Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that have made my day this week:

Favela football documentary shot on behalf of Expedia last summer doesn’t seem to have got the visitors that it deserve

Metamorphosis, an Hermès story is a beautiful short that is a cut above the norm usually done by luxury brands

A tremendous documentary that pays tribute to Hong Kong’s unique and disappearing neon landscape and the people who made it. 霓虹的製作 The Making of Neon Signs was put together for Hong Kong Museum

Google’s high budget Pokemon Master April Fool got great product placement and high geek creed. Kudos to Nintendo for presumably licensing this to Google for the April Fool

Thoughtful China addressed consumer trust this week in a great advert for Edelman. It addressed the serious issue of a brand’s relationship with Chinese consumers

Task one: I need your help* as a paid intern

Racepoint Global is a global marketing communications agency brand, based in the US and with European Headquarters in London, UK, and Asian operations headquartered in Hong Kong. We have special expertise in digital media relation – social media is at the core of every programme we run for our clients. Racepoint works with premium and emerging brands in technology, consumer technology, healthcare, science and sports to achieve new levels of market awareness and revenue growth with creativity, speed, and precision.
Task 1
The internship
We’re looking for a motivated graduate who wants to start their agency career as an integral part of a growing practice for clients in the technology or healthcare industries.
This particular internship, which starts ASAP and will last for up to eight weeks, will primarily involve important background research for an influencer database for our Healthcare clients, as well as supporting on some basic PR fundamentals.
We pay our interns National Minimum Wage plus a travel allowance for a 37.5 hour working week.

Qualifications & experience
* Minimum 2.1 Bachelor’s degree from a UK university ideally in English, languages, communications or a related field.
* Clear and succinct written and verbal communication skills.
* Previous experience in PR would be advantageous
* An understanding of the importance and impact of social media in PR
* Worked in a team environment
* Managed multiple projects simultaneously
* Able to turn around work to tight deadlines
* An understanding of the role of the media
* Excellent organisational skills

How to apply
Please send an up to date CV and a covering letter outlining why you’d like to be considered for this internship to Sandy
If you apply after Wednesday 9th April, please send emails directly to Victoria

The Oculus Rift | Facebook post

At the time that the news came out about Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus VR, I was in Boston (for work), the weather was biting cold, the days long and jet lag dulled my curiosity; so this post came along later than I would have liked.

The first thing that struck me was how much of the content that I had posted about the Facebook IPO and the recent WhatsApp acquisition seem to fit the Oculus acquisition as well.

How it fits into the the broader Facebook acquisition pattern
When looking at the Facebook IPO I commented that Facebook needed to look at other markets beyond online advertising whilst leveraging its existing customer base. I also made the comparison of Facebook and Xerox; in terms of its existing form being a cash generator to fund some future big bet:

I personally think that if you buy into Facebook’s future promise, Facebook looks more like Xerox. In the 1950s, the Northeastern US was the Silicon Valley of its day; with engineering and chemical factories around New Jersey and the Boston corridor through to New York being the home of the infant computer industry. Xerox was founded as a photographic supplies company that made equipment to develop photographic film, it eventually incubated its killer product -  xerography  which begat photocopiers and fax machines after a decades worth of work. Later on in the development period, the company invested in an insurance company to provide cash flow for future model developments. If you believe that Facebook has a bright future ahead of it, then by implication, it’s current and immediate future products like premium ads in the news feed look more like cash generative businesses to fund ‘project X’ whatever that turns out to be.

What Oculus VR, Whatsapp and Instagram represent is a spread bet on what the future is likely to be based on a few different approaches; mobile devices are important, as are lean bandwidth applications that perform well on less developed mobile networks and finally that the immersive experiences promised us by cyberpunk literature will happen .

Given that Facebook has about 100 billion dollars or so to play with it could do another two dozen such bets on the future. Oculus VR technology isn’t likely to win out when Chinese, Korean and Japanese consumer electronics brands invade the sector and bring the kind of hyper-competition that translates into razor-thin hardware margins; so the model must have some licensibility in the business model.

Google Glass is not the glasses that you are looking for
The second thing that struck me was that Facebook’s endorsement of Oculus could be viewed as a tacit acknowledgement by Facebook that Google Glass is going in the wrong direction at the moment. Oculus Rift provides an ‘in the line of sight’ view of content rather than a ‘glance up’ orientation. However Sony’s Smarteyeglass seem to be ahead of the curve on this. There is more speculation that Facebook want’s to roll out a cyberspace view of the internet promised in cyberpunk literature; however there would be a lot of work that would be needed to be done on standards and conceptual web design in order to move this idea forwards significantly.

