Beyond the Browser: Minority Report, Flipboard, Murakami

Minority Report
As my colleague Chris Paul notes: “finally”… Facial recognition software now allows ads in Tokyo to see faces of viewers and tailor the ads displayed. Very cool (or scary).

Response to social magazine iPad app Flipboard overwhelms start-up
Flipboard, the personalised, social magazine iPad app launched earlier this week, has created such an overwhelming response the company has had to enforce an invitation only system while it works to solve capacity problems.

Novelist Ryu Murakami plans to release his latest novel exclusively for digital bookworms through Apple Inc.’s iPad ahead of the print version. Mr. Murakami, the acclaimed author of over 15 novels including “Coin Locker Babies” and “In the Miso Soup”, replaced the publishers with a software company to help develop the e-book titled “A Singing Whale,” or “Utau Kujira” in Japanese. The digital package will include video content and set to music composed by Academy Award winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, according to the Japanese business daily Nikkei. The newspaper reports the e-book will cost 1,500 yen ($17) and will be ready to download pending Apple’s approval. Apple Japan and Mr. Murakami did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.
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Magic Billboards, Fallon gets Unilever, Liveable Cities, VW Facebook

New software has been created by Singapore‘s Agency for Science, Technology, and Research that would allow billboards to identify a person’s gender based on his or her face. The technology from A*Star is only able to differentiate between the sexes if a person is looking at the camera.
minority-report
Fallon has secured a position on the Unilever roster after being appointed to handle the company’s corporate digital brand strategy. The agency secured the business after a three-way shoot-out against Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Razorfish. Fallon will produce an overarching strategy to reinvigorate the way Unilever behaves in the digital space. Its first task will be to reassess Unilever’s main online presence, unilever.com.
Monocle Magazine have announced their annual index of most liveable cities. Zurich comes in top place mainly for its vast investment in transport; Copenhagen is second for its mix of metropolitan life, great healthcare, low crime rates and a relaxed vibe; at 3, Monocle describes Tokyo as the world’s most livable megapolis and praises the city’s commitment to plant 1 million trees; 4th is Munich which blends history and innovation with ease and is generally a good place to do business; and Helsinki comes 5th partly because it has no Starbucks.
Actually quite a good Facebook page from VW. I am apparently “Sporty”…Spezify
Are you ‘spezifying?’ A simple search yields a bounty of randomly placed images, video, blog posts and tweets.
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Vuitton and Murakami QR Codes

I have seen a lot of coverage of the new Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami: Designer QR Codes. Sartorially-challenged savant Piers Fawkes opines: “QR Codes are the bar codes of the future, linking online and physical graphics to websites and multi-media. For the most part, the codes have still maintained an abstract look akin to their predecessors. A recently released designer QR symbol, produced by Tokyo based creative agency SET is looking to change all that with a stylized remake of the standard code. Mixing design with technological innovation, SET teamed up Takashi Murakami with Louis Vuitton to create a distinctive code featuring one of the artist’s characters and the classic LV pattern. The agency hopes this will add much needed style and character to the bland world of machine readable codes.”

louis vuitton qr code

Josh Spear adds: “How many of you know what to do with the image to the left? Hopefully most of you. Aside from identifying it as Murakami work, it’s a QR code for your mobile phone. QR (quick response) codes are like the Japanese version of bar codes, because they started in Japan. The code is scanned into your mobile phone via the camera and outputs a link. Think of it as a way to add hyperlinks in the real world. Normally, these QR codes look like deformed boxy versions of bar codes. But as soon as Murakami touches one we are all gaga. It’s amazing what a little Louis Vuitton pattern and color can do to a QR.”

My humble opinion? I am fascinated and excited by the opportunties offered by QR codes … as a connections strategist I am always thinking of ways to engineer links between the digital and offlien world and help people get to the next phase of their consumer journey…

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