Book published!

Excited to announce that I’ve joined the ranks of published authors, and some illustrious colleagues – I’m Chapter 19, “Immersive Media and Branding: How Being a Brand Will Change and Expand in the Age of True Immersion” in the just-published-today Handbook of Research on the Global Impacts and Roles of Immersive Media.

My chapter explores the impact immersive technologies—augmented reality and virtual reality—will have on consumer branding and business in the near and longer term future. Weaving multiple use cases and examples throughout, I discuss the next phase of experiential marketing: how immersive branding will develop as spatial computing becomes more mainstream, and how brands can start thinking about how they can leverage the technology.

I also examine the rise of virtual influencers, how they will affect social media marketing—and how artificial intelligence will ultimately enable true one-to-one interaction with customers through virtual avatars. Finally, I outline and discuss the risks, rules and recommendations for how to successfully proceed as a brand curious about how to best harness the technologies.

This was a great experience, and I want to thank Jacquelyn (Jacki) Morie for the opportunity to be included, and for being an editor par excellence.

Link to purchase here:

Announcement time


Been kind of quiet here lately…as I’ve been really busy IRL. Two big pieces of news:

First: I’ve officially started looking to join a company after 10 years of self employment. Lots of reasons, the biggest being I’ve realized that it’s nearly impossible to drive any sort of advancement in the emerging tech world by yourself – you need to align with a larger team that is doing amazing things.

And I would so love to do that…so, for anyone listening: I’d love to be part of your senior team, driving forward advancements in Immersive Media (AR, VR), Digital or AI. I can help you figure out what to do, where to go, who to do it with and who to sell it to – and then get it done.

My professional experience includes working with global companies (mostly large, but many small / startups too) over the past 20+ years. I’ve help them understand, evaluate and develop business and marketing strategies in industries where digital + emerging tech is creating opportunities (and threats). An innovation focus, as it were…with deep roots in consulting, management and entrepreneurship – my goal is to help whichever company I join grow and thrive.

Second: I’m going to be a published author!!

Excited to have been chosen to contribute a chapter (working title: “Immersive Media and Branding: Invasive, Enriching or Annoying? How Being A Brand Will Change and Expand In The Age Of Immersion”) for a soon-to-be-published book by IGI Global. Thrilled with the opportunity.

And finally….been reading a lot as well. The advancements taking place in technology are truly mind boggling. A few subjects are consistently drawing my attention lately because they are, well, just so damn interesting.

Spatial computing:
Tom Emrich’s article “Advertising Enters the Next Dimension: 7 Ways Spatial Computing is Evolving Advertising & Marketing” caught my attention while researching info for my chapter submission. He discusses all the ways that the future of advertising and marketing is going to be immersive; I’m going to be discussing something similar in my book chapter, Artificial Intelligence-fueled avatars and all. He’s more about exploring the advertising angle than I will (I’m focusing on what it means to be a *brand* in a world with 360 immersiveness). Well worth a read, with great examples.

Brain-Machine interface:
Although a few months old, I’m intrigued by the work CTRL-Labs is doing with brain-machine interface. Electrical impulses from the brain are translated )(with training) into computing motions without needing to actually move…in the future you’ll only have to think it, and it’ll get typed, designed, communicated – all of it.

Ambient computing and Digital twins
A term I’d heard, but not really latched onto, until I listened to this podcast, “Ambient Science and Digital Twins with Katalin Bártfai-Walcott” about the ubiquitous, invisible computing that will be our future – and our “digital twin” which will represent us in that dimension.

I think I’d prefer the term “Digital Concierge” – but the end result is the same: a parallel entity that is powered by AI to learn about our individual preferences and personality, and have the authority to make decisions on our behalf. Instead of us interacting 1:1 with each device as we currently do, giving each our attention when needed – on/off, play this, turn this on, etc – our Digital Twin (concierge) will co-navigate our day with us, managing our experiences without us needing to consciously do anything.

The legal ramifications alone are staggering; regardless to what degree this eventually plays out, I think we can all agree that computing will move towards being ambient, meaning ubiquitous – and invisible. If any of this sounds at all interesting, listen to the podcast!

The future is listening

The future of tracking is rapidly approaching; and it will be tied to and integrated with all the home smart devices. Does this truly benefit you, as the consumer? The stated “benefit” is more targeted advertising (is this really a benefit?).

This article from the New York Times (briefly) explores how “Samba TV” is being integrated into smart televisions (with 90% of users opting in after a brief statement saying it will “help recommend shows and provides special offers by cleverly recognizing onscreen content.”)

Once enabled, it tracks nearly everything that appears on your TV screen (from any input – tv, streaming content, games) on a second-by-second basis. Because it can monitor content from any internet-based source, it knows your meta consumption data, not just the information Google knows from your browser based behavior, or your cable provider from which TV shows you watch, or Netflix which knows from your choices. The tracking goes across all of these, and more.

Always listening devices don’t currently use your television screen as an output device, but what if they combine voice recognition with the content from those “always on” listening, applies AI to it so that it intelligently understands and ties together what you’re saying + what content you’re consuming? It’s not a big leap to that.

And will it be used for more nefarious means? The US government has recently stated that it intends to keep track of, and create a database of journalists, bloggers and social media influencers (trouble makers, all!).

Personally I hesitate strongly to bring any listening or smart devices into my home. But I’m afraid I’m fighting a losing battle, because ultimately every device will be “smart” and I won’t be able to get any that aren’t.

Where is the outrage over digital privacy, and ownership?  People seems to be welcoming these devices in with open arms (90% opt in at setup?!) with nary a thought to who’s listening, what data is being collected, access to what companies know about them, and what it’s being used for.

If the recent public outcry (however brief) over Cambridge Analytica and what personal data is collected, and can be used for isn’t triggering any mass protests, what will?