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Plurality

Plurality

IN THE NEAR FUTURE, INSTANT DNA IDENTIFICATION HAS CREATED AN INFORMATION GRID THAT MAKES CRIME EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, AND ANONYMITY IMPOSSIBLE. BUT, SUDDENLY, THE SAME ID’S START TO APPEAR IN DIFFERENT LOCATIONS. A PRO-LEVEL AND INTELLIGENT SCI- FI PIECE ABOUT THE GENESIS OF A BIG BROTHER STATE.

Ever since George Orwell coined the term ‘Big Brother’ in his seminal novel 1984, storytellers have become fixated with the notion of a totalitarian state where surveillance reaches total control. Written by Ryan Condal and directed by Dennis Liu, Plurality is the latest science-fiction film to focus on these Orwellian notions, as their 14-minute short explores where hi-tech policing allows for instant surveillance. Feeling like a cross between The Terminator and Minority Report, the plot of Plurality centres around a futuristic New York, where everything you do is traced through ‘the Grid’.

“The Grid takes all those things unique to you, your social security number, your passport, your debit and credit accounts and links them to one thing…your DNA. With just a touch, the Grid collects a tiny sample of your genetic material, ID-ing you instantly. Then a purchase can be deducted directly from your personal accounts, or you can unlock and start your car and it all works within a margin error of 0.001% ….the ultimate social network!”

Revolving around notions of personal privacy in a digital age,  the themes, ideas and even some of the technology that exist in the futuristic world of Plurality are not ones that seem implausible. With fingerprint recognition already in use with some automobiles, concerns about computer and phone privacy already spreading due to hacking and social media, hacking, some may even predict aspects of Condal and Liu’s premonition of society as inevitable. Thus the evolution of technology brings many possibilities, but also possible risks concerning privacy. This video illustrates these both aspects.

Technology of the Week: Tagwhat and QR code

So upcoming Monday our group will provide you a full presentation about Tagwhat and QR code. Here’s a summary of our findings:

QR Code

QR code is an acronym of Quick Response code. Literally, it is a code that contains information that responds quickly when recognized. QR codes can be recognized when scanned by feasible devices such as QR code readers or scanners. When the QR code is recognized, it provides the user with the relevant information of the product or service that the generator of the QR code intends to provide.

Three main trends in the QR field have led to a significant increase of use of QR codes. Besides the shift from QR codes embedded with website URL’s to more user friendly mobile versions URL’s, the use of QR codes in the marketing field has contributed significantly to the increase in QR usage. By using QR codes as an educational tool for the increasing connected customer and as a convenient purchasing tool, the current trends in the QR field are promising for the coming years.

SWOT:

Strengths:

  • Easy access and to use QR codes
  • Free or at minimal cost to create and to distribute QR codes

Weaknesses:

  • Easy to copy
  • User must be equipped with a smartphone and download the applications first

Opportunities:

  • Continuously growth of smartphone users
  • QR code technology can be used in different fields, other than just marketing

Threats:

  • Competing technology and competitors: NFC (Near Field Communication), Stickybits and Blippar
  • People know the technology, but do not use it

Tagwhat

Tagwhat is a mobile device application that uses the user’s current location to display web information about the places around the user. The application determines the location of the user by using GPS and a digital compass. The digital information is displayed in order of proximity in an image-based interface. Aside from photos and videos, the user can also receive audio and narratives when the user taps on a Tag.

The main trends for Tagwhat at this moment are the increasing number of people that surf the Web on their mobile devices instead of from their desktops. Next to this trend, is the demand for location-based content of importance. Moreover, the use upcoming trend of augmented reality advertising contributes to the growth of Tagwhat, and in general to augmented reality.

SWOT:

Strengths:

  • Easy to use
  • Tagwhat provides business opportunities
  • Mix of augmented reality and social world

Weaknesses:

  • User must be equipped with a smartphone (Android and Apple) and download the application first
  • Not high user awareness

Opportunities:

  • Continuously growth of smartphone users
  • Tagwhat can be used in different fields

Threats:

  • People are not aware of this technology

Comparison

When we compare the current trends for Tagwhat and QR codes, we can see that the increasing number of people that use their mobile phone to surf the Web or purchase product online is root to the growth in both augmented reality and the use of QR codes. Furthermore, we can make a comparison in the way both information goods are used; as a marketing tool. QR codes are used to ease the purchasing process for the customer by directing him directly to the company’s website, where augmented reality is targeted very specifically to customers nearby.

When we compare the strengths and weaknesses of both technologies, similarities and differences can be seen. QR code is an “older” technology than Tagwhat and therefore has a larger user base. Where QR code can be created for free or at minimal cost, businesses need to pay license to create an interactive layer in Tagwhat. Another difference in strength is that Tagwhat really combines the augmented reality with social interaction and with the QR code social interaction is limited. At final both technologies are dependent of the use of smartphones, the continuing increase of smartphone users will benefit both technologies.

During the presentation on Monday we will extend this brief summary with more details about the two technologies and are looking forward to see you. Thank you and see you then!

 

Smart TV: a view of the future

The TV revolution is here. Smart TVs, HD and 3D TVs are set to transform our viewing and browsing behaviour forever. Television has entered a new dimension. This previously one-way broadcast medium is taking a lead role in the next generation of interactive multimedia, delivering a host of on-demand services.

Thanks to Smart Tv’s in-built internet technology, thousands of films and TV shows are now available to watch instantly. No need to wait for a download via another device – just select the film or TV show you want to watch and settle in. HD content is increasingly available via a rapidly growing number of HD TV channels, from free digital services to subscription TV providers.

Thanks to built-in 3D functionality  you can watch the year’s biggest blockbusters the way they are meant to be seen, from the comfort of your own home. And with a choice of super-sharp, super-slim backlit LED screens – ranging from 42-inch to a mighty 55-inch – the only thing you need to add for a genuine home-cinema experience is the popcorn.

On the social media side, the smart TV’s web functionality allows you to update your Facebook status and check out your friends’ and family’s profiles. Twitter is also built in, so it’s simple to stay in touch with friends and family on the big screen. All of this can be done via your TV remote control, or a smartphone with an easy-to-use app.

Sitting down for an evening in front of the telly just got a whole lot more exciting.

Here is a link to a video of the TV evolution and its future possibilities:

What implementations would you like to see in the new way of home entertainment?

Cloud for softwares?

Many of you already know what online back up or cloud storage is, but have you already heard of software clouds? Well, it’s online accessibility alright, but for software applications instead of documents or media. Nowadays, big companies require software applications to run their everyday business. All these applications require a lot of IT resources and continuous maintaining. With cloud computing, companies are able to outsource all these tasks, saving loads of money. Instead of installing business applications on their own hardware, companies are able to utilize these from a remote network. So they don’t possess these softwares.

One company that has been successful in this industry is Salesforce. Here is a short video that explains how cloud computing works:

We had a discussion about Dropbox and the potential of it’s business. Unlike cloud storage, companies aren’t that familiar with the business model of Salesforce yet. However I still think there is a growing market for this technology like the online storage. Especially with the falling costs of online storage and the need of accessibility at any time. We now have cloud storage and cloud softwares. What will be next thing up in the “cloud”? What are your thoughts?