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 inspiration includes AR supermarkets from China, the controversial ad-skipping Hopper DVR and the Golden-I technology that helps firefighters see through the smoke.
Number 5) Yihaodian plans 1000 AR supermarkets
In number five this week is an interesting concept from Yihaodian in China. The country’s biggest grocery e-commerce site has announced plans to launch 1,000 ‘virtual supermarkets’ at locations across the country. Each will contain 1,200 square metres of virtual floor space and stock 1,000 virtual items. Sounds like a smart initiative to try to recreate the physical nature of wondering around a store which may just miss within an online store. Would you want to stand a street corner thumbing through virtual shelves though?
Via Tech in Asia
Number 4) Moveline
Reported on Springwise this week, Moveline is a removal service based out of New York City that enables people to do take a video recording of their flat, or use Apple’s Facetime platform to show all the stuff they needed transported. The company then pings back a complete inventory and finds the best quote from its roster of removal men. Sounds pretty nifty.
Number 3) Ibitz
Ibitz is a clever gadget to incentivise today’s sofa-bound kids to get off their lethargic behinds by locking their smart phones, game console, TV etc. until they’ve met certain activity thresholds set by their parents. The cunning positive spin is that Ibitz is actually a tamagotchi style character that motivates kids to be more active by encouraging walking, running and playing to keep it alive.
As PSFK say, it does sound somewhat link an ‘electronic ankle bracelet’, but given the predictions are as shocking as a third of kids being obese by 2025 if current trends continue (Modi) we definitely need to look at innovative ways to arrest this trend.
Number 2) Hopper the disqualified CES winner
Hopper, with Slingbox built into the unit, was the CES’s darling gadget, winning praise left, right and centre. It’s a HD DVR that lets you automatically skip ad breaks in prime time TV. Unfortunately, after becoming a finalist for its ‘Best of CES’ award, CNET was forced to disqualify it after its parent company CBS waded in. They weren’t too happy that a company they were in the process of suing for its ad-skipping technology should be picking up an award from its own publication.
Whilst the consequences for CNET have been pretty disastrous all the resulting furor shouldn’t overlook the fact that Dish have created a very smart piece of technology. As Gary Shipiro, President & CEO of CES points out, litigation to prevent innovation is a tried and tested recipe for failure. Whether or not the Supreme Court also side with innovation, as it did with Sony America vs. Universal Studios in 1984, other pretenders will inevitably come along with similar technologies so the broadcasters need to wake up to new revenue models rather than just resorting to the courts.
Referred by @y0z2a
Number 1) Verizon’s Golden-I firefighting headset
In number one spot for this week is a great piece of Google Glasses style innovation from Verizon that enables firefighters to see beyond the smoke. The device contains a camera, GPS, micro-display, speech recognition and gesture control to develop heat profiles that fire fighters can use to locate survivors or distressed team members faster while staying better connected to their support staff.
The video is perhaps a little too self-aggrandising, but shouldn’t detract from a very smart piece of innovation.
That’s it for this week. 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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