Shopwalk Your Virtual Mall

Another, sort of, save the high street initiative has been launched earlier this month for Wrexham by Shopwalk3D.

Again, unsurprisingly, concentrating on the independents a virtual mall is created for you to visit consisting of all the subscribing shops and businesses. You navigate around to find the shop product or service required  and then visit their individual website and make your purchase.

They’re off to a good start with over twenty businesses in the mall.

The entrepreneur who devised the system, Nick Allen, has been assisted by Glyndŵr University through their Strategic Insight Programme (SIP).

We rather like the added community element of the Phlok system we mentioned before together with their loyalty card  but with further development perhaps we may see numerous virtual malls for us to explore and we might even encounter a bluetoothed mannequin!

In-Car InControl InXE infotainment +

Jaguar in connection with their build up to the full launch of their new XE model in 2015 today have released the third of their four “technology previews”.

It is the “All-new InControl infotainment system with 8-inch touchscreen”.

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In summary it includes;

  • Optional on screen (that’s the windscreen) displays of key info
  • Access via the touchscreen to iOS & Android apps on your smartphone
  • In-car wifi hotspot
  • Voice control
  • Remote access via your smartphone
  • Emergency call
  • Tracking

The full “reveal” of the new model is scheduled for September 8 on the Thames with contributions from Emili  Sandé, Stella McCartney and Idris Elba. You can be kept informed of events by registering here.

We’ll leave you with their quite clever video (apart from displaying a left-hand drive layout) introduced and narrated by Dr Mike Bell, Jaguar’s very own Global Connected Car Director!


Photoshopping Big data

A large proportion of big data is visual and it has been estimated that since photography’s invention back in the early 1800’s around 3.5 trillion photographs have been taken of which 10% were shot in the last year. Facebook reports 6 billion photo uploads per month on its site, and YouTube gets 72 hours of video uploaded every minute.

This is as quoted by Alexei Efros, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, at UC Berkeley who is the lead scientist of a group who have produced some software which, in our words, cleverly averages a huge number of images and which also incorporates editing facilities.

The research was presented and their software (the code for which they say will be available soon) was demonstrated at the International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, or SIGGRAPH, in Vancouver, Canada. Last week.

Our header is taken from the zillions of images produced from a Google search of cats (our web search came up with 112 million) and on the left is the resultant average moggie!

Amongst the commercial applications they have so far identified are in online shopping, where a consumer may want to quickly home in on two-inch wedge heels in the perfect shade of red.

Much more in their fascinating video;


Funding from Google, Adobe and the Office of Naval Research has helped support their work.


Keep an I on our Week, Oval Warm-ups edition

Our top three articles this week were

  1.  After 10 after dark @ Tate Britain
  2. Online Shopping’s Score
  3. Appy Bluetoothed Mannequins

3 2 1 GoTenna  is being picked up by many and our Tech Rich List for 2014 continues to be popular,  with Peek’s Vision still attracting many eyes.

Our favourite violinist (Lindsey Stirling) has just (Thursday August 14) released another of her impressive videos – Master of Tides – which already in the last few days has attracted nearly 700,000 views

The Nature of Scholarly Social Media Usage

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Nature have done some interesting research on scholars use of social media networks including the network of choice for them – ResearchGate.

On the more well known and used networks they quizzed over 300 regular using scholars for each analysis whereas with ResearchGate this moved up to just short of 1,600.

They also interviewed a lesser number of users of  and Mendeley.

From our, very uneducated & superficial review it is clear that a majority of scholars/researchers don’t use Facebook professionally and that Linkedin has the closest profile to ResearchGate. Twitter almost as one might expect is used to follow comment and discover.

ResearchGate which was founded a couple of years ago boasts about 4.5 million subscribers and currently joiners are arriving at the rate of 10k a day. This for such a specialist network is impressive. For comparative purposes has around 11 million users and Mendeley around 3 million. Mendeley incidentally are London based and are part of Elsevier.

Much additional and insightful analysis on the Nature site.

Appy Bluetoothed Mannequins

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Iconeme (pronounced as economy but with a wicked “I” instead of an over used “E”) are now employing their VM Beacon technology with 4 retailers around the UK:

  • Bentalls (Kingston upon Thames)
  • Hawes & Curtis (Jermyn Street London)
  • House of Fraser (Aberdeen)
  • Jaeger (Regent Street, London)

Mannequins are accessorised with a Bluetooth electronic beacon in addition to the appropriate apparell. The retailer, via their own programmed web portal will provide information on the specific wear to passing customers on their smartphones using the Iconeme app (both iOS & Android – see below).

The process goes something like the following:

  • Passing within range (eg the retailers shop window) your app alerts you to to a VMBeacon presence
  • Open the app & access the mannequin
  • Liking the look explore  the apparel further
  • You can then, get more detail, find where it is instore, purchase from the retailers website, share the info with friends or family or save the look for further investigation.

The app can also provide you with offers from time to time.

We rather liked the look of the Iconeme app graphic -  but we are of course biased.

You can download the app here

Certainly this is likely an area where iBeacon technology could certainly catch on.

We’ll leave you with a Beacons insight video from GDR which features the Iconeme VMBeacon system and app.

