XR Pub Crawl Marketing and Comms: Hugo Boss and Olivier Moingeon from Exclusible

XR Pub Crawl Marketing and Comms: Hugo Boss and Olivier Moingeon from Exclusible

Our June edition of the XR Pub Crawl for Marketing and Comms was one of the best yet! If you missed it, you can catch the on-demand version on my YouTube channel and I got some highlights summarized below. Hope to see you for our next broadcast, you can learn more about that on the LinkedIn event invite.

The Show Floor Tour

One of the most valuable parts of the AWE experience was the show floor tour. It allowed us to try out new technologies, hear presentations from vendors, and get a firsthand look at the latest innovations in the XR space. Being able to engage with vendors and learn about their products from a marketing perspective was truly valuable.

Building Relationships

AWE provided a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new connections in the XR community. The sense of community and the chance to deepen relationships is one of the highlights of this conference. It’s a reminder of the power of networking and the importance of building a strong community.

The Future of Education

One of the most inspiring sessions at AWE was about the future of education. The speaker shared insights on personalized learning and the role of AI tutors in shaping the way we learn. As marketers, education plays a crucial role in our job, and this session provided valuable insights on how to educate and engage our audiences effectively.

The Rise of AI Digital Twins

One of the most mind-blowing topics discussed at AWE was the concept of AI digital twins. The idea that we could have an AI-driven twin that thinks and acts like us is both exciting and eerie. AI digital twins have the potential to revolutionize various industries, from influencer marketing to personalized learning. It’s a concept that we need to pay attention to as it becomes more prevalent.

The Hugo Boss Project

Now, let’s talk about the recent project with Hugo Boss. The collaboration with Hugo Boss and Imaginary Ones resulted in a stunning immersive experience. The project aimed to recreate the aesthetic and theme of Hugo Boss’s Miami fashion show in a virtual world. The team worked tirelessly to build a custom world using platforms like special.io and mid-journey. The result was a visually captivating experience that showcased the brand’s creativity and engaged users.

Q&A

Q: What were the main highlights of AWE?

A: The show floor tour, building relationships, the future of education, and the rise of AI digital twins were the main highlights of AWE.

Q: What was the most inspiring session at AWE?

A: The session on the future of education was the most inspiring. It provided insights into personalized learning and the role of AI tutors.

Q: What is an AI digital twin?

A: An AI digital twin is an AI-driven replica of a person that thinks and acts like them. It has the potential to revolutionize various industries.

Q: What was the objective of the Hugo Boss project?

A: The objective of the Hugo Boss project was to recreate the aesthetic and theme of their Miami fashion show in a virtual world, providing an immersive experience for users.

To learn more about the AWE conference and the Hugo Boss project, watch the full video.

Tags

#AWE, #Hugo_Boss, #XR, #AI_Digital_Twins, #Immersive_Experience

Are You Ready for Your AI Double?

Are You Ready for Your AI Double?

Originally published on Linkedin

A few weeks ago I had a panic attack brought on by a sort-of existential crisis. It’s the first time, maybe ever, that I was so flooded with excitement (and anxiety) over advances in technology, that I needed to hit pause.

After discovering inspiring new, AI technology at AWE‘s Augmented World Expo (as I often do), I was obsessively working at all hours on an AI-enabled, 3D companion modeled after an old flame. (*See my comments on the disappointing virtual companion platform, Kupid.ai, below on WHY I needed to build it myself.)

A Modern Day Frankenstein

The project started innocently enough, I was trying to create a living persona based upon someone I knew, and they were the first person that jumped into my head. Fast forward several minutes and iterations later, and I had a VERY lifelike, 3D, talking character that looked like them, sounded like them, and almost verbatim said things that they had said, or things I wished they had said.  

The fact that I created this Frankenstein with zero coding knowledge sent me into my panic attack as I realized the implications this would have on the world around me. So, I got up from my computer and took my dog for a walk by the river, which is what I always do when faced with overwhelming anxiety.

AI Doubles Already In Action

AI versions of real people are ALREADY a thing but it’s never been THIS easy to build one. If you watched the season opener of Black Mirror, then you already understand the dark implications of a world where it’s possible to make AI-driven, lifelike versions of real-people and celebrities. Currently these types of AI doubles are reserved for the rich and famous but eventually this technology will trickle down to all of us, like it or not.

A Moment of Zen

Perhaps you can relate to my story of both AI infatuation and AI anxiety, as technology is rapidly reshaping both our personal and professional environments like a runaway train.

