Staff blog: Brief history of Greenlands’ technology

blog-greenland-img-nuukMy knowledge in technology have been limited most of my life. I’m a proud Inuit who is born and grew up in Nuuk, Greenland. My passion for traveling has led me to Melbourne, Australia end of 2015, and eventually started working for Appearition Pty Ltd. The technology I followed was the one happening at home. First computer. First cell phone. I used to have this Siemens cell phone in my teenage years which I loved, because I could change the cover every month with colourful or boyband pictures.

However, my knowledge in technology first expanded when I started working for Appearition. A whole new world opened and I was amazed how the technology is that advanced today. I have to be honest though, things had to be explained to me more than once because I did not understood and couldn’t get my head around on some technology, such as Augmented Reality. With that being said, I’d like to tell you a little about my culture.

blog-greenland-img3Before the European explorers arrived to Greenland in the 1600’s, the Inuit’s lived in houses made of stones and peat, and wore reindeer and seal skin as clothes. Inuits used bones of whales and other arctic animal as tools and equipment. They believed in nature spirits before Christianity was introduced by Hans Egede, a Danish missionary, in the beginning of 1721. After Europeans began to travel to Greenland and started introducing of the modern world, Inuits began to build houses using woods. And to keep you in mind, trees do not grow in Greenland and this was an advantage for the Europeans to trade with the Inuits. When Hans Egede travelled to Greenland, he took building materials with him, such as concrete, barrels, coal and cobber.

The very first wooden houses were churches in bigger settlements such as Nuuk, Sisimiut and Ilulissat, and after the churches, they build hospitals. As you can imagine, the technology came to Greenland much later compared to other countries. Here’s the timeline of technology:

  • In 1921 the first telegram was imported to Greenland due to Danish Royal visit.blog-greenland-img1
  • First electricity generator was built in 1948.
  • Television was imported to the country in 1960s.
  • Greenland was digitalized in 1995.

Today, we Inuit, use latest cell phones, flat screen TV’s, laptops and so on. Although we still don’t have the luxury of paying with paywave, but Im sure the technology will be imported pretty soon. You should have seen my face when I first witnessed the paywave process with my Inuit eyes. Oh boy, what a whole new world.

 

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Staff blog: Innovation and processes

Innovation are more than just ideas that create value. These ideas need to be aligned with an organization’s strategy and create value to be an innovation. Processes help take this idea and systematically helps analyze its strategic fit, build on the hypothesis, test it and help roll out the changes necessary to make the innovation a part and parcel of the operations. Processes also help measure the success of such changes with appropriate metrics through various project and program management frameworks.

blog-disabilities-imgOften innovation may arise from one of two knowledge domains, explicit domain and the tacit domain. True breakthroughs happen when both these converge – where we leap into a completely new way of doing things through scientific- technological means by directly addressing tacit things -like consumers’ needs and wants. Facebook and Google have pioneered in this type of innovation both fueled by technology and the changing psyche of the consumer. Innovations of this nature challenge traditional methods of working and organizing and typically create new markets. Whilst process design and flows are key to a sustainable organization are they effective where innovation of such capacities are concerned? The answer lies in how flexible and agile are these processes.

Processes may prove to be rigid and provide challenges in situations where technology and requirements are volatile. It also makes supporting integrated and unstructured work efforts difficult. With our play in the AR/VR space we understand how quickly technical and delivery milestones change. We realize that context is king – when it comes to processes. The dynamic nature of the market, and the growth curve that these technologies currently experience means are we need to use processes to set some boundaries and guide our mental models but not limit them. Often pre-built process models can be used as a baseline to build or dynamically amend to suit the context we are in. For best results and enabling innovation at the speed it needs to be in today’s market – Process needs to be driven by the context – Goals to be met, time at hand and resources available. Dynamic processes are challenging to conceive as it breaks the traditional thinking of process as a rigid way of working.

To be valid (let alone grow and thrive) we need to break through this structured flow chart driven process methodologies and thinking to one where processes are semi structures guidelines, driven by business events and require embedded decision making. I am sure as we are poised to ride the wave of augmented and virtual technology innovations – the related frameworks and support processes will also need to be reinvented.

