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Augmented Creativity: The Future of Digital Storytelling with Wesley ter Haar | Adobe Creative Cloud


(exciting music) – Hello everyone. Gonna start exactly on time. I’m Dutch. We take it very seriously. If you want some of the
pictures I just took, we have the Adobe Max calendars
coming out next month. It’s a joke. (audience laughing) (Wesley laughing) so, thank you all for spending some time. This is super fun. We call these types of
sessions The Open Monastery. It’s really a deep dive into
things that are top of mind for our company, Media Monks. We’re hoping there is a
fair share of information inside inspiration to make this worth your collective whiles. Just generally today is
gonna be about digital storytelling and next-generation
digital storytelling. Part of that is really
deep diving into today. Spoiler alert, I think there’s a lot of under leverage opportunities. So I’ll talk about that,
and then I’ll also go into some of the amazing new opportunities that we’ll see coming up again and again. Gonna start with a really
quick introduction. I am Wesley ter Haar. I found Media Monks back
in Amsterdam in 2001. I moved to LA about four 1/2 years ago. So, this sort of feels like home. But for locals, I think
living and working in Venice, I’ve been downtown five
times in four years. So it feels like a different city. I also spent a fair amount of
my time now in Mexico City. I’m on the board of S4,
which is for marketing Sorrell’s new company. My role is a mixture of
operational excellence, creative excellence. If anybody’s planning on
taking pictures today, please take a picture of the picture, ’cause it’s clearly my finest work. (audience laughing) What very few people
know, is when we founded Media Monks back in 2001,
I was the Flash guy, which is very exciting.
(audience laughing) I think we’re not allowed to say anything about Flash anymore. Especially not at an Adobe conference. I am going to mention
it a few times though. Quick check, who here sort of drug using Flash in our industry? I have 10 minutes of
nostalgia for all of you. It’s gonna be amazing. So, Media Monks, we
call ourselves a global create production house or partner, whatever you want to call it. I think that mixture
of doing the creative, but also doing a production is really key two a lot of what we’ll
be talking about today. We have about 1400 people, 19 locations. It’s really interesting because
the way we’re organized, means all these things are
closely working together across time zones. Means there is this
amazing sort of diversity of culture and thought that
tends to go into our work, which is really fun to see. If I would have to define
the trifecta of Media Monks, it’s our talent, our ability to recruit and retain amazing talent,
which allows us to do amazing work which then wins a
bunch of shiny stuff. That shiny stuff is also
a reflection of really understanding what cultural
relevance is and then executing against it. And then this idea of
being future proof, right. Being on the front lines
of emerging user behaviors, emerging technologies,
which is definitely part of what we’ll be discussing today. I’m gonna show a quick piece of work just so everybody gets a sense
of the type of stuff we do, and then we’ll dive in. Here goes. (upbeat music) ♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey ♪ ♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey ♪ ♪ What ♪ ♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey ♪ – [Man] Do you feel that? – [Man] Power. ♪ Boost boost ♪ ♪ Boost boost boost ♪ ♪ Boost boost ♪ ♪ Boost ♪ ♪ Yeah yeah yeah ♪ ♪ Oh. ♪ ♪ It is, it is ♪ ♪ Who the hardest of ♪ ♪ I just don’t know ♪ ♪ Number one ♪ ♪ I’ma show you what I’m made of ♪ ♪ Or who the hardest ♪ ♪ I just don’t know ♪ ♪ Number one ♪ – Here we go. Let’s take you now to meet the squid. (upbeat music) – [Man] Oh, I’m pushing him down. – [Man] I did not expect that. (upbeat music) – The time has come to explore
beyond our known horizons. – [Man] This is Colonel
Sanders with mission control. (audience clapping)
– I’ll take it. I’ll take it. And yes, we did send a
chicken sandwich to space. So I think we can all agree
that we do very important work. (Wesley laughing) Yes. I’m gonna start with a bit of
a story about storytelling. And it’s weird because this
whole session is sort of nomenclature and storytelling. I’ve grown to really dislike
the term storytelling. I dislike storytelling. I hate all of the
variations like story doing, storyselling, storymaking, storyliving and these sort of get thrown
at us at marketing conferences. And in old pieces, I
literally heard somebody this morning say story helping, which made me feel bad
about myself in general (audience laughing)
and the industry I’m in. And I dislike this, not because
I think there’s anything foundationally wrong with the term, right. Seth Golding is probably the person it pushed us from a marketing and creative AC perspective onto this path. This idea that marketing is
no longer about the stuff that you make, it’s about
the stories that you tell. Foundationally, I think
there’s a lot of value to that. The idea that a narrative
is the way we as people sort of embed things, either emotionally or with emotional resonance or permanence. And there’s a lot of data and resource that backs this up, right. This idea that the
emotional impact of an ad is much more important
than the content of an ad. Makes a bunch of sense. I think we all sort of get that. This idea that we’re evolutionarily wired to think in stories. We sort of use narrative,
we understand it. There’s structures to narratives that we can sort of engage with. And even if you look at the professionals, the so-called memory
athletes, most of them, to remember things, actually use stories. So, stories are an amazing tool. They’re almost a technique or a hack to get people to sort of
imprint a bit of knowledge. So, this idea of storytelling, being a way for us as an
industry to make our point and do good marketing. Lots of sense, lots of sort
of a deep heavy lifting, thinking we can do about that space. What does that mean for
digital, which is more tactile and more physical. I love that. What I hate about storytelling
is that our industries, sort of when, cool, we’re directors now. Right. Because storytelling, we took
the dominant entertainment industry film, and as
marketeers and creators, we all went, cool, we get
to do more movies, right? That’s really amazing. And I’m gonna play the cynic
here for like 30 seconds. It’s also super
convenient, ’cause it means all of the sort of traditional agencies and traditional creative
company’s could really just keep doing what they do. They didn’t really have
to think about digital in it’s own medium. They could go, storytelling is just film, and we might have shorter film now, and maybe somebody even
shoots it vertical. Amazing. But it’s still film. And it’s in some case, even longer film because somebody made up
the term branded content which I also hate. So, (laughs) is gonna hate
on a lot of stuff today. It’s old man shaking fist at cloud. (audience laughing) So. (laughs) I love it. He did the whole, That’s amazing. So even in digital, right,
digital which is all about interaction and flow and mechanics, lots of conversations
are, who’s shooting this? Who’s acting in this digital piece? And do we get to go to Hawaii
and eat great craft services? And do I finally as a creative,
get to be a film director and a scriptwriter? And there’s a huge
chicken egg conversation to have with a few beers, or because we’re (speaking
in foreign language), Which is if the creative and
marketing side of our business sort of latched onto storytelling,
and really translated it to linear film, the media
side of our business went, cool, just to video ads. Give me more video ads
because they’re easy to sell. They’re easy to publish. They’re easy to create leads with. So, this is my problem with storytelling, is the metaphorish film. I think at a minimum, when
I think about digital, the sort of defining metaphor storytelling should be closer to theater. Should be closer to play, right. Depending on who plays, who
acts in it when it’s being done, where it’s being done and
who’s in the audience, it’s slightly different. There is nuance to it, based on variables. There’s no just a linear
story that somebody scripted and just gets played out. But the more I think about digital, and the more I think about
how fragmented it is, and the more I think about all
of us sort of using digital, ’cause a bunch of different channels, more and more it feels like improv. It feels like, yes anding across
some type of user journey. Right. So, we’re trying to create yes and moments for a consumer that hit’s our .com. Yes and what’s next? They see something on
social, yes and what’s next? So, more and more my hypothesis
is digital storytelling is more improv based, just trying to get to the next yes and. So, the problem with what has happened in which is the main
reason I really struggle with storytelling is a term, we’ve taken what is this amazing medium for interactive innovation,
the web, the internet or what we now call digital,
and we’ve really made it revolve just about
traditional linear formats. Just film. And that isn’t just me saying that. These are IAD stats. The Internet Advertising Bureau which is a slightly less cool
FBI, for digital advertising. (Wesley chuckles) This is stats from 2019. So 62% of all ads spend,
is just promoting film ads. Just film ads. So you can say, okay, 30% is there, right, for real digital storytelling. Not really. Most of that 38% is search,
bit of programmatic, and that’s about it. Which means we’re left
with this tiny sliver of ad spend connected the real interactive digital storytelling. And in our industry, ad spend is, that’s the air you breathe. If there’s no ad spend against it, there’s no space for
something to actually grow. so, when I talk about today, I also say, we’re in the darkest timeline
of digital storytelling. ’cause we Frankenstein
two things together. We’ve taken a very
traditional way to think about storytelling, which is pieces of film and then we’ve gone, We sort of start to
look at a 30 second film or a 60 second film online. So, let’s make the film shorter. And even though we have all of this data that could be really fun and
could drive personalization, we’re just gonna use it
to target and re-target. And that’s really what’s
storytelling in digital space has sort of ended up at. So, my take today is, we’re
gonna look at how we got there and we’re gonna look at how
we hopefully get out of this. This is the timeline. For me, today, and to
really set us up for success for the future, it’s all about what I call ecosystem and experience. And we sort of need to wrangle
back the term storytelling to actual digital spaces. And I think that’s the
main thing we need to do. But before we get there, I was
talking about this yesterday. I think as an industry,
we’re sort of really bad in standing on the
shoulders of giants, right. Taking all of this
information and insight, and learning from back in the
day and building on top of it. We’re not quite the printing press. But there is about 25
to 30 years of actual insight into what digital storytelling is. And for me, you can sort of
define it in three main ages. One is this initial,
this initial explosion of creativity on the web,
where it really becomes an interactive tool. This moment we get bandwidth,
which is very exciting. And we start getting
film and game mechanics. And then where we really
sort of get what I think was the most unique version
of digital storytelling, when we started using APIs
and started personalizing. So, for everybody to put
their hands up about Flash, this is for you. (Wesley laughing) Enjoy. The 90s. So, this is mid 90s. Narrative UI. The idea that storytelling
is about the UI, the experience of the UI. I think we talk a lot about
storytelling and emotion. And because we think about
storytelling as film, we sort of default to
very heightened emotions. Did an ad make you cry? Did an ad make you laugh? Did it make you happy inside? I think emotions also,
there’s a feeling of magic as you use a thing. That’s motion as well. And that’s what we should be focusing on. And I think in this period, we show a lot of amazing experimentation. We all have to sort of contractually now say bad things about Flash. Remember, this is what internet
looked like, pre-Flash. And then, we got to do
these amazing animations. Look at that. (audience laughing) (Wesley laughing) And then suddenly, it
opened a creativity, right. We’ve got all these
amazing creative talents, and a few of them are speaking here today. I heard Gmunk, was gonna say, it was a huge inspiration
for us at Media Monks. And sometimes I think we
should actually take in some of the work that happened, right. Who remembers this piece of work, Eye4U? That’s like not knowing the Rembrandt, if you’re in like, a Rembrandt picture. If you’re in art history. So, this is the reason Media
Monks exists as a company. I saw this. It blew my mind. I illegally downloaded Flash. Sorry about that. I made up for it. I started playing around. But what’s really
interesting in this space, you look back at it now,
and it feels super dated. This idea of storytelling, true UI, UI as a guiding effect, UI as a narrative I think is actually really powerful. It is really, I think is
something that we’ll see a lot of today and in the near future. You go, There’s lots of experiments
around interaction. This time, everything is new, right. People are really finding their foot in what is digital interactivity? What is digital engagement? And you cannot do something like this and not mention too advanced. People talk a lot of
shit about pre-loaders. Well, people forget, this
was a narrative tool. Because you had to keep people engaged, while you were loading
something in the background. So, this wasn’t the
so-called Flash duration that people talk about. (Wesley laughing) Hard laugh. Thank you.
(audience laughing) This was narrative. It’s, I’m gonna load 200kbs,
and it’s gonna take 40 seconds. How do I keep somebody
engaged in 40 seconds? This is narrative. This is the original digital
storytelling technique. And when I think about
it, some of these things really had an impact, right. I still flashback to them,
like I would at rating moving or a paragraph in the book. So, we see this truly new
medium being invented, reinvented constantly. But if we look at today, think about what material designed eyes and what it does with
the idea of narrative UI. So, this is being codified
in material designed. Being codified in
Apple’s human guidelines. This is a huge part of how
we now think about digital. This idea of animation is a
really powerful tactile way to keep people involved. That’s digital storytelling. UIs with personality. This could’ve been Flash
work from 15 years ago. This idea that you have to tell story, two animation and narrative. We’re seeing that again and again in most of the voice work which of course is very well set up to sort
of do that type of stuff. We hit the 2000. We get bandwidth. It’s very exciting indeed. If Eye4U is the reason
Media Monks started, Photo Funk Futures by North Kingdom is the reason it almost ended,
’cause I looked at this work and went, I super suck. I’m never gonna be able to do that. So, I’m just gonna stop doing it. This was really the first
idea of using film techniques and actual film in digital work. And this is the citizen
Kane of all Flash websites. Get The Glass, also by North Kingdom. Gaming. So what you’re seeing the
moment we get bandwidth, we sort of do whatever new medium does. We go, cool, let’s do the thing that’s already being done. Let’s do film, let’s do games. And this isn’t weird. I think most people in this
room will have her the story about the first TV ad
just being a radio ad with a static image. That’s normal. That’s what happened. But what I really took away from that age is this lack of emotional resonance. One of my favorite gifs. So, there is something weird. We used to call it interactive film. Online, we used to always talk about, you you don’t want to
interrupt to interact. There is a weird thing
that happens with the film. The moment you take away agency, you actually sing with some
of the emotional resonance. I thought “Bandersnatch”
this year was such a great example of that. “Black Mirror”, really well done. Beautiful sort of
interactive production piece when you think about it. But it just didn’t impact. You take away something powerful and film when you sort of Frankenstein
it with this idea of interaction with a bit of agency. It’s immersion breaking, and it sort of doesn’t
leave an impression. So even though I really like this time from a production
perspective, because we did so many shiny things, very
few of those projects, I think actually had that
weight that some of the earlier work did that I think did
real digital storytelling. And then we hit sort of the 10s. And this is where they we
learn some really, really important things about
digital storytelling. I’m gonna show a piece of work. This’ll take about a minute. ‘Cause this was a real aha moment. This is called “The Wilderness
Downtown” done by B-Reel. Amazing company. And it is an interactive music video that uses personalization. And the personalization
is, please let us know the street that you grew up on. And it gets worked into
the musical video clip using Google Earth and street view. And just feel how interactively
specific this story, ♪ Now our lives are changing fast ♪ ♪ Hope that something pure can last ♪ ♪ Hope that something pure can last ♪ ♪ Ooh, we used to wait ♪ ♪ Ooh, we used to wait ♪ ♪ Ooh, we used to wait ♪ ♪ Sometimes it never came ♪ ♪ We used to wait ♪ ♪ Sometimes it never came ♪ ♪ We used to wait ♪ ♪ Still moving through the pain ♪ ♪ We used to wait ♪ – So much more interesting
than a linear piece of film. It uses data. It uses the browser in
really interesting ways. It uses APIs. Another really great
example was done by a tool in Json ad at the time. Take this lollipop,
which was a horror movie based on your own Facebook data. Very prescient when we think
about Facebook data nowadays. Sort of weirdly ahead of his time. And also for us, I think
we sort of caught on what made digital story
really interesting. There are two projects
we did during that time, that for me really sort of defined Media Monks as a company. And it defined it because it was doing these really specific things. It was taking a channel,
in this case YouTube, and shredding interactive components, specific to the channel. We’re using best practices
of gaming and film, and then it was personalizing. All those things together,
just felt uniquely digital. Really, one of my favorite pieces of work, “Night Walk in Marseille”,
and other piece of work we did during that time,
which really sort of pushes into what is a documentary, a really digital documentary look like? Can’t just be a linear piece of film. Has to be interactive. Has to explore. As have some type of vibe to
it that’s different than just looking at something in a linear fashion. So, all of these things combined, being we have this really
interesting moment in time. We have about 15 years, give or take, of really understanding
what digital interactivity and interfaces actually are. There’s lots of great work being done. We’ve gone through the phase of just mimicking film and gaming. But we’re definitely using
best practices, right. We’re going, this is why film
initially is interesting. This is why gaming
mechanics are interesting. And then we sort of add what makes things uniquely digital, which is APIs, data. And all those things come together. And some of the work that’s
happening at that time is truly stunning. It’s amazing. It’s sort of almost
ashamed that a lot of that is no longer online. It’s difficult to find. I had to download these really
low fi clips from YouTube. But this is a really exciting time. And then, literally
one more thing happens, which is the iPhone. And I’m sure they’ll be
historians that look back at the moment in time
and have a much broader thesis of what that meant. But for our industry, it
meant momentum stalled, right. Because we had to go
back to smaller screens, we had to rethink what
interaction actually meant. We lost a huge amount of
sort of ingrained knowledge. Processors, Flash dies. I know, I know. (audience laughing) We can huddle outside. (audience laughing)
Hug it out. So, all of these things are climaxing. One more thing happens and it stalls. So, how do we get from this
amazing sort of momentum of digital storytelling what
I call the darkest timeline? Because during that moment,
another thing happens which is actually amazing
news for our industry. It’s really, really exciting. Which is, we become an actual mass medium. People start spending a bunch
of money on ads, online. So, this line sort of
starts really pulling up around 2009, 2010. It’s exciting. If you validate company back
in 2001, it’s fun to advertise, convinced TV wouldn’t survive the decade. But this was the real inflection point, where we went, oh, okay. This is a real thing. But what happens is this. We start treating mobile
