Robot Doctors, Reborn Newspapers, Homeless on TV, Spelling Pen, Cool QR and Clever Ice

Best of Me – Newsletter

It’s a great time to be at Zuni. Michael, our new strategist has just started, (yep, that’s him in the pic), and Jacki has returned from maternity leave (which I’m sure is not to Emily’s liking).

Mike has written an interesting blog on the digital forecasts for 2013, where he talks about how consumers can use their own “big data” from brands to add value to their lives. This aligns with the Econsultancy Pharma predictions for the year too. In fact, recently published data from Pew Internet found 21% of US adults who track their own or loved one’s health do so using technology. There’s a huge opportunity here waiting to be tapped and I’m keen to see who paves the way for us all to benefit. Whoever takes on disease management for Diabetes, can I beg to be involved please!

If you’re still looking for more trends in 2013, try this list of 8 technology trends to satisfy your appetite.

Robot Doctors in Hospitals

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The idea of connecting patients and doctors remotely is not new.12 months ago I reported on the use of Robots monitoring patients’ recovery at home. Now this technology is being employed in-house – within hospitals. The RP Vita telepresence robot enables doctors to monitor and attend to patients in a different part of the hospital! Even more impressive to me is that it’s controlled through an iPad app. Whilst I’m sure it saves time (and ultimately lives), it certainly removes an element of personalisation within hospital care. Also doesn’t really allow much “can you feel that bump?” sort of consultation either.

Bringing the Newspaper Back

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Now that’s a headline I didn’t think I’d write. The dying art of reading a broadsheet (or tabloid) has been reinvigorated in Japan’s The Tokyo Shimbun (newspaper) with the creation of an AR reader app for kids. The AR reader app turns adult stories in the paper into children’s versions. So now you don’t just hand out the comics section, kids can actually find the economy, politics and social issues interesting and easy to digest. In addition, both adults and children can enjoy a newspaper together. Well done Dentsu Tokyo on securing future readers.

Homeless Hosting the Weather

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Something quite close to my heart. I have a homeless guy on our street at work who I have helped several times over the last 2 years. I’m constantly looking for ways in which I can help – and they are limited. It’s nice to see a band of European countries coming together for Days of Hope – where real homeless people are invited to a TV studio to present the weather. The homeless person allows the audience to take a closer look at the impact the weather has on their daily lives, raising awareness of the homeless and making a request for donations to the charity. To help a little closer to home, contact Mission Australia.

Pen alerts you to spelling mistakes

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I realise that there will come a time when we don’t need to handwrite any longer, and I personally dread that day. I’m quite a stationery junkie so pens and paper are totally up my alley. We all face the frustrating “auto-correct” feature embedded in our technology, but what about a pen that vibrates when you make a spelling mistake? Lernstift from Austria has now introduced said pen, including correction of spelling, legibility and grammar. I find that fascinating and I believe teachers would embrace this.

Ice reads your alcohol intake

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This is a top innovation. Put simply, cutely named, Cheers are LED ice cubes that tell you when you’ve had enough to drink. The ice cubes not only measure your alcohol content, but also how fast and how much you’re drinking. Starting off green when you begin drinking; over time they change color to orange and finally red as you’ve surpassed the safety limit. Ultimately, the cubes send a text for help to a designated friend via the user’s smartphone. I think this is a wonderful innovation that could actually save lives, add peer pressure from friends to hand over the car keys and also make it much easier for establishments to administer RSA.

All Things Facebook

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The tumultuous world of Facebook is always a-changing! A few things that have happened in very recent weeks:

  • Power Editor has officially been rolled out – allowing advertisers to create hyper targeted ads based on their CRM databases among other things. Elise has written a blog about this to get you up to speed.
  • As always there is another Facebook redesign for Timeline looming for personal pages, check out what the changes are.
  • There are always a few worrisome statuses on Facebook that pop up here and there. To combat these, Facebook has partnered with SAVE a suicide prevention organisation to examine the online behavior of those who take their own lives in the days leading up to their deaths.
  • As we know Facebook is the social media giant, but look at how fast it grew – who’s to say how much longer that will be the case? Check out this great article talking about 7 social networks to watch in ’13
  • Now you can ‘bang’ your friends on Facebook – The new app ‘Bang With Friends‘ lets you browse your Facebook friends for people you’d have casual sex with. You privately select the friends and then if they have also chosen you using the app, you are both notified and bang! And so it begins….

QR codes doing cool things in the tourism space

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QR codes are definitely nothing new – but in my experience examples of them actually being useful are few and far between. Here is something that may actually HELP consumsers in real situations.

QR codes have been embedded into the traditional mosaic sidewalks of Rio De Janeiro, to help tourists learn more about the city. The codes are made up of black and white tiles, and when scanned with a smartphone app, they provide information in Portuguese, Spanish or English, along with a map of the local area. Cool huh? Although my favourite example still remains the Drink a Guinness & Reveal we featured in a previous Best Of Me, this application of QR codes may knock it from the top stop!

Bits & Pieces

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  • A fabulous chart from Business Insider showing the distribution of time spent per mobile shopping category. Daily Deals, Ebay and Amazon have slipped, but time spent with retailers is increasing.
  • Had this stunt happened to me, I would have passed out. The Dutch certainly know how to do funny stuff – and the launch of a new drama TV channel in no exception. 3.5m views when first spotted on 29 Jan, 5.1m as I write this.
  • All those rumours that Samsung are smashing Apple in the smartphone category? Who said they were rumours? A budget iPhone (ie cheaper entry into smartphone market) could be on its way.
  • Brilliant list of 50 Life Hacks to change your world. I’ve implemented about 8 of these already. Start saving your toilet paper rolls people!
  • Just in case you missed it, there’s a new way to share video online – using Vine (from Twitter). You can upload video 6 seconds or less of looping video. Brandsonvine from the UK shows how brands are using this platform in interesting ways.
  • How bored must one be to create a ‘Flipbook Style” Gangnam – featuring a person flipping through every frame from the video, which have been hand-drawn using colored pencils. Next!
  • I’ve struggled to understand why our city lights in buildings are on at ungodly hours when there is so much discussion around energy efficiencies. Delighted to see France taking a lead by forcing shops and office buildings to turn off lights overnight. It’s an extension of the Earth Hour concept that is long overdue.
  • I heard the word Phablet last week, and then came across this blog of heinous social media jargon where it was also featured. My favourite: “I’m changing the world one tweet at a time”. GOLD.

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