Web Discoveries for September 22nd

These are my del.icio.us links for September 22nd

WIRED Found: The Ultimate Collection

I love WIRED magazine. It has excellent features; interesting contributors; an unpatronising writing style; awesome graphic design; unannoying ads; even the paper it’s printed on is good quality. WIRED is, to many, an opinion leading and culturally significant title both on and offline.
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It’s future facing attitude really suits my own, so I’ve been reading it regularly for years. Now the UK title is in print, I buy both that and the US version. Ubergeek, aren’t I?

One of my favourite features was always the back page, the ‘Found’ section, which featured potential realities of our future daily lives.
Sadly no longer supported by the magazine, ‘Found’ lives on as an online Photoshop contest, where readers can submit their own images on subjects such as chewing gum and rehab.

I wanted to find the original images though, and I’ve managed to source the earliest online record (Jan ‘04) up to the last published image (Jul ‘08).

So here they are, in reverse chronological order. They are packed with all sorts of detail and easter eggs, so click on them to see the full images:

The Final Found

From WIRED July 2008, predicted for 2018:

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Wine Spectrometer

From WIRED June 2008, predicted for circa 2020:

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Smithsonian

From WIRED May 2008, predicted for 2096:

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Risk

From WIRED April 2008, predicted for 2027:

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Home Shopping

From WIRED March 2008, predicted for circa 2016:

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Tattoo

From WIRED February 2008, predicted for the near future:

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Windshield

From WIRED January 2008, predicted for 2013:

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Responsibeer

From WIRED December 2007, predicted for 2012:

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Waste Management

From WIRED November 2007, predicted for circa 2025:

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Halloween

From WIRED October 2007, predicted for 2015:

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Birthday

From WIRED September 2007, predicted for 2079:

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Fruit Stand

From WIRED August 2007, predicted for circa 2020:

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Comic Book

From WIRED July 2007, predicted for 2021:

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Fido Fusion

From WIRED June 2007, predicted for 2016:

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Reunion

From WIRED May 2007, predicted for 2052:

Bug Spray

From WIRED April 2007, predicted for circa 2050:

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Medicine Cabinet

From WIRED March 2007, predicted for 2013:

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Speeding Ticket

From WIRED February 2007, predicted for 2054:

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Crayons

From WIRED January 2007, predicted for 2013:

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Christmas Shopping

From WIRED December 2006, predicted for 2017:

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Organ Farming

From WIRED November 2006, predicted for 2015:

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Bluetooth

From WIRED October 2006, predicted for 2019:

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Report Card

From WIRED September 2006, predicted for 2018:

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Diet Cola

From WIRED August 2006, predicted for 2019:

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Contact Lens

From WIRED July 2006, predicted for 2020:

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Bookstore

From WIRED June 2006, predicted for 2021:

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Operation

From WIRED May 2006, predicted for 2027:

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Tax Day

From WIRED April 2006, predicted for 2021:

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MTA Route Map

From WIRED March 2006, predicted for 2067:

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Love Tester

From WIRED February 2006, predicted for 2015:

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Mood Ring

From WIRED January 2006, predicted for 2009:

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Christmas Morning

From WIRED December 2005, predicted for 2016:

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Diaper

From WIRED November 2005, predicted for 2024:

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Sharper Image

From WIRED October 2005, predicted for 2012:

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Space Elevator

From WIRED September 2005, predicted for 2032:

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Crossword

From WIRED August 2005, predicted for 2019:

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Nightstand

From WIRED July 2005, predicted for 2017:

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Antivirus

From WIRED June 2005, predicted for 2022:

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Bumper Sticker

From WIRED May 2005, predicted for 2012:

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Horoscope

From WIRED April 2005, predicted for 2056:

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Insurance Form

From WIRED March 2005, predicted for 2069:

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Taste Tester

From WIRED February 2005, predicted for 2009:

