Dolphin Browser’s New Voice Commands Let You Talk Your Way Through The Web


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Way back in the days of Android yore, the stock browser got the job done but did so with a minimum of flair. Now there’s no shortage of first-rate mobile browsers out there, but mobile browser war mainstay Dolphin has just released a new update that packs an equally new (and nifty) feature: voice controlled navigation.
Via techcrunch.com



Q&A with gamification expert at IBM Research

IBM Research: Q&A with Yaniv Corem, gamification expert at IBM Research

Yaniv Corem joined IBM Research – Haifa in June 2010 after completing his undergraduate work at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and earning his master’s degree in architecture and computer science from MIT. Aside from his enthusiasm for rock climbing and bouldering, Yaniv is passionate about projects that use the “wisdom of the crowd” to solve difficult problems, complete tasks, gather data, and more.

What is gamification?

YC: Gamification is the process of using game thinking and game mechanics in non-game applications to increase engagement. Game thinking can be used to make almost anything fun and encourage people to get involved.

Does competition really help people learn?

YC: Human beings are competitive by nature. Games bring out that sense of competition within a safe and fun environment, where learning takes place naturally. It’s not just competition that does the trick, but an entire set of attributes that make games such powerful tools for learning. Gamification creates a safe environment in which to experiment without suffering the consequences. It also brings in the aspects of new experiences, cooperation with other players, and just having fun.

Competition can be an extrinsic motivator, for example, for a student competing with other students for the best grade on a test. But competition can also be intrinsic, when people push themselves to achieve a certain goal. For example, a toddler learning to stack objects will try the same thing over and over again, while grappling with complex concepts like gravity and balance.

How is IBM using gamification to help people learn and share information?
 

YC: One great example is in the area of product adoption. New users of Lotus Connections, for example, can find such a feature-rich environment daunting. Bunchball, a leader in gamification, developed a solution for IBM called Level Up to help users adopt Connections. It takes complex learning processes and breaks them up into smaller chunks called levels. At each level, a user/player is asked to perform specific tasks that help teach how to use the product. In return, the users are awarded points, badges, or titles.

Gamification could also be used to keep communities active by rewarding members for their contributions. An interesting byproduct of gamifying a community is the social analytics, such as finding the major contributors; the most helpful contributions; the interaction among community members, and more.

via smarterplanet



Privacy Concerns Prompt Google To Promise A “Do-Not-Track” Browser Button

Scoop.it - New Digital Media

Concerned about a constant tail from Google as you browse about the wide world web? Many consumers don’t like being followed and their Internet history subsequently being used to target them with ads, prompting Google to vow it will embed a “do-not-track” button in its browser.  

Bloomberg says Google is joining with other Web companies to support the anti-tracking initiative, according to an e-mailed statement.  

"We’re pleased to join a broad industry agreement to respect the ‘do-not-track’ header in a consistent and meaningful way that offers users choice and clearly explained browser controls," Google Senior Vice President of Advertising Susan Wojcicki said in the statement.
Via consumerist.com



Gamification in Education

Gamification in Eduction, image by Matmi

Mini Matmian:
The use of Gamification techniques within education is not on the horizon…it is already here. 6 months ago I highlighted the fact that the work teachers have been doing in classrooms across the globe for many years could easily be seen as a form of non-digital Gamification. 

The very practice of stickers, group leader-boards and reward systems that are already in place in so many primary school classrooms is already, in part, a form of gamification …

I then went on to mention how digital media could be used to augment the education process:

…add a bespoke system that also incorporates digital media (yes games are part of it) for multiple purposes that not only serve the individual pupil but also provide an accurate and easy way of tracking progress [for teachers) can only benefit the whole school environment.

All those many months ago I kept it brief. My experience as a former teacher meant that the topic was close to my heart and I knew that if I didn’t reign in my key-tapping fingers I would end up with a 3000 word essay.

As a supporter of the good gamification techniques can bring, I wanted to make one thing absolutely clear:

Sticking the same API or just shoe-horning badges in is NOT taking advantage of the power of game mechanics. 

I mention this now because an article on PSFK.com caught my attention. It was about a company in Singapore who have developed an educational application that takes advantage of gamification techniques and mobile technology.

The company in question is called Trial Shuttle and the application they have developed “…lets students direct their own learning programs.” As I had said before, this is key. 

Trail Shuttle promotes self-directed learning via individualized, experiential paths.

