The Digital Touch

Technology gets personal

Kara Melchers

Managing Editor, BITE Creativebrief


As his gaze followed the contours of her body, her skin became alive. Porcupine like spines moving fluidly under the direction of his stare... No this is not the sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, but Caress of the Gaze, a 3D printed garment that can detect eye movement and respond with human-like behaviour. A SXSW Interactive Innovation Award finalist, this wearable technology makes an unseen connection between two people visible.

New technologies are learning to respond to physical and emotional behaviour in real-time. At their Innovation for EveryBody event in March, Nike announced plans to launch the HyperAdapt 1.0, an intelligent shoe that senses what the body needs and adapts the lacing accordingly. “Envision a world in which product changes as the athlete changes,” says Tiffany Beers, Senior Innovator at NIKE. The shoe is an embodiment of their 2016 strategy to unite sports, retail and technology around personalisation, anticipating the unique needs of every individual athlete.

The intersection between human and technology is a personal one. A host of virtual assistants are rapidly evolving to help us lead more blissful lives. Music and film streaming sites are constantly learning from our behaviours, leading us to discover new talent.

Retailers are building profiles to suggest new items that subconsciously match our preferred style. As this technology moves into the physical world, products will learn to read our body language and evolve as we unconsciously give out signals. The world will morph int o one utopian vision that fulfils our own individual personal needs and preferences.

Read on for examples…

Nike Design Air Max For Your Own Personal Style

Every year on 26th March Nike celebrates Air Max Day. 2016 marks 29 years since the launch of the original Tinker Hatfield designed shoe. As part of the in-store celebrations, Nike Town London revealed a new interactive display that scans a visitor’s outfit and designs an Air Max based on their personal style.

Key influencers were invited to a private launch at the London store. “I personally haven’t seen this technology before but damn if this isn’t a game changer…Nike have absolutely smashed it out the park,” shared kingoftrainers to his 129K Instagram followers.

Once the scanner has suggested an Air Max style the machine prints out a postcard with a web link to an online store where the shoes can be purchased directly. The activation is an extension of Nike’s global strategy to put personalisation at the heart of the brand.

Agency: R/GA London, London

March, Air Max Day
years of Air Max design

Subconscious Ordering At Pizza Hut

Do you struggle to decide which pizza topping to go for? Pizza Hut have the answer. In partnership with eye tracking experts in Sweden, the pizza chain has created the world’s first subconscious menu. Restaurant goers are presented with a digital menu displaying a selection of toppings. The technology is able to track eye movements and read the subconscious preferences of the diner.

Agency: Text100, London

BBC Introduce the Love Button

The BBC wanted to help their audience get more out of its services by learning from their behaviour. The heart button is a new piece of digital functionality across the BBC online platform, including the iPlayer. It allows users to show the BBC what they love and discover new programmes and services built on their bespoke likes. By suggesting content that matches a viewer’s personal preferences the BBC are using technology to build relationships with their customers on a large scale.

Agency: VMLY&R, London

Theraflu's Street Thermoscanner

During peak flu season in Poland, Theraflu, GSK’s non-prescription medicine, gave the people of Warsaw a tool to detect flu symptoms faster. The Theraflu Thermoscanner is the first outdoor ad that can check if you have a fever using a live thermo camera. The technology makes the invisible visible by generating a ‘thermos selfie.’

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Warsaw

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