Just awesome

Lego Matrix…

and side by side comparison to the film…

in honor of Black Friday

Thanksgiving in my household growing up meant two things, lots of delicious food and shopping. My poor Dad suffered through the holiday season with our constant rounds of marathon shopping days. I’m missing out on all the “Black Friday” events.

Today, I was forward a link to Tobi Virtual Dressing Room – a really cool use of Augmented Reality technology – uses webcam and object recognition to merge a “physical real-world environment with virtual computer-generated imagery” (thanks wikipedia) to try clothes online before purchasing. It integrates with Facebook too just in case I can’t decide on what new dress to buy for New Years. I’m not sure I want every friend of mine commenting on my choices, so mission tonight is see if can share with only my sisters.

Tobi Virtual Dressing Room

Print out then hold up “marker” paper in front of you and your webcam.

Marker paper magically changes into a dress!

Resize and position item.

Rate clothes you “try on” by motioning your hand over the “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down” icons.

Share photo on Facebook…

Not another Best Job in the World campaign, but plenty of “buzz”

The Westword Weekly News in Denver, Colorado recently had an open job position for a Medical Pot Reviewer. Many  claim that this was “The REAL Best Job in the World” (sorry Hamilton Island and Ben Southall).  Regardless of your beliefs towards legalized marijuana, the speed and quality of job application responses are both amazing and hilarious.  Especially considering this was never intended to be a campaign.

Marketing Lesson: The right incentive to the right target audience will always get a high response rate.  (sorry, couldn’t resist)

Vodafone Symphonia

A cute little video a Kiwi friend of mine sent to me today from Vodafone New Zealand.

I find the making of videos more interesting. And it occured to me that something like this could only happen in a small market like New Zealand where there isn’t much network traffic in the early hours of the day, compared to somewhere like China or the US.  However, China does have this.

In honor of Halloween being around the corner

The best apple geek costume…


How’s your Pictionary skills?

“Lost in translation” fairly sums up my daily dealings with various work counterparts across the region. I’ve found the best way to converse with my colleagues is not over the phone, but over instant messenger – mainly because they don’t ignore me (or maybe they can’t refuse to answer because my question mark sparkles?). IM is a handy tool for instant communication, but also for instant universal translation of pretty much any concept. If I don’t understand some email from a colleague, I can IM him and he’ll respond to my question in a mixture of text and emoticons. My Korean counterparts are very good in communicating in Emoji (a Japanese term for picture icons or emoticons). At first it’s strange to read pictures and text, but it’s easy to grasp and these little emoticons have made my work life easier with fewer “Lost in Translation” moments.

On that point, here’s an interesting project – Fred Benenson wants to translate public domain novel Moby Dick into Emoji, and has set up a site asking for donations to fund this project. He plans to have each sentence translated three times by different Amazon Mechanical Turk workers, with a different set of workers then voting on which sentence is best. Those who pledge will either receive a PDF or hardcopy of the book, depending on how generous they are. Based on the provided samples, Emoji Dick will be a difficult read for most, except my Korean colleagues.


digital camera + build in projector =…

Shout out to Mike Fung for pointing this video out to me. Such a simple idea from Nikon camera in Japan.

Talks Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man

I really like his metaphors for the media landscape.

It’s finally here! xkcd: volume 0 is now available!

Possibly the greatest webcomic of all time (seriously), xkcd has provided countless hours of amusement over the years.  Now, my favorite webcomic has put out a book, with a portion of the proceeds going to another favorite of mine, the school and library building charity Room to Read.


Folks, this is an all around great deal, easily ordered online here.

To give you an idea of the greatness, here are a few tidbits to get you started down the path of xkcd love:

China bans foreign investment in online games…


Now this is a bit of bad news for the online games industry in China.  It seems there’s a bit of a dispute going on between two mainland government agencies, which has led to the General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) forbidding any foreign investment in China’s online games companies.

Check out the full notice here if you can read Simplified Chinese.  Not good news at all.  We don’t likey.

Shameless Self Promotion: Nokia Picture Story…

Hey kids – just wanted to take a moment and share with you the latest bit of work we’ve done for Nokia.

