An experiment

Business and Technology

So our lovely web gremlins have been asking for a while if we would let them start blogging with some more serious posts about technology and business and other things that sound all very exciting so it was decided that we would experiment and allow them to post a couple of blogs and see what happened! After all it can’t do any harm, right?  Right? So here is the first blog post by our hard working web gremlins.

The Best from Future15

Future15 is a two week event that is held at the FLUX Innovation Lounge and hosted by Studio Output and Engage. Showcasing the best in creative content and innovative technology, the future of retail technology that allows for customer interaction is on display for just 14 days.

“We believe that interactive technology has limitless potential for surprising, learning and development. At Engage we blend commercial understanding, creativity and technical knowhow to build interactive experiences for brands and agencies. Experiences which empower you to learn something new. Helping people, and businesses, to grow and fulfil their potential.” said Steve Blyth, founder and managing director of Engage.

With the Future15 Demo Studio being accessible by invitation only, those who attended this year had to book an hour time slot when they were invited to wander round and explore all the technology; seeing how each new development will impact their area of the retail industry.

Engage and Studio Output also put together a series of workshops, panel discussions and talks that ran throughout the two weeks during which agency experts led groups of 20 people in problem solving exercises and explored key trends in the market. These sessions also allowed for networking opportunities and the benefit of the insight and experience that only industry specialists can provide.

Designers and Tech Innovators at Future15

Some of the exhibitors who brought their wares included Cimagine, Hirsch & Mann, 360 Globalnet, Novalia, Funktronic Labs, Signal Noise, Projection Artworks, FIELD, Happy Finish, LG Electronics, Moritz Waldemeyer, Technology Will Save Us, K-in and Holition.

Cimagine brought their reality platform to display that was uniquely augmented so that consumers could use their tablets and phones to display home and office products in a life-like 3D environment whether they are in a store or at home.

360Globalnet brought their creation, RoboThespian, to Future15. RoboThespian is a humanoid robot that is life size and has been specifically designed for human interaction in the public sphere.

Novalia created some interactive experiences using conductive print media and touch technology. These resulted in smart surfaces that acted as sensors or speakers being a whole new aspect to interactive marketing.

LG Electronics is not only a giant in the electronic industry but one of the world’s leading innovators when it comes to the production of display technology. LG Electronics are best known for its specialisation in the creation of IPS panels, OLEDS, flexible displays and TFT-LCD panels or thin-film transistor liquid crystal display panels.

Retail and Projection Mapping

DigitalBridge, like CImagine, allows customers to see decorations and furniture in their own homes using advanced computer-vision technology, allowing customers to completely redecorate their homes before making any purchase to make sure that they are happy.

All users have to do is take photos of the room they are planning to refurbish using DigitalBridge’s platform which then converts the images into digital models as it can distinguish between the walls, floors, ceiling, different items of furniture and even lighting conditions so that it can realistically recreate the room being furnished and accurately show how items will fit and look.

Vision and the Immersive Experience

Holition put on a fantastic show with an immersive virtual platform for cosmetic retailers. The programme is called Face and may just be the best cosmetic app that has been created to date. The technology Holition uses allows customers’ smartphones and tablets to act as a mirror that lets the user try out colours, textures and shades with their skin tone, eye colour and hair colour.

The app tracks the face in real time and applies the cosmetics as they would if they were applying to their face in a real mirror, without the fuss of having to remove make-up to try out different colours. The app also lets the user scan the products that they want to try on. They can also share the images with friends via social media.

Interactive Paper

Interactive paper is an amazing innovation that can be used as a standalone product or can be used to connect a tablet or smartphone app to it via a Bluetooth connection. Interactive paper is created by a circuit being printed onto paper with a conductive ink with filled in sections of the paper that act as a capacitive plate for storing elections.

This isn’t a new creation, but the ways in which it has been utilised by some of the exhibitors at Future15 are truly unique. The Discovery Wall that was created by Hirsch and Mann currently doesn’t have a use within retail, but the possibilities of what they have put together are incredible, especially for luxury product stores.

The Discovery Wall took two years to create and uses 3,800 ipod nano LCD screens with custom optic lenses. These screens are brought together as one giant screen to produce a complete image that is stunning, but the clever thing about this Discovery Wall is not how it can create one beautiful image.  When you stand back and look at the screens one image can be seen but as you get close to it, you can see the 3,800 distinct images that are being displayed within the single space.

Three Days to go

C.S. Woolley, Chronicles of Celadmore, Competitions, News, Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren

With only three more days to go until Christmas we are all celebrating our last day in the office until we get an emergency call saying the pipes have broken or until 29th December – whichever comes first. (our money is on the pipes breaking on Christmas Day).

We’ve been busy setting up lots of things to keep people entertained over the Christmas break including a discount on Shroud of Darkness! If you got to Smashwords and add Shroud of Darkness to your basket and at the checkout enter the code LV29T you’ll get the book for FREE! You can also get Rising Empire: Part 1 for free from Smashwords too.

Our web gremlins have been hard at work to bring you some all new pages for the Chronicles of Celadmore section that include the different festivals that the peoples of Celadmore have celebrated throughout history. We’ve timed it so that these pages will go live on Christmas Day and give a little bit more depth and history to the realm.

Keep your eyes on tumblr as well as the Nicolette Mace: the Raven Siren page is going to be full of exclusive photos from behind the scenes of the rehearsal for the filming of Siren & Blade.

On 1st January we will also have the first of the maps of Celadmore going live so you can see the world whilst you read about it. The maps will only be going live online but there are plans to turn them into posters if we can find a high enough print quality and a large enough poster for the map size (you’ll see our dilemma when the map is up). There will be more maps rolling out during 2015 including city maps as well as maps across the eras and even the family trees for different lines of royalty.

There are three Nicolette Mace blogs going live on the blogspot blog between now and New Years Day. We aren’t sure whether there will be another 12 days of Christmas Reprise posted on Christmas Day as C.S. Woolley is keeping that under wraps but I guess we’ll just have to wait and hope just like everyone else.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from everyone in the offices and our authors!

Our web gremlins

Thank yous

So with today’s post we all wanted to say a big thank you to our lovely web gremlins who have worked so hard on getting the new Mightier Than the Sword UK site up and running. Having sat and watched some of what they have done I can’t quite believe they are still sane. The amount of time and effort they have put into making this looking amazing is really appreciated by all of us here in the office. And they still aren’t done! The site is going to continue to develop and improve as we find our feet and receive feedback from site users as to what they, or rather you, want to see more of.

If you have any suggestions then please get in touch with us via our contact us page.

We’ve seen the office in a flurry of activity today too with everyone preparing for the weekend. Some are heading into a weekend of working here in the office, others will be running about the country on personal errands and there a crazy handful who will be doing both! Though I know at least one person plans to spend the entire weekend watching every series of Red vs. Blue from start to finish just because the last episode of the latest series has finally aired…in fairness the rest of us are just a tiny bit jealous as we all secretly wish we could be doing that!

For all those who are finally off to University this weekend *cough*Oxfordslackers*cough* we wanted to say you shall be living in the shadow of two great literary giants – C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien – you have a lot to live up to!

Finally we wanted to make a special mention of a very talent author that has three extremely good books out that we think everyone should read, D.B. Martin. D.B. has written the Patchwork People series that you can get from amazon direct to your kindle and also has a YA book called Webs written under the name Lily Stuart – who also happens to be the main character! If you haven’t read these before or heard of them then you should check them out and you can even read our review of Webs!

Happy Weekend!

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