Posts Tagged ‘offline

For the final shuttle launch, “we had 130 Twitter users and only 60-some registered press.” While that might seem damaging for helping to spread the word of NASA, Schierholz believes it has actually fallen in line with this goal. One of the things NASA has faced as newspapers have shuttered is the loss of “space geek” reporters. These reporters are now being replaced by space geek Twitter users who help to spread the word, often times volunteering for interviews with their local news agencies as a “word from the street” perspective

Stephanie Schierholz via Brad McCarty

It turns out that the particular way we all walk–the cadence of our footsteps, the way we swing our arms and legs and so on–is about as individual as a fingerprint, and basically needs just enough seconds of video feed of someone walking to compare to a database.

The benefits of gait spotting include working from more angles, as people can’t be relied upon to stare at cameras for face recognition, and that it can work in the rain–when coats and umbrellas also obscure people’s faces

Kit Eaton

Does the idea of your electronic likeness appearing in shop windows as you walk past appeal? How about if this virtual self was wearing clothes you don’t own but the retailer thinks you might like?

It was with great anticipation I began reading the other day about new technology allowing people to see virtually what they might look like in clothes, without having to try them on. Not least because I once blogged on how great it would be to fuse real-world shopping with Augmented Reality, to save us time during bricks and mortar shopping trips.

There’s something special about shopping in person – however convenient online retail may be. Touching the clothes, feeling their texture, seeing the exact hue and shade of the fabric before purchase. But then trying stuff on can be such a bind… stripping off, trying to avoid getting make-up on almost unaffordable garments… not to mention the dreaded torment of 360° coverage changing room mirrors.

So I can only imagine that the new ‘personalised mannequin’ concept from Intel Labs was designed by someone who has little concept of why people try on clothes. It works by displaying computer-generated mannequins in shop windows, showing how you personally might look wearing certain garments as you walk past. Apparently: ‘motion tracking technology allows the image to mimic the movement of shoppers rather like a mirror as they twirl and admire what they look like in the clothes.’

The spectacle of such a potentially useful innovation made so gimmicky and impracticable seems to indicate it has been developed by individuals who have spent more time watching Minority Report than understanding most people’s real-world shopping experiences. Trying on clothes is a predominantly private experience because changing rooms enable us not only to see how hot we look – but more importantly sense-check for potential fashion faux pas before we buy.

Changing room experiences can be horrific – unflattering outfits that push you in and let you hang out in ways no-one would never want another living soul to see. One time I literally had to bust my way out back out of a dress. The truth is, although Gok Wan has convinced many around the country to share their body hang-ups in glorious technicolour… most of us go into little cubicles to avoid doing just that.

That’s why my whimsical musings suggested being able to see on our smartphones – whilst browsing in shops – a preview of how we might look like wearing certain garments. Such a system would work by superimposing how each item would look, hang, etc. on our own bodies, as per pre-input dimensions.

Maybe smartphone screens won’t cut it because of their size. But still – there has to be a happy medium that does not involve spontaneous public parades of personal fashion disasters we literally didn’t see coming.

The Ugly Betty series adeptly shows how different ‘types’ of people express themselves through clothing – mimicking and unpacking our obsessions with beauty and fashion and the industry that serves and drives them. But even from within that mindset – I could not see any of its larger than life characters… not Betty Suarez nor Marc St James nor even Amanda Sommers… wanting the whole world in the changing room with them.

So although it’s a tidy notion, see before you buy (and one I’m clearly for), I somehow doubt personalised mannequins in shop windows will appeal to many beyond professional models and size zero tweens. So on this one I’d respectfully suggest Intel goes back to the drawing board with some real women (and men)… to make this innovation into something that works for the rest of us.

Hans Christian Anderson’s Emperor’s New Clothes has warned generations of the perils of pomposity and vanity. But still, however we fight it, we often care about how we look and how others see us. So here’s looking out for the next release, because handing over our vital statistics for retailers to share their self-serving mash-ups of our bodies on big screens… it’s really rather unlikely to catch on.

Nike’s been impressing far and wide lately with its social media efforts. It’s simple but fantastically engaging Facebook Superfly campaign has done so well they’ve moved it off into it’s own Facebook page.

What stands out for me with the TAKEMOKUM Nike+ graffiti challenge campaign is the relatively small number of super-engaged community members (< 10k) that were engaged to meet the campaign objective – smashing through the notion that for many young people, running is boring.

This helps us to see how niche is indeed the new black and social media success does not have to mean astronomical numbers of ‘likes’ – but rather sweating the small stuff to develop the right concept to enthuse a super-engaged group.

image above via Amsterdam AdBlog

The fact is, in their headlong rush into uncharted territory, what marketers and some technologists overlooked was that the check-in itself isn’t all that compelling for consumers. Sales, deals and discounts that follow you around, however, are compelling. In other words, marketers should be putting more focus—and experimental ad dollars—toward location-based commerce, and less on location-based novelty

Noah Elkin

Some days ago I posted on Renault’s innovative use of RFID to get real-world likes at the Amsterdam auto-show. However Hyundai have now also created a YouTube video showing the same use of technology at AutoRai 2011 – but this time with stats. Hyundai claim more than 10,000 Facebook likes were collected for vehicles at the show – reaching up to 2,000,000 people – making it the ‘most liked’ brand at the event. In a jibe (quite probably aimed Renault) the manufacturer boasts, it’s all about the results… (via Creative Criminals)

Knowing (much of) its male target audience love football and nightclubbing, Ogilvy Argentina cleverly found a way to bring these two social objects together in a fun, real-world setting for Budweiser. As the video shows – the giant-sized pool table with football sized balls led to enthusiastic engagement and extensive tv coverage (via SimplyViral).

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