Midlands-based Alison Smith of Pesky People and Birmingham’s ClustaLabs have emerged from an exceptionally strong field of creative businesses and developers as winners of Nokia’s Pitch ‘n’ Win mobile app development competition. Following an initial written application process that attracted entries from across the UK, teams behind the eight strongest ideas were invited to an exclusive one day event at Birmingham’s Zellig building at the Custard Factory, featuring top level speakers from Nokia and international creative agency, Wieden + Kennedy.
After keynote speeches from international guests including Nokia’s Head of Content and Partnerships, Keith Varty, and Wieden + Kennedy’s Interactive Creative Director, Andy Cameron, the eight teams each pitched their ideas to an expert panel, who were then faced with the difficult decision of picking just one winner. In fact, the quality of ideas presented was so strong that the judges ended up picking two.
Talking after the event, Nokia’s Keith Varty said "The panel was blown away by the breadth and quality of ideas presented at the Pitch ‘n’ Win event in Birmingham; we look forward to working with Pesky People and Clusta to deliver truly innovative apps for Nokia smart phones."
Birmingham’s ClustaLabs presented a groundbreaking app idea capitalising on Nokia’s exciting developments with NFC technology (Near Field Communication). This proved an irresistible proposal for Nokia, who decided to present a second award with an offer to take the app into further development. ClustaLabs’ Innovations Manager, Chris Harkin, said “Clusta was delighted to attend The Nokia Pitch ‘n’ Win event in Birmingham. We were proud to be announced as the winners and are now eager to continue our relationship with Nokia. As a leader in digital advertising, we understand the potential of designing NFC Apps for Nokia and hope that our concept will become a unique feature within Nokia’s Store. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and are very much looking forward to seeing how this project continues to evolve over time.”
Presenting the awards, Nokia’s Head of Developer Relations, Greg Merten, said “Alison’s Go Genie app will be a great example of ‘connecting people’ through innovation. We are also excited about developing Clusta’s innovative NFC app, and look forward to seeing both apps available to Nokia smart phones owners.” For further information, please visit: http://goo.gl/bo8Pl
Mind control, of electrical objects that is, is not an all powerful technology as of yet. Ask someone on the street and they probably think that floating a ball with a large headset above your help is the extent of it, or that it is total fiction, but it’s not. In fact, two big names in the production world are developing mind control applications, right at this very moment.
Emotiv Systems have just released a number of different applications; a mind controlled photo viewer, a mind controlled synthesizer and of course, the more commercial games like Cortex Arcade and Spirit Mountain. Here players can live out the dream of having supernatural powers, without even having to lift a finger.
InteraXon takes a very different approach, examining the electrical waves emitted from your brain to levitate chairs, dodge flying discs (The Game) and even control musical outputs from instruments. Nevertheless, for the more casual gamer, InteraXon have now teamed up with Secret Exit, the game developers who brought us Zen Bound and Zen Bound 2 to create the Brainwave enabled Zen Bound 2 iPhone and iPad app, an indicator that mind control will be going mainstream in years to come.
Currently the technology can only be used to convert electrical activity into binary code; 1s and 0s. Hence, at the moment, all you have to do is relax or focus, stop or go. Nevertheless, how may this expand in the foreseeable future? Will mind control technology be restricted to the gaming world or will it break out into the social. Could this technology help to note down all your thoughts and post them up on Twitter for all to see? How would this be vetted and most importantly, could you even think in 140 characters or less? I know I couldn’t. Imagine if people could actually real your thoughts at present, like a modern day lie machine. It’s a bit scary, but the technology is there, it might be unwanted, it might be underdeveloped, but the potential is still there.
They haven’t been around for long but social gaming has naturally found its way into our phones, our networks and our real lives. T-Mobile brought Angry Birds Live into life, literally, with a human scale version of the popular game. Here participants were able the fling the enraged feathered creature across Terrassa’s central square in Barcelona, gaining over 6 million YouTube views within the first three weeks of release. What does this tell us? Well, one shouldn’t underestimate the power of these feisty friends!
Rovio are now looking to make geo-location part of the game, using Magic Places to unlock additional levels, with enhanced features through Nokia’s NFC technology. Social gaming is of course, getting more social, forcing users to interact in real life, rather than hiding behind a screen. Jeffrey Jiang, Director at Touch Dimensions highlighted this in June ’10 CommunicAsia conference; ‘90% of gamers will be on their mobile in the future’, so what does this mean for advertising?
