Literal Last Christmas. Merry Christmas.

Taken By Trees.

Watching the latest John Lewis advert on 4. Nice ad, nice idea, beautiful photography, but most of all perfect music. Searched for who sings the beautiful rendition of “Sweet Child of Mine” and found it to be a girl/band called Taken by Trees. My lack of music knowledge has meant they haven’t blipped on my radar yet but after looking at their attractive (ignoring the bad spelling) website, seeing they seem to be skint and in need of donations, I see they are playing at The Garage in London on the 14th of December. Maybe I will take the trip to go see them. I’m sure it won’t be long before they cost £40 not £11 to see them play.

Taken By Trees

On of TBT's press photos.

Good luck to them, with that kind of sound they deserve success, especially in an industry that allows positions to ‘talent’ like Jedward or the Cheeky Girls.

Origami in the Twighlight with Ross Kemp

Seen some very funny ‘origami’ recently. I use the term loosely but the ideas are strong even though there is less craft than the intricate paper sculpture in what you can see below. Just thought I would share. Shown to me courtesy of some of the great people at QBN.

How Twightlight 3 might look:

Wolf and Vamp Kissing.

And Kemp Folds, a great and entertaining blog:

Ross Kemp Folded

Kemp Folds

Might have a go myself tomorrow. I’m sure there is an entertaining one of these in every picture.

Magical Lift Doors

After recently moving offices to the 4th floor of a building in the heart of City I have been thrust back into the world of elevators. This has reminded me of a ‘magician’ called Daniel Chesterfield. I say magician, he’s probably more comedian. Anyway, if you havn’t heard of him have a look at this and you will get why I was reminded. I never do this when the lift doors open… Honest!

Brilliant Bacon – My Sunday Sarnie.

Made this sandwich on Sunday. Wanted to share it with the world and see what people think I should have to soak up the Saturday evening expressiveness next week. Let me know.

It begins with soya bread (it’s all we had left), brown sauce (currently Branston’s squeezy, although normally it would be none other than Daddies) and lots of juicy, yet slightly crispy back bacon.

Bacon.... mmmmm

The begining. For some reason Soya Bread... with 3 rashes per sarnie of beautiful back bacon.

Then some fried mushrooms (this time friend in the bacon fat and olive oil rather than tasy butter).

With mushrooms.

The mushrooms gave a tangy flavour and an extra texture.

Then I added a fried egg to each (one broke… shame, the other broke as I pushed the sandwich down (double shame).

Eggtastic

Looks like hell, tastes like heaven.

Added salt and pepper and closed up and messily devoured with a can of Coke. Delicious and messy. Even a sandwich should have a reason. This one filled a hole. Operation complete.

Finished sarnie

The Finished Article.

Avatar Augmented Ad For LG.

Considering the technology involved in the making of Avatar (a revolutionary film by James Cameron using the latest in Mo-Cap technology) it is not surprising that someone like LG has jumped on two band wagons to advertise their latest Chocolate widescreen phone.

Evident in the January 2010 issue (number 162) of Total Film (the Avatar Special) on just the inside cover is the adoption of both the technology of Augmented Reality and the association with Avatar, a film that has already received critical acclaim way before it’s release.

The advert for the Chocolate encourages the reader to log on to http://www.lge.co.uk/avatar/exclusive and show the above image to your webcam to access exclusive Avatar content displayed on a rendering of a ‘Chocolate’ phone. I had a go and it did work. It could have been better due to the receptiveness of the shape recognition being quite slow and I don’t know if I like the idea of being able to access the content without a webcam if necessary (this seems to negate the point of the whole process for me as it shows there is no need for augmented reality).

The AR element in this ad is interesting and apt in terms of fitting with the CGI technology in the film Avatar. Interacting with a product and film and merging boundaries is a great thing, but as I feel about everything there has to be a concept and reason behind doing something in this way. In this example this reason seems to have floated out to space. Somewhere where I hope the phone and definitely the film don’t end up.

Altogether it seems like another pointless use of AR, but it does have the entertainment factor which is perfect for promoting both Avatar and Chocolate LG. Its only problem here is that the AR here was more interesting for me than watching through a phone I’m not interested in or the exclusive content for Avatar that I don’t want to watch too much of to save ruining the film for myself.

Apologies for the rant and looking moody in the pictures. Check it out and let me know what you think. I think one of the images will be recognised by the camera if printed if you don’t have the latest Total Film to hand.

Advertising on your back.

A new company called Green Promotions Group has launched their unique advertising medium called On Your Back Advertising in London. Basically it is a man or woman with a TV on their back walking around the streets displaying advertising messages with sound on the screen and potentially handing out flyers at the same time. It is a really interesting way of getting messages out there. They have found that people’s heads turn and many stand around watching the content. I do like new ways of getting the message out there. This added to their On Your Bike Advertising offerings and the company seems to have a nice concept of delivering adverts direct to the public in an interesting and engaging way. Yes they are on of our clients, but I don’t get paid to write about them so this post is purely about my intrigue for their product/service.