just has a smaller TV. Which is for most people
on their phone here, I blame cat videos. But most people on their phone here, you watch lots of video now. Lots and lots, I have a hard yes here. (Wesley laughing) You are examining your own life
choices there for a moment. It was very impressive.
(audience laughing) The introspection was beautiful. So can we start treating
mobile is a smaller TV, it is a really weird thing to do, because we know mobile user
behavior is a interactivity. We see that in new formats
like Tik Tok and Snapchat. Before we see it in the
growth of mobile gaming. It’s the perfect device for interactivity. Is it the perfect device towards video? Maybe. But it’s definitely
great for interactivity. But as Ad spend starts consolidating, Google and Facebook who
have most of the ad spend, just start creating
these very standardized linear film formats. So, the moment we sort
of become a mass medium, we also kill interactive advertising. No formats like you see, sort of support, bespoke interactive
thinking, mechanics, flows. All of that stuff. And again, this is weird
because I always look at the user behavior. Storytelling sort of
mapped itself the film. Gaming is by far the
biggest industry right now. It’s about interactivity. It’s about engagement. It’s about fun, its about play. You see none of that
user behavior reflected in how we think about online
storytelling or online ads. And then the worst thing
we do, which is I think, sort of the biggest dropped
ball in our collective industry, we understand that stuff that’s
data-driven is really fun. From Elf Yourself onward, this
idea of personal experiences using data and APIs in fun ways. We know it works. But what we do is, we take all
of that data and we turn it into this horrible dystopia
we are relentlessly re-target with a pair of pants you
looked at three weeks ago. Pro tip. Sit next to a colleague. Look at the weirdest
product you could find, they’ll be followed for about three weeks. So, this is weird again
because user behavior, we know people will pay more
for personalized experiences. We know people take
great enjoyment from it. We know it builds brand loyalty
to a level that is difficult to sort of get from other engagements. But we don’t do this anymore. We don’t use data in that way, which means we now have an
industry that’s full of gaps. Huge gaps. And when I talk about the biggest one, it’s this siloed mess that
we all now operate in, which is we have creative
which mostly does stuff that look and feel and function as film. Might be shorter film. Might be vertical, linear film. And then we have this huge gap, and then we have a media
industry that goes, just give me a bunch of
standardized toolkits or pictures. Love it. I’m gonna point there. (audience laughing) Nice. (laughing) So this is the area we
currently live in, right. Usually siloed. Huge gap. For me, storytelling is
the thing that happens between these things. So, what I want to spend some time on, is really looking at what,
for me are these five steps of next-generation digital storytelling. And to an extent, I hope
everybody in this room helps reclaim the term storytelling. It cannot just mean a piece of linear film in a digital environment. That isn’t digital storytelling. Digital storytelling, for
me starts with the insight that it’s a journey. It’s not a one linear moment
of advertising or messaging. And that’s literally the case, because that’s how we
all use digital channels. Just look at people going into some type of conversion funnel. More than 11 engagement
with a piece of content to get to an actual conversion. And this isn’t in one sitting. This is across multiple
channels, multiple events. So, it’s literally a journey. And if you think about that,
that’s why I so focused on really the term ecosystem experience, which is this idea that
you have to sort of improv around her ecosystem and try
and get amazing experiences that are in some way
connected in a single journey. So, age of ecosystem experience, this is where I have my
shameless Adobe plug. I am getting paid for this by the way. (Wesley laughing) That’s not true, sadly. So, Adobe went from, I think, facilitating a lot of understanding in digital storytelling with Flash. I think if you want to do it
now as a Creative or designer, yes, there’s Creative Cloud. There is lots of fun
stuff happening with Xd. But marketing cloud, experience manager, the tech stack part of it,
is actually really, really important to do digital
storytelling as a journey. This is not one moment. It’s not one piece of
film or even a micro site like it used to be back in the day. It’s how do we get people
come across ecosystem to stay connected to a single story? And you hear the term customer
decision journey a lot. We use that. I think there’s lots
of variations on this. The main thing is, how do
we connect all of these touch points and get a sense
of consistency in that story as you go across them? And I think it’s really
helpful the think about what a journey could look like. So this is a really quick example. We use variations on these. You have the initial encounter moments. Somebody encounters
your brand for business or product or service. You’re trying to get a yes
and moment into expiration. A yes and moment into conversion. And the better brand can sort
of own either enjoyment of it or the service support of it
if somebody isn’t enjoying it. And I know this can be a bit vague. So, I’m gonna show a
quick case that just shows how you fill that gap. So, Aeromexico a big
Latin American airline, one of our clients for
our Mexico City office. We started working with
them to do their app. And I travel quite a lot. I sort of, Most of those apps aren’t that good. So that’s an exciting
piece of work, right. You go, how do we make
this really really good? And part of the insight here is, especially for Aeromexico, lots of travel, families that travel between
Mexico and the US and back. Often, it’s not about
the place you’re going, it’s about the person you’re visiting. So, this insight sort of bubbled up, can we build people into
the app as a destination? And thinking about it,
we went, wait a minute. That’s actually a really nice message. Normally, if you look at the
siloed nature of the industry, that’s where we would’ve kept it, right. We would’ve done a nice shiny
piece of film that went, people or places. Book it Aeromexico. But here, we’re filling the gap. So yes, there is a piece of film. Yes there is an app? But what happens in between? Quick video to showcase. (“Carmen Suite No. 2:
Habanera” by Georges Bizet) – [Narrator] For more than 80 years, selling and buying airplane
tickets has always been a matter of geography. Flying from point A to
point B depending strictly on cities and countries. We change the game with a
very simple business idea. Instead of geography, we
focused on the people, turning everything single
person into a destination. We created a web platform
connected with Google technologies and major social media
tools fully integrated with our e-commerce backend. (keyboard clicking) Instead of using a geographic
destination to fly to, users can now also
directly choose the person they want to fly to wherever
this person is the world, and do it with Aeromexico. By completing their purchase online, users receive an eticket that
reflects this personalization. And that works like any boarding pass on any device at any airport. They also have the option of promoting themselves as a destination
three personalized video generated from their social data. We couldn’t change geography,
so we revamped it’s logic because Everybody is a destination. Aeromexico. (speaking in foreign language). People are in a place, The interesting thing with this is, it picks up a golden can. And I’ve been on the journey a few times. I think it picks up a gold
because almost see none of this work happen anymore. If you’re in Azure, your
mostly seeing video pieces or exporential pieces. Very few of these sort of
journeys and flows and mechanics. So normally, you would have a video piece and you would have product. We activate it online. We integrated with social APIs. We drive it all the way into product. That’s how to think
about digital journeys. So, digital storytelling is a journey, and it should be focused on the user, which sounds like this use open door. Of course it needs to
be focused on the user. But that’s not actually what we’re doing in today’s landscape. Today’s landscape has an
amazing amount of engineering. Facebook and Google have
built stunning technology but it’s being used with
very little to no empathy. This idea that just because
the technology’s there, we should relentlessly retarget people, stalk them across the web. Use their data in weird ways that aren’t quite easy to understand. This is where our industry
really sort of messed up, I find. It’s the idea of not adding
the to all of this engineering. And when we talk about this, what technology gives you is intent. I know that you’re interested in cars, or I know that you’re interested
in all the data online. Intent. But the only thing we do with intent, if we just retarget, we go, go to Hawaii, go to Hawaii,
go to Hawaii, go to Hawaii. That doesn’t make any sense. So for me, when you start
thinking about the user, you start thinking about
what we like to call these personal inflection points. Where is the value for the
user in the way we communicate? How can we be assistive. And I’m gonna use another case
here from one of our clients. I can never, I’m never quite sure how you
pronounce this in the US. It’s either Weber or Weber. Thank you. Very helpful. And this is the inflection point. The inflection point is, getting somebody from
a burger to a brisket. So when you buy a barbecue,
and you’re flipping burgers. You feel like a hero. But the moment you, (laughs)
the moment you start trying more difficult stuff and it fails, it sort of kills your
journey as grilling hero. And this was a deep insight,
because the moment somebody feels comfortable and has
success doing something more difficult, it changes
their complete landscape as a griller, which is
also usually valuable for the company of course. But it starts with how can we be assistive to this person using our product. And again, you start mapping the journey. So we have a very extensive one here. And it’s full of these inflection points. It’s how do we get people
to the next step or value? Which means, we’re
doing a lot of work here in the encounter, explore
and convert space. But I find it really interesting from an experience perspective. So, there’s lots of campaign work which is all about inspiration, get people excited to be a griller. And we do some really beautiful platform and e-commerce work,
where we’re actually using a lot of that narrative UI. A lot of this really tactile UI work that gets people excited
about the product. Gets people playing with the product. And then, this is really the value ad. So, the moment you buy these things, you have a connected device. That means we know, if
you want us to know, what you’re doing and
when you’re doing it, and how good you’re doing
and if you’re happy with it. You can use this type
of data in several ways. You can use it and be an ass. (Wesley laughing) Which seems to be the default state when it comes to data nowadays. Or you can go, cool,
let’s help this person be better at that thing. Help them along to be a better griller. And that’s closely what we’re doing. We’re just getting
people to the next step. Next step, next step, next step. And then, we build in a
bunch of innovation work. But I’ll get to that in a minute. So, the idea of a user journey in this way is to create this completely connected digital brand experience. Consistent brand, consistent product story on every single touch point. Doesn’t matter if you’re unsocial. If you’re on .com and
if you’re using product, if you’re in retail, it’s all connected. It’s all same story, same value. Because when you start thinking
about storytelling across the customer decision journey,
it’s about user first. Connecting touch points
through consistent narratives, I think this for me is
a really important one. You need to move from mass media because mass media is intent information. Just reach. And how do you create
these memorable moments? And again, because we think
of storytelling as film, we only think about heightened emotions where just memorable moments can mean UI. Can be in activation, can be
in product cases and usage. So we can go from that
relentless retargeting to being assistive. So, storytelling and digital spaces, journey, focus on the user. That creates a personal path. And this to me is really important. Adobe actually has a lot of
messaging around this as well. In this really, goes into
that idea of emotional, just being the heightened ones, right. It’s that idea that across that journey in all of these experiences,
there are just the small moments that create a weight of experience within an ecosystem. And to me, the most important
thing we do take away, is people want to feel heard. They don’t want to feel overheard. And I’m gonna show my
age with the next slide. I’m gonna do a hand count,
who recognizes this slide? ♪ Sometimes you want
to go where everybody ♪ – Not too bad. Half of the room is like, So “Cheers”, where
everybody knows your name. That’s cool. You go to that bar because it’s personal. You walk in everyday. Hey, Norm. It’s amazing to see you again. But this is not was happening, right. It’s personalized panic. What’s happening? Why is this thing happening? Do I want these pants? Who knows. (audience laughing) And the interesting
thing to me in this space is really that idea that
there’s also no worst way to spend your budget,
your ad budget on costly showing the person the same ad. It’s also a really dumb
way to spend your money. Because either that person has bought it. There’s this amazing
presentation I just recently where people were being re-targeted after having just bought a car. Like, do you want another car? No. I just bought one. (audience laughing)
Right. There is no journey thinking here. There is only intent. There is only technology. There’s no personalization
that makes sense. There’s no journey. So, one of my favorite quotes, VP of product at Netflix. Geography, age, gender, not
actually that important. Don’t really add value when
you’re personalizing it. And we’re seeing a lot of pushback on these things already, right. People are, what we sort of call the tech lash. People don’t trust big tech anymore. We’re seeing politics
pushback GDPR in Europe. Similar laws in California. Similar laws in Brazil. It’s just not gonna fly anymore. And if you’re creative and
you think about journeys, data needs to be something that adds value for the end-user. It needs to be something
that makes you go, wow, that’s amazing. I’m really happy that that happened. I’m gonna show a quick
case here that talks to this idea of personal path. Let me say, this is the
weirdest piece of work a Dutch company is ever done. We re-platformed Air Force.com, during the Obama years,
so it was still cool. (audience laughing) It’s LA, so you can say that. (Wesley laughing) So the idea here, this is a very complex stakeholder space. Very controlled agency. But this idea that you have
all these different people going to this type of website. It literally has a thousands
plus pages of data. People just get lost. They get the wrong message. There’s nothing there for them. And because of that, it
just feels really difficult to sort of get a conversion. So, this video explains the
personal path really well. We did this four or five years ago. So, it was slightly ahead of it’s time from technology protective. It is actually being re-platformed
to Adobe at the moment. But nice video to explain personal paths. (deep music) – [Narrator] Everyone of us is unique. And yet all sites are built to speak to everyone the same way. How can we help people
visiting AirForce.com find answers, explore a path,
and explore careers in a way that speaks just to them. We designed AirForce.com to
ask people about themselves, to learn about their
interests, their strengths, their priorities, their
plans for the future. And with everything the site
learned, the content changes with new images, new
headlines and new body copy. So everyone’s journey
through the site is personal and created just for them,
allowing the Air Force to help each person learn
more about who they are so they can discover a path that’s right for them and their future. It’s at that listens, a site that learns, a site that adapts. A site that makes everyone’s experience as unique as they are. – So, key stat is the
uptake and conversion rate. But there’s actually second
stat that isn’t in this video. People were spending
less time on the site, which traditionally is
sort of seen as a bad stat. You want people to spend
hours and hours on this thing. Oh, sorry. But, people were able
to find what they needed quicker to convert, right. So, it’s all about assistive. It’s all about getting
people to the next step, Yes and yes and yes and conversion. So, personal paths, When we talk about it, we
go personal paths needs to be interactive, adaptive. This is the difference between
film storytelling, right. Film storytelling is linear. It scripted. It starts, it ends. Personal paths, open to
your input and effort. It needs to be reflected. Ideally, it’s transparent. You can actually feel it
changing based on your input and you understand what’s happening. Data-driven and personal,
contextual and relevant. So, this is what we have so far, right. Digital storytelling is a journey, focused on the user and
creates a personal path. The fourth element is
this idea of something being driven by design
and create of distinction. And to me, this is one of the, This is the right sort of
place to talk about it. This is one of the misunderstood
parts of our industry, I think at a business level. So, when I talk to big
brands, or when I talk to CMOs or people in that sort
of market side of things, this idea that the experience with a brand or off-brand is more
important or at least equal to this very traditional
advertising notion of loving a brand. And I’m sure there are people
in this room that really, really, really love a brand. But it’s a very small subset of brands that get into that space. But that’s where most
traditional advertising sort of focuses on, right. Even a lot of the wording, love
marks at such and such uses, I’m not saying brand love doesn’t exist. I’m not saying sort of
loyalty of brands is dead. But I do think this idea of ecosystem, experience within that
ecosystem is usually powerful. I think this is gonna be a marketing case, that 25 years from now we’re
gonna look at and we go, that was actually really interesting. Should have spent some more time on that. So, this is Uber. And they’re sort of past this now. But let’s say about two years ago, they probably have one
of the worst nine months the PR I’ve ever seen a company have. Right? Going to do a hand raising. Who here deleted Uber? Who here thought about it? (Wesley laughing) So, this is an interesting thing. Uber, and I’m gonna delay
while this is happening. Uber is sort of being
positioned the Darth Vader of the sharing economy. And we have Lyfts in LA as well. And again, post IPO. A lot of this has changed. But Lyft is sort of Uber for millennials. Same drivers in the same cars bringing you to the same place
for the same amount of money. But they’re a friendlier brand. And I’ve always been
taught that millennials want to be connected to brands
that lift their passion, not lift their reflection of
what they think about culture. I asked all of my people. We have a bunch of millennials
and Gen Zs in our company. And I went, did you change? They went, no, too much work. (audience laughing) I tested it. It’s three 1/2 minutes of work, right. But they’re locked into an ecosystem, and within that ecosystem,
the experience is great. I would say, it’s
incrementally better than Lyft. It’s not a different service. The app is a bit better. I think a lot of the UI,
this idea of narrative UI have an impact on your experience is really powerful in Uber. They lock people into an
experience and ecosystem. I think people misunderstand
the power of that and how it really overrides
all of that traditional marketing thinking. We’re seeing some real
research around this now. This is sort of instinctively
what most people in this room will agree with. Design has business impact. McKenzie came out last
year, doubled the return on shareholder values for
companies that are seen as good at design. Forrester came out earlier this year. The impact of design is
the business difference in today’s landscape,
because everybody is sort of at the same level now. And this really harks back to,
it’s not just a linear story. You have to think about the
mental and emotional impact of your digital work, when
it comes to interfaces, when it comes to close,
when it comes to mechanics. This is some of my favorite research, which is this idea of perceived ownership. The idea that if you’re
touching something, it lowers the barrier to you
