Read your book and drink it too by Isabelle Ringnes

Another amazing invention is about the rolled out and may save millions of lives. The "Drinkable Book" essentially teaches water safety, but the real magic lies within the pages themselves that are made of a material that cleans drinking water. The pages, coated with bacteria-killing silver nanoparticles, are meant to be ripped out and used as a filter to kill bacteria that can cause cholera, E.coli and typhoid among others. And the pages last for a month each! 

This book may provide clean water for up to four years.

Waterislife, the organization behind the invention, has launched 100 copies printed in English and Swahili in Kenya, but plan to distribute them globally with time. 3,4 million people die from water related disease each year and most of them have no idea that the water is unsafe to drink in the first place. 

The chemist, Dr. Theresa Dankovich, invented the pages with the bacteria killing effect. Watch the video to see more. Go to this page to help support the project. 

The Internet of Things by Isabelle Ringnes

The Internet of things

As wearables and the recent rumors surrounding Apple's (hopefully) upcoming iWatch I started thinking more about the Internet of things and how Internet-connected devices will change online advertising in the near future.

Presently the online advertising and marketing industry have not paid much attention until recently, perhaps not fully understanding that it may mean a future without "traditional" online advertising. The first signs can be found in native ads, curated content, and the introduction of voice-assisted apps Google Now and Microsoft Cortana.

If you have not tried Google Now, I highly recommend it. I can't quite explain how satisfying it was to receive a reminder and direction to the restaurant I had made a reservation for on Friday night without even lifting a finger. 

Consumer-packaged goods companies have begun testing semiconductor chips and radio frequency identification technology (RFID), to monitor the movement of finished products to distribution facilities and on to retail store floors at Walmart and Target.

Car manufacturers have used this technology to replenish parts in their supply chain for a while. The electronics industry has been in the forefront of realizing that the Internet of things will someday materialize, and that consumers will be reachable in ways the industry currently have not imagined.

The developments will enable companies to personally connect with consumers on an entirely new level. If one is able to develop security and privacy standards that consumers are comfortable with it, talking electronic appliances like refrigerators, televisions, heaters, cars, even electronic chips operated into our bodies will be able to predict our next need before we are consciously aware.

The move for marketers will happen in waves as market segments begin to understand the transition and the use of data to push information and content to consumers. Automotive manufacturers are among the first to build a business model, connected cars, aligned with this shift. Agencies can now take that technology and push information to the consumer, telling them to take a specific route to save money and gas. They can then navigate them to a specific gas station based on that stations daily offerings.

Making print come alive by Isabelle Ringnes

I stumbled over a technology from Amsterdam called Layar today, launched in 2009. Essentially it allows anyone to scan a picture, object or printed page and see it come alive on their phones. This technology is great for magazines wanting to expand their advertising opportunities.

It is also great for retailers who can display posters of products, have consumers scan them and order them directly to their homes. Watch this demo to get a better feel of the product. 

For a recent project in our graduate program we used this technology to show our presentation. You can view a video of how we did that here:

Virtual fitting rooms? by Isabelle Ringnes

Retail brands are embracing technological developments as they continue to advance with their digital strategies. Now a company called Facecake has launched Swivel, a technology that enables online retailers to upload their entire apparel and accessory lines into a virtual wardrobe in which shoppers can try on clothes in real-time using their webcam (see a demonstration in the YouTube clip below). Make-up brands will likely also be adopting this technology as shoppers can use their webcam to apply makeup in different colors and shades. 

In addition, shoppers can change the backgrounds, snap photos and share them on their social networks. Users can then create polls so friends can vote on which outfit suits them best. 

This opens a vast array of new possibilities for brands to increase their profit and limit the returns from online sales. The technology is new and won't work perfectly yet, but it sure is a huge step towards the future of retail.