I’m seeing digital ghosts – the rise of #AR and #VR / Austereo

diff-between-ar-and-vr With the onslaught of Virtual Reality headsets in the first half of this year, there’s a lot more interest in what it is, why it is, what we might do with it and will it take off and this week in our regular catch up Austereo’s Anthony Tilli and I caught up to chat all things Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

So our first task was to tell the difference between AR and VR.

AR takes the real world and adds stuff to it, think Minority Report and heads-up car displays, whilst VR requires you to put on a helmet or similar and replaces the real world with a digital one.

Psychologists have proven that regardless of which method the human brain is fooled within a couple of minutes (but usually much sooner) into believing the digital world is real and the body and brain then reacts accordingly

And if you’re not sure it makes sense – you wouldn’t fly in a plane if the pilot hadn’t spent lots of hours training in a virtual cockpit.

Already many Surgeons trial their operation on virtual patients using virtual scalpels and instruments to make sure that when they get to the real thing they’re ready and know what to do and when.Today some teachers learn to control virtual students (as if they can) in virtual classrooms so they know what to do in the real world and some psychologists are already curing phobia patients by immersing them in virtual fear experiences so that they can get used to and overcome their anxieties in the real world.

Tommy Hilfiger recorded last years New York Fashion Show and allows customers in its 5th Ave store to put a headset on and watch the show and the examples go on.

It’s early day, headsets will come out, people will buy them, they will try them, there won’t be enough interesting / purposeful uses for them and we’ll get disillusioned and complain and then a year or so from now content will increase, purpose will be found and the technology will come back with force.

My long-term money however is on Augmented, because as much as I love VR, and I do, I don’t want to wear a helmet or goggles ongoing.

So have a listen now (5 minutes 27 seconds) and then decide for yourself AR or VR or both.

Looking back at 2015 and forward to 2016 trends / ABC Far North, Austereo

2015 - 16One thing I can accurately predict is that around this time of year every year requests come in for a nostalgic look at what we achieved this year and a predictive look at what next year’s trends may bring and this was the theme of my segment this week with Phil Staley of ABC Far North.

2015 was a watershed year in many ways, and for me some of the more obscure but significant technology advances included:

Tesla’s recent software upgrade turning all of it’s on road cars into semi autonomous hands free vehicles, important because it speaks to the ability to significantly change the function and use of an everyday motor vehicle simply through a software upgrade and for the first significant push into driverless cars.

Jeff Bazos’s (Amazon founder) announced recently that he had sent a rocket into orbit and landed it safely and accurately back on earth – a feat that has no rival and speaks volumes to the possibilities of future space exploration, but also to the dogged determination that we have within us as he tells of the 5-year-old he once was dreaming about going into space and the man he has become being able to make that dream come true.

Drones have come into our lives and are here to stay. We have seen them as reporters, as scouts, as fire wardens, as bomb disposal experts, as wedding photographers and the list goes on. Legislation has been talked about. Australia Post, Amazon, Pizza Hut and many others want to employ them as couriers and drones have only begun to look for work.

Windows 10 launched this year and we could argue its good and bad, but my take is its difference, it didn’t come in a box and for many existing users was free. How different this was to the fanfare and circus of old. The many disks, the inferior software with few upgrades and the thoughts of old that not to long from now you would have to go and do it all again. The freshness of this offering, the price points and its delivery and installation all speak volumes about a changed business landscape, pricing models and marketplace.

2016 will bring it with farewells of old tech and old business models as well as new opportunities and horizons.

Augmented (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are set to boom in the first half of next year with all major manufacturers promising new VR products and most under $US400. This may take a while to show its true potential, but it is definitely a new frontier that’s here to stay.

Ambient technology and device consolidation will start its journey next year, as technology becomes as ordinary as electricity and gas, and becomes more about what it can do for me rather than the fact it exists. In this same thought devices will begin to become agnostic with users switching often from one to the other, making choices based on situation and purpose, rather than on wow factor.

Personal Assistants, in the form of robots, that listen to you and talk back will begin their journey to purpose next year with releases like Jibo hitting our retail stores for around the $US2,000 mark. These in the early stages will read emails and texts, announce callers and generally  interact with us, they are not yet the robots of our science fiction dreams, but they are the first line in an evolution that may one day bring us the robot butler, we supposedly can’t live without.