While we may not be able to control our external environments, we can take a pause and reflect on how we will internally navigate these changes and challenges. External experiences can be a powerful tool to better understand ourselves and help us find ways to manage fear, anxiety, and other uncomfortable emotions.

And while I WAS overwhelmed and likely will be again, my nature walk allowed me to reflect on some of the positive trends coming out of this AI revolution. You can get the deeper dive in the full post, Top 5 XR and AI marketing trends in 2023′ over on MarTech but here’s the spoiler:

#5) Scaling XR experiences enabled by immersive ad units, a BIG thanks to Joe WardDebbie Sorich and the entire team at Undertone for crafting these innovative ad units!

#4) Hardware transcends the headset slump – AR or rather mixed reality glasses ARE coming.

#3) 3D content made simple, with creative teams like the folks EyeJack helping to empower artists with 3D.

#2) Coming soon — an AI version of you! Companies like Doppl.ai are building them as I type this. Yeah, I’m going old school and actually writing my own copy, how primitive.

#1) There will be an AI for that!!! (Insert rimshot here, ‘da dum tss’)

Hopefully some humor and good old-fashioned community can help us navigate the challenges ahead. I’m here for all of it…and for you. ❤

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Hope, fear, and AI

The Verge polled 2,000 people about how they’re using AI, what they want it to do, and what scares them about it the most. For me the good news is (and maybe for all of us), I’m NOT alone with it comes to my mixed emotions on this ever-expanding disruptor and most are in favor of regulations.

A few other key stats:

  • ChatGPT is the most well-known AI tool
  • AI use is dominated by Millennials and Gen Z (In other words, ALL of my students.)
  • Most people thought AD did a better job than they could have
  • Most people are having reactions similar to mine, feeling BOTH excited and anxious
  • 51% of American’s believe that AI will become sentient or ‘conscious’ – (WOWZA! I’m not alone in my wild predictions on AI doubles and companions either.) 

Monthly or Weekly: Cast your vote

I recently was in an awesome MarketingProfs webinar that advised sending out newsletters AT LEAST once per week, given the insane speed of changes impacting our industry. But I wanted to get your opinion – would you prefer I keep the current, monthly digest format or a shorter weekly version? Please cast your vote via my LinkedIn Poll. Thanks much!

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Join Our Next XR Pub Crawl August 25th at 12 noon PT

We’re taking July off to enjoy some much needed R&R and hope you’re doing the same. Our next live event will be the fourth Friday in August where we’ll be talking with the creators of the wildly successful and moving AR app to commemorate Breonna Taylor. This award winning activation is one of my all-time favorite AR experiences and I’m THRILLED to have the team from EyeJack join us to discuss the strategy behind it’s creation. Hope to see you there – simply, RSVP to the LinkedIn Invite.

Top Tools of the Month

Jasper.ai

Jasper is an AI tool trained to write original creative content like blog articles, social media posts, website copy, and other types of marketing content. They offer a free trial, so you can jump in and try it before you buy it. 

Cetra.com

If ‘content automation’ sounds scary, Celtra, is trying to position this as a marketing super power. They offer a suite of services that help marketers scale personalized and dynamic content like ad units, videos, and images. Their capabilities include a studio to easily create endless variations of your latest digital campaign assets like dynamic product ads, dynamic video units that can have unique overlays, graphic call-outs and end-cards and a recently addes AI assistant that helps you with the entire process. No pricing is listed – read expensive – and they require a demo for sign-up.

Rasa.io

Rasa.io takes email newsletters into the future with a platform that uses AI to help do everything from content creation to automated management to integrating with your favorite mail platform. They have a standard monthly subscription starting at $29 bucks per month. If I weren’t using LinkedIn for my newsletter, I would definitely check them out.

Toolhacker.com

A great directory of the latest and greatest AI apps featuring categories for marketing, event management, image generation, writing, video generation, productivity, B2B, and so much more! 

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Top Fool of the Month

Kupid.ai

Kupid AI positions itself as offering “virtual friends and companions to engage in personalized and deep conversations.” They offer different AI ‘soulmates’ characterized by various interests such as cooking, art, gaming, and nature. They are quick to point out that all of the companions are AI-generated and any resemblance to real people is incidental. Duh.

