Photographer Nigel Barker Helps Launch Dots Instagram

marketoninstagramDots, the mobile game inspired by connecting with over 20 million users, today begins a one week partnership with fashion photographer Nigel Barker to celebrate the launch of @iseedots on Instagram. Posting from Dot’s account @iseedots, Barker will share photos influenced by the theme of Dots and users of the game will be prompted to explore the collaboration.

Photos include shots Nigel has taken and personally selected that center around the concept of the game. Images of city skylines, bicycles, the fashion runway and other uplifting shots will make their way throughout the week to @iseedots. Please share this information.

Dots is played over 500 million times every month. Since its 2013 launch the game has received multiple awards and honors, including two Webby Awards.

Is this software like having a virtual “personal shopper?”


Visual recognition specialists Cortexica, based in London, developed cool software that replicates the way the human eye and brain work together to recognize patterns. This process, which has evolved over millions of years of evolution, is now little more than a smartphone camera click away. Half a million items of clothing, with full stockist details for potential purchasers, already sit on virtual clothes racks on Cortexica’s servers. Their technology takes and interprets photos of clothes on mannequins, catwalk models or people on the street and suggests similar or subtly different items. ShopStyle and Style Thief are among the leading brands that have already integrated this. A method which takes any photo of an outfit and recommends similar items, is taking the U.S. by storm. The unique FindSimilar software has been made publicly available ahead of the busy Christmas shopping season.

The software, created by Cortexica’s Vision Systems, uses FindSimilar software to mimic the way the brain processes images and finds similarities. A picture of a dress, a blouse or a shirt can be analyzed by the software which then delivers similar alternatives. Search results are based on a combination of pattern, style, color and overall design. This broadens choice and helps shoppers find items that are more affordable or simply closer to their personal taste. Several leading U.S. fashion services and retailers have shown interest in the technology which is being integrated into websites and mobile phone-based apps. Online fashion search engine ShopStyle has integrated the software into the new version of its free app while Style Thief’s, which relies entirely on images for search, has also integrated the software.

A shopper in a local mall could use such apps by simply taking a picture on their smartphone camera. A quick snap of a shop window mannequin, a magazine picture of an item of clothing, someone in the street or a catwalk model is all that’s needed to look for similar items which are then presented for potential in-app purchase.

Iain McCready, CEO of Cortexica, said: “Our benchmark for this software was to develop something intelligent and discerning enough to satisfy the Miranda Priestly’s of the world. We’re delighted that our technology has been so well received. For a retailer, having an app powered by our software is a bit like putting your own shop assistant into a competitor’s store.”

He added: “We all recognize that deep feeling of frustration after hunting for an item of clothing that we’ve seen or admired or the experience of finding something and wishing we could find a better or sometimes more affordable alternative. Our software is the answer to these perennial problems.”

The software will also enable shoppers to take visual clues from other sources such as wallpaper or color swatches and deliver matching results.

The Cortexica software is adaptable and able to learn over time. It mimics calculations made by the human brain when processing images. By doing so, the software finds visual key points of interest tied to patterns. The FindSimilar technology works with images and videos, opening up an array of opportunities with YouTube videos, Pinterest and Instagram images, and many more.

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The Moto X smartphone: We have consensus

UPDATE (Feb. 7, 2014): From one Fashion Week to another, changes are swift!

When I first wrote this article during Fashion Week (Sept. 2013), the Moto X smartphone by Motorola Mobility was a Google product. Well, right on schedule, Fashion Week’s rolled into town again (started yesterday, Feb. 6, 2014) and faster than you can say “last season”, the tech world was taken by surprise with the announcement about Lenovo taking over as the new parent company of Motorola Mobility.

If you were thinking of buying this phone but weren’t thrilled it was tied to Google, don’t be too quick to act on the “owned by Lenovo” fact, because the Moto X is still an Android phone. For this reason, it will always have ties to Google. Anyhoo, months later, we’ve got consensus on the phone itself from highly opinionated users. Here it is: The Moto X has good battery life, the price isn’t bad, and it’s got an innovative quick-access camera found on no other phone. The average pic quality created by the camera has gotten the most criticism so far. It’s a pity because it would be a great phone otherwise. Let’s see if Lenovo’s leadership will even bother with stuff like Fashion Week the way Google did. It’d more sensible if Lenovo would try to get a better camera into the Moto X if it gets refreshed, which I’m guessing it will.
Original report (Sept. 2013) is below:

tech technologyA few weeks ago, tech giant Google presented the American market with the Moto X smartphone, a compact phone by Motorola with 4G LTE, integration with your existing Google accounts, remarkable battery life, auto brightness for indoor and outdoor use, ultra-fast startup and twist-of-the-wrist access to the 10-megapixel ClearPixel camera with LED flash, voice commands, X8 architecture, unibody design, dual-core processor, 720p/316 ppi 4.7-inch AMOLED display, Google Now, Android Jelly Bean, 1.7GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, quad-core Adreno 320 GPU, and 2GB of RAM. The Moto X comes with exclusive bonuses like Moto Migrate for transferring files out of your old phone, and Motorola Connect to work with your Chrome browser.