These were just some of our recent past and near future, but have a listen now to the rest and then add your thoughts to the list of 2015 and 2016.

ABC Far North – Phil Staley- Monday 7th December – (12 minutes 36 seconds)

Austereo WA – Anthony Tilley – Monday 14th December 2015 – (4 minutes 16 seconds)

7 digital marketing trends that will shape our future / Get Started


Digital marketing is evolving at the speed of light, leaving marketers grappling to keep up. So what are the trends you really need to know about? We spoke with two experts to find out reprinted from Get Started

In 2014, it is estimated that humans produced around 8 zettabytes of data. That’s more data than all the preceding years put together. To put it into context, it’s equivalent to the storage capacity of 62 billion iPhones.

While the data itself has proliferated, so too have the marketing technologies designed to generate and manage it. In 2014, Scott Brinker’s well-known Marketing Technology Supergraphic featured 947 martech vendors. In 2015, the number had nearly doubled to 1,876 – surprising even Brinker himself.

So if you’re a marketer and you’re feeling a little overwhelmed right now, you can afford to cut yourself some slack.

To help you sort out what you really need to be focused on, we spoke to marketing technology expert Martin Orliac, Digital Marketing Manager at Rackspace, and Futurist Morris Miselowski. Here are the key trends they identified that are likely to shape the future of marketing.

  1. Hyper-personalisation

The key thread that underpins all of the emerging technology in this space is personalisation. “Technology is pushing us into a very hyper-personalised space – we need to move away from mass communication,” says Miselowski.

“At the moment, we are still trying to guess what would be best for an audience to trigger the kind of response we want from them, and tailoring the placement of that message accordingly,” he says. “But that’s the old model. In the future, technology will understand who we are, what we’re doing, what we value and what we want to know about, as well as when and how we want to receive information. It will be able to feed us messages that are relevant to us at a particular time, and those messages will self-assemble.”

Evidence of personalisation is, of course, already all around us. Think recommendation engines, geolocation tools, retargeting, voice activation systems that respond to our voices – to name just a few. However, Miselowski points out that we still have a way to go in getting consumers on board. “There are still issues around privacy that we have to overcome but I don’t think this is a difficult step given what consumers have already chosen to share, for example through social media. What we need to do is convince them that the trade-off of sharing is in their best interests.”

  1. The ‘Internet of Everything’

Over the last few years, the Internet of Things has very much become part of our everyday reality. In today’s world, there are 18 billion connected devices globally – roughly three per capita. According to Orliac, this number will triple over the next decade. “By 2025, you’ll have a connected car, watch, radio, fridge, air-conditioner, sound system, virtual reality headset…”

This rapid rise of connected devices has brought us into a world where technology is simply ‘ambient’, adds Miselowski. “We’ve moved into a phase where technology is like electricity and gas – it just exists.”

Having such ready access to technology will have a significant impact on how we frame our marketing messages, says Miselowski. “Today, many of our decisions are based around the particular communication platform and when and how consumers will access it. Over the next few years, that won’t be the concern anymore. We will just assume that they will have the technology with them – either in-store, in their pockets, in their handbags, or in their homes.”

An extension of this concept of the Internet of Everything is that people will be able to make direct purchases from a huge range of devices, for example, their television, radio or fridge. “Within five years, this will be an ordinary thing,” says Miselowski. “You’ll have the opportunity to learn about something, interact with it and buy it, all from the one place.”

The Internet of Everything opens up huge potential for marketers in terms of understanding the way people interact with their physical environments, and how they use their internet-enabled devices to research and make purchases. All of these insights will become standard elements of the marketer’s toolkit in the years to come.

  1. Virtual and augmented reality

Virtual reality has been a big buzzword in 2015, largely thanks to the now-Facebook-owned industry leader, Oculus. The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset that’s due for release in the first quarter of 2016. “VR (virtual reality) is going to completely change the way we do things; it opens up a whole new world of opportunity,” says Orliac.

“For example, if you’re selling a house, you could create a VR experience where people could put their headset on and visualise themselves in that home. Or if you’re in car racing, you could put a 360 degree camera in the car and sell subscriptions to people online so they could experience the driving in real time with a VR experience in the comfort of their own home.”

