Lumacoustics 'design-a-bike' Facebook app lets visitors practice graffiti skills
Visual entertainment company Lumacoustics has created a Facebook application to tie in with its digital graffiti wall at the International Motorcycle Show (IMS) in the USA.
Motorcycle brand Kawasaki has licensed Lumacoustics' YrWall technology, which allows vistors to paint their own design on a motorbike template with an infra-red spray can, showcased on a huge digital display wall.
The Facebook application was created in-house by Lumacoustics and allows users to preview the design-a-bike program at home and test their creative skills before trying it live in front of an audience at the show.
IMS tours the USA for four months, stopping in 12 cities.
It is the first time Lumacoustics have used a Facebook application to tie in with their technology.
At IMS, guests can also post their motorbike designs directly to their own Facebook page, send it to friends by email or receive a print-out copy of their artwork.
THEY described it as one of the most terrifying experiences of their lives, but two men from Monmouth stepped into BBC2’s much-feared Dragons’ Den and came out with £50,000 of financial backing for their fledgling business.
Former Monmouth Comprehensive pupils, 31-year-olds Tom Hogan and Tim Williams secured £25,000 each from millionaires Peter Jones and Deborah Meaden to develop their digital grafitti wall- YrWall.
This uses a digital spray can that fires an infra-red beam at a projector screen.
Just like a graffiti wall, an image is left that can be e-mailed or used to create a sticker or t-shirt.
Mr Hogan, from Brockweir, came up with the idea while marketing a club night in Bristol.
It went down well with clubbers and he enlisted the help of his schoolfriend.
In February 2009, they quit their jobs and Mr Williams said they “spent every waking hour” on it “living off nothing”.
From renting out the product at events held by companies like Google, MTV and Orange, they developed six YrWalls, each worth £20,000.
Mr Williams markets the product while Mr Hogan develops it. They are the only full-time employees.
The pair filmed an episode of Dragons’ Den in May, where they asked for £50,000 for 20 per cent of their business.
This was broadcast on Monday night.
It is already being used by grafitti artists and they will develop it for whiteboards in schools, shops and arcades.
Reported in the South Wales Argus
TWO entrepreneurs are celebrating after walking into the Dragons. Den and leaving with a £50,000 investment.
Former Monmouth School pupils Tim Williams and Tom Hogan impressed TV.s dragons with their digital graffiti wall YrWall.
Pronounced 'your wall', YrWall is an interactive and inventive drawing tool for creating digital graffiti on a large screen using a modified spray paint can.
Following an impressive demonstration, Tim, from Osbaston, and Tom, from Brockweir, asked the five self-made millionaires for £50,000 in exchange for 40 per cent of the business.
Reported in the Monmouthshire Beacon
An event supplier picked up the backing of Dragons’ Den duo Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones last night, and Event has the exclusive story of how the business is doing since the deal.
Lumacoustics duo Tom Hogan and Tim Williams demonstrated their YrWall graffiti wall product on the BBC show and managed to secure £50,000 investment for 40% of the firm. The Dragons’ were impressed not only with the profitability of the YrWalll, but also its potential to open up to other markets.
Event readers will recall the YrWall received a handy publicity boost with its appearance at the Event Awards last year
, and Williams admitted initially the plan had been to use the Dragons’ Den appearance for the same purpose.
"We were approached by the BBC who knew us from some work we had done for them in the past," said Williams. "We thought we had nothing to lose, and actually we gained quite a lot."
Jones is apparently keen to license and franchise the YrWall technology whereas Meaden, who Williams said has been very ‘hands-on’ since the show filmed in May, wants to push the product into arcades and make use of its ability to print t-shirts immediately after a user has produced a design on its surface.
Until the show 95% of the firm’s business came from events and there is no doubt the BBC exposure will pique the interest of potential clients – even presentations that fail to garner investment regularly increase sales after the televisual airing.
Reported in Event Magazine
The word “cool” was thrown around a lot at GMR Marketing on Wednesday, and deservedly so.
The New Berlin company did show off some pretty cool stuff at its first-ever “Technology Petting Zoo.”
Jason Klagstad, vice president of operations and production services, put the event together (in three weeks, no less) to give employees, clients and reporters an inside look at the marketing technology of the future.
Lots of the technology had implications for much more than marketing, and I imagine some of it will show up in our homes sooner or later.
For example, the first thing I saw when I walked in was the “world’s first flexible LED wall.” The wall, made by NanoLumens Inc., was basically a 75-pound, 112-inch flexible video screen that can be easily transported. The picture was sort of pixilated, and I’m sure it’s very expensive right now, but I could see a family setting one up in the backyard to catch a flick someday.
Other “cool” items included 3-D glass, a 3-D video screen that didn’t need 3-D glasses (it was sort of like looking at those old “Magic Eye” books without crossing your eyes) and a fog screen that projected video onto a vapor wall you could walk through without getting wet.