A break in faith
The outpouring of outrage by Kickstarter fans who helped fund Oculus VR is perhaps the most interesting aspect of all this. Early adopters are often upset when their little secret becomes mainstream. It is familiar to me from club culture.

Ibiza is not like it used to be… The atmosphere went when moved from to and the crowd changed…

The implication for Kickstarter is that it will be much harder to get funding for seriously innovative tech-related projects and Oculus will have poisoned the well. Kickstarter will still work for artists looking to release albums or small short film projects and will do so very well, but it will have had its potential clipped.

More information
The Facebook IPO Post (I)
The Facebook IPO Post (II)
WhatsApp | Crunchbase Profile
Why Facebook is a dead man walking
Why Facebook is a dead man walking part II?
Why Facebook is a dead man walking part 2.5?
Facebook and advertising or why Facebook is a dead man walking part III?
Facebook: IPO postmortem – a dispassionate analysis
The Facebook | Instagram post
The WhatsApp | Facebook post (part I)
The WhatsApp | Facebook post (part II)
This isn’t the vivid cyberspace that I signed up for…
The Google Glass post
Eight trends: Immersive as well as interactive experiences
Oculus Rift Brings Virtual Reality to Verge of the Mainstream | MIT Technology Review
Why Oculus’s $2bn sale to Facebook sparks fury from Kickstarter funders | Guardian
What does the Facebook Oculus deal mean for Kickstarter? | CNet

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Jing Daily: Are TV Ads Still Relevant In China? – interesting discussion on where TV fits into Chinese content marketing

Mobile money revolution spreads to Europe as Vodafone brings M-Pesa to Romania — GigaOM

HTC One (M8) benchmark tests cheating explained | BGR – pulling a Samsung apparently, it won’t end well

TelecomTV | Stormclouds gather around US cloud computing suppliers after Snowden revelations.

Interview: Huawei Official Sees ‘Watershed’ Moment for Worldwide Cyber-Security Rules | Asia Society – not sure this is of much help

China’s high-speed rail is so popular, it’s hurting the domestic airline industry – Quartz

Notes on TV — Benedict Evans – interesting analysis of US versus EU markets

Sony Blazes Paperless Trail with Innovative New Digital Paper | Sony – odd, beautifully engineered and ridiculously expensive

Qualcomm to Get Boost as China Mobile Pushes Fast, Global Phones – Bloomberg

Swiss watchmakers say they have no time for tech groups’ advances – FT.com – Swiss watch companies have a plethora of intellectual property to deploy against smart watch vendors (paywall)

How Virtual Reality is Hard and Where It Might Be Going | Valve Software – (PDF)

Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra: True world phones in 2 years, Android all the way – CNET

How the NSA Can Use Metadata to Predict Your Personality – Defense One

Huawei vows its “crawling” tortoise will triumph over the Elon Musks of tech – Quartz – errrr no I don’t think that their handsets will win out whilst they are aiming at the premium end of the market they need to fight it out in the bottom end versus MicroMax etc

Censors take aim at US shows on Chinese streaming websites|WantChinaTimes.com – this is because Tudou and Youku have been too effective a competition for state television and is bad news for US media companies

Tesla Motors is overrated: Goldman Sachs|WantChinaTimes.com

‘Nubia’, not iPhone, is Chinese first lady Peng Liyuan’s latest choice of smart phone | South China Morning Post – it is more of a kick in the nuts to Huawei in particular which would think of itself as a premium handset manufacturer and national champion (Oppo and Xiaomi are more domestically focused at the moment). Interesting that Chinese netizens are viewing this almost like a Xi dynasty royal warrant (paywall)

Domestic service robots: Seal of approval | The Economist – Producing something reliable and likeable that can be sold in large numbers and does not get its makers sued may prove a lot more difficult than simply developing the required robotic skills (paywall)

Cloud Denialism Precedes Aereo Case | DisCo (Disruptive Competition)

Welcome mat out overseas for Japanese engineers ‹ Japan Today – the irony is that 30 years ago Japan would have been accused of similar things. It does reinforce Japan’s decline in industrial products. What I find most concerning is that there isn’t a similar Japan attitude to quality in the major Chinese companies that I have seen

As advertisers phase out cookies, what’s the alternative? — GigaOM

Are Chinese celebrities stoking resentment against Malaysia over MH370 disaster? | South China Morning Post – Mainland travel agencies have reported a sharp drop – some as much as 50 per cent – in the number of Chinese visitors to Malaysia compared to the same period last year (paywall)

The Science of Emotion in Marketing: How We Decide What to Share and Whom to Trust | Buffer blog

Data privacy around the world

The Boston Consulting Group pulled together data about data privacy around the world.  This gives a really good view into consumer’s attitudes towards data privacy.  Location comes across as particularly high compared to other information like credit card details for surfing history.