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House Call

From WIRED January 2005, predicted for the near future:

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Barf Bag

From WIRED December 2004, predicted for 2047:

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Election Day

From WIRED November 2004, predicted for 2012:

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Bathroom Vendor

Scanned from WIRED October 2004:

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Lost File

Scanned from WIRED September 2004:

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Box Set

Scanned from WIRED August 2004:

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Power Gym

Scanned from WIRED July 2004:

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20 Big Ones

Scanned from WIRED June 2004:

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Postcards

Scanned from WIRED May 2004:

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Nanobot Inhaler

Scanned from WIRED April 2004:

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Bulletproof Fashion

Scanned from WIRED March 2004:

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Chococeuticals

Scanned from WIRED February 2004:

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Mood Machine

Scanned from WIRED January 2004:

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Thanks to Rhaomi for the brilliant Metafilter article Artifacts from the Future, and to Stuart Candy for his scans that complete the collection, found here on his site.

Any I’ve missed? Let me know!

Summary So Far

In summary, Mobile AR has many paths leading to it. It is this convergence of various paths that makes a true historical appraisal of this technology difficult to achieve. However, I have highlighted facets of its contributing technologies that assist in the developing picture of the implications that Mobile AR has in store. A hybridisation of a number of different technologies, Mobile AR embodies the most gainful properties of its three core technologies: This analyst sees Mobile AR as a logical progression from VR, but recognises its ideological rather than technological founding. The hardware basis of Mobile AR stems from current mobile telephony trends that exploit the growing capabilities of Smartphone devices. The VR philosophy and the mobile technology are fused through the Internet, the means for enabling context-based, live-updating content, and housing databases of developer-built and user-generated digital objects and elements, whilst connecting users across the world.

I have shown that where the interest in VR technologies dwindled due to its limited real-world applicability, Mobile Internet also lacks in comparison to Mobile AR and its massive scope for intuitive, immersive and realistic interpretations of digital information. Wearable AR computing shares VR’s weaknesses, despite keeping the user firmly grounded in physical reality. Mobile AR offers a solution that places the power of these complex systems into a mobile telephone: the ubiquitous technology of our generation. This new platform solves several problems at once, most importantly for AR developers and interested Blue-chip parties, market readiness. Developing for Mobile AR is simply the commercially sensible thing to do, since the related industries are already making the changes required for its mass-distribution.

Like most nascent technologies, AR’s success depends on its commercial viability and financial investment, thus most sensible commercial developers of AR technologies are working on projects for the entertainment and advertising industries, where their efforts can be rewarded quickly. These small-scale projects are often simple in concept, easily grasped and thus not easily forgotten. I claim here that the first Mobile AR releases will generate early interest in the technology and entertainment markets, with the effect that press reportage and word-of-mouth behaviour assist Mobile AR’s uptake. I must be careful with my claims here however, since there is no empirical evidence to suggest that this will occur for Mobile AR. Looking at the emergence of previous technologies, however, the Internet and mobile telephony grew rapidly and to massive commercial success thanks to some strong business models and advancements in their own supporting technologies. It is strongly hoped by developers like Gameware and T-Immersion that Mobile AR can enjoy this same rapid lift-off. Both technologies gained prominence once visible in the markets thanks to a market segment called early adopters. This important group gathers their information from specialist magazine sources and word of mouth. Mobile AR developers would do well to recognise the power of this group, perhaps by offering shareware versions of their AR software that encourage a form of viral transmission that exploit text messaging.

Gameware have an interesting technique for the dissemination of their HARVEE software. They share a business interest with a Bluetooth technology firm, which has donated a prototype product the Bluetooth Push Box, which scans for local mobile devices and automatically sends files to users in acceptance. Gameware’s Push Box sends their latest demo to all visitors to their Cambridge office. This same technology could be placed in public places or commercial spaces to offer localised AR advertising, interactive tourist information, or 3D restaurant menus, perhaps.

