Posts filed under ‘Digital Imaging’
“The line between the virtual and the physical world become increasingly thin”, the Microsoft voice under Surface says.
So many bloggers have posted questioning Microsoft’s contribution to innovation. I have never understood that since the scientists in the Redmond labs are shaping our future like no one else. I already posted some time ago about their holographic computing and an image search engine and now Surface corroborates my point yet again. Bill says it won’t be out for 10 to 15 years but the prototype shown is impressive. To think what is basically a backlit tabletop screen can enable you to move its visual content with a finger touch and drag is impressive. You can even draw with your finger or a paintbrush.
Everything is getting more visual and less text driven. Easier to learn, adopt and use. More intuitive. Videos and images are key platforms for marketers to seek in the immediate future. Why? Well, the visual sense is fast and easy for interacting with customers. Surface is to computing, what Alexander Graham Bell’s first telephone line was to telegrams and the town crier. It is yeat another sea change in how we live our lives.
As Bill has demonstrated you can drag items chosen off a menu onto the image of your credit card and it automatically tallies your total. You can even drag virtual theatre tickets and maps onto your PDA or souped up cell just by resting it on the surface of your table. No drop menus, pages, or buttons to forage through. Imagine the uses to Surface for customer experience, marketing and operational efficiency.
I am confident all the Surface can be has not surfaced yet.
1. Ballhype.com: It’s a social, collaborative site for sports fans. They can comment on their favorite teams local to national and rate the comments Digg style. This site is totally dedicated to sports fans with no other aim.
2. EMI launches DRM-free music! That means no anti-copying software. Steve Jobs is putting his and Apple’s name and reputation behind the move. The music in question is said to be of higher quality and now available on iTunes.
3. YuMe Networks launches first advertising within downloaded videos on BitTorrent entertainment network! On any device! Add to your lexicon, air-time “pre-roll”, “mid-roll”, “post-roll”, watermark and more on-line.
4. DoubleClick announced today that it is launching an ad exchange. It’s like a cross between Sabre (airline booking software) and eBay. Any advertiser will be able to bid for ad space on this interface.
5. Google Desktop for Mac. It’s a Universal application which indexes the contents of your hard drive. The image on the right is the new side bar. Reviews are not half bad.
6. The Coop: Mozilla adds social networking into Firefox.
8. MailChannels launches a new spam filtering program that slows email by an additional 8 seconds rather than the former 2 seconds. This cuts down on impatient spammers. It can retrofits into any email infrastructure saving corporations a great deal.
Keep posted daily for more hot launches to this month’s awesome beginning!
I just recently posted Geni as the Brand of the Week, a social collaboration platform for the building of a family tree. But Kincafe (a fun relevant name) is Geni on steroids. It is very intuitive as it is very visual, using icons, images, and less text (text is sequential and slow to the brain). But what is great is that it takes collaboration a relevant step further with photo album building, blog, stories, shared between family members and friends.
I began to muse the opportunities that Kincafe could evolve into. The problem with Web 2.0 is that the hosted services are fragmented–and there is only so much time any of us have to spend sitting at a keyboard. And more user IDs and passwords than we can maintain. This is where the battle will be won, aggregated functionality.
So Kincafe could become a substantive “inner circle” network adding features like auto-prompted birthday greetings or birth announcements, videos, audios–as it is Kincafe is a fabulous way to keep in touch and add meaning to “family” or a group of friends.
I’ve heard musings about Kincafe taking longer than Flash based Geni but I think these are small glitches, easy to overcome. The depth of the service is to be noted. My personal preference is the zoom tool at Kincafe rather than the tedious scrolling at Geni–but hey, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison”.
I expect like Geni you can use Kincafe free up to a point. How to monetize this for the founders is a question I am sure I will get an answer to shortly.