wanting to buy that thing. That’s the reason when
you go to buy a car, they try and get you in the car. When you go shopping for
clothes, they want to get you into the fit room, because
the moment that happens, in order barrier and
you go, I own this now. I must have it. Really interesting research. Just imagining that has exactly the same impact on your brain. So, you should be using
digital channels to mimic that idea of playing in
testing with products. But what happens, and this
is an example of us actually getting the client to get there. We often think about digital
in really narrow way. So this is Genesis, an electric car brand. We built what I think
is probably the coolest car configurator online. This thing almost died four
times because it didn’t load in two seconds, but it loaded and four. That’s the reason it was gonna get killed. This idea of the experience
not being is important as two extra seconds of waiting time. If you take it back to narrative UI, and you think back to preloader, that’s four seconds can
feel like two seconds, can feel like zero seconds
depending on how you build the story of your UI, right. This died again, and again and again. We finally got the client
to go, okay, show it. Test it. Outperformed by 400%. A traditional car configurator. More than that, there’s
a random thread on Reddit with people just going,
why is this thing so good? I have no idea, right. Because it’s magical, it’s
fun, and we’ve lost really the sense of what that
type of impact is in a lot of online advertising and
digital commercial work. So, digital storytelling,
journey, user focused, personal path, design and distinction which brings us to the last
part, which is really this idea the needs to be constantly
powered by innovation. There’s a lot of talk about
innovation as a constant. Now when I look at Media
Monks, we always ask ourselves the question, are we relevant? And if we relevant now,
will we be relevant X amount of time from now? The X is the thing that’s getting shorter and shorter, right. We used to be able to plan
ahead three to five years. You’re probably down to nine to 12 months. And it’s because you are sort
of being hit with these waves of innovation (mumbles). And I’m gonna hit three of these. And again, I think these
have a meeting to potential for digital storytelling. But only if we reclaim
this term storytelling and actually position it against
what they should be doing. So, I’m gonna talk about the realities, voice and assistance in
the area of intelligence. We have about 10, 15 minutes left. I’m gonna make sure we get
through this so there’s time for a few questions if
people want to ask them. Let’s start with the realities. This is VR AR, mixed reality. We use something we call the trend lens. Which is really, are we gonna put effort against the thing, right. So, we look for technology or platform that has a sort of level of maturity. It needs to answer real user
behavior and then there needs to be some type of scale
through distribution. I’m not gonna talk about VR. The only thing I want to say,
it is sort of doesn’t pass mustard when you look through this lens. Technology isn’t quite there yet. New Oculus sort of gets us there. User behavior is a real issue. Distribution is a mess. But then you start looking at AR, and you go, wait a minute. We have sort of four big players. We saw the news from
Adobe yesterday as well. We use four big players that
are driving AR forwards, and they have a very similar
idea about what AR is. They have very similar roadmaps. That’s exciting. ‘Cause then you can sort
of lock in a single view of what that technology
and user behavior is. More important, this. User behavior. These initials Snapchat lenses. People just went mental for these things. More importantly, this. This is Central Park,
three in the morning. People looking for a special Pokémon. I’m not saying it’s good user behavior, but it’s user behavior. There is actual interested
and intent and excitement, even in a very early
phase of the technology. Then you start looking at distribution. Most important thing. QR codes are cool if
you give them a color. So, we get to use them again now. But, distribution is scaling
up relatively quickly, and there’s a huge amount of focus on image recognition meets AR. So for me, when I look at
it through a trend lens, I go, okay, technology
platform is actually ahead of where I was expecting it to be. User behavior is off the charts. Distribution challenged,
but will get there. So, you start looking
at opportunities, right. You go, what are opportunities
within this journey for a consumer? My main focus here is, to an
extent this is the original intent of interactive. It’s not a linear medium. Narrative UI is going to be key. It needs to be on boarded. He wanted to feel intuitive, seamless. Narrative UI is gonna be really important. And scale to get there, retailers
are gonna be the a driver. If we can get it connected
to the journey within retail, that’s when people are
actually gonna spend money against it, which means
it gets space to breathe. And then you have to think about
what is a true story in AR? We’re doing some really
interesting work in this space. This is with Google, which
is a retail demo concept where the retail set,
you can sort of scan it and then it allows you to
interact with that whole retail environment in a digital space. This is some really fun work. It’s very piloty. It gets done in one or two stores. You’re really playing around with the narrative of this moment. But there is a huge amount
of potential around retail as people start getting used to, especially image
recognition connects to AR. And then, this is I think, a really beautiful piece over by Jam3. Amazing company. They launched in AR documentary. And that’s soft of the thing now, you have to start thinking about, right. You take a format and you go, well, what is the AR
version of that format? Instead of just doing a linear piece. So, lots of opportunities in the AR space. Probably the area, especially
with image recognition that I’m most excited about by, ’cause it’s such a logical journey moment. Voice assistance. So, there are some stats here. And they’re pretty interesting,
I think that that is, 42% of people that use a voice assistance, especially in the home,
would like that assistance to be a real person, which is strange. (audience laughing) But it just, It shows the weight, right. We talked about narrative
sort of embedding things in memory, emotional resonance. The reason this is happening
is that’s how we’re wired. So, the moment you start
talking to a thing, you imbue that thing with personality. It’s how your brain works. So, when you start
thinking about the impact of the story you’re telling in that space, it’s actually really, really powerful. There’s also a bunch of ethical questions. I love the discussion,
if kids should say please when they ask an assistant a thing. Should you teach them to
not be little assholes when they use these things?
(audience laughing) To all parents, yes you should. But there’s a really
interesting ethical questions, where I think, even if you are a designer, if you’re a creative, you have
to think about these things. Right. We didn’t think about these
things when data became a tool. And we end up in a really
bad spot because of it. And again, I love the
idea of just being wired to sort of give voice weight,
which I think that’s gonna be where a lot of the upside is. Storytelling opportunities. There’s so many use in business cases. I’m gonna show a use case in a moment that I think is really funny. But there’s so much there. You can be assistive. I think voice is this
perfect yes and moment, ’cause it can answer a quick question. It can give you an easy next step. It’s an amazing sort of improv moment within that retailing journey. What does it mean to
be optimized for voice? It shouldn’t be the case
that a bunch of companies built their own voice,
their own voice bots or tools or assistants. What’s gonna happen, future said, you’re gonna make a choice. You’re gonna choose Apple
or Google or Facebook or Amazon or Alibaba. And they’re gonna be your voice assistant. And you’re gonna ask your assistant. I’m gonna go tell A. I’m gonna go to Max. I want hotel, I was a restaurant. I want all of that stuff done. And then you assist will
communicate with a bunch of different computers and
get that information back. Gonna completely change how
we think about advertising. Because advertising is gonna
move to a live bidding layer between assistants and companies. Huge, existential sort of ask for, and for you to get used to. I think first still get rewarded here. So, do interesting stuff. We prototyped the Google
Home as a marriage counselor. (Wesley laughing) I’ve got a small snippet. – [Google Assistant] After
talking to the both of you, it seems to me that you
both have some feelings bottled up inside, and I
recommend you consider seeking professional human assistance. (audience laughing) (Wesley laughing) – But it’s interesting to start
thinking about these things. Right. What is voice when it’s
sort of ambient computing, always on, everywhere? What does it become, and how
does it fit that journey? I really like this example,
because it’s a bit, When I talk about first,
sometimes it’s just being first with a bit of a hack. So the great thing is, your
phones are gonna launch when I play this because Google
discontinued this prompt. But this is Burger King, sort of hacking peoples Google Home. – You’re watching a 15
second Burger King ad which is unfortunately
not enough time to explain all the fresh ingredients
in the water sandwich. But I got an idea. Okay Google, what is The Whopper burger? (woman laughing) (Wesley and audience laughing) – Can you sit in the middle? (audience laughing) (Wesley chuckles) But this is an amazing idea, right. Across the US, Google homes are going, the Whooper burger is uh. (audience laughing) Which I love that sort of insight. But it also opens up, good or bad, it opens up a load of ethical discussion about how to use this technology when it’s ambient and always on and in the air of intelligence, we’ll get through this quickly. We’re not here yet, right. It’s not Skynet. Robots aren’t quite taking over. But it is, it’s a weird
space at the moment. Deepfakes. Open AI which is the Elon
Musk-backed sort of AI, R&D team has a text generator. You can actually read the output,
that can pretty much argue in real time line, and
it’s perfectly written. It can write a chapter of a
book, based on two sentences. And the output is scary good, so they’re not even releasing the research because they’re pretty sure it will be used in the wrong way. There was a, I think this was in Germany. A company got scammed
out of the 250,000 euros, because they mimic the seals voice. Our lab scene just launched
something yesterday where they can mimic a whole conversation based on two lines of input. So, just you saying two
sentences allows us to re-create your voice seamlessly for anything. Scary stuff. Things for us to think about. When I talk about this, the
first thing we need to start understanding with journey perspective is, every brand now has unlimited
eyes, unlimited ears. What does that mean in that journey? What does that mean we are
telling stories online? And then one of my favorite things, because it’s a bit esoteric, this idea that you can
train your own talent. And I’m gonna explain this with the most LA use case of all time. This is a very handsome
man that play Superman. And he shot “Superman”, then had to shoot “Mission Impossible”, grew this amazing
mustache and now had to do “Superman” re-shoot. Couldn’t shave. So they had to take his
mustache out in post-production, scene by scene, frame by frame. The rumor is, that cost about $20 million. So, somebody saw that and
built a neural network to do it on the fly automatically. So to the right, we see
a shaved Henry Cavill through a neural network and to the left, we see the $200 million
movie post-produced version. So this idea of finding your own use cases and building your own talent, I think this is hugely interesting. Another insight is, do not invest in post
production companies. (audience laughing) Sorry about that. So, storytelling opportunities. Can you train your own talent? Think about what that means. Having your own sort of talent
you can put out there online. Transparent machine learning. Everybody on their phone here,
is influenced every single second that they use their
phone, by machine learning algorithms and nobody
understands was happening. I think transparency there
is such an interesting storytelling opportunity. The idea of mixing creativity and machines and collective action and databases. I’m gonna show an example of that. But first, when we talk
about training your own sort of tools, what our
team has been working on is a sort of machine
learning with creativity. And we’re working on a tool
that choreographed dances. So, it just has huge
amounts of dance input, and then based on some really
simple input by Creative, you get a complete dance out of it. So this idea of creatives
becoming curators of machine creativity, I think is
really, really interesting. And of course, Adobe does
a lot of work in that space which I think is pretty cool. And then a quick case,
when I think about data, this idea of opening up data,
making it a collective good instead of something that
happens behind the scenes, this is one of my favorite
cases that happened last year, or actually the beginning
of this year from Volvo. Take about a minute. (“Without You” by Lapalux
feat. Kerry Leatham) ♪ And your words are engraved in me ♪ ♪ So long as guilt resides here ♪ (car crashing) ♪ Guilt resides here ♪ – I just love this type
of reframing mass data as a thing for good. I think there is so much
work to be done there. So, the future of digital
journeys to end it. It is difficult to sort
of predict the future, but I think we can prepare for it, right. I think we prepare for it by reframing storytelling and digital spaces. We can’t just use the term
storytelling because it’s being used and misuse in very traditional ways. So, this is my first pass at it. Work in progress. Play with it, mess about with it. Digital storytelling is a
journey, focused on the user that creates a personal
path, driven by design and distinction, empowered by innovation. Thank you. (audience clapping) And I think we do have
time for some questions. Adobe also asked me to pull up the slide. You can tell me if I suck or not, and then regardless of your answer, you can still win something amazing. (audience laughing) Thank you everyone. And people want to ask
questions, we can do that or we can just hang out in, And we have a question here. – [Woman] For the U.S. Army
website that you created, some of the times when
things get too personalized, it gets votes on how many
versions you create or something? – Yeah. – [Woman] So I’m interested in knowing, or I’m curious in knowing how many versions of (speaking faintly)? – It’s a good question. And it’s actually, I think
apart were programmatic has struggled is you have
the power programmatic, but the ROI is gone because you have to do so much more work. So what we did here was,
we called it Satellite. On every page, we would
build three blocks, and we would go, if a person is here, they could go to for other spots that could be a yes and moment. And it was really just
getting people from one place to another place in the site. So the personalization was more
the assistive nature of it. And then we had a few
standard CTAs and images. But a lot of it were just journey. Just if you’re looking at this, but we saw you did these three things, we actually think you need to be there. So, it was more of a
recommendation engine, and then pretty standard
CTA update in each update. – [Woman] But at the end of the website there like multiple (speaking faintly). (woman speaking faintly) – Yeah. Yeah, we mapped against, We looked at, what are the
six, seven main stakeholders that use the site. And then based on the value
of those stakeholders, we would go, is just one
path or it’s 10 or 15. And then based on data,
what was quite interesting, I think a lot of segmentation is sort of marketing segmentation, right. You go, Peter likes
soccer, drives a minivan. But that’s marketing segmentation. So, you start there but
then the actual data allowed us to poke at much, It’s more Netflix. Much more diverse profiles that you could decide
to put content against. Optimizing it. It’s fun though. Oh, question. – [Man] Hola. I just had a question. (man speaking faintly) All right. You’re constantly being listen to now. (Wesley laughing) It’s a very comforting vibe. We’re seeing it, It’s the easiest if from a, If your client, if you’re involved in both advertising and product. And this is where the
silos sort of are an issue. The work I was shown,
was where clients were, we were able to do end to end. Then you can be on the hook
for just results and go, oh, if we do this, we think
we’re gonna of the results and we can show it. Vaber constantly results focus. It’s e-commerce. It’s very sort of easy to go,
this works and this doesn’t. But if it’s siloed and
advertising happens here, and platform and product happens here, it’s very, very difficult. But yeah, it’s end to end. It happens mostly on smaller clients because they’re less siloed. Oh, sorry. Those two guys. (audience laughing) Those two guys. It can be really broad. I think what we found, We want there to be, what I think sometimes happens
in our industry, we fragment. We go, somebody that thinks about strategy and then somebody takes on
UX, and then a designer looks at it and then the developer looks at it. That tends to be where
great work comes from. So we try and get more that
compressed and up front. Or we just have a more
diverse group of people spend some time together and think about it. For me, the most important thing is, I always want people to
tell me why something is gonna be good. What makes this interesting? What makes it special? So there’s also just definition. You have to define by
something is going to be good, instead of just going through the motions, if that makes sense. Yeah, I think that’s, When you talk about the
distinction, I think that’s, If you have any sort of app for a bank, all bank apps are the same, right. They’re also about the same level. So I think the story within
that is actually where you lock people into an ecosystem. I would switch, I would do the heavy
lifting or switching a bank or a credit card, which we
all know is sort of a mess if the app just gives me
a much better experience. So, think is a really powerful thing. But I know a lot of people focus on it. And that’s why think
that narrative UI thing, just a feeling of using
something in the mechanics of the flow, it is a
really powerful stuff. But yeah, it doesn’t happen enough. Oh, sorry. Start using Flash. (group laughing) Jokingly though, what was
interesting about that is, because it was early in the industry, people using Flash mostly did design, animation and development. So still to this day,
addressing that reflected in some of the speakers here,
some of the most interesting create a talent that we
have now started in Flash because you sort of had to
combine those three things. So I say jokingly, but I do
think it was this amazing breeding ground for really great creative. I talked to a group of
educators yesterday. We had the same conversation, where if I look at our hiring practice, I think there are two versions, right. Sometimes I think we over
index and we just go, we need, We’re looking for somebody
that’s very good at a thing. But when I look at careers, those people start off really well. You go, oh, that person had 20 tools. An amazing designer, amazing animator because that’s their practice
and that’s their craft. But they’re sort of where
those creators stop, because the people that are
broader at the beginning might actually have a bit more
difficulty getting the door. And I reflect on that myself,
where I think sometimes we don’t do that well enough. But when people come in commonly sort of think about four things. They might not be executionally
great in everything, but they tend to go further
because they can just think more freely about things. And this industry changes really quickly. So, just being good at a thing,
could be a four year career instead of a 40 year career. So, some of my best tires are people that think of it broader. I have, maybe one decently deep skill set, enough to get in the
door, but other interests. We look a lot at personal projects that show diversity of
thought and interests. So me, if you’re into Creative, areas being able to think about data, Like, if I see a Creative
portfolio now that has an angle on data or an idea of what
good voice interaction is, that’s sort of a direct
hire, ’cause they go, at least it’s different. People are thinking about it. Let’s get that person in. – [Woman] That has to
be your last question. (woman speaking faintly) – Yeah, I’m gonna hang out. You can also just email
me Wesley♪mediamonks. (audience laughing) I love email. It’s my favorite thing.
(audience chattering) Thank you. (audience clapping) (dramatic music)

