A weekly round up of news and views from the tech, creative and business world.
Can IBM get any bigger? The answer is yes! The multinational consulting business has recently invested $100 million to expand its service design offer, opening 10 new Interactive Experience labs globally. IBM adds its user experience offer to similarly enigmatic capabilities like Life Event Detection, Behavioural Pricing and Psycholinguistic Analytics, matching Starbucks in the ‘ridiculous product name’ category.
The initiative builds on an increasingly broader definition of product as a service or experience, blurring the line between physical and digital interactions. In a time when businesses like Apple and Google are moving towards a more cloud-based infrastructure, focusing on providing overall services which encompass individual products, consulting naturally becomes focused on creating consistent, engaging experiences. IBM is among the world leaders of big data, putting it in a prime position to design and implement data-led end experiences for clients, offering analytics research, creative services and digital production under the same figurative, planet-spanning roof.
Tech for Tat
The next step in wearable medical devices has been previewed in Korea. Researchers have created a patch which can be placed on the skin like a thin plaster or tattoo, which is capable of storing and capturing information, making them able to detect tremors, record data and release drugs into your bloodstream. It was created to help with movement disorders, such as detecting tremors in Parkinson’s sufferers, but the impact of this could affect many other areas of health and wellbeing.
This isn’t the first tech tat we’ve seen. Last year Motorola, who is owned by Google, patented the idea of “coupling an electronic skin tattoo to a mobile communication device” (catchy), which could capture sound from a wearer’s throat and transmit it to a device.
Who’s the fool?
This week marked everyone’s favourite medieval celebration, April Fools Day. Traditionally an informal celebration between friends, they day is now celebrated by brands who try to increasingly out-do each other with tongue in cheek product releases and games.
Google came up trumps with the most comprehensive ‘prank’, an augmented reality Pokemon game. Whilst the video is slick, the Maps team did one better and actually integrated the game into Google Maps. Nest and Virgin America made a weirdly believeable partnership, allowing passengers to control their own personal climates at 35,000 feet. Meanwhile, Nokia and CERN went back to the future – with the announcement of the updated 3310 (complete with 41 megapixel camera) and CERN’s switch to Comic Sans.
With each year seeing companies investing more and more money into April Fools day, the ‘informal celebration’ is quickly taking Superbowl level importance.
You May Have Missed
Go OKCupid! As a protest against Mozilla Firefox’s CEO donating to an anti-gay marriage campaign, the dating site blocks the browser
Amazon considers streaming media service (link thanks to Doug)
2nd Samsung vs Apple trial to start on Monday
Mind-controlled robotic suit set to take the first kick of the 2014 World Cup
The many faces of Gmail: A 10 year retrospective (link thanks to Paul)
How Dropbox knows when you’re sharing copyrighted stuff
Microsoft launches Office for iPad, embracing the iPad only four years after its launch
Roadside typography captured
Big data: are we making a big mistake?
Data shows apps to be more popular than the mobile web
Guess who loves Taco Bell’s new breakfast?
‘Generic brand video’ (link thanks to Phoebe)