Showing posts with label hangout. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hangout. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Google - Hangout Comedy Club

Google has partnered with UK charity, Comic Relief, to bring viewers around the world closer to the famed Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  Every year hundreds of musicians and comedians flock to Edinburgh for a chance at their big break, while thousands of fans come to see their favorite acts or the next big thing.  Gigs take place in small venues across the city during the festival, but now a selection of those acts are breaking the digital fourth wall through via the Hangout Comedy Club.  As the official Google blog post describes:

To be part of the Hangout Comedy Club, simply join a Google+ Hangout hosted by one of our famous comedians, including Katherine Ryan, Sanderson Jones and Joey Page. Just like a real comedy club, if you’re brave enough, you can join the front row with up to eight others. If you’d rather sit out of sight, join a Hangout, add your friends, and watch from the safety of the back row.

As in real-life, participants in the front row can heckle the comedians or (and perhaps more likely) become the object of the ridicule from whomever is on stage. [brief aside: is it harder for the comedians to make fun of people when they can't see their whole outfit or make fun of their date?]

Those people in the back row will have the opportunity to use the 'Laugh-O-Meter' which uses face tracking technology to measure how much you're smiling or laughing throughout the set.  Based on the laugh-o-meter score, it will then suggest a donation amount (higher if you laughed heartily) with all proceeds going to the Comic Relief charity.

It's another wonderful example of using technology to bridge the gap between the real and digital worlds.  Check out the intro video below or head on over to Hangout Comedy Club to see the schedule of upcoming events.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Useful Google+ Hangout Apps - Toyota Social Car Configurator & Storytime

As Google+ matures G+ Hangout apps are continuing to be used in ways that allow people to collaborate in new and interesting ways.  We've seen a slate of interesting new Google+ Hangout apps launch over the past few months, but I wanted to highlight a couple of useful Hangout app executions.

The Toyota Collaborator Hangout app has it's origins in a prototype app that my talented colleagues on the Zoo developer team created some months back.  The prototype has since been picked up by Toyota with Saatchi & Saatchi LA + Joystiq Interactive developing it out into a beautiful and polished social car configurator.  The app brings the experience of the online car configurator into a collaborative space where users can create their own personalized Prius along with friends and family.  Furthermore, Toyota has sales people available in the Hangout to answer various questions. book a test drive, etc. Check out the demo video below.

The second Hangout app I want to highlight is from Penguin books and developed by BBH London. The idea is to bring storytime into the digital age.  As the Storytime Hangout site describes: 'Magically transform yourself into characters from your favourite tales with Storytime Hangout. Share stories with your family, no matter where they are in the world.'

As both a new father and someone with young nieces and nephews across the Atlantic, I find this incredibly compelling.  It's a case of using technology to make the world smaller and bring people closer together in a way that mirrors existing behaviour.

The app experience itself is delightful, as participants can transform themselves into their favourite characters using head tracking technology and the lines of the story appear on the screen alongside the masked faces so both adults and children can read the lines as though they were reading the book together physically.  Three Billy Goats Gruff is hopefully just the first of many Penguin books that's brought to life with G+ Storytime.  Check out the intro video below and head over to Story Time Hangout to experience it yourself.

P.S.  BBH Labs has a nice writeup about the background and process of bringing this to life.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Happy Egg Company - Chick Cam

Since Easter just passed, I thought it'd be worth highlighting something a bit different this Easter.  In the run up to Easter, the Happy Egg Company (and their agency, Hypernaked) developed this lovely Chickcam campaign, showing again that you don't need a big budget to have success in the digital space.  The Happy Egg Chickcam used a Google+ Hangout On Air & YouTube livestreaming over the course of four days to show the hatching of 17 eggs into cute, fluffy chicks. A livestream of eggs waiting to hatch would've been as excited as watching grass grow, so they also included a slate of activities throughout the four days to keep viewers watching.

As the good folks over at the Inspiration Room describe: 'On Monday the Chickcam campaign provided an opportunity for live Q&A on hatching chicks with Madeline from the Happy Chick Company, using Facebook, Twitter or Google+ event posts. On Tuesday viewers were given a chance to send in suggestions for the 17 Chick Cam eggs. On Wednesday questions and answers focused on egg farms with Happy Egg farmer JP. On Thursday, the final day of Chick Cam, a golden egg was sneaked into one of the camera views. The first five people to email the competition received a bundle of Happy Eggs goodies.'  Check out the highlight video below.
It's interesting to see more and more brands and content creators use Google+ Hangouts On Air to create either a) an always on, long duration livestream, or b) use Hangouts on Air akin to episodic programming.  In both cases, it gives users a reason to return back to the livestream(s) on multiple occasions.  For example, the Pet Collective YouTube channel runs multiple, always on Hangouts On Air of various animals including a Kitten cam, a Puppy cam a Golden Eagle cam, a Husky cam and many more.  One of my colleagues (who shall remain nameless) has actually bookmarked the kitten cam and fires it up whenever she's having a bad day.

hat tip: Inspiration Room

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