Countdown of Awesome
Welcome to the Countdown of Awesome. James Filmer, UM’s chief innovation officer, brings you a lofty and overly-ambitious attempt at a chart that subjectively counts down the most interesting stuff from the last week.
This week’s update includes exciting new technologies in thermal glass tiles and mobile projected keyboards, as well as some innovative new work from KLM and Coca Cola.
Number 5) Coke Chase
In the now tried-and-tested formula, Coca Cola have released their Super Bowl 2013 TVC early on YouTube. But rather than just doing this to maximise views of the ad, they appear to have a greater vested reason. Entitled ‘Mirage’, the ad features 3 groups racing through a desert to get to a giant bottle of Coke. Rather than being a linear TV spot, they want people to get involved by picking their favourite team and sabotaging rivals. In so doing they’ll unlock 15 pre-filmed videos showing teams being held up by traffic lights, photo booths. After the Super Bowl's last whistle, when the votes are tallied, an ad depicting the winning team's successful finish will be shown.
Referred by @DanishChan
Number 4) Temperature-Sensitive Glass
Whilst temperate changing dyes have been used in paper, plastics, textiles, even thermal ink for some time, this new product takes the concept into a completely new area: glass. Inventables reports that Temperate-Sensitive Glass tiles can change based on ambient, body, or even water temperature. The dynamic color change begins at a pre-defined activation temperature and shimmers through three phases, one with each 6–10° rise in temperature. The results can clearly be quite spectacular.
Referred by @y0z2a
Number 3) Tokyo Newspaper: AR Reader App For Kids
Tokyo Shimbun, the Japanese newspaper has released a new augmented reality (AR) app to encourage kids to read the paper. Whilst not being an entirely new concept given the presence of News Alive, Airlink, Genie and Viewa in Australia alone, the angle of demystifying complex stories and making them more child friendly seems very smart. On holding up the app it recognises the story and superimposes a 3D image in-situ with kid-friendly copy.
As Contagious points out, redesigning the product for a younger audience would probably make a lot more sense, but at least they’ve tried to use AR to add value to their target audience’s product experience, rather than just deploying it for technology’s sake as many others examples have perhaps been guilty of.
Number 2) KLM must see maps
KLM have created an interesting site than gathers your friends' social recommendations on travel destinations and appends them to your own travel map. The Must See Map is then printed out and sent to you in the post. It seems a little counterintuitive to use digital media to create a printed map, but given many people still prefer the tactile nature of a printed map could well be a smart idea. Only problem with relying on the offline world is having to wait three weeks for it to arrive in the post.
Referred by @DanishChan
Number 1) Mobile projected keyboard
CTX Technologies appear to have invented the one thing missing from our lives – a mobile projected keyboard. These things have been rumoured for some time, but according to PSFK, they’ve actually managed to put one into production.
Enclosed in a rectangular looking object about the size of a car’s keyless remote, the projector displays a full QWERTY keyboard in front of it, while a sensor tracks a user's finger strokes and relays them through a Bluetooth connection to your phone, tablet or computer. Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to much more information available than this mock-up, but if it does work reliably then it promises to be an amazing invention.
This week’s posts were clumsily written one-handed thanks to week two of a broken collarbone, so apologies for anything completely nonsensical. As ever, if anything screamingly awesome has been missed out, let us know in the comments below. Or feel free to ping any recommendations for next week to @jamescfilmer.
Chief Innovation Officer
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