Web analytics specialists Webtrends hosted their second annual Engage conference this week, and Contagious was there to bring you a few of the highlights.
Wired UK's editor David Rowan took us through a few key digital trends that are disrupting the landscape. Opening the presentation with the delightful clip above from the 1967 film 1999AD (above), Rowan stated that mobile devices are going to be the key to opening the clickable world, with Augmented Reality currently being the best example of this, overlaying information and content on buildings and, effectively, turning everything around us into a hyperlink.
He went on to talk about Gordon Bell's
work with Microsoft's
life-logging Sensecam. A Principle Researcher at Microsoft Research
, Bell has logged thousands of photos using the camera, ranging from documents he has read, CDs listened to and web pages browsed. He is interested in how this affects our memory and social habits - can It make us reconnect with people that we might not have recognised, walking down the street or on a bus? It's a mind blowing proposition and a great project to keep an eye on.
Christian Howes, Head of Solutions Engineering EMEA, Webtrends talked about a childhood missed, and raised his concerns about the shift to digital content and digital memories, recalling fondly time spent discovering new music by thumbing through his father's record collection and selecting albums based on how much he liked the cover. There have been efforts to mirror this with Cover flow in iTunes, but it doesn't quite recreate the magic. 'What digital legacy will we leave behind?' questioned Howes. How can a 2tb hard drive of music and photos replace mix tapes, records and big, heavy photo albums full of lovely old photos?
finished off the day taking us through his journey at The Fat Duck
, from starting alone with just a pot washer for company, blowing up ovens in the process, to having 46 chefs for a restaurant that sits 42.The attention to detail and relentless experimentation that Blumenthal partakes in is facinating to hear about - at one point he mentioned his quest for the perfect chip, pin pricking each one to let the moisture out. There is a lot to be learnt from the way he creates an experience that caters to all senses, even going as far as using headphones to blast seaside sounds into your lugs while you eat his famous Sounds of the Sea dish
to add to the immense visual and nasal stimulation it already conjures.