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Google Glass vs. Segway: designs heavily criticized by Marc Newson | BGR

Data point: Consumers hesitant about in-store tracking | JWTIntelligence

64pc of urban Chinese say craftsmanship most defines luxury: study | Luxury Daily

Pinterest: a big traffic driver to retail sites | Marketing Forward

How the NSA Can Use Metadata to Predict Your Personality | DefenceOne - Despite assurances that metadata is free of content, new research shows that it can be highly personal. By Patrick Tucker

Is the Oculus Rift designed to be sexist? Quartz

Microsoft’s plan to never again get left behind by the changing device landscape – Quartz

China’s Bills Come Due | The Financialist

4K Tech Following Similar, But Faster, Growth Pattern as HDTV

Microsoft Paid Up To $150M To Buy Wearable Computing IP From The Osterhout Design Group | TechCrunch

Growth in mainland Chinese interest in premium Swiss watches surges | South China Morning Post  - mainland China had the highest year-on-year growth in demand for all luxury watch categories last year, at 59.4 per cent, more than 10 times the global average of 5.7 per cent (paywall)

Microsoft releases Office for iPad, subscription required for editing docs | Engadget

Line now has 390 million users | Techinasia

What are the most desired smartphone brands in China? | Resonance China

Klout acquired for $200 million by Lithium Technologies – Fortune Tech

25 Fascinating Charts Of Negotiation Styles Around The World | Business Insider

China’s CIC Seeks New Bridges for Investment – Credit Suisse

Photos just got more social | Twitter Blogs

Google I/O 2014 - interesting dynamic site

Errata Security: We may have witnessed a NSA “Shotgiant” TAO-like action - Huawei’s support contracts are the weak link in telco networks

Changes to Subscriptions 26 March 2014 – Last.fm

STUDY: Facebook’s Role In Pew Research Center’s ‘State Of The News Media 2014’ – AllFacebook

Apple hires BlackBerry’s top software VP, BlackBerry wins court battle over departure | iMore

Bridge US Is a Platform to Help People with the US Immigration Process | The Next Web

How do different types of content assets influence the consumer purchase decision process – Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice

Daily chart: Moving up | The Economist

PSFK Future Of Wearable Tech Report

HKTV may get worldwide audience – except Hong Kong | South China Morning Post - HKTV as an international independent producer of content rather than a domestic TV station (paywall)

Qualcomm CEO aims to predict your heart attack and isn’t sure about VR — GigaOm

A “Perfect Storm” Moment for Multibillion-Dollar Open Source Companies | Re/code

Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Motorola Moto 360 – Luxury News

MPAA: Moviegoers Use More ‘Piracy-Enabling’ Smartphones | TorrentFreak

Oculus Grift: Kickstarter As Charity For Venture Capitalists | Valleywag

Panasonic HX-A500 is a GoPro rival that shoots in 4K | T3

Adobe Expands Its Marketing Cloud With Predictive Tools, iBeacon Support, And More | TechCrunch

Don’t spread (never standardize on) bad designs such as USB | nobi.com (EN) - why the EU shouldn’t standardise on USB

Party like it’s 2007 again? Don’t hold your breath | South China Morning Post - interesting article on changing economics in developed world and BRICs countries (paywall)

Tiffany & co. QR code | Barcoding Inc. Blog Barcoding Blog

WeChat Account Types for Brands | Sheng Li Digital

Trends that drive the auto industry | GfK Insights Blog

WeChat Adds LBS Tags to ‘Moments’ Wall | Marbridge Consulting

Gemalto | Stuck at the airport again? Introducing the secure solution to speed up immigration

In Google’s Shadow, Facebook’s Zuckerberg Pursued Oculus Over Several Months, Ending in Weekend Marathon of Dealmaking | Re/code

Wells Fargo’s listening: Bank unveils ‘social media command center’ in San Francisco – San Francisco Business Times

Hong Kong banks have loaned 165% of the territory’s GDP to China – Quartz

China forces local video sites to hire govt-approved censors | Techinasia

Why China’s cities need to get denser, not bigger – Quartz

Bots And Fake Traffic – Business Insider

Resonance China | Three statistics you should know about China’s taxi APP boom.

