future touch screens have no lag

March 27, 2012

Most touch panels and controllers today suffer from about a 100ms delay and while most people got used to it, I still find it really annoying.


And so does Microsoft as they are putting money into the task of getting rid of that lag. Microsoft Research has figured out a way to get the delay down to 1 ms.

check out the video below to see the difference.

Pretty awesome and I can’t wait to see this technology going mainstream and into all kinds of touch devices.



Use your phone as a virtual projector

January 23, 2012

Researchers in Germany, Canada and the US may have come up with an elegant solution that can work with any smartphone and an external display: virtual projection.


The system works by using a central server that constantly takes screenshots of the external display and compares them with the images from the phone’s camera to track its location.

It then replicates what’s on the handset’s screen, while allowing you to add multiple image windows and position and rotate them.

Additionally, multiple users can collaborate and virtually project pictures or videos onscreen at the same time.

Personally I think your battery life will suffer the most, but in general it is a cool idea.

check it out in action below:


Think Insights with Google, research tool for marketers

December 19, 2011

*Quick pop quiz…

1. How many hours of video were uploaded to YouTube in 2010?

2. What percentage of smartphone owners, use their device while shopping?

3. What Australian state most frequently searches for the weather forecast?

As a planner, I’m always chasing that one research tool to bring them all together, and while Think Insights with Google attempts to do just that, it does fall short in a few areas. It’s missing the core search functionality that is the cornerstone of Google’s business. After all, the nirvana of a planner research tool would provide just that, a simple way to intelligently search and prioritise, facts, stats and behavioural trends based on a simple question, such as: ‘How many Australian’s use their laptop in the kitchen while cooking?’

On the flip side, this is a good resource if you are looking for general information on search and mobile related topics, particularly for Google brand related products. And, it does include over 100 custom reports, so you can certainly pop it on the list of go-to resources for all things digital.

My personal favourite resources on the site are: Our Mobile Planet tool (though the data is a little shady for the emerging markets such as India and China) and the Research Library finder.

Ultimately, Think Insights with Google is the perfect tool for media planners, and a useful resource for digital strategists too. Despite it’s downfalls it is one of the best free resources that I have found.




1. 13 million hours

2. 70%

3. Victoria

A little Google+ experiment

September 9, 2011

A Google+ experiment where you can meet some of Australia’s most provocative characters, just  add them your circles.

Microsoft Research shows off the life after touch

February 27, 2011

By now we all experienced kinect one way or another and I personally really enjoy my kinect at home.

Kinect has been talked and hacked a lot and most people can see much more in it than just a game controller.

Looks like MS Research is thinking the same thing and in the video below they are showing off some cool things, like head tracking, glasses free 3D, gesture based interfaces and more.

As we all know from past experiences, these may or may not happen, but right now they are pretty cool.

thanks engadget


From ‘Me’ research to ‘We’ Research

May 13, 2009

Mark Earls and Dr Alex Bentley have recently published this great article in Research Week discussing ‘How ideas spread?’ Not only is it another great view on ‘spreadability’ they highlight an interesting approach to research that may actually help us understand groups of people (we) and how they might spread our ideas. Earls and Bentley challenge traditional methods stating that they focus on individuals (me) and generally treat them as being isolated from the rest of the population and social influence.

So how do they define ‘We research’?

‘From asking individuals about themselves – who are poor witnesses to themselves and their behaviour – to instead asking them to play to their strengths in observing their peers’

It kind of makes perfect sense really. So much of what we do is still too focused on the me rather than the we, even though it is becoming more and more important to consider people’s extended networks. How are your briefs structure as one example?

I have a kind of love hate relationship with research. Whilst it’s great to be enlightened and uncover something new or interesting that inspires you, it seems to be happening less and less. Unfortunately I find a lot of research I come across to be particularly unhelpful these days and extremely ubiquitous. The output rarely justifies the cost.

And here’s a case in point. In a recent post a study by Jack Trout and Kevin Clancy was cited from the Harvard Review, finding that only two categories of product – soft drinks and soap – were becoming more distinct, but the other 40 were homogenizing. The authors also found that only 7% out of 340 prime time ads monitored included what could be considered a ‘differentiating message’. Now there is a hell of a lot of research and ad dollars being wasted just to end up saying and sounding the same as each other.

Unfortunately research is being used more and more to validate rather than innovate, particularly in this current climate so it’s nice to see a refreshing and common sense approach to research that will hopefully help us understand social influence and how our ideas might spread.

Using data renegotiate your rent

April 21, 2009

It wasn’t so long ago that 30 people would turn up to an apartment opening and bid up the weekly rental asking price by up to $50 in a Dutch English auction.  We were told by the media that Sydney was experiencing a critical housing shortage with an average vacancy rate of 1.2% – well averages (and methodologies) can be very misleading indeed.

Let’s take a look at the residential vacancy rates in the CBD – as compiled by SQM Research using this great online tool.


An 8.8% vacancy rate might be suggesting that people who were up until recently less price sensitive (finance industry and those on the LAFHA) are leaving the CBD.  The forces of supply and demand are coming into play as they always eventually do.

This recent SMH article suggests it’s possible to get up to 20% off original asking prices.  Time to do your own math …

NICT researchers develop new method to make holography

November 26, 2008


Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (or NICT) have gone some ways towards making holography a tiny bit more practical. As Tech-On reports, their method is based around a fly-eye lens that consists of a number of micro lenses, which allows for moving images to be captured in normal lighting conditions, and is also used to display the image after a computer works its magic on the raw images. There are still a few fairly significant drawbacks to the setup, however, as the image displayed is currently limited to one centimeter in size with a two degree viewing angle, although the researchers say they should be able to increase that to a four centimeters within the next three years.

Still a bit off but closer to my holographic companion than ever.

Spaceship "force field" could protect astronauts on trip to Mars

November 6, 2008


A few researchers focusing on making the trip to Mars a bit more bearable (and survivable) for us humans, and a group from a consortium of different institutions now say they’ve made some real progress on that front.

Their idea is to use a portable "mini-magnetosphere," which would protect a spacecraft from harmful solar storms and cosmic rays in much the same way the Earth’s magnetosphere naturally protects the planet. That is actually an idea that has been around for decades, and was shown last year to be at least theoretically possible, but it has only now been taken beyond the realm of computer simulations.

That was apparently possible thanks to the use of an unspecified "apparatus originally built to work on fusion," which allowed researchers to recreate "a tiny piece of the Solar Wind" and confirm that a small "hole" in the wind would indeed be all that would d be necessary to keep astronauts safe.

I can’t wait – but of course the leap from the lab to an actual spacecraft is still a bit off.

You can read more here.

Forrester buys Jupiter Research for $23m

August 1, 2008


The two most reputable digital research companies are now one. Forrester has just acquired its competitor for 23m. One thing I don’t understand is why these two great companies with such immense knowledge have such horrible websites?