Augmented reality is continuously popping up and around social gaming, especially with the evolution of Third Eye from Viewdle. Third Eye uses facial recognition technology to decide whether you’re a vampire or slayer. Evidently, the game allows you to recruit your friends or warriors into your clan. Therefore is social gaming moving into the era of multiplayer applications, using real people and objects to complete virtual levels?
If social gaming and geo-location is going to be the next big thing, then what will happen to those that are considered as lazy players? Will your mobile phone automatically log you into a game without knowing? Could walking to and from work somehow introduce you into a world of location- based gaming, without your knowing? Maybe you will suddenly begin to receive tokens or rewards for completing tasks within a gaming world that you are not even aware of doing.
Could living your life actually become the game, bridging the gap between the virtual and physical world? Maybe even simple traditional tasks like watering your garden will translate over to watering your crops in Farmville or cooking a meal in your kitchen might serve the whole restaurant in CaféWorld? Hooking up social gaming apps to your oven and garden hose may seem a bit odd, but would it encourage career gamers to finally get their hands dirty? Who knows, maybe your spade will replace the next Wii 2 remote control console in the future, wouldn’t that be interesting!
It’s safe to say that paper isn’t the only thing coming out of a printer these days. Freedom of Creation design house have produced bags, furniture and jewellery while James Yoo from the Institute of Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University has talked of bio printing; printing skin directly onto burn victims. The list of materials that can be popped into a 3D printer is growing. Be Your Own Souvenir project from Blablablab in Barcelona took it to the next level in advertising, allowing people to print models of themselves using the Microsoft Kinect.
The 3D printed Bikini N12, created by Continuum Fashion in partnership with Shapeways, looks set to change the fashion world. It may be ready to wear, but it is not cheap at $450. Although one wouldn’t be the first person to put their hand up to wear what appears to be a piece of plastic chain mail, the material Nylon 12 is strong, flexible, waterproof and apparently it becomes even more comfortable when wet, so that’s there excuse.
Future 3D printing has the potential to reduce labour costs and waste, however its real potential lies in custom made clothing. Imagine being able to design your own clothes, no templates, drawing, dying or stitching involved, it’s just you and your printer. Spotted somewhere wearing an outfit you like, take a picture and the 3D printer will do the rest, maybe it will become the next Primark?
So what could this mean for the future of clothing brands? Will they cease to exist? Instead of wearing the Prada, will I be wearing Gemma? I might be getting a little carried away, but is it really that farfetched? Dress shirt makers Blank Label already allow their customers to do all the work for them, designing their own fabrics, styles, sizes etc and Threadless even has a community that submits and scores their own t-shirts, which they just take and place on sale. So is this good crowd-sourcing or just cunning laziness? Well, I can’t answer that but if Kate Moss starts to collaborate with consumers to create a range of TopShop 3D fashion, then I’ll have one.
Ever wanted to just jump into a Mini and race across Paris, Milan, Tokyo or New York? Well now you can in Google Maps latest mash up; Mini Maps. An ideal platform for creativity, Google Maps is no longer a site for navigation, but instead one for zombies, graffiti, ash-clouds and more zombies apparently. Well if they cannot take over the real world, then the virtual one will just have to do, as proven by Fleck and the ever increasingly popular Royal Wedding Zombie application. Here, you pitch your zombies against the might of Buckingham Palace’s guards, who let’s face it, stand a better chance than Leicester City Council, according to the BBC.
Yet, Google Maps is actually becoming a vital part of social media. Whether its health, shopping or the environment, designers continue to develop numerous useful and provocative ways of expressing information. I mean, just take a look at these; Singapore’s Dengue Fever Map, HealthMap & Toronto’s Start STP Map, yet what about other areas of health? Does retail therapy count?
A new phase that has hit the online high street is geo-tagging real time purchases on Google Maps. Zappos, ThisNext, The Book Depository and Net-a-Porter have all experimented within this realm, highlighting current trends and demonstrating the influences that people have on one another’s purchases. Groupon now hopes to capitalise on this, letting consumers view their nearest deals in Chicago, yet how long will Google Maps mash ups last within a Microsoft dominated world and can it become more physical? Just check out this video below for a little bit of inspiration: