Turn your tablet or smartphone into a holographic projector

While it’s not totally a hologram, this new kickstarter project—HOLHO—brings us one step closer to holograms with its projector. Essentially the new device comes in different shapes and sizes (i.e. a small-pyramid that sits above one’s tablet, or even four-sided pyramid etc.) at a starting price of $47.

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The way in which the device works is that it is first placed on the top or bottom of a phone or tablet, and then using the Holho app it takes videos and divides them in such a way that works with the pyramid devices to show different visualizations.

Why I am Curious:
I am always curious about devices/solutions that test the limits of our realities. While this is still in its early stages, and may later be seen as bulky, I am interested to see how real holograms will eventually be integrated into our daily lives. Will holograms eventually replace augmented reality? Will they replace things like skype or face time etc.

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IBM: THINK Banners

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IBM’s THINK campaign explores how progress is shaped through a common and systematic approach, and how it makes the world work better.  To promote their new tablet app, IBM launched a THINK banner campaign where brain teasers drew an intelligent audience in and encouraged them to be creative in their problem solving. Upon puzzle completion, the ads drove to download the THINK App for free. See them all in action here.

Why I’m Curious

This is a great example of a brand who not only talks about being innovative, but is innovative (and invites / encourages people to be innovative, too). This banner campaign is a simple, yet effective, way to promote IBM’s new THINK app and illustrates the problem-solving nature of the campaign in a simplified way. The app itself is an IBM-curated window into their – and our – continued progress.

Want by Svpply Creates Personalized Retail Magazines

Svpply, a product discovery and shopping service has created a new iOS app called Want, which delivers users a daily min-catalog of 50 products from the thousands that are uploaded by the Svpply community of tastemakers.

The app is designed to make it easier for consumers to find products relevant to them. The app prompts users to create a Svpply account log in, which lets Want tell whether to feature men’s, women’s or gender-neutral products in your customized magazine. When you find a recommended item you like, you can click the ‘Buy’ button which takes you to the brand’s website right within the app.

(via Fast Company)

Why I’m Curious

More and more brands are trying to tailor content that is customized to the user, but the big question is whether they can really make it as relatable as the consumer wants. The Want app is a great way for people to browse and find items they are interested in, but whether that becomes a real transaction is another story. I’m curious as to how these services that provide customized content or, in this case, ‘magazines’ will differ to one another and how brand partnerships can come into play.

Pickie, the Flipboard of E-Catalogs

-Vicky

Pickie is an iPad magazine that utilizes social data to create a personalized catalog. In short, it’s a bit like Flipboard for shopping. It creates curated content based on brands and items that friends and people users follow on social platforms have mentioned, shared, liked or pinned on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

When joining Pickie, the user is asked to indicate their gender as well as categories (home goods, arts, gadgets, clothing…etc) and brands they’re interested in. Then, Pickie creates four different streams of content. Social Content shows brands and items friends have mentioned. Trending Content displays the most popular items in each category. Editorial Pages shows items compiled by the Pickie Team and the Discovery Page helps users find new items. As Pickie learns more about the user, the better the Discovery Page gets.

Any product that is clicked on will display price, availability, what friends have said about it, as well as relevant editorial content. For example, a couch may be accompanied with an article from Apartment Therapy and a book may come with a New York Times review.

Why I’m Curious

What’s interesting about Pickie is that though it to combines many elements from popular platforms we already know about, it could still offer a new approach to e-commerce. Much like how Flipboard helps users discover new, relevant content, if Pickie can work as well as Flipboard, users have a one-stop hub for online shopping and wish-list discovery. The biggest concern is how sponsored products will be displayed, and whether advertisers can utilize the platform to push sales in a way that isn’t as intrusive and obvious as sponsored tweets.

‘Johnny Test’ Game Expands Across Multiple Screens

Gaming on tablets and mobile phones is a largely personal experience. Aside from games like Words With Friends, the gaming experience on these platforms is usually limited to a single person and screen. But a game (that was actually released in late December) called Johnny Test: Roller Johnny connects two plays across the screens of their phones or tablets using Bluetooth.

The game is quite simple, but it claims to be the first gaming experience that can travel across screens with multiple players. Apparently Kolody, the creative agency behind the game, received direct support from Apple to develop Johnny Test and is now working on a WiFI enabled version. (More as Mashable)

Why I’m Curious

Smartphones are rapidly changing the way we interact with our surroundings, and with others. Last week, we saw an example of an airline discount that was revealed by touching two phones together, this takes the experience in a slightly different direction, but still adds the extra dimension of connecting a mobile experience with someone else – not only making the screen area bigger, but making it interactive in a new way. Enabling gaming across screens opens the door for all kinds of interesting, exciting possibilities – games that can be played with someone you’re sitting next to on a train, experiences that can continue from phone to larger screen, etc.

* If you have time, watch this TED talk from magician Marco Tempest, who uses three iPods as his magical props.

Video App that Helps you Exercise


Virtual Active and Bit Gym have teamed up to create the first video app that reacts to the way you exercise. Users can choose either a basic or guided workout on the app, which will then begin to play video footage of journeys through famous cities and landscapes, shot from a first person point of view. Then, by placing the iOS device on an exercise machine, the app will monitor the speed at which the user is exercising and match the video playback to that pace, using “vibration-based exercise tracking”. The app is compatible with treadmills, bikes and ellipticals, with ten videos currently available priced at USD 7.99 each — the app itself is free to download.

Why I’m Curious:

We’ve noticed a consumer trend toward utilizing apps and devices to improve one’s physical health and well being (and have even written about it on Code and Construct). The health/wellness sector has been one of the first verticals to really benefit from gamification and it will be interesting to see how these new uses of technology will impact behavior and offerings over time. For example, consumers are already taking their tablets to the gym…will gyms soon decide to provide tablets at machine stations featuring various apps to aid in a visitor’s session?

Shuffler.fm Launches Its Nifty ‘Flipboard For Music’ iPad App

–Jocelyn

From TechCrunch:

Last year, Tim Heineke of Twones and Tone.fm, Marcel Corso and Diedrik Martens launched a new Amsterdam-based music startup, called Shuffler.fm, to let users listen to the tunes and artists being covered by music blogs while they read.

The startup thus began its career as a cool web app for music discovery, with the goal of aggregating music from blogs across the Internets — based on genre. …

With its initial functionality, Shuffler.fm was really a hybrid of Pandora and ex.fm for music blogs-curated tunes. Yet, on Tuesday, the startup expanded that influence to include Flipboard, launching an iPad app that transforms music blogs and websites into radio stations, curating them in a Flipboard-style layout of words, pictures, and streaming audio.

The Shuffler.fm iPad essentially app creates an aggregated music magazine that serves content from a diverse set of music bloggers and experts in realtime (content is updated by the minute), providing a ready-to-consume filtered stream of music optimized for discoverability and at the same time presenting a curated experience so that users don’t have to deal with parsing the ridiculous amount of noise being dished out by music content producers. In other words, it’s music listening with an editorial filter.

Of course, rather than basing the content it serves on your existing tastes, like so many other music services out there (Last.fm, Pandora), Shuffler’s audio is brought to you in genre-based channels that are populated by (only the coolest) blogs, like Pitchfork, TheMusic.FM, and Stereogum to name a few.

Users can create playlists of songs from these visual RSS blog feeds at the bottom of the app, where they can then listen via the app’s player, all while reading about the songs they’re listening to. The app also supports AirPlay so that users aren’t just confined to listening to music from their iPad’s speakers.

Why I’m Curious:

Music blogs have been hugely influential over how people discover new music (Stereogum, Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan), as has algorithm-based music suggesters (Pandora, Last.fm). What Shuffler does is mash-up the both of best worlds: you get to choose music based on genre (rather than a specific artist), and then Shuffler aggregates all the latest blogosphere news about them to display the most recent articles about them. It’s a full music immersion experience — learn about artists while you discover new ones.

What’s most interesting is sound’s immersion into iPad territory, an inherently visual playground. What Shuffler has done is given it some visual meat to accompany its audio juice, and also tapped into the iPad’s “touch here, swipe there” appeal. For music nerds, this could be a very cool thing. For marketers, it could be a very good lesson in adapting to platforms.

And Now The Hardest Puzzle Ever

-Alina

Esquire has released an iPad app the publication is calling “the hardest puzzle ever.” The game has five levels, each consisting of a six-sided cube, with each side containing an image scrambled into multiple cubes of its own. When a scrambled image is correctly assembled, the player is asked a question pertaining to that image. After all six sides of a cube have been assembled and their respective questions answered, players must answer a “meta question” about what all the sides have in common. After successfully completing each level, users can opt to print out and assemble 3D trophies, a clever addition.  But the real reward, is testing yourself, men.

Why I’m curious:

This is one of the few publishers that has pushed beyond simply translating the magazine format to the tablet. They created something that was “native to the iPad” rather than a carbon copy of their offering.  Plus, they’ve tapped into the competitive spirit of the brainy and sophisticated male.  I think we have several brands that want to constantly push, inspire and provoke their customers, and this is an engaging way of doing so.