Monday, January 6, 2014

Marveling at Technology Innovations

Courtesy of a little digital magic, the young man in this poster really does know when it's a British Airways plane. And that really is the actual flight number and where it's flying in from.
The National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV) has launched an interactive billboard campaign at Euston Station to raise awareness about how people can intervene to help put a stop to domestic violence. The campaign, which launched 30 April 2012, runs on JCDecaux's large format e-motion screens and encourages passers by to get involved in the advert by controlling the scene using their mobile phone. 
Created by JWT London, "Drag Him Away" features an abusive domestic situation between a man and a woman with the call to action "USE YOUR PHONE TO STOP THIS NOW GO TO AND DRAG HIM AWAY." Users can either enter the web address or scan on the featured QR code to start interacting immediately. The participant is able to control the characters by dragging the man away from the woman and onto on that adjacent billboards. The screens then synchronise to urge people to report any domestic violence situations to the NCDV so that they can intervene on the victim's behalf. 
Produced by Grand Visual, the revolutionary campaign runs on the Agent platform which enables mobile and digital out of home interaction. 
NCDV would like to thank JWT and Grand Visual for all the hard and exceptional work which has been put into this campaign.
The Lynx Excite Angels have fallen...
We often equate innovation with technology.  Indeed Booz & Company's 10 Most Innovative Companies the last four years are dominated by technology firms:

(screen shot)
So I marvel at how clever the above three electronic and interactive billboards are, posted in Billboards That Drop Angels On Your Head. There is no questioning the innovation prowess among their designers and developers.

But keep in mind that technology is not necessarily a prerequisite for innovation, much as we in industrialized nations hold such an equation in mind.  In fact, in impoverished villages and sectors of India, the sort of offerings that work best for people are a kind of undoing or reductionism of sophisticated technology.

Anil Gupta is on the hunt for the developing world's unsung inventors -- indigenous entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, hidden by poverty, could change many people's lives. He shows how the Honey Bee network helps them build the connections they need -- and gain the recognition they deserve.
Engineer RA Mashelkar shares three stories of ultra-low-cost design from India that use bottom-up rethinking, and some clever engineering, to bring expensive products (cars, prosthetics) into the realm of the possible for everyone.
Indeed people are no less innovative, in the face of low or no technology.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

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