21 May 2010

A Week On The Web #08

Written by Lauren

NBC TV goes social

NBC TV channel this week launched Fan It, a social media platform offering users rewards in return for engaging with their online content. The network loyalty program offers incentives to users to chat about the networks programs and recruit friends.  Users can connect their NBC profile with Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and Foursquare accounts and can earn points as easily as playing an online game, watching a video or following NBC on Twitter. When we signed up it was unclear as to how to spend our hard earned points but apparently they will be redeemable for no less than exclusive access to early previews of shows, NBC merchandise, discounts at the NBC store, show-themed virtual goods and badges and entry into a sweepstakes to win show-related prizes. Deep breath. High ranking users can also achieve glory by appearing on a leader board on the home page. Here at Pancentric Towers, we've long-been excited about the convergence of TV and the Internet or "Broadcast with Broadband" for want of a better term, having launched an interactive social viewing application (one of the first of its kind) for the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing show back in October of last year. Working with our friends over at Monterosa, we're now about to launch a major coss-platform initiative for a new Chanel 4 gameshow, the Million Pound Drop. The online game mirrors the gameshow so users can play along and pitch their wits again the TV contestants real-time. Check out NMA's write-up and stay tuned to our blog for further announcements. The game launches on  the 24th May, so have a play yourself and don't forget to let us know what you think.

Breaking the silence

As Hannah returned to the fold after her travels around South America, “I can’t believe how much things have changed” she told me, over our morning coffee “technology wise, I mean.” To be fair, she had been living in small indigenous villages without an internet connection let alone broadband, but she did have a point. Such is the speed of innovation these days, it can slip by unnoticed- we’re just so accustomed to things getting, faster, easier, simpler and more connected. Yet, once in a while something comes along so inspiring you have no choice but to sit up and pay attention. This is how we felt when we heard about Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI) – advances in ‘brain plug ins’ that sync the human brain up to a computer helping people who are paralyzed, with disabilities of victims of brain stroke trauma communicate using the power of their thoughts. We’ve been tracking the developments for a while and Wired’s recent article on how this technology is being trailed across social networking sites caught our interest. Adam Wilson was able to Tweet a series of messages on Twitter using his thoughts and not his hand to type the message. As the mag says, it could be the modern equivalent of Alexander Graham Bell’s Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you.”

HTML5 and Flash (Note: not vs!)

Tetris was one of the games that defined our childhood, so imagine our excitement when we came across this noughties version suped-up in HTML5 complete with 3D graphics. Now, unless you’ve been off scuba diving in the in the red sea, you’ve probably heard all the recent hullabaloo in the HTML5 vs Flash war (a simple Google search will bring up more commentary than you could ever read, and then some) so rather than dive into the fray, we’ll simply point you towards this unusually balanced article – good sense stuff.

Could it be Magic (it virtually is)

You loved it when we tweeted it, so we'll include it right here on our blog. This 3 min video shows Marco Tempest, The Virtual Magician, out on the streets of Tokyo testing out his 'magic projection' system. The visual itself is far more impressive than we could even explain it so just click here, sit back, kick your shoes off, and prepare to be entertained...if not a little amazed.