— Alan Watts
Two Januarys ago, I received my Notion Ink Adam, a first run Android tablet that was hoping to trump the iPad 1. Unfortunately, the tablet has been little more than a paperweight, as slow OS releases rendered the device useless. I’ve since moved on to buy (and subsequently sell) an iPad 2, and 3. I’m now rocking my Galaxy Nexus 7 and couldn’t be happier.
Although it was a flop, the Adam brought a technology to the table that I’m still waiting to see from other manufacturers: Pixel Qi displays.
Quite simply, Pixel Qi allows for full-color LCDs to change “modes” to a e-ink (Kindle-esque) style display. This means you can go in direct sunlight with your mobile and still have an incredibly legible display with full touchscreen capacity. The now 2-year old Adam featured Pixel Qi as an optional display, and worked incredibly well (aside from the aforementioned slow OS updates).
A quick demo of the Pixel Qi technology.
I’m wondering what ever happened to this type of display - It could literally change the way many people interact with their mobile devices, and would be a feature millions would flock to if offered. If you’ve got any more info than I do, please pass it along. In the mean time, I guess we’ll continue to wait… sigh.
The final stretch of the year is upon us; days are getting shorter, lines are getting longer and attire is getting tackier with each passing holiday party.
It’s time to enjoy it all, right?
This is advertising – clients and deadlines wait for no one.
While not currently in an agency, my friends and I have been noting the weight of assignments, pitches and presentations; the professors atVCU Brandcenterare ensuring that our stress levels are on par with that of the industry.
In fact, recently I spoke with a few of prospective Brandcenter students about the program.
“Can you tell us what your day looked like, say, yesterday?” asked one particularly tall girl donning Warby Parkerglasses.
Instinctively, I pulled out my phone and showed her my Google Calendar:
Meetings, check-ins, a track-wide holiday gift swap, concepting session, class, prototype testing and a reminder to move my parking spot.
From 7:15 AM until 9:45 PM, the most “free time” that I had was in 10-to-25 minute chunks separating my scheduled events.
“Welcome to advertising,” I thought.
“You’ll put in the 90-hour weeks, sleep in the building, and be on a first name basis with the Starbucks baristas…yeah, it’s the most fun you probably never want to have again,” I told them.
“But when do you have time to beyou?” followed, almost on cue.
That one carried a lot more weight than I would have guessed.
It became strikingly clear in that moment that life can’t be purely output. The creative problem solving of advertising is the product of many great minds, drawing on vast pools of experiences and passions. I paused with my group, flipped open myWhitelinesnotepad, and wrote the following:
“INPUT ≥ OUTPUT!?”
Holiday season or not:
It is more important than ever to step back, embrace who you are, what you love, and why you got into this industry in the first place.
I’m not here to advocate more hours spent at your agency’s favorite watering hole or extra self-loathing sessions at your gym – unless youreally dolike the gym. Call your grandmother, read a magazine, watch SNL, smoke a cigar, laze in a bath, go for a hike, meet a stranger, write a note to an old friend, drink some Chai.
What things would you continue to do forever – even if you were to become a millionaire tomorrow?
Go do more ofthose things.
Because in the end, your output – and therefore your job – requires them.
I just landed on Amazon.com today to peruse for a new read (ended up going with All things, All at once) and was surprised to their newest ad placement:
This holiday season, Kindle is gunning for your litte ones; I don’t think it’s a particularly bad idea. While working on a pitch this summer at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners for Nickelodeon (which we ended in a big win; gratuitous photo of Jeff Goodby getting slimed at the party) I learned lots about the digital habits of kids and how they were interacting with technology on a daily basis.
Amazon’s new approach is an intelligent one. Like it or not (I lean towards the latter) kids are using technology more and more. Children emulate what they see, something Psychologists refer to as “imprinting”. Parents, even those who protest against letting their kids become inundated by phones and tablets are communicating the direct opposite to their brood as they swipe, tap and talk to their tech every other moment.
Yet, I contend many will see value in Bezos and Co.’s new offer in “Kindle FreeTime Unlimited”. Every new Kindle Fire (which I’d written about last year, noting “it’s where the money is at”) ships with the app, an ecosystem of books, games, educational apps and video for their kids. A monthly membership runs for $2.99 for one child, or $9.99 for up to six (each gets their own profile in app)
Titles can be sorted by kids’ age and gender, alongside titles parents would like to add to the collection. Screen Limits (pictured below) allow parents to choose their kids’ screen time; daily limits can be set, as well as specific categories (eg: no video or games, but unlimited reading).
According to Generation M2L Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year Olds (a Jan. 2010 report by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation), kids ages 8-10 years:
- Watch an average of 3hrs 41mins of TV a day
- Listen to music for 1hr 8min
- Play video games for 56 min
- Spend 46 minutes on the computer
It’s interesting to note that last one; while they’re digitally literate, kids aren’t using a classic computer very much (and those that are happen to be playing games nearly all that time). What’s more, according to Mintel, about 1/3 of all kids 6-11 have “gone online in the last month to download/play online games, visit their favorite websites, watch videos and visit online pretend/virtual worlds”.
1 • DIY Dev Boards - “Shrimp”: for a fraction of the cost
2 • Self Healing Flash Memory - helping make memories last exponentially longer
3 • I love Lamp: 6 servos + arduino + art lamp = baller status.
4 • 10 Creative Lessons from David Bowie in Berlin - If you follow me on twitter, you may already have seen me post this, but it was too darn good not to share again. Note number #8, world:
Takeaway: Look for technology that opens up new creative possibilities. Hang around with people who know about the latest developments
— Malcolm S. Forbes.
I’ve been a bit lackadaisical when it comes to cross posting my Advertising Week articles since May.
I’ll link to em now, but in the future will post the full pieces.
• DIY Arduino Powered Weather Station (appropriately enough, Sandy)
• Raspberry Pi “Pi Crust” Inexpensive hardware add-on that allows for additional hardware peripherals
• Arduino releases Due Upgrades galore, priced at $49 and hit the shelves Oct. 22nd