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Erwin predicts, writes about the future & developments today.

Live recognizes friends

Through the renewed Windows Live Photo Gallery people can't just group their photos based on date or location, but also by people. They can also edit the photos. For example, you can make the photo black and white with a single click of the mouse and you can rotate the photos in any angle.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Brand will start to recognize the images around us to advertise with them. Brands that specialize in social contact between people, that facilitate with personal contact (such as (Windows) Live, a social coaching brand in the making), also recognize our friends. From their photograph, but later also by their voice, their walk or their behavior. In the long term, even better than we can recognize them ourselves. This is a step in that direction.

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Google shows speech moments in video

Google has found a way to visualize search results in videos. For example, someone searching for 'Health' will receive a line under the (YouTube) video with markers when the person says the word 'health'. This is known to Google as Gaudi.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Currently Google responds to our typed query, soon we can sit behind our tv and ask ‘health’. And after that ‘When was that guy talking about health?’ And even later it’ll search for all kinds of synonyms. It goes on and on. Not just for Google, but for all brands. We’ll be able to ask such questions of all brands. Like it’s always been the most normal thing on the planet. For now we’re very busy with reaction properly to the clicking and typing of our customers, but in the meantime technology is a few steps ahead of us.

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Tapeable Image Sensors: sensing tape

A research team from the University of California, Berkeley is working on the development of such small (image) sensors that they can be 'printed' unto any surface. This way a 'sensing tape' could be created, for example: a camera as duck tape so to speak. You tear off a piece, tape it onto the ceiling, your car or your forehead and you've gained a camera.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Everthing will react to us, but everything can only react if everything can observe us. Developments like this add to that. In this example it’s for visible light, but it’ll become truly interesting when we can observe very simple phenomena that pass human observation. Then we can train for that and get the best out of ourselves. It’ll take a while; we’re talking about 2050, the time of Pamper Planet.

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Movie you can adapt yourself

On Olifantenwassen.nl, a recruitment site of IT company Cap Gemini, people can make their own movies with their friends in the star role. For example, I got sent this personal movie with myself in the leading role.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Currently as a photo clearly placed in this; in a few years we can give our friends a leading role in a movie without seeing the difference. We can add artificial humans that look like real people. Or animals that act like people. The virtual world will become more and more real and our brains will have increasingly more trouble separating what’s ‘real’ from what’s ‘imagined’. In this time brand agents, artificial representations of brands, that look like real people, and enter a dialogue with us the most normal thing in the world.

War Child organised Peace March in Habbo world

During the International Day of Peace, War Child Netherlands organized a virtual Peace March on the online community Habbo. The goal of the march was to make the youth stop to think about war and to call on them to support the necessity of peace. The peace march was part of the Global Peace Gathering organized by War Child and Habbo in 32 countries. Beside the Peace March Habbos could sign a Peace Petition by War Child with which they could show their support.

During the march the visitors of Habbo, the so-called Habbos, made a communal trip through different virtual rooms. They were accompanied by several youths from Uganda, which visited the online world from a refuge camp.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

The Habbo world knows no country borders, just as the whole virtual world doesn’t know them. As a result, people will act more like world citizens, starting with the smallest amongst us. This generation, which will control the world in 2050 will view other cultures completely differently from previous generations. And they’ll also rule the world differently.

Micro airplanes which transport packages

The micro airplanes (roughly 30 centimeter long) in this movie can transport small packages extremely quickly, useful for, for example, emergency transports in health care.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

It’s a part of the development of the network economy. The economy in which everything is flexible, scaleable and especially realtime. Soon we can order something from a pavement and will have it delivered within an hour. Other methods will remain cheaper, but this is much faster, so you’ll really have something.

