on air | the Super Bowl: commercial series on mobile pioneers

feature: with Ray Kurzweil
November 10, 2018

                        MOBILE PIONEERS       

agency: Crispin, Porter + Bogusky
campaign: innovators
director: Wayne McClammy
media: television featurette
client: Best Buy co.
host: National Football League
venue: Super Bowl no. 46
year: 2012


quote | stars of mobile phone tech

We realized Silicon Valley inventors are today’s rock stars. We’re thrilled to have a stage as significant as the Super Bowl football game to showcase all that Best Buy has to offer in its shops and on the web.

Best Buy’s big game commercial was created by agency CP+B and directed by Wayne McClammy. It was shot in 6 locations across 3 countries.

Shawn Score

President | mobile division
at Best Buy co.

on the web | pages

Best Buy | home
Best Buy | education

vignettes | featured in the commercial

Inventors who pioneered the mobile phone + its applications.

  1. Ray Kurzweil — inventor: pioneer of speech-to-text + text-to-speech computer software
  2. Philippe Kahn — engineer: pioneer of the camera phone | visit
  3. Neil Papworth — engineer: pioneer of short text messaging on computers + mobile | visit
  4. Daniel Henderson — engineer: pioneer of video sharing on computers + mobile | visit
  5. Kevin Systrom — co-founder: Instagram co. for mobile photo sharing | visit
  6. Jim McKelvey — co-founder: Square co. for mobile payments | visit
  7. Chris Barton + Avery Wang — co-founders: Shazam co. for song identification | visit
  8. Paul Bettner + David Bettner — co-creators: designers of mobile game Words with Friends | visit

                                        VIDEOS  SET        

video | no. 1
mobile phone pioneers

video | no. 2
mobile phone pioneers

video | no. 3
featurette: Phillipe Kahn

                            SECTION on RAY KURZWEIL        

featured: Ray Kurzweil
pioneering inventions: text-to-speech  +  speech-to-text

Inventor, futurist, and best selling author Ray Kurzweil — was an early developer of software + hardware technology we might not see, but we use each day inside our smart-phones and smart-assistants that respond to our spoken voice. Ray pioneered the first large-vocabulary speech recognition system.

His computer software was able to listen to your voice, and type in print what you said. Beyond transcription, this tech evolved into the kinds of tools we use today: when we talk to automated customer service bots on the phone. Or when we talk on digital devices to virtual people: like Siri (by Apple co.), Alexa (by Amazon co.), and Cortana (by Microsoft co.). His system was capable of understanding a big compendium of words and phrases. Ray Kurzweil’s software is now integrated into well-known products from Nuance co.

Also — vice versa — Ray Kurzweil made a hardware + software system that used a scanner: it could “see” the words on the page, pull them off the printed page, then read them aloud in a human-sounding voice. This system was known as the “reading machine for the blind.” For the first time, you could put a book or printed document down on the light scanner, and the machine would index all of the words on the page — and then read them back to you aloud.

The reading machine used a technique called pattern recognition. The software was taught to pick-out the patterns of letters, numbers, words, phrases — and then read them aloud.  So that even a blind, dyslexic, or low vision person — could actually read their own mail and books.

Iconic television journalist Walter Cronkite used the Reading Machine for the Blind to read aloud his signature daily sign-off: And that’s the way it was — January 13, 1976. That was the day the reading machine was announced to the public.

photo | no. 1

about: Ray Kurzweil with the Reading Machine for the Blind
detail: close-up of the full machine
year: 1976

photo | no. 2

about: Ray Kurzweil with his invention the Reading Machine for the Blind
detail: close-up of the internal scanner for printed books, letters, reports, periodicals
year: 1976

photo | no. 3

about: Ray Kurzwel with television journalist Walter Cronkite + the Reading Machine for the Blind.
detail: Walter Cronkite used the machine to speak his signature daily sign-off: That’s the way it was — January 13, 1976
year: 1976

note: the television broadcast aired on CBS news

 — notes —

CBS = Columbia Broadcasting System
NFL = the National Football League

* Silicon Valley is colloquial for the San Francisco, CA bay area • United States
* Walter Cronkite is Walter Leland Cronkite Jr.