I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect virtual companion since Yahoo chat rooms were a thing, so I was eager to explore what Kupid had to offer. I was SO SO SO disappointed to discover that the creators of this platform seem to think soulmates only come in one variety – a beautiful woman under the age of 30. To be clear, I’m all for virtual companionship and it’s many forms from cybersex to online knitting forums. Frankly, I think it’s more ethical to ‘use’ an AI companion for sex than one powered by a real person. However, given today’s rainbow of identity and gender options, it’s extremely short-sighted to not bring some diversity into the mix. I provided this candid feedback via their website, we’ll see if they listen.

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June’s XR Pub Crawl On-Demand: Birthday bash in Spatial.io

I’m extremely grateful for all who joined me last month for my virtual birthday party! Thanks to Olivier Moingeon for the insightful presentation and fielding some tough questions. We discussed the latest trend of branded quests in platforms like Roblox and Spatial, how these quests are measured, and some strategic factors to consider.

Once we ate our vegetables, it was time for CAKE in the 3D spatial.io gallery I created for my NFT collection of AI flower fairy PFP’s (that’s short for profile pic, just in case your old like moi!). The site is still live, so if you missed the broadcast, you can jump in and explore.

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I’m working with Exclusible to get my flower fairy collection minted and ready to be claimed by friends of the XR Pub Crawl. Stay tuned for more details on that and one of these haunting portraits can be yours.

XR/AI Marketing News

L’ Occitane takes customers to Provence – via metaverse

L’Occitane isn’t the first to use the Emperia platform to combine the metaverse with a retail shopping experience. I recently visited the Tatcha activation where I chatted with a Zon monk on the benefits of forest bathing and took a stroll through a breathtaking old-growth forest. You can learn more about these projects and others on Emperia’s website.

Sarah Silverman Sues OpenAI And Meta Over Copyright Infringement

Article summary: it’s complicated. The Forbes post provides details on several pending lawsuits. These legal ramifications will likely not be ironed out for years to come, making enterprise and large businesses shy to use AI technology for content generation. 

We tried Threads, Meta’s new Twitter rival. Here’s what happened

Yeah, Threads happened this month. This post on the Guardian provides some fresh perspective from our UK counterparts. One challenge with the platform is that it’s not available in the EU due to privacy concerns. That doesn’t make it optimal for communicating with my global tech geek network, many of whom live in Germany and France. Probably not optimal for global brands either. 

Adobe indemnity clause designed to ease enterprise fears about AI-generated art

If the above legal issues has your legal team preventing you from using AI, Adobe Firefly might be the solution you’re looking for. They train their models only on images they own the rights to and thereby pass that safety onto their customers. 

More XR/AI News:

LinkedIn Launches Live Test of Generative AI Posts

11 AI Video Generators to Use in 2023

NVIDIA CEO: Creators Will Be ‘Supercharged’ by Generative AI

Roblox Opens Immersive Ad Partner Programme at Cannes Lions

Luxury Giant LVMH Strikes Deals with Epic Games and Apple for Creative Transformation

Follow Me on LinkedIn

Before I go, I want to encourage you to follow me on LinkedIn and to reach out with any suggested topics for future XR Pub Crawls and newsletters.

If you haven’t already, please vote on your preferred cadence of this newsletter and stay tuned for the verdict. I hope to ‘see’ you all in August for the pub crawl, until then, take many pauses and be kind to yourself and others.

Learn How to Make Your Virtual Events Truly Immersive

Learn How to Make Your Virtual Events Truly Immersive

I’m thrilled to be presenting at this year’s Untethered conference on how to make virtual events immersive. Join me Tuesday May 19th and be among the first to get a preview of my Virtual Event Planner’s Guide to XR.

Everyone is looking to find solutions to keep virtual event attendees engaged from home. My presentation will explore the use of immersive technology such as VR, AR and XR for virtual events. We’ll take a look at the existing solutions, factors to consider when choosing immersive tech and how to overcome potential challenges.

You can register for free on the Untethered website. The conference runs May 19th, 20th and 21st and will feature keynotes, breakout sessions and 1:1 networking sessions with people like me!

About Untethered

Untethered is an industry event aimed at educating and connecting event professionals during this time of profound change. We want to educate, inspire and innovate together!

It’s open to all event industry professionals and event technology providers as a source of information and connection as we go through this time together.

Empathy, Embodiment and Empowerment in VR: Augmented World Expo 2018 – Here I Come!

Empathy, Embodiment and Empowerment in VR: Augmented World Expo 2018 – Here I Come!

