If I Can Dream

March 4, 2010

This is the true fish bowl experience – put five mid 20’s aspiring models, actors and singers wanna be’s into a Hollywood mansion, turn on a raft of cameras and watch them 24/7 as they live their lives as a permanent audition.

This clever show called If I Can Dream, has been devised by Simon Fuller, the same person that dreamed up American Idol.
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The fascinating part of this show, for me, is it is online live 24/7, airs a weekly high quality episode on Hulu and not on TV, uses clever on and off-line promotions to promote itself, has used sponsorship and online advertising to fund it, and uses Twitter, Facebook and other social networking sites as an integral part of its product offering.

I’m not sure about the show itself, I’ll leave that to the reviewers, but the technology, social networking and fundamental shift in thinking of what entertainment is, how it is funded, promoted, interacted with and viewed may be the canary in the cage of a brave new world of entertainment.

As they say in the classics, stay tuned.

Are you a (wo)man or a mouse

March 4, 2010

Skinput, a prototype technology, does away with the mouse and replaces it with your arm and hands, turning you into a mobile touch interface.

It works by monitoring acoustic signals on your arm and translating these gestures and taps into input commands.

Non technically, you wear a cuff (much like a blood pressure gauge) on your bicep which picks up your finger tapping on various parts of your arm and hands and interprets them as input signals to activate or inform the device it’s hooked up to.

Turn up or down the volume on your mp3 player, answer the phone, flick through your contacts or emails. or hook it up to a pico projector (miniature stand-alone projectors also being built into mobile phones and devices) and project images onto your forearm to see what’s happening.

The easiest way to get your head around it is to watch this video (you might want to skip past the technical intro and start watching around 1 minute)

This technology, like emotive headsets that uses your thoughts to interact with your devices, are part of a new vanguard of input technologies that will eventually find their way into main stream use.

It will be not be exactly as we see it now, but it will be in subtle ways with inbuilt sensors and devices sewn or woven into our intelligent clothing, or perhaps buttons, brooches or caps that will link seamlessly to our mobile devices to drive and interact with our real and virtual worlds.