In this month’s Inter[action]article, Lawrence Eldridge, Head of Front End at Tribal Worldwide, shares his top four picks of last months most interesting interactive ideas.
Amazon Fire TV Cube
This cheap little device is handy for the simple fact that it can plug in to a standard TV and convert it to a smart one. It works by using the HDMI cable, so everything is streamed over to the TV display. It’s been out for a few months now, but the integration of Alexa within the unit means that owners can send commands to the device to switch the TV on or off, control its volume or play music or movies using your voice.
We’re starting to see more and more products from Amazon that include integration with Alexa, and I have a feeling this is the start of a growing line of products that will hook in to its Voice Service. It’s a trend that’s set to continue through in to 2019, and the business potential could expand in to many different sets of hardware devices — especially as it becomes more and more accessible to the end-user.
Oculus Go & YouTube
Recently, Facebook announced that Youtube VR will be coming to the Oculus Go, adding to Oculuses existing apps of Netflix, Hulu, and Oculus TV. This has a great potential alongside the 800k VR video format and provides viewers with an opportunity to immerse themselves within full 360 video for anything from concerts to nature documentaries.
It’s clear that VR is still in its infancy and the boundaries are largely down to the necessity of a headset and costs. But, over time, it will no doubt create a greater depth of immersion for budding tech enthusiasts. Perhaps adverts will one day be served to us in 360, or the ability to watch movies in VR. Using something like the Oculus Go (which isn’t tied to a computer or mobile phone) means users can enjoy a bit more freedom, albeit still within 3 degrees of movement.
Apple AR Glasses?
More on the rumour wagon from Apple soon after their demo session with ARKit earlier this year — despite a weak market around Ar in general, Apple has definilty shifted their focus as they develop more utilities and services to help build on the technology. Most recently they have acquired Akonia Holographics, a firm that specializes in augmented hardware and aims to make improvements over existing headsets.
It potentially means that Apple are looking to increase exposure in to wearable technology, and if Akonia can achieve a slimline offering it may be a good way for Apple to add to their portfolio and follow the sleek branding we know and love from Apple. Whenoyu factor in its multiuser AR experience, I can imagine that this will be the start of an interesting line of products easily accessible to the end user.
GoPro have announced an update to the Hero range with Hero7. But as it turns out, the new range isn’t much of a spec upgrade, but more an answer to customers who demanded more.
Its one key feature being is its solid image stabilisation, but there are more social features to make it faster and more convenient to share material. The GoPro’s improvements to its social offering are centered around the live streaming with Facebook, and its ability to extend to YouTube, Twitch and Vimeo (anything with support for RTMP streaming), making it useful for more immediate material. The Hero7 can also take vertical shots, which makes it easier for posting images to both Instagram and Snapchat. We’re currently experimenting with GoPro in our Spark practice, so the Hero7 will be a great addition to the arsenal.