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reliability and efficiency from your equipment. You’re often being asked to do more with
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those things possible. When combined with a team that has years of
experience in the mechanics of industrial equipment, troubleshooting, diagnostics and monitoring,
facilities are able to maximize output and profitability. As an example this quarry was spending a lot
of time manually monitoring the dewatering system to prevent pump failures and flooding
from intermittently rising flood waters…, as part of the risk mitigation planning, Perceptive
Technologies deployed a cost-effective solution to address the problem, continuously monitoring
and analyzing pump performance, motor health, supply power, phase condition, water levels,
and connectivity. 24 hours, 7 days a week monitoring definitely helps keeping an eye on the production and making you immediately aware of any issues. We chose Regal. Regal is very innovative. They have the engineering backing to build the product that we were after. We’re gaining production due to less downtime when we do have issues with pump power, supply power or water levels. We are interested in installing this pump monitoring system on other pumping locations. Perceptive Technologies offers advanced services
for machinery diagnostics to solve difficult challenges. In this rotary kiln application, the customer
recently experienced 2 serious failures of the motor shaft when the previously installed
fluid drive was replaced with a VFD for better speed control. We contacted Regal and Regal upon explaining the situation said could help us with this by a putting a strain gauge on the shaft and see what kind of torsional vibration we were having. With Regal’s help, we determined that we were needing another coupling or something else to dampen this torsional vibration. If we continued at the rate we were going to do, we were going to break another shaft. To solve the problem, Perceptive Technologies performed
a torsional vibration analysis, which allowed for mechanical tuning of the drivetrain using
a Kop-Flex® Max-C coupling to avoid harmful resonance conditions, which were failing the
motor shafts. Changing the coupling dampened the vibration which allowed us to run the fan on a VFD without any problems. The one thing that set Regal apart is the fact that they could break it down into layman’s terms on what we were having. They could explain to the plant personnel and make them feel comfortable in what they were doing and why it would make it better. So when its easy to talk to someone like that, your confidence is built in a company that they represent. Complimented by Regal’s extensive product
portfolio, we provide more than data. As a manufacturer of industrial power transmission
components, we also use these technologies to keep on top of our production assets. For this metal forming application, we utilize
continuous online monitoring of several key parameters so that we can perform maintenance
only when the condition warrants it. That eliminates unnecessary shutdowns and
minimizes unnecessary safety risks. Our Perceptive Technologies products and services
have been successfully implemented in a variety of industries. And although the applications may be different
and each customer is unique, our solutions are flexible and adaptable to each situation. We understand your company expects more from
you. We can help you get more out of your equipment. Let us know how we can help your facility
with solutions that best fit your needs, and ultimately, do more with less.