Nokia Picture Story

To promote the picture sharing capabilities of Ovi, the 6303 classic, 6700 classic, and 6600i slide phones, Isobar has put together a fun little web application that allows you to insert yourself into videos in a rather cool way.  Click on the above image to see one that I just whipped together – go give it a bash yourself!

Automated Photoshopping: A New Internet Meme Is Born

Frankly, this is awesome.  The newly developed PhotoSketch allows you to create automatically generated Photoshopped compositions using random images off the interwebs.  Yes, really.  The image below is but one example of PhotoSketch’s capability:

PhotoSketch Example

If you don’t believe us, seriously, go watch the following video demonstration.  We’d suggest going to the PhotoSketch website itself, but it appears the site has imploded amidst a veritable deluge of interweb users all creating the most fantastically ridiculous possibly composition requests.

The best part?  It appears this was developed at China’s Tsinghua University!

PhotoSketch: Internet Image Montage from tao chen on Vimeo.

QR Codes in Reverse: Buy Your Starbucks With iPhone…

Starbucks iPhone ApplicationDefinite hat tip to @srust99 for passing along this interesting initiative by Starbuck’s.  It seems they’re trying out a new payment system using a very simple iPhone application.  Essentially all it does is display a QR code that is specific to your Starbuck’s Card account, and the register automatically deducts your purchase from your account right then and there.  In other words, you can buy your coffee with your phone now – no wallet necessary!

It’s nice to see a simple execution like this, as it just might help QR code adoption a bit in the US, where a) explaining what QR codes are has been a chore and b) then getting QR code readers pre-installed onto mobile handsets.  Interesting.  Welikey!

Robot eyeball + facial recognition = Miruko…

Whilst not really new technology, it’s definitely creepy / cool to see Miruko’s face recognizing eyeball camera in action. Give the video until the two minute mark and you’ll see how it all works together.

So, now we’ve got Natal + Freakishly Fast Robot Hands + Super Jumping Capability + Face Recognizing Robot Eyeballs.  I suppose, if we look on the bright side of things, our future robot overlords will be able to protect us from any future zombie outbreaks?  😉

Friday Humor: Dramatic Tweets

Happy Friday kids.  The Washington Post has put together the following dramatic reading of celebrity tweets.

Hat tip to BoinBoing for catching this one…

Dan Brown’s latest novel, (illegally) crowdsourced translated in China…

uk-lost-symbol_113261tIt appears that the mainland China website Yeeyan has organized a crowdsourced translation of the latest Dan Brown novel, The Lost Symbol, as the official version won’t likely be released before 2010.  Another classic example of Mainland pragmatism, regardless of the illegalities.  To be clear, we don’t likey the idea of ripping folks off, but…we do likey the ingenuity behind the rip off.  If only it was directed to a somewhat more…noble goal?

Hat tip to @jayoatway for the notice, and kudos to Danwei for finding out the details.

Super jumping mini robot…

I, for one, welcome our eventual robot overlords.  Skynet is coming.  Are you ready?

Old school external hard drive, GameBoy style…

I am currently enjoying a childhood flashback to the good old days of Tetris.  Oh man…and R-Type.  BoingBoing has a great post up about this GameBoy that’s been modified into an external hard drive case.  Pure geeky brilliance.  Welikey!


Facts. Doodled.

A manchester based design agency Young Design have recently launched a doodle project, learnsomethingeveryday. Submit your fact and they will doodle the best one submitted…the winner gets a free poster of the fact doodled by them.

When gamers revolt in China…

Games publisher Shanda has gotten itself a barrel full of drama with its release of a “nostalgia” version of Legends of Mir.

Whilst the original game required players to put in considerable effort and time playing to increase their characters skills and equipment (like a good MMO should), the new version apparently pushes players to buy these skills  and equipment with real world money.  The players have now organized into a mass in-game protest:


Literally thousands of player avatars have planted themselves in front of city gates throughout the game world, creating a blockade that stops other players from leaving the cities to play quests.


My friends in the gaming industry in China tell me this is actually quite common in the market, which, in a market that isn’t exactly real world protest friendly, sure is interesting.

Check out a few translated articles on the situation here.