Virtual reality and 360 video

Awhile ago we started experimenting with virtual reality headsets and producing our own content and software.

Whilst in itself a fairly mature technology, it has only come to light in the past couple of years thanks to the rise of Oculus and its acquisition by Facebook – bringing the hardware cost in the consumer/retail range.

At the moment you can purchase a headset for around $500 but if you are on a tighter budget, you can always opt for Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear.

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There are games and content already available for these platforms. For instance, here’s a few picks. If you don’t have a headset yourself, come over, we’ll happily let you try ours:



(Not all the videos have been chosen for their quality or scenario – but more as a demonstration of the state of the art)

As you can see, the industry is still at the beginning of producing high-quality videos, and is still searching for a purpose and a way to exploit the technology in order to produce ROI.

For instance, we believe that the Marriott teleport initiative is a fantastic idea and if used properly, can tell interesting stories and produce a positive impact.
marriott-teleport

If you are already interested in producing 360 videos or content however do bear in mind that for now, high-quality 360 cameras are still on the higher price range. Of course, you can use one of these GoPro mounts and stitch the video files together (after having painfully synchronised them) or get one of those entry-level cameras. However in both cases you will have to compromise, either on post-production or quality, and often on both.

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So our piece of advice here is that you can’t really go VR or 360 on the cheap, unless you want to risk brand equity. On the other hand, it is very tempting to jump on the VR bandwagon and produce something – anything. Perhaps the solution then is not betting everything on the actual 360 content, but rather using the VR as a mean to delivering already high-quality content, in order to procure an outstanding experience!

While waiting for the right project to come our way, we’ll continue to play VR games and experiment with the latest evolutions. Cheerio!

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Indoor WiFi Analytics: Big data for your premises

As Digital Specialists, we are often asked to provide insights on consumer behaviours. And digitally, this is usually done through online tracking. These methods are proven and data is available (whether is it accurately interpreted is another question…).

But have you heard about Indoor Analytics or WiFi Analytics? It is the in-store version of Google Analytics! The concept is relatively simple… At the moment, most smartphones have their WiFi turned on at all times. When the WiFi is switched on, your phone emits “beacons” that can be triangulated by WiFi sensors (or Access Points).

So… now all you need is to equip yourself with these smart nodes and you can start running your indoor analytics platform.

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Well, actually, that is just the visible part of the iceberg as they say. Now that you have the receptor that will be able to receive the beacons, you need a platform that will record this data and exploit it. Our choice for our first implementation of the indoor analytics in a museum in Singapore was to go with Accuware. They provide a cloud-based platform with an API that helps managing the WiFi nodes and deals with the signal analysis and triangulation calculations.

Our job was then to develop a platform being able to make sense of the big data acquired when you are passively listening and recording the location of thousands of anonymous devices per hour.

Here are some screenshots of the basic interface.
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Here we are showing a few basic capabilities of the indoor analytics dashboard:

  • Visitors over time
  • Average time spent globally
  • Most popular locations
  • Average time spent by location
  • Type of devices used
  • Returning vs. New visitors

We have also some pretty cool features up our sleeves, especially when we link the system with a mobile application: geo-localised push notifications.

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The main difference with the traditional geo-based push notification is that they are usually triggered by the phone location device (read GPS), which works only outdoors. But here, because we know your location while you are indoor, we can contact you at the end of your visit, when you are heading for the exit, before you enter the shop or while you enjoy a sip of your cappuccino at the local coffee shop!

Indoor analytics possibilities are vast and unlimited… there are many other metrics and insights that can be leveraged. As they say… call us for a free consultation!

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Interactive Wall: 8-metre touch screen display

Ok, it may not be the biggest display on earth, but it’s still one of our coolest projects. Why?

Well, first because it’s a brand new concept of storytelling in a museum. It’s a new way to engage with audiences.

Second, because, in addition to be one of the largest touchscreen displays around, it also blends in smart technologies such as Kinect and Sound Shower.

Interactive Wall Image

Check out what has been said about it:

This project was exciting and rewarding. Our team spent more than a year working days and nights to achieve such an innovative solution.

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Installation of our own interactive wall in the office

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Working late on some ideas and concepts

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Construction site: barebone

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Getting closer to mounting the screens!

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On site meetings and inspections

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Screens are being delivered!

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The structure is being put up.

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Final touch before revealing the beast!

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Calibration – DONE!

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Directional Sound Showers: control who can hear your audio playback

Finally, the sound showers have arrived!

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As part of our interactive wall project, we needed to be able to blast different audio tracks, sound effects and voice-overs to users located next to each other. In our efforts to focus on storytelling and as an interactive wall can be a shared medium (for instance on a 8-metre interactive wall, we had thought of having 4 to 5 interactivity zones). The possibilities in terms of custom sound experience are vast. Not only can each user be told a different story, we can also make use of different languages or ensure that the sound is following each person as they walk across the room. The sound showers allow for this – and we are only limited by creativity!

