A co-worker recently shared a piece of online comic fan art with the rest of the Draper marketing department. The image, which is by someone called MaxIsDrawing, shows Lois Lane—yes, Superman’s S.O. Lois Lane—at her desk, laptop open, coffee in hand. On her computer screen is an image of Superman snapped by Jimmy Olsen. She’s sharing it on Facebook, and one of those face recognition frames has popped up around Superman’s face. It asks if she wants to tag Clark Kent in the photo!
The look on Lois’ face is somewhere between “Whoa—didn’t see that one coming!” and “hey, wait a minute—how blind have I been?”
Of course, this has been the running joke about Superman since 1939. “Why is it he just puts on glasses and suddenly nobody recognizes him?” As simple a thing as a Facebook algorithm has put paid to the old answer: “Because people just don’t notice these things.”
People may not (always). But it’s tough to beat facial recognition software.
That’s what new technology does. It comes along and suddenly the old answers are either wrong or simply no longer relevant. A new understanding emerges, and possibly new outcomes.
What if Bruce Wayne’s parents had GPS on their phones, and hadn’t gone down that dark alley? Or had been able to stay home and watch new movies on their Draper big screen?
Think how many 1970s police dramas would have been cut down to five minutes with the introduction of the mobile smartphone. With Google at his fingertips, would Columbo have asked fewer questions and spent more time on personal hygiene? Or, perhaps, the writers would have adapted and made use of the new tech. For a great example of adapting an old model/idea to the new technological world, see the PBS Masterpiece Mystery series, Sherlock, which puts Sherlock Holmes in the modern world, cellphones and all.
Over the years, Draper has been adept at avoiding those “Superman-Facebook” moments, even innovating our way into creating such moments for others. Whether developing the first video projection screens; having the first projector lifts certified to meet the newest UL standards; patenting the “case first, screen later” projection screen concept; or making huge seamless images more affordable with Optically Seamless TecVision, we’re always working to push ahead and have the innovative solutions ready when you need them.
So never mind the glasses, Clark, you don’t need them—it’s up, up, and away! Grab onto our cape and let’s fly into the future together!
The original Superman outing image can be found on MaxIsDrawing’s Tumblr.