Engaging the audience

Now that’s what I call ‘user engagement’! The ‘Hand from Above’ video below is the work of artist Chris O’Shea and like Neil Perkin mentions in his blogpost… wonder how long it’ll take before we see this in a commercial context. Check it out:

handfromabove

[Via Only Dead Fish]

Strandbeest by Theo Jansen

Amazing. No other word for it… I find it hard to understand I missed it earlier on, but then again that’s the beauty of the web, that you can keep discovering beautiful things day after day I guess. Today at the Creativity World Forum (I’ll write about the whole event once it’s over) one presentation really fascinated me and that was the presentation from Theo Jansen.

Theo Jansen is an engineer/artist or even better a kinetic sculptor who creates new forms of artificial life, sculptures or animals that are made by very light material and that move powered by wind on the Dutch beaches. Check it out:

Theo Jansen has given presentations on this topic at TED and other events hence my remark I really should have seen this before, but I didn’t. Glad I have now though.

Mustang hood spotted!

I normally keep my Mustang stuff for that other blog, but this somehow fitted more on this one. If you have an interest in technology then you probably read a few tech blogs and just like me and a lot of other people see the excitement about cool new technology months before it gets released. Think about the iPhone, Android, Windows 7, … people start speculating about features and every miniscule change to a release date is big news. And wait until you get to see the first screenshots, or was that Photoshopped instead of the real deal? Who knows, but it keeps us all talking of course.

2010mustang

The last few weeks something similar happened (and is still ongoing) with the new 2010 Ford Mustang. The teaser website doesn’t really say much, apart from the fact that we still have to wait until Spring 09. But in these past few weeks, there have been spyshots of the new Mustang aka photos of a car that is partially covered and has a slight Dalmatian look and feel in many cases. But that happens to pretty much any car. In case of the Mustang – similar to what we’ve seen in the tech industry – every single piece of news around the new model is big news on all auto blogs. Take this “2010 Mustang hood spotted” for instance or the interior shots, … I didn’t keep track of everything but it always reminded me of what happens when let’s say people know Apple is working on an update of one of their products. Funny enough – and again similar – I’m not even sure if you’ll notice the difference with the ‘older’ Mustang to begin with.

Last but not least, with the 2010 Mustang also the Mustang badge changes:

mustangbadge

“A stronger, more dynamic pony badge with defined edges and crisper forms in a subtly toned tinted-chrome finish will charge across the grilles of the V-6 and GT versions of the 2010 Mustang.”

Okay, that’s way cool and all but would you have noticed the difference if no-one had told you? Anyway, I will keep track of this news just like I do for what happens in technology, though there were some nice similarities here.

Photo tourism: stunning!

Remember Photosynth? About 2 years ago Microsoft Live Labs release the tech preview of Photosynth and I hasn’t lost any bit of coolness ever since. It was presented at TED Talks by Blaise Aguera y Arcas (together with SeaDragon) and is one of the most watched videos of the complete TED video collection (which on itself is pretty awesome already). Watch that first if you haven’t done so already.

Long Zheng at istartedsomething.com reports on a new 3D photoviewer that was created by Microsoft Research and the University of Washington:

“The collaborative research team from the University of Washington and Microsoft Research who only two years ago in 2006 published their paper “Photo Tourism” and their technology demonstration “Photosynth” have again pushed the boundaries of what can be achieved by intuitively processing the abundance of digital images shared on the web. This week at SIGGRAPH 2008 they’re sharing with the world some even better technology they’ve been working on which they call “Finding Paths through the World’s Photos“. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s damn cool. If you’re not much of a reading person like me, take a look at this video demonstration.”

Here’s the video, pretty stunning indeed:

The human camera

Fascinating stuff on television yesterday (yes that happens on occasion). It was a documentary of a guy called Stephen Wiltshire and I thought it was just stunning. Now I know some of you might have seen this already, the guy’s story isn’t really new, but it was the first I had heard/seen of him. From Wikipedia:

“Stephen Wiltshire is an architectural artist who has been diagnosed with autism. Wiltshire was born in London, England, to West Indian parents. He is known for being able to draw an entire landscape just by seeing it once.”

The clip below was part of the documentary and shows Stephen draw a panorama of London (which will take him 4-5 days) on a 4 meters wide canvas… after only flying over the city for 15 minutes with an helicopter! How’s that for a visual memory!

Here’s a link to the end result. London was the first city he did on that scale, but in the meantime many others have followed such as Rome and Tokyo for instance. I think I’m gonna stop by his shop next time I’m in London.

Listen and learn (2)

Keep ’em coming Rick. Read my earlier “Listen and learn” post or this new one from Rick Segal to know what I’m on about. Here’s a teaser:

“VCs are typically stupid when it comes to this section so be prepared for a dumb question blizzard.”

Clueless sometimes…

13th Street

Brilliant. The toilet in a nightclub in Hamburg was specially prepared so that after entering the toilet, the lights would go out and the room would be bathing in blacklight… highlighting a bloody crime scene in the room. All of this to promote the exclusive thrillers on 13th Street – the action and suspense channel. I’ll say it again: brilliant.

13thstreet 

[Via directdaily]

Flanders

A bit more than 3 weeks to go to Blogger Social in NYC, a unique gathering of mainly (but not only) marketing & advertising bloggers from across the globe. With just over 80 attendees and a fun agenda of events this is really something a lot of us are looking forward to for many months.

There’s one downside to it though, and that is that it takes place the exact same weekend as the Tour of Flanders, the classic of all classics in road cycle racing if you ask me. The race, first organized in 1913, is an experience of its own and (trust me) appeals to everyone who is up for a heroic day of sports. With many steep hills, often paved with cobblestones over a distance of approx. 260 kilometers… it sure isn’t just a race like any other.

I’ve watched the race on television for as long as I can remember, most of the time with a bunch of friends, and for the last few years we’ve been going to the ‘Muur van Geraardsbergen’ (or ‘wall’ of Geraardsbergen) to watch it live, courtesy of Lotto. With several thousands of people at the key positions of the race and close to a million people over the whole length, the ambiance is incredible.

Ronde 13  IMAGE_030

So not this year, and the Social will rock for sure, but a part in my heart will miss this raceday a lot. I’m sure Tim ‘Masiguy’ Jackson understands ;)

Here’s a great ad from Het Nieuwsblad (newspaper) for their upcoming coverage of the Tour of Flanders.