Getting an Autographer

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We’ve ordered an Autographer for the Brilliant Noise office. I’m really looking forward to trying it out.

Three main things I’m interested in…

  1. A new kind of camera: It will be great to experiment with the Autographer in situations where taking photos is difficult. I think especially of running – there are so many interesting scenes you come across when distance training (I’m about to start my 2014 marathon training) and stopping and using your phone can really disrupt your run. I think that it will be interesting to use it when speaking at conferences and capturing other moments where I’m usually focused on something else.
  2. Creating new kinds of stories: Documentally’s* inspired me a bit with his Autographer films earlier this year – like this one about a Storymaking event at the Guardian. It strikes me that there are all kinds of behind-the-scenes, day-in-the-life stories waiting to be told like this.
  3. Seeing how it works socially: In Documentally’s review of the Autographer he talks about both forgetting he was wearing the device and having to consciously make decision to turn the camera off…

I found myself suddenly and understandably concerned by the privacy of those around me. Another time was when I thought other peoples kids were identifiable in a playground.

What might happen when I walk through airport security and inadvertently break the law? What does all this mean for privacy in general?

Like every other piece of social technology we will need to invent the rules and behaviours for devices like this one. I’m curious about how it will feel and the questions it will prompt me to ask myself.

I’ll let you know how I get on…

* He’s actually called Christian Payne, but I always think of him as Documentally. 

Samsung’s massive ad spend

This year Samsung spent a lot on advertising.

US$14 billion.

To give you some perspective, Coca-Cola spent about US$2.5 billion in 2012, across all of its brands, globally.

Want some more perspective? US$14 billion is more than Iceland’s GDP and more than Google paid for Motorola, according to an article from Reuters, which goes on to suggest that Samsung is spending a lot, but not necessarily seeing a return. It quotes Oh Jung-suk, a business school professor at Seoul National University.

“Samsung’s marketing is too much focused on projecting an image they aspire to: being innovative and ahead of the pack. They are failing to efficiently bridge the gap between the aspiration and how consumers actually respond to the campaign. It’s got to be more aligned.”

Apple spends a fraction of Samsung’s budget (about US$1 billion). Horace Dediu, an Asymco analyst says the lower spend is down to product strength:

“The stronger, more differentiated the product, the less it needs to be propped up by advertising.”

We’ve heard that before, haven’t we? Designer Yves Behar said “Advertising is the price companies pay for being unoriginal.”

To borrow from football, you could say Samsung is trying to do a Man City rather than a Manchester United – short-circuiting its rise to tech brand royalty with brute force spend. Following that logic, it won’t be concerned with the odd frosty reception for product placement or sponsorship.