TV Viewing is Getting SMART-er

Featured

The title is sort of stating the obvious, but let me explain. I think the majority of my generation caught the back-end of cable TV before digital viewing came in (e.g. SkyTV and Virgin Media). However, with the help of the internet and the greater competitive development of technology, televisions are getting “SMART-er”.

The Death of TV on a Telly

For years now, Sky, Virgin and BT have been a pinnacle part of our furniture. Much of TV viewing requires a box on the TV stand which contains hundreds of different channels. From Hollywood to Bollywood. From Bollywood to Nollywood. Then to Friends on every other channel. I think some show sport, but rumour has it you have to sacrifice a limb for it.

You know when it all changed? When screens replaced buttons on devices which became heavily reliant on the internet. That changed television in a way which we constantly overlook. It is leading to the death of television on a telly (if it has not already happened). Netflix became the ‘King of the Jungle’.

It costs significantly lower than TV boxes, and you don’t actually need a box to view it. Sky Originals from previous years often appear on it, so no need to buy boxsets. In fact, many major TV networks put their shows on Netflix. It offers pretty much the same thing a TV box would, yet you don’t even need a TV to watch it all. Your phone, tablet or laptop can all show it in the same quality.

Future-Vision

Streaming is taking over. TV boxes will soon become a thing of the past. Think about it. Streaming services are half the price, accessible everywhere at any time, accustomed to you and…NO ADVERTS!

For the majority of the 10’s, Netflix dominated the streaming scene. I mean Hulu have been around and Amazon Prime snuck in too. But Netflix is the first name you think of in this discussion. However, other big name players are entering the new game. Disney recently launched Disney+ and both ITV and BBC have created a joint service, BritBox, to keep British television up-to-speed.

The question is, what can the likes of Sky and Virgin Media offer that these services can’t? Rather than offering a wide-variety of channels, these services actually analyse your viewing and will recommend shows for you. It saves you flicking through an endless library. I am pretty sure these TV boxes are not able to do that. Oh, and you don’t need a TV license either.

TV’s don’t just have channels anymore, they have apps. You can even browse the web on your TV. On my TV remote, there are actually buttons for Netflix and Amazon Prime to take you straight to the apps. To me, this indicates that one of these is the first place a viewer would go. It is certainly the first place I go. It tells me they expect you to stream your TV shows and not plug in a box.

It’s hard to see how this isn’t the death of TV boxes. It could be a critical blow for the likes of Sky. Even though they have a deal with Netflix, will it be enough to save their platform?

What even is ‘Telly’ now?

Make Earth Cool Again…

Featured

You see the wildest, craziest, almost unbelievable science and gadgets on the internet…and they really can be cool AF! You see them used for life hacks, fun in the name of science, even complete random nonsense. But, can fun science and engineering be put to better use? Can we use them to make Earth cool again?

In this article, we will take you through a few modern revolutionary items which could be used to create a much more sustainable environment.

This isn’t just an article as to why it could improve our planet, it’s the direction we must go. The 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) was the biggest step we have taken so far into globally agreeing the actions we must all take to save our planet. There were many challenges discussed and many actions to defeat them, but the most significant agreement to have been made at COP21 is that we must not let the planet temperature rise another 2 degrees Celsius. By informing and engaging less-developed countries, as well as agreeing actions within individual nations (such as bans on petrol and diesel cars in many countries), the leaders, the businesses and the people of their respective nations will be doing their part in saving the planet.

As per my last blog article on the current state of our planet (Earth is Dead), I shifted a lot of blame on those in power; whether they be government or private companies; but COP21 will ensure everyone plays a part in providing and relying on more efficient energy sources.

While the plans and actions have been agreed, there’s only one place where we can exceed those expectations and really give ourselves a boost in the mission to save our planet… Science and Technology! And guess what, they’ve already started! Here are three revolutionary products, created by the art that is engineering, which can change the world and give us a MASSIVE boost!

OohoSkipping Rocks Lab

To be honest, I don’t know how this hasn’t taken over the majority of packaging materials. This is a game changer. I don’t understand how this isn’t talked about. I’ve told a lot of people about this and yet it seems to be the case that I am the only one who was actually aware of this.

