12 May

How to Make People Accept Avatars


In August 2012 I left my job to build a new company and spend time an inordinate amount of time with digital avatars, including humans, robots, anime characters, and even pets. Over the course of a year-long clandestine love affair, I’ve come to learn quite a bit about the uncanny valley—the technical and conceptual hurdle that has troubled digital designers and robotics engineers for more than a decade. The theory states that when human avatars or replicas look almost human, but not quite perfect, the observer will be left unsettled, or possibly repulsed. read more

27 Mar

China: Will It Re-define Our Digital Landscape? (SXSW Presentation)

If you’re interested in China and how the digital and social media landscape will evolve globally in the next 15 years then you’ll find this interesting.

I wanted to share the presentation I gave at SXSW this year. I have uploaded it to SlideShare and also embedded the live audio taken at the event.

I’d like to give a special thanks to my colleagues in the Shanghai office for helping me to learn about China and answering all my unusual questions. I hope they feel this presentation represents that I was listening, learning, and have a genuine admiration for their country. read more

07 Jul

Cannes Review > Beyond the Horizon

Cannes phd

Monday, 20 June. Review for Beyond the Horizon by PHD, presented by Mark Holden , Global Strategy and Planning Director.

Intro: The session was consistent with the overall 2011 theme of marketing technology – the role of technology impact in advertising, marketing, and customer experience. Mark did a great job describing a bunch of new tech and putting them in perspective of why they matter for the new consumer.

He opened up stating that there are 1.2 billion people in social networks – no surprise, but the next 1 billion will enter through mobile. We all knew how important mobile is, this is just a reassurance. read more

22 Feb

The World After Advertising

I was asked to give the opening keynote at The World After Advertising conference in Düsseldorf, Germany, back in November 2010; where I presented a PoV on the future of advertising and the digital landscape – focusing heavily on user experience driven by data & technology.

The keynote covers relations between people and brands, the evolution of the digital consumer, the evolution of technology and how it changed us, an introduction to contextual computing, adaptive experiences, the Internet of Things, and a few predictions for the next 5 years. read more

24 Oct

Re-imagining Marketing After Achieving “Internet of Things”

If you’re not aware, the term Internet of Things refers to the interconnection of everyday objects (large and small) via an array of sensors and radio tags that would allow for a vastly “smarter” world empowered through technology. The amount of information that would be generated is staggering, but innovators will find opportunities to leverage this data (in conjunction with data from your social profile) to create amazing experiences in every day life delivered through this new found insight.

Imagine how a person’s lifestyle enhanced through digital experiences might change if devices, applications, or even marketing experiences were able to pull from a massively expanded pool of data delivered by understanding the current state of things they interact with such as their car, their personal electronics and appliances, the buses their kids go to school on, all the items in their refrigerator, and even their clothing. If each of these items were tagged and at minimum reporting their “identity” and location but potentially even sharing their operating status, power consumption, fuel level, capacity, current activity, or history of use computer logic could understand and make intelligent and highly relevant recommendations based on these factors that could be used to enhance any digitally enabled experience.

Let’s re-imagine a great marketing as a service example from recent memory: Fiat’s Ecodrive. Fiats’s brilliant Ecodrive system allowed your car to monitor your driving behavior and via their website was able to make driving recommendations on improving your driving style to increase fuel efficiency. Unfortunately it wasn’t real time or wirelessly driven but it did demonstrate a clear value to consumers and marketers how rich insight into your behaviors could create valuable experiences. Now imagine if experiences like that were all around us and operating in realtime without the need for thumb drives etc.
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19 Oct

Diminished Reality – Remove Objects from Videos

Ever heard of diminished reality? It’s much like the augmented reality, except instead of using computers to add visuals, it’s about taking things out in real time.

That easy enough with a still image, perhaps, but not so simple with video…  Technical University of Ilmenau’s figured it out, just draw a circle around the object you want to disappear and it practically disappears as the image synthesizer reduces the quality of the image drastically, removes your target and re-enhances in just 40 milliseconds per frame, using object tracking algorithms and guesswork to maintain the illusion as a camera moves around in 3D space. The framework’s presently running on Windows, but the team says they have plans to port it to Android soon.

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