My New Role at Rocketbike AR/VR

My New Role at Rocketbike AR/VR

Well folks, it has been a crazy year and as a result, I have not had a lot of time for posting on my blog. WAY too much going on lately… Many of you have been wondering what I have been up to and so I wanted to give everyone an update about recent happenings.

Rocketbike ARVR

In May 2016, I accepted a new role at a startup called Rocketbike ARVR. Rocketbike ARVR is a stealth mode immersive technology studio, located in Vienna, Austria. Our IP is creating AR and VR experiences that inspire the imagination.

The company is made up of veterans of the games, movie, marketing and TV industries that have worked on everything from mobile games to AAA blockbuster franchises for some of the biggest studios and publishers in the world.

This fall, we pitched and secured funding to develop a prototype for a new virtual reality application which is currently in development. There are also additional projects going on behind the scenes that I can’t talk about yet, but when the time comes, I will let you know. For now, however, everything is still “hush hush”…

Join the Mailing List!

In the meantime check out the website and be sure to join the mailing list to receive updates when we have more news. We have some exciting and innovative new things to share soon, so be sure to keep checking in.

AR/VR Magazine

arvr_blog_mag2

In summer of 2015, I launched AR/VR Magazine. In just one year, my little website has been growing like crazy and is now being considered as a leading virtual reality and augmented reality industry resource.

Since the launch, I have made lots of great connections and have been doing tons of media partnerships with several global AR/VR industry events. The website continues to grow beyond my expectations and has been a great tool for both promoting my own innitiatives, and more importantly, to give much needed attention to all the great companies and products that have been hitting the market like a firehose this year.

AR/VR is seriously exploding right now, so it is an amazing time to have jumped in with both feet running!

Need AR/VR?

If you are a company who is considering AR/VR related projects, looking to invest in some great opportunities, or needing exposure for your AR/VR related business, please get in touch. I have a lot of irons in the fire and would be happy to talk to you about the possiblities.

 

 

How to Win An Election With Social Media

How to Win An Election With Social Media

Update: The following is an article I wrote prior to the 2016 Presidential Elections. It discusses the state of social media momentum at that time based on each candidate. I think overall, my estimations were pretty relevant.

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We are at a very critical time in history and the result of the upcoming US elections could have DRASTIC effects on both the future of our country and the world. The decisions in November could mean the difference between peace, security, economic prosperity or even, depending on the political climate of your particular country, life or death for you and your family. Things are that serious.

The time has come to ignore the cat pictures, the Oscars or whatever Kanye says and pay very close attention to the important topic at hand. It is time to take action and to take responsibility for your actions.

What I want to talk about here is a social strategy that will help your candidate win the election in 2016 and it’s very simple.

You do want them to win, right? Well, if so, keep reading.

Social Media is a Powerful Tool, But…

Social media is currently the primary driver for expressing, changing & manipulating public opinion on a global scale. What we do and say on social media has tremendous power and can directly effect how people share and develop opinions.

In this case, how it effects voting decisions.

The dark side of social media and politics is that what we say on social media is analyzed by government organizations, financial institutions, PR firms, corporations and most importantly, political parties to identify patterns of opportunity using software algorithms and analytics tools. Based on what they discover, they use either teams of people or automated software (bots) to manipulate social momentum on a mass level to promote their business or political agendas.

Despite the powerlessness we can feel by such a massive, corporate-political machine, social media still offers us a great advantage. What I am talking about here is the basic human interactions and opinions with which we can share between friends, family and social connections.

It’s the power of persuasion with people you have personal connections with and who trust your opinions.

Think, Before You Share!

I would encourage everyone to think very seriously about what you post on social media right now regarding politics and how it could potentially impact election results.

One simple post may not seem like much to you, but on a mass, collective level, it has a lot of power.

Unfortunately, WHAT you post, regardless of your intentions, also might have powerful reverse effects.

Why?

Conditioning, Conditioning, Conditioning!

Another factor which effects public opinion, especially in the media, is a process called Classical Conditioning, aka the old Pavlov’s Dog effect.

It begins with a simple process of repetition, where the brain begins rewiring itself to release certain chemicals based on a seeing or hearing repeated phrases, actions or stimulus. We see this in marketing with brands such as the red color of Coca Cola, aligning a perfume with sexual imagery, an annoying catchy melody in a terrible pop song, or in this case, political names and slogans.

Conditioning is a core tactic in hypnosis, brainwashing & propaganda, which over time, physically changes the brain chemistry so that it builds patterns of alignment & dependency to whatever has been repeated, even if the subject of the repetition is negative.

It is the first step in building an addiction.

In regards to politics, simply by repeating a candidate’s name, political slogan or sharing a MEME, even if it is negative and you oppose them, causes a conditioned response that gives leverage to that candidate

Sometimes negative MEMEs are even intentionally created to generate exposure to a brand because just by repeatedly seeing a name or image, creates subconscious patterns in people’s brains in connection with that brand or candidate.

The reason is that even a strong connection to a repeated “negative” creates a stronger bond than a non repeated “positive.” The result is that the brain becomes more comfortable by the chemicals it creates by being surrounded by the negative than the confusing, discomfort it feels when faced with the unfamiliar positive.

These patterns of alignment create herd mentality, which then becomes a social norm, which leads to people accepting, or at least living with the idea of a candidate that they don’t support.

We are literally building and spreading a chemical addiction to them on a mass scale, even if we hate them.

The Numbers

Here’s a simple example of how much conditioning is happening per candidate as of the time of this post. Despite political opinion, the numbers make it pretty clear who is in the lead, just by sheer volume.