VandaagopStap: going out today

Through VandaagOpStap (Dutch) people can look for activities and events that are happening today. With a database of over 9000 activities VandaagOpStap is the biggest outings-website of the Netherlands. People can select from 11 categories, amongst which are 'active entertainment', 'special buildings', 'day outings', 'art and culture', 'music'. Those contain about 10 subcategories. It's also possible to search using region and city. When selecting an event, the website also displays nearby restaurants.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

This is how VandaagOpStap is a coaching brand in the making, a coaching brand that entertains us outside our doors, possibly named a personal outdoor brand. That starts with completeness in the categories and VandaagOpStap is well on its way.

Furthermore it shows how the network economy is developing. We used to deal with guides, with as most extreme example the theater guides where we had to book half a year in advance. In the network economy everything happens realtime: the moment we feel like doing something, a personal outdoor brand can immediately sort all possibilities that suit our profile, only possibilities that are truly possible. Furthermore coaching brands will also take along the diaries of friends; after all you rarely go alone. Personal outdoor brands make sure that you always have something fun to do outside your doorstep. That makes the whole world more spontaneous. More fun, if you will.

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MySpace watches along through webcam

Users of social network MySpace can allow the site to watch along through the webcam and publish the resulting movie immediately. The big difference is that people don't first have to save the movie and then upload it.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Brands are beginning to understand the consumer’s remark of ‘would you look at that!’. Currently with MySpace, but soon you can show an insurance company what the damage is immediately, directly from your cell phone’; your health coaching brand can see the wound immediately after falling or the plumber can see the situation in your kitchen cupboard. Furthermore the brand can also remember this video-conference and analyze it automatically. It’s progressing step by step and MySpace is a pioneer in that area.

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iTunes automatically compiles playlists

The new iTunes automatically creates playlists based on your own music collection. After selecting a number, you need to press the 'genius' button and then iTunes will automatically select similar songs. You can also give Genius the command to recommend music you don't own yet. Then you can buy those.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

This is how music coaching brands are brought to life. They’re specialists in all kinds of music ever created and can make recommendations. Soon iTunes will look at you literally (!), gauge your mood, and start the music. No whining about buying, but of course you do have to pay for this added value. And if you’re truly touched, iTunes will be able to recommend a concert. This is how iTunes will become a music buddy that travels everywhere with you.

Marillion exchanges music for email address

Marillion offers its music for free in exchange for email address, country and city. By entering this, you can download their newest album Happiness Is the Road from p2p-network Musicglue. You can also choose not to enter an information and pay for the album.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Owning music will disappear as a concept. It’ll be all about listening to music and it’ll be the trick to select the right music at the right time. That’ll be the added value for the digital troubadour. That’ll be the added value we’ll start to pay for. Popbands, transaction brands compared to the music coaching brands, offer their music for free. It helps them make contact with the public so that they can build up a fanbase and earn money from concerts and merchandising. Popbands are building a brandculture around themselves, a brand with a symbolic function, because your music choice is a part of your identity which is formed and anchored early on in your life. Popbands first have to know who they’re dealing with and Marillion is taking a step in that direction.

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Lisa listens to the question

Lisa, the brand agent of Rabo Mobiel (Rabo Mobile; Dutch), now also listens to open questions asked by the consumer. Whoever calls customer services (0900-9890) will immediately get to speak to Lisa. With the help of open question speech recognition Lisa can bring them into contact with the most suitable person of customer support. If they're not immediately available, customers won't need to stay on hold, but will be called back. That increases the positive customer experiences and efficiency of customer services.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

And again the dialogue is shaped a little further. Lisa’s already answering simple questions, but she’ll be able to handle more and more complex questions. Currently Rabo Mobiel still searches for a specialist in the call center, but soon the questions will become so specialistic that Lisa will connect you with the specialist of Rabo Mobiel in the Netherlands and then in Europe and eventually in the world. We manage to automate ever more communication; ever more interesting is the work that’s left.

