Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Retro Gaming - Past, Present to the Future

It is amazing just how much technology is advancing each day and what new investments we are informed of each day.

However it is even better when games that were played 20-30 years ago and even now ones we have to play in arcades, are being brought to us for free through the comfort of our own homes through our very own computers or on our mobile devices.

Do you remember playing some of these games years ago?

- Pac Man
-       Jet Set Willy

- Super Rider
-       Manic Miner

- Space Attack
-       Mario Brothers
- Survival 
- Space Cruiser
-       Daley Thompson's Decathlon
-       Outrun

That’s just a few of the many we used to have a lot of enjoyable moments and memories on. The loading screens of games, turning tapes over or inserting multiple discs just to be able to play the game! Waiting time of 20-30 mins just to play Jet Set Willy or Manic Miner.

Although the graphics are on a different plain these days, the nostalgia surrounding playing the games of your youth still make them engaging and quite addictive. That said not having to plug in your Quickshot II into your Spectrum 48k (with rubber keys) through a Kempston Interface and your old tape player so you can play Daley Thompsons Decathlon does have its advantages.

But will the Iphone/Android handsets break as quickly as your Quickshot II even on rapid fire or will you wear the screen out like you did during the hurdles by pressing  'N & M keys' with 'Symbol shift' to hurdle.

But we wonder now, when these games were out we had to buy the game to be able to play it, nothing was made free and available to us that easy. As those games drone out new ones become about.

Now with the advancement we have different gaming technology devices we use to play games on, although these don’t come free either. There is now a lot of different devices such as Xbox, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation, and Nintendo DS and so on. 

Not mentioning the thousands of games made available to purchase (usually at a costly price) to play on these devices. 

Although now we look at how these retro games have been made available to us for free to be able to play through our computer, is this now an industry within its own right? 

With the technology now available to us, to be able to play these 'old skool' games on our mobile devices and smart phones. it begs the question if these games are being made available for free, games recently launched which you have to purchase to play, will it take 20-30 years for these games to be made available for free?

Will all games be free in different formats for people to use?

It makes us think what the future of gaming will be like? It is always evolving, changing and constantly exceed what went before. 

Will all gaming platforms become as one or will it be kept separate with the advancements of gaming being developed to where they can be charged at a significantly lower price. 

Or will gaming become so popular that it will always be free to download and use, but the revenues are created through in game purchases and real time virtual advertising like in 2nd Life!

skignz hopes to introduce something fresh new to the Games industry in 2015, suffice to say we hope it will open up a whole new area for games developers to explore... We will let you know more in due course!

What do you think the future will be like for the gaming industry? 

For further information on retro gaming then please visit this website: 

If you would like to know more about skignz then please visit our website: 

and don't forget to check us out on the usual popular Social Media Channels.

skignz: In Boston MA, USA

By the time you read this our Co-Founder & CMO will be showcasing skignz to a range of esteemed audiences in Boston Massachusetts, US.

The trip organised through UKTi  and the British American Business Council of New England (BABCNE) is a great opportunity for skignz to demonstrate its technology to a range of audiences.

skignz is looking to establish a number of relationships through this trip that will ultimately help with skignz rapid growth plans. These growth plans have gone into over drive of late due to a number of key projects being finalised. More on this soon.

Back to Boston, some people refer it to as a Mini New York but after many discussions and much reading it seems like an extremely interesting and cultural city. Big enough to be a city but not to big that you can't take in a lot during a short trip.

After doing further research, we came across various ways to describe Boston,

"Boston, first incorporated as a town in 1630, and as a city in 1822, is one of America's oldest cities, with a rich economic and social history. What began as a homesteading community eventually evolved into a center for social and political change. Boston has since become the economic and cultural hub of New England.

As the region's hub, Boston is home to over 617,000 residents, many institutions of higher education, some of the world's finest inpatient hospitals, and numerous cultural and professional sports organizations. 

Boston-based jobs, primarily within the finance, health care, educational, and service areas, numbered nearly 660,000 in 2002. Millions of people visit Boston to take in its historic neighbourhoods, attend cultural or sporting events and conduct business."

