t even need to modify your device, download a browser, use NFC (near field communication), or a camera for it to identify and initiate the online activity form the offline trigger. The last issue from the ICONIST carried a Printechnologics card and here you can see how it connect the two worlds….

Spot On!
In some months, the QR codes might be gone as an AR trigger, and thus leave the advertising world. However, all AR technologies have one weakness: You need to know that these technologies are embedded in any forms of campaigns. You need some trigger point, button, picture, image or QR code that people see. Thus, the main challenge for QR codes and Augmented Reality is to build awareness and understanding what it can do. Nobody is using a browser or a camera if there is no “visual” reason for virtual interactivity. I see TV using any of the forms as an extension for their TV shows in order to promote their digital content and advertising opportunities, just like the print industry did in the past. One thing is for sure: Augmented Reality will definitely become a new playground that connects the TV and online markets in the future…

What’s your view on Augmented Reality and QR codes? Let us know…

Productivity squared? Future productivity vision 2011 (video)

Many of us web techies have seen the 2009 version of Microsoft’s productivity vision. In their video, Microsoft offered an outlook on how technology could “transform the way we get things done at school, at work, and in the home over the next 5 to 10 years”. Some things have become real in their vision…

Many companies fear that productivity might get lost with the advent of Millenials working in companies in the future. And one things is for sure, screens will change our productivity and our daily working habits in the future.

Also, in their latest version 2011 we can find visions that seem to be not too far away from us, not even visions any more. The video gives still some interesting aspects to think about on how future technology could make our time more efficient to focus our attention on productivity. Now, whether this really strenghtens our relationships when we do different things at the same time, needs to be seen.

Watch it and tell us if this is how you would like to see your productivity squared, and if this is to become real in your future…?!

Prime Time in TV and Mobile Apps is similar

The prime time for TV broadcasters is 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., for radio it is all about commute time, and for the web it is completely different. While news sites have their peak in the morning and midday, the internet at 7 pm. Social Media sites have their main usage time in the evening like TV. And how about mobile web usage? Is it following TV’s prime time?

A study by Flurry shows the audience for iPhone and iOS apps increases during the day and finds it’s peak at about 9 p.m. “Mobile consumers are using apps either instead of, or along-side prime-time television and the Internet,” tells us a Flurry blog post on the study. Well, it is a US usage study but I can imagine that many people in the rest of the world also change their habits and use mobile devices while watching TV. The two-screen viewing seems to become common standard.

Nevertheless, the relative size of the TV audience during prime time was larger than that for mobile apps with over 60%. And when app usage remained higher than TV from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and higher than the Internet, it suggests that people spend quite some time accessing the Web during their working hours. Still, mobile apps already reach over 20 million U.S. consumers per hour in the time between 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The numbers come as no surprise, seeing that Flurry estimates the combined number of active iOS and Android devices in the U.S. at 110 million. If produced properly and promoted correct, apps could act like TV shows in the future. Although it will be difficult to target apps through app stores by age, gender, dayparts like TV, the future could look different and these targeting opportunities might evolve over time.

Spot On!
The question is what the future of app usage will look like (think about HTML 5 and some other reasons) and how this will affect the advertising industry. At the moment, many companies focus their main interest on apps but mainly to push their brands, and not often to create something extraordinary that really competes with TV. Although, there s a massive opportunity to reach mobile consumers overtime, everywhere, companies are not very innovative in establishing TV like series that could affect the TV world – neither in Social Media, nor in Mobile. If this remains as it is, TV will not have to fear the Prime Time power of mobile.

Hyperspecialization – The future of work 3.0?

All people engaging in the Social Web are eager to pull, push and share all kinds of specializing topics in different areas of thoughts, interests and visions. In some way these people define a new development where the work of generalists is being cut into workload of networks of narrow experts or specialists. At least, Tom Malone, professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and author of the Harvard Business Review article “The Age of Hyperspecialization,” sees this trend and explains in an HBR video why breaking jobs into tiny pieces yields better, faster, and cheaper work.

Malone sees the key “trend” behind this movement in “cheap communication technology” brought to us all over the world – more or less instantly and costlessly. Having said that, Malone’s illustration of scambled eggs being made ready to eat via the locations, Boston, China, Moscow, Paris and Singapore shows the limitation in the theory. For “brain workers”, it definitely makes sense and is a valid and applicable theory. Managers need to figure out how to break up traditional single job descriptions into pieces of hyperspecialist work and maybe rearrange their business processes if they want to make use of hyperspecialization.