Before I get into this let’s do a little backtracking. Traditional 1D bar codes hold limited data; however, it is expected they will continue to co-exist alongside the new data-hefty 2D barcode. The first 2D bar code was invented in 1988; but since then, it has been re-designed many times. In fact, the 2D has egressed from the “stacked ” design to the more familiar matrix design (above). The Aztec code invented by Andy Longacre of Welch Allyn in 1995 has entered our cultural lexicon; it is seen on t-shirts and construction clap-boards among others. You will see it more.
There are over 20 2D symbologies available today. What’s nifty about them is that they can carry so much information that they do not have to be checked against databases–all the data necessary is on the bar code.
OK now for a look at the players. Motorola has recently acquired Symbol Technologies, reknown for their bar code readers; this will give Motorola a clear advantage. One of the most active spaces for bar code software is its application in the mobile phone sector. Among the major players are Scanbuy (which signed a global partnership with Nokia in 2004), Mediaseek, Mediastick (Japanese player), Nokia (who seems to be going direct according to their end user agreement) and Neomedia (USA). Have I missed some?
Camera cell phones are the common rudiment enabling this technology. So now consumers can point, scan and get coupons on the spot. That’s better than Googling a brand on your phone browser and waiting for information that probably won’t be relevant. It’s just not practical.
In the meantime, companies have joined together in Europe(HP Labs, Gavitec (owned by Neomedia) , Publicis (an ad agency?) and Neomedia), to develop a Mobile Codes Standard standard, MC2 (that MC two D). Who knows if in this dog-eats-dog world the group will grow.
So if I seem to be making a case for bar code phones, it’s because I am. Guess what else a souped up camera-phone with bar code software can do? Gavitec has gone a step further to inspire marketers in the mobile market. (Don’t miss Gavitec’s excellent on-site videos if you want to “get it” fast). It features Neomedia’s capabilities with ticketing, couponing, payment, loyalty, transport ticketing wherever you are– the possibilities astound. Here are some projects already in play with Gavitec:
- McDonald’s Portugal
- Bus tickets in Spain
- H&M promotional campaign in Germany
- Movie premiere tickets in Turkey
- Payment in Switzerland
- See the video below to get a broader perspective!
Gavitec has made great headway as the leader in mobile ticketing.This provides Neomedia a marketing engine for its patented software. Imagine, no more waiting at ticket booths or purchasing locations. More time to live.
Look for omniscience of the matrix bar code in our society–on everything from ads, through outdoors posters to products. Unlike RFID (which is being met with much criticism for privacy matters) it is not conceived to follow you but rather to enable you with information, access and opportunity. However! these bar codes’ data effectively travel in the SMS network; perhaps scrutiny as to the security of the information is due. After all we are talking about cell phones where conversations can be heard by other parties. Remember what Prince Charles said to Camilla in the privacy of their SMS network?
The big question that remains unanswered is how will retailers repond to this soon to be ubiquitous application? Will they fear encroachment on their house brands or slotting revenue tactics? Retailers are control freaks.
Anyway this is my take so far. I am engaged. This is truly a fantastic space to watch.
Footnote: I can only hope Neomedia will be smart enough to demo at Plexus 2007 : The Marketing Conference & Demo this fall in Toronto, an international event for business and marketers. If they can go to Spain and Turkey, they come here too. US needs to pay more attention to its good neighbor.
A number of developments in web 2.0 and gadgetry keep the market hopping. HOT NEW LAUNCHES will be published each month featuring innovations from start-ups and behemoths. It is a live list that will grow through the month so you can have a quick picture of what’s fresh in the marketplace.
