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9/11 boat lift, “Pit People,” Norman Doors and much more …

What We're Reading

Welcome to another edition of What We’re Reading, Marxent’s weekly series featuring staff members highlighting the best articles, videos, music and more they saw over the prior 7 days. This week, those finds included stories from Vox, Harvard Business Review, YouTube and many more. Up first, it’s …

The Best Thing We Read This Week …

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. While the date now prompts annual remembrances of that fateful day, Quality Assurance Analyst Ang Boehmer found herself fascinated by a lesser-known story about the tragedy: the massive boat lift that evacuated people trapped in lower Manhattan to the relative safety of New Jersey. The above video (narrated by Tom Hanks) tells the story of the boat lift, which saw about 200 boats move 500,000 people in what was and is the largest Maritime evacuation in history. The boat lift was a great example average citizens rallying together after the tragedy, as the majority of boats that answered the Coast Guard’s call were owned by normal people who just wanted to help.

The Best Game We Played This Week …

Marketing Creative Director Joe Johnson has been on the road this week, with his travels taking him to Seattle for the annual PAX West show. Focused on video games, Pax has become an industry leader since founding in 2004. So what caught Joe’s eye? He returned with one solid recommendation: “The best game I got to play was Pit People: weird, clever, and legitimately funny, this game is a delicious layer cake of well executed strategy, action, and RPG mechanics, frosted with Behemoth’s trademark art style and a narrator voiceover that had me saying WTF repeatedly.”

The Best Thing We Wrote This Week …

North Face VR Experience

Senior Project Manager Tim Sandlund is back for the second week in a row with a piece on mixed commerce. This one outlines 3 ways retailers are already using mixed to transform the shopping experience. Examples include Canadian Tire, which is trying out stores with hundreds of digital screens (many of them interactive), IKEA, which has AR and VR tools available to shoppers, and others. It’s a fascinating look at the future of retail shopping, and a warning that that future is already here.

And we added a new entry in our How We Got Here series, this one profiling Joe Bardi, Marxent’s resident news-hound, movie critic and frazzled parent who also goes by the official title of Senior Content Strategist. (He’s also writing this post right now. Hell of a guy, that Joe Bardi!) You can check out the rest of the How We Got Here series here.

But Wait, There’s More …

Sales Director Marcus Athari saw this article on boosting self-confidence come across his Twitter feed, and he was suddenly filled with the confidence to share it with the rest of the world. Why? “It’s good, simple advice to elevate your spirits and confidence,” he says. Simple and effective.

McDonalds is testing an Augmented Reality Monopoly app in Australia — can a U.S. release be far behind?

We spend a lot of time working on user interface (UI) design, but what if the new UI is no UI at all? It’s an idea that caught the eye of Concept Artist Carlo Spagnola.

Oculus, the company behind the Rift VR headset, can add a new trophy to the mantel: The company picked up the first ever Emmy award for a VR short film.

Sales Director Jeff Morrow has been reading up on the ways Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are being adopted by retailers and other businesses, which included articles in the Harvard Business Review and LinkedIN.

Do Apple’s future plans include Virtual Reality? The new camera in the iPhone 7 could be Apple’s way of stealthily entering into the space.

And Finally …

Bad doors are everywhere! Don’t know what we mean? Check out the above video, which explores the concept of “Norman Doors,” named for author Don Norman.Senior Engineer Jeff Cowgill is currently devouring Norman’s recent book The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition, which goes on at length about the subject of bad doors.

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