We hope to take in some of the history, cultural and sport that Boston has to offer. 

But its the Business where this trip is focussed and with major US & global brands such as Microsoft, Acacia Communications, Hubspot, Wayfair, BAE Systems, Lloyds Bank, Virgin Atlantic, Astra Zenica, British Airways all supporting BABCNE and its efforts to increase and develop trade between the two nations.

skignz is looking forward increased exposure int he North/East of the US after previous successes in Nevada, in Southern America (Brazil) and in Europe & the Middle East. Our Far eastern promise increases as our Kathryn (our born Chinese team member) makes progress with interpreting skignz's activity to the Chinese people.

Hopefully when Simon returns he will be able to update us all on a wonderful trip, the experiences and the wonderful people he has met....with Christmas just around the corner it could be 2015 before you hear those tales.

If you want to find out more about our progress in Boston please check out our social media channels as we will be posting pictures & updates during the trip.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Support for Myplace Middlesbrough

Myplace is a state-of-the art £4.3 million venue and activity Centre for young people in Middlesbrough. It has amazing facilities and opportunities for young people including a theatre, TV and recording studio, Internet cafe, alcohol free nightclub, multi-sensory room and amphitheatre.

Myplace is for anyone between the ages of 9-19 years (or up to 25 with special needs).

There are many activities that you can do at myplace. It caters for everyone’s needs with a range of different activities from:

- Popping down for a coffee or game of pool with some friends,

- See what’s going on, or sign up for a future event, activity or group,

- Checking for job vacancies, volunteering, training courses or get confidential advice, information or guidance from a range of services.

and many more!

You can become a member of myplace for just £2.50 a year. You can then use myplace every day for 75p (£1 on the door for non-members). You can even get involved with deciding on activities, events and more!

skignz takes corporate social responsibility seriously and with being a small start up company we believe that we have shown just how serious and how active we are about corporate social responsibility. A big part of this was through the CMO of skignz who supported the local youth centre myplace

skignz wants to create a more sustainable future for everyone, so we decided to support myplace with their marketing activity generating the attraction to their youth centre and website. 

skignz wanted more people to recognise what a good deed myplace does, so we offered to help them increase their recognition. 

If you live in the local area then do take a visit to myplace. It has everything you need and it is there to provide a good time for everyone.

You will find a range of support and something fun to always do. You can never be bored and will never be alone. There are many services available for you to use which you can find out from their website.

For further information on Myplace then please visit their website at 

If you would like to know more about skignz then please visit our website at and don't forget to check us out on a range of the popular Social Media Channels.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Make your festival fun not a task!

skignz knows that each year, thousands of people attend festivals to have an awesome time and see some of their favourite acts. However you want that festival to be fun, not a struggle to find your friends, find the bar, know where the toilets are and so many other activities that many people find to be a drone when attending a festival.

So we decided to get a personal point of view from a 22 year old student who went to a festival earlier this year and realised just how many struggles there was during the whole event whilst trying to have a good time. 

"I attended a festival earlier this year in Milton Keynes called EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival). The event was meant to be a two day weekend which was better this year as it meant I could see more of my favourite acts on each day rather than being crammed all into one. However this got changed and it became a one day event. This didn’t bother me as much because I could still see some of my favourite acts although two of them would be playing at the same time on different stages which meant I had to choose between the two of them. I didn’t like this because it was a hard choice and I wasn’t sure what to do. 

Before I went to EDC I got to see who would be playing on what stage and when. However I didn’t take note of this so when I got there I forgot who was playing when and where on what stage. I could have found out but by the time I had searched around looking I would have missed out DJ’s that I wanted to see. So in the end I had to just decide to stay where I was and just randomly come across DJ’s that were playing close to the stage where I was near! 

After being there for a few hours and having quite a few drinks already (plus on the coach down – bottle of vodka between two never a good idea!) things started to get a bit “confusing” so to say. Things that I needed to do became a struggle. To start off with going to the bar and back constantly was a real task, having to make my way out of the crowd then back again to find where my friend was. 