Notpa – Ohoo Water Orb

If this is news to you, which I can guarantee it is for the majority reading this, Ohoo is an ‘alternative’ material for packaging. It’s not plastic. It’s not even paper or metal. It’s seaweed!

The product was developed by Skipping Rocks Lab and is sold by Notpla. Notpla plan to lease the machine used to produce Ooho’s to relevant stakeholders and customers. For example, if an events company wishes to use Ooho’s to create little sachet’s of sauce or food, then Notpla will provide this. Ooho’s are 100% biodegradable and take around 4 to 6 weeks to “disappear”. It’s been used to create little orbs of water, in an attempt to remove plastic bottles from shelves. A single orb can hold around 20ml to 150ml worth of product (primarily liquids). Head to Notpla’s website to find out more.

I can’t be the only one who thinks this is amazing? If this can be developed further and produced on a mass scale, it wouldn’t just reduce the production of plastic and its use for packaging, it could completely replace it! Now you know what I mean when I say it’s a game changer. However, maybe Ooho’s are not so talked about generally because of how undeveloped they still are. They can only be used for very small packaging at the moment, but I am certain that they will become hugely significant in the near future. We would really be reaching our targets as a planet if we do have a strong focus on the use of packaging and Ooho’s will be a very strong start to that. Plastic is very harmful when being disposed of, but the production of plastic is where it really causes damage. If you think of where and how plastic is used, you’ll realise how dependant we currently are on plastic and how the need for Ooho is essential.

Tesla SolarTesla

Tesla Solar – Roof Tiles

So simple yet so clever. Many people are already aware of this product. It’s actually taken off amazingly well in America. To put it simply, Tesla have designed roof tiles which have incorporated invisible solar cells. The best part is that it’s actually a cheaper alternative to slate roof tiling. In fact, it offers different materials and slate is one of them!

Tesla’s batteries are already renowned for their efficiency and use of sustainable energy. The solar tiles are integrated with their Powerall home battery which means you are able to rely on your own produced energy and use it as and when you wish to.

Why is this huge? Because it means we wouldn’t have to rely on massive power plants to power our homes with more expensive and less sustainable energy. Tesla have already taken this international, but it’s about adapting this to the existing, rather than just new homes/buildings. It also begs the question of what new ways we are able to share energy.

Tesla Solar is the first major effort, that I have seen, to change the way homeowners/residents use and gain energy. I mean, obviously solar panels already exist and have done for a while, as well as other renewable energy sources, but Tesla Solar is the first time I’ve seen someone push for sustainable energy as a ‘norm’. It makes the current method of energy-use look somewhat ‘old’. It’s kind of like a “get with the programme” statement.

Bamboo

Bamboo is often used for architecture – Bali (shown here) are well-known for this

An overlooked resource. Bamboo is natural, grows quick and easy and can be used for tons of stuff inside and outside a home! It also absorbs greenhouse gases and grows anywhere and everywhere! I think people need to realise how incredibly useful Bamboo can be. It’s a tough material. It’s used for scaffolding in many parts of the world, in particular East Asia. But not only can Bamboo be used for beneficial tools, it can also be used for luxury items, such as decoration, ornaments, etc.

In all honesty, engineers should take this resource and let their imaginations run wild with it. If any professional region is going to turn this highly reliable, hugely sustainable material into something beneficial for everyday life, it’s them.

In Fact…

…It’s our engineers who have accelerated our journey to a sustainable planet as they are the ones who innovated such game-changing products and the ones who have put our natural resources to efficient use.

Our hopes of the future lie in our scientists and our engineers. Developing and growing such ideas like those in this article are what can help the planet achieve our mission from COP21 and can help us ‘Make Earth Cool Again’.

Post via Instagram

Earth is Open to Suggestions

What innovative products/materials should be used at a higher volume, or should have higher funding and focus, to help develop a more sustainable environment? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram!

Creatives Should Ask, “What Would Jobs Do?”

Featured

Steve Jobs – A true artist of the product. The man who changed the world because, not only did he have the imagination for change, he sold it too.

