I'm digging this vision video from augmented reality player Metaio, which foresees a world where thermal heat scanning wearables enable users turn any surface into an interactive touch screen interface.
Think of the implications for communications, and then think further. Gaming, mixed reality movies and shows, layered brand experiences. Entire environments and cross-reality social media, activated and annotated by a simple touch.
Are you ready for some (of that other kind of) football?
This branded augmented reality game from Brazil-based fast fooder Giraffas looks like a kick. It turns food trays into AR soccer (or "football") fields. Using an app on your iPhone, you can flick the ball at an onscreen goal keeper to see if you can score.
Best of all, players can chide competitors through social media.
Hey, if you're flying down to Brazil for FIFA World Cup 2014 next month, you're going to need to eat sometime, right?
And we aren't just talking photos from say, Instagram, here - it could be a message from a friend, a fun quote, a comic strip, today's weather - or really anything at all.
It's a cool concept called a Paulig Muki (by way of Creativity). And it's an experiment from TBWA for Helsinki coffee brand Paulig that uses heat from coffee and a mobile app to produce a picture on the side of the mug.
Making each new cup of Joe a new experience. Which is sure to bring a smile to your mug - or something else entirely - every single morning.
Will "Dove: Patches" result in the first real blemish for the "Campaign for Real Beauty"?
Longtime readers know I'm a big fan of the decade-long campaign, having written extensively about the program's efforts to boost women's self-esteem and perceptions of beauty in my book THE ON-DEMAND BRAND.
And I frequently cover updates to the campaign here at GEN WOW – most recently with the outstanding "Beauty Sketches" effort.
But while I know "Real Beauty" has always had detractors, "Patches" is the first time I've actually seen press coverage of a blowback.
The video generated a lot of attention last week for essentially pranking women into believing they were participants in a new research study for a new "beauty patch" that was "developed to enhance the way women perceive their own beauty."
Yes, it really does sound that ridiculous.
But the women featured in the video bought in, and we get to see how their perceptions change while wearing the patch – only to find out that it's a placebo.
As is often the case, the video (from Ogilvy) hits you squarely between the eyes with a poignant reveal - and immediately generated 15 million views across 65 countries.
So why the fallout over a fake patch?
According to Advertising Age, many commentators in both mainstream and social media complained that this particular installment seemed to be more about promoting Dove than women's self-esteem. New York Magazine called it "garbage." And Gawker found more colorful language for it.
I personally didn't find the video too self-serving. In fact, if anything, this is once again the unexpected example of a beauty brand pointing out how preposterous it is to depend on beauty products to make you beautiful.
Real beauty, as the campaign drives home time and again, comes from inside - not a bottle (or a patch). Which is, you have to admit, as counter-intuitive a message as any to come from a brand trying to sell you beauty products.
If I have a problem with the video, it's only in how far-fetched the faux patch scenario is on its face - which for me does indeed call to mind New York Magazine's particular choice of descriptors.
But has Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty" really jumped the shark?
Hardly. As Ad Age points out, for all the buzz about negative perceptions, 91% to 92% of social media sentiment is positive.
Haters gonna hate, as they say. But as we've seen in many high-profile social media storms over supposed brand missteps, the snarkier segment of the social media echo chamber may be especially vocal - but that doesn't mean it's persuasive.
So what's your view of "Dove: Patches"?
An unbecoming setup that ends with a beautiful message?
Okay, so it's a little gimmicky, but this SELFIE Mirror - "Self Enhancing Live Feed Image Engine" from iStrategy Labs, ostensibly enables the perfect, hands-free selfie every time.
Though the practical applications for most consumers may be a bit of a head scratcher, I can imagine this kind of technology built into clothing store images similar to those developed by To Nicholson at Nicholson NY. This would enable social shopping experiences where users could solicit real-time feedback on whether an outfit is say, "fly" or "forgettaboutit" from their extended social networks.
And either way, it's cool and kind of fun - so kudos to the team behind it.
Somebody at Hootsuite really loves "Game of Thrones" (and really, who doesn't?).
Just in time for last night's Season 4 premier, Hootsuite has put out this video of the show's opening sequence re-imagined as the battle between House Facebook, House Twitter and so on, by way of Mashable. I just wish it had the actual show theme music.
You just know somebody's going to do this to the 2016 presidential campaign - especially if Hilary and Jeb both run.
GEN WOW readers know I dig AR in genera, and Live AR in particular. This implementation from a shopping center in Australia is a nice way to enable kids to engage in a lively AR experience that they can then share via social media.
The experience, from Brisbane-based digital signage integrator Prendi, features a large monitor screen where kids and those around can view the action. It's unclear if there is true motion-based interactivity, or just the illusion of it.
A client of ours is testing a solution for a major kids retail brand today that enables onscreen characters and elements to react to kids movement.
We'll share the results of the test when we have them.
How might your brand use Live AR? How can it engage your target consumer and enliven their interactions with you? It's the wave of the future - and you don't want to miss out.