Prosthetic Reality: An Augmented Reality Art Book

Artist and comic creator Sutu, aka Stu Campbell hopes to change the way we interact with the world using the latest in Augmented Reality technology. His new project ‘Prosthetic Reality‘, an art book when paired with the EyeJack app brings each visual to vivid life with animation, colour and sound.

The book features 45 artists from around the world and aims to create a deeper level of artistic expression with extraordinary results. This AR technology can also be used in an exhibition setting, paving the way for art galleries in the future.

Immerse yourself into the world of ‘Prosthetic Reality’:

Sources: EyeJack, Cnet,

Instagram Stories | A Feature To Rival Snapchat

Instagram has boldly taken a leaf out of Snapchat’s book by launching a new Stories feature which allows users to upload photo/video content with a 24-hour lifespan.

Dubbed as “Snapchat for adults“, Instagramers can now share multiple moments in the form of a personalised story. Instagram has always prided itself on being a highly-curated platform dominated by design-led, stylised imagery. With this new feature, users can now continue to update their followers in a more reactive way without the worry of producing perfectly filtered content that has a shelf life.

At the top of your news feed, you should now be able to see featured stories from the people you follow. A colourful ring appears around a user’s profile photo when they’ve posted a story. Simply, tap to view. You can replay these 10-second stories as many times as you like within the 24-hour window and can react to the content via direct message. Stories can be shared privately with a friend or publicly to your followers.

It all sounds very familiar doesn’t it? When confronted about the feature being a blatant rip-off of Snapchat Stories, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom responded to Techcrunch “They deserve all the credit,” but insisted “This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.”

Facebook acquired Instagram back in 2012 for $1 billion, and attempted to buy Snapchat for $3 billion in 2013; an offer which was rejected by Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel. It appears they’ve found a way around this bump in the road with Instagram Stories; combining two app features into one! Instagram has great appeal for marketers as it boasts a much broader reach than Snapchat with 300 million daily users and access to all demographics. The app has also been developed into a brand-friendly interface with the recent rollout of business profiles and the introduction of sponsored ad campaigns and analytics. Brands can now continue to nurture the mature audience that they’ve grown on the platform and engage with them in a more visually candid and memorable way.

It will be interesting to see how this new format plays out and how brands will integrate ephemeral marketing into their social media strategy. Digital storytelling continues to evolve and there has been an evident shift in the demand for real-time content consumption and behind-the-scenes snapshots. Today’s audiences identify most with authentic brand communication and relatable, user-generated content. Instagram Stories now provides a golden opportunity for brands to leverage digital influencers to create a more personal and trustworthy feel to their content.

what3words pinpoint your location?

A new app called what3words has divided the world into 57 trillion 3m by 3m squares and labelled each location with a random three word address.

How many times have you lost sight of your mates at a music festival and can’t communicate your exact location? Or had to painstakingly direct the postman to your unmarked address?

British start-up what3words have come to the rescue and have made finding precise locations much more memorable. The company claim the system is far more accurate than an address street name, house number or postcode and let’s face it none of us can easily recall lat/long coordinates!

what3words was co-founded by Chris Sheldrick who previously ran a business organising and managing large scale music events around the globe. “This whole idea came from me giving an address, let’s say of a site entrance at a festival or event venue, to a load of musicians and suppliers and seeing the carnage that ensued when people put that into whatever their mapping app or sat nav was,” says Sheldrick. “They used to show up at all sorts of places – none of which were correct.”

FullSizeRenderHaving downloaded the app, we can now navigate you to our head office in Byron Bay with the 3 words, hikers.hangouts.televise. All we have to do is simply share our pin location and other users can gain detailed directions to our premises.

According to the site, a staggering 75% of the world (135 countries) suffers from inconsistent, complicated or inadequate addressing systems. This means that 4 billion people are currently off-grid. Mongolia will become the first country to adopt this new postal system which is set to dramatically improve their efficiency in terms of tourism, deliveries and e-commerce.

Many individuals and businesses are now using the platform and this will only become more widespread in line with increased investment in the company. This year, Glastonbury Festival which has a whopping capacity of 135,000 successfully implemented what3words for equipment drop-off, first aid and helping festival-goers find their tents.

The site is currently serving 9 languages worldwide with imminent plans to expand into the wider Asian market. The potential of this groundbreaking technology is mind-blowing and is quickly on its way to making the world more accessible than ever before.

watch.this.space.

