News & Views

Most Contagious Exhibition

by Contagious Team

Some of the most impressive technological innovations from 2013 were showcased at the Most Contagious exhibition in King’s Place, London, yesterday. Situated next to the main hall, where this year’s report was brought to life by a host of extraordinary speakers, the installations ranged from connected clothing to device-sharing technology, courtesy of Orange Labs.

Taking pride of place in the main foyer was FleishmanHillard’s black box command centre. This tech platform monitored digital conversations throughout the day and displayed them as real-time visualisations. The audience could keep track of all reactions to speaker content in London. It also acted as a bridge to our New York event, so delegates could see who was causing a stir across the pond. 

One of the exhibition’s main draws was Oculus Rift, the virtual-reality headset that immerses viewers in a 360 degree experience. Delegates were shown two scenarios – the first a view of London from the roof of St Paul’s Cathedral, and the second, a fast-paced boat ride along the river Thames. The headset was primarily created for gaming purposes, but people were also encouraged to think of the enormous opportunity that it holds for experiential marketing.

An Arduino-powered Twitter dress, from Stockholm-based agency Deportivo, was also on display throughout the day. The outfit, originally created to give young people a voice in politics in Sweden, aggregates tweets and displays them on the material via embedded LEDs. There’s more information on that here. The agency also showcased the world’s first sweat machine, which turns human perspiration into clean, drinkable water. The device was created for UNICEF and the Gothia Cup, where 2,000 young footballers effectively drank their own sweat.

Amy Radcliffe’s ‘Scent-ography’ stand tested the power that smell can have on peoples’ emotional memory. A contraption, designed by Radcliffe, captured scents and stored them in a series of vials. This analog odour camera encouraged attendees to think of the power of smell when creating emotional marketing or nostalgic advertising.

And finally, no exhibition would be complete without the magic of Disney. As well as wowing the audience with a keynote presentation, Dr Ivan Poupyrev, principal research scientist at Disney Research Labs, presented Botanicus Interacticus. Using technology designed by Dr Poupyrev, this houseplant became an musical instrument, reacting each time it was touched by creating sounds. Check out this video to see how it works. 


Startup Initiative showcased Perch - projector-based technology designed to turn retail surfaces into interactive touchscreens. By registering interactions, the system recognised when attendees picked up shoes from a table, instantly popping up an interactive menu offering more info on the footwear or suggestions on how to wear them.

Immersive-content specialists Visualise were on hand to show how their 360-degree video content worked using virtual-reality headset Oculus Rift. Delegates who queued up for demo could experience a virtual base jump or, at a more sedate pace, a gentle tour of London from the vantage point of the London Eye.

Also letting people get hands-on with Oculus Rift was videogame and culture company Kill Screen, whose exhibition allowed people to virtually become a rampaging elephant.

Glass pioneers RoundarchIsobar's Mike DiGiovanni and Byte an Atom were on hand to showcase the latest software they'd developed for Google Glass, while attendees could get to try the wearable tech.

While Qeexo's Julia Schwarz was on stage discussing the future of human and tech interaction, in the exhibition space people could try out the company's Fingersense interface which can differentiate between a fingertip touch, a knuckle touch, etc. 

Finally, Most Contagious event-partner FleishmanHillard brought their legendary 'black box' command centre - a social media tracking and data visualisation tool which throughout the day analysed the chatter about the event at both venues, showing the most talked-about terms and highlighting some of the more influential tweeters.