We predominantly know Jobs as the Co-Founder of Apple. He was the face of the brand. He also funded Pixar, allowing the animation company to become a highlight of our childhoods. “Toy Story” was the first-ever computer animated feature film. For some that’s old news, for some it’s new! Jobs was a huge part of that. It was his vision, hence why he funded it. He was even the Executive Producer (Pixar Wikipedia, 2019).

But it was his work at Apple which really implemented his status as one of the great geniuses the world has ever seen.

Modern Day Genius

I recently wrote an article about Elon Musk (which you can read here) stating how we was also a genius of the modern day. Musk has changed the landscape of survival. But in a world which is built of various social beliefs, industries and a million-and-one different lifestyles, Steve Jobs has not only caused a greater impact, he’s shaped the entire future of how we function.

Steve Jobs didn’t care about the money. He wanted to change the world. And I think it’s pretty obvious to say that if you change the world, there will probably be a handsome cheque being written to you at the end of it. The idea was what Jobs thrived off. Not only what it could bring, but how it could grow and become influential.

He Didn’t Sell Products; He Evolved Our Lifestyles

I mentioned “Toy Story”, but as much as that influenced and evolved the film industry, it didn’t change our lives. But the iPhone, well, that changed everything.

Our smartphones are more than phones. We rely on them. They’re our phones, our libraries, our galleries, our games, our music, our wallets, our news, our maps, our browsers, our emails, our notes, our TV, our jokes, our interaction with the greater world and, for some, our careers.

I predict, one day, that we will no longer need actual wallets or car keys or whatever you carry in your pockets on a day-to-day basis because EVERYTHING will be on your device. They won’t even be called smartphones, they’ll be called our “ePockets” or something.

Jobs did that. He changed the world. He launched the iPhone. He wasn’t the first to come up with a touchscreen phone. But he made the touchscreen aspect unimportant. They were the trend, yet he decided to not even focus on that. ‘Yeah it’s touchscreen, but did you know it’s not just a phone?’ is essentially what he said. That was a huge surprise to everyone! No-one expected that. No-one at all.

There’s been many inventions over the course of recent time which never took off. Microsoft developed tablets way before Apple came up with the iPad, but it never took off. There’s a reason for that. It was just another Microsoft product to be sold. The marketing wasn’t so great, or maybe we just weren’t ready for it. So how did the iPhone become so successful? Steve Jobs didn’t sell the product, he sold the vision. People saw this launch and instantly started to think ‘can you imagine how good this will be in 10 years?’

I still remember the launch. Steve Jobs genuinely blew my mind with how he delivered it. He knew it was a game changer and you can hear that in the reaction of the crowd when he said, “Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices, this is one device…”

“Wait… one device?????”, said everyone.

It still gives me Goosebumps. Legendary.

Watch the iconic launch here:

It’s Not the Same Anymore

Apple’s vision was Steve Job’s vision. I mean, it kind of still is but it seems different. Jobs thought outside the box. He never thought of what the consumer wanted, he thought along the lines of ‘this is new, and people will love it’. His ideas and concepts were not originated from trends in the industry or keep up to pace with competitors; it was his vision of how he wanted everyone to live.

But now, their focus seems to be on the current rather than the future. They’re improving what’s already out there, just like their competitors are doing. There’s no distinction any more apart from their unique house-style. In fact, all Tim Cook does is use Apple’s highly perceived brand image and use it to drive for a bigger profit margin. Whatever Apple sell, people will buy because they assume that Apple are ahead of the game and still changing the future due to the work of Steve Jobs. But that’s not the case anymore. Their competitors have caught up and Apple are, debatably, no longer the most forward-thinking technology company. For example, I see why AirPods exist (wireless earphones were always going to happen, it’s no biggie), but why on Earth do they cost nearly £200? I can get a decent pair of wired earphones from HMV for about £20 and probably cheaper online. Just because they’re wireless does not mean they should cost 10x more! Again, it’s the brand image built by Jobs which has caused consumers to constantly be in awe of everything Apple put out there.

Like I said, with Jobs gone, Apple have lost that out of the box innovation which they were built on.