Source – what3words, Collective Hub, The Guardian

Pokémon GO craze lands in Australia

The launch of the widely anticipated Pokémon GO app has taken Australia by storm. Aussie gamers are obsessing over the new AR (Augmented Reality) experience which opens up a universe of Pokémon to find, catch, trade, and battle on your mobile device. Pokémon GO tracks your GPS information to allow players to challenge Pokémon in real-life locations such as your own neighbourhood. The characters are animated right into your surroundings using your phone’s camera bringing this immersive gaming experience to the next level.

Pokéfans are now taking to the streets all over the country in an attempt to capture these virtual monsters and compete with other users in genuine scenarios. The highly addictive game has been downloaded over 100,000 times by Australians since its release.

 

Pokémania outside the Sydney Opera House  Photo: Peter Rae

Pokémania outside the Sydney Opera House
Photo: Peter Rae

What makes this gaming phenomenon stand-out is the fact that it promotes real-world discovery and interaction with a community outside of the house.

Yesterday, over 1,000 budding Pokémon trainers gathered for a #pokéGOwalk event at Sydney Opera House in an epic bid to ‘Catch Em’ All’. Content Manager of Oz-Comic Con and one of the organisers of the Pokémon Go Walk, Guy ‘Yug’ Blomberg commented that “Although players had their heads down in their smartphones, it was still something of a social experience. Wherever rare Pokémon appeared, people would call out and crowds would gather. The abundance of lures, which attract the creatures, meant there were plenty to choose from.”

To complement the mobile app, Nintendo are launching a wrist-worn wearable called Pokémon GO Plus. This device will assist to preventing users from wandering into traffic when hunting a nearby Charizard.

It’s safe to say, the use of our smartphone’s location services are becoming more and more sophisticated in terms of gathering information and creating personalised user experiences. It looks like there are interesting times ahead in the tech world and we’re fascinated to see where these innovations lead to next. We will be watching this space to identify future opportunities for brands to integrate these technologies with how they target and communicate with their audience.

Sources – Mashable, Sydney Morning Herald

 

 

The Rufus Cuff

It’s not a smartwatch. It’s a wrist communicator!

The Rufus Cuff - Wrist Communicator

Love the idea of a smartwatch but feel kind of silly speaking into your wrist? Don’t want to give up your exceptional texting skills just yet? Well the folks at Rufus Labs have been hard at it over the last year to give you more than just a smartwatch. Introducing the Rufus Cuff. It’s not a smartwatch. It’s a wrist communicator. It looks like something straight off the set of Star Trek, and we think that’s awesome. So lets give you all the run down. The Rufus Cuff connects to your iPhone or Android phone via bluetooth giving you complete hands free calling. If you happen to leave you smartphone behind, the cuff will alert you so you don’t forget it. The Tech list:

  • Works with iPhone or Android
  • Receives voice calls & video calls
  • Can access Siri and Google Now
  • Tracks your miles, calories and steps
  • Wifi Bluetooth
  • Water resistant
  • 3″ full color widescreen
  • Led vibration alerts
  • Full web browser
  • Music playlist control

The Rufus Cuff is seeking financial backing on Indiegogo and are asking like minded wearable tech users to get on board. With a pledge of $239(US) you will receive one Jet black or White Out Rufus Cuff with brushed chrome links, peg and home button. Rufus are in need of $250,000 so if you are interested then head on over to the Rufus Cuff campaign


 

Rhys Morrow

Social Media Strategist

Sources: Indiegogo

TAG – YOU’RE IT

Tag lets you selectively share your location with your friends

Tag - You're It IOS App

 

The new IOS app “TAG” is connecting you with your friends without telling the whole world about it. TAG enables you to share your location with select friends while being able to attach a photo, message or video of you or your location. It seems like the new fun way to tell mates where you are (and eliminating possible stalkers). The app is quite easy to use with its simplistic design. Just open it up and choose you location and add a photo or video and even a message. Then all you have to do is choose who to send it too ( providing you have friends using the app of course).

Tag You're It

 

The question we have is this. Other than to your suggested friends, where does you photo/video go? Who else has access to your information? Can they track where you are at all times? I know it all sounds a little bit like conspiracy theory but it does get you thinking.

Co-founder Aneel Ranadive says that this app could also be beneficial to brands as well. “We think [Tag] is an amazing platform for anyone with a fan base to send content privately just to their fans and let fans reply back just to the person they’re following,” Ranadive said. So this could be another platform to connect to your followers or for you to personally contact friends with your where a bouts.

We think this could end up being a great addition to our ever growing app folders on our phones. All we have to do now is get some friends.

