Standing in front of the urinal and taking a pee in full view has now become even more competitive.
British company Captive Media has developed a games console for the urinal… controlled by the direction of your wee, rather than your Wii.
Captive Media describes it as the first “hands-free” video gaming console of its kind, although this ignores Japanese electronic games manufacturer SEGA’s foray into this area with a console that measures the volume of your wee.
Users can play a number of games on Captive Media’s console, including a skiing challenge and a multiple-choice pub quiz called “Clever Dick”. They activate and participate in the games by directing their wee at the “Start”, “Left” and “Right” labels in the urinal. The urinal games console detects where their urine is falling by means of an infra-red device.
The games console unit has a 12 inch LCD screen which sits behind toughened glass. So, it can withstand collateral damage and, thankfully, be easily cleaned.
Once users have finished, they can use their mobile phones to post their scores either on Twitter or on a live leader board, ideally after having washed their hands.
Advertisers looking for ‘dwell time’ may also find the console a compelling proposition. Trade paper Adweek calculates that, on average, men stand in front of the urinal for 55 seconds when they relieve themselves — nine months over the course of their lifetimes. In the UK this equates to a billion minutes worth of captive audience time a year.
When venues, such as bars or pubs, buy the product, they are given one quarter of the available advertising slots and a veto on the external slots available to third parties.
“It’s notoriously difficult for brands to engage a young male audience whilst they’re out socialising. Captive Media offers a long ‘dwell time’.” Gordon MacSween, Director, Captive Media
One organisation that has already signed up is Drinkaware, a charity that promotes responsible drinking.
TaBouche, a bar in Cambridge UK, hosted a four month “pre-trial launch” earlier this year. Captive Media claim that sales of the beer rose 42% on a like for like basis and TaBouche’s house shots sales rose 43% during this period.
The bar also noted that, during the trial, the toilets became markedly cleaner, as a new premium was set on aim and accuracy.
Captive Media plan to roll-out the console across selected bars from early 2012.
The supermarket chain Tesco is trialling augmented reality technology in the UK, both in-store and online, to allow customers to “try before they buy” and offer bulkier products without sacrificing shelf space.
Customers can use the technology to generate a 3D hologram-style image of product, which they can spin around to see all sides and get an idea of its size and features, by holding a product key or Tesco Direct catalogue up to a webcam.
Customers can then either buy the product in-store or have it delivered to their homes via Tesco Direct.
There are currently seven Tesco stores with the augmented reality terminals in the entertainment section and five in the electronics section, covering around 40 products including televisions and ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Lego. Locations include Wembley, Milton Keynes and Boreham Wood.
Those who recall United Colors of Benetton’s advertising in the 90’s — which addressed the issues of AIDS, racism, animal rights and environmentalism and was shot by Italian fashion photographer Oliviero Toscani with provocative honesty — will not be surprised at the furor that has greeted their latest campaign.
Under the campaign line “UnHate”, Benetton has created an advertising campaign featuring political and religious leaders from different camps, embraced in a kiss. UnHate is also the name of the foundation Benetton has set-up to further the cause of the campaign.
The campaign was developed by Fabrica Italy and 72andSunny and includes a 60-second video directed by Laurent Chanez, which captures moments of intimacy, kissing and love entwined with moments of aggression, fighting and hate.
The posters feature the US President Barack Obama and the Chinese leader Hu Jintao; Barack Obama and the President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, the Palestinian Authorities president Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu; North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak; the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The campaign has been met with outrage in some quarters of the media and the original set of posters included an image of Pope Benedict XVIand Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb, Imam of the Al-Azhar mosque in Cairo, kissing until Benetton was formally asked by the Vatican to remove the image and threatened to sue.
“While global love is still a utopia, albeit a worthy one, the invitation ‘not to hate’, to combat the ‘culture of hatred’, is an ambitious but realistic objective.” Alessandro Benetton, Executive Deputy Chairman, Benetton Group
The company says that it will also commission groups of young people to post “manifestos”, featuring the kissing leaders, in Tel Aviv, New York, Rome, Milan and Paris.
Benetton has also launched the http://unhate.benetton.com/ website, which will house the images and videos from the campaign and UnHate events across the world as well as two apps, UnHate Kiss Wall and UnHate List. The first app matches two randomly selected photos from those uploaded to the platform and unites them in a kiss. The second is a user-generated list of people and things that are not hated.
Benetton will also unveil the UnHate Dove, a four-meter long installation by Fabrica’s Cuban artist Erik Ravelo made from empty bullets sent by people from war zones.
Benetton had defended the provocative campaign, stressing that its purpose was to stimulate debate on reconciliation and mediation in politics and religion.
Its aim was to “contrast the culture of hatred and promote closeness between peoples, faiths, cultures and the peaceful understanding of each other’s motivations. The central theme is the kiss, the most universal symbol of love.”
Bang in the middle of one of New York City’s more popular outdoor picnic areas, Herald Square, just a few feet away from the world’s largest Macy’s store, Microsoft this week unveiled a 55 foot tall ‘mobile phone’.
The event was to draw attention to the launch of three new Windows Phones — the Samsung Focus S, Focus Flash and HTC Radar 4G, based on Windows Phone 7.5.