What I definitely see is greater flexibility for employees in this movement. The development offers also some massive opportunity for freelancers being integrated into different projects. Thus, I would ask, whether the work of employees, sitting in office, could not easily be outsourced to even more specialized freelancers. Or if it will be more difficult to coordinate these specialists? Or would this be the work of a hyperspecialist again?

Is this really a new trend? Is this the normal evolution of worklife and business? Is this another step towards workplace 3.0, the mobile workplace? How do you see that…?

News Update – Best of the Day

The vision of Big Brother is still one that separates the generations. Some are scared, some don’t even see that they are engaged to make things happen. But what happens if Augmented Reality becomes Augmented Humanity and merges the world of tomorrow with Visual Search? What a new form of sensual contextuality and the internet of things means to us, explains Tracy Falke.

Have you ever thought of the Initiative Generation? Not Gen X, Gen Y, Gen… whatever. Just simplified with the thought of change, and what creates leadership and how much initiative constitutes leadership? Ed Brenegar takes the initiative to inject our minds with a new generation that leaders just need to see and rate…

After nine years of absence the new Golf convertible is about to launch this year. The launch campaign is based on Augmented Reality and QR codes…

News Update – Best of the Day

Although the mobile hype is massive, there are studies that question the power of smartphone mobile advertising and it’s efficiency. A new research from YouGov shows consumers accept placements as part of their day-to-day mobile experience but consider them intrusive (79%) and tend to ignore them altogether. Only 5% think mobile ads are a good idea and welcome them. However, the general apathy smartphone users have toward seems to equal ignorance: 88% ignore ads on applications and 86% have ignored placements on the mobile internet.

The security company Imperva released a study that states “web applications, on average, experience twenty seven attacks per hour, or roughly one attack every two minutes.” Imperva monitored 10 million attacks between December of last year and May of this year “targeting 30 different enterprise and government web applications.” Of the 27 attacks per hour most of them are trying to identify vulnerabilities on websites. If a vulnerability is found, attacks can increase to 25,000 per hour which would be seven attacks per second.

What is the future of Twitter? During a keynote interview at Fortune BrainstormTech in Aspen, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo gave insights in his vision of the company’s business model.

PS: Just in case you ask why Twitter is cool, Steven Winterburn has got the answer: “”Twitter is like a fridge. If you’re bored you keep opening & closing it every few minutes to see if there’s anything good in it.”

Study: More companies succeed in recruiting via social networks

Social Media is becoming the new talent aquisition tool for companies. A recent study by Jobvite states that almost 90% of companies are planning to use social networks to find job candidates. This is an increase of 7% to last year. Two thirds of employers said they had successfully filled a job position via social networking.

The study that polled 800 human resource staffers and headhunters in the U.S also illustrates the importance of personal branding which I proclaim for years now – also with the vision of a personal scoring index. Job seekers should understand the importance of having an active profile on sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. However, this is essential and career benefitial, the study also warns that what you say and do on those sites has an impact on your career.

Running the survey in their fifth year, Jobvite is seeing a steady increase by employers in the use of social media.

“Employee referrals are the highest quality hires. (…) They last the longest, have the best match with expectations, and churn the least.” Dan Finnigan, CEO, Jobvite

According to Jobvite’s own client data, 70% of companies examine candidates’ social media profiles after getting a referral. Which means you never know who is checking your latest party pictures and how much you ruin your reputation by updating embarrassing information

“Don’t post any picture, say any words or take any actions that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see,” advises Finnigan.

Some interesting finding shows that Facebook is not the main place to look for job candidates. However, LinkedIn went up from 78.3% to 86.6% (inclusive of all possible usage like search, job postings, etc.).

Having said that, Jobvite also asked their own customers how many actually hired staff using social referrals from various social networking sites. 43% of referrals that resulted in hires came from Facebook versus 41% from LinkedIn and 16% from Twitter.

Spot On!
For the Social Society in which we are living social engagement become an asset bonus but also a challenge for job seekers. Today, it is still difficult to understand for many recruiters why you have a personal brand. In the future, this will change and show your affinity to a topic, to brands and to modern business tactics. People might be addressed or recruited by younger hiring managers who are more tolerant of social media failures or side steps but the more senior a position gets, the pickier recruitment managers are getting.

How do you see the future of personal branding and how recruiters are checking your capabilities via social networks?