Customizable look, cool features

The Moto X is coming to all major American carriers, namely AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular and T-Mobile. You can get it in 16 or 32GB models, and it comes in a rainbow of custom colors. Choose from 18 main colors, 7 accent colors, and 2 front plate colors. If you prefer, you can get it in a wood exterior, however you’ll need to wait because wood isn’t available before 4Q 2013. You can further customize the wallpaper and launch screen. For now, this customization is exclusive to AT&T via the Moto Maker web app, but after awhile other carriers will offer customization too. If you visit an AT&T store and ask to see the colors in person, someone will be glad to show you as well as walk you through the website where you can place your custom order. It will then be mailed to you.  photo moto-x-promotional.png Moto Maker allows you to design your own Moto X anytime you want, even from home. Or you can try the new promo called Moto Match which allows Facebook users to design a phone according to the color schemes of their favorite Facebook pictures.  Measuring 5.09 x 2.57 x 0.41 inches, the back of the MotoX is slightly curved for a nice hand feel. Another good thing is there’s no physical home navigation button which is characteristic of Motorola Android phones. The hands-free voice commands are another plus – It somehow recognizes your voice and ignores other voices and sounds as brand ambassador, Tierney, demonstrated.

Battery life of the Moto X is meant to impress

Engadget reported that even after a full day of heavy usage, the Moto X’s battery indicator reading was at 28 percent. It also has a battery saver mode, but from the many reviews I’ve read, it doesn’t sound like it’s even necessary because the phone is engineered to provide ample battery life right out of the box. The writers at Engadget go into detail about what they consider heavy usage, which is nice. finale event on Friday, September 13, 2013, 10PM

Throughout New York Fashion Week, whenever you see Moto X booths, you can play around with color and wallpaper combinations, add a signature, get a preview printout, and you’ll be prompted to enter your email to win tickets to the hip and chic closing festivities arranged by MADE and Motorola.  Use hashtag #MOTOxMADE on social media to keep up with the buzz. The creation booth also allows you to complete your custom Moto X order from the comfort of your own home via a later specific-to-you email. All you do is click if and when you’re ready to start the purchase process. You’re under no obligation to buy when you type your email into the booth. For the Sept. 13 MADE finale, one winner per day will be chosen for the duration of New York Fashion Week 2013.

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Good-looking smartphone cases for men, women and teens

Designer styles can make your protective case a little easier on the eyes. Here are two attractive new options to fuel your fun side.

Slickwraps expands The Case line of protective cases for the iPhone 5

Slickwraps’ Designer Series allows smartphone users to customize the look of their device with skins, while providing the durable protection of a hard case. There’s the psychedelic Cosmostache Case or the Moustache Party design to celebrate “Movember” (moustache month). Want more of an avant-garde style? Take a look at the artsy Cubist and Abstract Camo designs. “With our Designer Series, you get inspired designs made in-house, to give your case a truly unique look,” said Jonathan Endicott, Slickwraps CEO.

Key points about the Designer Series:

• Removable vinyl inserts for 360 degree protection
• In-house, custom designs for a one-of-a-kind look
• 1 mm lip for screen protection
• Textured rubber sides for ultimate grip
• Made in the USA! (Andover, Kansas)


Most styles will also include a front wrap and sidepieces to completely customize the iPhone 5. The Case itself has a one-millimeter front lip for screen protection, as well as textured rubber sides to enhance grip. Specializing in accessories and protective accessories for smart phones and other small electronics, Slickwraps™ is excited about even more new designs and styles in the coming months. Choose from 10 different styles in the Designer Series for the iPhone 5. Each sells for under $35 and they’re available now. Earlier this month, Slickwraps announced The Case as their first-ever hard-shell phone case. Visit for more gift ideas.

Vintage fabrics, trompe l’oeil textiles and hand drawn designs reflect the talent of fashion designer Amanda Valentine 

Griffin Technology announced its Designer Series cases for iPhone 5, featuring designs from Amanda Valentine. Valentine is a Nashville-based clothing designer and a former contestant Project Runway Season 11.

Born in Nebraska and a resident of Nashville for the past 7 years, Valentine creates designs that pay homage to her Midwestern upbringing. With a degree in Clothing, Textiles and Design, she learned the ropes of wardrobe styling in Los Angeles.

Her line of women’s apparel, Valentine Valentine, was further developed when she moved to Nashville. Ms. Valentine was invited to show a 12-piece collection during New York’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.


Inspired by her collection of vintage fabrics and hand drawn designs, the Valentine Valentine collection is an aesthetic marriage of international and pop cultures. Valentine’s new case series for Griffin includes hard, glossy shells in colors like Aztec Mod and Neon Fair Isle ($29.99) and a clear case with slim rubber lining featuring an exclusive hand drawn design, Pyragrid ($24.99). The collection is rounded out with a limited edition fabric sleeve for iPhone 5 with ribbon accents and a solid brass ring, titled Machu Picchu Punk ($49.99), after her Fall 2013 collection shown last February at New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Check out the Valentine Valentine case series, available now at

Griffin Designer Series artists earn a set amount for each case sold bearing their artwork, so customers can feel good knowing their purchase supports independent artists. Founded on Paul Griffin’s kitchen table in 1992, Griffin Technology Inc., is now a top creator of accessories for home, mobile, and personal technology. Unique products such as iTrip®, PowerMate®, iFM®, iMic® and Evolve® Wireless Speaker System have created loyal fans everywhere. Griffin products are conceived, designed and developed in-house and continue to push the envelope in the industry they helped create. Follow Griffin on Twitter at @griffintech

Disclaimer re: “quid pro quo” compensation (e.g., cash, product, etc) for this article: None received. Content included for site quality.

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