This was okay at time as there was only two of us so near the beginning of the festival we went the bar together then back again to find a spot to wait for an act to play. However as the day went on, we had a good spot and didn’t want to lose it. So we decided to go the bar one at a time. Well this didn’t go to plan as you can imagine! 

I wandered off to the bar to get us some drinks. Thinking all was good, I then decided to head back to where I thought we were stood to give my friend his drinks. This didn’t happen! I l lost him. There was only two of us together so we had no one else to contact. What a nightmare. I did try ringing him but he couldn’t hear his phone in the loud music and crowd so I was now all alone (and even more drunk). Oh no. It then went downhill – literally, from here.

I decided I would just have to wait on my own for a while till I found him. So I thought I needed the toilets, although I didn’t know where these were and I couldn’t be bothered searching around for ages for them, I wanted to get back to the crowd and see the DJ playing that I had gone to watch! 

I then had a brainwave (or what I clearly thought it was at the time), I thought I would just go up this hill of grass and go the toilet around there in a more quiet area. What I didn’t think of what that it had been raining earlier that day and the day before so the grass was already wet. 

Having done what I needed to do I began to struggle to stand up a little, to which I then slipped over where I had just been the toilets and slid down the hill (as you can imagine where I had just had a wee)!. Now this was awful! I felt mucky and dirty and there was no way of cleaning myself. What a mess!

From then I decided to make my way back to the crowd to listen to a few more DJ’s and hopefully meet my friend. (That was a big wish in this crowd!) People were friendly so they did start talking to me however I think it obviously was the friendly drunk talking. Although one girl started talk to which I though she was being quite “overly” friendly with me however I couldn’t tell as I am a friendly chatty person too but I do have a girlfriend at home. 

So when I thought she may be starting to become “too” friendly I told her I had a girlfriend back home. To which she clearly was shocked and disappointed. By this I knew I was in the wrong situation and knew that I needed to find my friend because god damn I knew how much trouble I would be in if my girlfriend found out that to which I thought was a nice friendly girl talking to me was actually trying to make a move on me, I defiantly wouldn’t be getting a happy welcome home!

Then as the night went on I started to search and randomly bumped into my friend which was good for me. We then decided to stay together as we had now by this point been away from each other for a good few hours! This always seems to happen to us at events as well which was becoming more of a regular thing. 

The festival on a whole was a really good time. I did get to see some of my favourite DJ’s who I had gone to see although I didn’t get to see others that I really wanted too as they were on the same time as others and this was a pain that I didn’t know what time and where they were. However from that I enjoyed it loads and would defiantly go back again! EDC 2015 – hopefully Las Vegas this time!'

So now I look back over my time at EDC this year, I found out about skignz and realised just how much I NEEDED it at the event and how much EASIER it would have made my whole time. When I simplify it all down I could have used skignz a lot and knew the whole way around the event. 

For one I could have used skignz to help me know what DJ’s were playing when and where at the event. This way I wouldn’t have had to wait around at time for a DJ I liked to come on and play at a stage where I already was. I could have used skignz to show me where the other stages where and what acts were playing there and at what times. I could have made my struggle a whole load simpler.

Then I could have used skignz for when I lost my friend. Going the bar on my own and saying I will ‘find’ him again in the crowd was never going to happen. If we both had downloaded skignz before we went we could have placed a skign above each of our own heads and connected to each other.

Then that way when I had got the drinks all I had to do was scan my phone across the crowd and I was see the skign above his head and know straight away where he was and I would have been able to find my way back to him as easy as that! Then we would have not lost each other and I would have got into “bad” situations that I really didn’t and shouldn’t have been in! 

Lastly when I think of it my biggest embarrassment and regret was that I didn’t download skignz and skignz up the toilets where they were before I went to EDC. Everyone needs the toilet a lot when they go to any all-day drinking event so really knowing where they are is essential. 

If I had done this and knew where to find them then it would have saved me from falling over in my own urine and save the embarrassment of not looking or smelling too nice and from everyone seeing me like this. 

When I next go to a festival I will defiantly be downloading skignz and setting everything up before I go. I didn’t realise just the potential skignz had and just how much of a great impact it would have on me. I would still have the best time just made a whole load easier so I could enjoy it a lot more and with the people I went with.

