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Better Living Through Technology

Buzz from The Hive Awards

A while back I was asked to judge the inaugural Hive Awards by the lovely Alan and I happily agreed. 

The Hive Awards were designed to reward the unsung heroes of the interwebs - coders and IAs and UX designers and other geek players that actually make the stuff, the innovators and planners and content strategists that make it make sense. 

The winners were announced at a very pleasant outdoor event at SXSW and Alan has helpfully put the deck up so everyone can have a look.

As always with award stuff, I'm excited to see what agencies think is their best stuff, what gets awarded and what that says about how we are currently thinking about the industry and the direction it needs to head. 

To highlight a couple of trends:

1. Digital Events

Since I've been harping on about the intersection of the web and the world for years now, it's gratifying to see some innovative use of digital platforms to extend and enrich live events.

Nokia Rhianna Live: awesome use of QIK technology to provide multiple viewpoint livestream

(RED) Nights: uses social media tags to rebuild the event from social media fragments of people who were there

2. Useful Technology

There are two points on the hype cycle to use a technology if you are brand: at the very beginning, when the novelty and early adopterness of it says something about your brand [see GE's use of augmented reality] and when you can think of something useful to do with it [see AKQA's Postal Service AR Virtual Box Simulator]. 

Postal Service AR Virtual Box Simulator: let's you see how big a box you need with AR

Nike Training Club: Turn your iPhone into a personal fitness instructor. Without the guilt. 

3. Real Time Creativity

Creating low latency ideas that move and respond at the speed of culture is hard - it's an incredible strain on the existing systems of production. 

One way around this is to create a framework and allow real time data to feed it, or leverage existing infrastructures and APIs that allow on-demand production.

CNN Shirts: This ideas does both:T-shirts that you could order on demand , using spreadshirt, with any CNN headline inscribed on it.

We'reAllFans:The site creates beautiful images of the nominated Grammy artists from content tagged with the artist name on twitter, youtube and flickr.