Luxury Fashion Brands Targeting Global ‘Yummies’: Young Urban Males – Businessweek - interesting how rented goods (like the Lexus car example) are seen as diminished as people use purchased luxury goods to reflect status

China’s trillion dollar mobile payments industry is under attack – Quartz

Mobile search ‘to surpass desktop’ by 2015 | IAB UK - interesting though Marine Software do have a vested interest ;-)

WeChat Update Increases New Feature for Dianping — China Internet Watch

Google Glass – Google+ – The Top 10 Google Glass Myths Mr. Rogers was a Navy SEAL.… - the fact they had to write this shows how bad Google Glass has been handled

Expedia launches first TV commercial in Hong Kong | Marketing Interactive - the app is interesting because of its ‘mobile first’ approach

WPP makes second China acquisition this week, and it’s only Tuesday | Marketing Interactive - interesting purchase around digital experiential marketing

Asos and Nike celebrate 27 years of Air Max with first Google+ shoppable hangout – Brand Republic

Flurry Launches Database to Watch Every Step You Take In Mobile Apps | AdAge

Our search for meaning and the brands that deliver // Weber Shandwick

ATMs look to Linux as Windows XP enters its death throes | SiliconANGLE

People Are Sharing in the Collaborative Economy for Convenience and Price | Jeremiah Owyang

Pinterest gets serious about ad revenue with new ‘promoted pins’

Microsoft-Nokia deal closure pushed back until April | VentureBeat

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week:

Valve’s documentary on the competition and passion that players have for the Dota 2 strategy game.

Georgio Armani’s Frames of Life – which are beautifully shot and largely product free

HSBC and Cathay Pacific are the major sponsors of the Hong Kong Sevens; which is an excuse for a weekend party. HSBC have put together this ad to celebrate their part in it, Cathay Pacific’s videos by comparison are a bit lame

Nice bit of heritage content from Adidas about the ZX8000; I am not terribly impressed by the modern incarnation of the design though

Whilst I appreciate that Google has some brilliant thinkers and can make (not always mind you) some insanely great products they just don’t seem to get human factors, which means their ideas come across as creepy and disturbing (like violating your shredded privacy further for fun (science) and profit. If they were made to come across as more human, their ideas would be less creepy

Messaging’s middleware moment

Back in the mid-1990s Microsoft missed out on the web as a nascent platform. In fact the first edition of The Road Ahead that Bill Gates wrote alongside Nathan Myhrvold and Peter Rinearson saw the Internet as one of the “important precursors of the information highway…suggestive of [its] future” (p. 89); he noted that the “popularity of the Internet is the most important single development in the world of computing since the IBM PC was introduced in 1981” (p. 91) but “today’s Internet is not the information highway I imagine, although you can think of it as the beginning of the highway“, the information highway he envisioned would be as different from the Internet as the Oregon Trail was to Interstate 84.

One reviewer noted that

World Wide Web receives just four index citations and is treated as a functional appendage of the Internet (rather than its driving force)

And for a while Netscape had a clear run at the browser market, building up to one of the largest IPOs ever. One of the things that made Netscape so dangerous was that the browser became the gateway to applications like sales orders, email or looking up a database and the browser became an operating system substitute. It no longer mattered so much if you had a Mac or a PC.  The browser and web effectively became middleware.

I realised last year that messaging services like KakaoTalk, WeChat and LINE were moving beyond messaging to becoming something more. By becoming platforms they could provide a richer experience to users, the integrate:

  • Gaming
  • A blogging-type platform
  • Payments
  • Social commerce
  • Travel information

This looks eerily close to Netscape’s web of middleware positioning in the mid-1990s. Ted Livingston, CEO of Kik outlined just this scenario in an article on the messaging landscape for Techcrunch last week.

Where this gets interesting is when think about what this means for the likes of Google’s Android operating system or Microsoft Windows phone, where the raison d’être of these operating systems is as a gateway to web services (and an audience for mobile advertising). The more functionality that happens inside the messaging application, the less opportunity there is for the likes of Google and Microsoft to direct the consumer towards their advertising inventory.

It corrodes the very reach Google tried to achieve by having its own smartphone operating system and competing with Apple. Google is already under assault in the operating system itself as Chinese vendors like Xiaomi and Oppo alongside Amazon have customised their own operating systems based on Android.  Google services are not provides on a third of Android devices sold already, messaging applications as a platform exasperate the situation further.

