The Next Step In Breaking Down Physical And Digital Barriers

The Next Step In Breaking Down Physical And Digital Barriers

You can always count on technology to change the game. Technology is disruptive by nature and forces everyone to adapt; the quicker you can, the better you’re off. We all know that information technology is taking off and that the mobile world is changing our day to day lives. It is slowly but surely blurring the digital world with the physical one, especially when it comes to virtual reality. When you see these technologies begin to pop up, you can start to see where the trend is going. Though many industries can benefit from this technology, advertising, gaming, and education will benefit the most. With their adoption of game dynamics, these content enriching platforms can really help us cross the digital/physical and virtual/real barriers. The age of meta-data has surely arrived.

Barriers are breaking down. QR codes and NFC chips are changing the mobile information game by helping us bring our phones deeper into our physical world. Though the possibilities have not been nearly exhausted, I am really excited about the recent developments in other technologies. We now have more opportunities and mediums to break down the physical and digital barrier.

The Next Step

-Google Googles & Other Visual Mobile Apps

Google Googles have been around for some time now but the new HTC ad campaign is bringing more attention to it. Google Googles, prior to this, has been predominantly known as a way to “search” by taking a picture of something rather than typing the information in a search box. At the end of the HTC ad, the Google Googles icon appears, signaling the user to take a picture of the screen. The application will then recognize the HTC video as an image and directs you to supplemental online content. We have now taken the supplemental content strategy away from physical text and chips to the moving picture. Are we seeing the start of a movie within a movie? Think of the directing and gaming applications with the multiple perspectives. Inception anyone?

-Shazam & Other Audio Mobile Apps

This technology has got me excited. For a while we have come to love Shazam and the ability to “tag” songs we hear but don’t know it’s title or artist. By simply holding up our phones and letting it process the audio information, the recording is sent to a cloud database that matches it with a known song, thus recognizing it and retrieving the song title information and artist. A fantastic technology I agree but just the tip of the iceberg. 

Shazam has recently begun partnering up with television stations and companies to give the opportunity of providing enriched audio content. Using the same “audio tagging” technology, once a television show indicates that the “Shazam” feature is available, users will be able to “tag” the audio. Think about that. While watching your favorite TV show, your phone will sync to the show’s audio, recognize it, and bring you to richer, supplemental information. Now just think of its other applications. Imagine during certain emergencies, a siren could be assigned to custom information and localized instruction. During a live band performance, new and interesting content can be delivered to enhance the show; not to mention the possibilities with virtual and physical “check-ins” as well. In my mind nothing better communicates the possibilities than Grey’s Anatomy’s iPad app, Grey’s Gabble. Check out the video and see what I mean.


Nintendo has often been been at the cusp of gaming technology and though not well received at this year’s E3 conference, I think it’s a theoretical game changer. With its own tablet, you are essentially playing with two screens. You’re gaming experience has now left the confines of a single screen. You are now working on multiple screens, with multiple sets of data, and in multiple worlds, using the physical space around you and your motions to interact with the game. Think of this tablet as a way to “see” past the traditional “window” on the TV screen. This technology boarders virtual reality. A single physical space can now mean multiple digital/physical worlds. A far cry from Star Trek’s holodeck but it is a step in the right direction. Check out the WII U promotional video here.


The worlds of digital, mobile, virtual, gaming, and physical are blurring. Game dynamics are being applied to mobile advertising by implementing the tools mentioned. Video gaming is slowing leaving the notion of “video” all together. With all this information constantly being fed to the cloud, our phones will only get smarter and our supplemental content deeper and richer. With that being said, what happens to our concept of space once the lines become indistinguishable?


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One response to “The Next Step In Breaking Down Physical And Digital Barriers”

  1. galaxy cinema says :

    When done well and with less dependency on horrible effects, it can bring it back to the future-the year 1985.
    You’ll be able to speak to someone in a real world way and reaping the benefits on a purely emotional level. Over time he learns to love again and then find a way to watch.

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