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Archive for the ‘BBH Labs’ Category

  • Our top 10 in the last 7 days: 17th May 2011

    17th May 11

    Posted by Saneel Radia

    Posted in BBH Labs

    NASA's space shuttle Endeavour at Mach 11, as seen on Google Earth 05.16.11

    Regular readers will know that every now and again we share our top ten links over the past 7 days. This one has a particular space mission flavour to it, we hope you enjoy.

    ***

    We’ve fallen in love with Photopic Sky Survey, a 5,000 megapixel photograph of the entire night sky (see image below).

    Legendary Technologist John Seely Brown talks about “the big shift” and much more in this fantastic speech.

    Our friends at Made By Many launched madebyideas, an elegantly simple platform for sharing and rating ideas.

    This interactive film by Chris Milk is the latest Chrome Experiment (case study by Mirada here).

    Prinstagram is the latest star in the exploding Instagram solar-system, letting you print photos or Instagrid posters.

    Think Insights is a new digital marketing trends site from Google because “data beats opinion.”

    BBH friend Adam Wohl writes a manifesto on the future of agencies.

    An epic post by Dan Light on emerging trends in movie-land, “Distribution, Redistributed.”

    BBH London’s Chairman, Jim Carroll, asks “Whose ad is it anyway?” in this post on the Labs blog.

    Labs’ Jeremy Ettinghausen interviewed Amber Case (@caseorganic, a cyborg anthropologist) about everything you’d want him to.

    *Bonus* Google launched its Chromebook last week (a computer-like object). Here’s the BBH-created video.


    Source: Photopic Sky Survey

  • Keep Austin Weird

    1st March 11

    Posted by Jeremy Ettinghausen

    Posted in BBH Labs, sxsw

    So in 10 days we’ll be relocating the BBH Labs experience to Austin, Tx for the annual geek jamboree that is the South by SouthWest Interactive festival. I last attended three years ago, when I was an earnest book publisher and before advertising folk had descended in force and totally harshed the vibe, man.

    This year I’m really looking forward to meeting lots of likeminds and seeing where, if anywhere, the paradigm has shifted and intend to follow @katylindemann‘s guidance of not going to see anything I already know anything about already, which makes for a pretty packed itinerary.

    Given that the web based scheduler is, imho, ‘not very fun to use’ it might be that twitter or sitby.us prove to be more useful discovery tools for the good stuff, providing of course that wifi and/or 3G are in operation. We’ve hacked together a rough list (with agile development and rapid iterations built in!) using the web interface, the recently launched official app, an old fashioned contacts book (yes, friends and family are represented at SXSW) and have uploaded it to sitby.us where you can find it here.

    Ping us if we’ve missed anything vital, if you want to hang out and, most importantly, to let me know where I should go for breakfast tacos now that Las Manitas has closed down!

    See you there.

  • Top 10 links from the last 7 days: 27th January 2011

    27th January 11

    Posted by Saneel Radia

    Posted in BBH Labs

    If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you know that we send out a weekly email to the BBH staff with 10 links we like every week. We look for things that are provocative, challenging, useful, or just plain interesting. When we feel really good about the list, we post it to the blog. Here’s the list from the last 7 days. Feel free to let us know what we’re missing. The list is strongly influenced by what we tweet. Or if following us is too big a commitment, feel free to get our links via trunk.ly.

    Source: Sensimed

    Next-gen iPads & iPhones can be your payment system for things in the real world. Apple’s place in our lives may be on the verge of changing dramatically.

    Smart contact-lenses with heads-up LED iris displays. Welcome to the world of augmented vision.

    Former black Sheep Ben Malbon went to Tokyo on business and made this fantastic instagram album of his trip.

    “We’re so eager to describe the web in utopian or dystopian terms.” NYT’s review of Sherry Turkle’s Alone Together book.

    Social Media Week is a global event from 2/7 – 2/11 with a number of incredible, free events worth attending.

    A second worthy bit (& piece) from the Malbon family. Tim Malbon of Made by Many rants on participation requests from brands (read the comments too).