Rhys Morrow

Social Media Strategist

Is Twitter Saying Goodbye to Hashtags and Replies?

Goodbye to Hashtags and @Replies

Twitter

Word on the street from Twitter this week is that hashtags and @replies are on they way out. Being described as “arcane” by the sites head of news partnerships, Vivian Schiller.  It has been suggested that they are “working on moving the scaffolding of Twitter into the background.”

To us it seems that Twitter is wanting to do a change to make it more interesting to new users. When asked to clarify what Vivian Schiller had to say, Twitter representatives had this to say:

“By bringing the content of Twitter forward and pushing the scaffolding of the language of Twitter to the background, we can increase high-quality interactions and make it more likely that new or casual users will find this service as indispensable as our existing core users do. And we took initial steps in that direction with the introduction of media forward timelines and in-line social actions in October, and we’re already starting to see early signs that those initiatives are working well.”

Though when asked directly whether hashtags and @replies will be removed the reply was that they weren’t removing them at all. But we are told to “watch this space”.

In the case of the Android Twitter app. Buzzfeed seems to have gotten their hands on some screenshots that suggests that @replies have been phased out. Who knows what Twitter is up to exactly. I guess we will just have to wait and see. Though if the evidence from screen shots from over the last month are anything to go by, we may be seeing Twitter looking much like Facebook

 

Social Kit – A New Photoshop Plugin

Social-Kit Photoshop Plugin

 

Are you starting out in Social Media and are constantly looking for that damn piece of paper where wrote down how big a Facebook profile image should be? Well the folks from Social Kit have made sizing your images a lot easier across four major social media platforms. With templates for Google +, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and even a selection of Social Buttons. It’s now a lot easier to get those images looking right (with a little Photoshop know how).

 

 

Photoshop

 

Each template in Social Kit is fully sliced and customisable, not to mention that the plugin automatically updates when there is any change to the Social Kits sites designs. You can also become a co-creator of the plugin with Social Kit and share your ideas on how to improve or what to add.

With what seems to be endless lists of Photoshop Plugins available. Most of which are outdated or not compatible with CS6. Social Kits could may well be that plugin that makes your social media experience a little bit faster and enjoyable.

 

Cheers

Rhys Morrow

Digital PR/Social Media Strategist

 

 

 

The Pebble Steel Smart Watch

As as you may all know CES 2014 is on in Las Vegas at the moment and wow have there been some amazing things being unveiled for 2014. We’re set to have a massive year in Tech such as bending TV’s, new tablets and even helmets that help grow your hair (that’s another story) just to name a few.

One thing caught my eye this year, and that was the new smart watch from Pebble.

Pebble Steel

Pebble Steel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pebble had a massive year in 2013 with the launch of their first smart watch. With over 300,000 sold last year they have decided it’s time for an upgrade of sorts. Or at least a new stylish look.  Pebble have unveiled their new Smart Watch, the Pebble Steel. This new watch is sleeker and more stylish than its predesessor with two finishes to choose from – Brushed Stainless and Black Matte. Both styles are sporting a Corning Gorilla Glass lens with an oleophobic, anti-fingerprint coating.

But that’s not all. Introducing-

Pebble App Store

Pebble App Store

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pebble Appstore is being launched by the end of this month. Browsing will be made easy, with categories for Daily, Remotes, Games, Notifications, Tools & Utilities, Fitness, and—of course—Watchfaces.

It’s looking to be a massive year for wearable tech and I’ll keep you posted on what’s new so keep your eyes peeled. For you chance to purchase one of these beauties head over to http://getpebble.com/steel

 

 

Rhys Morrow

Social Media & Digital PR Dude

 

SoLoMo – Social, Localisation and Mobile in a ToyToyota

When I was a kid, I could hardly look down at my Jetsons comic for more than a page without feeling queazy. It seems the backseat drivers of today have stronger stomachs. (They probably have healthier gear in their guts than the sugary road-trip offerings of those days, too.)

Check out how Toyota have creatively employed the technology known as SoLoMo – Social, Localisation and Mobile, in their app called BackseatDriver.

Social Localisation Mobile App

Is this gamification of the family car trip a step closer to completely integrating mobile technology into a real world scenario?
Could you put up with your kids screaming “GO BACK DAD!!! WE MISSED THE DOUBLE POINTS AT THE LAST INTERSECTION!!”?
Or is it a clever way for a giant car manufacturer to recruit future brand-loyalists?

What do you reckon? Leave your comments below.

 

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