Minority Report personalised advertising becomes a reality

Personalised signage advertising becomes a reality Intel Corporation (not to be confused with the Tyrrell Corporation, but you would be forgiven – this was science fiction writer Phillip K Dick’s idea) have unveiled digital signage technology that recognising shoppers age and gender and automatically tailors advertising to the individual.

When you really think about, it’s not too far removed from the personalised advertising we have been experiencing for a while now.

I’m sure I’m not the only one to be taken a back upon realising Gmail was tracking the content of mails in order to give me targeted messages. A friend told me recently about how minutes after he’d updated his Facebook status to single, dating site promos started to appear on his profile page.

Zuckerburg – you could at least wait a couple of weeks!

All outdoor advertising needed was some way of ‘logging us in’ so we can be recognised and hit with targeted ads when out and about. Ok, the segmentation will not be all that sophisticated right now, but watch this space……

Any bets on how long before it recognises that unsightly zit on your chin and serve you up a Clearasil advert? A slouch of the shoulders and drag of the feet results in an embarassing prompt to see your doctor about Prozac? Scruffy clothes result in a pay day loans offer where you can enjoy a 30000% interest rate.

OK I’m being cynical, there are certainly benefits to consumers – more choice, better targeting and less irrelevant noise in the bombardment of distration marketing we are hit with on a daily basis to name a few.

Intel’s forecast phenomenal growth for digital signage of up to $4.3 billion by 2016. Watch the video below for some of the applications being worked on:

Is (social media) production the new consumption?

The written word is going through a renaissance. OK,I admit, I have been using a keyboard  for so long now that I struggle to read my own spidery scribbles, but we are writing more than ever.

The panicky predictions of the web turning us all into anti-social, procrastinating cyber slobs are quickly fading away as we spend more time reading, writing, interacting with, producing and sharing content than ever. The web is rapidly encroaching on TV’s territory, (arguably the most passive of all media), and is not far away from absorbing it entirley.

Production and consumption theory initially wrestled with the problem of how man can produce enough to meet our insatiable demands. Cue the industrial revolution. With that problem solved, somewhere along the line the problem mutated. How can we fuel enough demand to sustain a level of production that keeps workers in jobs and capitalists capitalizing?

So for better or worse, God created marketers:

[Our economy] demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfactions, our ego satisfactions, in consumption. The measure of social status, of social acceptance, of prestige, is now to be found in our consumptive patterns […]

We need things consumed, burned up, worn out, replaced, and discarded at an ever increasing pace. We need to have people eat, drink, dress, ride, live, with ever more complicated and, therefore, constantly more expensive consumption.

~American retail analyst Victor Lebow (and cheers to Raptitude reader  Anna for this)

The question I’m toying with is are we in the middle of a third shift? Is the line between consuming and producing blurring?

Or even, could production be the new consumption?

I’ve been reflecting on Lebow’s words against today’s context when our rituals are increasingly moving into the digital space and so many seek their spiritual and ego satisfactions via online interactions.

Social media - an early example of self publishing
An early example of self publishing

“Social status”, “acceptance”, “prestige” – Mark Zuckerburg tapped into some deep primal needs which partly explains the phenomenal growth of 500 miliion Facebook users in two years.

When we use Google or Facebook, we are consuming a digital product, but we are also producing content at the same time. Innocently updating your profile, rating a product, writing a review, sharing a Tweet – all feed the ever growing content snowball as it  roars down the fast lane of the super information highway.

The production and consumption of the social web are inextricably linked, there is no one with out the other.

The dizzying number of options to self-publish seems to increase daily, and shows no signs of letting up. Stick any daft sounding nonsensical word into Google and the chances are you’ll find a new obscure social network.

Mobile phones are mutating out of control into the portable multimedia production devices with even a basic model to day will feature digital camera, video recording and dictaphone as standard.

Digital media production and consumption

One thing is for sure, the digital ape loves to produce and the means of digital media production are well and truly in his hands.

Looking beyond the sometimes narcissistic characteristics of social media use, the web has empowered us with the mechanic to collaborate, share ideas, solve problems, protest and immerse ourselves in creativity and culture.

As you can clearly see – we are not wasting the opportunity.

Zacapa rum gets our heads in the clouds with JQuery

Zacapa RumFollowing on from my post on new web standards treading all over Adobe Flash’s toes when it comes to experiential websites, I thought Chemistry’s recent launch of the Ron Zacapa Centenario site deserves a mention.

This beatufully smooth scrolling  JQuery experience takes the audience through the story of  how Zacapa Rum‘s ultra-premium rum is aged 2,300 metres above sea level.

A great example of what can happen when clients’,  planners’ and designers’ visions are aligned with the coders expertise in the latest technology and tools available to them. For more JQuery smoothness, check out the guy behind the code’s portfolio – Charlie Gentle, recently featured in Smashing Magazine.

AT-AT Day Afternoon from Patrick Boivin

AT-AT Day Afternoon

“When I was a kid, there are two things I wanted badly and never got… A real dog and a Kenner AT-AT Walker”

A cracking piece of digital media from Patrick Boivin has allowed his childhood dreams to come true. It’s hard to believe this amazing short film isn’t produced solely using CGI.

Watch out for the hilarious guest appearance from “Jabba the Poo”.  The stop animation and use of green screen is first class, if you are wondering how this piece of video wizardry was created, Boivin also created the making of this video.

Digital graffiti with lazer tagging

Digital Graffiti
Digital Graffiti – Lazer tagging

An aerospace engineer and designer of some of NASA’s latest projects has jacked in his day job to explore the space between new media art and “super genius” technology. Based from Eyebeam, a US based creative technology center, James Powderly and partner in pixel crime, Evan Roth are creating some very clever experiments in modern digital technology and urban creativity.

The video below shows their impressive lazer tagging technique, which allows these digital vandals to  slap their tags on the world’s famous landmarks and cities, and all with out any risk of being arrested.

But the most impressive part of this story is what the duo managed to achieve with leading LA graffiti artist, Tony Quan, AKA Tempt. A pioneer of the 80’s LA graffiti scene, Quan has suffered from a rare disease which has left him largely paralyzed since 2003, but he retains full mental capability and eye movement. The frustration he must feel at not being able to express his highly creative mind is unimaginable.

But within just a few day, Powderly and Roth adapted the lazer tagging system to create the Eye Writer system specifically for Quan, so he can once again make his mark on the urban landscape.   Truly inspiring stuff !

Check out more digital vandalism and even a robo-tagger over at Temptone.

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