    BMW is making films again, but this time they’re documentaries about mobility. They had us at ‘jet packs.’

    A collection of brilliant quotes from startups that deliver incredible wisdom in just a few characters.

    We loved (and almost solved) this visual puzzle of 20 things that happened on the Internet in 2010.

    TED launches TEDBooks & hot off the press, @brainpicker takes a look at the launch proposition and first titles.

  • Our top ten reads from the last 7 Days: 20th January 2011

    20th January 11

    Posted by Jeremy Ettinghausen

    Posted in BBH Labs

    We’ve mentioned before that we pick just 10 links we like the look of every week (provocative, challenging, useful and/or entertaining tend to be the order of the day) and send them to our friends at BBH around the world.

    It’s heavily based on the @BBHLabs twitterstream across 7 days, but filleted, honed and whittled to a Top Ten for anyone who fancies a filter between them and the 24/7, 365 days a year drenching in data that is Twitter.

    So here it is again. Feel free to pass on. As usual, ideas on making it more useful always welcome.

    ********

    Comprehensive analysis of CityVille game mechanics - http://bit.ly/eN4GWq

    How novels came to terms with the internet - http://bit.ly/ewWiSj (via @garethkay)

    66% of 16-24s cite *entertainment* as prime motivation to engage with brands - http://bit.ly/hNvy4D (via @contagiousmag)

    If you’re in the Bay area, you only have a few days left to book Kevin Kelly to come and talk about What Technology Wants to your team - http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/

    “Instead of thinking about what to build – It’s about building in order to think” Tim Brown at TED in 09 - http://bit.ly/h2qgHT (via @sermad)

    “Each media channel is a strand in the rope that is the story” – nice piece on @LanceWeiler‘s take on transmedia - http://bit.ly/ha94fy

    The Past Imagines the Future – @brainpicker revisits retrofuturism - http://bit.ly/iebLIE

    The Number One Key to Innovation? Scarcity - http://j.mp/f90r5h (via @malbonnington)

    Interview with Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia for the site’s 10th birthday - http://bit.ly/hfzDzB

    2010 online, by the numbers - http://nyti.ms/f3elXQ (via @edwardboches)

    *****

    And  bonus 11th – We’ve come a long way, baby – Map of the internet 1972 http://t.co/URxFwds Vs map of the world through Facebook connections 2010 http://t.co/MyyXkUy

  • A Quick Glance Back – 10 of Our Favourite Posts from 2010

    31st December 10

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in BBH Labs

    For 11 months and 30 days of the year at Labs we force ourselves to face forward. A relentless, 24/7, barely-stop-for-a-sandwich, is-the-singularity-here-yet? pursuit of the future. Okay, you know what we mean. On the last day of the year, however, it seems like a good moment to look back briefly, draw breath and say thank you.

    The ten posts here that we’ve pulled from several times that number in 2010 are a representation, versus an exhaustive analysis, of the themes that coloured our year. Nonetheless, there are some common threads that emerge along the way to help paint a picture. This year, five particularly large threads dominate: collaborative creativity, social ideas, new agency models, ‘new school’ learning and sustainable marketing.

    As we said when we did this in 2009, this post also gives us the opportunity to say thanks. Thank you for reading this blog and for inviting us to contribute to yours, for debating with us, asking and answering great questions, sharing your wisdom and making us smarter.

    If the past few years have taught us anything at all, it is this: the more insanely steep the curve on change, the stronger our need for the talent and generosity of the people around us.

    This was also a year of hellos and goodbyes at Labs. Hello to Saneel who joined us in NYC and Jeremy who joined us in London, and goodbye to Pats and to Labs co-founder Ben, who landed awesome jobs at CHI in London and Google respectively. We miss our partners in crime, but we’re as excited as ever about what’s coming next, both for them and all of us.

    Which brings us neatly full circle, facing forward again. . .

    Happy New Year Everyone.