For now, the virtual reality experience largely remains tethered to physical headsets, but the natural extension of this is augmented reality, where the consumer will actually be completely immersed in the experience.

“Augmented reality will really redefine advertising and digital,” says Orliac. “To deliver an advertising experience to users now, you need to have a physical platform, like a billboard or TV or some form of store, but with AR you can create that experience on the fly, anywhere you want. Every white space will become a potential advertising space. You could have someone sitting and waiting for a train and you could display an augmented reality car to them. They could then choose the colour and features and buy it on the spot.”

  1. Beacons

Beacons are low frequency chips, found in devices like mobile phones, that communicate with other beacon devices to form a network. Unlike NFC technology, which only works in very close proximity to a device (about 10cm or less), beacons can work over a range of up to 70 metres.

The most obvious application is in retail. For example, a retailer may push a specific offer to a customer based on their in-store location, or help guide them through the store to an item they’re looking for. They can be used to tell how much time a customer spends in each part of a store and how the customer navigates their way around. Information from beacons can also be used to facilitate a hyper-personalised customer service experience, by providing staff with information such as the customer’s name, product preferences and purchase history. This information can also potentially be used to retarget the customer online.

Beacons enable retailers to more accurately attribute a sale to online or in-store, based on tracking of the customer’s in-store behaviour. For example, if a customer browses in-store and then buys online, without a beacon that sale would be wholly attributed to the online store. With beacons, the retailer is able to get a much clearer picture of the customer’s pre-sale activities.

With Westfield recently releasing thousands of beacon-equipped digital screens in its shopping centres, this technology is very much here to stay. “They haven’t rolled out the full capability just yet,” says Orliac, “but these screens have the capacity to know where you’ve been and who you are, and they can tailor advertising specifically to you.”

From an advertiser’s point of view, beacons have the potential to open up a whole new level of transparency. “Back in the day when you were buying outdoor inventory, you didn’t really have proof of impressions,” says Orliac. “There was an element of trust involved, whereas this technology will allow full end-to-end transparency for the advertiser. You can see where your ad was displayed, how many times, and you can compare performance based on the location of the ads.”

  1. People-based marketing (RIP cookies?)

As more people gravitate towards mobile devices, the role of the cookie will become increasingly sidelined, says Orliac. “The first thing you do on a mobile is go to an app, and apps don’t support cookies. If you can’t track your audience with cookies, you need to use people-based marketing.”

People-based marketing is about linking the activity of web or app users with a form of identification, such as a log-in. “Today, the big identity trackers are Google, Facebook, and to some extent LinkedIn and Twitter,” says Orliac. “Their services (such as Facebook’s ad server, Atlas) allow you to track your ads and experiences across mobile devices and the web using identities.”

The upshot is that marketers will increasingly become reliant on the custodians of identity data – such as the Googles and Facebooks of the world – to track consumers across mutiple devices.

  1. Programmatic outdoor

While programmatic ad buying has clearly cemented its place in online, the concept has recently extended into outdoor digital displays – a trend that Orliac believes will revolutionise outdoor advertising.

“Right now, the process of buying ad space on digital outdoor screens is antiquated because you need to buy it directly,” he says. “If you can do it programmatically, it will make the whole process more efficient. It will reduce the cost of the purchase and enable very specific targeting capability based on things like location, weather and even the outcome of sporting events.”

For example, an umbrella company could pre-set its ad to run only when it’s raining, or a brand could run a different version of its ad creative outside a football stadium depending on the outcome of the game.

  1. HTML5 ads

Unlike the trends we’ve covered so far, HTML5 is not exactly a bright and shiny new technology, but it’s something that Orliac says digital marketers need to get their heads around as a matter of urgency.

For the past decade or so, animated online display banners have been created predominantly in Flash. However, the writing is on the wall for Flash, with nearly all the major desktop browsers ceasing to natively support it. This means that users are going to have to install third party software to enable it. Rather than being served a visually dynamic animated ad, users would instead see a static banner in its place, effectively ‘blocking’ ads created in Flash.

The necessary solution is to shift towards HTML5, a language used to create ads for mobile. There will be certain trade-offs involved in this switch, such as arguably inferior animation rendering capabilities, but as Orliac points out, the alternative is going to be a whole lot of wasted impressions when animated desktop banner ads fail to display as intended.

