Augmented Reality (AR) is not new, but thanks to Pokémon Go it is newly relevant. The game has broken every record for adoption, users, and time spent, and it has given Nintendo a much-needed boost in both buzz and market cap – oh, and it's super-fun to play. Even if you never download the game or even look at a screenshot, here are a few things about Pokémon Go's epic launch that may move you from "I couldn't care less" to "Hmm … that's interesting."
Today, there are over 2 billion ordinary people carrying social network–connected video cameras. Notwithstanding what you're hearing from talking heads on TV, this is not new news. The number of smartphones is racing toward 3 billion, and the trajectory and pace of this technological change are well understood. What is far less understood is the impact ~2 billion social network–connected, video-enabled smartphones will have on how we live our lives in the 21st century.
When you analyze the effects of fraud, viewability and ad blocking on the digital display advertising business, then add the ever-increasing abilities of the traffic launderers to game the system, you reach an inevitable conclusion: ad tech has evolved into a toxic ecosystem that is killing itself, and it is taking digital advertising with it.
Sometimes I walk into a room and say, “Alexa, what’s the temperature outside?” She answers by speaking the current temperature followed by an abbreviated weather report. She’s so human-like, I have to resist the temptation to say “Thank you” when she finishes. Importantly, Alexa is not a she; it is a component of Amazon's Echo natural language processing system. Amazon has anthropomorphized Echo with a female voice and a feminine name, which makes it easy to call Alexa a “she.” Should we be polite when we speak to it, or is it OK to be abrupt or even abusive? The device won’t care. It doesn't have feelings; but how will we teach our children to differentiate between machines that sound and act like people, and other disembodied voices that actually are people?
A vice president at a very large company just sent me a purchase order for a "blue disco ball." That's my metaphoric name for a specific kind of middle management error that most vendors, suppliers and even solutions providers love most. What is a "blue disco ball?" It's every senior executive's worst nightmare and every vendor's holiday bonus all rolled into a budget-busting good time.