Tag Archives: Interweb

Tomorrow’s cyberpunk today: augmented advertising on your eyeballs.

In the future, even your eyeballs won't be safe...

I’m all for futurism.  Wi-Fi toasters?  Bluetooth underpants?  Hi-Def backpacks? Totally down with all of the above.

Sometimes, though, I begin to think that the interface of technology and humanity is going to places that I’m not comfortable with – witness Bitter Wallet’s story on Augmented Technology contact lenses.

Hence the use of the screen-grab from “Minority Report” above.  There was a film which seemed to get the future’s interface between humanity and technology bang-on.  Your eyes get a retinal scan whenever you walk into a shop and the contextual adverts update in real-time with recommendations based on your purchasing history.

I'm assuming that digital readers of augmented reality contacts won't be quite so terrifying...

It’s like a really terrifying, faux-omniscient Amazon Recommends reading your recent life every time you go to the Mall.  In related news, I don’t go to Malls unless I absolutely have to and can’t get out of going (A trait which I picked up from the wise and lovely Mrs Rolling Eyeballs whose blog title directly references “Minority Report”, fact fans).

Though the technology in the Bitter Wallet story has only so far been tested in lab conditions on Rabbit subjects as a proof of concept (because Bunnies are all about wearing contacts, yo….), one can only imagine that this stuff is going to have a subsequent application which directly impacts on a more human client base and which will inevitably be used to sell us stuff.

The history of technological innovation seems inexorably married to subsequent commercial usage – an inevitable by-product, I suppose, of the funding rounds required to develop anything worthwhile in our era.  You can’t develop something cool because you need money, which is available from private sector investors, who want results which can be effectively monetized to make a return, which arguably compromises innovation in turn because something esoteric but fantastic won’t reach a big enough market to be worthwhile.

Teetotal blogger posts augmented tech, faux-Guinness advert from nearly ten-year old film. Universe implodes at the Meta-ness...

The lovely thing about “Minority Report”, of course, is that we’re supposed to be slightly disapproving of the technological society in the movie – it’s invasive, barely regulated and runs on gadgets which erode personal liberty which we allow because it gives us greater daily convenience (insert obligatory, anti-Mark Zuckerberg joke here).  Director Steven Spielberg meanwhile manages to get lots of brands and marques to liaise with his crew of futurologists to be featured in the film (a risky gambit, as any contemporary viewer of Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” will attest – it’s like a graveyard of once-prominent brands), which seems at least tacitly critical of the future it’s asking these corporate partners to sign up to.

Sweet ride, bro.

So, corporate branding is bad – but here’s a nifty futuristic Lexus for you to covet…no mixed messaging there, then.

I think that we can all agree that companies having less direct contact with us is a good thing – and that the degree to which advertising can be used to influence our behaviour is something which shouldn’t be jacked directly into our cerebral cortex (well, eyes, but you get the point).  This may be a generational thing with me – I grew up reading Gibson, Sterling, Pat Cadigan and the wave of eighties ‘cyberpunk’ authors, so the idea of corporate interests feuding over who gets to control the future is one which resonates with me.

It seems that kids don’t necessarily have the same concerns – I think to many young adults, the labyrinthine agreements which we agree to when we set up accounts on internet sites so often implicitly guarantee invasion of privacy that its seen as the norm and nothing to be bothered about unduly.  Yes, you’re being tracked, tagged and scanned as you check in on smartphone apps or buy a song on iTunes, but that free stuff you got when you signed up more than makes up for companies data-mining the hell out of you.

Still, check out these cool adverts on my eyes, man – feels good


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Filed under Films, Geekery

Worst. Shop. Name. Ever.

via Failblog

Bitter Wallet strikes again – if you had a wine shop, would you call it this?

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Filed under Blogs

When customer service goes bad…

Enjoy the dole queue, boys...

Bitterwallet, my very favourite consumer blog, have a quite wonderful story today which may very well cause you to fall off the sofa as you read it.

It concerns a Melbourne clothing boutique, staggering levels of bad customer service and epic, deluded levels of self-importance when the store in question was called out on their shortcomings.  An excerpt from the letter that this soon-to-go-out-of-business store wrote to their aggrieved customer?  Why, certainly…

“Insofar as our employee goes; Similar to our product offerings, our employees are selected with a similar approach. Chris whom served you is a qualified stylist whom has a sixth sense for fashion, and Chris’s only problem is that he is too good at what he does, and as I am sure you are aware, people whom are talented, generally do not tolerate having their time wasted, which is the reason you were provoked to leave the store”.

More awesome stupidity over at Bitterwallet.

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Wanting those “Back to the Future part II” Nikes?

Topless Robot has a story today on the “Back to the Future part II” Nikes and reading it makes for a mixed bag.

Sweet kicks, bro!

The bad news is that you’re probably not going to be able to buy them – but there’s an excellent reason for that.

The shoes are a limited run and are only available via auction, with 150 pairs a day being auctioned for 10 days on eBay, to benefit Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s charity.

You can’t really argue with that – but how about reissuing them after a decent interval and making them more widely available – and throw some of the cash at Fox’s charity?

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Avatar – $300 million bucks and Fox can’t buy James Cameron musical taste

"Avatar" image (C) 20th Century Fox/Lightstorm EntertainmentThe mind boggles.

As reported by the BBC and the lovely Idolator music blog, James Cameron’s epic 3D Sci Fi adventure “Avatar” has found a theme song.

And it’s sung by Leona Lewis.

As much as I abhor cultural snobbery, is this really a good idea? I can understand that this power ballad gambit worked last time Cameron directed a film – you may well shudder to remember “My Heart Will Go On”, Celine Dion’s Oscar-snaffling uber-epic from “Titanic” – but I find myself wishing that all concerned would move past such safe aural wallpaper and find somebody a bit more interesting than the apparently nice but utterly unremarkable “X-Factor” grad and Simon Cowell SKU, Leona Lewis.

Seems very safe to me – somebody send James Cameron an Imogen Heap album, for the love of Pete!

Here’s the thing – I bow to nobody in my Cameron fandom:  I’ve booked my tickets for “Avatar” on the weekend of release, committed myself to seeing it multiple times over the Christmas holidays in 3D, 2D and maybe even Imax if I can get to Manchester (my nearest decent Imax theatre).  I’ll probably be picking up the game when it comes out and I have a real soft spot for James Horner’s movie scores – this development, though, doesn’t sit well with me, and smacks of overwhelming conservatism.

Conservatism which hopefully won’t intrude into the film itself…



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Filed under Films, Geekery

Don’t Read This – Read THAT!

Mrs Boo Blogs!

Mrs Boo Blogs!

Or, to put it another way, why not check out the redoubtable Mrs Boo who has taken the reigns over at the previously shuttered “Rolling Eyeballs” blog at Blogger, in order to share with you her excellent creativity and magical design talents.

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Filed under Fluffrick, Geekery

Oi, Kanye – No!

Never give Kanye the mic...

Via our friends at Sci Fi Wire (with a big up to Whedonesque), some Kanye-based meme absurdity for your Sunday perusal…

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Filed under Random Notes