Don’t overthink it – it’s still just ‘marketing’

While it’s easy to get distracted by all the bells and whistles of new technology, at the end of the day the technology is really just an enabler of solid marketing tactics.

As Orliac advises, the key is to keep it simple. “Clearly define your KPIs, understand your audience, and try not to disperse into too many cool toys because they will just dilute your focus.”

Miselowski expresses a similar sentiment: “Whatever the technology, the basic principles are the same. It’s about human interaction, it’s about sales, and it’s about engagement. We need to remember that humans are still at the centre of it all – it comes back to basic communication and marketing skills. Know the consumer and know what they want.”

Where does “real” finish and “virtual” begin? / Hong Kong Radio 3, 4BC and ABC Wide bay

extraordinary_voyage_poster_285This really interesting future conundrum of how will we know where the real world finishes and the virtual world begins was the starting and ending point of my on air chat this week with Radio Hong Kong 3’s Phil Whelan and also the conversation starter for my segments with 4BC’s Clare Blake and ABC Wide Bay’s David Dowsett.

The prompt came from the anniversary of the release of Meliers 1902 film “Trip to the Moon” the first motion picture to show a trip to the moon and arguably the film that ignited the industry’s love affair with space travel.

Arguably this is the first time we saw another world and as we do so often when we watch something we lose ourselves in fantasy and for just a moment make it real and plant the seeds of how do I make it real.

As we moved forward from 1902 and ever faster sped through the innovations of radio, televisions, video, CD’s, DVD, Blue Ray and now hurtle towards virtual and augmented reality on the way to holograms, is it possible that we will lose ourselves in a make-believe digital world and be lost forever somewhere between virtual and real?

The thought of this is not entirely bad. Alzheimer patients are able to don a virtual reality headset and be taken to a time and place that’s more familiar to them and to see the moments of serenity and peace on their face as they relive these times is a virtual reality worth having.

Pilots are routinely taught and tested in virtual reality cockpits. Tom Cruise put on an augmented reality headset to fly in Top Gun allowing him to see the real world overlaid with digital information and in a similar way surgeons now have the ability to perform operations wearing technology that guides and informs their every move.

When you put on a virtual head set for the first time your body may react with a sea sickness like attack as it fights between the reality that your physically standing still, but your virtual self is flying, moving, or being transported elsewhere. Once this sensation abates the mind, within a few quick minutes, begins to consider the virtual real and begins to react to virtual situations with physical responses.

It’s a fascinating new world ahead, in which we will increasingly see and experience the world through these virtual technologies and expect so see much more than our old organic eyes were ever capable of showing us and the question, although not sinister yet, is what difference this new world view will make to being human and having human experiences and reactions?

Have a listen now to HK3 – Phil Whelan – 1 September 2015 (17 minutes 06 seconds)…

4BC – Clare Blake – 8 September 2015 (15 minutes 39 seconds)…

ABC Wide Bay – David Dowsett – 7 September 2015 (15 minutes 39 seconds)…

It’s not a ghost, it’s just a hologram / ABC Canberra

occulus riftYou’ve got to love a story that starts by assuming that physical meetings are going to end and business travel will soon become redundant., it’s just like the hype and hysteria around Skype, VoIP and other teleconferencing tools a few years ago when everybody was sure the events industry was dead and that airplanes would only be used for leisure travel.

In fact none of this has even remotely come true and instead we have seen an increase in both event attendance and business travel.

holograph imagesPhilip Clark of ABC Canberra and I chatted about the upsurge of use of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR), the first being the use of holograms and digital worlds like in Star Trek’s holodeck and the latter being a visor you wear within which you experience the digital world.

CAVE2 Immersive Virtual Reality System | Mechdyne at Monash University Clayton

CAVE2 Immersive Virtual Reality System | Mechdyne at Monash University Clayton

These technologies are both coming of age, with VR expected to be a $30 billion industry and AR a $120 billion by 2020.

VR headsets abound and are mostly under $300 and we can expect Microsoft and Oculus Rift amongst others to have headsets next year just in time for a growing catalogue of software and VR experiences.

Have a listen to the segment now (4 minutes 48 seconds).


