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An augmented reality

The term Augmented Reality is popping up in more and more places of late, as the 3D visual technology rapidly develops.

Augmented Reality describes the technology that integrates computer graphics into real-world environments. Huh? Yes, it’s not easy to describe, but this video illustrates the possibilities beautifully for books:

Ad Age is predicting that within the next six months augmented reality will become more useful and natural. It looked at several examples including Wikitude developed by by Austrian company Mobilizy, which launched this demo video in October 2008.

Mobilizy describe the application as:

Wikitude is a mobile travel guide for the Android platform based on location-based Wikipedia and Qype content. It is a handy application for planning a trip or to find out about landmarks in your surroundings; 350,000 world-wide points of interest may be searched by GPS or by address and displayed in a list view, map view or cam view.

Think about the possibilities for just a few moments, and that marketers are beginning to use these techniques in advertising, and you begin to understand how walking down the street in the future could be a very different experience, as more invisible layers of data get added to the real-world and hard surfaced environment.

More examples

Are long johns back?

long johnsThanks to mild winters and associations with older generations it’s a garment that hasn’t been mentioned over the last few years, but dare I say, long johns in the UK are back? My anecdotal evidence for this is that I’ve heard the term used a few times over the last week in various circumstances, and of course it is rather cold.

But what evidence online can be found to back up this idea?

Type this garment into and you instantly, and unexpectedly, find that the AdWord competition over this phrase is fierce. Who would have thought there were so many retailers of this long legged, close fitting item?

Continue reading → Are long johns back?

The return of thrift?

Lovely review by Tom over at Infovore about the book Cradle to Cradle: remaking the way we make things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. As Tom explains:

It’s a book that invites the reader to envisage a world in which the concept of waste does not exist, and where re-use is preferred to recycling; in short, a world where products have a true life-cycle, rather than a passage from cradle-to-grave.

This way of thinking used to be summarised as ‘thrift’ (defn: careful and diligent in the use of resources) and reminded me of several articles I’ve read recently querying whether thrift was making a come back – as exemplified by this Telegraph article.

I decided to see if Google Trends data backed up this notion.

Although the data for the UK isn’t large enough to compare the terms ‘thrift’, ‘re-use’ and ‘recycle’ against one another, there are enough frequencies of these terms globally to get Google’s attention:

Google Trends data for re-cycle, thrift, re-use

As you can see the blue line graphing the word ‘thrift’, is fairly stable, the lines displaying the search frequencies for ‘recycling’ and, more interestingly, the word ‘re-use’ have increased, but not that dramatically.

But take a look at the lower graph. It displays the frequency of the topics appearing in news items, and there you’ll see a distinct upward trend for both the terms ‘thrift’ and ‘re-cycle’, although the term ‘re-cycle’ is increasing more rapidly.

Unfortunately, as the data set is not large enough to display regional differences we cannot come to any definite conclusions, but if the vision of Cradle to Cradle is to be realised it would appear that there is much work to be done.