— blending the mix

November, 2008 Monthly archive

Ok, this isn’t going to be a heavily political post, but I really want to talk about the Manchester Congestion Charge. Personnaly FWIW, I vote “Yes” anyway. Irrelevant of costs, it can only be a good thing that the charge takes more cars off the road, provides more public transport stock, reduces prices and reduces emissions.

BUT, politics aside, do take a look at the video below. It’s not a new concept, but one which made me stop and marvel. A great use of a great idea to get across a simple message.

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A while back, I postured that Microsoft had launched their coolest ever idea (touch-screen password control on their UMPC’s – although it didn’t make me cry!), they then usurped my ridiculous statement with the launch of Live Mesh, Worldwide Telescope and Photosynth to name but a few!

BUT, one thing that has been around quietly for a while, but only recently became available on the market has got me drooling: Microsoft Surface:

For fear of sounding like my good buddies and all round Microsoft fan boys 😉 , I use a Mac for work and home, don’t use a Windows Device (if I can help it), but boy…give me a Surface table and I would be in heaven.

Innovation Full-Circle
It’s a coming together of what Bill Gates said all those years ago about having a PC in every home but also, my thoughts of how Apple managed to win hearts and minds of their OS by controlling the look of the system their software came in. The machines look like the kind of object you might have in your house, or at the very least, are so pleasing to the eye that you wouldn’t object to having one in your house.

The introduction of the Microsoft Surface table puts not only fantastic technology into people’s houses, but does so in a way that is acceptable to THEM, a feat that I genuinely don’t think Microsoft has ever managed to do.

Not only will Microsoft be able to put a PC in everybody’s home, but it may well be the platform for them to deliver their innovative technologies in a much more acceptable way (I mean, images delivered to the table-top machine through touch-recognition of the device – imagine what drinks-makers could do with THAT).

Microsoft, if you are listening I would be happy to try a new coffee table out for you…I am in the process of redecorating anyway…

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Thinking Digital 2009
Like Steve, (and THANKS to Steve!), I was reminded about Thinking Digital in Gateshead last year. Herb also got in touch recently to remind me of this year’s event.

Herb and the team have a great event on their hands in Thinking Digital and last year really set a high bar – all centred around THINKING digital. You can book tickets for this year’s event through the widget on the left.

I’ve got to say, seeing Tara and Steve again were two main drivers for me going last year. Tara spoke about Happiness as a business model (preso below) and Steve was demo’ing some great new technologies from Microsoft. Fab stuff.

BUT, as I posted last year, the work of Jonathan Harris just blew me away and even today, recall with astonishment, his stunning work. I can’t recommend looking at his work enough. Truly inspiring stuff.

And a sample of Jonathan’s work:

Despite leaving in a blur of Citroen C2 tyre smoke (to attend the North West Big Chip Awards) thanks to the event, my mind was full of “what-ifs”; thinking about digital in a very different, conceptual and philosophical way rather than in a functional, sales or promotional way. Herb and the team deserve a lot of credit for taking this angle.

For such a technology-centric event, thought, emotion and love played significant roles in the topics discussed but the balance was very well struck.

If last year is anything to go by, this year will be as equally exciting.

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