I defiantly suggest you download skignz before attending any festival or event as you will see just how much of a great impact it will have on you!

That was a great and funny statement we received from the student who went to Electric Daisy Carnival this year! It sounded like he had an awesome time although really funny. 

skignz is great for everything when it comes to festivals and live events. As you can read from above skignz can be used in many different ways and very useful. It is free to download and very simple to use! You can also use it to help you find where your tent is at a festival as it is very easy to lose it in the big crowd of tents and also to help you find where you parked your car if you drive to the festival!

For further information on Electric Daisy Carnvial please visit their website at 

If you would like to know more about skignz then please visit our website at and don't forget to check us out on a range of the popular Social Media Channels.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Apple: Post Steve Jobs...

It's now been just 3 short years since the enigmatic Steve Jobs sadly passed away aged 56. With Apple launching a range of new products and their next operating system. We came across a couple of documentaries on Netflix focussing on different parts of his life. 

After watching these it made us think. How is Apple doing post Steve Jobs and will they have the same success without him involved?

The two documentaries - one by BBC - Steve Jobs: The Millionaire Hippy and  Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview (from 1995). 

The latter was especially fascinating and certainly took the skignz founders Gary and Si back to different parts of their lives. 

Gary was involved in software at the same time as the Apple v Microsoft battle was being established and the use of Punch cards.

Si however (being 20 years younger than Gary) remembers the early years for whole different reasons, using personal computers at home, being introduced to them at school then finally beginning or using a Mac at Art College. 

So both have very different memories of this time however back to our focus on Apple.

Both documentaries showcase Jobs's influence on Apple, before he was ousted and when he returned, but now he is no longer with us and without a 'figure head' the public at large can identify with, have Apple become another faceless corporation like IBM, Coca Cola, etc. ? 

We wondered how much influence Jobs had on peoples decision to buy Apple's products, there was a mystery and certain amount of magic around the guy that endeared him to millions across the globe.

Maybe like Pop/Rockstars who have died young, will his legacy and reputation actually increase - probably! But how do the people at Apple who are left post Steve Jobs deal with this?

During his tenure not only was he one of the pioneers of home computing, changing the user interface and the quality of design and product in the computer world. 

They also revolutionised the music industry with iTunes, with iPods, then the communications world with the iPhone even moving partly back into the computer with the introduction of the iPad.

Which now seems to have taken over from Laptops. Now we have the 'Phablet' iPhone 6+ Niche products in niches that didn't exist prior to Apple exploiting them. We are not saying they were first to market with iTunes - remember Napster, or the iPhone, remember Nokia? Or the iPod, remember other brands had MP3 players.

Apple simply took them to another level completely in quality, design & functionality. But as you can see with all of these innovations they realigned different industries and markets through their innovation. 

But and there is a but ... can Apple do this again? And if so in what sector, industry or market place.

They recently purchased Beats, much has already been written about this acquisition and it remains to be seen how this will affect how beats and apple come together for the benefit of the customer. Both awesome brands with quality products but will the Beats brand remain? But this does not obviously show an intent to transform a certain market place or existing industry, nor does it point to creating a new niche or market place.

So where will Apple go from here? Will they simply just keep evolving their existing range of products, tweaking enhance the design, functionality, shape size and form? Will iPads disappear and the phablet become the device of choice or will phablets not catch on due to their size and revert back to Phones & iPads? 

Will iPods continue? If so, in what format? This begs the question how will mobile devices evolve? Wearables, wrist or glasses based or a combination of both? Certainly with the expansion of Augmented Reality this could be a clear indication of where the market is heading in the near future. But how long will this take?

It's been 13 years since Apple launched the iPod, look at what has come since and how that has evolved? But all of that was with Jobs at the helm. What now for Apple, without him? Who is the visionary now at Apple? 

Surely if they just evolve with what they have others WILL come into the marketplace. Some of these companies won't even exist yet their future owners may still be in nappies or not even born. However there will be some still in their college/uni dorm who although are not planning to be bigger and better than apple, could end up that way.
But there begs another question. Would Apple let them get that big? Is it not easier for them just to acquire them at a very early stage and either use the technology themselves or shelve it so others can't. Certainly this is a possibility due to the ever increasing cash balance that Apple has. 

