Creative Technology: April Highlights

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Creative Technology: April Highlights

Spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner. There’s been a lot happening in Creative Technology already this year, including another fascinating SXSW Interactive festival.

There were a lot of Kickstarter successes breaking out and showing their wares, with VR really taking centre stage with a plethora of new headsets breaking through, including the amazing new Vive headset from HTC and Valve. This is looking to be a real challenger for Oculus with reviews coming through that are nothing short of religious in their admiration for the device.

The big underdog story at SXSW was about a live streaming video app that a chap built in 8 weeks in his bedroom, called Meerkat. Twitters Periscope app has also been a huge success (for iPhone owners) and looks set to take live streaming to the masses (who own iPhones). You can now watch someone eat their food LIVE as well as look at photos of the meal on Instagram afterwards. Awesome!

A SXSW talk that stood out for me was by featured speaker Cynthia Breazeal talking about the personal side of robots, which is a really fascinating insight into her work on Jibo. I mentioned before how creepy this robot assistant seems and when you see how much work has gone into the artificial intelligence, you will agree! (although, secretly, I definitely want one!)

The loudest marketing stunt at SXSW was the story of Ava, a beautiful Russian girl who was engaging with attendees through the Tinder app. However, things were not what they seemed and it turned out that Ava was a clever piece of AI designed to direct her victims to her Instagram account. This, of course, turned out to be the home for marketing of the new Alex Garland film, Ex Machina, which starred Alicia Vikander as a sexy seductive robot troll. I have to agree with some of the comments on this though - it was a shitty trick. The kind of stunt that marketeers hail as a huge success because of the fantastic results, but the Tinder users resent and feel cheated by. Any ad that tricks you into viewing it is not cool.

Well, all this talk about SXSW and you'd think that nothing else has been happening in the world of Creative Technology! How very wrong youd be. The Resonate conference in Belgrade has just ended, which saw the brightest and best in the fields of music, visual arts and digital culture converging to represent the cutting edge of the contemporary creative industries. This conference has been growing for a few years now and is the place to be if you are interested in technology and the arts. As well as a Onedotzero screening, there was also music from Simian Mobile Disco and a lecture by Field.

The Apple Watch is here too, and as I write this the first shipments of the device are probably on their way to the devoted hordes. Its looking like the new app gold rush has started! Theres already a ton of posts about UX and potential uses for the new category of device and I am busy collating it all into a comprehensive thought piece for later.

But until then, if youre keen to keep your finger on the pulse of creative technology and innovation, then head on over to our Furiously Curious Facebook page for daily updates.

Lee Probert
Creative Technologist

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