Through the use of motion capture and voice recognition technology, Sony hope to make advertising on television interactive and 'playable.' One such example in their patent proposal is a suggested advert for McDonalds, in which the user is prompted to say the word 'McDonalds' before the ad will disappear and viewing can resume.
Much as I relish the creativity of many of their efforts, I feel that this trend tells a worrying story both about the faltering attempts of business to redefine its place in the world and about our own need to grasp at almost anything to create meaning in our lives. In my book, we could do with rather more powerful stories at Christmas time. Any ideas?
It happens once a year, towards the end of November and has reared it's ugly head again. Black Friday depicts society in a vulnerable and selfish state. Yet we are all victims of it's success by flocking to the sales, hoping to pick up a bargain and will do anything to scoop the best deal by acquiring a state of the art plasma TV, fridge or pair of headphones.
The World War One Centenary is a time to reflect one of the biggest wastes of human lives in the 20th Century. Why it happened, the lives it destroyed and how future wars can be averted are important lessons for our age. The ceramic poppies at the tower of London - 888,246 of them, each representing an extinguished human life - formed the centre of many moving tributes across the country.
Forget the Grinch stealing Christmas. This year, it is a cute little penguin called Monty that not only steals the show, but also the hearts and minds of the UK populace (and softies everywhere). British department store John Lewis has done it again, with a £1 million commercial (US$ 1.5m) that tells the story of a boy and his penguin pal, on the search for a flippered mate.
There has been a lot written about happiness in the workplace recently - what it does for efficiencies, productivity, staff retention and loyalty. So I am not being entirely altruistic. I think if I succeed in creating a happy company I will probably deliver against the 'harder' objectives I get set every year far more easily.