But not only Apple, what about FaceBook, Google, Microsoft etc. All of these big players can buy just about any start up or established business by throwing the right amount of money at it! Make them an offer they can't refuse so they can either use that hardware/software for their own gain or simply to stop one of the other big players mentioned above from having it.

You may think we have digressed quite a bit from the original question, but all the above leads us back to how will Apple proceed in the post Steve Jobs era? Even a big personality who comes in, from either internally or from the outside will ALWAYS be compared to Jobs, they cannot escape from that!

So surely therefore that would mean that Apple become seen more as a huge corporation eventually leading them to becoming the villain at some point in the future, rather than a uber cool 'tech movement or religion' as most of their customers perceive them at the moment.

You may think why we are writing this or how it may relate to skignz? When we started writing this blogpost we were not sure where it would end up? That may sound strange but we wanted it to develop through normal organic thought processes based upon what we know so far. 

We hope that it's actually provided more questions than answers as you will have your own interpretation on this! 

How do you think Apple will progress? Evolve what they have? Or Introduce disruptive innovation?

What we have done during our discussion whilst writing this post is understand how it can be related to skignz and we see the following key areas for where it does:

 - could skignz become the new way to navigate by replacing Apples Maps on their devices?

 - skignz is a tech company with next generation technology that could certainly improve Apples offering especially with potentially 8 patents pending.

 - skignz's technology would also be attractive to the other key players in the market, Facebook, Google, Microsoft etc.

 - due to the nature of the skignz technology, it has the ability to revolutionise a range of different markets, navigation being a massive one but also as a browser, even a whole new marketing channel for brands through to being an extension or new way for people using social networks to communicate.

One further question we have thought of is at what point of skignz development does it become of interest, exciting or even a threat to the above companies, depending on how they see skignz its benefit to themselves or to their competitors surely would vary between them.

I don't suppose we will know until the first of them engages with skignz in some way? This may have already happened but without us knowing, either way we will update you if or when any progress is made on this!

But back to our original question! In summary we believe that the way Apple will progress post Jobs is by aquiring new technology that is disruptive and delivering it through its channels or add to its own tech.

For further information on Apple please visit their website at

If you would like to know more about Steve Jobs then a good place to start would the wikipedia entry for him at:

If you would like to know more about skignz then please visit our website at and don't forget to check us out on a range of the popular Social Media Channels.

From Captain Cook to skignz

Are you a little inquisitive by the title? Well…

Captain Cook was an 18th Century explorer and navigator whose achievements in mapping the Pacific, New Zealand and Australia; radically changed western perceptions of world geography. From Middlesbrough, UK. Captain James Cook wanted to explore the world mainly the south pacific. 

During the Seven Years War, Cook became quite the craftiest and the master himself in map making. After getting noticed by those high up in the navy, Cook had been set his main first objective to observe the planet Venus as it passed between the Earth and the Sun. 

Cook could always sail his way directly to a location he wanted to go. 

The method he was using to find longitude was the method of lunar distances or lunars. To facilitate the use of this method Cook had with him on his ship the Endeavour Nautical Almanacs, newly published by the Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne. These almanacs listed the angular distance of bright stars from the edge of the Moon at various times at Greenwich.

Cook and subsequent navigators using this method measured the angular distance between a star and the Moon with a sextant together with the elevation of the star and the Moon above the horizon. What made the technique difficult to use was that calculation had to be used to make the measured distance comparable with the tabulated distances.

First the navigator had to make the obvious corrections for the distance between the edge of the Moon and its centre and for the zero or index error of the sextant. 

Then came the tedious business of ‘clearing the distance’, which was applying corrections for parallax, that is working out what the measured lunar distance would have been if made from the centre of the Earth and correcting for refraction, the shifts in the positions of the Moon and the star due to the bending of their light by the Earth’s atmosphere.

So how did we go from Capt. Cook to skignz…?

'skignz is the new way for you to navigate around. It helps you to find your way through following skignz you can view through your mobile device located in the sky. Your signs in the SKY!'

skignz (like captain cook) eliminates the need for maps and allows you to find where you’re going or where you wish to be through following skignz in the sky you can visualise through your mobile device.

