Issue 177 | 3 September 2013

What Next?

OrCam is Google Glass for the visually impaired

Developed in Israel, the OrCam can recognise nearby objects, text, people and hand gestures, and deliver audio information to the wearer through bone conduction (a technology also used in train window advertising).

All that is needed is to simply reach out with a finger, and place it on top an item or text.

For long-term wearers, the camera can also learn about people and regularly used items, meaning faster recognition for the familiar.

Outdoors, the camera can determine if a pedestrian light is red or green, as well as if oncoming traffic is a risk.

According to their website, the September shipment has already sold out, but OrCam is looking to sell another 500 by the end of this year.

GeneGame players aid cancer research

GeneGames’ The Cure is a biology-based card game where players defeat their opponents by finding the best combination of genes for predicting breast cancer prognosis.

Scientists have reams of data relating to genes and their roles in cancer, but in order to find reliable results, it’s necessary to combine at least 25 different variables each time, for each human gene – of which there are around 20,000. To spare scientists from this, the game turns these combinations into ‘winning hands’ that players build with existing knowledge or research.

There’s a leader board for the best players, and researchers can contact the players for more information on reliable datasets.

The FAQs assure us that even though some knowledge of biology is beneficial, anyone can play.

Infographic of the week

How to get your content shared

Want to know what’s best to share on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn?

Every hour for three weeks, 180 Mashable articles were analysed 18 hours after their post time; long enough to see the article go round the world and short enough that they were still found by the researchers within RSS feeds.

Hot tips include:

  • Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn love images
  • Twitter is top for social media
  • Facebook is best for trivial, fun content, but worst for longform articles
  • The preferred subject on Google+ is technology, and
  • Post when both the USA and UK are awake (Mashable is a US-based website after all).

Click below to see the graphic.

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Macca’s NFC Happy Table

McDonald’s have used NFC technology to transform an ordinary table into a virtual playground.

The ‘Happy Table’ is fitted with NFC tags underneath the tabletop. By downloading a free app and placing an NFC-enabled smartphone on the table, the user is taken to ‘McDonald Land’ – a course filled with obstacles and games.

Each tag unlocks the next part of the game as kids drive their virtual car around McDonald Land. High scores are rewarded with McDonald’s products.

The Happy Tables launched in Singapore, with McDonald’s planning to roll them out through Asia next.

See how the interactive experience works, bringing technology and imagination together:

Milka Last Square

Chocolate brand Milka is putting the generosity of Europeans to the test.

The product itself is the medium for this campaign, which brings to life Milka’s proposition “Dare to be tender”.

Having produced 13 million chocolate bars with one square missing, Milka are giving customers a choice: claim your square back, or send it to someone you care about.

When customers pick up a Milka chocolate bar they are directed to this French website via their smartphone, tablet or computer, where they can choose what to do with their last square. If they decide to be tender and send it to someone, they’ll be able to accompany it with a personalised message.

The campaign has been a year in the making as the chocolate bar manufacturing process had to be altered.

TV Ratings

Election coverage dominates the ratings

All People National – Free to Air Station Audience
The X Factor Live Results – Monday Network 7 1,393,000
The X Factor Live Performance – Sunday Network 7 1,379,000
Seven News – Sunday Network 7 1,306,000
Nine News – Tuesday Network 9 1,276,000
Nine News – Sunday Network 9 1,275,000
Nine News – Monday Network 9 1,253,000
Seven News – Monday Network 7 1,232,000
Seven News – Wednesday Network 7 1,196,000
Seven News – Tuesday Network 7 1,190,000
Seven News – Thursday Network 7 1,160,000
Source: OzTAM 27.08.13 – 03.09.13

Taco Bell etches angry Tweets on their shells

Companies have engaged Twitter critics for years now, however Taco Bell continues to find new ways to do it.

When Twitter users became irately impatient for Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos Tacos (the hard shells are made from Doritos corn chips), the fast food chain invited 100 of them to eat their own words, so to speak.

Shells were laser etched with their ranting tweets and served back to customers.

Taco Bell’s continued love of new social technologies, like Snapchat, seems to be paying off. You can see the feedback on Twitter with #dltcanada.

Website of the week

Discover Wacom

Wacom’s website allows users to interact with and explore their products like never before.

Large imagery, videos, creative community, integration with social content and beautifully presented product information provides a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the user. Inspiring content adds stories to the products by bringing creativity and technology together.

The product finder is based on simple questions to define your needs easily. Products are showcased and supported by video, clean imagery, large call-to-actions, simply laid out features, related apps and clear specifications.

Wacom have also created a community which allows users to upload and share their artwork, ideas and inspiration freely: you can be featured on the website with the hashtag #madewithwacom.

Wacom’s passion is creativity, and their mission is to inspire and equip; this site demonstrates that for the brand in spades.