Ikea adds smartphone apps and augmented reality to its newest catalog

Ikea prints 211 million copies of its product catalog every year. That’s more than 20 times the population of Sweden, the home of the build-it-yourself furniture empire. These are impressive numbers for a print catalog in a digital world, but Ikea is now changing with the times with a head-first dive into augmented reality.

“A lot digital stuff becomes very interesting when you mash it up with the tangible items of the real world,” said Andreas Dahlqvist, Global Deputy Chief Creative Officer of McCann, the creative agency behind the catalog.

Augmented reality features will roll out in the 2013 edition of the print catalog, which will arrive in customers’ mailboxes later this month. Amid pictures of Expedit bookshelves and Boksel tables, Ikea fans will see special printed symbols, each an invite to launch new iPhone and Android smartphone apps for an augmented reality experience.

When you wave your smartphone over pages with digital content, a variety of features appear.

 

Source: Wired Gadget Lab – Ikea’s Augmented Reality Catalog Will Let You Peek Inside Furniture

 

 

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Google Maps adds bike routes for Europe, Australia – take a trip through the Swedish countryside!

Back in 2010 we added biking directions for users of Google Maps in the US and Canada. Helping cyclists navigate the bike trails throughout those countries proved hugely popular, so we’re wheelie excited to announce that starting today, we’ve also added extensive biking data to Google Maps for Austria, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In many of these countries we are also enabling biking directions in beta mode.

We know how popular cycling is in many parts of the world, so we wanted to include as much bike trail data as possible to provide efficient routes, allow riders to customize their trips, make use of bike lanes, calculate rider-friendly routes that avoid big hills and busy roads and to customize the look of the cycling map to encourage people to hop on their bikes. So that’s exactly what we’ve done.

If you’re keen to start riding into work, or maybe just do your bit for the environment by swapping your car for a bike a couple of days a week, biking directions can help you find a convenient route that makes use of dedicated bike lanes and avoids hills whenever possible.

 

Source: Google Lat Long Blog – Biking directions expands into Europe and Australia

Sweden leads the world in Heavy Metal bands

In Flames

 

Sweden has most heavy metal bands per 100,000 inhabitants. According to Metal-archives.com, it’s Scandinavia in general and Sweden in particular that has the most heavy metal bands in the world. According to their study there are 53.2 metal bands per 100,000 inhabitants in Sweden.

Joacim Cans, singer in the metal band HammerFall, is not surprised. He points at death metal (death metal is an extreme subgenre of heave metal music) and its so-called “Gothenburg sound” as a possible explanation.

Cans believes that bands such as In Flames and Opeth have inspired younger generations of metal musicians to create their own bands. “When a music style becomes world leading, then young people listen and want to do the same thing themselves. It reverberates.”

Cans also believes that the prerequisites for musicians and bands are especially good in Sweden. “In the US it’s very expensive to rent a rehearsal studio. In Sweden we have the municipal school of music, where you can learn to play an instrument at no cost at all.”

via Nordstjernan

 

// Photo via Nirazilla

Historical Photos of European Royalty (1910-1915)

Enjoy the photos and make sure to check out the series: Historical Photos

Countess Nada Torbay (England)

 

Princess Friedrich Karl of Hesse (Germany)
Crown Princess of Rumania
St. Patrick's Welcome to Cardinal Farley

 

Maharaja of Bikaner (India)
Vice Admiral Rokuro Yashiro (Japan)

Wikipedia – V. Admiral Yahsiro

Prince Leopold of Belgium

 

Prince Leopold of Belgium
Guard at the Eiffel Tower, at right a wireless station (radio) being built.
The 1912 Summer Olympic Games in Stockholm, Sweden. Shows (left to right) Prince Wilhelm of Sweden and Norway (1884-1965), Duke of Sïdermanland; Crown Prince Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden (1882-1973) with their father King Gustav V.

 

Marjorie Ficken

 

Princess Mary of England

 Photos courtesy of the Library of Congress Archives

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