Serendipity: making happy discoveries, a very good coincidence, often leading to something really awesome (source: urban dictionary). I learned the word years ago when I stumbled happily into Sri Lanka, which the Arabs had dubbed Serendib, putting the island on the world map and setting translators an un-serendipitous task.

I rarely find out about goods and services by chance. Everywhere media means someone is always discovering stuff and sharing with me and the rest of their digi-mates.

I am therefore delighted to have personally uncovered a toy with an unanticipated use of technology and some creative types stretching the same tech in another way with a cinema commercial.

Santa had a PS3 in his sack for young Wobbly, with matching 3D monitor. I think 3D is an OK cinema gimmick not really suited to home entertainment. However with games it’s not about semi-holographic Black Ops but what the technology does for driving games. Normally if I want be competitive dad in two-player mode on Gran Turismo, we each have to share the screen 50/50, top and bottom. The new monitor is alternating images and the 3D glasses let us both view 100% of the screen. I see my version of the track and the little fella sees his, magic.

If you’ve seen the Hobbit in cinema 3D and arrived with a supersize-max-drink in time for the reel of ads, you will have seen one for Women’s Aid, the anti-domestic violence charity. Wearing 3D glasses, if you close one eye you see a women in a happy kitchen, close the other instead and you’ll see a traumatic version. This is a bit clumsy but still a great idea and deserving of the oxygen of publicity.

Less happily I tripped over some hype about yet another holographic technology. The Z Space display is in serious need of being let loose for some other people to play with.

Text (SMS) was released into the wild before anyone had a killer use for it. Techies told us people would use Sky+ to pause a TV programme when the phone rang or someone came to the door. People showed us they could pre-record commercial TV and skip through the ad-filled interruptions to their favourite shows.

Lessons for us all, maybe techies and related experts just aren’t best placed to judge what people really want to play with. This includes those working in agencies where the outcomes they have pre-determined for their clients include any of the following, branded apps, advertising engagements, conversational customers, social interruption or second/third screening.

At work and play I am hoping for a techendipitous 2013 and beyond.

Opinionated Idiocy of the Week: don’t assume people using another screen are doing anything related to what’s currently on the main one?

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