An Unfair Advantage: June 2021

June 2021

This month our team has curated a roundup of insights, stories, and unfair advantages. The big news this month is social media monetisation and commerce, digital to physical product development, and AR-related developments that will change retail forever. So sit back, have a read and enjoy some of the things that we found interesting this month.

Thank you, Team rehab.

What if an elephant could measure your space?

Intriguing, right? We are massive fans of the hack week style mentality (more on this later...) so it was great to come across the incredibly creative Everyday Experiments. This is well worth a read if you are interested in asking questions like 'What if you could use sound to create silence?' and 'What if an elephant could measure your space'?

The cost of a tweet

News that will surprise no one. Twitter finally launched a paid subscription service - Twitter Blue. Initially launching in Australia and Canada, Twitter Blue has a couple of interesting features including an 'undo' function that'll benefit mega users. Will people be willing to pay? Time will tell but this might be the start of Twitter's journey towards creating a Prof G style 'Rundle' (a recurring revenue and bundle).

Hello stranger

This is just awesome! Thanks to Portal, a sleek pair of screens installed in city centres, passersby have the opportunity to view entirely different locations in real time. This type of experience could really bring communities and continents together with some incredibly creative applications for advertising, education, and entertainment. Or you could just wave hello to randoms! πŸ‘‹

One from us

Pill-ID – our latest Hackweek

We're super proud of this one! We collaborated with French ad agency (and fellow By the Network member) Herezie to create Pill-iD; a prototype app that allows people to identify MDMA-based pills through their phones using photos, machine learning and a drug database called Nuit Blanche.

DesignWeek covered it here.

And the landing page with further information is here.

This is just one example of how computer vision can be used to identify objects. If you are working in the CPG/FMCG space this type of tech could be very, very interesting to explore further.

The wisdom of Boy George

Pride month is filled with interesting collaborations and this month was no different. If you have ever fancied Boy George as your back seat driver this was YOUR year, thanks to Waze.

He’ll tell you where to turn, give you a heads up on hazards ahead and 'impart words of wisdom' Β while you listen to a specially curated playlist focused on diversity and inclusion.

A new artistic canvas

We're based in Shoreditch – London's ever-changing street art hotspot – so this experience really stood out this month... Street Artefacts is a crowdsourced archive of street art scanned and rendered using a device with a Lidar scanner . It's super interesting from an artistic perspective (we can't wait to get involved!) but it'll be interesting to see which brands or artists will see the potential of this first.

Football? Soccer? Whatever.

Names aside, think about seeing your favourite sports stars in your home doing... 'stuff'.

This experience combines volumetric scans of sports teams with augmented reality to do just that. This is surely the start of some incredible in-home entertainment (and if Cameo is not all over this, then they should be!).

Keeping with the AR theme...

Apple announced Object Capture at WWDC, meaning developers will be able to take some 360 photos, and boom – you now have a 3D model you can import and work on in 3D environments.

The fact this is now possible using only a phone is astonishing, really! Pandora's 'AR box' is now well and truly open, so keep your eyes peeled for an influx of 3D renders and AR apps.

The death of the tape measure?

Here's Barbara Martin Coppola, Ikea's CMO, showing how Google now provides direct access to view AR products within the search engine. This really is a game-changer as you can now quickly and easily see how products look in your own home directly from the search results. No more excuses for getting product dimensions wrong...

Complex Land

Complex Land is the perfect combination of commerce, entertainment, culture, and gaming. The fully virtual event happened in June, with major brands and artists taking part across the two days, offering exclusive gigs, merchandise, and experiences. Brands need to explore this type of event – especially those within the Zeitgeist – as they will provide an incredible opportunity to connect with larger audiences globally.

The internet's largest CGI challenge

This link is just pure enjoyment. 2400 artists were given the exact same animation and asked to create their own render. The result is stunning, and this is the 10-minute montage covering the top 100 entries. Sit back and enjoy – it's truly worth a watch!

Next level audio AI and Text-to-Speech

Have you ever wanted to hear Donald Duck singing major pop songs? Regardless, now you can. Uberduck combines Text-to-Speech and AI to get celebs, cartoons, and various other famous voices saying – or singing – what you want. There are a few glitches, but it's already a TikTok sensation. What could go wrong...

Digital. Physical. Physical. Digital.

RTFKT has featured in several editions of An Unfair Advantage, but even we were surprised at this... The digital-only clothing and NFT brand released exclusive sneakers for 420 and then the winners received a surprise gift – the physical product. This type of thing is undoubtedly the future of fashion, so if you are in this space, get involved now.

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