12 PM | 29 Oct

Tommy Hilfiger Is First Major Retailer to Bring VR In-Store


Virtual reality is currently making waves amongst copious amounts of industries, most notably in gaming. Now the particularly on-trend tech movement has reached the biggest names within the retail sector, starting with Tommy Hilfiger‘s latest phygital concept, an in-store VR experience.

Officially launched on 5th Avenue in New York City, shoppers now have the option to watch the Fall 2015 Hilfiger Collection runway show in three-dimensional, 360-degree virtual reality.

Using a Samsung GearVR device, the immersive virtual experience creates the impression of sitting live in the front row at Manhattan’s Park Avenue Armory at showtime on February 16, 2015, when the Fall 2015 Hilfiger Collection was originally presented. The concept has been created in collaboration with Amsterdam-based VR developers WeMakeVR. Their team captured the show with the WeMakeVR-Falcon, a proprietary camera, which enabled a perfect view of the runway and exclusive sneak peeks backstage.

To read more, click here.

12 PM | 29 Oct

This is Twitter’s first television ad campaign


This month Twitter unveiled Moments, the simplified way of browsing tweets that the company hopes will return it to rapid growth. It’s an increasingly pressing concern: today the company announced it added just 4 million new monthly users in its most recent quarter, news that sent the stock tumbling. Before releasing Moments, Twitter said its release would be accompanied by a large-scale marketing campaign designed to reach people who had never used Twitter before, or who had tried and abandoned it years ago. Today, that marketing campaign arrives, led by a series of television advertisements that will debut tonight during the World Series.

“Post-Season,” which you can see above, is a 30-second spot aimed at sports enthusiasts. In a fast-moving series of clips, the ad showcases highlights of the Major League Baseball playoffs as they appeared in real tweets. There’s the viral bat flip of the Toronto Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista, a GIF representing the billy goat that cursed the Chicago Cubs, and a spectacular catch from the Blue Jays’ Kevin Pillar. The ad is animated, but the text from fans’ tweets is preserved in each moment. The ad is set to upbeat music and moves a little faster than you can really read anything — the young people who are the ad’s target audience prefer it that way, Twitter says, and the rest of us will still be noticing new things when we see it for the 14th time.

To read more, click here.

12 PM | 29 Oct

Ikea Lovingly Turned These 10 Children’s Drawings Into Actual Plush Toys


To help create this year’s lineup of Soft Toys for Education, global retailer Ikea turned to crayon-wielding kids around the world.

The 10 winning entries have been recreated in loving detail by Ikea’s toy designers, and the creations are now on sale as part of the chain’s annual fundraiser. For each toy purchased, Ikea will donate one euro to children’s education projects via Unicef and Save the Children.

Since launching the charity effort in 2003, the Ikea Foundation has donated more than $90 million to global children’s causes.

Check out this year’s winning submissions below:

To read more, click here.

12 PM | 29 Oct

Steve Jobs movie flops on opening weekend


Steve Jobs is an intelligent and engaging movie loosely based on the legendary Apple co-founder’s life, boasting an Oscar-worthy turn from Michael Fassbender, an Oscar-winning director in Danny Boyle, and an Aaron Sorkin script that Sony Pictures co-chairman Amy Pascal previously compared to a modern-day Citizen Kane. But such praise and overwhelmingly positive reviews haven’t resulted in big box office numbers — Steve Jobs only pulled in $7.3 million on its opening weekend.

That’s less than a third of the movie’s $30 million cost, Variety says, and that total pricetag doubles when you include the cost of marketing the feature. Steve Jobs would reportedly need to make around $120 million to break even — an unlikely figure when you consider that it’s $7.3 million opening weekend is scarcely half a million more than Ashton Kutcher’s critically panned Jobs scored on its debut. These early numbers vindicate Sony analysts who, as shown by the emails leaked when the studio was hacked last year, said Steve Jobs might only make back some $30 million across its entire lifespan in North America.

The dismal general opening is a stark contrast to a record-breaking limited release opening weekend. The movie earned more than half a million dollars in its first weekend at just four theaters, finally pulling in $2.6 million for the two-week period it was playing in only a few locations. But as the movie expanded to play in 2,493 theaters nationwide, that success has not endured.

To read more, click here.

12 PM | 29 Oct

Design a Bentley Using Your Emotions


UK based luxury car brand Bentley Motors has launched an app that generates a personalized virtual Bentley based on a person’s passions, lifestyle and personality type. The Inspirator app is a next generation digital car configurator that uniquely shows how a Bentley would look if they chose its design based on their mentality and tastes.

Emotion-recognition software measures and analyzes users’ emotions based on nuanced facial expressions by utilizing the device’s camera function. The accurate emotion metrics algorithms were built using the world’s largest emotion data repository, with 3.4 million faces analyzed in 75 countries amounting to more than 12 billion emotion data points.

The Inspirator app identifies 34 facial landmarks at 15 frames per second as the viewer watches stimulating film content shown on screen. The app monitors their reactions and interprets them to configure their perfect Bentley. Their reactions dictate a unique film narrative because the film changes depending on the moments the viewer responds to most positively. It also deciphers their preferences in order to create a unique vehicle configuration, which is revealed at the end of the film. Users can then develop the design further and personalize it using numerous bespoke options.