I’ve just uploaded a video to YouTube for them. Hopefully they do well for themselves.

 

 

Augmented Reality In The Real Digital World?

Augmented Reality  (AR) has been around now and although some people are still showing off with it, not many people have found a useful application for the concepts and technology involved. This is a shame as I believe that there are numerous applications that could be both entertaining and useful.

There are a number of different techniques that I have seen classed as ‘Augmented Reality’. Some might not adhere to the exact definition but their desire to stretch the boundaries allows them into the umbrella phrase in my book.

From Wikipedia we also find that these boundaries seem not to be set:

Definition

There are two commonly accepted definitions of Augmented Reality today. One was given by Ronald Azuma in 1997 [2]. Azuma’s definition says that Augmented Reality

  • combines real and virtual
  • is interactive in real time
  • is registered in 3D

Additionally Paul Milgram and Fumio Kishino defined Milgram’s Reality-Virtuality Continuum in 1994 [3]. They describe a continuum that spans from the real environment to a pure virtual environment. In between there are Augmented Reality (closer to the real environment) and Augmented Virtuality (is closer to the virtual environment).

Milgram's Continuum

More recently, the term augmented reality has been blurred a bit due to the increased interest of the general public in AR.

 

Examples:

Esquire Magazine: A recent video posted about Esquire magazine using AR technology shows how the owner of an Esquire magazine can put their magazine up to their webcam and cause an effect on screen. This ranges from changing fancy background to having Robert Downey Jr. start talking to you. Sounds great? Yes it is, until you find out you have the hassle of downloading a program you get with the computer. Not to mention that the only thing that happens in ‘real time’, here and now, is the reader holding a magazine in front of their computer. Superbly done it seems, but not an industry changing solution just yet in my opinion.

 

Other Examples:


Now we are talking! Nice one LEGO.

So finally after quite a while of research I find someone who has really used the technology and concept with skill, class and a solid concept that could, should and would drive sales. This company is LEGO as seen in the below video which perfectly, interactively and simply demonstrated the contents of each box as a virtual model when a camera recognises the top of the box.

 

Now this is fun.

 

Now where do we go from here???

New Words – Verbal Memes. How unfriendly!

Reading in the London Metro today that the New Oxford American Dictionary has named ‘unfriend’ as word of the year.

The word has it’s place but in my opinion other words have been far more useful and taken up a much larger place in the vocabulary of the digital generation. Their argument is that it has moved into the ‘real’ world to be used as a term for severing ties with an ex or an old friend.

Technically, unfriend is a word that will apply on few occasions in a person’s digital and real world. Word of the year in my opinion should be more of a widely used word. A positive word maybe. The urban dictionary collates all these wonderful sayings. I will listen to them more than the Oxford American Dictionary as their ear is closer to the ground, and their contributors are more in touch with modern culture.

With words like hashtag and intexticated also on the short list it seems like their attempt to embrace a language alien to their heritage based roots is somewhat amiss.

Freemium and Funemployed were also listed in the economy sections. Two words I have never heard used, while deleb (a badly thought out term meaning a dead celebrity) and tramp-stamp (a term probably older than the dictionary itself) were up for novelty words.

Last year’s winner hypermiling which has something to do with being cheap with petrol is something I’ve never heard of too. Locavore on the other hand, which won in 2007, has some interest and should be used more as I know many people who like to eat only locally produced goods.

I hope the English Oxford Dictionary keeps it’s distinctions between slang and proper English as we go into a new era of language where new words are spoken and spread every day.

Now all I have to do is find a situation that needs a new word.

Memes. Spreading like a virus. The epitome of Social Media’s power.

 

meme

–noun

a cultural item that is transmitted by repetition in a manner analogous to the biological transmission of genes.

 

A meme is in essence something that a person presents to the world that the people who see/receive it find conceptually appealing (that is the short explanation, kind of…). These people then take that idea or even just the presentation of the idea and copy it over and over again.

A great example is LOL Cat. This idea has spread with the help of http://icanhascheezburger.com/ into something else. They have given their users the power to create their own node of the meme quickly easily and without the need for any software skills or pre-taught artistic knowhow.

 

 

Or FAIL pictures. These are quite entertaining and this meme has become something of a farce at times with people putting FAIL onto any old picture. So successful a meme that the words FAIL and WIN are now deep set in my office’s vocabulary (not to mention a huge number of people around the world… WIN!).

 

Then there is the Xzhibit smile and frown meme, started with his Yo Dawg! expression. Some of these are great and Arnold Swartznegger has reared his head in a number of these from a few frames in the Terminator, (they are particularly funny).

 

Anyway, is there a meaning to this or are they just a good bit of fun? More research and more time looking at thousands of good and bad pictures, phrases, concepts and scribbles and I’ll be able to tell you.