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Koichi Yamamoto’s blog: Here come the Innovation Lions @Cannes Lions

Koichi Yamamoto, Dentsu

There is still a day for Festival to officially begin but one of the first attractions this year,  presentations for the inaugural Innovation Lions, have already started. For those who don’t already know, this new awards category rewards technologies and innovations to a wide variety of domains, from apps, hardware, platforms, web services. There were 11 presenters on day one ranging from very high tech innovations to creative innovations using existing technology.

It was interesting to see many life saving innovations such as calendars serving as fire quenching blankets by Draftfcb Cape Town, to ambulances that emit radio signals to interrupt programs that drivers are listening to, instructing them to make way for ambulance before they hear the sirens, presented by Maruri Grey Guayaquil from Ecuador.

Of course there were also many entertaining innovations like a football that captures a ball’s point of view video by SapientNitro and Ballantine’s T-Shirt OS, a user programmable T-Shirt by Work Club/Media Monks. There was also an array of creating new experiences, such as the Vision Shift System from Dentsu that uses a head mounted display to create a realistic experience of living other people’s lives and TBWA Helsinki’s totally new way of window shopping.

Many innovations that promised significant returns both in branding and financial terms such as The Feed by Getty Images from R/GA London a way to feed in real time images of topics that become popular on social media post and PZU Drive by K2 Warsaw, a device that uploads telemetric data from cars to the cloud to create a new service for the insurance company.

In addition to the excitement of being exposed to the innovations, it allows the audience to get a rare glimpse into the jury process (the first for the festival) with each 10-minute presentation being followed by 10-minute Q&A. The questions often give new perspectives of looking at the innovation and the interaction between the jury and the presenters is often as inspiring as the presentations themselves.

Can’t wait to watch the 14 presentations coming up tomorrow on June 16, 2013 when the Festival officially kicks off…

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