Tag Archives: video

Is Google Glass the future of computing (or a passing fad)?

Google GlassMy colleagues and I are a bunch of (admitted) geeks.

Every day, we share links from Engadget, Gizmodo, TechCrunch and the like.

About interesting apps, techie news, digital trends or hot topics.

A few days ago, someone passed around a link to a promo video for Google Glass.

For the uninformed, Google Glass is Google’s foray into developing a wearable computer.

Unlike the alleged smart watch being developed by Apple, Google Glass is a frame you wear on your face, like a pair of glasses.

Google Glasses

There are no lenses, per se.

Just a small rectangular surface, sitting an inch or so away from the eye, within which sits the Google Glass display.

Google Glass is very limited in its functionality.

From the video demonstration, Google Glass lets you record and playback video, video chat, get turn-by-turn directions, or send a message.

The What It Does part of the Google Glass site seems to suggest that it does a little more than this.

But not much more.

Since there is no keyboard, you’re limited to voice controlled functions.

Now, we can talk to our computers, Star Trek- like, and have them perform increasingly complex functions.

There is a little button on the side, presumably to allow the user to switch between functions.

But beyond that, it’s totally hands free.

When I first watched the video, it reminded me of a GoPro commercial.

It was all about the visuals.

But unlike GoPro, Google Glass allows you to do more than just record video.

You almost forget about the little screen in the top right corner, because your field of vision is right in front of you.

And that got me wondering…

When you’re wearing a pair of Google Glasses, are you always staring up and to the right?

Like you’re thinking about something?

“Do I look like a dork?” perhaps?

My curiosity got the best of me, and I signed up to try out the damn things.

But a happy black chick on the sign up page told me that the applications to try Google Glass were closed.

If you we're so cute, I'd be mad atcha.

If you weren’t so cute, I’d be mad atcha.

I signed up anyway.

I doubt I’ll see a pair in the wild before they’re available for sale.

But one can always hope.

In any instance, it’s definitely got me intrigued.

What do you think?

Is Google Glass the way of the future?

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Filed under branding, technology

Superbowl XLVI and Social Media: A Wish List

Which brands will freak social media this year?

Tomorrow night, the New York Giants will play the New England Patriots in Superbowl XLVI.

While most will be focusing on the game, for marketers, talk always turns to the commercials that air during the game.

With an estimated audience of 111 million, advertisers are queued up to spend $3 million for a thirty second spot, all in hopes of making an impact on that audience.

A well executed commercial can leave an impression on viewers that will last for months afterward and translate into money well spent by the brand(s) that get it right.

Volkswagon’s Young Vader commercial, which aired during Superbowl XLV has garnered over 50 million views to date, and was by far, one of the most popular commercials of the game.

While talk usually revolves around what Superbowl commercials the big brands are planning, I’m more interested in seeing how (and whether) these same brands integrate social media into their campaigns.

Aside from making their commercials available on YouTube (which is valuable), I’m curious as to how many have planned more comprehensive social media campaigns.

I’d imagine that we’re going see a number of calls-to-action involving ‘liking’ this brand or that on Facebook.

Quite passe, if you ask me.

But aside from the standards, like this or follow that, are any of these brands thinking outside of the box?

My wish list for this year’s Superbowl is to see brands utilizing social media in new and innovative ways.

I, for one, am going to be keeping a watchful eye for anything extraordinary tomorrow.

I’m also going to be looking out for which commercials create the biggest buzz during the game.

Which commercials are trending on Twitter?

Which brands get people updating their status with ‘LMFAO’s?

Which commercials get shared the most?

SMS. SnapTags. QR Codes. Spoof videos. Mobile-only content. I’m expecting it all!

Since my Cowboys were unceremoniously drummed out of Superbowl contention by the Giants (damn you Eli!), I’ve got no skin in the game.

So, don’t worry. I won’t be distracted rooting for any team. I know you were concerned.

I’ll keep a scorecard of who did what, paying special attention to the campaigns that tricked out their social media components.

Check in Monday for my post-game survey.

Go <fill in the name of your team here>!