 

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Staff blog: Designing user interfaces for Augmented Reality

Augmented reality brings the interactive experience to the user by providing real world environment. This Augmented reality concept related to the virtual reality where the user experiences the virtual or artificial environment. But for augmented reality, real world objects need to be provided instead of virtual environment.

blog-artech-img1The definition of the graphical user interface is ‘a visual way of interacting with a computer using items such as windows, icons, and menus, used by most modern operating systems’. In the early years of the technology, users use the mouse and keyboard to interact the computer or the systems. Then the ways of interaction change dramatically. In the history of computing, user interaction with the computer has divided by three eras: batch (1945 – 1968), command-line (1969 – 1983) and graphical user interface (1984 and after).

Xerox Star workstation introduced the first commercial graphical user interface in the early 80s. From that point, GUI takes full control of the interaction between users and the computer applications.

Design user interface for an Augmented Reality applications differs from other application developments in many ways. Recent years AR applications create a new way of interaction between users and the applications. It provides the opportunities to the user to interact with the application dynamically via their behaviors. This is the main difference between the AR user interfaces and other application user interfaces which interact with pre-defined static graphical user interfaces. AR applications use 2D and 3D objects in various graphical user interfaces throughout the applications to interact with the user to engage them in experiences the new emerging technology.

Challenges in designing user interface for AR

AR user interfaces face usability challenges for providing too much information and make difficult to determine an applicable action to the user. Researchers and experts in the AR industries often discusses some key questions which designers should focus to address the usability concerns. Some of the key questions listed below.
1. Can the user tell the difference between reality and the

 

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Staff blog: eCommerce the Past, Present and Future

“True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.”

Socrates 470-399 BC

Commerce is the exchange of funds for goods or services. eCommerce is the same exchange, but without the use of physical cash swapping hands.

In 1982, the United States rolled out the first EFTPOS machine. For the first time in humanity’s history, someone could [lawfully] walk into a store, buy something and take it away without any currency exchanging hands. This was made possible because the buyer was now in possession of a plastic card instead of cash. The plastic card, known as a payment card, allowed the buyer to initiate a transaction electronically to transfer money from their bank account to the store’s bank account. Ah yes, whilst eCommerce can do away with cash, money will always be needed to buy stuff.

Today eCommerce is just another part of life. Whether we are picking up groceries from the local supermarket, paying our GP to examine us or buying a gift for our loved ones, it is eCommerce that makes all this possible. Furthermore, with the emergence of the internet, eCommerce has gone to the next level. From the comfort of our couches we can now buy, sell and transact almost anything online. Services such as eBay™ and PayPal™ enable us to exchange goods and services for funds without the need for physical shop fronts. Once again eCommerce has enabled the buyer to electronically transfer funds to the seller in exchange for the goods or service they’re getting.

The convenience and simplicity of eCommerce has also brought with it the serious risk and threat of criminal activity. Today a thief no longer hides behind a ski mask and holds up banks, instead they hide behind a keyboard and seek to take money directly from your bank account. Electronic theft is a serious concern for the eCommerce industry. Organisations and governments from all over the world have adopted measures to protect and safeguard our electronic funds. Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard version 1.0 (PCI DSS 1.0) was formed in 2004 by a group of organisations which include VISA card, MASTERCARD and American Express. The standard is managed and administered by a special council and dictates how payment card information must be transmitted and stored electronically. Whist this standard is not enforceable by law [yet], it is a strong influence for buyers having trust in a website. PCI DSS is continuously being reviewed and updated. Version 3.2 is planned for release in 2016.

So where will eCommerce takes us next? Well, the concept can never change: exchanging funds for goods or services electronically. However, the means we use to perform these transactions will certainly evolve. Enter the world of virtual reality and augmented reality… where life and technology are entwined. Imagine… you are walking in a market at the foot of the great pyramids at Giza. You walk past a stall selling beautiful statues of the ancient kings and pharaohs. One particular statue catches your eye. You look at it, touch it, pick it up, turn it around in your hands. It’s a work of art and you must have it. You turn to the store owner and you haggle for it until finally the store owner agrees to your price. He takes it away and wraps it up for you. You reach into your pocket, take out your wallet and look through it. You pull out 10 Egyptian pounds and hand it over to the store keeper, shake hands and say goodbye. You take off your glasses and your gloves and you find yourself sitting on your couch in your living room on the other side of the world. Three days later the doorbell rings and the UPS person hands you a package. You open it, unwrap it and there is your Egyptian statue, exactly as you saw it… what a beautiful world it will be!