The skignz do need to be pre-placed by yourself before you go to any journey, however it saves you the trouble of struggling to find where you’re heading and make your journey a whole load simpler and easier.

skignz do not only allow you to find where you need to be, they allow you also to find your friends if you lose them. With a simple skign pre-placed above your own head or a friends then the task of finding each other in a busy environment is simplified.

You yourself could travel the world, meet new people, learn new things and discover new places all through using skignz to direct you there. You will never get lost yourself, lose your friends and always know the places you need to be. 

So why don’t you be just like Captain Cook himself, follow in his footsteps and his passion for life. You can do all of this through skignz!

It is free to download and very simple to use. Once you become a expert at skignz you will see it is the best technology to use! 

For further information on Captain Cook's 1st voyage then you can find this out at

If you would like to know more about Captain Cook himself then a good place to start would the Wikipedia entry for him at:

If you would like to know more about skignz then please visit our website at and don't forget to check us out on a range of the popular Social Media Channels.

skignz: Most Contagious 2014

We are delighted to announce, that not only will we be attending the awesome Most Contagious Event in Central London on 10th December 2014, but we will also be exhibiting and demonstrating the skignz technology! 

How cool is that!

The guys at Contagious are the gurus, the wordsmiths and THE authority on Advertising, Marketing digital trends, but we cannot compete with how they present what they do, so for those of you who might not of heard of Most Contagious, here's a quick extract of how Contagious themselves describe the Most Contagious event:

"Most Contagious is an annual, uniquely curated innovation event in London staged by Contagious. Most Contagious celebrates the biggest innovations and analyses the most impactful marketing from the year to decipher what influence these will have on the immediate future for brands and advertising.

The event includes a full day conference programme, with Contagious consultants as well as expert guest speakers, a series of interactive workshops, an awards scheme, and an exhibition to showcase disruptive start-ups, innovative new technologies and the makers behind them."

Contagious the company behind Most Contagious is in its tenth year of publishing their incredible magazine and it has grown its offering since its conception, and so we do not do them a disservice again we will let them describe who they are:

"Contagious helps brands and advertising agencies understand and adapt to shifts in marketing, consumer culture and technology. Our dedicated consultancy division, Contagious Insider, delivers hands-on help to effect change in our clients’ companies.

Contagious Magazine, our hard-copy quarterly publication analyses the world’s most innovative brands, and learns from the people behind them. An online intelligence service, Contagious I/O is Contagious’ collaborative and fully customisable research platform. Contagious events attract delegates from the world’s smartest brands, agencies and businesses."

So hopefully from the above two short descriptions about Contagious and its annual Most Contagious event, you can see why we are so excited to be attending but even more so being able to showcase skignz to this very select audience. We hope that some of the most creative thinkers on the planet who will be attending will 'get skignz' but more importantly 'how skignz could work for their clients or their own brand?'

 skignz is already engaged with a number of the big name brands and organisations who are attending, so hopefully we will have a few more brand champions in the room to promote the gospel of skignz.

skignz intends to showcase a few new areas of development, not previously seen outside of the skignz team and in addition we may have not one but a couple of key announcements to make ...

Obviously we will promote this exciting news through the event, but we feel the best way to understand more about skignz is to be present and being present at this event is something you cannot afford NOT to do! You only realise this once you have attended a Most Contagious event.

The Contagious team put an immense amount of work into the event, from Arianna their head of events through to their on stage delivery by members of their editorial team, right through to the hosting by Cofounder & Editorial Director Paul Kemp-Robertson. The quality of the content delivered is second to none and we have not spoken to a single person that has not thoroughly enjoyed and had real benefit from being in attendance.

If you are in the Advertising, Marketing & Digital space then you really should only be in one place on the 10th December 2014. 

We will be there and so should you! If you do please do come and say hello ...

For more information on Contagious, their Magazine and their awesome services, please visit

For more information on Most Contagious and how you can get involved please visit

For more information on skignz, please visit the skignz website at

Or check us out on our various Social media channels...