More information
After WhatsApp: An Insider’s View On What’s Next In Messaging | TechCrunch
`Road Ahead’: Gates And Our Pc Future | Seattle Times
After WhatsApp: An Insider’s View On What’s Next In Messaging | TechCrunch
Netscape’s Internet OS | Dave Winer
US versus Microsoft: proposed findings of fact | U.S. Department of Justice
Chrome OS: The ghost of Netscape rises to haunt Microsoft | betanews
Netscape complaint | Harvard University Berkman Center Openlaw site
Rise and Fall of Netscape Browsers | Strategic Computing and Communications Technology class archive University of California, Berkeley
The Browser Is The New Operating System | Techdirt

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Why Mediatek don’t share source code, and why they should! – Gizchina.com – also fits a number of other Chinese manufacturers as well

Big Four mainland China banks see profit growth slowing | South China Morning Post - (paywall)

Google Glass Getting Ray Ban, Oakley Versions | TIME.com

Vice Media Is Considering Going Public | TIME.com

Why people quit Twitter – Quartz

Eight trends for the future: web-of-no-web

The web as we know it was built on a set of underlying technologies which enable information transport. Not all information is meant to reside in a website to be surfed or queried.  Instead much of the information we need relies on context like location, weather or the contents of your fridge. Web technologies provided an lingua franca for these contextual settings and like most technological changes had been a long time in coming.

You could probably trace their origins back to the mid-1990s or earlier, for instance the Weather Underground published Blue Skies; a gopher-based graphical client to run on the Mac for the online weather service back in 1995. At this time Apple were working on a way of syndicating content called MCF (Meta Content Framework) which was used in an early web application called Hot Sauce.
hotsauce
Hot Sauce was a web application that tendered a website’s site map in a crude 3D representation.

A year later PointCast launched its first product which pushed real-time news from a variety of publications to a screen saver that ran on a desktop computer.
PointCast screenshot
The key thing about PointCast was it’s push technology, covered in this edition of the Computer Chronicles

The same year that PointCast launched saw the launch of the XML standard: markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is both human-readable and machine-readable. This meant that there was a template to provide documents and stream information over the web.

Some of the Apple team responsible for MCF had moved to Netscape and worked on ways of importing content from various media outlets into the my.netscape.com portal; they created the first version of RSS (then called RDF) in 1999. The same year, Darcy DiNucci coined the term web 2.0; whilst this is associated with the rise of social networks, it is as much about the knitting of websites: the provision of services online, integration between websites taking data from one source and melding it with another using a web API formatted in an XML type format or JSON – which does the same job.

By the early noughties applications like Konfabulator (later Yahoo! Widgets) launched their first application to ‘put a skin on any information that you want’.
Konfabulator

Major web properties started to license their content through APIs, one of the critical ideas that Flickr popularised was that attribution of the data source had its own value in content licensing. It was was happy to share photos hosted on the service for widgets and gizmos so long as users could go back through the content to the Flickr site. This ability to monetise attribution is the reason why you have Google Maps on the smartphone.

So you had data that could be useful and the mechanism to provide it in real time. What it didn’t have so far was contextual data to shape that stream and a way of interfacing with the real world. In parallel to what was being driven out of the US on the web, was mobile development in Europe and Asia. It is hard to understand now, but SMS based services and ringtones delivered over-the-air to handsets were the big consumer digital businesses of their day. Jamba! and their Crazy Frog character were consumer household names in the mid noughties. It was in Europe were a number of the ingredients for the next stages were being created in meaningful consumer products. The first smartphones had been created more as phones with PDAs attached and quicker networks speeds allowed them to be more than glorified personal information managers.

The first phone that pulled all the requisite ingredients together was Nokia’s N95 in early 2007, it had:

  • A good enough camera that could interact with QRcodes and other things in the real world
  • Powerful enough hardware to run complex software applications and interact with server-side applications
  • A small but legible colour screen
  • 3G and wi-fi chipsets which was important because 3G networks weren’t that great (they still arent) and a minimum amount of data network performance is required
  • A built-in GPS unit, so the phone ‘knew’ where it was. Where you are allows for a lot of contextual information to be overlaid for the consumer: weather, interesting things nearby, sales offers at local stores etc

All of these ingredients had been available separately in other phones, but they had never been put together before in a well-designed package. Nokia sold over 10 million N95s in the space of a year. Unfortunately for Nokia, Apple came out with the iPhone the following autumn and changed the game.