Google Trends
googletrends_election2016

Twitter
election_tweets

Facebook
facebook_election2016

Take Control

Not happy with those results? Then you have to change the momentum. Here’s how:

The point here is to understand what is happening and don’t fall for the oldest trick in the book. Resist the urge to participate in the addictive skinner box mentality of sharing every little political “ha ha” moment on social media. Use it as an advantage, not as a virus, not as your controller.

Here’s how to apply this to social media and politics:

  • If you want your candidate to win, then don’t contribute to building patterns of momentum for the opposition.
  • Stop posting the names of the opposition and reposting their negative material. Let people know the name of the winner.
  • Build strong patterns by focussing only on who you want to win and only post positive info on them.
  • Fear is a stronger motivator than pleasure. (Sucks but it’s true.) Don’t focus on how bad the opposition is. Instead focus on the benefits of how your candidate will protect from the bad.
  • Create your own posts, MEMEs and hashtags and share them instead of reposting others. If you don’t do it, the bots will and they sometimes have an alternative agenda.
  • Follow your candidate. Unfollow the opposition. Post about them often. Numbers count.
  • Use every social platform at your disposal. Facebook, twitter, Instagram, pinterest, forums, chats and messengers, dating sites, etc. Any place where you can potentially reach a lot of people. If it is on a personal and emotional level, even better.
  • Make #hastags that promote your candidate, not the opposition.
  • Spread your message globally. Some countries dont use or have access to the same social platforms we use in the west. China uses WeChat and Weibo for everything. In Japan, Line is popular. Global opinions matter.

Don’t contribute to the problem, contribute to the solution. Generate positive patterns that build strong chemical bonds which align to your chosen candidate. In a world where we feel powerless to determine world affairs, we still hold the power of our connections and our ability to influence them.

Thats how you win with technology and thats how you win elections.

Retweet this Post

If you like this post, then please share it or retweet it using the hashtag #howtowin2016

Let’s see what happens and best of luck in the elections.

Virtual Reality Experiments – Motorcycle Configurator App For Google Cardboard

Virtual Reality Experiments – Motorcycle Configurator App For Google Cardboard

I’ve been doing some experimenting with the Google Cardboard SDK for Unity and I wanted to share this little prototype iPhone app I have been working on. This is a demo virtual reality motorcycle configurator app that features a 3D model based on the 2014 Harley Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight. (One of my favorite bikes, ever.)



So far the app allows you to change colors, start the bike, see lights and hear sound. I’ll share more as the project progresses.

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT an official Harley Davidson project, I just needed a theme and I am a huge Harley Sportster fan.

Learning Unity, C# and Xcode has been slow going, as there is definitely a huge learning curve, but the process has been rewarding as well as a great introduction to building small VR applications.

As basic as it is, I really like working on VR apps for the phone, as opposed to the more involved projects using the Oculus DK2. Sure, Oculus apps look nice, but there is something about being able to just pull the phone out anywhere and let others experience things, as opposed to having to be tied to a PC and sitting in front of a chair, I think is really exciting.

Mercedes connect me Adapter

Mercedes connect me Adapter

A project that I worked on last winter for Mercedes-Benz called the Mercedes connect me Adapter was recently announced at the IAA 2015 Auto Show in Frankfurt.

Product Link:

https://www.mercedes-benz.com/en/mercedes-me/connectivity/adapter/

Product Overview:

Previously, Mercedes connect me services were only available to owners of newer Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Now, with the new Mercedes connect me Adapter and app, millions of previously, non connect me-capable vehicle owners (2002 and up), can take part in the connected, digital lifestyle offered via the new Mercedes me, premium services platform. The product uses an OBD2 stick that plugs into the service port under the dashboard of the car. The user then uses an app on their phone to connect to the stick via bluetooth. To use the app, users must be registered via the Mercedes me portal to connect their data. The app allows the user to get a basic diagnostic overview of their vehicle. It provides a list of last recorded vehicle status: fuel level, mileage, parking duration, a photo of your vehicle, insurance data and registration number. The app is especially useful for business travelers who can record their trips. It provides a parking locator, parking timer, parking time reminder, as well as an easy way to contact the dealer or service center in case of breakdown or emergencies.

My Role:

My role was strategic consultant for the high level concept, to brainstorm new and innovative product features, competitive analysis and to provide a basic wireframe and UI concept to kick off the process. Having previously worked on the strategy and concept for the Mercedes me platform, my task was to figure out how to further integrate the device and app into the existing platform.

Project Overview:

There were many challenges with this project, primarily due to a complex combination of connectivity & usability issues related to the OBD connector, bluetooth, mobile app, and getting them all to work seamlessly. There were many ideas and feature suggestions that were made that the team felt could augment the product from both a usability and a business focus, but unfortunately, did not make it into the first release. As a result, the product offers a very basic set of features which the client felt very strongly would be enough for a first launch. Overall, I felt that the final product, although limited in scope, is solid and meets with the business cases proposed by the client.

New Blog – AR/VR Magazine

New Blog – AR/VR Magazine

I would like to announce the launch of a AR/VR Magazine. The new website will focus on discussing all the latest news, trends, resources and analysis of the Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality Industry. This also includes sim-tech, 360 content, wearables, immersive experiences other related technology.

The Augmented Reality industry is exploding and it is estimated that by 2020, will reach a valuation of $150 Billion. I want to be part of this exciting new industry and AR/VR Magazine is the first of many steps to position myself to be there. I hope you will join me.

You can check out the new website at: http://www.arvrmagazine.com/ and let me know what you think!