R.I.P Steve Jobs

His work changed the world. He’s an absolute icon in many industries. There’s no denying that he was one of a kind. He accelerated societal development and changed how everyone lives within a decade. Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, our devices around the house (and beyond) have become essential, problematic and debated. We are yet to learn how to efficiently cope with this drastic change, but there’s no denying we are heading in the right direction. Jobs’ vision is only directing us the right way. It’s crazy to say that how we live should adapt to his vision rather than it being the other way round. That is unheard of.

Every creative agency and creative mind in the world should have some sort of tribute for Steve Jobs in their offices and/or rooms. He’s an inspiration to the creative mind. To all the creatives out there, when you’re stuck in a rut and are struggling to get that ‘light bulb moment’, just ask yourself the question: ‘What would Jobs do?’

R.I.P Steve Jobs.

Get Involved

Follow us on social media and get involved! Any ideas, conversations, jokes…I’m all ears (or eyes in this case)!

The Sound of Music? Or the Sound of “Cha-Ching!”

Featured

The Beatles are one of the most significant events which pushed the music industry further towards the ‘industry’ side and away from the ‘music’ side. Let’s be honest here, their music isn’t even that good. They had some sort of flare and charisma about them which was the reason for their popularity. They had a very conspicuous presence, which led to (as the cool kids might say)… “hype”. They started this trend. If I am going to be honest, The Beatles MADE pop music.

Today, no one has used the patents of The Beatles more effectively than Drake and Beyonce. In this article, I will tell you exactly how and why. For any Drake and Beyonce fans, prepared to get (another one from the cool kids)… “triggered”.

Beyonce is a Brand, not an Artist

Beyonce has had some great songs over the years, whether it was solo or when Destiny’s Child were slaying the charts. ‘Say My Name’ is a personal favourite at the Karaoke. However, despite the belters she has under her belt, I would think of Beyonce as a commercial success in the industry before I would think of her as an artist. In fact, I wouldn’t even call her an artist at all. She’s created her own brand, the ‘BeyHive’, and that has been a pinnacle part of her success.

Beyonce does not write her own songs. Therefore, can we even call them her songs? In my eyes, she’s just the ambassador of the Beyonce brand. Just like Taylor Swift and the like have done. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the music industry works today. The quality of the content has spiralled downwards, yet the numbers get greater each time. The true power of branding. Beyonce is branded as “Queen Bee” and she is perceived to really be a Queen; the most powerful of them all too. She could literally breathe into a microphone for a whole concert and the ‘BeyHive’ will still scream her name. They are hypnotized. They have fallen for the commerce.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to call out the ‘BeyHive’. I know they will disagree. They are brainwashed beyond restoration. For anyone apart of this fanbase reading this article, I would like to know why you disagree on Twitter. Click here to tweet me. I will prove you wrong.

Drake is a Genius…

…And I can’t stand his music. I’ll tell you why. Drake is talented, I’ll admit that. For those who know me personally, they will know it pained me to say that. Anyway, with that being said, Drake is still a commercial success.

He knows how to make a hit. Every song created by Drake has the intention of being a hit. He’s the only person in the music industry with the ‘Krabby Patty Secret Formula’, so to speak. He knows what you want to hear and how to create content to gratify your ears.

His talent contributes to his success because of its diversity. The formula for success mixed with the diverse skill set he brings is exactly why he has more hits than the Beatles. He’s dominated Rap, RnB, Pop, Afrobeats and even Reggaeton. You can see why the numbers are as impressive as they are!

But this is exactly the reason I am not a Drake fan. I can admit he’s very successful. But music is an art and he is making a mockery of it. He has no intention of making meaningful, true music. He’s a 32-year-old grown man singing songs about teenage heartbreaks and parties. I could never be a fan. He’s doing exactly what the Beatles did, gathering attention and “hype” and producing a compelling brand image which is guaranteed product sales.

I Know Many Disagree…

…So, tell me your view. I would love to hear it. Tell me on Twitter or Facebook:

Also, follow out Instagram page below for more frequent content:

Earth is Dead.

