Archive by Author

Getting intimate with the classics

19 Mar

These are among the most beautiful examples of architectural photography I have ever seen. The photographer took full advantage of the movement, light, and natural construction materials used in the design.

When I fist saw the top image I was blown away by the design of the room, the beautiful skylights, and the afternoon sun streaming in.

Then I realized I was inside a violin. As a classically trained violinist I probably should have been quicker on the uptake.

These shots are part of a larger campaign for the Berlin Philharmonic, with the tagline “closer to the classical.” “Closer” is an understatement: we are looking at the inside of some of the most recognizable (from the outside) classical musical instruments.

Did you know what you were looking at right away?

(photos courtesy of


An industry ahead of the rest

13 Mar

Contextually rich communications. Advanced technological applications. Early adoption of emerging technologies. Augmented reality.

Does any particular industry come to mind? How about the Health Care industry?

Augmented reality (AR) has applications in the diagnosis as well as the treatment of disease, and has assisted in the professional medical community for over 10 years.

AR’s interactive imaging helps doctors accurately visualize their patient’s insides – and I mean their patient’s actual insides. Various scans can be combined with each other and then be projected onto their patient to allow doctors and surgeons a completely non-invasive look inside.

AR is also applied to medical communications and education. Genzyme, a biotech company used AR to demonstrate the risks of taking calcium-based binders. Schools are now also using AR to help students visualize the systems of the body, and understand their functions.

I could talk about the exciting marking, branding, and advertising opportunities in medical communications, because you’re right, there are many. But the opportunity that excites me the most is the chance to make the lives of patients and caretakers a lot less stressful, and maybe a little more fun.

AR on the patient level could provide additional support on administering drugs or treatments and injury rehabilitation. As patients we are often bombarded with more info than we’re capable of retaining (I know I struggle to remember even a quarter of it just a little while later). AR markers added to medical product packaging, informational brochures, and patient starter kits would provide instant follow-up demonstrations, instructions, and support for patients and caretakers.

The organization that can also infuse some entertainment (read: fun) into the experience, as well as some subtle-but-effective branding wins all the prizes.

Are there other ways we can create shared-value with customers using AR? Where are the opportunities for businesses and organizations in Victoria?

(photo courtesy of Medical Augmented Reality)

A growing problem

5 Mar

Do you feel self-conscious about your errant ear and nose hairs?

How about now?

These posters from Tondeo Mini Trimmer cut right to the chase, and I like it.

The funniest part – even funnier than the branches – is his blank, glassy-eyed stare. It reminds me of guys on school picture day: a collared shirt, too much hair product, and the perfect rendition of a deer caught in the headlights.

On a side note: informs me that “errant” can also mean “wandering in search of adventure.” I’d love to see an artist’s rendition of a tenacious young ear or nose hair leaving the nest in search of action and adventure.

(photos courtesy of

The sound of music

16 Feb


Fingernails on chalkboardThe fact that music elicits emotion is old news. Massive investments in research time and dollars have explored both the therapeutic and consumer behavior applications of music.

If you work for a large company you might have little or no control over the music that pumps through your commercial spaces. In some cases, it may be so bland that you’re only aware of it around Christmas (the day after Halloween) when it becomes insufferable. Small businesses have all the music choices in the world. Some people shouldn’t have that kind of power.

Last week, I experienced three hours of pure auditory hell. The owner of the shop I was in had their personal iPod on shuffle. By “shuffle” I mean it was in the throws of an identity crisis and was committed to taking everyone down with it. No one in the room, including the long-suffering staff, knew how they were supposed to feel – other than incredibly anxious. The owner didn’t see that there was a problem and refused to change it or turn it off.

Consumer’s emotions are affected by their environment, and they evaluate their environment with their emotions. It makes sense strategically to understand what creates and sustains pleasant emotional reactions.

Pre-made playlists are out there. Grooveshark is a good place to start. Users can build their own play lists or combine pre-made playlists to make larger ones quickly. YouTube is another great resource.

The auditory experience of the customer often feels like an after-thought, but it deserves some more attention. How often have you left a space because of their awful aural environment?

Or how it smelled?

(Next Up: What’s your first impression of a retail environment?)

(Photo courtesy of

Are you sleeping with too many people?

15 Feb

Awake to the warming glow of technology

I sleep with too many people at night.

I am guilty. I text, respond to emails, check out Facebook, read endless streams of tweets, and sometimes even play Angry Birds.

I often have trouble sleeping. Sometimes I can’t get to sleep for hours. Other times, like last Sunday, I wake up at 4am for no reason, completely unable to get back to sleep.

I have no idea what the problem could be.

Yes, I am delusional. Of course messing around with my phone in bed is the problem. I should stop but it is just so tempting. When I set my alarm those little alert icons are too much for me to ignore.

Too many of us take our smart phone, laptop, iPad, and whatever else to bed, but it is atrocious sleep hygiene. You might also be sleep-texting, which I assume is much like “drunk-dialing” but less coherent, and more unnerving. The theory is that we are so plugged-in during the day that we can’t separate ourselves from it at night.

The 2011 iPass Global Mobile Workforce Report found that 52% of mobile workers felt that their mobile work habits affected their sleep. Terrifyingly, the report also concluded that getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night makes you 12% more likely to die before the age of 65, compared to your friend who gets six to eight hours of sleep a night.

Apps that track your sleep patterns are out there, but I wonder if they aren’t the original problem repackaged and rebranded. The fact that we eat, sleep, and breathe our devices presents enormous opportunity for the industrious among us. Even so, the dependency probably shouldn’t be encouraged.

As of tonight I am challenging myself to keep my phone and laptop out of the bedroom. I’ll plug in my forgotten alarm clock and draw some much-needed personal boundaries. If the American Sleep Association says that the bed is for sleep and sex only, then who am I to argue?

(Photo courtesy of

Called out by Foursquare

10 Jan

Admittedly, I was a little high-strung about my first day at Copeland, which might explain why things went the way they did.

Monday morning came and I got myself out of the house with plenty of time.

As I trotted across the street to get my bus, I wondered why the streets were so quiet, but I got distracted and the thought blew away. With plenty of time to spare I had a pleasant morning walk to get a coffee before work. Save for me and the two baristas, the café was completely deserted. I scooped up my coffee and in a way that I hoped looked casual, walked to Copeland, arriving at 8:30 sharp.

The gates were locked. The lights were out. No one (other than the Johns driving past, looking at me like I was a hooker who had wandered into the broad daylight) was around. There was nobody anywhere.

I waited by the side of the building for 10 minutes before texting a friend. The abridged version went something like “WTF?!?” I lingered outside under the surveillance camera for exactly 15 minutes until the leers and increasingly bad weather became too much.

But I couldn’t just leave. What if someone finally came right after I left and I was that person who didn’t show for their first day of work? There’s no way I’d let that happen. Back to the café to kill time.

Fifteen minutes later I was back at Copeland HQ to find that the gates were still closed. So I did what any girl would do in this situation:

I called my Mummy. Mums know.

Monday January 2nd was a stat holiday! That’s where I went wrong.

In my defense, I have been self-employed for the last 5 years. I don’t take holidays like a normal person. Even after I figured it out I was still anxious about leaving.

Mummy talked me through it, like in Speed where Jeff Daniels talks Keanu though disarming the bomb under the speeding bus.

I did leave eventually and came back on Tuesday prepared to pretend it had never happened.

Wouldn’t you know it. I had checked in on Foursquare the morning before. Not only had I checked in on Foursquare, but I had stolen the mayorship from Asmâa. So it was clear to all that I had been there the day before.

My second-first day went much better, thank you.