Future of Fact | What Happens Next | Retro Report


I’m a captive audience in this immersive world. You’ve got my attention. Don’t squander it. Welcome. Suit-up sequence initiated. Biometric signature required. Virtual and augmented reality platforms are sweeping the world of gaming. There are games that go deep, and create richly immersive virtual worlds. And there are games that go wide, augmenting the real world and making the game appear anywhere you go. In 2016 alone, about 2.3 billion dollars in investment poured into companies working on virtual and augmented reality platforms. For some, it’s a bet that the technology is poised to cross the threshold from toy to tool. Turning the world into a screen may sound like a dystopia to some. “They called our generation the missing millions.” But backers of the technology say there could be something irresistible in a device that displays facts you need to know, right when you need to know them, right before your eyes. So many things that we now have anxiety around, about our interaction with the physical world, will just stop being an issue. You’re at a water park, and you don’t know where your child is. With a wearable device, you can see them, through buildings, through anywhere, they’re over here, they’re over there. And what about more complex facts? Some journalists say immersive storytelling could be a powerful way to capture attention of news audiences, so they don’t just think about events, but experience them. How am I going to stay relevant, and get you to care about stories that are on the other side of the world, that you’ve started to block out? I look at these immersive storytelling platforms as the next step in the evolution of journalism. One of the most straightforward methods simply allows viewers to look around. “On a rooftop above Falluja, an Iraqi sniper takes careful aim at an ISIS soldier.” When the New York Times’ Ben Solomon rode along with Iraqi special forces liberating Falluja in 2016, he took a 360-degree camera. The result was a mix of war reporting that you’d see on TV, alongside moments of something unmistakably new. These are the cells where ISIS would hold their prisoners. As the door shuts, the freedom to direct your own gaze emphasizes the confinement of the space in way that a fixed perspective just can’t. The fact, here, is something you feel. So, as a journalist, you’re always trying to give people what Martha Gellhorn called “the view from the ground.” But with virtual reality, now, I’m asking my audience to do something much more intense. I’m asking them to be on-scene, to take me out of the picture, and become the witness themselves. Nonny De la Peña and her collaborators are going further than 360 video, creating densely-researched projects that let viewers explore a street bombed in Syria, or fly above a melting glacier in Greenland. We use Google Maps. We use photographs. We use video. We’re very thorough, and very careful, to use the real source material to inform what we build. All that material helps recreate experiences like this one, with Frontline, which takes viewers inside a solitary confinement cell, alongside a man who spent years living in one. “So, you know, I would take blood and I would write messages all over my cell, you know, help me.” The screen disappears. You’re no longer separated from the material that you’re looking at. You’re inside the story. And that gives you this incredible feeling of presence. A feeling like your whole body’s on-scene, and you’re witnessing an event as it really unfolds around you. “I cut myself thousands of times. Just over, and over, and over, and over.” This immersive project, created by conflict photographer Karin Ben Kehlifa, is even more interactive. It draws on interviews with fighters on opposite sides of conflicts in Israel and Palestine, El Salvador, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Those who attacked us killed my mother and my father right before my eyes. The project, called “The Enemy,” transforms the source material into digital avatars of each man. They can appear in an entirely virtual space, or inside your living room, with the aid of a phone. It doesn’t feel seamlessly real, but it’s still gripping to share their space and listen to them, as their eyes follow you around the room. When you listen to those fighters, realize what they’ve been through, how much hope they still have, how much humanity they still carry. When people go in, they know those fighters exist. They even have a memory of having met those fighters once they come out from there. And I can see that some people are very emotional when they leave this, this experience. But some critics worry that more emotion may be the last thing we need in news. Today, faith in the press has eroded, at the same time new platforms enable new ways to push our buttons, with fake news stories, videos that can make anyone say anything, and outlets that whip up feelings to reinforce particular points of view. If a fake Facebook post can trick you now, imagine what an immersive storytelling piece could do to you, right? The moment at which our bodies and our minds really believe we are someplace else, that is an experience that really threatens deliberation and judgment. One bad scenario is that everything becomes even more about confirmation bias, and people will just completely disconnect from anybody who doesn’t already agree with them. If we are using media to create multiple and competing social realities, then we are imperiling the future of what counts as a fact. Whether you’re talking about screens that replace reality entirely, or ones that simply augment what you’re seeing everywhere, what feels new here is the degree to which this form of communication could short-circuit judgment by getting right in your face. Yet there are precedents for this. There are certain things that have a particular ability to capture our attention. And, you know, today that’s the screen, but the first iteration was the poster. The poster, when it came, out was a sensation. Especially in the late 19th century, in France, when they started using bright colors, moving images, sexy women. People were astonished, they couldn’t believe this thing. They said, you know, it controls the mind, it’s out of control. There’s still pretty strenuous laws, even in New York City, as to where you can have posters. That’s why there aren’t that many eye-level posters in New York. You may not realize that, they’re usually up. It’s because they banned posters being right in your face at all times. People worry that, if we’re giving people an embodied experience, that it’s a subjective experience, and it can’t have the transparency and authenticity that journalism has before it. VR will be used for propaganda. It will be used badly for journalism. It’ll be used for incredible films. But that’s always going to be about, who’s the maker? And it’s not about the medium. And that could mean that the best defense we have against manipulated facts on immersive platforms may well be the same non-technological defenses we’ve been using all along. When misinformation comes, journalists need to be there, to be like, “Okay. You know me. You know me. You can trust me. You know my track record. You know my credibility. You know my history. You know my values and what I stand for. That is fake. That is real.” Every information technology comes with this twin possibility of greater education and information, but greater capacity to manipulate and deceive. The technology it takes to seize people’s attention, and make them pay attention to facts, has always been a double-edged sword. And it seems every era’s next layer of innovation ends up making that sword a little bit bigger. So, you know, once upon a time, the persuaders were, basically, out on the street, in posters, maybe the town crier. Then it slowly moved into the house, that was radio and the television. Then it came closer to us, with the phone and the computer screen. Now, the future is one where maybe it’s all over your body, even close to your eyeballs, maybe plugged into your brain, you know? So it’s getting closer and closer and closer to us. So where is the future of fact in this medium? We’re just barely getting a glimpse of what it’s going to look like.