Featured

Regardless of our efforts, our planet is doomed. The only ‘green’ which is important to this world is money. The life of a business is more important than that of a breathing organism. This is something I have said for a while, to be honest. But recently, I’ve been thinking about the current state of the environment and I have realised more than what I had previously thought.

It’s not only what I have read, watched or heard; but things I have noticed in everyday life. The change in weather and exponential rise in concern are probably the most noticeable. However, one thing I have also realised is that, as consumers, it’s not so much our fault anymore. In fact, I’m not sure if it ever was.

Commercialism has killed us…

…Not just physically, but our minds too. Corporations are the biggest reason for our planet’s death. Who do you think makes all the plastic bottles? Who delivers them? How do you think they deliver them? They definitely do not use fuel burning big metal machines…right? I mean if they do, them machines definitely breathe pure clean air………right?!

But the worst part is we’re made to believe that we should be more responsible. Recycle your plastic, cans, paper and glass boys and girls. We’re not doing enough. Our grandkids are not going to see old age because this planet will be inhabitable and that’s our fault…apparently. Us consumers and workers are the reason for the death of our planet. WRONG. The polls don’t lie, as you can see here. We only buy the rubbish material or the thing with excessive packaging because that is what you give us. We can only use plastic bags because that is what you give us. It’s very easy to lose plastic bags. We can’t use public transport (in the UK anyway, and other nations with privatised public transport) because it’s an extortion. We end up driving old, less efficient cars because, for many, that is all we can afford.

The problem is not the consumer. To those who believe the people need to do more, there is little more we can do than the efforts we currently make. But we’re blinded by constant content which all repeat the same message of “protect our planet”. But the big name corps are the ones who should be taking most of the responsibility here.

Old McDonald has a…

…massive franchise which mass produces beef (if you didn’t know, cows are a significant contributor to CO2 emissions due to the large amounts of methane they produce), mass distributes bad plastics, builds itself in pretty much every town and city, and so much more.

Amazon are another fine example. Have you ever ordered something small from amazon, but it comes in a box which really does not need to be as big as it is? Or uses loads of “protective” plastic (e.g. bubble wrap)? Yeah, I have too.

The number of trees cut down for resources is somewhat frightening. The lack of control of the waters is dangerous. We all know how polluted our waters are. They’re like that because only 3% of the ocean is actually protected. This article from Richard Branson tells you the importance of protecting our oceans.

“Our Planet”, narrated by the great Sir David Attenborough and can be viewed on Netflix, really puts it all into perspective. A really touching piece of work which tells you how commercialism is killing Earth. It’s sad. It’s sad because it’s all true. And the worst thing is, a lot of it we already know, but we don’t know the scale of it.

Supermarkets are actually an area for other companies and brands to look up to. Brands, like Tesco and Sainsbury’s, are currently in the transition of replacing plastic bags with recyclable bags. By 2020, non-recyclable plastic bags should be a thing of the past. Morocco is a nation who have gone a step further. They have banned plastic bags and have replaced them with bio-degradable ones. Game changer- the rest of the world should be taking notes.

We have until 2030

#EarthDay has just passed, but our attention should still strongly remain on the future of planet Earth. This is a plead to the big guys up in their leather chairs and fine wooden desks. Do more. We do our part. Experts say we have until 2030 to do something about climate change, so do something.

Harming our planet because it’s the cheapest way to carry out your business is not ethical. It’s too common. Use electric transport for delivery. Find an alternative for plastic packaging. Stop dumping in the seas and, in fact, control them. Use your excellent marketing and strategy teams to get us consumers involved in your movement.

Make a change to your business and save us.

Follow the socials…

#FollowTheFlock and get involved on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages! And remember, you #HerdItHere.

How Social is Social Media?