    Saneel, Jeremy, Mel

    ***

    So here they are, the ten posts we most enjoyed and which triggered a conversation from which we learned a lot. Posts are in chronological order, with links (via titles) to the original posts.

    1. Where Does the Agency End, And The Crowd Begin?

    We argued here that creative agencies need to move towards becoming permeable organizations. Those in networks need to be reconfigured as networked organizations versus simply organizations within networks. Creative business must be able to draw on not just the talent within the building, but the many skills and areas of expertise that lie beyond those walls. Written pre the launch of Co: and in the very early days of Victors & Spoils, this post provoked an interesting debate around two interesting questions we posed – what impact does this approach have on agency culture and how do you incentivise people in this framework?

    2. Will Social Media Eat Itself?

    Using the dip in trust of friends and peers cited in the latest Edelman Trust Barameter, we took a look at the factors in play: examining the implications and challenges thrown up for social media (as Mike Arauz summed up in a comment: “the management, navigation, and filtering capabilities we need haven’t kept up with our exploding networks..”). We put forward some thoughts for consideration on how to move forward, two of which I find myself returning to, time and time again: 1. Learn how to marry authority and inclusiveness, 2. Ask yourself if you’re offering something genuinely useful.

    3. Screw Relationships, Let’s Have A Fling; On Brands & The Privacy Debate

    This post challenges just about everything we’ve ever learned about loyalty and customer relationships, but does so from the perspective of media efficiency and a shedload of humanity. We argue brands need to let go; concentrate instead on when the context and time is right to initiate a relationship with someone, then move on. The relationship is no less real or valuable, just because it may be fleeting. In doing so, we note, brands demand less depth of information from users, supporting their privacy on the web.

    4. We Know Chrome is Fast, But…(Google Chrome Speed Tests)

    As remixes and spoofs go, we liked Opera’s take on BBH NY / Google Creative Labs’ work for Google Chrome. It also gave us an excuse share the current (awesome, though we say so ourselves) work that was live at the time, as well as go behind the scenes with the Making of.

    5. A Perfect Storm: the social web, storytellers and brands

    Prompted to give a talk at our friends’ Power to the Pixel’s Pixel Lab, we examined how brands are telling stories on the web, what entertainment brands have to teach non-entertainment brands about transmedia storytelling and proposed a framework for how brands and producers may work together beyond straightforward product placement or promotions.

    6. Raging Against the Machine: A Manifesto For Challenging Wind Tunnel Marketing

    In a tour de force of five separate posts spanning the second half of the year by BBH Chairmen, Jim Carroll and Charles Wigley, we railed against the “Wind Tunnel” approach to marketing that uses identical methodologies to deliver insight, ironing out difference. The argument began with Wind Tunnel Politics at the time of the UK election. In the post we’ve chosen here, Jim focuses on a series of solutions looking at how we achieve divergent insight and deliver better value for brands. This in turn was followed up by a workshop Chaz held in Asia: The Anti-Wind Tunnel Marketing Movement. For the full series, please just put ‘wind tunnel marketing’ into the search box of our blog.

    7. Ben’s Last Post: Some Things I’ve Learned At BBH

    A lot more than a farewell post, a considered, entertaining and brilliant bit of writing that sums up 5 years’ worth of learning** on the inside of agency life. Justifiably our most popular post this year in terms of tweet love.

    **Note: we’re talking about Ben here, who fits seven days’ work into one on a good day. So the time frame is misleading, better think in terms of dog years instead.

    8. How To Do Propagation Planning

    Griffin Farley’s post which does exactly what it says on the tin. An incredibly useful, generous post and a slideshare to boot (co-authored by Campfire’s Mike Monello), examining the hows and whys of “planning not for the people you reach, but the people that they reach.” And a great observation answering Edward Boches’s question: why give content away?

    9. St John Ambulance: The Difference

    As we say in the post, we like nothing more than great creativity and innovation put to great use. BBH London’s work for St John Ambulance showed a clearly defined communication problem and managed to combine surprise and emotion beautifully.

