Our free Trend Preview features five creative micro-trends from a variety of categories. The latest issue of the Trendreport is available now and contains even more exciting innovations for your perusal.
SMARTPHONE BECOMES UNIVERSAL REMOTE CONTROL
Developers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed an application that turns smartphones into a universal remote control for technical devices. Its so-called “computer vision” technology enables smartphones to recognise the object the camera is currently pointed at. The app then connects to the device via Wi-Fi and the user is presented with various options for that device on the smartphone’s screen.
AUCTIONING PHONE CONTRACT TO MOBILE NETWORKS
“BidMyBill” is an internet platform that analyses people’s historical mobile usage data and places a customised, user-based tariff into the site’s bidding section. Mobile phone operators can then bid against each other to win a new contract with the customer by offering the lowest prices. If the customer uploads his last phone bills when signing up to the service, “BidMyBill” will evaluate them and calculate a scope of services that may be better suited to the user than his previous contract. This invites the phone companies to make customers a one-time best offer.
INFO IN USERS’ OWN LANGUAGE VIA QR CODE
The Chairman of Wikimedia UK, Roger Bamkin, has developed a service that lets Wikipedia users access articles on their smartphones in their preferred languages with QR codes. “QRpedia” is already being used in museums in the UK, USA and Spain. Users wanting more information on a certain exhibit can simply scan the QR code to call it up on their phones – in the system language of the phone.
CAMERA BALL TAKES 360° SHOTS
Students from the Computer Graphics Group at the Technical University of Berlin have developed a ball with 36 integrated cameras that takes a panoramic photo when thrown up into the air. The 2-megapixel digital cameras are positioned around the ball and the rubber surface protects them when the ball bounces. An accelerometer is used to measure the ball’s highest point in the air and the panoramic shot is taken exactly at that moment. The images can then be seen in the app on the computer, and it’s also possible to zoom in on details and objects that were beyond the user’s field of vision.
APPLYING TO FORMULA ONE VIA FACEBOOK
Always wanted to be part of a Formula One team? Akzo Nobel, the world’s largest producer of decorative paints and performance coatings, is now making this possible with a campaign called “Trainee for a day”. Potential candidates can apply to take part in the training day from their Facebook profiles, thereby granting the company access to their data on the network, as well as uploading their CV, referring a friend and posting a motivational video. The two winners will then help out at the “Vodafone McLaren team Mercedes F1 Racing Team” in Sao Paulo.