Unlearn the Future – Morris Live at TEDx Melbourne

To have the TEDx stage for 18 minutes is a privilege and an honor. To use this global platform to tell the story of my family’s past, to introduce my ancestors who have not been spoken of or seen in over 70 years to a worldwide audience that they could never have imagined and to combine all of this with my love of the infinite possibilities of the future and what we must each do to allow these opportunities into our lives is a gift that I will cherish forever – thank you!!

I would love you to watch it, like it and leave a comment to let me know what you see ahead and what excess baggage you’re leaving behind to make room for the future and an enormous thank you to the 1,000+ people that watched it within the first 24 hours of it being put up on YouTube.

You can believe your eyes…

Zombie games players, bank ATM’s, cafes, road signs, train timetables and pictures of friends all flash before your eyes as you walk around your local suburb. No you haven’t gone completely mad, instead you’re using one of the newer kids on the technology block – augmented reality.

Jason Jordan of Perth radio’s 6PR and I chatted this week about turning your smartphones camera into a set of binoculars and pairing it with an app that let’s you find physical locations and people and then be guided on screen right to them.

These kinds of augmented reality apps together with the ability for our mobile technology to know exactly where we are on the planet (aka Geo-Aware) are also showing up in our cars as heads up displays, are being used by surgeons to guide them skillfully through the human body and by the armed forces to walk them confidently through hostile foreign terrains.

Listen to this week’s segment now to see how augmented and virtual reality apps using geoaware smartness are all a part of your mobile future.

and listen live each week at 4.40 p.m. (WST)

A Dose of Virtual Reality

Do you remember Second Life? It’s a virtual world where people could live, fall in love, go to concerts — in fact do anything we do in the real world. I often wondered what was so wrong with the real world that people wanted to go there. And apparently some people still use it — perhaps they’re lost and can’t find their way out.

In today’s BTalk Phil Dobbie and I talk about how virtual worlds can actually be useful for business. We also talk about the idea of augmented reality, which is more likely to have traction and influence how products are bought and sold. It’s something that is likely to impact the way most businesses interact with their customer — and it’s already started to happen.

Subscribe to BTalk Australia on iTunes.


The Weekender – 6PR Radio – Morris’s predictions for 2010

2010 is set to be a year pregnant with promise and possibilities, but with some difficulties nevertheless.

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way. There will certainly be a couple of interest rate hikes (1.5% – 2.0%) over the next 12 months; the Australian economy will for the first time in a couple of years have no large government handouts or stimulus packages, some American and European loans that have a similar bad odour to that of the sub prime interest rate debacle will fall due in the latter half of 2010 and a South Australian, Tasmanian, Victorian and possibly Federal election are all on the horizon. This cocktail will subdue, but not stymie, consumer confidence and the economy.

Next year will definitely continue to see the rise and rise of technology the iPhone, Googles Android and Googles own mobile handsets will storm along with new apps, features and possibilities abounding. This will also be the era that ushers in the notion of apps or software accessories being readily available for hardware and within the next few short years expect every piece of hardware – phones, computers, televisions, cameras, toasters, fridges to come with their own apps store.

3D, virtual and augmented worlds will come into their own and although they will not dominate the online world, yet, they will begin to make their presence felt as we build to a mainstream acceptance of these new rich features. Our expectations soon will be that we receive real time in-situ information about where we are, what and who’s around us and what we can do between here and wherever we are headed.

Although we have chosen to have our devices merge into one, their is an interesting side show happening where a raft of stand alone technologies are emerging – these include e-readers and flip cameras (small high definition video recorders). It will be interesting to see if we take to these devices or prefer the single united divergent technology – my betting is on all for one and one for all; and whilst we’re betting look out for Apple’s next killer piece of hardware the new iSlate tablet PC.

These were some of the predictions Morris and Todd Johnson of Perth’s radio station 6PR discussed this week in their weekly segment. Recorded live 27th December 2009.

Radio ABC International – Today Show

sidewikiClick below to listen to this weeks live recorded segment where in-studio Zulifikar, Adelaine and Morris Miselowski discuss Google new side wiki, Picasa gets face recognition, 12Seconds launches new iPhone app, my website of the week: www.jingproject.com and fabrics that fight germs and find explosives as well as crosses to Singapore to speak with Jeremy and Hong Kong to catch up with Phil, and listen to hear last weeks studio gremlins make a brief appearance. Recorded live 25 Sept 09