CES – Thinking about Maker Culture

Had the good luck to go to CES this year.  Like two years ago it is a big, big show, but I think I like it more after this trip.  Not so much for the booths–although walking the floor with a good friend in from the London private equity scene was fun–it is more the clients and WPP teams that are there.

You can’t compete with LG or the new Chinese brands like LeEco, but you can have some really productive conversations and everyone is primed up thinking about technology and innovation!

Here is my post on the Mirum Blog.

Electronics at CES 2017? More like maker culture, actually.

Our CMO John Baker covered a lot of ground at the tech world’s biggest event last week, and shares how innovative brands are the brands diving into maker culture.

Last week, over 175,000 people made the post-holiday pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Show. With the large number of marketers in attendance exploring what smart products and gadgets will mean for brands, it’s been a while since CES has been an electronics manufacturer’s show — although there were lots of Chinese component manufacturers at CES and big booths for the major consumer electronics brands.

More interesting for us at Mirum are the new exhibitors, like the government-backed start-upspitching pre-Kickstarter prototypes, and the maker brands that support them like Indiegogoand Techstars.


Amazing Robotics

Looking for something to make you next big event or product launch memorable?  Don’t hire jugglers or Elvis impersonators, hire this guy.
Amazing use of robotics as body enhancement prosthetics or near reality demonstrations.  Or leave the works exposed and get amazement for the Di Vinci-like coolness of the machinery.
Great for a big event — or if you’re making an ad or a movie of course.

John Nolan Robot

John Nolan Robotics


New tablet interface for Wired

A few months ago I posted and circulated some work out of Sweden (Bonnier) and the UK (BERG) that was presented as a prototype for the next generation of magazines. 

Then everyone went tablet crazy at CES, the iPad launched and now Wired has released their new format. 

What is not surprising is that it is picking up a lot of the same design metaphores.  It isn't surprising because they make sense. 

My question is why is this limited to tablet devices?  We can replicate this on the web and it would be a big step forward for magazine content.  Especially when you consdier multi-touch track pads replacing mice as the primary pointing device.


Amazing Tech – Google Earth + Streetview + LED Screens

Some of the guys at work recently sent around this youtube video of the Google Liquid Galaxy. 

It is a 20% project by Jason Holt, a Google engineer who took 8 LCD screens, added voice recognition and created a global observatory meets planetarium thing and presented it at TED.

If you think about putting one of these in schools and adding the ability to "zoom in" on webcams running in international cities, you have a real means of making geography more than fun, provide a better approach to teaching architecture, and to really connect people.  Could really breaking down the stereotypes and prejudices that build up when people have never traveled. 

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad (1869)

Ever the techno-optimist, this is an easy one!

Google Liquid Galaxy live demo at TED


Tablet Technology – Apple to launch Eye Tracking?

Is this a great piece of technology that really could change the game — if it can be made practical?  Or as CES closes and everyone waits for Apples big release, are the rumours just building to get us all engaged.

Recombu does a nice piece of analysis on why it is possible.  And even why it would be a very Apple thing to do.

Apple has historically adapted niche input methods and popularised them for a mainstream audience. It did it with the computer mouse in 1984, and then again with the touchscreen in 2007. Both technologies had languished in esoteric devices, or in the case of the mouse, in the labs of Xerox Parc. To imagine today’s PC without a mouse is unthinkable. The inclusion of eye-tracking tech in the company’s forthcoming tablet would be Job’s magnum opus. What better flourish to a career that began with the popularisation of windows, icons, mouse and pointer than to usurp them all?

And there is a bit of substance in the a patent application in place and reported purchase of eye tracking units from Swedish technology company Tobii.
Overall to me I’d be surprised if the iSlate launches with real eye tracking.  I’m still waiting for decent voice recognition before I buy into an electroencephalographic headset to finish my powerpoint presentation.

Interesting Eye Tracking Links:

http://www.simpleusability.com/services/usability/eye-tracking/demo – interesting video of eye tracking controlling a mouse
http://www.uie.com/brainsparks/2006/06/13/eyetracking-worth-the-expense/ – some of the learning of eye tracking research / heat mapping on website usage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw&feature=player_embedded – classic video of headtracking’s impact on the Wii experience

Richard Jenkins + Donkey

Will it get indexed?

Yes – Google never ceases to amaze.  20 minutes after creation … 2nd after Digg in organic search.

Will it get traffic?

Yes – 19 views faster then anything else on this blog in … 20 minutes.

Will it get people engaged?

Nope – doubtfully here.  First movers win and this NYU Lawyer blogger was up first.  Put up when it showed in the US and number 2 on Google (still a day later, until I put up mine, apologies) and 22 comments and counting.  Including mine which proves I didn’t come up with the idea. And others after which proves the idea isn’t dead.  Amazing.

What am I talking about?

Jon Stewart talked about googling “Richard Jenkins + Donkey” on his show this evening.  And of course I did.  As did others.  But then again I live in the UK so I was a day late.   And I DVR’d it so I was 10 minutes behind the UK live broadcast.  But when I saw the lawyer’s blog I couldn’t resist the test.  And it is still fun.

What does it prove?

Nothing drives traffic like good tv.

And sorry I couldn’t come up with a more rewarding set of images.

Check out Six Feet Under – great show if you haven’t seen it.