Air France Mobile App Unlocks Music Tracks Hidden in the Sky

Air France: Music in the Sky

If you’re at an airport and you notice people their iPhones up at the sky, they might not be taking pictures of the clouds. They just might be unlocking music hidden in the sky by Air France.

The Music in the Sky app enables it’s users to find, unlock and collect dozens of music tracks from a playlist of established and emerging artists. The tracks curated by Air France Music are different depending on which country you are currently located. The sky here in Canada contained tracks from artists including Fleet Foxes, Lana Del Ray, Feist, Kanye West and many more.

Simply point the iPhone up to the sky or ceiling, (it uses the built-in gyroscope to detect the angle of the phone) and scan around until you locate one of the floating music notes. Zero-in on the music note until you’re ‘locked-on’ to it. The track will then be unlocked and added to the playlist in the app, available to you to stream at anytime.

The Music in the Sky app was developed by BETC Paris.


Lapland Tourism App Shows You the Northern Lights Wherever You Are

Laplication - Northern Lights app

I’ve never been fortunate to visit the Canadian arctic (but it’s definitely on the bucket list), but I’ve been still been lucky enough to have experienced the Northern Lights on their rare appearances here in the south and eastern parts of Canada. The experience of watching the green ribbons dance across the northern sky was otherworldly and overwhelming.

Thanks to the folks at ‘Only in Lapland‘ – a site promoting tourism to the northern region of Finland – anyone can have the Northern Lights available to them at any time. Simply download the Laplication app, and point your iPhone (or iPad) at the sky or the ceiling and you’ll see the ghostly green and blue shapes dance above you. The app uses the smartphone’s compass and gps to show you how far away you are from Lapland.

The app also allows you to ‘Lapify’ your existing photos by applying filters such as Midnight Sun, Aurora Borealis, or Polar Light.

The Laplication app was created by SEK & GREY, and is available free in the iTunes app store.


MusicBunk promotes Music Discovery App by Tossing Vinyl Records

Musicbunk Vinyl Toss Viral4 friends of Pasadena agency Conscious Minds spent two days tossing vinyl albums onto a turntable in order to capture the successful landings you see in the video. The stunts are reminiscent of Ray Ban ‘Never Hide’ video from 2007 (5.1 million views) or Levi’s ‘Jeans Jump’ clip from 2008 (almost 8 million views).

The video went unbranded for a week, but now has been revealed as a promotion for MusicBunk. MusicBunk is an app that helps find out who likes the same music you do and connect with them to share songs and playlists.

While a few people will be shocked by the vinyl abuse, but anyone who’s visited a flea market or swap meet knows there’s enough scratched up vinyl to play around with.

The MusicBunk app is available for iPhone and Android.


Lufthansa’s Anywake App Gives Sleepy Swedes a Winter Wake-Up Call

Lufthansa Anywake AppIf there’s one thing those of us who live in northern countries can relate to it’s the struggle of waking up in the darkness of winter morning. I’m an admitted snooze button abuser, especially in the winter. Lufthansa released the Anywake app to make the dark mornings a bit brighter for sleepy Swedes by waking them up to the sounds of another city.

Anywake works like a normal smartphone alarm clock app; you set your waking time before you go to sleep and in the morning you’re woken up to the sounds of a randomly selected city.

If you can figure out which city it is within 60 seconds, you’ll win a discount on a Lufthansa flight to that destination. If you can’t solve the challenge, you’ll have to wait until the next day. But at least you’ll be wide awake and mildly frustrated, which is a great way to start the day.

Anywake was developed by DDB STockholm and is available free in the iPhone App Store and Android Market.

Krispy Kreme’s ‘Hot Light’ app Tracks Fresh Supply for Donut Fans

Krispy Kreme Hot Light Mobile AppBefore 2001, Krispy Kreme donuts were a much sought after contraband in this area. We would seek out the glowing ‘Hot Now’ lights at locations in the Buffalo area before arriving back home with a fresh supply of the soft, warm sugar-glazed treasures for ourselves and closest friends. Eventually Krispy Kreme would open several locations in Canada before dwindling to just the 4 that are left in Ontario and Quebec.

Now with the ‘Hot Light’ mobile users can receive alerts when a nearby Krispy Kreme location has the a fresh supply of donuts. After learning that nearly 30 per cent of its web site and social media traffic was coming in by smartphones they worked with their ad agency Barkley to create the app. Users can search for nearby active Hot Lights or choose when and how often they’d like to get alert notifications.