    10. What Collaborative Consumption Means For Marketers

    Inspired by Rachel Botsman’s TED talk, our argument takes the line that marketers so far have focused largely on collaborative production, vs consumption. In this post we examine what the implications might be for brands to exploit this potential shift in focus. As with all these posts, the comments add immense value to the thinking.

    AND THE THEMES THAT WOULDN’T STAY DOWN THIS YEAR…

    - The rise and rise of social and participatory ideas. Just a few examples of the work and the thinking here: A kind of magic: Myspace Music Fan VideosSuperbowl, super social: The story of Yeo ValleyBurberry’s Global 3D Live Shows + SocialDigital Communities Can Learn From “Leading Clever People“, The Powers and Perils of Participation (originally a guest post on the Likeminds blog).

    - Proof that awesome creativity is alive and well, just emerging in new, exciting, tech-enabled forms: our favourites ranged from Ali Merry’s story behind BBH London’s game for Barclays, 56 Sage Street and their Status of Africa Facebook app to awesome light painting with an iPad from Dentsu London and Analogue Digital’s hotel light show for Target. We also love the iOscars and, perhaps most of all, yet more of BBH New York’s outstanding work for Google Chrome.

    - The desire to challenge orthodoxy where needed, with some solutions along the way: in addition to the Wind Tunnel series, BBH NY’s Emma Cookson challenged short hand marketing rules whilst Calle Sjoenell with characteristic perspicacity and good humour threw down his Radical Proposal To Save Advertising on the Web. We also asked the questions Agency, Does Your Client Need You?Where’s the Coke Bottle of the Online World? and later in the year debated whether the word “digital” should be killed for good.

    - Sustainable living becomes sustainable marketing? If we make one prediction for 2011, it’s this: the social web will both encourage and enable businesses to behave more sustainably and win in the process. Give to receive. Think about it. If brands and agencies need any encouragement or provocation from others, here are just some of the show-stoppingly great initiatives and platforms that caught our eye this year: Pencils of PromiseTIE – Exchange for Good, A Developing Story, Six Items Or Less and Green Thing’s Saved.

    - Collaboration and crowdsourcing in all its forms came of age. I tried to write that exact sentence at the end of 2009 and Ben (rightly) questioned it. But this year, no question, crowdsourcing and the overturning of old models kicked into the mainstream. The topic stretched between agency models (see the first post to make our top 10 this year above, it’s also examined in Agency, Does Your Client Need You?), skillsets and attitudes (Are You Ready To Form Voltron?), to hands-on experience via the brilliant Betacup Project, an interview with the founders Len and Daniel of The 3six5 Project and Rick Liebling, not to mention flipping the idea of crowdsourcing on its head and examining the magic that happens when creativity and crowdsourcing meet.

    - How storytelling can have the power to move and surprise us, no matter what its form: what the book sensation Tree of Codes can teach digital, James Mitchell’s great #bobt speech The Value of A Good Story and Jeremy’s reevaluation of Long Form. And grateful thanks to our friend Dan Light, who happily subjected himself to a three part interview on brands and transmedia at the hands of Ben Shaw and Mel, whilst setting up his brand spanking new company.

    - All back to the new school: the power of perpetual learning. A fitting theme to end on. This year we learned a huge amount from others and it’s only given us appetite to learn some more. We put a call out to join us for an Internet Week Europe event and attempted en masse to learn how to code with the help of the super smart and nice Tom Uglow and friends at Google; we spent time at SXSWi and TED Global (thank you to June Cohen and Ronda Carnegie); Zach Blank showed us what open source has to teach us about creativity; we got a life and a 20% project and learned from one in particular, The Knot Collective. Much respect also due to both Boulder Digital Works (we continue to learn more from the students than they from us) and, er, the CIA. . .as well as BBH NY’s amazing internship program, the BBH Barn, which goes from strength to strength.

