Don’t make Electric Moons

In the late 1800s electricity was the technology de jure, ready to change the world. But no one was sure how.

City planners, enamored with the possibilities, were unsure how to get around the cost and complexity of stringing wires to every home. They came up with what they thought was an easier solution. Electric moons. A centralized source of illumination, ensuring the town always had light.

Great technology, bad application.

Knowing a technology exists, and properly applying to daily life, are two very different things. The same goes for artificial intelligence. You know it’s going to (and already is) change the world. But do you know anything about AI?

Continue reading “Don’t make Electric Moons”

The Future of Buying

Who do you think has the top mobile payment app in the US?

Apple? Google? Maybe Samsung? 

None of the above. 

It’s Starbucks. 

Of the 55 million Americans who used a mobile payment app this year, more than 40% will have done it on the Starbucks app. 

It’s an amazing example of how a strong brand can drive technology adoption and new behaviors. Loyalty rewards, innovation and convenience brought the coffee shop into a technology leadership position. 

But it’s not a strategy that can be readily copied.

Instead, it shows how far behind the US is in mobile payments. Starbucks’ brief dominance will be an interesting footnote in the march toward mobile payments as the shopping experience in the US is revolutionized. While the US struggles with chip credit card readers, we can see what that future looks like by looking into the crystal ball that is China. 

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Three Reasons Why IHOB was a Brilliant Campaign 

Imagine getting your top competitors to announce a new product for you….

The human brain is incredibly lazy. It has so much information to process that it will do whatever it can to simplify and quickly come to a conclusion. The best thing about these lazy brain quirks is that you can consciously know them, study them, even deploy them against others, and they will still effect you.

If you design something that bypasses the frontal lobe then strategy goes out the window. There’s a studied medical condition where those with certain frontal lobe injuries lose their strategic ability.

Case in point, the IHOB campaign. This simple stunt bypassed the social media managers logical and strategic minds, sent them into “I must respond!” autopilot, and they began tweeting… on their competitors behalf. Can you imagine doing that if you took a few hours to really analyze what was going on?

In celebration of the lazy human brain, and to allow its autopilot effects to take hold of me, here are the top three reasons why the IHOB campaign was brilliant. Continue reading “Three Reasons Why IHOB was a Brilliant Campaign “

The AR Illusion

Feature-rich augmented reality is still many years away. You probably wouldn’t think that, however, after reading the headlines from today’s Apple WWDC 2018. Apple is employing some clever sleight of hand to make AR appear more polished than it actually is. This is the AR illusion.

The AR illusion was in full effect at WWDC, and it may have some long-term impacts for the immersive industry. Continue reading “The AR Illusion”

Use These 3 Lessons From the Past to Create the Future of VR

My latest article for UploadVR is live! I distill lessons from some of histories best designers and media thinkers that can be applied to these early days of virtual reality.

Creating for a new medium, which is still in the midst of discovering itself, can be challenging. Luckily, we have history to help guide us. Designers and theorists like Marshall McLuhan, Jony Ive, and Raymond Loewy had to innovate within new mediums. We can use their experience to inform today’s virtual reality design process.

If you are thinking about joining the VR crusade, these three lessons, inspired by history’s greats, will help save you time and fine tune your thinking. Consider these early (and often) before opening your VR engine of choice.

Read the entire article on UploadVR.

Doing the Impossible: From Idea to Demoing at the Game Developers Conference

In my latest article for Upload VR I explain how we went from an idea to working game that Valve brought on to demo at the Game Developers Conference.

There’s beauty in the chaos of a startup’s early days when the team decides to roll the dice. For virtual reality entrepreneurs there are some amazing tools which help amplify this mindset, allowing you to move fast and, hopefully, make things. With these tools, a little luck, and a lot of tenacity, our six-month-old VR startup is heading to the Game Developers Conference to present our new game at Valve’s booth.

I’ll tell you how we did it.

Read the entire thing on UploadVR.