According to Mark Logan, VP of Digital Innovation at Barkley, “If you’re a fan of Krispy Kreme, you know how powerful that Hot Light is. It’s such a strong brand icon. We wanted to find a way to extend its reach.”

The app can be downloaded in the iPhone app store or the Android Marketplace.

Note: the app only works with participating U.S. locations.

SAS Releases ‘The Time Killer’ App for Customers of Other Airlines

Scandinavian Airlines Time Killer appMost of the time when a company releases a mobile app it’s to provide an important utility to their customers (or it should be). Scandinavian Airlines have gone the other way and have launched ‘The Time Killer’ app for people who are ‘not’ flying Europe’s most punctual airline. The app provides activities for customers of the other airlines as they kill time waiting for their delayed flights.

The games in the app include:

  • ‘Spin the Hamster’, turn your iPhone around in circles in order for the hamster to run around it’s wheel
  • ‘Follow the Footsteps’, pull down on footprints to see how far you can walk
  • ‘Hold That Thought’, place your fingers on the thought bubble and reflect for as long as you can
  • ‘Blow the Propeller’, blow into the phone’s microphone to make the propreller spin

Each game tracks your scores as you go, saving it in the high scores section. It’s all fun and pointless and that’s just the point. If you would have booked with Scandinavian Airlines you would already be in the air enjoying an an adult beverage and not sitting back in the departure lounge ‘spinning the hamster’ (yes, I just typed that).

Unfortunately when it comes to booking an SAS flight through the app the experience breaks down a bit. The link takes the user to the SAS home page where the unfun begins.

First: it’s not a mobile site. Why in the world would you not create a mobile app and not take the user to a mobile-friendly site to book a flight?
Second: Why do you need me to identify which country I am accessing the site. Why not ask me to share my location back in the app and append that information to the site URL? Even if I don’t share my location, at least give me a better way to identify my country of origin on your site. Redirect me to a mobile friendly landing page where I can select my country from a drop down. Or, detect my country and ask me to confirm. Arghhhhhh!

The site is fun for a few minutes, shows that Scandinavian Airlines has a sense of humour and does do a good job at illustrating the key message about it being a punctual airline.

‘The Time Killer’ app can be downloaded for free in the iPhone App Store.

L’Oreal Men Expert Knows What He Likes in the Perfect App

L'Oreal Men The Expert AppAnyone in my office will tell you that when I pretend to shave using my iPhone it’s absolutely hilarious. Now, thanks to the L’Oreal Men Expert app I now have an app featuring an electric razor, but also a hair dryer both featuring real-ish sound effects.

Useless yet fun apps have been around as long as the iPhone itself. My iPhone contains the iBeer app, Waterford Crystal’s Clink Clink app or the Zippo Virtual Lighter. I love to play with these apps… in public. Yes, friends… I am ‘that’ guy.

Besides the electric razor and hairdryer the app also contains and even more useless steamy mirror. On the more useful side the app also contains a rundown of the whole line of L’oreal Men Expert products and includes an offer for a Free Sample 10ml of Moisturizer.

The campaign is being driven by a series of tongue-in-cheek videos posted on The Expert YouTube page. The first video in the series featured instructions on how to create the perfect profile picture. One glitch in the campaign is that both videos and the app include prominent links to a Facebook page where The Expert will answer questions. However, the Facebook page is missing in action. A spokesperson posted on the YouTube channel explaining that Facebook has been having problems. This is every client’s worst nightmare, that a crucial piece of an expensive ad campaign is not ready to be deployed or a problem has developed on a platform out of their control.

The L’oreal Expert App can be downloaded in the Apple iTunes store now.

Exploring the Cosmos With Bjork’s Biophilia App

Bjork - BiophiliaWhether you enjoy Bjork’s music or not, you do have to appreciate her creative ambitions and refusal to follow the tried and true. And please shut the hell up about the swan dress, that was nearly 10 years ago. Musically though, I’m still partial to Bjork’s earlier solo albums like Post and Homogenic and Vespertine, but her more recent experimental projects like Medúlla and Volta still hold a spot in my music library.

Back in June I posted that Bjork was set to release her new project, album, collection (what the heck do you call these things anyway?) Biophilia as 10 iPad apps within a mother app.