 

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Staff blog: Matchmakers: AR/VR and Fintech

In Finance, time is money. Real-time is real money – therefore offering real-time user experiences (UX) creates new market dynamics.

Both Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are technologies, at the cusp of explosive take-off for wider engagement and adoption. This creates the possibilities for reactive frameworks, streaming, standard data format – catering even for differentials; the trends will only accelerate.

The main opportunity for AR/VR in fintech will be with data visualization. One of the key ways fintech companies differentiate from their traditional financial services competition is by focusing on enhancing customer engagement and user experience (UX). While much of finance and trading is controlled by algorithms and automatic processes, as more data is consumed by computers, it has made it harder for humans to analyze what is going on. As a result, data visualization products aided by Augmented Reality appear as an inevitable opportunity.

The challenge lies within an enterprise to re-imagine how functions and processes should and could operate based on today’s realities, not yesterday’s constraints. How is digitization eliminating physical location constraints in your business? What if complex analysis could be deployed across all of your organization’s data in an instant? Where are business ecosystems blurring or obliterating lines between competitors, partners, and customers? Approaches may range from wholesale transformational efforts to incremental improvements tacked on to traditional budgets and projects.

Creating a 360 degree view of data on customers, products, the chart of accounts, and social behaviors imply integration. This translates to transactions and other business data being available as APIs to systems outside of the core platform and potentially to partners, independent software vendors, or customers for usage outside an organization.

Innovation within Financial Institutions can be accomplished through these additional new interfaces to drive digital solutions, improve the reach of cloud investments, and simplify the ongoing care and maintenance of core systems. Is your enterprise ready for the ride?

 

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Staff blog: Come fly with me

Written by: Marcelo Silva

The 360 Fly is a 360-degree camera and it may be one of best consumer 360 cameras yet.

Its extensive features make it easy and safe to use, no matter your skill level. The fact that it’s shockproof and waterproof makes it an easy choice over its competitors.

It’s rock solid and even if it’s your first time capturing 360-video, it doesn’t feel like you’re carrying a delicate piece of equipment.

The 360 Fly is easy to setup. You download the app press a button on the camera link up the Wi-Fi and your ready to go.

My Experience

My experiences with this camera have varied from frustration to feeling complete satisfaction. When I took it out for my first casual test run I tried holding it with my hand at the base, given that you get a 240-degree vertical view. This didn’t work out well for me as the objects I wanted to film where too far and I was standing too close too the camera. I came out of the video looking crazy distorted and the building I was trying to film looked like it was way too far away due to the fish eye lens.

The 360 Fly’s size turned out to be a huge advantage. I’m usually shy when it comes to filming videos in public. The fear I have is, that someone’s going to get upset and yell at me for filming them. I took it out into the city to film and normally people with video cameras get looks but I wasn’t getting any looks! Nobody realized it was a camera. You have to have this camera mounted to a tripod or monopod when in use. I walked into an AFL football game with the camera in hand with a Joby Gorillapod tripod, which is a mini tripod, into Etihad stadium. I was worried that they wouldn’t let me in. Not only did they let me in, they let me in no questions asked. You may be or may not be aware but there’s an increased security presence at Australian football games this year and they do not allow video devices into stadiums.

One of the struggles I had with this camera was filming good content. I have experience in filmmaking as in utilizing normal non 360-cameras, and I’m familiar with filming techniques however nothing that I had learnt at university had prepared me for this. After some trial and error I learned how to film engaging 360-footage. A good idea would be you may want to invest in a strong monopod.

The joys of using the 360 Fly came from my visit to the Melbourne Aquarium where I was starting to get a hang of filming with the 360 Fly. I was worried the cameras low light performance would produce poor footage but I was pleasantly surprised. When I got to test out the footage on Google cardboard, I was completely breath taken, after all my mishaps filming I finally got some good footage. One of the best experiences you’ll have with the 360 Fly is filming an experience and re watching it on a VR headset to relive the experience – amazingly it’s as good as being there in person. The company that manufactures the 360 Fly also manufactures their own VR headset that you can attach your phone to.

I do not recommend using this device for taking 360 degree pictures as it takes a still from a video and morphs it into a panoramic image or a globe. So if you’re thinking about using this for still-pictures invest in something else other than 360 fly.

