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Koichi Yamamoto’s blog: Quenching the ‘Innovations’ thirst @Cannes Lions

Koichi Yamamoto, Dentsu

The Festival has now officially begun but for those interested in the newly launched category of Innovation Lions, it was the second day of back to back presentations, which were being judged by the Innovations Lions jurors at the same time as delegates had the chance to see these presentations.

The second day Innovation Lions shortlist presentations began with Nekomimi by Dentsu, the world’s first neuro communication device. This is a pair of cat ears you wear on your head that shows your brain state, standing up when you are focussed and down if you’re relaxed. The jury seemed to be having fun trying these on.

Cinder was a great example of the wide scope of the Innovation Lions. An open source platform for creative coding that is used in multitudes of projects ranging from media art installations to brand experiences. Used not just by agencies and media artists but by many technology companies, including the sponsor of the awards, intel.

An example of innovation that went outside the domain of communication was the Natalia project by RBK Communication Stockholm. They presented an assault alarm system for human rights defenders at risk. Using this wristband, a human rights defender can let off an alarm to people who’ve signed on to the project through social medial. It was too bad they couldn’t discuss too much about technological details due to the nature of the project.

On the technological extreme, Ogilvy New York and IBM’s presentation of ‘A Boy and His Atom: The World’s Smallest Movie’ gave us an inside look into what it takes to move an atom (carbon monoxide in this case) and to film it. I was always wondering what those ripples were in the film and the fact that they are waves of electrons was revealed in the Q&A session that followed the presentation.

The final presentation of the category was the ‘Coca-Cola Small World Machines’. And it would be fair to be say that it was something closer to what we are used to seeing at Cannes Lions, but presented from a slightly different angle: the technology behind the device. Very interesting how they managed to film through an LCD screen by adapting the 3D video format, placing a blank image in every other frame so a camera behind the screen could film the person in front of the screen.

All in all, these were some truly exciting innovations from each and every one of the 25 shortlisted presenters. I don’t believe there was any one that failed to impress the jury, so it would be an anxious wait to see who the winners will be. There are many ways to look at innovation and this being a new category, we’ll have to wait to see what the jury decides, when the winners are announced on Tuesday.

The blogger, Koichi Yamamoto, is the General Manager, Global Planning Office at Dentsu