Coming off the heels of moderating an extremely engaging VR panel at the Immersed Conference in Portland, I’m excited to be covering a similar topic at Augmented World Expo this year.

May 21st I’ll be taking the stage with several VR colleagues to discuss how VR and immersive technology is providing positive psychological benefits. The panel discussion, entitled ‘A New Reality: Empathy, Embodiment and Empowerment in VR’ will highlight the latest work and research being done in this emerging field.

The panelists will include Donna Davis, Director of the Strategic Communication Master’s program at University of Oregon, Dr. Pam Rutledge, Director of the Media Psychology Research Center, Jerri Lynn Hogg, Director of Fielding Universities Media Psychology department and Robinne Burell, Chief Product Officer at Redlight Mobile Innovation.

AWE 2018 will feature hundreds of expert speakers and sessions featuring the latest developments in the AR and VR space. The two day event runs May 20th, 21st and 22nd and tickets are still available.

If you are planning on attending the event, please be sure to stop by my session, Thursday at 4pm and say ‘Hey’. I’d love to meet you!

Power couple: Mixed reality will help businesses cash in on both AR and VR

Power couple: Mixed reality will help businesses cash in on both AR and VR

By Lisa Peyton, , originally published on Venturebeat.com

Historically, VR and AR have been seen as two separate technologies both having unique case uses. VR has been embraced by gaming enthusiasts as a way to make their gameplay more immersive and relies on a display that is worn over the eyes, tricking the mind into believing it is somewhere else. AR uses a transparent display and overlays data onto a real-world setting, thereby enhancing a user’s interaction with their environment in real-time. These differing displays and approaches to how a user experiences the digital content have led to disparate teams working on each.

A group of AR and VR devs gathered around a modern conference table on a sunny afternoon in the English town of Milton Keynes, all eyes are on the man in the helmet. Joachim Latta, IT tech innovator from BMW, is like a kid in a candy store using the DAQRI Smart Helmet for the first time. By using a gaze-based interface and subtle head movements, he’s able to easily access and activate several menu features such as thermal heat mapping and instant video capture.

Above: Joachim Latta, IT Tech Manager from BMW, experiencing the DAQRI Smart Helmet™ at TSC’s Innovation Lab outside of London.

The DAQRI demo is the first of many commercial AR and VR experiences planned for this motley crew of tech enthusiasts and experts including DAQRI’s International VP and General Manager, the Director of Glasgow’s School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualization and our host, Ryan Johnston, GIS Engineer at Transport Systems Catapult.  The goal of the meeting is to break down the silo between current commercial VR and AR projects in order to enable innovation across both platforms for the business applications of the future.

The idea of mixed reality, or combining both AR and VR into a singular experience, has become a hot topic. The most vocal company boasting the potential of mixed reality is Microsoft, who just launched their Windows 10 Mixed Reality Operating System along with an MR headset. This is directly targeted at consumers, is primarily a VR device integrating Hololens advanced tracking and mapping features and requires the user be tethered to a PC. Apple has also developed a platform for their iOS called ARKit which will equip new iPhones with the technology to overlay digital information onto the real world. This would allow innovative developers to create MR apps that could function via a smartphone.

Both of these are ‘MR light’ solutions stripped of the more robust features required for commercial applications, in order to hit a consumer-friendly price point. Higher end, commercial AR and VR developers not beholden to the price constraints of a consumer audience hope to further extend the potential of MR by joining forces to provide a more robust commercial solution.

Above: Goldman Sachs’ AR investment projections

One such AR developer, DAQRI, has developed an AR product line that includes the DAQRI Smart Helmet, DAQRI Smart Glasses and an automotive heads-up display (HUD) that projects information onto automobile windshields. Their current focus is manufacturing and engineering however the applications for their technology are endless. According to Sweeney, “We are focused on industrial applications today as we can solve problems for people in the workplace. Analysts are predicting that 40 to 50 percent of the AR and VR market will be in the industrial workplace sector, so that’s the space we’re looking at.”

However, Sweeney recognizes that there is a pull from adjacent markets, as “DAQRI’s professional grade AR products are a great solution for early adopters in other sectors, as they experiment with their immersive technology strategies”. Goldman Sachs investment research predicts that the entire AR market will climb to over 20 billion dollars by 2022 with the top growth areas including enterprise and AEC, consumer and automotive. For DAQRI, partnering with companies like Transport Systems Catapult will help them better serve these markets.

