Augmented Reality

Adidas takes a turn on the AR bandwagon

Augmented Reality Turns Shoes Into Game Controllers I'll give serious credit to Adidas for embracing the technology and including AR codes on the tongue of a new line of footwear, but somebody really dropped the ball here, or at least wasn't thinking things through.  How many people are going to want to use a shoe that's been on the ground, subway or the candy/popcorn/soda soaked floor of a movie theater as a game controller?

Perhaps a better option for Adidas would have been to sew two AR tags to the cuffs of a sweater, long-sleeved T, or jacket.  Then have the AR code access a series of games that would tie in with Adidas' various markets.  Have a choice of a Need for Speed: Underground style game for youth, a boxing game to target their boxing/mma demographic and perhaps even tie in with Chevy with a Dale Jr. Nascar driving simulation.

It's not just about embracing the technology and showing that you're "young" and "hip".  The technology should be used to reinforce existing brand identity.

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Netbooks, MID's, and the future of the mobile internet

Not too long ago, the mobile internet was a poorly rendered WAP version of the real deal. This didn't bother me too much, as I still remember AOL on a 386. But for those who don't remember the mid 90's and the glory of being able to click a link then go make a sandwich and pour yourself a glass of iced tea before making your way back to the computer to find your new page still loading, this was a major problem. Laptops are fine and dandy, but really that's still a fairly sizable machine you're hauling around, not ideal for web surfing/portable email/applications. With the move to smartphones came a move to a proper internet, or at least a scaled version of the internet. Now, we finally have real browsers that allow for a decent internet viewing on BlackBerry, iPhone, HTC and other cell phones. But all, and I mean all, of those solutions don't really give you the full internet. Pages are rendered properly of course, but most are scaled down to a smaller resolution to fit on the smaller screen. Netbooks and MID's solve that problem. Both are portable (obviously MID's are more portable than netbooks) and both allow for a full resolution webpage to be viewed. This becomes important in the world of social networking as it allows us to become entrenched in the process of managing our online personas. What exactly do I mean by that? As we get to the point that technology allows for a universal internet, with things looing the same and with the user experience, the more fluid our actions on social networking sites will become. This will result in the experience becoming more finely ingrained in our daily life. After all, it wasn't too long ago that you couldn't check your email on the beach at all.

Random thoughts on new techonologies

As new mobile communications technologies emerge, we're beginning to see the reality of real honest-to-god augmented reality (AR). Now I've never been one to go in for the VR/gamer version of AR. I'm more of an overlay/heads-up/constantly available encyclopedia kind of guy. Seeing the possibilities simply beginning to be explored with Google's Android platform and it's grab bag of GPS/accelerometers and other goodies of course brings one to think about the future of marketing and advertising. Previously sci-fi only visions of individually projected advertisements are beginning to become possible. If you can now identify landmarks and buildings via RFID tags and semantic visual searches, how long can it possibly be before there's a Pepsi advertisement plastered at the bottom of your cell? And is that really such a bad thing? From a marketing viewpoint it would be possible to truly target/segment your audience. Already in Asia and Europe purchases can be made through a cell phone via RFID, why is it improbable that you phone can/will/does store your purchase information and use that as a filter for your new AR advertisements? This would conceivably allow companies/organizations to develop even stronger engagement with their customers, even if this means seeing a Slurm ad while touring the Vatican.