  • Our top ten reads from the last 7 days: 1st November, 2010

    1st November 10

    Posted by Mel Exon

    Posted in BBH Labs

    It is not the same to talk about bulls, as to be in the bull ring”
    - Spanish proverb (HT @juzmcmuz)

    We’ve mentioned before that we pick just 10 links we like the look of every week (provocative, challenging, useful and/or entertaining tend to be the order of the day) and send them to our friends at BBH around the world.

    It’s heavily based on the @BBHLabs twitterstream across 7 days, but filleted, honed and whittled to a Top Ten for anyone who fancies a filter between them and the 24/7, 365 days a year drenching in data that is Twitter.

    So here it is again. Feel free to pass on. As usual, ideas on making it more useful always welcome.

    “140 chars is not a limit, it’s a shape” – exceptional interview with @discographies on Big Spaceship’s Think blog: http://bit.ly/bXzMkz

    ‘Ball Droppings’, a Chrome HTML5 experiment: http://bit.ly/9ua0s (via @timogeo @seth_weisfeld)

    The history of mankind in a minute – a great stop-motion animation for BBC: http://bit.ly/aFhOUN (via @motionographer)

    Super cool – Stamen Design’s 2 week long series of race data visualisations for W+K London’s Nike Grid is live: http://sta.mn/x3g

    Not sure why this took so long. Augmented Reality app that lets users graffiti buildings. Interesting “steal” feature too: http://gizmo.do/bHdwRm

    *Extraordinary* short ‘Nuit Blanche’ – if you’ve not seen this, think Brief Encounter + CGI – by Arev Manoukian: http://bit.ly/bEnTvw (via @finnbarrw)

    Two handy infographics from Flow Town: How Important Have Apps Become? http://bit.ly/awjgWY & The Social Buying Universe: http://bit.ly/coPzse

    NASA turns its attention to sustainability challenges right here on Earth, with its LAUNCH initiative: http://launch.org/ (via @jess3)

    How Money Follows Attention, Eventually – Kevin Kelly on the commercial future of mediators who boost the signal: http://bit.ly/dfGfun

    “The first step for each of us is to imagine fearlessly; to dream.” – big thinking from Ray Ozzie: http://bit.ly/a3RsM5 (via @Techcrunch)

    ***

    And a bonus 11th, Power to the Pixel guest post on Labs: Powered by Pixels – on new storytelling: http://bit.ly/pttppost

  • Zero History – Notes from a n00b

    7th October 10

    Posted by Jeremy Ettinghausen

    Posted in BBH Labs, Hellos

    Skateboard

    I know that I’m late to the game on this ‘five things I’m thinking about’ meme and very new to the game in this advertising business, so here’s hoping that the two things balance out here, in my first nervy post.

    1) Where is knowledge stored?

    OK – so just a week ago I was posting farewell on The Penguin Blog, trying to distill a few years of digital publishing thinking into a couple of hundred words and now I am in a new office with new people doing a completely different thing in a new industry. So my short term goal is to find the well(s) of knowledge and drink deeply.

    In preparation for this transition I’ve read a couple of books and redirected my RSS and twitter streams adwards. But already in 4 days I’ve learned more from a few concentrated conversations than from hours of reading. So maybe I’ve been reading the wrong books and blogs, or reading them badly.

    But perhaps it’s a very analogue notion that knowledge is stored on paper and a digital notion that knowledge is amalgamated in crowds. Everyone is an expert in something, everyone has a specialist subject or a unique take on an issue – the challenge is finding them and unlocking their knowledge. And face-to-face beats distance learning every time.

    2) Is there still an edge?

    The publication of any new William Gibson book is always a good opportunity to think about the edges of things and, of course, the places in between, which in our upside down topsy turvy existence must be edges of a sort. My favourite Gibson passage is from All Tomorrow’s Parties where the disappearance of bohemia is explained thus: “We started picking them before they could ripen. A certain crucial growing period was lost, as marketing evolved and the mechanisms of recommodification became quicker, more rapacious.

    Of course, as a new entrant to the world of advertising I need to start rapaciously appropriating the edge as swiftly as possible, which is why I should start finding out where it is.