Gameware, through its Nokia projects and HARVEE development program is well placed to gain exposure on the back of a market which is set to explode as mobile offerings become commercially viable, ‘social’, powerful, multipurpose and newsworthy. Projects like HARVEE are especially interesting in terms of their wide applicability and mass-market appeal. It is its potential as a revolutionary new medium that inspires this very series.

Wrigley to Launch New 5 Gum in UK

A new gum brand is about to hit the shelves. 5 Gum is designed to ‘stimulate the senses’ and it’s one of the most exciting new brands of the year.
I was lucky enough to get hold of a sample set:

IMG_0558The marketing lifecycle is about to kick off here in the UK with a heavyweight branding campaign designed to encourage product sampling. Let’s look at how the product was launched in the US, taken from the Wrigley corporate site:

  • 2007 In March 2007, Wrigley introduced U.S. consumers to 5, the most exciting development in sugar-free stick gum since the launch of Extra® more than 20 years earlier.
  • 2007 In August 2007, 5 gum unveiled its marketing campaign titled ‘Stimulate Your Senses.’ The advertising spots described “what it feels like to chew 5 gum.” Set against an industrial, futuristic backdrop, the cooling, warming and tingling sensations created by 5 gum flavors Cobalt,
  • Flare and Rain are expressed through dramatically stimulating visuals and sounds. The campaign also strongly leveraged magazine, cinema and online media advertising to showcase our new brand.
  • 2008 In 2008, 5 brand launched two new fruit gum experiences. Lush gum provides a crisp tropical sensation and Elixir gum is a mouthwatering berry sensation.
  • 2009 5 gum takes it to the next level with unique, game-changing flavor experiences. Solstice, a warm and cool winter, and Zing, a sour to sweet bubble, are new-to-world flavor transitioning experiences.

Do check out the 5 Gum YouTube channel for examples of the TV/Cinema creative, but in this post I’d like to review the packaging, which I believe is a point of difference that will give the product luxury status.

So to begin with, we’re starting with an initial three flavours: Cobalt – a cooling peppermint; Electro – a tingling spearmint and Pulse – a crisp tropical. Packs will reportedly go on sale at £1.50 RRP, to reflect that they are a considered rather than impulse purchase.

I’ll be looking at Pulse – the tropical flavour, which comes with little speckles of sharp citric stuff that actually gets your mouth watering when you first start chewing:

IMG_0560Notice how slick the box looks. Think about the colour of the last pack of gum you bought, and now say that 5 doesn’t look cool on this front alone. It does not look clinical like most gums do with their greens, whites and light blues. They look more like smart trading cards or a packet of condoms for that matter – gum for grownups.

IMG_0567It might be hard to tell from the above but the packs are slightly textured, with a heavy feel in the hand like holding a deck of cards. They slide into a back pocket pretty well. Build quality is excellent, made from a thick card and high gloss colour.

IMG_0569OK I admit the above is a shit picture, but it’s just to give you an idea of how you open and close the box. That flap of paper is embossed with glossy material so you can easily slide the box open with your thumb. Very James Bond. A bit like a book of matches, it’s an old school but perma-cool ‘paper technology’.

IMG_0570And there’s the money shot. You would not be ashamed offering someone a piece of this stuff, rather than one of those pocket-lint covered chiclets you have to fight the foil to thumb out. The designs on the inside are different for each flavour. This would be a great place to feature a QR code or even exhibit work from young artists.

And that concludes my short assessment of 5 Gum’s packaging. Look out for the TV, Online and Print creative coming soon. If you can’t wait, 5 have teamed up with Vice Magazine to generate early interest and reach into the difficult to please Hoxtonite crew – more info at Viceland whose readers have been asked to work with band Hot Chip to create a Launch Event in London that will stimulate the senses.

If you would like more of these sorts of reviews from me, please leave a comment. I look forward to hearing your feedback. Happy chewing.