News & Views

Movember / Contagious NNW Workshop

by Contagious Team

Contagious teams up with Movember at Now Next Why on workshop exercise to dream up future-facing ideas to raise awareness about prostate and testicular cancer.

Web-connected mirrors that project moustaches onto bar goers in the bathroom. Giving people with hirsute top lips discounts at bars, using facial recognition. Moustache-controlled music. Two hundred and fifty attendees at Contagious' NNW event last week in London let their imaginations loose as part of an interactive workshop in collaboration with prostate and testicular cancer awareness charity Movember.

Contagious Insider senior consultant Ed White and Contagious Feed writer Chloe Markowicz introduced the workshop, which followed their presentation showcasing how gesture, voice, and touch-based interfaces would change communications. The two showcased cutting edge examples of wearable computers, projected interfaces and sense hacking from, respectively, design consultancy Berg's collaboration with Google, a Carnegie Mellon University research project called Armura and Disney Research.

Chloe and Ed then tasked attendees to come up with breakout ideas for the charity using technology showcased in their Beyond Screens presentation, before introducing Movember co-founder JC, who talked about the growth of the movement from the seed of an idea dreamed up in a pub to a global phenomenon. Co-founded by JC and three friends in Melbourne, Australia, Movember encourages men to grow a moustache for the month of November, raising money through sponsorship. In 2012 over 1.1 million people took part across 21 countries, raising more than £88 million for men's health.

Working in teams of ten, attendees collaborated to dream up disruptive ideas to promote the not-for-profit's aim of raising awareness of the disease among men. The teams used the thief and doctor technique - stealing and adapting the best bits of the Beyond Screens presentation to inspire them. 

Berg CEO Matt Webb then took to the stage to present the company's work with Ericsson, visualising network activity via a screen on a router, their stock ticker for your favourite content and social feed, Little Printer, and their near-future explorations with Google. The latter - Enchanted Objects - in which the pair explored the concept of Google bursting out of the web and into the real world.

Movember's pick:

Loyalty Mo
By Sav Evangelou, Kitcatt Nohr Digitas / Amanda Feeney, Nissan / Claire Tzialli, ZenithOptimedia / Caroline Frej, Ribena GSK 
Mo means deals. Facial recognition technology gives you discounts at stores, backstage passes at venues, and straight to bar privileges for moustache-sporters.

'This idea compliments Movember's passion to give a nod to Mo Bros throughout the month  by creating remarkable experiences and rewards' - JC Co-founder, Movember

... and the top four others:

Mo-rror, mo-rror
By Chris Tyas, The Marketing Store / Jenni Attardo, Freud Communications / Jeannie Wyness, Freud Communications / Sean Pritchard, Freud Communications / Jeremy Pounder, Mindshare / Sven Mastbooms, Seven Productions / Rachel Sunter, Independents United / Fredrik Holman, Activeark JWT / Stuart McAlpine, The Marketing Store / Gareth Butters, The Marketing Store
Mirrors to try before you grow. Facial recognition in bathrooms of popular bars detects people in front of the mirror. It then projects a moustache onto them, and the words: Try before you grow. Guys can then use their hands to flick left and right to try different types of moustaches out. You can even tend and care for your mo using gesture. Your hand can function as a razor, too, helping shape a moustache.

Mo to the VIP
By Hans Smets, Happiness Brussels / Bastien Van Wylick, Happiness Brussels / Rory Reynolds, NHS
The better the mo, the better the seat. Facial scanner sees whether bar goers have a 'tache. Using touch tech, you then feel for the seat that matches your top lip. The better and more luxuriant the 'tache you have, the better the seat you get. But how do you know which seat? Haptic technology. You go and feel the seats in the bar, which are fitted with technology to make them feel stubbly or luxuriantly hirsute. And of course the best seats are reserved for the moustachioed.

Growing guide
(let us know if you were in this group and we'll add your name!)
A projected how-to-grow guide. Internet connected mirror, as before, projected suggested moustaches onto your face. But as you grow it also helps you keep the mo tidy with a template showing you where to shave during the month.

Re-mo-te Control
By Jason Keet, Agency Republic / James Hodson, Agency Republic / Alistair Campbell, Agency Republic / Elisa Frediani, Leo Burnett
Control the music in bars by stroking your mo. Gesture recognition technology picks up moustachioed guys. It rewards these guys by allowing them to change tracks, and turn the volume up and down. How? Using gesture recognition: stroke your top lip to the left to turn it up, the other way to turn it down. Twisting both ends at the same time, say, would change track altogether. 

Photos by Jessica Bernard /