Monthly Archives: May 2016

Portrait by Jonathan Worth

An Internet of Things that act like inkjet printers

Cory Doctorow explains at O’Reilly’s OSCON (covering open source tools, enterprise, architecture, infrastructure, community and more) in Austin, Texas why the Internet of Things that includes DRM may not be the best option.

It may, in fact be the worst.

Cory is a science fiction novelist, blogger and technology activist. He is the co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing, and a contributor to The Guardian, Publishers Weekly, Wired, and many other newspapers, magazines and websites. He is a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards and treaties. He holds an honorary doctorate in computer science from the Open University (UK), where he is a Visiting Professor; in 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.


Hemingway (logo)

Do your headlines have a Beyoncé-level of engagement?

Like the lead paragraph in a news story or thesis in an essay, your headline is your one true sentence: the single most important asset for capturing attention in the feed.

Hemingway is Sharethrough’s new AI-powered headline analyzer, an easy-to-use, publicly available tool that puts a wealth of proprietary data science and linguistic analysis at your fingertips for the first time. This new tool is free for anyone looking to navigate the new pressures and demands in content marketing, helping them analyze and quickly improve the quality of their headlines, optimizing for both impression and engagement.

Below are the intial results for this article’s headline (pre-Beyoncé).

Hemingway (actual headline result)

Using this analyser, I was able to push my Headline Quality Score from 62 to 79%. I’m not sure adding Beyoncé improved your level of engagement after you arrived, but you clicked on the headline though, didn’t you? Apparently that’s 98% of the problem solved.

How does it work?

The Headline Quality Score is based on a multivariate linguistic algorithm built on the principles of Behavior Model theory and Sharethrough’s neuroscience and advertising research. The algorithm takes into account more than 300 unique variables, including EEG data and Natural Language Processing, enabling your native ads to capture attention, increase engagement and deliver a stronger impression.

Basically, it offers suggestions to improve clickthroughs – but’s it not going to write better headlines for you.

Back to work, you Hemingway-wannabe.


The GyroGlove from GyroGear

GyroGlove: Solutions can come from any perspective

GyroGlove is a glove designed to suppress hand tremors caused by Parkinson’s disease. Instead of using drugs to counteract the effect of the disease, which have a finite lifespan and sometimes significant side effects, Joon Faii Ong (a medical student at Imperial College London) worked with a team of engineers, designers and medics to create a glove that would directly stabilise the hands of someone suffering from tremors, by using gyroscopes.

First nominated as a finalist in the AXA PPP Health Tech & You Awards, and now on target to launch at the end of 2016.

via and

The "Maschinenmensch" or machine-human (from Fritz Lang's Metropolis)

VR Storytelling as “Audience Experience”

To explore the audience’s experience in VR, Karin Soukup and Alexandra Garcia partnered with Stanford’s Media Experiments, the National Film Board of Canada, and independent filmmaker Paisley Smith.

Using low-resolution “experience prototyping” and extensively testing three basic scenarios, they attempt to determine the role of agency in VR storytelling. In doing so, they construct what may be VR’s first formal discipline – “Audience Experience” (AX).

Their top five takeaways:

  1. Reality is constructed (once the audience pokes a hole in reality, they have already fallen through it)
  2. Having a body means being somebody (there is no such thing as a neutral observer)
  3. Looking is doing (for better or worse, the audience directs their own gaze)
  4. 360° is less than 180° (the more there is to see, the less the audience remembers)
  5. 360° is more than full circle (the more complete the environment, the more it resonates)

Their conclusion? VR storytellers should be “matadors”, moving away from director towards influencer — waving the red cape to show users where to look. To do this effectively, we need to know their emotional, cognitive and physical experience: hence the focus on audience experience.