Google and Radiohead: Two great tastes that taste great together

Google, it appears, has gotten into the music video business. They recently worked with Radiohead to create a video in support of the, HO USE OF_C ARDS. Watch the video, featuring the scanned face of Thom York:

What is so impressive is no cameras or lights were used. They instead collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects (mostly York’s face) using laser scanning technology. The video was then created entirely through visualizations of this data.

Now explore that vast amounts of data that this laser face-scanning scanning technology yields. It’s amazing.

HOU SE OF_C ARDS video - data exploration

Yes, you’ll like the music: The Smart Party system can read you like a playlist

It’s tough to be a host. Will your guests like the snacks? Is there enough room to mingle, and proper ambiance to encourage conversation? And what about the music?

This is no idle concern. In the days of special events that support your brand, your role as marketing technologist suddenly makes you responsible for enhancing the proceedings with the proper tunes. And musical tastes vary widely!

Luckily, UCLA computer scientists have been on the task, and they’ve developed the Smart Party system. It polls the musical preferences of your guests by reading the playlists in their WiFi-enabled music devices.

As excerpted below, a recent NewScientist item (subscription required), reports that this novel approach to “reading your audience” works by getting inside your guests’ purses and pockets:

The [system] takes a poll of titles to work out the most popular genre and can also copy and play tracks from each device. It can then play music from the most popular overall music genre or tracks supplied by each party-goer in turn.

Pretty cool stuff, although the article goes on to mention the obvious: digital rights management (DRM) may make this system a violation of copyrights.

But I’m not as impressed with this innovation as with the direction that today’s innovators are taking. Before in this blog, I’ve posited that more than anything, portable marketing is about place. You’ll succeed as a marketer by enhancing experiences in a physical location at a particular time.

News of the Smart Party system suggests that a lot of others are focusing their imaginations on making a place-based experience more personal, and ultimately more memorable.