June 2016

Last week (June 20-26) was London tech week and it all kicked off with a Fash tech curated exhibit near Old street, at The Yard in Shoreditch.

Digital knit wear designer Brooke Roberts was curator.

Tech should be transparent, she explained while waking me through her digital produced knitwear that take their patterns from MRI brain scans and CAT brain wave images.

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The first truly drapable 3D printed dress by Modeclix was on display. Made of polymer, the dress is assembled by snapping each tiny printed piece together — a modern day chain mail. Swarovski crystals snap onto some of the parts allowing the dresses to me creates i. A variety of styles, colour, patterns and sparkle.

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For me the best blend of physical and digital was the hologram topped mannequin by Headworks. The bottom is a standard visual merchandising mannequin, but the top is a hologram that can be programmed to recognize faces and response. Additionally it can collect data on shopper interactions within the store

Augmented Reality by Village took viewers onto the runway in a completely immersive 360 way. “Being there” storytelling in a very chic way

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The first 3D printed robot ‘InMoov Robot‘ donned a Muslin dress that a variety of different gowns were projected onto. The robot can react to voice commands and is interactive with consumers

But by far singer song writer Beatie Wolfe stole the show when she took the stage and performed in her musical jacket.

The jacket was made by the same Saville row tailors who stitches for The Rolling Stones and David Bowie and the bespoke woven fabric literally took its pattern from the sound waves of beatie’s recording of “take me home”. An NFC chip embedded in the back of the jacket triggers the song to play on anyone’s smartphone lucky enough to be near her!

Her album montage square is an homage to many of rock and rolls greats and was recorded in the former residence of John Lennon. Each cd is packed with a deck of cards “liner notesl also embedded with NFC chips that when touched to a smartphone triggers the song to play.

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Physical and digital beautiful blended with art and storytelling.

I can’t help it. I get teary eyed with pride every year when the finalists compete in the apps for good marketplace and pitch their app concepts

Look at these 8 – 18year olds who as teams identified a problem that they felt could be solved with technology, researched the market, conceived and designed the app, pitched it to executives in true “dragons den” fashion, and then pitched it to executive guests from all industry sectors in an evening marketplace

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The team who produced The School Council App–helping kids stay in touch with school issues and participate in local policy making

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Pitching for My Allergy Basket. At 8 years old, these guys developed an idea to allow allergy sufferers to scan as they shop in supermarket to avoid hazardous allergic reactions to food

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Helping you find your way–team Destination for You

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Team Yum–promoting healthy eating

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Torr–these Scottish girls propose an app aimed at helping hikers find trails and mountains to tackle

This year marks the 5th year of this not-for-profit’s work: creating nurturing and sustaining the educational curriculum that makes it all happen with the support of individuals, educators and corporate sponsorships.

For a complete list of winners visit the website.

I didn’t try to find Augmented Reality; it just found me!

This week’s theme has been Augmented Reality–All randomly

Which means to me, AR is coming of age and increasingly important

It started Monday at charity:water’s UK launch. I love this American based charity. charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. As they enter their 10th year, they have funded 19,819 water projects in 24 countries helping 6.1 million people.

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At the UK launch, oculus rift was used to provide a 360 immersive experience into 13-year-old Selam’s village life in Northern Ethiopia. More than a glimpse into her village and life there, you are transported; to empathize with her and her people. In the end, you feel the thrill of the water geyser rising up as the drill taps Into the underground water reserve.

Wow, who knew AR could be an empathy machine!

On Tuesday a Shea Collins, a marketing and branding colleague and I played with Interactive AR at Somo.

We manipulated objects in 3D–Pretty cool

And then Thursday I had lunch with Charly Leven of the agency Happy finish and via AR I was fully immersed in a world that few until now can understand. I could feel what it’s like to be Autistic.

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Later we romped through Rihanna’s bedroom!

It appears to me that AR has finally found a use case: Immersive storytelling. AR is indeed a gateway to emotional storytelling

PS that day ended at the Worship Street `Whistle Shop were I was served—wait for it: the Augmented Martini! A dry martini with a gelatine ball that as it melts it augments the dry into a dirty martini. Ahhhh.

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What happens when a mannequin factory relocates?

Mannequins lose their limbs!

And that means art for found object artist Roger Miles.

As artist in residence during the relocation, Miles created whimsical, sensual, and sometimes dark prints, sculptures and installations that were on exhibit at proportion London from 20 April to 30 June.

The who’s who of British Visual Merchandising aristocracy were present (Fortnam & Mason, Liberty of London, Burberry and Jaeger) to toast founder Tanya Reynolds on the successful relocation of her warehouse, the exhibit and the announcement of her brand expansion to New York’s TriBeCa

The only mannequin missing was Kim Catrall (still one of my all time favourite movies).

Check out the video here.