Video quality

The 360 records in 1500×1500 resolution at 30 frames per second and that will give you a 240-degree vertical view. When you’re watching a 360fly video you can look up to see the sky, but you can’t look all the way down (you’ll see a black octagonal object). Because the 360 Fly is the world’s first single lens 360 the camera has it short comings however this does help keep the price down.

Sharing videos from this device is remarkably simple. The app on your phone, tablet or computer allows you to share video on Facebook YouTube, Twitter, and even on Break.

Software

The software is easy to use but frustratingly limiting. And keep you in mind; it’s in its first generation. You can edit videos and put them together but there’s no option to overlay audio unless you intend on posting a video on the 360 Fly website; as video editor I found that to be an annoyance. As a filmmaker, you know never to use the default on camera mic because, most on cameras mics provide poor audio quality, and the 360 Fly is no exception. This adds to the frustration of not being able to overlay a separate audio track.

If your looking for something more professional with the ability to include title sequences and the ability to add an audio track this camera is not for you.

Conclusion

The 360 fly is an amazing piece of technology. If you are an early adopter in 360-video, I recommend purchasing this to start with, due to its size. You will need to learn how to film engaging video content for this medium. There is no point in in spending thousands of dollars to have a professional set up and realizing that there’s not much for you to film.

 

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Staff blog: Using Augmented Reality Advertising to Drive Traffic

Written by: Andrew Erpelding

I’ve often wondered if other marketers look at a product and contemplate how they would position or drive traffic differently; as though marketing teams roam past marketing collateral and understand the way it is positioned and look for improvements. Driving an integrated marketing campaign involves so many different pieces, that marketers have to keep an eye towards new tools to elevate their advantage. The current new tool that is getting tremendous buzz is Augmented Reality advertising.

Augmented Reality is poking a sleeping giant. With a consumer base saturated with smart devices, the ability to engage with an immersive and engaging technology is at our doorstep.  Retail is one of the first markets to play this new tech is and has been changing the way marketers engage with their audience. Some of the greatest applications of AR to date occur in the B2C space. This is a logical step for retailers who have droves of printed material and are looking for an engaging way to drive consumers. Augmented Reality advertising not only captures audiences for a longer duration, but also funnels traffic to their web pages, and other campaigns. In this ecosystem, Augmented Reality advertising is bringing print to life and the applications are only growing.

Marketing image 1

Marketing collateral is only impactful when it is viewed in a set place, and grabs a specific audience. Whether this is done in a coffee shop, mall, or any other brick & mortar, marketing campaigns are useful for only as long they as they have grabbed attention. However, with the function of Augmented Reality advertising, not only does it drive more call to actions, but it can live on a user’s smart device indefinitely in the form of app. GPS, geo-fencing and blue tooth beacons provide levels of sophistication to marketers that are still missing from more traditional forms of integrated marketing campaigns. Augmented Reality is still a shiny new tool in the eyes of most marketing teams. To be utilized effectively, consumers need to look beyond the novelty of this impression technology.  Augmented Reality is infinitely customizable and extends the shelf life of digital assets as they can have been moved from physical collateral and then tailored to Augmented Reality content.

AR Meetup Banner Large

The real draw towards implementing Augmented Reality advertising into integrated marketing campaigns is how easy it is to implement an Augmented Reality advertising campaign. The best platforms cater to a range of clients and offer development along with an easy to use Experience Management System (EMS). A distinguishing feature is that instead of a content management system, marketers are creating a new experience for their audience. This feature is important to note as it stresses the importance of using a platform that can deliver seamless integration into an integrated marketing campaign, based on the level of the user experience. Using the EMS, content can be added, updated, or removed with a few mouse clicks. This level of flexibility allows for ease of use, non-dedicated resources, convenience, and simplicity of Augmented Reality delivery.

To see if you’re ready to explore how to utilize Augmented Reality advertising for your integrated marketing campaign, click here. Alternative, read more about how you can use augmented reality in your marketing.

 

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Office move

Appearition Pty Ltd Australian headquarters has now moved from its calm and nature filled location at Victoria Parade to the busy and bustling Queen Street in the Melbourne CBD. Continuing our award winning service, we hope the move will bring more energy and inspiration for much greater success!

You can find us at level 2, 140 Queen Street, Melbourne VIC 3000. The lifts can be a tad challenging, however have patience and don’t let that deter you from visiting our new offices.

Here’s a picture of a minor challenge during the office move. Don’t worry, no elevator or person was harmed. The painting, sadly, did not survive.

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