Monthly Archives: November 2011

Augmented Reality Really Augmenting Your Reality?

What is it? Augmented reality is a term used to describe computer generated sounds, videos, graphics or GPS data used to enhance the real world environment.

The one I am talking about here is sound and graphical images that generate when your camera recognizes a “barcode” and uses your background as the setting.

Now this concept isn’t new, GE was using this type of technology to generate interest for its Smart Grid product in 2009, but it’s back again because Starbucks has recently introduced an app that recognizes pictures on your paper cup or bag and creates a holiday scene out of it. We all know that Starbucks coffee sells because they have a culture that people buy into, but is this app really adding to the coffee experience?

The most brilliant application I’ve seen of augmented reality is Tissot’s, when they gave customers barcoded bracelets so that their customers were able to try on watches without having to enter to the store.

However, in its current use, I can’t help but feel that augmented reality is like 3D television*; it never fails to make an appearance every few years, but there’s no real demand for it.

* First patent for 3D television came up in 1890 (motion picture film made its debut in the early 1860’s).


Viral Video: Dermablend “Go Beyond the Cover”

The DermablendPro “Go Beyond the Cover” video was released only a month ago and has already accumulated over 4 million views on Youtube.

Rightly so, this video captures people’s attention by introducing a surprise—the seemingly unassuming man on the screen is actually covered in tattoos. The video begins with Rick Genest, also known as Zombie Boy, walking into the frame and sitting in a director’s chair. Covered from the waist up in Dermablend Tatoo Primer and Leg and Body Cover and Loose Setting Powder, the viewer doesn’t know what to expect as he peels off his t-shirt and begins scrubbing his chest until his hand pulls away to reveal a darkened spot. Schemas broken, we’re glued to the video as he grabs a towel and begins vigorously scrubbing his face.

Heath & Heath tell us, in their book Made to Stick, our brains are designed to be keenly aware of changes: of counterintuitive things. If we want to capture people’s attention, the authors say the best way to do it is by creating a surprise.

Owning Your Name

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet. Everything—I found out
as I began my foray into the world of blogging. The denotations and more
importantly, the connotations [and associations] act as information shortcuts,
enabling people to judge a person without even meeting them. It sounds awfully
superficial, but we all know it to be true.

In registering my domain name, I needed to think about who I
am and  contemplate who I want to be in
the future because, dare I say it, my name is my brand; a “Victoria” is not the
same person as a “Tori”! For those of us who don’t change their names, our
names are given to us at birth, when we barely have the energy to stay awake,
let alone create a personality.

Adapting to these circumstances, many people including me
choose to live by a nickname. With Facebook actively changing people’s profiles
to match their legal names, are they messing with more than just a person’s
name? Salman Rushdie experienced this firsthand when he woke up one morning to find that his Facebook account had been deactivated and a new one had been put in place under his legal name of “Ahmed Rushdie.”