    3) Skateboarding

    (Actually, specifically, the sound of resin on concrete, or even more specifically the difficulty in finding good skateboard sound effects)

    Don’t get me wrong I am not and have never been a skater but I have always loved skate videos and watching this yesterday (via Ruby Pseudo) it struck me that it is the sound that I love especially. I was born in a city and have lived most of my life in the same city and can’t really imagine not living in a city. Cities, as far as I’m concerned, are where stuff happens, and I am a huge fan of stuff happening. And, since skating demands ‘crete perhaps there is no soundtrack more urban than the sound of skating. If there are other, even more urban soundscapes I should be tuning into, let me know.

    4) Flickr and careful curation

    Every now and again it’s worth remembering what a lovely and valuable discovery engine flickr really is. Of course for simple image search it’s great but there is also the joy-inducing serendipity of discovering that there are others who share the same interests as you, whether these interests are craneporncontrol panels or failure. A friend of mine describes internet pornography as having the same serendipitous effect – all of a sudden you discovers kinks that you didn’t know you had. But with flickr the quality of a group is in the care of the curation. A good group will have clearly communicated criteria for submissions and submissions that fall outside certain boundaries will be rejected, so preserving a curatorial, yet crowdsourced, integrity. It strikes me that there are all sorts of lessons to be learned from flickr and curation and community are good places to start.

    5) The Idea Thing

    A change in profession is a good opportunity for some good old fashioned introspection and navel gazing. So, is there a difference between what I did (getting things made and selling them) and what I now do (communicating ideas about things other people have made and want to sell)? Who is the customer for an idea, the client or the audience or both?

    When ‘things’ encapsulate ‘ideas’ do they stop being purely things or purely ideas? I am less interested in *the social object* than I am in *the idea thing*, a digital or physical object that captures and communicates an idea about the world. Can idea things sell stuff, or are they the stuff that sells?

    I guess I’m about to find out.

  • Our Ten Top Reads from Last 7 Days, 26 July 2010

    26th July 10

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in BBH Labs

    Every week Mel Exon (@melex) & I pull together 10 stories or links that we think are in some way inspiring, relevant, challenging, or just plain interesting, & we send them to BBH-ers in our six offices around the world.

    It’s of course heavily based on the BBH Labs (@BBHLabs) Twitter feed & blog, but recognizes the reality that not everyone is hooked up to Twitter 23.5 hours per day.

    Anyway, we thought we’d share it. So here it is. Feel free to pass on. As usual, ideas on making it more useful always welcome.

    Summary of the how agencies are pushing to evolve & become more digitally literate, & how ‘digital shops’ are losing lead – ‘Closing the Tech Divide’ (AdWeek) – http://bit.ly/9dI94r

    ‘Google is not making us stupid, & the Internet is not really changing our brains’ (a riposte to Clay Shirky, in the LA Times) – http://j.mp/c1RBYU (via @chrisgrayson)

    Will Zynga Become the Google of Games? On the rise & rise of Zynga (of Farmville fame), in the NYT – http://nyti.ms/dzJhFQ

    ‘Digital agencies are the new dinosaurs. If they don’t evolve quickly they will lose their 10yr headstart’ (written by Daniele Fiandaca, chair of Creative Social) – http://j.mp/9L2ICM

    ‘Digital Tools for Making Brilliant Mistakes’ – on Hipstamatic, Vintage Video Maker & why they appeal (explain to your kids why all your photos of them look crap) – http://j.mp/b5T2pg

    ‘Facebook is beginning to look & act like a sovereign state’ – from The Economist – http://j.mp/dggyN2

    Refreshing to see augmented reality work where there’s genuine reason for the AR; new work for Olympus, by Mullen – http://j.mp/deytQl

    ‘What Makes A Good Creative Director?’ – a fairly solid list of attributes here + a good discussion – http://j.mp/cN46me (via @ckburgess)

    ‘We Need To Rethink How We View Creativity’ – great post by @neilperkin – http://j.mp/bRPoyX

    Thought-provoking stuff from @brucenussbaum – Is Humanitarian Design the new Imperialism? – http://j.mp/dkq6H8

    plus a bonus 11th . . .