1. Google launching a mobile phone – a Blackberry like device with a C++ core. Google did start a partnership with Samsung in January; so there is collaboration here. Lots of chatter here and chattering teeth from the competition. Idea rating: 3 1/2 stars
2. My.Netscape - the next generation of Netscape’s personalized home page in beta (there’s nothing at this link today-keep checking). The chatter in the market is hopeful on this one. Idea rating: 2 1/2 stars
3. Adobe Creative Suite 3.0 – due out March 27. Idea rating: TBA
4. Geni on-line family tree building already into its second round of financing with Charles River Ventures value at $100 mm. I simply love this hosted app. I am in! Idea rating: 3 1/2 stars
5- Skype Prime Beta a Skype to Skype 1-900 style i.e. paid by the caller to experts at the posted fee per minute. This is about a brand so visionary that it sees beyond its appliance. Linked in has a similar service but I do not believe for mobile and for larger fees. Idea rating: 4 stars
6- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-G1 Sonys’ first wireless digicam which will send images over wi-fi networks. Standard resolution 480 X 640 at 30 frames per sec. Memory card able to hold 8 GB. No touch screen on this one. Idea rating: 3 1/2
The following innovators from the stalwart behemoths to the bootstraped entrepreneurs are worthy of praise–they are changing our future. I am confident I’ve forgotten a few. Sadly, I am not omniscient. It is a live list that I will expand in the same updated post daily, weekly. Your suggestions are welcome. These ideas are actionable, useful and often border on genius. All are worthy of praise whether they make it to the finish line or not. So they are NOT PRIORITIZED. It is a democratic list. Their innovations are recent 2006 and 2007–some are so fundamental yet “new” that I ignored their birth date.
Listed as: Brand Name, Corporation, (description)
- iphone by Apple (the most robust phone device yet)
- Qode by Neomedia (Mobile Phone Bar Code Scanner)
- Zink by same (portable inkless printer for digital devices)
- Eyejot by same (video sharing thourgh email)
- PayPerPost by same (Paid consumer blog network for advertisers)
- Joost formerly Venice Project (richer alternative to YouTube)
- Lotus Connections byIBM (Collaboration software)
- LinkedIn by same (Answers/Experts Low cost procurement of soft expertise)
- Yah00! 100 brands by Yahoo! (Media Channels for advertisers)
- ejamming by same (voip for musicians)
- Apollo by Adobe (web apps to the desktop)
- Mobio Networks by same (mobile mashup platform)
- Scram by Ceelox (embeds encrypted messages behind images)
- Sentinel by Iwerx (catches blog content pirates)
- D’Fusion by Total Immersion (inserts 3D into live video images)
- Advanced Photonics (No name yet) by Alps Electric / CAPE (holographic image from mobile devices)
- BitTorrent by same (bandwidth enabling video distribution like no other)
- Orb Networks by same (allows users to view and create videos on their mobile devices)
- Sundance Global Short Film Project /Robert Redford (creating short content for mobile devices)
- Sitemaps by Google, Yahoo and Microsoft (new search protocol by stie maps)
- Wibree by Nokia (radio technology dual core chip uses so little energy for smallest devices like a watch)
- Tagworld by same (social network with all-in-one capabilities)
- RDF and OWL – Semantic Web by Tim Berners-Lee (application-free framework and language that allows data interchange)
- Videoegg by same (simplifies video capture)
- iUpload by same (blogging platform that requires no programmer)
- Xensource by same (moves mutliple virtual servers without friction)
- Scrybe by same (robust and elegant productivity tool driven by a calendar-perhaps the best)
- Geni by same (great hosted genealogy app )
I have reviewed all the new apps, most from start-ups, many from big players like Adobe and Seagate, and all were impressive. Kudos to all the inventors–they are defining our future. The Web 2.0 meme is alive indeed! Here is a list of what I see as the top dozen favorites in the buzz network (not prioritized):
- Zink (inkless printer that fits in your pocket!)
- Eyejot (the best of email video)
- eJamming (voip for musicians)
- Apollo (Adobe) (web apps to the desktop-not hosted!)
- Mobio Networks (mobile 2.0 mashups paltform)
- Jamman (high-def feature films from all over the world)
- Scram (Ceelox) (embeds info behind images for security)
- Sentinel (blogwerx) (tracking blog plagiarisers, sploggers)
- Zoho’s Notebook (multiple sources of content into one)
- D’Fusion (Total Immersion) ”augmented reality”
- Shipwire (affordable browser based warehousing & shipping-could launch a new legion of home-preneurs!)