One of my favorites was YrWall (pronounced “your wall”), a digital graffiti wall. It was like Microsoft Paint on steroids. I also enjoyed the interactive video station that used 3-D cameras to let you control what’s on the screen.
For me, the technology was a fun way to spend the afternoon, but for plenty of people in marketing, medical imaging and all other kinds of fields, this is the future, and young professionals seem to be leading the way. It was great seeing what creative people are coming up with behind the scenes. Just one of the many reasons I love my job.
Stacy Vogel Davis
Reported in the Milwaukee Business Journal
Visitors to the Urdd Eisteddfod (31 May – 5 June) will get the opportunity to portray what social care means to them on a high-tech graffiti wall which is making its first public appearance in Wales.
The interactive wall, which allows you to draw on it without any kind of paint, will be available at the Care Council for Wales stand.
Visitors to the stand will be invited to use their artistic skills and write or draw what care means to them. All the creations will be saved and judged, with the winner being announced on the Care Council’s website (www.ccwales.org.uk
) at the end of June. The winner will get an iPod and a t-shirt featuring their winning design. Two runners-up will also get t-shirts with their designs printed on them.
The graffiti wall allows you to create digital graffiti on a large screen using a modified spray paint can. Instead of paint, when the cap is pressed, the can ‘sprays’ infra red light, which is tracked by a computer vision system as it moves across the screen. The digital paint appears wherever the can is sprayed, just like spraying paint on a real wall.
Rhian Huws Williams, Chief Executive of the Care Council, said: "We are now less than a month away from Social Care Week in Wales, which takes place between 21 and 25 June. We therefore felt this would be a good way to draw attention to the importance of social care and to get people to convey their impressions of care in a fresh and exciting way.
"It is also a way of encouraging younger people to take an interest in social care and to perhaps consider it as a career. They will be able to find out more about the opportunities to work in this rewarding profession from new films and publications on our stand," she added.
Reported on Aberdare Online on 28/5/2010
Runners will leave personalised graffiti messages on Lumacoustics' YrWall as part of the 2010 Virgin London Marathon Expo, which takes place from 21 to 25 April at Excel London.
Every runner competing in this year's marathon will be attending the Expo to register and collect their bibs ready for the race day on Sunday 26 April. Runners and marathon fans will be encouraged to learn techniques and tips and try out products from sport suppliers.
This year, all visitors to the Expo can sign their name, write messages of support or contribute to artwork on a three-metre-wide YrWall, a digital graffiti product from Lumacoustics.
Images and messages from the wall will be used on race day at the start and finish line, to spur on runners and supporters.
All the artwork created on the digital graffiti wall will be uploaded to Facebook and can be emailed directly from the digital graffiti wall itself.
The event will feature a 'Virgin Zone' incorporating the 'Pasta Party', where runners can fuel their bodies ready for the race.
"By using the digital graffiti wall we are giving runners and fans a whole new way to interact with the marathon build-up and event itself. It really is an honour to support the London Marathon," said Lumacoustics commercial director Tim Williams.
Reported in Event Magazine
Digital signage technology has come on by leaps and bounds in the last decade and could soon revolutionise the way retailers interact with shoppers.
Earlier this year at the National Retail Federation convention in New York, Intel Corporation demonstrated how digital signage technology could soon change the way retailers engage and interact with consumers. The multi-user, multi-touch Intel Intelligent Digital Signage Concept, with side-by-side LCD and holographic glass, puts the customer in control of their own experience by allowing them to explore merchandise, find out about promotions, submit feedback on products, read customer reviews and view past purchasing histories. It is also equipped with built-in camera technology that recognises the age and gender of the onlooker, enabling the system to display tailored content and graphics.
The driver influence behind the development of the digital signage concept was twofold, explains Ed Stock, platform system architect for digital signage at Intel: To improve the consumers’ shopping experience and create sales uplift for retailers. ‘This is accomplished by creating a sign that is both easy to use and very attractive so that consumers will want to use it,’ he says. ‘Both the large holographic glass and 70-inch LCD pull the consumer into the sign. Then the touch capability allows the user to have an enjoyable interactive shopping experience.’
While Nick Pettitt of UK-based Rocket Communications is glad to see this convergence of technology being shown to the marketplace, he warns retailers not to get too carried away: ‘Hologram and 3D displays are exciting, but care must be taken not to dilute the value proposition of digital signage with emerging technologies that might initially be perceived as gimmicky’. He also points out that some of the technology, such as height and gender recognition, has actually been proven accurate, stable and usable for some time.
