February 3, 2017

The Weekly Wins: Times they are a changin

WRITTEN BY: Michelle Knight

Folks, it’s all happening, the world has taken a confident leap into emotion-detecting wearables, an Instagram world of travel, the return of great illustration, VR owning it at Sundance, and VR becoming a ‘sedative.’

Catch up on this week’s digital marketing gems, toast to change and drink until your wearable tells you you’re getting awkward.

1. Sundance VR

The Sundance Film Festival is home to all forms of communication experimentation and VR is the star of the show. Seth Porges wrote a Forbes article selecting his best Sundance VR experiences. Warning, get ready to feel jealous, very jealous. On Seth’s list is artist Tyler Hurd’s creations “Chocolate,” because it gets everybody losing inhibitions and embracing their inner child, along with “Life of Us,” a multiplayer experience that looks something like a Daft Punk video, apparently. Honestly, give this article a read, it’ll send you running for your gear.

1. Illustrations make a comeback

First we feast thanks the #FoodPorn era for the illustration comeback. If you’ve ever truly experienced the true pain of food photography the idea of food illustrations is a godsend. And places like Lucky Peach have taken it to the next level, reviving the world of illustrations. Apparently all this food art is less about beauty and more about the ‘psychological shift in how we want to consume ideas about food.’ A must read for everybody’s inner artist.

“I think this is a backlash. The pen and the hand are coming full circle.”

3. How Instagram is Changing Travel

This week National Geographic shared why they think Instagram is changing the way we travel. They claim that social media fanatics are taking the platform too literally and drawing their travel inspiration from Instagram. What we don’t see is the queue of people waiting to take their picture in the exactly same spot. National Geographic is making a great point, Instagram isn’t starting conversations, it’s causing bottle-necking in precious environmental areas and that’s not great. While being in the environment is vogue it’s important to acknowledge the true effect of our personal lookbooks that only focus on the ‘good side’.

4. VR instead of sedatives

Would you let a surgeon use virtual reality to relieve the pain and stress of an operation? In some places people don’t have a choice. In a recent BBC article they found Jose Luis Mosso Vazquez, a surgeon in Mexico City who is doing just that. And it’s working. The benefits of not using heavier sedatives are huge, VR could potentially cut back huge hospital expenditures, and the medical benefits are extensive. The power of VR is not fully understood, but it’s hard to argue its purpose. This is a wonderfully humbling read.

"Patients using VR reported 24% less pain and anxiety during surgery.”

5. Emotional wearables

According to a Fast Company article, ‘MIT researchers are using neural networks and haptic feedback to make conversations easier to navigate,’ all through wearables. This pair of researchers are graduate students who have figured out how machine learning can be used to detect emotion in real-time speech and then communicate that to another person. Apparently, their system takes ‘spoken-word transcripts, sound samples, and data from a Samsung Simband, including a speaker’s electocariogram readings and skin temperature measurements, and feeds it into a neural network.’ Hoping to help those people who find social interactions stressful, particularly those with Asperger’s Syndrome.