But for the more technical readers, let us share a bit of knowledge after the testing that we have done and our discussion with the vendors. A major and critical factor in determining the quality and success of the directional sound experience, is the placement and installation of the sound showers. As per the diagram below, the best height for the speakers is slightly above the height of the average human ear. The speakers can be titled at angle1 in order to avoid having them at the same height as the average ear as it would obviously block the sight and prevent from viewing the screens. An angle of 20 to 35 degrees seems the way to go.

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If it is not possible to install them in such disposition, then they can also be placed horizontally above the users (for instance hanged from the ceiling). But if that is the case, note that the higher the directional speaker is placed, the bigger the cone of audible sound, therefore reducing the privacy between zones. Also, mounted horizontally, there are higher chances of the sound bouncing to the neighbouring zones whereas if mounted vertically at an angle, the sound would bounce on the back of the room which, with some luck, is at a greater distance. Ah and finally, it might be necessary to soundproof some elements of the room to avoid echo or bouncing sound waves!

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Social Media Landscape in Singapore

Mediatropy - Social Media Landscape

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Why is my organic reach lower on my Facebook page?

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That is the question that everybody seems to be asking. How come the organic (non-paid) number of people who are seeing the posts on my page has dropped dramatically?

There is a lot of ranting around at the moment – but it’s time to move on and stay ahead on your competitors on social media.

Read more ›

Posted in Digital News, Social

The Rise of Social TV

Now that the TV series Breaking Bad has finally drawn to a close, you might have noticed the hype around the latest media trend: Social TV. Between Twitter’s collaboration with high profile networks like CBS Network and Facebook’s weekly TV data reports to major networks, it seems like everyone is talking about the union of social media and TV.

What is Social TV?

According to Wikipedia, Social TV is defined as “Technology that supports communication and social interaction in either the context of watching television, or related to TV content.

During the weekend of the Breaking Bad finale, it was simply impossible to visit Twitter or Facebook without seeing any mention of the series. It seems like everyone was busy tweeting comments, checking in or posting status updates about the show. According to Nielsen, 10.3 million viewers tuned in to Breaking Bad’s finale which also happens to be their highest viewership in the series history. Twitter claimed to have 1.47 million tweets from 682,000+ uniques, while Facebook claimed that they generated more than 5.5 million interactions from 3 million+ users. These numbers mean that roughly 1 in 3 persons interacted on Facebook and 1 in 10 people tweeted about the show. It appears that social mobile use has greatly increased social interaction; water cooler conversations about TV content is now happening in real time via our mobile devices, tablets and computers.

Breaking Bad Facebook

According to Jesse Redniss, SVP of digital for USA Network, “Social TV is about using social media to continue television’s great storytelling through multiplatform content and a dialogue with fans. It’s a way to enhance the stories we tell, and social allows fans to be storytellers too—by telling friends how passionate they are and spreading the word.” Brands with strong affinity to the TV show and who are interested in social media advertising are more likely to ride on the social buzz of these productions by being positively associated with the social chatter around it.  Read more ›

Posted in Social

Why is the deprecation of UDID a good thing?

At last it officially happens… Apple has announced that as of May 1st 2013, they will reject apps that are accessing the UDIDs. (Article from 9to5mac). After more than a year during which the industry thought they could get away by sneakily hashing UDID data, the UDID-doom-day has arrived. But why is the deprecation of UDID a good thing?

apple deprecates udid

Too Many Identifiers

 

The list of identifiers used by different networks and publishers is daunting…

  • UDID
  • IFA
  • Mac Address
  • IP Address
  • ODIN
  • OpenUDID

Read more ›

Posted in Mobile

How to Run SEM Ads on Baidu?

Baidu SEM Ads are a bit like Google Adwords. Text ads appear on top of the Organic results or on the right hand side of the Baidu Website.

Location of the Baidu SEM Text Ads:

Baidu SEM Text Ads Location

Read more ›

Posted in Online

Facebook Retargeting in Singapore and Asia

Advertisers using retargeting techniques are witnessing good performance results. The latest trend is to use FBX, the Facebook Exchange which has opened its gates about 6 months ago. Now widely available in the US and Europe, we are seeing more interest coming to Asia but are Agencies and Service Providers ready?

Facebook Exchange Logo

Comparing Facebook Retargeting Platforms

As usual, Asia is left behind in terms of investments and priorities. Even if the numbers are here to show that the growth is actually happening eastwards, it does not seem that everyone shares the same priority. As a result, advertisers in Asia are often struggling to get their hands on the latest technologies. Read more ›

Posted in Online, Social