In Russia, 30 Squats Will Get You a Train Ticket

IF YOU COULD do a little bit of exercise in exchange for a train ticket, would you? Passengers at the Vystavochnaya station, west of Moscow, are doing just that as part of a promo for the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The idea is to get people active and amped for the games in February, and for 30 squats, passengers get a free ride on the subway, which costs around a buck.

Olympic Change, which is responsible for the ticketing scheme, is collecting similar ideas, crowdsourcing different ways to get Russians involved in the run-up to the Olympics. So far, people have submitted everything from bike-powered mobile phone chargers to musical stairs, with one winner being announced next month and having their idea brought to life.


Interactive ad encourages donations via swipe of a card

Relief organisation, Misereor, has worked with Hamburg-based agency Kolle Rebbe to create an interactive poster that accepts credit cards and shows donors the result of their donation on the spot. The Social Swipe is a new sort of poster, encouraging engagement with an instant call to action. Each swipe of the credit card is a fixed donation of 2 Euros. The swiping triggers an animation sequence that shows just what that simple donation can do to help the poor and disadvantaged.

Misereor had utilised billboard donations prior to this, asking for coins to activate animated billboards that came to life with scenes depicting the result of aid, once activated by a coin. The current campaign was designed from the insight that more than 40% of payments made in Europe were by credit card, making it more difficult to attract coin donations. This sparked the idea. What if the billboards could accept credit card donations?

The Social Swipe provides people with an easy and engaging way to make a donation. It also gives them a visualisation of how their donation makes a difference. When the donors receive their credit card statements, they see the donation included in their summary of transactions along with an option to turn their one-time donation into a monthly one. The billboard, is a non-invasive way to get people to donate, not only do you avoid being uncomfortably haggled when you’re walking down the street, the billboard’s beautiful graphics draw you in, promising an interaction. It rewards those who interact by attracting attention with the moving image. The person who is donating can feel good about getting a little attention for doing the right thing.


VR Fear

Samsung VR Headsets Help Millennials Overcome Their Fears in Persuasive New Ads

Terrified of heights? Try tricking yourself into thinking you’re on the roof of a skyscraper, using virtual reality technology—and maybe, with practice, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the real thing.
Samsung ran just that test recently, turning people into guinea pigs to demonstrate the potential of its VR headgear. Agency Cheil Worldwide brought the “Be Fearless” message to life with 27 participants from countries like Germany, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

They underwent four weeks of VR training to combat their fears—of heights (acrophobia) or of public speaking (glossophobia)—before facing real-life applications of their new skills, like speaking in front of a packed lecture hall.


Interactive Coke Ad

This Interactive Coke Ad in a Subway Station Winks and Smiles When You Do

Few tech trends have exploded as fast in recent years as facial recognition and emojis, and now Coca-Cola is bringing them together for an interactive billboard.

A digital ad housed in a Stockholm, Sweden, subway station lets passersby determine what emotions appear on the vertical, rectangular screen. In a nutshell, Coke’s emojis mimic the consumers’ facial expressions.
The fun campaign uses a “Choose Happiness” tagline, an extension of Coke’s multi-channel #MakeItHappy endeavor. Isobar Sweden is the ad agency behind the billboard, dubbing it “Coke-moji.”
While facial-recognition software is probably going to be fairly commonplace in public spaces someday, right now, the technology certainly still has a “wow factor,” and Coke’s ad shows that the implications of facial recognition can go far beyond mobile and social.


Reebok speed cam

If You Run Fast Enough Past This Reebok Ad, It Unlocks a Free Pair of Sneakers

Sneaker brands are fond of running challenges, and they can make for some cool ad stunts.
Asics has done this for years, running outdoor ads that challenged people to race against a digital image of U.S. marathoner Ryan Hall, and also getting runners to try a treadmill from hell set to a marathoner’s pace.
Now, Reebok is getting into the fun, too.

Last weekend in Stockholm, the brand put up an outdoor ad equipped with a built-in speed cam and tracking technology to measure pedestrians’ pace. Anyone who ran past the ad faster than 17 kilometers per hour (about 10.5 miles per hour) unlocked a brand new pair of ZPump 2.0 shoes.
Check out footage from the stunt here:


Cloud Over Syria VR

Clouds Over Sidra Wins Sheffield Doc/Fest Award

Over the last six days Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015 has been taking place all over the UK city. The event is a celebration of documentaries of all kinds, hosting rare screenings, exclusive talks and more. The first few days even saw an impressive virtual reality (VR) ‘Arcade’ put on display, with nine unique experiences for attendees to try out. The event concludes with an awards ceremony which this year has recognised one of the stand out VR experiences of that VR Arcade, Clouds Over Sidra.

The short documentary, created by Chris Milk and Gabo Arora, has been awarded the prize in the Interactive category of this year’s show. It follows Sidra, a twelve year old girl that has fled her home in Syria due to the ongoing crisis and found herself in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp. It provides a brief glimpse at the day-to-day life that these refugees endure with narration from Sidra herself. Viewers are taken closer to the situation than a standard screen could ever convey, joining children at school and families as they gather round to eat.


VR Kids

What’s the future of virtual reality?

It could take a decade before virtual reality headsets become cheap and portable enough to replace smartphones as the tech industry’s dominant computing platform, the founder of Oculus VR has warned.

Virtual reality is tipped to be one of the biggest themes of this week’s Consumer Electronics Show, with Sony, HTC and Facebook-owned Oculus all set to release their headsets in the first half of 2016.


VR Race Image

The VR race

When it comes to emerging technologies, numerous tech companies appear to be eyeing virtual reality as a veritable New World ripe for plunder. The technology itself, of course, has existed for decades in one form or another; however, it’s only been able to offer little more than novel functionality for consumer-facing markets.

But VR tech has evolved dramatically in recent years and the industry is now heating up and heading towards a virtual arms race with 2016 now clearly the year that we’ll see the headsets in living rooms.

Companies like Samsung, Sony, Google and Oculus are now all names associated with VR for gaming, social and mobile platforms – and they’re all getting closer to bringing their products to market, but how fully realized will the products be?

Microsoft has its own offering evening the playing field with the HoloLens – which focuses on augmented reality, or holograms – leaving us to wonder whether will AR finally secure a place under the spotlight.

Let’s take a look at how the virtual competition stacks up so far.