- Me.dium (follows people’s web surfing)
Frankly, it’s unfair to leave any out; but, we all suffer from a collective attention-deficiency. Merit should be given to Teleflip, Vringo, DesignIn, Seagate’s Crickett, Boorah, Blinkx, Aggregate Knowledge, SplashCast and Boston-Power’s Sonata. Everyone has favorites. I tried to blend those of the pundits.
An interesting point is that few are monetized via advertising-it’s all pay-as-you-go or straight-forward buys.
Apparently, the Demo 2007 was crawling with VCs. Plexus 2007: The Web Marketing Conference & Demo will be populated with real buyers from the marketing and ad world. VCs are welcome.
The very successful “demo” event model applies to every innovation even if from Yahoo, IBM or Adobe. It moves quickly. It’s dynamic, invigorating. And you get the big picture, the value, quickly. Reportedly, attendees just love it! Chris Shipley, head of Demo 2007, has been inundated with praise for her excellent execution of this demo-styled event.
Video sharing in a blink! is Eyejot’s trademark mantra. This online video sharing platform requires no downloading of an application to use. Users can create and receive, no ifs, ands or buts. You can start using Eyejot immediately, with any browser and in any platform. And it integrates with mobile devices and iTunes too.
Imagine now instead of keying in a message to your Valentine, you can belt out a dirge on your knees and send it via email. You don’t have to get hosted at YouTube for this! This is an emoticon killer!
I love it. Love it. Love it. Get this on Oprah’s favorite things.
Is Microsoft picking the lint out of its navel?
What’s most fantastic about Apple is not its brilliant innovations. Or its aesthetic breakthroughs. Or even because it brought back Steve Jobs. Apple is brilliant because it keeps it eye off the competition in terms of defining itself and it products.
In the corporate world, Apple is the rugged individualist (although sleeker). The world is increasingly held captive wondering, “what will they do next?” Apple never disappoints. Ultimately, Apple competes with itself. How will they top the iPhone in 2008? I am setting my brain’s Tivo to a January launch of something not thought of yet. Apple makes it harder on themselves to be great. Now that all competing eyes are on them, Apple has the leading advantage: they know what they are up against.
The prototype was built and presented in early 06. Now your laptop or your mobile device can project onto any surface thanks to Jamieson Christmas, Cambridge U, inventor and patent holder. Cambridge has granted exclusive license to Alps Electric (H.O. in Japan but also here is USA). Professor Crossland known as father of LCOS (liquid crystal over silicon) is also on the inventor team, namely CAPE. I won’t get technical but it has to do with lights that bounce around within the devices; hence, a noisy over-heated clunky projector is no longer required. Web 2.0 kills another industry. Now will you all stop murmuring about the bubble; it’s as poppable as a titanium balloon. I blogged earlier on about Microsoft’s holographic computing (see September Tom Cruise apps…) called Touchlight but I believe Alps is taking it one step further removing a traditional appliance and bringing into mobile devices. Imagine what you can now also do with one small device. You can project those YouTube videos on the bathroom cubicle when you are skipping class. Or you can show the whole family photos of the Christmas (no pun) window displays at Macy’s at dessert tonight. Or project your PowerPoint on the office wall. That’s what I call convergence. Public release not known yet but I’ll keep on top of it. It boggles! Now let’s see how much is Alps trading at?
Orb Networks are launching their new software this week (is that today?). It enables users to view, search and create videos and direct it onto their cell phones from video services like YouTube. Mind you a fancy phone like Motorola Q or Nokia N80 is required–not your garden variety cell. This small company of 35 employees founded by Joe Costello is now effectively a leader in mobile entertainment. Orb is not new to the game; it already had 400,000 users of its previous digital media software. This is a company to watch.