Three components, in turn, are involved to make that goal possible: a Web-based toolkit for creating learning programs as well as a mobile app that allows students to explore and experience those programs and a monitoring app that lets teachers track students’ progress. Included in the mobile app for students are an augmented reality way-finder and code scanner; quizzes to test the student’s learning; chat capabilities; and the ability to check in at “hotspots” and complete specific tasks,

via PSFK

There are a few tools out there now that try to add digital gamification into education but this one is the first I have seen that not only puts the focus on the individual as a learner, gets them exploring the real world, allows teachers to track their progress and is cross-platform (please leave a comment if you know of any other software that does the same thing. SquareCrumbs is close but is iPad only).

It seems the Singaporean education system is happily embracing gamification and technology full force. On an ego boosting note, it is gratifying to see that the Matmi thought lab is still keeping up with (and at times ahead of) digital trends.

Let us know how you feel about gamifying education.

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Disney’s Second Screen technology a treat for movie lovers

Half of consumers use a second screen while watching TV - [via siliconrepublic.com]
Image via http://www.siliconrepublic.com

"…as movie technology itself has advanced so too have the additional features, becoming slicker, more refined, and in the case of Disney’s Second Screen feature, extremely interactive.

Launched last year with the Blu-ray release of Bambi, the folks at Disney devised a way for you to watch a movie while simultaneously getting a peek behind the curtain on your laptop, PC or iPad via an app that’s available a day before the film’s Blu-ray release date.”

"…From storyboards to something called "seamless branching" - a visual tangent that essentially pauses the movie while the director expands on a certain scene and then reverts back to where the movie was - Second Screen represents several hours worth of potential playing, clicking, flicking and watching."

[via Cineplex By Andrea Miller

Mini Matmian►

We have only skimmed the surface of Second Screen possibilities. There are many exciting prospects in the future for this technology and we at Matmi are exploring them all.

Research has shown that over 60 percent of viewers have an internet capable device within reach. This means there are already huge portions of viewers who could be given the chance to have a much richer experience than passively watching the ‘talking pictures’ (not that, from time to time, I don’t like sitting back and just relaxing while watching my favourite show/film).

From TV to film to product placement to advertising to education, second screen technology has almost endless possibilities. It can change the way we consume media. It could revolutionise the manner we interact with the box we have been staring at for decades (strong words I know, but I’m as excited as kid on Christmas day just thinking about it).

We can even become part of the narrative we are watching; interacting and engaging in a way never before thought possible. Combine this with IPTV and, well…it’s the future :)

Our MD Jeff Coghlan put forward just one possible use for Second Screen technologies at a recent MoMoMcr event.

"Imagine this. You could be watching a clothing show, a signal is sent to your mobile device via sound waves (audio watermarking) which triggers an event. The peice of clothing being discussed on the TV all of a sudden appears on your mobile. You can then apply it to a virtual manikin of yourself to see how it might look and then share this with friends, asking their opinions or to vote on it. You could have the option to click a link which would use GPS to locate your position and show you where you might be able to buy the item.”

That is a mere snippet of what could be done.

I could go on, I could delve into the subject in greater detail. Laying out Matmi’s thoughts for the future of digital media. But then we don’t want to give away all of secrets. However, I promise you, this will not the last we speak on the subject of Second Screen technologies.

What are your thoughts? Does the encroaching tide of second screen technologies entering your viewing experience trouble you? Maybe you already take advantage of it (GetGlu for example - a VERY simple form but an example none the less)?

[Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/AfXOGG]

Realted post: 

If your company is looking for a digital agency to provide you with a unique, inspiring and engaging form of branded entertainment, then look no further than Matmi…. 

 

http://www.matmi.com/contact.php

info@matmi.com

Phone: (+44)01625 560771

Twitter: @matmi

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Matmi

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Google announces 3.7m Android activations over the Christmas weekend

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Google’s head of Android Andy Rubin has announced that over the Christmas weekend, the search giant saw 3.7 million Android activations, following the recent declaration that the open-source mobile platform had topped 700,000 activations a day.

The festive statistic was posted on Google+ by Rubin: “There were 3.7M Android activations on 12/24 and 12/25. Congrats team-Android!”

Screen Shot 2011 12 28 at 07.25.37 520x116 Google announces 3.7m Android activations over the Christmas weekend

Google has seen impressive growth of its Android platform over the past 16 months, rising from 200,000 activations a day in August 2010, hitting 500,000 activations in June and posting 700,000 activations on December 21. Whilst the figures don’t show whether Android is getting a new user, many people upgrade or buy a second device, adding to the search giant’s count.

Read more here