Featured

Does judgement, conflicts, selling a lifestyle, posting pointless images with unrelated song lyrics count as being social? Let me ask you a question. How many Instagram (or Twitter) followers do you have? For many, it’s well over 300. Out of those hundreds, how many do you actually know? How many do you actually interact with? If you’re answer is “not many”, or thereabouts, let me ask you one final question. Why do you want strangers to see your life? You’re not interacting with each other, I’m assuming you just want to be looked at. Is this being social or is this just a crave for attention? What was the original purpose of social media? It was to stay connected to friends and family, right? It was a way of keeping in touch without actually keeping in touch. It was essentially an update of your life. Let’s be honest, it’s not used for that anymore (or very rarely I should say). In this article, I’m not going to talk about how businesses use social media (that will come another time), but more how personal users sell their lifestyles on various platforms and how some misuse the channel.

What’s Changed?

Social media feels like it’s been around forever. I mean, what did we used to do when we were waiting around for something? What did we do when we were procrastinating at work? What did we do on long journey’s? It’s crazy to think social media has only been a ‘thing’ for little over a decade. But a lot has changed in its use in that time.

When platforms such as Facebook and Twitter first came around, we were given a purpose for them by the brands themselves. Facebook was supposed to be used to connect people globally. Twitter was more or less the same except it was more interactive, especially with celebrities (and such) being a lot more active and personal on this channel.

What’s changed is that people have let the ideology of being connected to the entire globe get to their head. The possibilities of what you can make out of this became endless. For those who realised that early on, they have become successful. They have created businesses and careers out of it (e.g. The LadBible and ‘Vine-ers’). But nowadays, everyone wants the same thing. They want to be seen. They realise the possibilities, so they’ll do anything for a like or a retweet. And ‘anything’ became worse and worse and continues to do so. People will embarrass themselves. Matter of fact, they will degrade themselves if it means they get seen. If you want an example, I have one word for you…TikTok.

What’s changed is that the users of social media have realised there’s no limit to what they can do or say on the channel. They almost get lost in it, like it’s detached from reality. It’s detached from reality because people can be whoever they want. Who says you have to use your real name? Or your own photo? Or your own thoughts? People can be massive on the socials but hidden in real life. People have actually forgotten that social media is a part of the real world.

This can cause trouble. I remember I got suspended in school for uploading a video of a kid singing a Peter Andre song and pranking another kid. I thought it was hilarious. But I forgot the people who were seeing this were real people, and some of those real people were people I had a professional relationship with (the students and teachers). But I was a kid, I learnt that lesson early. I see adults making similar mistakes. I saw someone on LinkedIn telling their life-story of how they got to where they were now, which is fair enough, but some of the content was not relevant for that platform. This lady was telling a lot about her personal life, focusing on her past relationships, on a platform where your professional credentials matter, not your personal matters. Something like this would stand out on LinkedIn because it is content which does not fit the purpose. It’s as if they are looking for the attention so they get views on their profile and likes on their post. Only businesses should live by the saying “any publicity is good publicity”, not people. You’re not getting the views for the right reasons. I highly doubt your future employers have a keen interest in your ex. I also highly doubt it’s doing you any favours.

People

People who use social media use it in a way to attract a certain audience. You’re behaving like a business. You want followers to see what you get up to but you don’t even care about them. You don’t care who see’s just as long as they see. You’ll behave like someone you’re not just to get them to see you. You will act like a completely different person online than you will in real life.

People will only show one angle (literally) of themselves. They only get their good side, and I’m not just talking about their selfies. In order to get them followers, to get that popularity and attention, people only show the best versions of themselves (if it is actually themself).

Does this effect people’s behaviour in real life? I feel like it might. I feel like there may be individuals who get so lost in this virtual world that they change their actual habits. They become this other person, one they prefer, so one they become.

Why?

I don’t know…

It could be years of media portrayal of the “ideal” person or lifestyle. It could be the vacuum we call the internet and the virtual world, which ironically could be seen as a disconnect rather than a connect to the real world. It could be something deeper than that.

DISCLAIMER

There are plenty of people who use the socials as a place for creativity, sharing new ideas, alternative news, fun, raising awareness and, it’s original purpose, connecting with family and friends. I respect the people who do that. They’re being positive and are taking advantage of such an impactful platform, rather than getting lost in it.

Here’s the Irony…

Follow the socials! (lol)

Comment below or share your thoughts using the hashtag #YouHerdItHere! And remember to #FollowTheFlock.