To read more, click here.

02 PM | 22 Oct

Meet YouTube Red, the ultimate YouTube experience


On October 28, we’re giving fans exactly what they want. Introducing YouTube Red — a new membership designed to provide you with the ultimate YouTube experience.

YouTube Red lets you enjoy videos across all of YouTube without ads, while also letting you save videos to watch offline on your phone or tablet and play videos in the background, all for $9.99 a month. Your membership extends across devices and anywhere you sign into YouTube, including our recently launched Gaming app and a brand new YouTube Music app we’re announcing today that will be available soon.

YouTube Music is designed to make discovering, watching and listening to music easier than ever. Any song or artist you choose on YouTube Music will start you on a personal journey through one of the richest music catalogs; just sign in, tap a track you love, and see where your music takes you. And as a special bonus – YouTube Red works with Google Play Music, so subscribe to one and automatically get access to the other.

And starting early next year, YouTube Red will get even better with member-only access to new, original shows and movies from some of YouTube’s biggest creators. You can read all about Originals coming to YouTube Red here.

We’re working to bring YouTube Red and our YouTube Music, Gaming and Kids apps to more countries soon. And don’t worry! The free, ad-supported version of YouTube we all know and love isn’t going anywhere. You’ll still be able to enjoy YouTube, along with the YouTube Kids, Gaming and Music apps free of charge. But with YouTube Red, you’ll be able to support the people who make your favorite videos while watching what you want, when you want, on any device you want, uninterrupted.

To read more, click here.

02 PM | 22 Oct

India’s Most Famous Wrestler Stars in India’s Most Hilarious Ad for Cement


It’s tough to find a cement commercial that’s all it’s cracked up to be, but India’s Ambuja Cement has managed it with this amusing mockumentary starring an aging WWE wrestler.

The one-minute spot stars The Great Khali, and underlines the struggles that come with great physical strength: The muscle-bound man unveils his sensitive side while inadvertently knocking over walls, crushing ceilings and falling through floors.

All is solved by the end, though, with a little help from the client (whose logo incidentally features a muscle-man hugging a building).

To read more, click here.

02 PM | 22 Oct

Jack Dorsey apologizes to Twitter developers for chasing them away


Jack Dorsey wasted no time at Twitter’s annual Flight developer conference this morning, telling the crowd that his company has effectively failed the developers and would like to say sorry. Dorsey says that Twitter has a lot of work to rebuild the relationship with the software community, which it’s soiled by acting in unpredictable fashion, shutting off access to its platform, and ignoring the fact that developers made the service what it is today.

“We want to come to you today and first and foremost apologize for our confusion,” Dorsey said onstage. “We want to reset our relationship and we want to make sure that we are learning, that we are listening, and that we are rebooting.” Dorsey made sure to mention some of the company’s missteps, like shutting off access to the group of websites known as Politwoops that archived politicians’ deleted tweets. “Twitter stands for speaking truth to power,” Dorsey added. He did not clarify whether the company would reverse its decision however.

To read more, click here.

02 PM | 22 Oct

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is obliterating all the movie pre-sale records


Last night tickets for J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens went on sale, and the onslaught of fandom promptly brought down nearly every ticketing website in existence — but that wasn’t enough to stop the movie from breaking some serious sales records. In a statement, Fandango announced that it saw its website traffic surge to seven times its normal peak levels (that would explain the downtime), with The Force Awakens ultimately pulling in eight times the ticket sales as Fandango’s previous first-day pre-sales record holder.

As a point of comparison, the record was set back in 2012 when tickets for the first Hunger Games went on sale. That movie went on to rake in over $152.5 million in its domestic opening weekend, but with many Force Awakens screenings already sold out throughout the weekend (and more showtimes being added) that number starts looking pretty small. The number that Disney no doubt wants to beat is the $208.8 million that Jurassic World raked in during its opening weekend this year, and judging from the early interest, that record looks like it’s easily in sight.

AMC Theaters saw its previous single-day sales record shattered more than 10 times over, with the chain selling out over 1,000 shows in just 12 hours, with IMAX the clear winner: according to AMC, 38 percent of its ticket sales gross came from IMAX screenings. In fact, according to IMAX itself the movie has broken “every IMAX record,” generating $6.5 million in sales across 390 screens in the US. (Rounding things out, MovieTickets.com also had its biggest first day of sales in the service’s history, with 95 percent of the tickets sold in the last 24 hours going towards Star Wars — even though the movie hasn’t even been on sale yet for a full day.)

Pre-sale numbers like this are certainly fascinating, but they’re not necessarily a reflection of long-term box office performance. What they do indicate is pent-up demand, and in the case of Star Wars it’s largely been due to a carefully crafted and orchestrated promotional and release strategy that has let longtime fans feel that the film is speaking to them (versus that cognitive dissonance that seemed to take place with the prequels), while also giving away very little about the movie itself. It’s been a mix of exuberant hype and secrecy that is paying off, and while movies usually have to worry about box-office drop off in the second week, the way this movie is going, it won’t be surprising to see screenings sold out in advance weeks after the film opens.

To read more, click here