Category: News

MAGIC LEAP: No Matter What it’s All Good

Image result for magic leap

source photo Variety.com

Opinions about augmented reality (AR) upstart Magic Leap (ML) today rage far and wide; endlessly. Investors have backed the reclusive startup to the tune of more than a billion dollars to create an AR system including a new type of headset that has the potential to kick the industry into high gear.  Other than a few video releases like this or this, most of us have gotten few glimpses of the system and products.  They’ve raised a lot of money, been building for a few years, and the “people” are getting antsy they want to see it.  In the absence of actual knowledge, the volume is up on the talk after the company announced it will ship products by summer’s end.

I’ve been saying this for a long time and will memorialize it here:  We should all be excited no matter what.  We will all be winning no matter if ML as a company wins or loses and here’s why:

  • Success. If ML succeeds the entire world will have access to amazing hardware and software to experience a better version of AR than we have now.  No doubt the applications will range from medicine to movies to industrial manufacturing and education, and so many others.
  • Fails.  Failure can mean many things.  The tech can succeed and the company fails or all sorts of other combinations.  But here’s the thing, ML employs hundreds if not thousands of people by the time it will be said and done,  and those people will have tremendous learnings to carry out into the world and spread around. In other words, technology evolutions work a bit like Lego blocks, the next generation is usually built on the successes and failures of what came before.   Thus, armed with the knowledge of a failed experiment, the next generation will be built until one works.
  • Regardless.  Regardless of what happens to ML, there’s no doubt its mere existence encouraged the world’s largest tech companies and so many others to hit accelerate on AR or MR or visual tech development. The startup triggered billions of investment into R & D and something is real likely to come out of it as a result.

My take presumes ultimately AR will manifest into daily uses, both at work and at play; I believe it’s coming.  Whether ML is a household name twenty years from now or not, it will have played a central role in developing what AR becomes.  #Truth.

 

 

 

Corporate Innovation Shaken Not Stirred

Innovate in a nutshell

Human beings are complicated.  Human beings in corporations are even more complicated.  We create organizations that reflect the best of our characteristics and the worst, or at least some of the most challenging.  People struggle with change.  We can fear it or simply don’t want to deal with the newness it usually requires.

Yet, it is impossible to wrestle with reality forever.  No person will win doing that. No corporation will either.  Here are a few of the best reads I’ve come across lately on corporate innovation.

  • Global Mood. 54% of executives PwC surveyed globally, struggle to align innovation with core products.

  • Internal Innovation Efforts. This is a radically increasing trend.

  • Moving closer to Global Innovators. Not so fast says this HBR article.

  • Failure looks like this … 50 examples of companies that got it wrong.

 

June 28th Games For Change Day in NYC

Image result for games for change

It has always been, for a decade and a half, a convening of people who make games, love games and use games for social good in the world.  And this year NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio gave it official standing in the Gotham city proclaiming, June 28th, Games for Change day.

The festival marked a meaningful 15th anniversary making it old enough to become an institution and young enough for everyone involved to believe it’s still nimble.   The organization runs all year and culminates in this event which draws people from all over the world to discuss, plan, plot and swap notes about where and how efforts are making a difference. They are tackling complex global problems from climate change to literacy, equality, inclusion to mental illness. This year the tracks included Games for Learning, Civics and Social Issues, Neurogaming and Health, Games for Learning, Civics and Social Issues, and XR (virtual, augmented and mixed realities).

Susanna Pollack is the president of Games for Good and a force of nature. She’s developed robust programming that spans three days and provides extraordinary opportunities for connection and thus, new ideas to form and grow.  There were programs for students. 

And of course, plenty of games to experience including the debut of Lost City of Mer intended to “inspire players about the impact that humans and their carbon footprint are having on the oceans.”  A full list of the games that won awards is here.

This is an important organization, of which I am an ambassador because they have and are leading the way on gamifying content.  Gamifying content can be a powerful tool for multi-disciplinary purposes. It’s moved into the mainstream and the potential to educate, engage and change behavior for the better is happening.

 

 

Living The Future

“When can I make some artificial intelligence?” she asked.

My daughter recently opened a conversation asking when she could start making artificial intelligence (AI). It was a Sunday evening and she was finishing some homework around 7:30p.m.;  work that could  have easily been done on Saturday, but I digress.  I had an idea of where this was heading, but wanting to make sure, I asked why she wanted to know.  Head down, pencil moving, without missing a beat, she says,  “I want to know when I can make some AI to do my math homework, all of it at once.”

Aright then.  Siobhan is nine.   Was I surprised by this question, no. She sees AI in shows online and reads about it fictional worlds and in her non-fiction books on her ipad.   She understands the basics,  this thing called AI can, does and will make her life easier.

DASH ROBOT

And she’s thinking about ways to speed up that process, for applications that will help her out right now.  She may be young, but she’s hardly alone. From students to CEOs, millions of people right now, today are thinking about what AI is or can be, how to use it, when and increasingly, more importantly who can make.

SKYKING Mini Drones

This conversation with my daughter is taking place in a home shared with two robots-Dash and MiPtwo SKYKING Mini Drones, iPhones, iPads, a Samsung Gear VR headset, Samsung Galaxy phones and an assortment of other pieces of technology; some of which did not exist on the consumer market even 5 years ago.  We are living in the future right now.   These emerging technologies have working applications. They work and thousands and thousands all over the world are working to make them work better.    And while it’s real hard to imagine what will be hanging out in our homes ten years from now, we do know the tech is developing rapidly.  To put it all in context lets not forget the iPhone was born to consumers in 2007, barely eleven years ago.

MiP WowWee Mini Robot

 

While we wrestle with the continuum of mixed emotions that change often triggers, let’s not forget that right now, today, we are living parts of what the future will bring.

Future of Work

I’m obsessed with all things future of work, mostly because it effects, well, everything.  With so much converging digital technology rapidly changing products, services and social mores faster than most of us, never mind government policy can keep up.  Life is changing fast; and slowly at the same time.

Humans find change unsettling or exciting, often both at the same time.  Context is important and it’s often hard to remember how young so many of the companies that consume our lives are.  Facebook is fourteen, that’s 14 years young.  Google is  19 and pulling up the rear, Amazon is  23 years old.  They are young and yet, deeply embedded in our lives.   It’s important to note, the tech that making them possible, including computational power has been decades in the making.  That would be the fast, yet slow change that tech brings.   Bottom line is these companies have changed they way we communicate, connect, work and live.  In a word: everything.

The entire world’s workforce is trending toward many, most workers by 2020 or 2025, depending on the report,  will be working on a project basis as a freelancer or contract worker.   That means all kind of change and these exciting startups below are applying all sorts of technology from #AR to #AI to this changing marketplace today.   I’ve linked to company videos that explain more.

  • PowerToFly  is says Wikipedia, “a recruiting platform that connects companies to women in tech”.  They are building a robust community of talent and a direct pipeline into companies from Dow Jones to GitLab.  They are creating a new model in human capital and solving a relentless diversity in tech problem.
  • JustWorks  the company says “is a platform that automates payroll, benefits, and compliance so entrepreneurs can focus on what matters: growing their business and their team.”  I would add, entrepreneurs and anyone working for themselves in any capacity.
  • BEAM is “a full-service, interactive marketing and experience design agency.”  They developed a mind-blowingly interesting an HR onboarding augmented reality (#AR) prototype”. It’s worth the time, check out the video.