It is a matter of debate, but the computing power inside the original iPhone was broadly comparable to having a 1998 vintage desktop PC with a decent graphics card in the palm of your hand. These two devices set the tone for mobile computing moving forwards; MEMs like accelerometers and GPS units gave mobile devices context about their immediate surroundings: location, direction, speed. And the large touch screen provided the canvas for applications.
Halifax homefinder application
Locative media was something that was talked about publicly since 2004 by companies like Nokia, at first it was done using laptops and GPS units, its history in art and media circles goes back further;  for instance Kate Armstrong’s essay  Data and Narrative: Location Aware Fiction was published on October 31, 2003 presumably as a result of considerable prior debate. By 2007 William Gibson’s novel Spook Country explored the idea that cyberspace was everting: it was being integrated into the real-world rather than separate from it, and that cyberspace had become an indistinguishable element of our physical space.

As all of these things were happening around me I was asked to speak with digital marketers in Spain about the future of digital at the end of 2008 when I was thinking about all these things. Charlene Li had described social networks as becoming like air in terms of their pervasive nature and was echoed in her book Groundswell.

Looking back on it, I am sure that Li’s quote partly inspired me to look to Bruce Lee when thinking about the future of digital, in particular his quote on water got me thinking about the kind of contextual data that we’ve discussed in this post:

Don’t get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

Lee wrote these words about his martial arts for a TV series  called Longstreet where he played Li Tsung – a martial arts instructor to the main character. Inspired by this I talked about the web-of-no-web inspired by Lee’s Jeet Kune Do of ‘using no way as way‘.

In the the slide I highlighted the then new points of interaction between web technologies  and platforms with the real world including smartphones, Twitter’s real-world meet-ups, the Wii-controller and QRcodes.

A big part of that context was around location aware applications for instance:

  • Foursquare-esque bar and shop recommendations
  • Parcel tracking
  • Location based special offers
  • Pay-per-mile car insurance
  • Congestion charging
  • Location-based social networking (or real-world avoidance a la Incognito)
  • Mobile phone tour guides

And that was all things being done six years ago, with more data sets being integrated the possibilities and societal implications become much bigger. A utopian vision of this world was portrayed in Wired magazine’s Welcome To The Programmable World; where real-world things like getting your regular coffee order ready happen as if by magic, in reality triggered by smartphone-like devices interacting with the coffee shop’s online systems, overlaid with mapping data, information on distances and walking or travel times and algorithms.

What hasn’t been done too well so far has been the interface to the human. Touch screen smartphones have been useful but there are limitations to the pictures under glass metaphor.  Whilst wearable computing has been experimented with since the early 1970s and helped in the development of military HUDs (head-up diplays) and interactive voice systems, it hasn’t been that successful in terms of providing a compelling experience. The reasons for this are many fold:

  • Battery technology lags semiconductor technology; Google Glass lasts about 45 minutes
  • The owner needs to be mindful of the device: smartphone users worry about the screen, Nike Fuelband wearers have to remember to take them off before going and having a swim or a shower
  • Designs haven’t considered social factors adequately; devices like Google Glass are best matched for providing ‘sneak information’ just-in-time snippets unobtrusively, yet users disengage eye contact interrupting social interaction. Secondly Google device doubles as a surveillance device antagonising other people
  •  Many of the applications don’t play to the devices strengths or aren’t worth the hassle of using the device – they lack utility and merit

That doesn’t mean that they won’t be a category killer wearable device or application but that they haven’t been put on the market yet.

More information
Fragmented Future – Darcy DiNucci
Data and Narrative: Location Aware Fiction – trAce
William Gibson Hates Futurists – The Tyee
The future of social networks: Social networks will be like air | Empowered (Forrester Research)
Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
Welcome To The Programmable World | Wired
A brief rant on the Future of Interaction Design | Brett Victor
The Google Glass post | renaissance chambara
I like: Sony’s Smarteyglasses | renaissance chambara
The future of Human Computer Interaction | renaissance chambara
Consumer behaviour in the matrix | renaissance chambara
Eight trends for the future
Eight trends for the future: digital interruption
Eight trends: Immersive as well as interactive experiences
Eight trends for the future: Social hygiene
Eight trends for the future: contextual technology
Eight trends for the future: Brands as online tribes
Eight trends for the future | Divergence
Eight trends for the future: Prosumption realised

Links of the day | 在网上找到

10 Ways to Localize Digital Marketing in China | ClickZ – common sense stuff here

After WhatsApp: An Insider’s View On What’s Next In Messaging | TechCrunch – interesting read on messaging services

Japanese netizens get creative with custom iPhone unlock screens | RocketNews24 – by careful use of text to provide more meaning around the ‘unlock screen’ text on the iPhone lock screen

Xiaomi tops the list of most-complained about mobile brand|WantChinaTimes.com – a lot of it seems to be about counterfeit devices

China tops 3.5 million websites | wantchinatimes.com

Fast fashion brands under scrutiny in China | wantchinatimes.com

Google Reader announced its shutdown exactly a year ago | NewsBlur blog – interesting article on scaling a web service