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Soho restaurant lets your order a cab from your table

In the London-based restaurant Inamo you can order food from your table, play games with other people in the restaurant, pay or order a cab. A beamer which projects images onto the black table surfaces makes it possible and through the use of a mouse visitors can browse through the menu and view images of the food. After placing your order you can view how your food is prepared using the 'chef cam'.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Two structural developments are hiding in this example. Firstly this kind of development will lead to the creation of a next generation entertainment place where you can also eat. Like arcades arose from technology, technology in the restaurant kitchen will develop. Furthermore the delivery of additional service will definitely be given a shot. Soon automatic payment will be so smoothly arranged that we won’t even check the receipt. We’ll be recognized when we enter, get the suggestion of the month tailored to our wants, and we’ll just as easily walk outside again and money will be arranged for us. Also in large restaurants, also in other branches of those restaurants. That’s how the dialogue can bind people to the (restaurant)brand and this is an example of a development in that direction.

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Wehkamp lets you react to press releases

Wehkamp.nl, a Dutch e-commerce, now lets consumers react to press releases sent by the company. Then the company keeps a close eye on the reactions. For example, the reaction to the press release Nieuw Magazine Wehkamp.nl (New Magazine Wehkamp.nl; Dutch):

Marjolein:

Nice the September magazines.
Especialy page 31, that's all wrong!
nr.7 is a belt. A comparable pair of pants of "Liefs van Bo" is slightly more expensive.
Only nr.2 and 8 are correct.
How're things for the rest of the magazine?


To which Wehkamp (Dennis Hendriksen) responded:
Firstly, thank you for your response. It's indeed true that two article numbers were switched in the magazine (namely: nr. 6 and 7, page 31). De error has our attention. Internally we'll be looking for a solution to guarantee the ease of ordering.

Kind regards,
Dennis Hendriksen
Wehkamp.nl


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Brands are experiencing a brand coming out: they’re becoming an ultimate cooperation form between people. You’ve got people in the core, who work on it all day, people who do something some of the time (call it ‘part-time working’ for now), people who sometimes think along and people who spend most of their lives simply taking.

Sending a press release is part of PR, part of Public Relations, part of maintaining relationships with the public. In practice that always means: keeping in contact with the press. Entering the dialogue. And that can be seen beautifully here.

In a next step, by the by, people need to be logged in so that Wehkamp.nl (in this case) can see directly which delivery it’s about and take personal action, like calling. Perhaps this person would be willing to proofread next time. And so we’re going forward step by slow step.

Contacts with display

Engineers of the George Washington University have succeeded in using nanoscale fabricating techniques to create a flexible contact lens with a biologically safe electronic circuit and light source. This means the lens can be worn, like a regular lens, on the eye. Furthermore, it's capable of relaying information to the human eye which the eye otherwise wouldn't pass onto the brain.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

More and more screens which give us sight on the visual world are being created. It’ll be projected into our lenses how we have to walk, in our ear we’ll hear data about the person we’re speaking to, see things that aren’t really there. And all of that in 3D. We’ll have to wait a while for this technology, but eventually it’ll be the most normal thing in the world.

Related trends

Eduhub organizes education

Eduhub is a new Dutch comparison site which compares educational courses for private schools. At its start the site contained 265 providers of unsubsidized training courses. The commercial initiatives of universities/colleges also fall under this. Over a hundred of these have a log-in code which allows them to enter the courses they offer manually. Currently, this results in an overview of 3,200 courses. Mentioning courses is free, but providers have to pay if they also want to receive leads. In concrete terms that means people's requests for brochures. Eduhub earns €5 if someone requests a brochure for a €500 course and €50 for one of €5000. It's a fixed percentage, no matter what the popularity of the sections or specific courses.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Career coaching brands guide us with our personal development. Which books should we read? Which events should we go to? Which blogs should we follow? Which job should I choose? What suits me anyway? What makes me happy? How do I get the best out of myself? With the creation of this type of brad it’s important to first chart the available offer, worldwide, in great detail. Eduhub has made a start and can grow into a career coaching brand.

Next steps are then: Which education should I choose now? Which course suits which job? Which courses are most suited for my way of learning? Options aplenty.

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