Daniel Eckler, is  the Director of Digital / Innovation @ Anomaly.
Find Daniel online at Twitter and Medium.
See Daniel’s picks for Take Five below.

Jonathan Keats
I discovered Jonathan Keats through Jargon Watch @ Wired. Two hours deep into an internet hole later, and I’d learned that he is a conceptual artist whose incredible works include:

copyrighting his mind (claiming that it was a sculpture that he'd created, neural network by neural network, through the act of thinking) and selling futures contracts on his brain in an IPO; attempting to genetically engineer God in a laboratory; and opening a photosynthetic restaurant where plants enjoy gourmet sunlight.

Nanit - Baby Monitor

Whenever I’m explaining computer vision to someone, my go to example is the Nanit Baby Monitor. There are lots of other applications of AI in market, but Nanit is well-packaged for non-tech consumers, and solves such a common pain point, that it’s easy for people quickly grasp the potential of the technology. 

From here I follow up with a quick note about the Industrial Revolution’s “electrification” of our civilization, and Artificial Intelligence’s emerging “cognification”, and I hope I’ve sparked enough interest for the person to dive deeper into the topic.

Richie’s Plank Experience
Similarly, when I’m introducing someone to virtual reality for the first time, I always start with Richie’s Plank Experience. Before I tried VR, I often heard the example of walking up to a cliff with a headset on, and having your knees buckle even though you know the experience isn’t real.

While there is lots of good VR content out, most of it borrows too heavily from current film/gaming paradigms and ends up feeling more like witnessing than experiencing. In addition to 6x9, Richie’s Plank is the best experience I’ve had that leverages the medium’s power to immerse someone in another environment to the degree that you leave feeling like you’ve lived it.

Kanye West - The Life of Pablo
I’m always fascinated when a legacy format maintains its original properties despite moving onto a new technology/platform. 22 minute TV shows, eBooks, and albums are all good examples of this.

So it was exciting to see Kanye take advantage of the new opportunities that digital streaming offers with The Life of Pablo, treating his album more like a technology product, and in his words create a “living, breathing, changing creative expression.” Read more on this @Slate.

Compared to Uber, this 10 year old car sharing company looks antiquated. Today, it’s easy to forget that Car2Go pioneered a new and extremely important method of urban transport.

And while their future is uncertain, I very much commend their past. For a legacy company the size of Daimler AG / Mercedes to not only launch a succesful new model with the Smart Car (the only vehicle to be included in the MoMa’s collection while still in production), but also follow up a few years later and totally reinvent urban transport, is extremely impressive, and a great lesson to more traditional companies seeking innovation.