Advertising Got There First

Phantom 3D objects floating in the air, visible only through the portal of your phone? An urban game played with same? Mobile ad boutique The Hyper Factory seems to have got there first. Their recent ad campaign for Nike used image recognition of printed targets (on posters, in magazines, on the ground of a football field, etc.) to superimpose hovering shoes over the real world.

This is, without a doubt, creative. But looking at it strictly as a creative work, it is severely hamstrung by the fact that the objective is to sell shoes. My guess is that it will be games that push the aesthetic and technical boundaries of this technology. We’re going to see strange reality-fantasy hybrids that will make World of Warcraft and Second Life look old, boring, and flat. Then again, it might also make LARPing socially acceptable, and do we really want that?

And after the technology is ubiquitous and cheap, we’re going to use it to put deep labels on our environment in real time — this is already starting with a sort of Wikipedia for objects. If you’re one of those people who feel sorta blind without your smartphone, just wait until it’s built into your sunglasses.

Advertisers Smoking Crack, and the Future of Journalism According to Leo Laporte

Leo Laporte of This Week in Tech gave a truly marvelous talk on Friday about how his online journalism model works. The first half of the talk is all about how TWIT moved from TV to podcasting and became profitable, and includes such gems as

Advertisers have been smoking the Google and Facebook crack. And they no longer want that shakeweed that the [TV] networks are offering.

The second half is in many ways even better, when Leo takes questions from the audience and discusses topics such as the future of printing news on dead trees

Maybe there will always be [paper] news, but it will be brought to you by your butler who has ironed it out carefully for you. It will be the realm of the rich person.

and the “holy calling” of being a journalist:

You reporters are really the monks of the information world. You labour in obscurity. You have to be driven by passion because  you’re paid nothing. And you sleep on rocks.

He goes on to discuss the necessity of bidirectional communication, Twitter as the “emerging nervous system” of the net, etc. — all the standard new media stuff, but put very succinctly by someone who has deep experience in both old and new media. Very information-dense and enlightening!