On June 19, the Biophilia mother app was released in the App Store. The opening interface works as a 3-dimensional view of the a Bjork cosmos. Each of the 10 tracks appears within that cosmos and can be found by swiping and rotating the 3D constellations.

The Biophilia app can be downloaded for free and comes with the ‘Cosmogong’ installed. The app features an animated introduction to the concept of Biophilia featuring the voice of David Attenborough. This track explores creation myths and explains that the big bang theory may be this civilization’s creation story. This might be more fun if you could dance to it.

Previews of the track Crystalline have been played on the web for a few weeks now, and now it appears here as the first app/track for in-app purchase. Crystalline can be played as a scrolling interactive stream or as a game, collecting crystals as the user navigates through 3D tunnels by tilting the iPad.

It should be interesting to see the creativity that Bjork and her creative team explore in the other 8 apps. If you’re a Bjork fan without an iPad, don’t fret. The songs will be released as a traditional digital and physical album on September 27th.

The Biophilia app can be downloaded for free from the Apple App store, each of the tracks, or individual apps can be downloaded for $1.99 as they become available.

Biophilia was designed by MSM (Paris) and produced and engineered by Scott Snibbe Studio.

MealSnap for iPhone: A Picture Is Worth 1000 Calories


Using your smartphone to capture an image of your meals is one of the most common clichés of social media oversharing. Naysayers are always eager to say, “Why should I care what people have for breakfast”.

If you’re taking pictures of what you eating anyways, then MealSnap from Daily Burn can help you out by estimating the number of calories you’re about to consume (or have already consumed). Daily Burn produces other smartphone apps for health and exercise tracking including an app to scan food packaging barcodes to access their nutritional information.

I was skeptical when I first heard about MealSnap back in April. Could it really identify the food I was eating from just a smartphone picture. I grabbed a few photos of some past meals to see what kind of results MealSnap would give me. I included a stack of pancakes with blueberries, a burger and fries and a slice of pepperoni pizza. Not exactly a snapshot of a healthy lifestyle, but I can assure you these were not eaten on one day.

The MealSnap database of 500,000 food items identified the breakfast as pancakes and the blueberries (601-902 calories). It also did a great job of self-identifying the burger and fries, even the ketchup (454 -681 calories). The pepperoni pizza was identified too (198 – 297 calories). A quick check over at profile suggested that these estimate were in the neighbourhood.

So, what is MealSnap good for? It does make a good food journal. If a person is looking to change their eating habits, one of the first things they should do is create a food journal of what they are eating now. MealSnap makes this process relatively effortless, and with a brief description to the image you can improve it’s accuracy with calories.

I’m still amazed that the image recognition works at all. MealSnap is available in the App Store for $2.99

SocialGuide is Your Social Media-fueled TV Guide

Social Guide iPhone App

It should come as no shock to anyone who watches live TV events such as the The Oscars or weekly shows like Glee or Mad Men, that viewers are using both the internet and the TV at the same time. Increasingly that internet time is being taken over by mobile devices (smartphones & tablets) rather than a traditional computer.

Neilson and Yahoo revealed that 86% of mobile phone users use the internet on their device while watching TV. Of those people, 33% were using mobile apps, 37% were browsing the internet and 40% were interacting with their friends on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Checking-in on TV shows

Applications such as GetGlue, Miso and Into_Now have been launched to allow users to ‘check-in’ to TV shows in the same way that they can check-in to real-world venues using Foursquare or Gowalla.

One of the latest apps to cater to these Internet/TV multi-taskers is Social Guide, recently included in Time Inc.’s 10 NYC Startups to Watch.

How SocialGuide Works

Unlike the other media check-in apps listed above, SocialGuide works like a Social Media- fueled TV Guide. Like any interactive TV Guide it first identifies your local cable company. (The application is US-only, so I used DISH Buffalo as my default).

Users can choose to view all shows in each time period or filter them by Regular Series, Reality, Movies, Sports and News. The shows are listed in order by how many mentions are being shared through Twitter and Facebook (I only saw Twitter posts in my time using the app). All the tweets mentioning the show are visible in the default view, or they can be further filtered by Friends and tweets by the Cast.

If you are just interested in which shows are being discussed the most, then SocialGuide will help you out. It’s amazing (maybe shocking) to see just how many people are posting comments on a Sunday morning while watching Spongebob Squarepants, iCarly or Yes to the Dress.

SocialGuide is available for iPhone and Android.