Transport Systems Catapult is based just outside of London and is a government funded organization designed to help drive innovation and growth in the transport and mobility space. One of ten such programs around the UK, TSC works alongside other programs focusing on a wide variety of sectors including smart cities, offshore renewable energy, digital innovation, cell and gene therapy and high value manufacturing. TSC’s innovation lab at Milton Keynes houses cutting-edge technology aiding in building transport systems for the future. They have developed two virtual simulations to help understand how consumers will react to autonomous vehicles. One that takes the user inside an autonomous vehicle and another that places the user on the street alongside the vehicles. The simulations can be run simultaneously and multiple users can interact together within the virtual space.

The Omnideck, which was originally developed for special forces training, puts the user inside a Vive HTC HMD while walking on a multi-directional treadmill. The result is an extremely realistic experience of walking in a virtual environment with no motion sickness and with very little limitation of movement. Mastering walking on the device is quite easy and addictive and several similar devices are housed for entertainment purposes within gaming arcades.

In TSC’s case use, VR serves as a way to introduce a user to a new environment, one that is currently impossible to replicate in the real world. This is where AR can eventually step in and potentially solve that problem. The AR device of the future, will be able to project virtual elements into real environments seamlessly without wires, the use of hands and eventually even without any type of HMD. The DAQRI headset and glasses already are solving this problem on a smaller scale within the manufacturing sector.

Above: BMW’s Joachim Latta experiencing the Omnideck as it simulates walking in a city that has a fleet of autonomous cars.

Paul Chapman, Director of GSA’s School of Simulation and Visualization, or SimVis for short, has a commercial team working on several projects using 3D virtual models to improve the safety and effectiveness of complex tasks. One such project uses a VR experience to help train nuclear reactor inspectors navigate ‘dark sites’ to ensure they are being properly maintained. These sites are extremely dangerous to navigate and allowing inspectors to practice in a virtual environment helps to ensure their safety. Chapman was also excited to experience the DAQRI helmet first hand, as combining the AR functionality with SimVis’ highly accurate 3D models could allow inspectors to access the materials in new ways and perhaps even in a real-time working environment instead of a simulation.

Both commercial VR and AR have been adopted across industries where the relatively high-cost has been offset by a bottom-line ROI demonstrated by more efficient and effective ways to work. In the past these technologies have been independent of one another but the biggest disruption lies in the combination of both technologies. According to BMW’s Joachim Latta, “these two worlds will merge together. You will have one type of delivery device, such as glasses, that will provide you with AR functionality alongside full VR functionality in your environment real-time.” Gartner VR/AR analyst, Brian Blau, agrees with this prediction and believes the market will start to see these type of ‘mixed’ devices as soon as 2020.

In order for such a vision to become a reality, our group of experts agreed upon a few key factors. It is essential to ensure that developers and designers have the skills required to build these amazing new products and experiences. Traditional academic programs aren’t nimble enough to keep pace with technology and therefore a skills gap is being predicted. Chapman believes SimVis is unique in that it brings together scientists, engineers, content and graphic designers, psychologists and a handful of other highly specialized professionals to provide the highest quality commercial VR content and degree programs in the world. There is also a need for better collaboration across technologies, industries and companies. The digital era is blurring the lines between real and virtual, commercial and consumer. In order for true innovation to happen quickly information needs to be shared openly and globally.

The Milton Keynes meeting is one small step toward building a global community of innovators and advocates working together to shape the future of IT innovation. Our host Ryan Johnston sums it up this way, “there is a huge amount of potential in bringing together people from the automotive industry, from construction and other industries to help innovate. Bringing people together is a big part of the reason we’re here.” Perhaps this meetup was the start to several conversations and potential partnerships that will bridge the gap between AR and VR and one day transform our experience of the world around us.

Peyton’s Immersion Grid: A model to compare immersive media experiences

Peyton’s Immersion Grid: A model to compare immersive media experiences

What causes immersion? As the digital revolution rages on, technology has been both blamed and lauded for capturing more and more of our attention. We have been given the tools to tell stories in new and exciting ways, access to data that has never been available before and the ability to connect to a fully realized digital universe. As digitally connected citizens, we are constantly bombarded with incoming messages and have become adept at tuning out endless amounts of ‘noise’. So what then CAN capture and keep our attention? An array of augmented reality and virtual reality applications or ‘immersive media’ experiences are being developed across various sectors and engage users like never before. The immersion grid has been developed to help compare and contrast these applications and predict how likely they are to be truly immersive. (more…)