China’s Unquenchable Thirst for Fashion Set to Continue – Euromonitor International

Battle Over Spreadtrum/RDA Merger | EE Times

Health market a big opportunity: report| China Daily – Chinese consumers trust Chinese medicine more than western OTC products due to their side-effects

Will China Conquer MEMS? | EE Times

Can wearable technology go mainstream? – Digital Intelligence

Silver nanowire-studded currency would be almost impossible to counterfeit | GigaOM

Brands and Social: Finding the Perfect Fit – GroupM Next

Wealth and Power at Capital M | Jottings from the Granite Studio

Alibaba bets on Taobao mobile app to boost sales | WantChinaTimes – Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group launched the 24-hour sale “Mobile Taobao 3.8 Life Festival” on March 8 in a bid to boost transactions made via mobile devices and drive mobile app adoption

Eight trends for the future: Prosumption realised

The idea of consumers being the producers, or at least being part of the process within a modern industrial context was envisioned back in 1970 with Alvin Toffler’s book Future Shock. Toffler was influence by technological  as consumers started to be more involved in the delivery of their own services and products.

The first ATM machine appeared at the beginning of the 1960s and  started to be rolled out seriously in the late 1960s, this revolutionised access to money which previously relied on counter service to access their money.

The ability to make phone calls without operator intervention was technically possible since the early 1900s but it was a leap forward in electronics that saw a surge in the widespread adoption of automatic telephone switches by the likes of Western Electric, Northern Telecom and Ericsson.

The internet has extended it further, from companies delegating services to us:

  • Printing your own bill
  • Arranging you own payments to other people
  • Answering customer service questions on a brand’s behalf (Get Satisfaction, GiffGaff)

Even the job of product manager and financier has been moved over to the consumer.  Businesses like Threadless used consumer votes to decide which t-shirt designs they then manufactured and sold to those who showed interest.

Crowdsourcing platforms built on top of Salesforce are used by major corporates like Dell and Starbucks to filter new product ideas and service improvements. Crowdsourcing has been taken further with the likes of Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Demohour which allow the consumer to fund the manufacture of their product upfront. Something that Jolla copied on its own website when it launched it’s first handset.

Even marketing has been outsourced services like Buddy Bounce have the potential for fans to be a largely self-organising marketing organisation. At the moment you can see the way One Direction fans use social media to rally around their band.

More information
Eight trends for the future
Eight trends for the future: digital interruption
Eight trends: Immersive as well as interactive experiences
Eight trends for the future: Social hygiene
Eight trends for the future: contextual technology
Eight trends for the future: Brands as online tribes
Eight trends for the future | Divergence

Links of the day | 在网上找到

Amazon’s mainland unit closes vendor after report of fake cosmetics | South China Morning Post – Amazon has very little of the Chinese market but this shows that its brand can’t offer a more authentic shopping experience than TaoBao

How Corruption Is Strangling U.S. Innovation | Harvard Business Review – you get the democracy that you pay for

Chinese Publisher CITIC for the First Time Profited from Digital Books in 2013 | TechNode

Renren targets students | WARC – no real surprise given RenRen has a very young active membership anyway

Pentagon confirms study into reliance on (Russian) RD-180 engine underway « Space Politics – makes sanctions a bit hard when spy satellites depend on Russian engines

Café de Coral charity drive takes wrong turn | Marketing Interactive – brands need to be so careful with charity / product consumption promotions wrapped up as CSR

Baselworld Brand Book 2014 – BASELWORLD 2014 – great example of digital luxury marketing

Augmedix nabs $3.2M for a Google Glass app made just for doctors | VentureBeat – Jumps on dying bandwagon

Retail sales lead weakness in business activity, China Beige Book survey finds | South China Morning Post – (paywall)

I, Cringely An impending black swan for electric cars – I, Cringely – the battery technology could shake up goods in general

Please take this pledge: I will not hire the unqualified children of my friends as summer interns | Quartz – interesting stance against middle class privilege

China Mobile’s annual profits just fell for the first time in 14 years – Quartz – due to building out 4G network, disruption by OTT messaging companies and selling te iPhone

What China’s responses to Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine tell us – The Asahi Shimbun – I think this is probably a bit optimistic

The Price of Music | Re/code

UPDATE 2-Tencent sharpens focus on WeChat expansion | Reuters – nice breakdown on the Tencent finances

This summer’s most coveted new gadget may be an air conditioner – Quartz – if Dieter Rams designed an air-con unit this is what it would have looked like

