We’re liking…. Livestreaming

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Livestreaming refers to content that is delivered and distributed in real time over the internet. Although livestreaming isn’t a new technology (it has been around for a number of years in the form of video conferencing) the way the technology is now being used, together with the creation of new apps, have advanced the way live streaming is being utilised globally.

Apps like Periscope and Meerkat allow users to stream live video through their smartphones, and upload directly to social media platforms like Twitter, where the content can be seen and shared while an event is happening.

Periscope was launched just five months ago, yet the company says it has crossed the 10-million-user threshold already – an extraordinary achievement. It announced the figure in a blog post and went on to say ‘people are watching approximately 40 years’ worth of livestreaming footage every day on Periscope, that’s the equivalent of 21 million minutes every 24 hours’.

It is not just individuals who are getting involved in livestreaming; the BBC uses it to report from all over the world, uploading live news to its Twitter accounts so people can stay up to date with real time news.  Other businesses are using livestreaming; we have seen companies launch new products, highlight the inner goings-on of the business day, and there is even an estate agent that uses it for house viewings!

It will be exciting to see how the many uses of live streaming diversify in the coming months and we look forward to using it more and more for our clients.

We’re liking…Augmented Reality

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We are witnessing huge innovations within the digital world. First of all we were in awe of 3-D
printing and now we turn our attention to augmented reality (AR) which is only
now becoming mainstream, despite the term having been around for decades. We
can wave goodbye to 80s-style virtual reality goggles, and can now enter a 3-D
world through the use of our mobile devices – truly magical.

Software developer, Aurasma, has created
an opportunity to enter an augmented world where every image, object and place
has its own Aura, changing the way you see and interact with the world. Check
out Aurasma and watch some of its most engaging projects here.

Our favourite AR campaign to date
is for The Times Magazine – download the Aurasma app and watch it here. By
downloading the app and scanning the cover, readers gain exclusive access to comedian
Graham Norton and his pet dog – genius!

What is most exciting about this
piece of software is how it can completely transform the way we engage with
potential customers on mobile devices. AR provides a richer user experience;
increases the perceived value of products and brands; and conveys innovation
from forward-thinking brands.

Most of all, AR injects playfulness
and fun into everyday products –  M&S
used Auras to bring its new summer collection to life last year – customers
were able to search for the perfect outfit, to share their Auras via social
media, view the range and, of course, buy what they saw.

We are just scratching the
surface of AR’s potential and we are sure it will continue to evolve – make
sure you take advantage of the excitement and creativity it can bring to your digital
public relations and marketing campaigns.

Get the Aurasma app on Google
Play
or the App Store
and create your own Aura!

The Water Industry Challenge

It was an eye-opener to hear at a water industry event, run by Cambridge Cleantech, that water costs just £1 a tonne to the customer.  This begs the question: ‘why the need to invest in new technologies?’

The answer, of course, is that the water networks around our region were built in Victorian times and therefore pose no end of problems – leaking, burst pipes, and so on.  The need for smart water meters is apparent and the benefits clear, but unfortunately it seems British water companies are struggling to implement them across their networks.  We were told that for Cambridge Water, only 75% of all water charged is metered and 83% of meters are encoded (legacy meters) and need to be replaced with smarter meters.

At Cambridge Cleantech’s event we were introduced to innovative technology companies, such as Syrinix and Sentec, involved with bringing new products to market to help water companies.  But, with no investment forthcoming, they are taking their products elsewhere – Sentec, for example, has taken its sensor technology to North America where it is being readily implemented.  In comparison to the UKs 20 water companies, USA has 30,000 water companies, including many municipals.  We can see where the attraction lies for new technology across the pond.

According to recent UK reports, there will be a 40% shortfall in water by 2013, which highlights further the increasing demand for smart water technology.  In Cambridge alone, there are 50,000 people employed in high tech jobs – having sweated over their research and development, it is only natural for them to want to see their product brought to market.  So, with no investment available, who can blame them for taking their products further afield, to Australia, Middle East and North America?

UK Trade & Investment told the Cambridge Cleantech event delegates that it wants to see synergy between ICT and the water industry.  Ultimately, technology developers and water companies have the same goals of adopting new technologies and network optimisation methods in pursuit of efficiency savings but, for collaboration to work, we need our water companies to take a long-term view and invest now to save later.  

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