Wednesday, September 4, 2013

TV shows recorded with a retweet

While there are some detractors who believe that social media activity doesn’t translate into sales, there are others trying to find ways to monetize online interactions. We’ve already seen Soldsie enable its users to purchase items with a facebook comment, and now Brazil’s SKY television subscription service has launched #SkyRec, allowing Twitter users to record shows with a retweet. Created in collaboration with AgĂȘnciaClick Isobar, the aim of the service is to engage the increasing portion of TV viewers who are being distracted by the internet. Customers are first required to log into their SKY account through the company’s website, in order to link their membership details with their Twitter handle. The service’s Twitter account tweets regularly about upcoming shows and customers who see a tweet about a show they want to record simply retweet the message, along with the hashtag #SkyRec. The user’s home recording device will then be automatically configured to record the program.

From Singapore, personalized fragrances help dementia sufferers to remember

Certain scents have the Proustian power to bring back vivid memories, a fact that was taken advantage of by the Scent of Departure range of perfumes, designed to capture the smell of individual cities. Based on this premise, Smell a Memory personalized fragrance kits now aim to act as memory prompts for Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers. Working with Singapore-based perfume manufacturer Givaudan, creative agency JWT custom-created a box containing several fragrances that would have personal resonance with patients based on their family history, ethnicity, age and personal stories. The team went to nursing homes in Singapore before creating the perfumes, which were given names such as Bedtime Stories, Mom’s Cooking, Prayer and School Days. It was found that the scents had the power to spark memories and emotions from their past, and was able to create uplifting moods and bring some patients out of themselves for a time. JWT now aims to bring the kits to two of Singapore’s largest hospitals as a therapy service for elderly patients with conditions such as dementia. How else can smells be used to enhance the emotional impact of other projects?

In London, customers design and print fashion items live in-store

Hot on the heels of our recent coverage of Canada’s walk-in BITE lipstick laboratory, which enables consumers to quickly create their own unique cosmetics, we’ve now come across another example of fast fashion. Opening in London’s Carnaby Street for a limited time of four weeks, YrStore is a pop-up store that sells garments designed and printed by the customers themselves. The idea is the brainchild of the team behind YrWall – the digital graffiti platform that is employed in the new store as a way to create designs to print. The store features a number of booths, where visitors can digitally draw, arrange or manipulate existing images to cover a blank t-shirt. The platform features pre-programmed elements and designs by renowned artists, or users can bring along their own designs to upload onto the system. Once they’ve finalized their design, customers can watch their t-shirt get printed live in the store.

Beer fridge configured to be unlocked only by Canadians

Businesses with niche appeal oftentimes don’t want to target a large quantity of potential consumers, but rather those who will truly engage with the brand. Just as Israel’s Kidum 700 course posed a challenge to those who came across the advertisement, Molson Canadian’s Beer Fridge campaign saw the beverages made available only to those with a Canadian passport. Collaborating with design agency Rethink to celebrate Canada Day, the beer producer placed large red fridges filled with bottles of Molson Canadian in public locations around the European countries of Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the UK. Passersby who tried to open the fridge were instructed to place their Canadian passport into the slot to be scanned. Only those with Canadian citizenship were therefore able to unlock the fridge to get the beer. However – once opened – natives were able to sample the exported beverage.

Collar-mounted tracker quantifies dogs

There are an increasing number of ways for humans to quantify the different aspects of their existence, from their emotions to their teeth cleaning. Now, Whistle enables dog owners to monitor their pets’ activity, health and time together, to better understand their animal. Using an accelerometer and a wifi or Bluetooth connection, the device – which can be attached to any dog collar – relays information such as time spent walking, playing and resting to the owner’s iPhone. Combined with details about the dog’s breed, age, sex and size, the data is specific enough to enable users to determine the quality of sleep, whether the dog is catching a ball or playing with other dogs. Users can track this information over time and set goals for their pet, sharing with friends over social networks when they achieve them. However, the device could also be useful for noting anomalies in dogs’ behavior, which could be key to detecting illnesses early and allowing owners to put preventative measures in place.

Paper-thin solar panel turns print ad into a smartphone charger

If Forbes magazine can offer free wifi through a print ad, it stands to reason that other useful technologies could be embedded into publications. Sure enough, the Solar Ad Charger campaign has utilised a paper-thin solar panel to provide Brazilian beachgoers with a portable phone-charging device. If Forbes magazine can offer free wifi through a print ad, it stands to reason that other useful technologies could be embedded into publications. Sure enough, the Solar Ad Charger campaign has utilised a paper-thin solar panel to provide Brazilian beachgoers with a portable phone-charging device. Appearing in Veja Rio magazine, the advert was created for Nivea to promote its sunscreen range to those heading to the country’s famous beaches. While a trip to the seaside is usually an opportunity to relax, many still take their smartphones with them to stay connected. To ensure they didn’t run out of battery, the ad featured a thin layer of material that could harness the suns rays. When readers connected their phone to the USB slot integrated into the ad, they were able to get a top-up.

Web-connected signpost offers dynamic news, info and directions

Tech firm BREAKFAST have been covered on these pages before, after the launch of the Instaprint – a device for events that automatically prints images from Instagram hashtag feeds in real time. Returning with another blend of offline and online innovation, the team has now created Points, a web-enabled public signpost that provides dynamic directions, as well as location-relevant news and information from online feeds. On the surface, Points looks like a traditional street signpost, with three arms acting as a navigation aid for passersby. Instead of remaining static, however, the arms are connected to a rotor mechanism allowing them to swing around to point in different directions. Each arm also has its own LED display, capable of showing illuminated text and symbols. Through a panel below the signs, users can select the type of information they’d like to see, such as local food vendors, the nearest transport options, and even trending Twitter hashtags for nearby events. The device uses an accelerometer and GPS to accurately position its pointers and keeps track of news and social media feeds to provide the most up-to-date information.