    New @BBHLabs post by BBH New York’s Seth Weisfeld – ‘The Best Camera is the One You Have With You’ . . . introducing the iOScars’ – http://j.mp/iOScars

  • A Quick Glance Back – 10 of Our Favourite Posts From 2009

    29th December 09

    Posted by Ben Malbon

    Posted in BBH Labs

    black-labrador-photo

    What a year. Here within the BBH Labs team we’ve had our ups and our downs. But we’ve been facing only forwards. We thought today might be the one day of the year we allow ourselves a sneaky peek backwards. In particular in regard to our little blog.

    This blog’s grown from nothing, through embryonic to, well, at least something approaching pre-pubescence. Whilst we’ve not shared as much as we had hoped in these pages, since launching on April Fool’s Day 2009 we’ve managed around 70 posts.

    Looking back through the content it’s reassuring (at least to us) that we’ve managed a fair degree of consistency in terms of the topics we’ve  posted on, with some key themes emerging as core areas of Labs’ interest. We didn’t plan this when we started, it just happened. (We outline these themes – with links to example posts – underneath this list of our Favourite 10 from 2009.)

    What made most of the posts even remotely interesting to start with was the commenting and opinion shared on the blog in response to them. We’d like to thank all those who took time not just to read but to improve our thoughts. We massively value your contribution, and we always look forward to reading your input, however challenging or provocative.

    More than anything, even more than the 900+ comments on these posts, what we’ve taken out of this first eight months of Labs blogging are some great new friends, partners & teachers. Long after the frothy excitement around this app or that platform recedes, and even after the buzz around great work might fade into Awards annuals, it’s this side of the blog that we will value most highly.

    Happy New Year. See you in 2010. Mel, Pats, Ben

    * * * *

    So, we thought we’d fish out ten posts that we either particularly enjoyed putting together, or that triggered a debate from which we learned a lot (often, it was both). Here they are, with links (via titles) to the originals & original comments.

    1. The Battle Between Art & The Algorithm

    The onset of increasingly ‘perfect’ information would suggest that the content we are served is ever more relevant, the choices we make are ever easier, and our levels of satisfaction should never have been higher (think the ultra relevance of Netflix, Fresh Direct, SatNav, Amazon recommends, Facebook suggests, Google search). We argue here, however, that this rise in relevance amounts to nothing less than the ‘end of surprise’, and that comes with a cost (think The Truman Show meets Minority Report). We focus on the opportunity: a role for genuinely inventive, interactive and surprising content and experiences in an era where the rough edges are too often being smoothed away.

    Read full post

  • We are the Robots!

    20th April 09

    In eager anticipation of the new Terminator film, I’ve done a little poking around into what’s happening in the world of robots.

    The main action in this area is clearly in Asia. And while Korea pushes ahead with plans to build robot parks, even going so far as to introduce legislation for a robot code of ethics to “Prevent Android Abuse and Protect Humans,” it’s the Japanese who appear to be in the quickest sprint to building a creepy robo-future.

    Due to strict immigration laws and a quickly aging population (its expected that 1/3 of its citizenry will be over 60 by 2050) the country is racing to realize a day when robots can provide care for their elderly, clean homes and provide administrative office tasks. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is actively involved in supporting the development of intelligent robots and hopes to introduce many of the models in development into the marketplace by 2015.

    Here’s a cross-sample of what’s in store…

    PARO
    According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Paro is the “World’s most therapeutic robot.” It uses an array of sensors to respond to audible, visual, and tactile stimulation. Each Paro attains a unique personality of sorts due to its ability to be trained to execute (or refrain from) specific actions. Pet Paro and he knows he is being rewarded for good behaviour, smack him and he will do his best not to repeat that behaviour.
    (For full post click below)

    YouTube Preview Image

    Read full post

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