OMG this actually HAPPENED!

November 29, 2019 | Articles, Blog | 14 Comments

OMG this actually HAPPENED!


What is this? Don’t tell me this is what I think it is. I didn’t even give them my name. I have to open this right now! [Inspirational music plays] Oh my god, why has no one shoveled this yet? Yep! My feet are soaking wet right now. Oh my god! We did it. We did it! Sneakers were a bad choice. Oh, yeah. That’s bright! Red? Blue or red? Blue! Yes! Oh yeah. Looks like they wrote me a little note. “Hi SkyGuytheJedi, we hope you enjoy this gift. Thank you for your great contest submission We’re glad you enjoy our game, and we’re glad to have you as a member of the Star Wars Jedi challenges community from Lenovo PS: We are currently working on the next version of the game and would like you to come down to our super-secret Jedi facilities to test out the new lightsaber battles since you are clearly the best player / Jedi in the world and also if you do this we will give you lots of money and tell Disney to put you in the next Star Wars film.” I can’t believe they just said that. I mean they definitely said it. There’s no reason for me to lie about it. Oh, I think I’m in shock Okay So a little bit of backstory here. A few weeks ago Lenovo asked its players in its forums to create and submit a video explaining why they think Jedi challenges is awesome and whoever’s video they liked the best would get a mystery prize. This is it! Check it out. This is the starry night version of a Millennium Falcon. Oh, and I think there’s more. Yeah, got some x-wings in there. Tie… I believe that’s a TIE Interceptor and X-Wings targeting TIE Fighters. Check these out. You know a little fun fact: these were actually painted by a very famous artist named Vincent van Gogh, in the year 1889. That was like a thousand years ago Can you even like comprehend… like, isn’t it amazing how ahead of his time this guy was? It’s insane. So I have to frame those immediately and I know exactly where I’m gonna put them. You see that empty wall of real estate right there? And that silly family portrait? Yeah, that’s all coming down. These are going up. Right there. Mm-hmm. Thank you Lenovo for these wonderful prints. They’re amazing and they’re really going to spice up my my backdrop over there for my videos in the future. I was literally running out of Star Wars stuff to put up there so I really needed these. And to everyone else watching this video Thanks for watching. Tell me what you think about the game. What do you think about the prints? What do you think about Vincent van Gogh? Have you ever heard of him before this? He’s quite the painter, am I right? And before I go Let me know what you think about that magic fireplace. That was a little delayed but… still… pretty… cool? I don’t know. Alright guys that is all for today I hope you enjoyed this video. If you did, drop a “Like”, and if you want to see more I post new videos every Friday, and if I have time, every Saturday. So “subscribe” if you want to keep up-to-date on the latest news, tips, and gameplay footage for Star Wars Jedi Challenges. And to all my fellow Jedi Masters, remember: [Yoda]: “Pass on what you have learned. That is the true burden of all masters.”

ChromaBlur: Rendering chromatic eye aberration improves accommodation and realism


Traditionally, rendering has focused on “photorealism”: simulating images from cameras with minimal aberration. But rendering for virtual reality should emphasize “perceptual realism” to enable immersion in the virtual environment. To this end, we shouldn’t neglect the imperfect optics of the human eye. We introduce a rendering method that incorporates natural aberrations and thereby produces retinal images that are much closer to what people normally experience. We first calculate the retinal image that would be produced by a 3d scene given an appropriate eye model. Our model incorporates two universal optical effects: defocus and chromatic aberration. The calculated image is the target retinal image. We then solve an inverse problem to determine We then solve an inverse problem to determine what image to put on a display screen that, what image to put on a display screen that, when viewed by an eye, will produce the same image on the retina as the target. We call this algorithm ChromaBlur. Here is the target retinal image for a 3d scene and its depth map for a horizontal cross-section. Focus distance is just over 2 diopters. With Conventional rendering, this is the displayed image associated with that scene and focus distance. With ChromaBlur, this is the displayed image. The right panels show the differences for red, and blue between the target retinal image and the retinal images produced by Conventional and ChromaBlur rendering. Gray represents no difference. As focus distance is changed, displayed images are updated accordingly. ChromaBlur produces much more accurate results than conventional rendering. We investigated whether ChromaBlur rendering drives accommodation, that is, whether it guides the eye’s focus. Stimuli were projected onto a screen. And viewed by one of the subject’s eyes. A focus-adjustable lens and aperture were just in front of that eye. Accommodation of the other eye was measured with an autorefractor. There were three conditions. In the Real Change condition, optical distance was changed by manipulating the power of the adjustable lens. In the Conventional condition, simulated distance was changed by altering blur with conventional rendering. In the ChromaBlur condition, the simulated distance was changed again in rendering but now with it color correct. The power of the adjustable lens was not changed during Conventional and ChromaBlur trials. Here’s an example trial and response. The stimulus is initially at 0 diopters, and accommodation is accordingly at 0. The stimulus then jumps to 1.4 diopters. A third of a second later, the eye accommodates to roughly that distance, a very typical response. Here are the results in all 3 conditions. The first panel shows focusing responses to Real Changes in optical distance. They are accurate and consistent. The second panel shows responses to changes in defocus only (that is, to conventional rendering). The eye does not accommodate, which means that conventional rendering does not drive focusing responses. The third panel shows responses to changes in defocus plus chromatic aberration (that is, ChromaBlur rendering). Remarkably, the eye accommodates much like it does to real changes. ChromaBlur drives focusing responses quite effectively! We showed in another experiment that the response to ChromaBlur persists for stimulus durations of several seconds. We also showed that ChromaBlur continues to drive accommodation effectively when the display resolution is equal to or worse than current HMDs. We also investigated whether ChromaBlur increases the impression of real depth. Images of complex 3d scenes were viewed by the left eye. They were rendered Conventionally, with ChromaBlur, or with Reverse ChromaBlur (which is a reversal of natural chromatic aberration). Subjects saw two stimuli on each trial and indicated which yielded a greater depth impression. ChromaBlur stimuli yielded consistently greater impressions of depth than Conventional. ChromaBlur stimuli also yielded consistently greater depth impressions than Reverse ChromaBlur. Reverse ChromaBlur and Conventional yielded roughly equivalent impressions. Thus, ChromaBlur rendering enhances the impression of depth. ChromaBlur opens an opportunity for next-generation displays. One can couple ChromaBlur rendering with focus-adjustable lenses and eye tracking. When the viewer fixates a new distance in the virtual scene, the tracker senses it. This triggers rendering for the new focus distance. By using ChromaBlur, we assure that accommodation will occur quickly in the right direction. The fixation change also triggers adjustment of the lenses in front of the eyes so that the lens inside the eye will adjust just as it would in the natural environment. Recreating the natural relationship between accommodation and blur would also restore the natural relationship between accommodation and vergence, thereby eliminating the vergence-accommodation conflict and the various issues associated with that conflict. Our ChromaBlur rendering technique creates displayed images that, when viewed by the human eye, create more realistic retinal images. This allows greater perceptual realism, which, in turn, should enable more comfortable, immersive, and engaging experiences in virtual environments.

Augmented Reality bei Vorwerk

October 15, 2019 | Articles, Blog | 1 Comment

Augmented Reality bei Vorwerk


My name is Julia, I have been with Vorwerk for three years and have been with our suction robot for 1.5 years. My name is Guido and I have been with Vorwerk for many years and work in product management. I am the man for all product questions in the big, wide, German Kobold world. The benefit of Augmented Reality I would say is, above all, that you can communicate more abstract themes and technical themes in a way that reaches the viewer on a different level. Augmented Reality is nothing more than an augmented reality. This means you have a technical tool and by adding computer-generated images, animations or videos I have the opportunity to enrich more information. It’s just more fun to look at this information than looking at a datasheet. Particularly with new products, we prepare and process a great deal of product knowledge. However, this is usually always in a printed form, paired with a thick instruction manual. We have often noticed that perhaps not every page is read in this way in detail. How do you explain a really great product that has really great features? So it was obvious to work with Augmented Reality. And as the VR300 has also explicitly positioned itself as a “connected” device That means the main features are in the app and explaining that to the customer is a very abstract level. There’s definitely a focus on the sensors. The robot is incredibly intelligent. He always reacts up-to-date to the situation he is in at the moment. Accordingly, we have installed four sensors, which we can now show with Augmented Reality. That’s one thing and the other is also very nice that you just see how the air stream enters the robot dirty and is then blown out wonderfully clean again. The AR-App for the VR300 is intended for distribution, in the sense of demonstration material. As well as for our stores, that you can get a closer look at the product. At all levels of Vorwerk it has now become clear that Augmented Reality is extremely suitable for us. Because we also have increasingly complex products. I very much hope that we will continue to develop this topic further. Of course there are a lot of ideas what you can still do with the fact that we can perhaps develop exciting things for our customers and at some point even develop a product in this direction. But we’re not there yet to talk about it right now.

