The music video of the summer, tiny robots in your veins, and ‘surprise egg’ videos – it’s another roundup of joyous digital stories.
Take a break from de-duping that customer database, creating that brochure on InDesign or writing that email to your boss again about how “we really should do more video” and enjoy….
Nikon drops the music video of the summer
Nikon has celebrated its 100th anniversary with a music video even more uplifting than Bieber’s version of Despacito. The more I watch it, the more I have nothing but admiration for the gutsy dancers who simply smile at their own lack of rhythm.
There’s a whole section of Nikon’s website dedicated to the anniversary, complete with celebratory products and plenty of history.
Kids love these slightly weird, consumerist ‘surprise egg’ videos
Next up, an enlightening feature from The Atlantic about the YouTube Kids algorithm.
The article says that “Kids watch the same kinds of videos over and over. Videomakers take notice of what’s most popular, then mimic it, hoping that kids will click on their stuff. When they do, YouTube’s algorithm takes notice, and recommends those videos to kids. Kids keep clicking on them, and keep being offered more of the same.”
This feedback loop between algorithm and creators has led to well-defined genres of video, with toy demonstrations such as ‘surprise-egg videos’ being particularly huge. Watch one below and picture the avaricious gaze of a young child as they sit over their tablet.
Research has found the interactivity of YouTube over traditional TV can help children learn and that they enjoy a form of agency over the stuff they watch.
BuzzFeed’s next innovation? The George Foreman grill.
Well, it’s pretty much a one-sided George Foreman grill (hot plate to be precise), which BuzzFeed calls the Tasty One Top.
It has been designed to work alongside BuzzFeed’s new Tasty app, a home for all its Tasty video recipes, and rather niftily syncs with your phone, setting the right temperature for you and chiming to let you know when to move on to the next step.
Want to feel old? The Beano is properly digital.
The great British comic, The Beano, is the subject of a lovely article in the FT this week.
There’s now a Beano app, website and CGI animation on CBBC (yes, that last one in particular sounds heretical to older readers). The FT tells us that panels of children inform DC Thompson of their views on the latest toys, trends and even topical news stories, helping shape the website content.
Go and check out the website and you’ll see lots of snappily edited video that really is quite entertaining and in the chaotic Beano style.
Do watch the video below with some choice excerpts from an interview with Mike Stirling, who says that print circulation of the comic is increasing on the back of broader digital brand building. A great success story.
Twitter prematurely mourns the death of MS Paint
Just like those fake death stories on Twitter where a forgotten star such as Keith Chegwin is reported to have died in a jet ski accident, Microsoft Paint was said to have met its end this week.
There was an outpouring of poorly illustrated grief (see below) for the software that debuted in 1985 as part of Windows 1.0 and is due to be axed from Microsoft’s next Windows 10 update.
— Codecademy (@Codecademy) 24 July 2017
However, Microsoft quickly corrected us – the Paint 3D app will still be available for free from the Microsoft Store. Paint is here to stay.
— Microsoft (@Microsoft) 25 July 2017
Headline of the week
“Tiny robots swim the front crawl through your veins” – it’s enough to make anyone feel a little squeamish.
Tianlong Li at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China has presided over the development of nano-swimmers the size of a blood vessel which could be injected into the body and ‘crawl’ through your blood to deliver medicine to a specific location. The robots have so far been tested in the lab, where a magnetic field got their tiny nickel arms a-swimming.
The article from New Scientist not only provides us with headline of the week, but line of the week, too:
Because bodily fluids are more viscous and difficult to swim through than water, the researchers also tested their nano-swimmers in serum.
If you’re reading this on your lunch break, enjoy the imagery of swimming through bodily fluids.
Checks are still massive in the US
Bloomberg gives us some facts about the humble check. In America, there are “33.5m households that either don’t have bank accounts or supplement them with alternative financial services such as check-cashing and pawnshop loans.”
This is one of the factors that accounts for (no pun intended) a halt in the decline of checks in the US, which have remained fairly steady since 2012.
A 2015 Fed survey found just 18% of smartphone users aged 60 and older had ever used mobile banking. Though this was up from 5% in 2011, it still shows how big the generation divide is for digital adoption.