Rocket offers an end-to-end digital signage service and manages digital signage networks across the UK. While digital signage technology has actually been available for some time, it is only recently that it has started to take off in the retail sector. ‘Retailers definitely seem to understand the potential benefits of digital signage and/or a standalone DS network, however, they are still, quite rightly, wary of the breadth of knowledge and specialist skills required to install, support and importantly power the content requirements of such a solution,’ explains Pettitt. ‘This is the reason why the industry has seen a slower than expected roll out of large-scale networks in the retail arena, and is seeing smaller, trial digital signage projects, focused on delivering measurable value to specific business areas.’
The cost of technology today, according to Pettitt, is rock bottom compared to just 10-15 years ago. ‘You’ve only got to look at the basic television set,’ he says. ‘It’s that that is really powering digital signage. Years ago, the cost of a standalone digital signage network or even a digital display area would have been quite prohibitive because of the cost, whereas today the cost of networking the display devices is relatively low.
‘With a digital signage network,’ continues Pettitt, ‘it’s all well and good putting the screens and the display devices in, be them 3D, holographic or projection, but it’s the content and the idea behind it that is key. It’s about how you deliver and manage the content, and keep the content up to date,’ he insists.
The only thing that’s worse than not having a digital signage network today, maintains Pettitt, is having a digital signage network that has got old fashioned, out-of-date messaging on it. ‘It’s like a bad website,’ he says. ‘You’re better off not having one. Digital signage technology is the future and the early adopters will win, as long as they operate in a standalone network and keep it away from their existing in-store infrastructure, so that it’s a dedicated network that can grow as they grow, and as their content needs evolve.’
Last year Kinetic, in partnership with Titan Outdoor (now part of JCDecaux), conducted research into the value of digital posters. Using cameras to track the number of eyes on both static and digital posters, the results revealed that twice as many people looked at the digital poster, for an average of 60 per cent longer than the static poster.
More recently, LG Electronics conducted its own survey on digital signage developments and their likely impact on the retail environment. Of those who took part in the poll, 79 per cent believe digital display technologies will be important in revitalising the high street in the year ahead. Results also reveal that 81 per cent of respondents see recent developments in simple, cost-effective and powerful digital display solutions as being able to improve customer service (if used appropriately), with more than 90 per cent believing that digital signage can increase retail spending. However, it also highlighted some of the perceived barriers for adoption, including concerns over the creation of content, no clear understanding of the return of investment, and the difficulty of incorporating new systems into existing IT infrastructure.
Pierre Gillet, VP of European sales at BrightSign, is of the strong opinion that advertising is essential for high street retailers to maintain sales growth in a highly competitive environment. ‘Digital signage delivers controlled and targeted messaging directly to the customer while they are shopping or at the point of decision, and can provide essential information to influence decisions,’ he says. ‘Going back a few years and only the very largest retailers would have been able to afford digital signage solutions. In recent years, however, growing numbers of small-to-medium retailers are taking up the technology, including applications offering interactivity.’
Earlier this year, BrightSign was involved in the installation of 1,500 networked digital sign controllers at 80 FNAC retail stores in France, to drive in excess of 3,000 displays, showing full HD video in-store promotions and sales. The players are all networked and managed from FNAC’s head office using BrightSign network and interface software designed by TMM Communication specifically for FNAC.
‘Digital signage is becoming more ubiquitous in all areas of business where print used to be the only option,’ continues Gillet. ‘We are also seeing display technology advancing with interactivity and 3D, and we believe this will push digital signage providers into working even more closely with content providers to ensure that their visions become a reality.’
For the past 12 months, Lumacoustics – a new young, vibrant company that designs and builds interactive visual experiences for a variety of sectors – has been developing a product that takes digital signage to a whole new level. YrWall is an interactive drawing tool for creating digital graffiti on a large screen, using a can that ‘sprays’ infra red light. The system comes with an extensive colour palette and a range of features, including custom-made stencils. The product has already proven popular in the event industry and is now opening up huge possibilities for the retail sector. ‘YrWall offers retail clients something very different from current digital signage offerings,’ explains Tim Williams, commercial director at Lumacoustics. ‘Not only is it a huge canvas for information and marketing material, it also gives consumers a unique way to interact with the brand.’ Artistic creations on screen can be live printed onto t-shirts, stickers and posters, and users can also send copies of the creation, which can be custom-branded, via email or bluetooth direct to their mobile phone, bringing a new dimension to in-store interaction. The software interface, according to Williams, can be completely customised and updated from single branding to a bespoke activity-based game to keep consumers engaged.
Digital signage has been a topic of discussion for many years in retail, but with concerns over cost and the creation of content among other things, retailers in the UK particularly have erred on the side of caution. However, as the technology becomes more accessible and easier to manage, with ever-more interactive features, those retailers looking to enhance the in-store experience will undoubtedly be scrambling to jump on the bandwagon.