IE2: Innovative Technologies with Tom Earp

October 14, 2019 | Articles, Blog | No Comments

IE2: Innovative Technologies with Tom Earp


On this episode of Inside Engineering we talk with Tom Earp about the cool things he gets to do in his role as Innovative Technologies Manager and how he stays on top of what’s next in the industry. Inside Engineering untold stories and fascinating people from the world of civil engineering. This is Episode 2. Recorded in September 2019. Innovative Technologies with Tom Earp Inside Engineering is brought to you by RK&K. Learn more at rkk.com Welcome back to another episode of Inside Engineering. We’re here this week with a good friend of mine, the Innovative Technologies Manager at RK&K, Tom Earp. Tom, welcome to the podcast; we’re excited to have you here today. Thanks Tim. I’m excited to be here. OK. So, Innovative Technologies Manager — that sounds it sounds like a cool title. Walk us through what that means because there’s a lot of things that sound like they could fit under that umbrella. What does it mean to be the Innovative Technologies Manager? It means I get to play with all the fun toys. See, I knew it was a good title! No, actually it is a lot of fun. So that’s that’s the first part. So part of what I do involves working with with the GIS side of things, so geographic information systems, for those we don’t know. Also, I get to play around drones; again that’s part of the fun toys; augmented reality and virtual reality. So getting to to explore those technologies. But really the biggest part of what I’m doing now is making sure that firm-wide that we are looking forward we’re looking ahead at kind of what’s next. I mean that’s a big part of what we do; we have to constantly be moving forward. You mentioned a few different technologies there in the description of what you’re doing can you break down some of the technologies that you’ve had a chance to work with over the past couple of years, few years and and maybe even some things that looking forward are technologies that you know might be under evaluation or anything like that. Sure, so we’ll start with GIS; that’s that’s kind of what I started doing. GIS has been around for a long long time, since the mid 60’s actually, but in the last let’s say five years the move to cloud — so moving GIS into the cloud — has been a huge game changer. So we we here at RK&K moved to the cloud about four or five years ago and really that’s helped our field staff get their work done in the field using iPads and then just that cloud connection, kind of real time GIS has has been a really big technological innovation. So that’s one and that’s again that’s something that’s constantly evolving. More recently drones. So that’s a hot topic. We’ve been working with drones for about two and a half years. So again we started off kind of looking at some different uses how we might use that kind of in marketing and then it’s slowly becoming more and more adopted in other areas. So we’re using it for construction inspection management type things so we’re documenting sites, but we’re also using it to provide some survey-like information. So, point clouds, developing surface models. So that’s really kind of starting to take off. We’re looking to do some bridge inspection work. So structure inspections, things like that. It’s obviously a big safety issue when we’re talking about getting people up on rigging and on snoopers. So being able to fly drone to do that I think we’ll be more and more common as kind of we go to the future. Something else we looked at: augmented reality and virtual reality. So again this is kind of some that we’re just starting to look at. So we’ve we’ve actually taken this technology out to some trade shows where we’ve been able to to demonstrate to clients and people at these shows kind of how we’re we’re using this right now and then what the possibilities are. So it’s really exciting maybe to look at how you know those technologies might really help our clients because I think our clients don’t really know yet kind of how they they want to use these technology. So those are things we’re working on right now. Down the road we’re looking at AI and machine learning. So that’s another kind of hot area. Everyone’s everyone’s talking about AI and how how machines are going to kind of take over. Skynet. Yes. So we’re looking at how we could possibly use these technologies here. You know there’s there’s definitely an application of this technology computer vision, looking at images and classifying what what the images are. So there’s a lot of opportunity there as well. That’s some cool stuff. Let’s walk through a couple of those things because maybe we can talk a little more in depth about some of the specific applications. So you talked about drones. You’ve inspired me to get my drone pilot license recently, so that’s that’s exciting, but one of the opportunities that we have — and you and I have been out on a bunch of different flights together — but one of the opportunities we had recently was to test out, you mentioned inspections, and to test out some drone technology that would help increase the safety and efficiency of bridge inspections. Can you tell us a little bit about that opportunity that we had and sort of some of the challenges that those inspectors face compared to what the drone brings to the table? Sure. So obviously getting people up on a bridge that may be 150 feet off the ground. Which this one was. It was. You know there’s there’s a safety issue there right there. We’ve had here at RK&K people have been in danger during inspections. So that’s part of it is a safety thing. The other is, for this bridge inspection it took them over a week to do it. So they had to have Maintenance of Traffic out for a whole week. Closing a lane down. Closing a lane down a bridge on a bridge. And you know I think if we were able to use the drone to do maybe some initial inspections or some some initial conditions fly through and then evaluate where we need to to actually get our hands on the bridge, that might help eliminate some of that that MOT that we needed for a week. You know on very busy roads that could be a huge time saver, money saver. And an increase in safety for sure. Absolutely. Anytime there’s there’s traffic management happening there’s always an increased risk to to the workers and the travelers moving down the roadway. Yes that was that was a really cool opportunity. I mean you know we had guys, we had some folks on a snooper on the bridge and so anyone who doesn’t know a snooper is a truck that has a big boom arm that booms a bucket under the bridge. So they’re on the bridge looking at that. Then we had some other guys suspended from a wire sort of on a chair with a a winch. They would literally just go up and down the piers and and look at them real in-depth and with the drone we were able to take a high resolution camera, sit back a good distance from the from the pier, and capture imagery that can be used to make an evaluation of that. Yeah. So the other thing with the particular rigging for this pier that we were looking at the bridge inspector couldn’t get the full width of this pier. They couldn’t get out to measure a defect that was out towards the edge. They noted it, but they weren’t actually able to measure it. So we were able to take photos of the entire structure, the entire pier structure, stitched them together and measure the actual size of the defect. And we were also able to do it much much faster. Yeah so time savings is another great way and using drones could could help these inspections where we’re not spending as much time kind of in the rigging on the bridge. Right. There’s also some cool technologies that you can attach to drones in terms of different kinds of cameras and stuff. You want to talk about some some of the different uses for those? Sure. So for this particular bridge inspection that we were just talking about we were testing out a zoom camera. So this camera had I want to say 30x optical zoom, 6x digital. So in our testing we were able to see objects over a mile and a half away and know the kind of what cars they were in and things like that. So really high end zooming. We were able to, when we’re on the bridge, to see individual bolts way up. Again we were 150 feet below the bridge. So just using that zoom capability allows us to be farther away from the structure and then get really high detailed resolution images. So that was part of our testing. Obviously we have regular cameras that we can use and we did some of that while we were out there and that’s just a regular regular camera that’s on most consumer drones. We still like to do some more testing on other sensors. There’s thermal sensors that we could we could look at. We have a drone right now, actually we were out flying it today, it has a multi-spectral sensor so it’s doing infrared, so we can look at plant health and things like that. And that plant health in particular, we’ve had some work around relocating seagrass that I think we’ve used that technology. We looked at it, this seagrass happened to be underwater. So we were a little bit too far underwater to actually make it work for this but that was the intention. But with the right level of depth for that seagrass but this would be a good application. Potentially. Yeah potentially. You also mentioned AR, augmented reality. There’s a lot of talk around AR and VR these days for a bunch of different uses. Can you give an example of what a use case might be for augmented reality inside of civil engineering? Sure. One great use is getting shareholders so or stakeholders involved in the process. So you can take a design and then we could get around a table and you can have multiple devices kind of looking at a model and interacting with it. So an example that we’ve done is we’ve done some bike lane alternative development, so we were able to take a few different bike lane alternatives put them into the AR goggles, in this case the Microsoft Hololens, put it out on the table and we can kind of cycle through them and discuss them in front of you know potential stakeholder. So that’s one great use case for it. There’s lots of others that we’re also exploring. So at the trade show we were… Some of the trade shows we’ve been going to recently have been water/wastewater type trade shows. So pump stations. We’re able to to show a design of a pump station. We can scale the model so you can see all the details inside and then again place that either on a table to discuss it or actually we’ve shot video where we placed it on a site full size. So you could potentially go out to the site where that pump station would be and actually visualize it and walk around or through the site. Absolutely. All in augmented reality. It’s pretty cool. Yeah. So again a client could see what something might look like in the in the field before it was constructed. That’s really neat. OK so we’re doing all this stuff. There’s really cool things that you get to do. I mean but at the end of the day it comes down to, ‘how does this help our clients?’ So how do the things you do help our clients or help our people, who then in turn help our clients? Sure. Can you talk about that? So let’s talk internally first. So one of my roles is to kind of connect people that have good ideas on things that we might be able to do — technology we should be using. And connecting them with other people in the firm that have similar goals who are already working on this. So that way we’re not working in silos. So connecting the right people is is a huge part of what I do. Facilitating that kind of startup of an idea and that’s already happened since I started this role. A great example of this is connecting some of our CM folks in Florida who had a great idea for managing photos on a project with work that’s going on here in Baltimore. So we’ve been able to connect them and kind of get a solution that works for everyone. So that’s one way, internally. But that also benefits our clients, right? Because we’re more efficient in managing our workflows we’re more efficient managing photos. We’re able to to perform better on a project. So I think kind of that internal win is a win for our clients. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean media asset management is increasingly a significant challenge of, where do you store this big media? How do you store it? How can you find it easily so that you can spend more time helping the client and less time looking for a picture or video of something? That is a really good example of connecting different ideas together. So you’re helping the clients, ok, but then, I mean you have to know that what you’re doing is a success or not so that you know whether or not to continue doing it and I think that’s always a challenge no matter what field you’re in. How do you measure the success of what you’re doing? Yeah, that’s kind of hard because sometimes you know how do you measure efficiency? Sometimes you can measure some but you can’t. So in some cases where we’re able to do more work in less time. So if we go back to the iPads, using them in the field to collect data right? Instead of writing all your information on a form and then coming back to the office and digitizing them in some way. You’re collecting it in that format right away. So you know obviously hours spent, that’s an efficiency gain. So that’s one way that we can can measure kind of what we’re doing, but how do we measure connecting people internally that that need to know about what we’re working on? So that’s a lot more challenging and I think you know we can we can measure that by just looking at the success of the project. So you know were we more successful in delivering this particular project? So that’s one way. You know if we’re talking about drones, it could be you know, again a time saving that’s what were looking at, but safety. How do we measure safety? You know is it is a fewer accidents? Is it less time spent you know in a dangerous situation? It’s a challenge sometimes a measure exactly what we’re doing, but I think a lot of you know a lot of our technology advances that we’re looking at are gonna be efficiency, efficiency savings, time savings, letting our staff work on the things that they’re really good at instead of wasting time on things that they don’t need to be doing. Efficiency just spreads across, across everything. I mean we’re always, always looking for ways to be more efficient with something and do it better the next time and constantly learning, that sort of continuous innovation model I think is really important and it applies in your field a lot. Tom, sort of big picture question here, what’s something that you are curious about right now? There’s lots of things but I think one of the the big things I’m curious about is AI and machine learning. I think this is… this is coming. We all have to get used to it and some of us are already dealing with this now even though we may not know it. So one example is you know like if you get if you get targeted by an ad if you’re on Facebook or something like that. I’m not, but there’s algorithms in the background that’s looking at your history, what you’re looking at, and it’s presenting you with things. I think applying this to engineering and what we do here is super interesting. So you know figuring out how we can use this technology to to improve kind of what we’re doing as a firm to improve, again our efficiency and just working smarter. I’m really interested in that. What facet of that technology are you are you most looking forward to? Is there any kind of big broad brush stroke examples that you could give. So one thing that I’ve kind of been interested in is kind of this “computer vision”. So being able to either in augmented reality or using drones to look at something and then have have the AI figure out what you’re looking, at classify it in some way, and then kind of give you a result. So you know maybe it’s change detection or you know you use the drone and you’re flying the bridge and then it can detect defects automatically. So that type of kind of instant feedback is really really interesting and I think it’s something that in the future we’re gonna be doing more of. I know that in communications we use a an AI service for our transcriptions, of this podcast in fact. You know when we’re done the episode we want to have a transcript of the entire thing and so our first pass of that transcription is through an AI system. And it’s it’s good. We have to clean it up obviously but that’s… It saves so much time from having to go through and manually do it that it is a real big efficiency. And so I look forward to having kind of more of those things come along and I’m really glad that we have someone who’s specifically focused on keeping us on top of that. So I don’t know Tom what what else what else do you want to talk about. I mean what there’s there’s so many things that you do I feel like we could sit here all day. What’s something we haven’t covered? We’ve covered drones. Again that’s a big one. I think it’s just going to increase. AR’s definitely to increase. I don’t know. What’s something you’re excited.. Is there
something else you’re excited about? We talked about curious about but is there, is there a particular part of your job that you get really… really jazzed for? All of it. All of it. I know you said don’t don’t say “all of it” or “everything.” No, you know I love technology so finding ways for for our staff and for people here to be able to use technology better, more efficiently to get their jobs done better, to kind of remove roadblocks to getting their work done is something I’m really interested in. So I like having those conversations with people and then just have them kind of, you know it doesn’t always have to be about technology but they’re not thinking about a technology solution that I might be thinking about. So like hearing those things and then trying to figure out how we work that into a technological solution. Right and the thing that I think is kind of cool about your job is that not every idea gets implemented but that’s the good thing about it is that there’s a process for evaluating these ideas and seeing how we can apply them. And, hey maybe this thing over here didn’t work out now but maybe there’s an application for it at some other point. And so it’s not just a ‘yeah let’s do that!’ ‘Yeah let’s try this new technology, that new technology!’ There’s a very careful, thoughtful approach to these things. It is and and it’s not just me sitting here by myself in a room. In a vacuum. You know typing away or thinking away all day it’s it’s getting those people to the table that that have a stake in kind of what we’re doing. So I have lots of examples that you’ve been involved in in the asset management think we’re looking at, digital asset management. So really it’s bringing those people together to look at something, you know figure out how it works for us and then kind of moving forward with that. So it’s a lot of fun. I’m looking forward to doing more of it. You have a cool job. I do have a cool job. All right so we’ve arrived at the point now where Tom gets to give us his pick of the week. This is where Tom recommends something to us that he thinks we are going to enjoy. And I don’t know what it… Actually I do know what this one is he showed me what this one is early. So I’m actually excited about this. I think this is cool. Tom take it away. Pick of the week. So one of the things that I really like to do is is read. I read a lot of leadership books and just just other maybe like self-improvement type books. But a lot of them are focused on leadership. And so one of the ones I’ve read recently it’s been out for a few years. The author is Jocko Willink. He was a Navy SEAL and his his book is called Extreme Ownership. So you know it’s a it’s a really great leadership book. He takes his lessons learned leading SEAL teams and applies that, well he tell stories, and then he applies that to business and how we might apply those kind of in a business setting because you know he’s talking about being in Iraq and you know real life dangerous situations but you can apply those in the real world. And I’ve actually had to do it here at RK&K, you know using those leadership principles, to kind of take ownership of something kind of leading my team, so again it’s a it’s a great great book and I recommend it to everyone. Extreme Ownership? Extreme Ownership. Alright, we’ll put the info to that in the show notes. Thanks Tom that’s good. Books are always a good thing. Well thank you Tom for coming into the studio where we appreciate you being here and sharing your thoughts. I think we’ll probably have to have you back some other time to talk about the next cool thing that you’re working on because it’s always something. It’s always something. It’s always something cool. All right well thank you all for joining us for this episode of Inside Engineering. We’ll see you next week. Hey everyone thanks for watching this episode; I hope you enjoyed it. Inside Engineering comes out every Tuesday and we’re available hopefully on your favorite podcasting platform; we’re trying to be in as many places as possible. So please take a minute to rate and review the show. You can also stream on-demand at our website at rkk.com/podcast, where we also have just a real short survey asking for some feedback on the show because we want to make it as good as possible and as valuable to you as we can. So thanks for watching. We’ll see you next time.