After 10 After Dark @ Tate Britain

From tomorrow night you can participate in the result of the Tate Britain’s new annual ik prize winner’s rather remarkable tour around the gallery conducted by robots. In their words you can, for a short period of time, “take control” of one of the robots and watch the results.

From August 13 through 17 after 10pm BST each night simply visit After Dark at Tate Britain

(Members of the public will be able to log onto on 13, 14, 16, 17 August from 22.00 until 03.00. On 15 August, there is an evening for children to operate the robots at a slightly earlier time of 19.30 until 00.30).

In their words” After Dark has been created by design studio The Workers  (Tommaso Lanza, Ross Cairns and David Di Duca) who were inspired to re-create the experience of being alone in the gallery after dark using digital technology. This online experience invites people all over the world to view Tate Britain’s galleries online at night through four camera-equipped robots roaming the gallery spaces, connecting audiences with art in the BP Walk Through British Art. Live online for five consecutive nights from 13 August, the project will allow the public to view the robots on their journey through the artworks and a number of visitors will be able to remotely control their movements. A first-person, real-time video feed and live commentary will be streamed to all visitors on the After Dark website. This is the first project of its kind in a museum or gallery setting.

The robots are equipped with lights, a camera, sensors and motors allowing them to sneak through the galleries in the dark. An onboard computer streams their vision through the internet in real-time and responds to commands. The Robots have been created in collaboration with RAL Space  (who work alongside the UK Space Agency – UKSA), a world-leading centre for the research and development of space exploration technologies.”

The ik Prize, (in its inauguaral year) named in memory of the philanthropist Irene Kreitman, celebrates creative talent in the digital industry. Supported by the Porter Foundation, the Prize is presented by Tate to a team, company or individual for an original idea that uses the power of digital technology to connect Tate’s collection of 500 years of British Art to a wider audience.

We’ll leave you with their video & don’t forget to visit after 10 after dark on 13-17 August @ Tate Britain:

Online shopping’s score

The first online sale (secure variety) was made 20 years ago today on (unsurprisingly) August 11 1994 and (again unsurprisingly) took place in the USA, but more surprisingly to us, was that the purchase  was of  the $12.48 CD Ten Summoner’s Tales by our very own Sting!

Here are:

Incidentally the album/CD now costs £4.96 over here (Amazon) which at current fx rates is about $8.33 and we’ re sure it can be added to your collection for much less elsewhere!

Shop Direct have carried out some research in the UK to celebrate this anniversary. The sort of, overview of the outcome is that 95% of us shop online now with 25% of us doing so at least once a week. We started off buying books online, way back when, and still do so but our most recent purchase is likely to be fashion.

Shop Direct’s research by Opinion Matters analyses the results by gender, age region and city, the latter of which we found particularly interesting and which we may may return to in more detail at a later date. In the meantime  here’s an analysis of the 25% who shop at least once a week online by city which we’ve compiled and added country info. Scotland scores but Northern Ireland doesn’t!

We’ll leave you with Shop Directs celebratory video of the last online shopping score which includes an insight into their “… new in-house user experience (UX) laboratory at its head office in Liverpool as a way to get closer to and interact with customers using their websites”. Shop Direct  includes, and

Research methodology

The research was carried out by Opinion Matters between 29/07/2014 and 01/08/2014 with a sample of 1,163 UK adults who shop online. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines.

Keep an I on our Week, Old Trafford edition

Our top three articles this week were:

  1. DotScot’s birth, its pioneers and legacy
  2. Time for a Rethink
  3. Will you pass your DQ test?

Our Tech Rich List for 2014 continues to be popular, Peek’s Vision  still attracts many eyes and 3 2 1 GoTenna  is being picked up by many.

Our favourite violinist (Lindsey Stirling) appeared on America’s Got Talent this week and her video setting in particular is impressive – you can also design her poster for her upcoming visit to London if you are so inclined

In closing we must mention that Geoffrey Boycott is now on twitter! @GeoffreyBoycott

Time for a rethink

“My name is Trisha Prabhu, I’m 13 years old and a 8th grader at Scullen Middle School, Naperville, IL.” is the opening to the “About me” section on the Google Science Fair 2014 project Rethink: An Effective Way to Prevent Cyberbullying which has been accepted as one of this years finalists.

The proposed system looks remarkably simple as a concept and while “prevention” is possibly an aggressive objective – significant reduction of cyberbullying from her research looks like a raging certainty if the Rethink system is adopted by the main Social Media Networks.

As she says:

“According to American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry(cited in Bibliography/References), adolescents’ (12-18) brains function differently than adults when decision-making and problem solving

  • Based on the stage of their brain development, adolescents are more likely to act on impulse and are less likely to pause and think to consider the potential consequences of their actions before they act.
  • Given the tremendous brain activity occurring during the teenage years, it’s no wonder we find adolescents mystifying at this stage. Adolescents may have grown to the size of adults in body, but the interior infrastructure is far from complete.”

From her practical research she concludes that “Results proved that adolescents were 93.43% less willing to post mean/hurtful messages using a “Rethink” system”.

We are wholly in favour and hope that in time the major networks turn this this excellently researched concept in to an adopted application for their networks. Perhaps Google+ could be the first adopters!

Here’s a pdf of The summary of her project

Full details over at the Google Science Fair site