Invaluable | Asymco – really interesting article on profits in smartphone sector

EnfoDesk: China B2C Market Hit 763.71 Billion Yuan in 2013 — China Internet Watch

Multi channel marketing options – Smart Insights Digital – analysis of 40+ channels

Debt and Innovation | Excapite

Check Out How Coca Cola Makes the Most of WeChat Marketing — China Internet Watch

Tencent profit 22% higher | RTHK

How do you sell a luxury fabric online? | HSBC

WeChat sees resurgent growth, now has 355 million active users | Techinasia

Nu Skin says it’s likely to be fined by Chinese authorities | SCMP – (paywall)

Why New Yorkers could pay for acceding to Alibaba’s ‘Open sesame’ | SCMP – (paywall)

London ‘Draining Life’ From Rest of U.K. Economy | Time – not really a new phenomena but interesting that Time is writing about it

Newsflash: Sony unveils “Project Morpheus”, new virtual reality headset for PlayStation 4 | Rocketnews24 – interesting, I wonder how they cope with the motion sickness and will software developers step up to the plate with innovative content rather just a string of first person shooters?

In San Francisco, Landlords Are Evicting Some Tenants For Using Airbnb | Fast Company

Chinese scientists urged to develop new thorium nuclear reactors by 2024 | South China Morning Post – (paywall)

Exclusive: Xiaomi Unboxed | EE Times

Visual translator app Waygo adds Japanese to its slate – The Next Web

The Role of Second Tier Cities: Comparison by Country – Euromonitor International

What’s the Potential of a Potential Impression? Understanding the Twitter Metric | Simply Measured

How Would Facebook Ever Use 97.25 Percent Accurate Face Recognition? | The Machines – be afraid

Mobile shopping trends: Over 50s most likely to ‘showroom’ while in store – Digital Intelligence

Global ad spending by medium: Internet gets 1 in 5 ad dollars – Digital Intelligence

The Duplication Complex: Failing to Acknowledge the Importance of ‘Mobile-Only’ Audiences – comScore, Inc

Chinese Social Scientist Says Internet Hipster-Geek Slang Will Destabilize Their Society | Geekosystem

Bassline: The UK Dance Scene That Was Killed by the Police | VICE United Kingdom – let them eat bingo

Hong Kong has more millionaires than ever – but one in 10 are considering leaving the city | South China Morning Post – (paywall)

Happy birthday Hello Kitty! Superstar cat celebrates 40th anniversary | South China Morning Post – (paywall)

South Korea is building casinos for Chinese tourists who can’t afford gambling in Macau anymore

Revived Chinon goes retro with digital camera that looks like movie camera – AJW by The Asahi Shimbun – I love the look of this, its also really sad to hear how Japan’s manufacturing capabilities have died off in this way

Chinese Travel Willingness Report in 2014 — China Internet Watch

Cashing in with Chips | Improving Efficiency in Semiconductor R&D | Alix Partners

If Microsoft doesn’t loosen up, Firefox won’t be the last to abandon it

Contracts as Technology | Organisations and Markets

IBM denies assisting NSA in customer spying | ZDNet

Foursquare CEO: How We’ll Tell You Where To Eat And What To Order – ReadWrite

Yandex buys Tel Aviv’s KitLocate for low-power location service technology — GigaOm

Inside Airbnb’s Grand Hotel Plans | Fast Company

Apple introduces 8 GB iPhone 5c to help boost disappointing sales (update: now on European Apple stores) | 9to5Mac

Yahoo Wants To “Tell Better Stories” With New Motion Ads | Marketingland

Asia’s richest man’s latest vote of confidence in Europe is a dual-listed Watsons IPO – Quartz

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

These are the five things that made my day this week.

Convenience store / supermarket FamilyMart made this film with children managing the store in Taiwan. It is just too cute

Hollywood is finally getting around to resurrecting Peanuts as a beautifully made CGI film. The trailer looks really impressive

FLASK Ice Cream in Busan, South Korea has been getting a lot of coverage from trend blogs and looks amazing. It’s basically ice cream made on demand for a customer, in the same way that a barista makes your coffee individually. This involves liquid nitrogen which probably explains the whole laboratory theme of the restaurant. If you want to visit Flask here is the address: 부산 중구 창선1가 19-3 Busan

Technical wear designers ACRONYM® put together a look book film of their spring and summer collection that they called Acronymjutsu

The Maze Runner is based on a series of young adult books like the Hunger Games and presents an interesting scenario, think The Hunger Games vs. The Cell and throw in a bit of Lord of The Flies. It looks like the film will be impressive