Reported in Retail Focus
It's hard to ignore Montreal's graffiti problem, as evidence is spray-painted everywhere you look. But there may be hope for the city's benches, buildings and billboards because a new form of urban art has the potential to prevent vandalism. Digital or light graffiti involves projecting urban artwork onto surfaces rather than defacing them.
The YrWall, by Britain's Lumacoustics Ltd., is one example of how digital graffiti works. The technology registers the artist's movement of what appears to be a normal spray can and produces a digital image of what would appear in real paint on a real wall. Switch the wall off and the graffiti vanishes.
Montrealers got a taste of digital graffiti last year, when NeoGrafik, "a futuristic graffiti collective" showcased digital graffiti technology during Nuit Blanche, the overnight arts festival.
NeoGrafik and other digital graffiti-style installations will be featured again at Nuit Blanche tonight, including a light mural projected on the Hydro-Québec head office by artist Jean-Paul Mousseau and an interactive exhibit of projection art at Université du Québec à Montréal.
The digital graffiti trend originated in the United States and Europe over a decade ago and is gaining popularity in Canadian cities. Tim Williams, managing director of Lumacoustics, heralds it as an alternative legal outlet for urban artist creativity.
But not everyone agrees with him. Marlene Meunier of Docteur Graffiti, a Montreal graffiti-cleanup company, admits she has seen beautiful urban artwork in the city, but says there's a difference between that sort of graffiti and the kind property owners call the company to remove. In her experience, the vandals at the core of the city's graffiti problem are youth-gang members. They don't care about art and they wouldn't seek out a legal means of creative expression over an illegal one, she says.
Clevens Louis, manager of Goodbye Graffiti, an international graffiti-removal service with a branch in Montreal, has a similar point of view. "Some taggers would appreciate the alternative, but I wouldn't say it will be a solution for the masses."
Alexandre Jourdin, the founder of the Crazy Apes Crew, a Montreal co-operative of artists who collaborate on murals and other projects, has mixed feelings about light graffiti. He seeks out opportunities to make art legally - the Crew prefers to create where they have permission to do so - but not everyone is like-minded.
"If the city gives a wall to make a mural on, for example, it's people like me who will go out to find those walls" he says. "But people who make illegal graffiti, they do just that."
Cameron Ting, a traditional graffiti artist who demonstrated Canadian company Tangible Interaction's digital graffiti software outside the Olympic Athletes Village in Vancouver during the first week of the Games, was impressed by the technology's realism. But he, too, doubts it will replace property damage. He says the medium is not as accessible as traditional means to create urban art.
"All you need is a can of paint and a wall. There's also the aspect of rebellion and expression to do it right there and then."
The software required to create digital graffiti art is still proprietary, Ting says, owned and used largely by such companies as Tangible Interaction.
"There are a few groups working in the medium around Canada but most are keeping their tools private" says Ed Jordan of NeoGrafik.
For individuals to access the technology, they must rent it from a company or become involved in something like the Graffiti Research Lab, which researches, invents and promotes digital graffiti technologies. The Montreal chapter of the Lab holds regular events allowing artists to access these technologies.
Williams contends that as digital graffiti gains popularity, people will choose it over the destruction of property. "It really does engage people in a new way, and we think it does reduce graffiti."
© The Montreal Gazette
Reported in The Montreal Gazette
Classrooms of the future will bear little resemblance to those in Britain today if some of the latest technology on offer is anything to go by. With its £55bn Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiative, the Government says it is hoping to change the face of education with innovative teaching methods.
This month, 13 schools across the country will open in new or refurbished buildings packed with the latest high-tech devices that could transform teaching. And over the next two decades, every state secondary school in England will be rebuilt or remodelled under the initiative.
While some more traditional schools still ban the use of mobile phones and laptops, the new direction is all about modern information and communication technology (ICT). Now some of this new gadgetry has been revealed by one of the country's leading suppliers of cutting edge ICT to UK education.
At the BETT 2010 Show, RM showcased its latest innovations including a digital graffiti wall, a virtual learning environment, and a touch-screen whiteboard.
RM's education development manager told Sky News Online it is a "very exciting time" for education.
A former teacher, Emma Brown believes the new creative technology can be integrated smoothly into the country's curriculum.
"A lot of schools are thinking about their curriculum at the moment and how learning and teaching happens with IT, they are reassessing their resources."
She went on: "We are trying to show there are lots of different ways that you can bring about a transformation in the curriculum.
"There's lots of different resources from desktops to small things like flip cameras that all kids can come here and be inspired by and experiment with."
Ms Brown said as well as creating new modern schools under the BSF programme it is also important to focus on what is happening in classrooms right now.
"It should be about transforming what's going on in the schools so the funding and the IT needs to be right. People just don't know what sort of technology is out there."
Reported on Sky News