Obviously the large ‘phone’ is not a phone in any meaningful sense — large tiled screens display video feeds transmitted from a control room, and move out of place to accommodate live stage performances. (A midday calisthenics session appeared to be a surprisingly hit with both locals and tourists, but watching Microsoft hosting a Far East Movement concert did smack of watching your dad trying to dance…)
There were functioning Windows Phones on hand as well, in a makeshift showroom, though they weren’t quite as popular as the six stories high version. Judge for yourself…
Twist or bend my iPhone and the most likely result is a trip to the Apple repair centre and a bill for a few hundred pounds or dollars. But Nokia showed off a “concept smartphone” this week that wouldn’t just stand-up to that type of use — it relies on it.
Nokia unveiled a prototype smartphone which uses technology to allow users to actually twist and squeeze their phone with no adverse effect.
Even better, twisting, bending, squeezing and flexing the phone could be what the user needs to do to navigate the menu system, select files, take photos, answer the phone and so on…
With the launch of the iPhone 4S with its voice activated personal assistant, Siri, interest in more intuitive methods of input has risen again.
This concept smartphone is part of a Nokia project called Kinetic and the company believes its “flexible” concept smartphone could be available to consumers in just three years.
In the meantime, there is still work to do to perfect all the components. Not only does this kind of phone require a rubber case and flexible display, but also a new kind of battery and internal hardware that can withstand the abusive strains.
Technology Insights Head of Design Tapani Jokinen describes how the technology might be used in an official Nokia blog:
“Twist forward to scroll through files and the twisting action controls the speed. The more you twist, the faster you scroll. Go too far and you simply twist back slowly until the file or contact you want is highlighted then, bend to action, or open the item on the menu. If your phone rings, simply hold it to your ear and squeeze to answer.”
With the fruits of its partnership with Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system, being unveiled this week, perhaps Nokia feels more able to focus on innovative technology and hardware, and remind the industry why it used to be so successful.
IKEA, the home and office furnishings retailer, is using an interactive app on You Tube to create a personalised 3D image of a bedroom based on your Facebook profile. Visitors to youtube.com/IKEAUK are first shown a ‘normal’ YouTube video about bedrooms, before the screen is ‘taken over’ and visitors are invited to log in to Facebook.
Based on the user’s Facebook data and living situation, the tool then generates a 3D bedroom fitted with clickable IKEA items. Each bedroom image includes small, personal details such as photos from the user’s Facebook album hanging on the walls or in frames.
Other features in the 3D showroom include the ability to see detailed product information and to click through to IKEA.co.uk to purchase any home furnishings featured within the bedroom.
The personalized 3D bedroom app is part of IKEAUK’s Go Happy To Bed advertising campaign. An IKEA survey revealed that over 2 million people in the UK live life at home. The home furniture company felt that a bedroom has to reflect the individual’s personality, taste and lifestyle.
“We want you to Go Happy To Bed. Get inspired to turn your bedroom into the perfect sanctuary from the real world. A place that will guarantee you go to sleep with a smile on your face. No matter what your situation we’ll make sure that you Go Happy To Bed.” IKEA statement on YouTube
IKEA bedrooms commercial. “Everything You Need To Go Happy To Bed”.
Visit a website called Digital Love and you’ll be offered an interactive, “virtual sex, real pleasure” experience with a beautiful partner. “Innovative tactile technology” allows the transmission of erotic emotions through the on-screen sensors, letting you experience incredible sex without any risk.
You can try it yourself by visiting the web site http://digital-love.org/site.php?lang=en , placing your fingers on the screen and selecting a partner. You can also use your web cam to see yourself next to the pleasure and heart rate monitors, which fluctuate as your arousal heightens.
However, mid-way through, the ‘sexual experience’ will grind to a halt and you will be told it is a fake experience to promote Durex and the brand’s condoms as the real way to have safe sex.
The campaign was created by interactive ad agency Buzzman.
In the week that Steve Jobs passed away, this “Something for the weekend..?” features the Apple TV commercial, “Crazy Ones”, which seems to sum up the spirit of Steve and Apple like no other. It was part of Apple’s “Think Different” campaign and created by their long serving ad agency, Chiat Day.
There are a number of versions of the commercial. The one-minute version featured black-and-white footage of 17 iconic 20th century personalities. In order of appearance they were: Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Branson, John Lennon (with Yoko Ono), Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Edison, Muhammad Ali, Ted Turner, Maria Callas, Mahatma Gandhi, Amelia Earhart, Alfred Hitchcock, Martha Graham, Jim Henson (with Kermit the Frog), Frank Lloyd Wright and Pablo Picasso. The commercial ends with an image of a young girl — perhaps representing the next generation — opening her closed eyes, as if making a wish.
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward.
And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.
Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
“The Crazy Ones” — Apple TV Commercial
The voiceover was by Richard Dreyfuss. An unaired version featured the voice of Steve Jobs.
In a concerted effort to narrow the gap between itself and the number one grocery store in South Korea, Tesco has been looking at ways to bring their stores closer to their customers. Their challenge is that they have fewer stores than the number one grocery store.
One way has been to create ‘virtual stores’ in convenient places. This video shows their first efforts, creating a virtual store in a subway station using posters of products on the supermarket’s shelves with scannable QR codes making it easier for customers to select and order products. (Obviously the availability of WiFi in South Korean subway stations was essential.)
And the results? More than 100,000 people scanned the QR codes, new customer registrations rose by 75%, and online sales went up by 130%
Visit a website called Digital Love and you'll be offered an interactive, "virtual sex, real pleasure" experience with a beautiful partner. “Innovative tactile technology” allows the transmission of » read more