AR Art Sparks AR Protests: Snapchat continued to push augmented reality (AR) into the mainstream this week with the launch of a Jeff Koons collab, featuring 3D versions of the artist’s most-popular sculptures at popular sites as an AR scavenger hunt. Of note, the following day artist Sebastian Errazuriz vandalized one of the AR sculptures, Balloon Dog, in Central Park in “a symbolic stance against imminent AR corporate invasion.” This marks one of the highest profile AR-resistance events to-date, highlighting the downside of invisible digital layers on the physical world. There will be more. You just may not see them! (LINK)
Babelfish Comes to Life: This week Google released a line of new products, including a first pair of wireless headphones that support live translation between 40 languages called Pixel Pods. Powered by machine learning, this technology is like having a personal translator in your ear at all times. If you tell it “Help me speak German” and then start speaking in English, the phone’s speakers will output your translated words as you speak them. Then German replies will then play into your ear through the Pixel Buds as English. Amazing. This innovation marks another step toward technology bringing cultures further together. Look for Apple to launch something similar on their AirPod platform as a fast-follow. (LINK)
Comfort Content in the Negative Social News Era: It was an even rougher week for America than normal, and our social feeds show it. Thankfully, The Chicago Tribune put together a listicle of shareable ideas to post that are less partisan, more positive, for those times you (and your followers, friends and family) could use a break from the barrage of negativity. It includes things like: Throwback Thursday, posting photos of food, making a custom meme, posting animal photos and quotes, and sharing America’s Funniest Home Videos online. We’ve been tracking the increase in consumers sharing less personal information but still looking for “safe” things to post, and this list epitomizes that rise in comfort content posts that can serve as a distraction from heavy news and politics. #TGIF (LINK)
RIP AIM: The most successful instant messaging service of the modern era, AOL Instant Messenger, will shut down this fall. Widely used in the late ‘90s and 2000s, AIM was many consumer’s first experience with short-form messaging, messaging slang, and set the framework for today’s SMS text-heavy culture. The closure follows other legacy messaging apps, like MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger, meeting their maker as people move to mobile-first messenging like iMessage, Snapchat and Instagram. In fact, Facebook has multiple billion-user messaging services now — Messenger and WhatsApp. And texting slang endures! C U AIM. TTYL. (LINK)
Hacking Facebook Live’s Delay: Using the delayed audio and video from a Facebook Live stream, the band The Academic created a loop version of their song “Bear Claws” that blew up on Reddit and spread to social feeds this week – nearing one million views already. We thought this was really cool. We thought this was really cool. We thought this was really cool. We thought this was really cool. We thought this was really cool. We thought this was really cool. We thought this was really cool. (LINK)
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