Shifu Orboot Augmented Reality Educational Toy Globe Review jacksonandrowen


Hey you guys want to ride your scooter and bike down the cul-de-sac? Don’t go too fast, cause I can’t keep up. You know that right? You’re not going to wait for Rowen? Too fast. Did I make a mark? You did! Stay right there, wait for Rowen. Here she comes. Umm..no I don’t see a mark. Dang! I hit the brake hard. Hey! Hey! Hey guys! Come up here Rowen. So, while we were out on a scooter and bike ride. Guess what? What? The mailman pulled in and delivered something to the front door.

Make an Augmented Reality (AR) 360 portal in Snapchat FREE | No Coding Required!


Today, I am going to teach you to create this. [Music] The cool part is, this entire Augmented Reality
experience is created with Snapchat Lens Studio free without writing a single line of codes
or touching Unity or ARkit. So anyone can do it as long as you know how
to capture 360 photos with one of these cameras. This is a really cool party trick, as well
— an engaging way to showcase your 360 photography to your friends or strangers. I will also show you how to put this on a
business card. So when people scan your business card with
their Snapchat, the full AR experience will show on their phone without any third-party
app download. Trust me, if you do that, your business card
is the one they will keep in a busy conference. I generate so many new leads because of this
trick. So, if you want to leverage AR without writing
any codes – let’s get started! [Music] Hey, what’s up everybody, it’s your boy Hugh
here from CreatorUp – the #1 YouTube channel dedicated to 360 virtual reality, and now
Augmented Reality for everyone. Before I start the tutorial, I want to credit
the team from pixelcase, who first shared how to do this. And also to Snapchat who provided the portal
template right here on their site. Step 1, prepare your 360 photos. I assume you already know how to capture,
stitch and create beautiful 360 photos if you follow this YouTube channel. If this is your first time here, start with
this Photoshop tutorial on 360 photo editing with the Insta360 ONE X or this tutorial on
capture DNG 8 HDR 360 photo with Kandao Qoocam – which is still one of the best consumer
360 camera for 360 photo. Go ahead and open photoshop. Import one of your finished 360 photos. I will suggest an HDR 360 photo captured with
DSLR or high-end camera as we need to compress this a lot for Snapchat. Here I will import my Malibu sunset HDR 360
photo – capture with a drone and 360 camera. I want when people walk into my portal, they
feel like flying. B/c 90% of the thing when I show this to people,
they look down immediately when they walk into the portal. A drone shot with interesting ground usually
is the best for this. If you don’t have a drone, I will suggest
pointing the 360 camera out of a window in a tall building and capture high altitude
360 photo. Then, we duplicate the background layer, delete
the background layer as we don’t need that anymore. Go to edit, transform, Flip horizontal to
flip the image as we are going to minor the image on Snapchat later. Then go to image, image size, and change the
image size to 2048 by 1024. Snapchat has a size limit for 360 photos. Then go to File, Export, Export As, and save
as jpg around 80% quality will be good. The goal here is to keep the file size as
small as possible, so Snapchat will approve your creation. Step 2, download Snapchat Lens Studio and
Portal template. So go ahead and follow the link in this video
description page down below to download Snapchat Lens Studio and my portal template. Go ahead and open Lens Studio. And import my Snapchat template. The template I provided here is very bare
minimum. If you want to create fancy 3D effects and
motion-triggered animation, I will highly recommend reading this official document from
Snapchat – so you can create a way better-looking portal than the one I created. If you do, send me the link in the comment
below and let me download your creation. After you open up my portal template, you
see everything has already been created for you. You can click the hand icon to move around
the scene. If you use your scroller on your mouse, you
can zoom in or out to see what is really going on in this design. Open Texture, go ahead, and replace the 360
photo. Click “change texture” button here, and pick
a new 360 photo. I choose my Shanghai City night 360 photo
instead. This photo BTW is one of my most popular 360
photos on Facebook with 53 thousand people reach and 220 likes. Follow me on Facebook if you have not already
for 360 inspiration like this photo. Now, go ahead and also replace your logo here. If you don’t want to bother, feel free to
leave my logo to credit me or simply hide it here by unchecking the guided arrow module. The last thing you need to do is replacing
the right music for your photo. Remember in the demo, after you go into the
portal, a sound effect starts to play to make you feel like you are there. Click WorldObjectController right here. Then double click the audio track name to
open up a new window. Hit add new to import your music. Choose your new music and hit add to close
the window. One thing you need to pay attention to is
your app file size. If your app file size is more than 4Mb, Snapchat
will not allow you to publish your lens. So make sure the audio file you import is
as small as possible. Here the file I import is a wav file which
is totally overkilled. So make to convert it into mp3 before you
import. Now we fix the file size problem, go ahead
and pair your phone to the lens studio for local testing. Hit right here and generate a snapchat barcode. Open snapchat on your phone and point the
camera to the barcode. Tap and hold your screen and pair your phone
to the lens studio. After your phone is connected, you can hit
the Push Lens To Device to test your new build. As you see here, you can pinch and zoom the
portal in real-world anywhere you want. [Music] Before you publish your lens, make sure to
go over Project Info here, and Add Lens Preview like so. This one looks good to me. Also give a lens name and change to your own
lens icon. Hit apply and we are ready to publish your
Snapchat AR lens. Hit Publish Lens right here. Give some Tags for discovery and add a lens
preview video if you have one. Then hit the big blue submit button, then
you are done! It usually takes Snapchat 5 – 10 hours to
approve your lens – depends on your file size. As you see my lens is already published and
you can scan it and load it up on to your phone. Step 3 – print AR onto your business card. To make it user-friendly, we are going to
build a QR code and print it onto your Business Card like so. I like to add a splash page to show all my
social media, especially my linkedin on my customed made profile – as you see right here. As after the fun AR experience, I still want
people to connect me on Linkedin so we can do business later. I used QR code generator here. It allows me to add all my social media and
nice loading animation with my face on it inside Snapchat. So it is all about user experience and presentation. The little thing count. But you can use any other free QR Code solution. It will work just as well. Thank you for watching this quick and fun
tutorial. I hope you enjoy it. Give me a like and share this video with your
friends. Anyone can do this. So share this with all your friends and family
and provide them your 360 photos for integration. I am sure you have a lot of 360 photos by
now. As you notice by now, there are limitations. Your 360 photo has to be under 2K and you
can not use 360 video. If you are in China, there is no Snapchat. So in the next AR tutorial, I will teach you
to create the same portal effect with Unity 3D and ARkit. So you showcase your 360 film in a fun and
engaging way. And potentially make money for your clients. So don’t forget to subscribe and comment below
for what AR application you want to learn next. And send me your Snapchat creation or reaction
video when friends see this. I will see you next time. 360 Creator level up on CreatorUp.