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Filed under branding, digital advocacy, social media

President Obama channels Al Green at the Apollo

I was going to give you an elaborate post about mobile engagement tools, but I saw this last night, and had to share:

Only President Obama could pull off (a few lines) of Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together.

Apparently on a dare!

It’s this sense of spontaneity that makes Obama the President that he is.

And why he raised $3.6 million yesterday on his latest jaunt through New York city.

Haven’t heard back from team Obama (remember I sent a resume online?), but I’ll still rep for the Big 0.

Especially when he’s coming with all that swagger!

With the heavy news coverage on his little song, I wouldn’t be surprised if this video is viral by this weekend.

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Filed under Smack talking, social media

SoLoMo Profile: Wyst

The second company I’m going to profile for the Starters+Startups: The Future of SoLoMo & You panel I’m moderating is Wyst.

The Wyst app allows you to share geo-tagged photographs, with family, friends and members of your Facebook and Twitter social networks.

Wyst's homepage is spare.

In the header of the page, there are three icons next to a phone which offer:

Share experiences. As they happen, where they happen.

Discover new stories around you.

It’s a new kind of message in a bottle.

Since there was a video, I watched.

It’s a 3:13 minute commercial, that I think does a really good job of telling you what Wyst’s all about, without a single line of dialogue.

You simply follow this bloke around NY as he use the app and a companion screen of his iPhone shows you his Wyst thread.

Nicely done Wyst.

From what I gleaned from watching the video alone, you can take a picture, tag it with different emoticons and post it to your Wyst profile.

I’ll know more when I take the app for a test-drive.

The bottom of the page offers links to the App store, their social media profiles (Facebook and Twitter), the Latest News, Blog and About Us pages.

You can also sign up for the Wyst newsletter on the page.

The Latest News includes the fact that Wyst is now out of Beta and available in the iTunes App store.

The Blog takes you to a page which offers various Wysts of the Day.

It’s essentially a blog roll of different pictures taken by Wyst users all over the globe.

Wyst of the Day

Wyst’s About Us page is fairly irreverent.

It pays homage to the Brooklyn roots of the app, as well as the following:

“Wyst is a like a new kind of message in a bottle: it’s a fun app that enables you to share cool moments, random musings, unique tidbits and interesting experiences by capturing them on a photo or text note and tagging them to a location for others to find. The idea came to us from a simple question:

Wouldn’t it be awesome to freeze this moment in time, in this place, so that when someone else passes by this same spot they can find it and experience it themselves?

As the Wyst site is light on pages, I checked out their Facebook and Twitter pages too (let’s get those numbers up fellas – okay?) while downloading the app from the App Store.

Wysts are a tad scarce, huh? Gimme a chance why dontcha!

I’m going to play around with their app this week too, so stay tuned for any updates.

Again, if you’ve used Wyst, like it or have an opinion, please share!

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Filed under apps, branding, mobile

Digital Stewardship: PAL Digital U.N.I.Verse.City

A PAL Digital U.N.I.Verse.City workstation.

If you’re a forty-something like me, computer classes in high school involved learning to program in ASCII or DOS on a monochrome screen.

If you attended college, there may have been more advanced computer classes, for which you likely moved and stored content on floppy disks.

After college, you used a PC running some version of Windows at the job, and computer proficiency meant that you knew how to use Microsoft’s Office Suite.

You’re up on the latest gadgets, even if you don’t own an iPad or mobile tablet.

You probably have a smartphone, a laptop and an mp3 player.

And you probably consider yourself pretty savvy when it comes to digital technology.

Right?

Wrong!

We are dinosaurs!

Present company excluded, of course.

Today’s youth are exposed to technology, not as a stiff class taught by some bored out-of-touch professor, but as a natural extension of their everyday existence.

Their access to and adoption of technological gadgets, is second nature to them, almost intuitive.

And unlike us, who came into the ‘technological age’ of massive building-size ‘super computers,’ today’s youth have microprocessors in virtually every device they touch.

The Macbook Pros, Xboxes, Playstations, Wiis, Leapsters of today are tens of thousand times more powerful than anything we ever used growing up.

With Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc., kids are more immersed in interactive technology and applications than we ever were.

They can access and touch virtually any part of the digital universe, and regularly use technology to communicate, socialize and interact with one-another and others.

This intimacy, however, has it’s consequences, though.

Cyber-bullying, internet plagiarism, and the regular posting of questionable (and often inappropriate) content are norms, that we didn’t experience when we were using computers and cell phones.

Social media, as we know it today, didn’t even exist.

It’s no wonder that kids are acting…like kids, when they use them these different tools.

I think it’s important that we take stock of what our children are exposed to (from a digital, content and technological perspective), and give them real guidance on the appropriate and responsible use of technology.

To that end, I want to share a project that I’ve been working on with the Police Athletic League of New York City (PALNYC).

It’s called the PAL Digital Digital U.N.I.Verse.City and its a class being offered as part of an apprenticeship program.

The apprenticeship program is the initiative of Marcel Braithwaite, the Director of Centers for PALNYC.

Marcel manages PALNYC’s eleven (11) centers, located in the five boroughs of New York City.

And he wanted to develop a program that exposed kids to technology as a means of both skills/workforce development and keeping them off the streets.

The curriculum we are using for the program was developed by Mark Hines, a graduate of Princeton University, and the CEO and Founder of Marksmen Productions, Inc., a New York city-based creative agency.

Mark has designed a program that teaches real life skills to the youth, using live scenarios which give the students active participation in projects with real time results.

The Digital U.N.I.Verse.City (DU) is a six (6) month intensive audio, video and technology training program, tailored to students of varying degrees of technical proficiency.

Digital U.N.I.Verse.City classes meet two (2) times a week to provide students instruction in digital media production, it’s cultural impacts and ethical and moral responsibilities that accompany the use of these tools.

The program officially launches next Wednesday at the Harlem Center on 119th Street, and Digital Uni.Verse.City students will study media (news, tv, movies, music, art), how it is produced, and begin rudimentary hands-on manipulation of video and audio (DU101/102) in preparation for the Advanced Studio Workshop (DU201).

The Time Warner Center in the Harlem Center has been converted into the PAL Digital U.N.I.Verse.City classroom.

Students who successfully complete the intro courses will be invited to participate in the Advanced Studio Workshop, focusing on professional skill development in (one of the following) music production, audio/visual engineering, video production and direction, video editing, motion effects, journalism and musicianship.

Digital U.N.I.Verse.City instructors include many of our professional colleagues, who are experts in their respective fields.

From Grammy-winning musicians, to New York Times best-selling authors, the Digital U.N.I.Verse.City instructors will offer students hands-on training and skill development on live projects.

The Digital U.N.I.Verse.City curriculum starts with a review of the DU Acceptable Use Policy, which lays out the foundation for every student’s participation in the program.

Most people have never seen (much less read) an acceptable use policy.

But it is the most important thing, for people living in a highly interconnected digital world – and the point of this rambling post.

I helped to develop (read: wrote) our acceptable use policy, which came together after many long sessions, during which we worked diligently to draft something that actually made sense.

For the majority of people who have ever read (read: scanned) an AU Policy, you know its a statement by the owners, administrators or other gatekeepers of any digital or online environment, which provides a code of conduct that users must observe while utilizing (or as a member of) a particular system.

As an advocate for technology, the Digital U.N.I.Verse.City program, gives me a constructive way to address the issue of responsible use of technology by our youth.

More importantly, working on this project has forced me to address the fact that most of us operate without a set of guiding digital principles.

Obviously, I always promote best practices with my clients, and have helped draft numerous Terms of Use, Privacy Policies and various other online instruments governing the use of certain online programs or environs.

But that’s not quite the same thing, when the audience for my usual written verbosity is the youth.

Next Wednesday is our first class (did I say that already?) and I’m excited.

The pictures above were from our dry-run, when we set up the local Moodle we’re using for the class.

Be sure to look out for future posts about how the program is coming along.

Also, feel free to donate to or volunteer at your local PAL!

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Filed under opinion, technology